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  • Workers at 128 northern California supermarkets are on strike, with management demanding concessions to drive wages and working conditions down toward the Walmart floor. If you see a picket line at a Raley's or Nob Hill, please don't cross it.
  • Bainport, the camp workers set up across the street from the closing Sensata Technologies plant as part of their ongoing protests, is being dismantled, though their protests will continue.
  • New York City transit workers who were unable to get to work during Hurricane Sandy, or who were told not to go to work, were told they'd be paid for those days. Now the MTA is stiffing them. Oh, and those workers are also working without a contract right now.
  • This could have been another run-of-the-mill, sad story of union busting, if it weren't for the response. Milwaukee's Serb Hall is trying to bust its union, which is already down to just about a dozen people. So Capper, of the blog Cognitive Dissidence, organized a Solidarity Fish Fry, urging people to show up and ask to be seated specifically at the tables of the remaining union waitstaff. It's been going on several weeks now, and management is not happy to see people waiting in the bar for union tables while other tables go unfilled. Unfortunately, one of the union waitresses has been harassed into leaving recently. Check it out, though, for a great story of creative activism.
  • The Fair Labor Association claims to have assessed Foxconn factories supplying Apple products and found that everything was peachy, or well on the way to peachy. The Economic Policy Institute calls bullshit.
  • The National Hockey League is negotiating with its locked-out players. Of course, the way to end this thing would be for the owners and management to quit being so damn greedy, but apparently that option is not on the table.
  • Dear God:
    They called it “The Bullpen.” Farm workers were roped in from the street by recruiters and herded into the enclosed camp, where they worked during the day and slept in dirty, overcrowded bunks rife with bugs. Some, according to the workers' legal complaint, wrestled with grinding drug addictions and were sated periodically by dealers who would come by to sink them deeper into debt and dependency.
    Though reminiscent of any chain gang from the old South, this labor camp was in modern-day Florida, and these human chattel were harvesting vegetables that might have nourished your family.
  • These days, the courts are very important in protecting workers' rights, because so many employers break the law:
    A federal court has issued a record $11.8 million dollar award to 4,000 foreign guest workers who were employed by a Georgia forestry company in 2005. The guest workers came from Mexico and Guatemala on H-2B visas. Once lured to plant pine seedlings, the workers found that they would not be reimbursed for their travel or visa expenses and that their hours differed from their H-2B contracts. In addition, the records of the hours they did work were not properly kept.
  • With the lockout of American Crystal Sugar workers at well over a year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the company nearly $50,000 for combustible sugar dust, which sounds like candy but can be deadly.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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