Discover more from Up With the Workers
“It’s your job to die.”
Check out our new reporter’s first story on art and propaganda in pandemic times.
Hello, friends! If you have a few extra minutes in your day, we’d appreciate it if you could fill out this survey.
⏰ We Are Working All The Time!
We’re excited to share Isabela’s first story for Workday Magazine: “Their Wealth, Your Misery: Art and Propaganda in Pandemic Times,” a review of Piotr Szyhalski’s exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum. The exhibit, We Are Working All The Time!, is on view til December 31.
“The pursuit of political truth is never a one-time arrival point, but rather, something an artist must belabor again and again with each new iteration expanding on the previous and informing the next.”
🏥 ‘Tis the season for ANOTHER nurses strike?
On November 30, the nurses who waged the largest private sector nursing strike and who are still waiting for justice voted to authorize another unfair labor practice strike. That makes two strike votes and potentially two strike actions within four months.
The Minnesota Nurses Association announced the strike details in a press conference. If an agreement isn’t reached, a strike would start on December 11 in the Twin Cities and last three weeks. In the Twin Ports, it would be open-ended.
🚂 ”Everyone has failed us.”
This story on the railroad situation by Jay Boller from Racket quotes railway truck driver and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees member Michael Sorman, as well as our favorite local labor historian Peter Rachleff. According to The Lever, which looked at financial records of the railroad industry, the U.S. Senate voted to deny 125,000 rail workers paid sick days that would have cost the equivalent of four days of profits made by railroad barons donating money to these very senators.
Read the rail workers’ open letter to government leaders and sign in support of them here.
“As noted in the Presidential Emergency Board Report #250, because of the PSR model, railroad companies have reduced the workforce by about 30 percent in 6 years, have instituted attendance models which pressure workers to work through exhaustion, reduced safety and checking procedures, all in order to reduce costs and increase profits.
In fact, the railroad industry is the most profitable industry in the country. However, the billions of dollars of profit comes at the cost of railroaders being on call virtually 24/7, unable to access routine health care, missing the deaths of their loved ones and the birth of their children, and dying by the hundreds in work accidents. It has also come at the cost of the broader public, as PSR has created a situation where there are not enough working railroaders to service the demand which the rail industry faces, making it a direct cause for the current supply-chain crisis and a key contributor to inflation.”
Listen to Maximilian Alvarez’s in-depth conversation with rail worker Jay on how railroad jobs got so bad.
🗓️ What does a just transition look like?
Workers Rising is a collaborative campaign of labor, racial, and climate justice groups in Minneapolis including Awood Center and TakeAction. They’re demanding higher wages, worker safety, and a just transition. Attend their event on December 8. I’d be going if MULP session 3 wasn’t scheduled for that day! Find more information here.
🎨 Skills classes at LES!
We have one more skills class to plug for you! How to Write News Releases & Advisories on Thursday, December 15. Learn more and sign up for the class here.
We could really use your help with this survey! We are each other’s harvest.