January 4, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – While another tough year for workers around the nation, there were several significant victories for organized labor in 2015. AFGE organized over 700 workers at federal facilities. IAM unionized personnel at Phoenix’ Airport. UAW ratified contracts at General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. CWA organized journalists and editors at Jazeera America. UNITE HERE organized employees at Las Vegas’ Trump International Hotel.
Congress passed an education aid law which had been lobbied by teachers unions for several years. The Every Student Succeeds Act moves systems of accountability from the federal government to states. This results in reduced mandated testing for students. “The test-and-punish policies of No Child Left Behind dogged educators and schools through a one-size-fits-all accountability system that has done little to promote a well-rounded and complete education for every student,” said AFSA’s Diane Woodard. AFT’s Randy Weingarten added – The new law “gets the federal government out of teacher evaluation systems."
The United Mine Workers hailed last month’s conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship for the fatal Upper Big Branch, West Virginia coal mine explosion five years ago. Walmart continues to come under fire for hiring Lockheed-Martin to spy on activists. The negative press following an investigation and filing of charges by the Labor Relations Board continues to affect Walmart's reputation and bottom-line.