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offsite link Israel Scrapes Vaccine Pass Proving It W... Sat Jun 12, 2021 14:20 | Marko Marjanović

offsite link Big Pharma Claims Needs IP Monopolies to... Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:55 | Tim dickinson

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Human Rights in Ireland
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offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

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offsite link COVID-19 Virus has a Genetic Feature Never Found in Nature that Lab Scientists Use to Track Engineer... Tue Jun 08, 2021 23:51 | Will Jones
SARS-CoV-2 has a genetic feature that has never been observed in natural SARS-like viruses, but which is the preferred feature for scientists engineering viruses. Is this the smoking gun for a gain-of-function lab leak?
The post COVID-19 Virus has a Genetic Feature Never Found in Nature that Lab Scientists Use to Track Engineered Viruses appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link Scottish Children Will Be Vaccinated ?as Quickly as Possible?, Says Nicola Sturgeon Tue Jun 08, 2021 21:12 | Michael Curzon
Nicola Sturgeon says Scottish children will be vaccinated "as quickly as possible" if the JCVI approves the vaccination of children aged 12 and over. Planning for a child vaccine roll-out has started already.
The post Scottish Children Will Be Vaccinated “as Quickly as Possible”, Says Nicola Sturgeon appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link The Kitsch Covid Aesthetic Tue Jun 08, 2021 19:21 | Toby Young
We're publishing an original piece on Lockdown Sceptics by Dr Sinéad Murphy, an Associate Researcher in Philosophy at Newcastle University, about why the arguments against lockdown have failed to cut through.
The post The Kitsch Covid Aesthetic appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link ?Minimise Travel? Advice Extended to Cover Millions More Brits Tue Jun 08, 2021 16:12 | Michael Curzon
People living in Greater Manchester and Lancashire are now advised to "minimise travel" due to the Indian variant, though Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has told locals not to cancel trips because of the new guidelines.
The post “Minimise Travel” Advice Extended to Cover Millions More Brits appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

offsite link ?Texas Is Open 100%? ? Texan Businesses Banned from Requiring Vaccine Passports Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:44 | Michael Curzon
All government entities and private businesses in Texas are now banned from requiring proof of vaccination as a condition for service or entry, with Governor Greg Abbott declaring that the state is "open 100%".
The post “Texas Is Open 100%” ? Texan Businesses Banned from Requiring Vaccine Passports appeared first on Lockdown Sceptics.

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Voltaire Network
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offsite link How should the Pentagon target China? Fri Jun 11, 2021 18:58 | en

offsite link Hezbollah ready to meet basic needs of Lebanese people Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:12 | en

offsite link Biden administration reactivates the Quad Thu Jun 10, 2021 19:02 | en

offsite link Pentagon given order to abandon Middle East and focus on Far East Thu Jun 10, 2021 18:22 | en

offsite link The New Atlantic Charter Thu Jun 10, 2021 09:25 | en

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SEIU Organise Janitors In Houston.

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | other press author Sunday December 11, 2005 23:26author by pat c Report this post to the editors

You wouldnt normally expect The Economist to write a favourable article about Unions but in this weeks edition (6 Dec) there is a piece about the Unionisation of janitors in Houston, Texas. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has organised 5,000 janitors, some readers might remember the Ken Loach film, Bread And Roses, which dealt with the SEIU organised strike in Los Angeles.

As The Economist requires a paid subscription to view this article, I am posting it here in full.

Janitors band together in Houston

UNIONS have never had much luck in the South. The region is home to Wal-Mart and other arch-foes of organised labour. For years, car plants have been built in Tennessee or Alabama to escape the grip of Detroit. So last week's announcement that nearly 5,000 janitors (cleaners and caretakers) in Houston were joining the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was a rare breakthrough. Julius Getman, a professor at the University of Texas, thinks it is the largest union victory in the South in decades.

The SEIU takes a different approach to organising. It has organised janitors at several big companies at once. Rather than mounting a campaign at each workplace separately, it will negotiate one big industry-wide contract. This, in theory, eliminates each cleaning company's fear of being undercut by competitors if it allows higher wages. The companies agreed to stay neutral. The strategy bypasses the National Labour Relations Board, which usually oversees the unionisation of workers. That is a bonus in a place like Houston, where undocumented workers would rather not get the government involved.

Janitorial success has come to be quite a hallmark of the SEIU which, with 1.8m members, is one of the largest unions in the country. The “Justice for Janitors” campaign has been going for 20 years. The SEIU claims triumphs from Los Angeles (raising pay by more than 25%) to Chicago (getting employer-paid health benefits). Pay talks will start soon in Houston, and the SEIU will be under pressure to deliver. The starting point could hardly be lower. According to the union, Houston's janitors earn an average of $5.30 an hour, less than half what their counterparts in Philadelphia get.

Whether the Houston milestone will lead to other triumphs in the South is an open question. Nonetheless, it is a small boost for a movement that has been going through tough times recently. Union membership is in steep decline in the private sector. This summer the SEIU and a few other unions split from the AFL-CIO, America's big labour federation. Since then, the SEIU has been pursuing new strategies to boost its membership.

One of the more intriguing ideas is a contest (at www.sinceslicedbread.com) for the best proposal to boost the economy and create good jobs. It closed this week with over 22,000 entries. Our favourite is national mandatory nap time, but others include teaching personal finance in high school and tax breaks for hiring workers over 40. Encouraging creativity in itself will do organised labour no harm at all.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If cleaning staff can be organised in Houston, Texas then they can be organised in Ireland. While a Joint Labour Agreement operates in the Industry to protect conditions, there are not enouhj Labour Inspectors to adequately police this.

You cannot rely on the State to enforce minimum conditions, and trhat is what they are - minimum conditions. The Unions need to put more resources in to the area of recruiting in this vast srvice industry to establish Union rates of pay and conditions of work.

 
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