Entries by Clayton Sinyai

Underfunding employee pensions: An exercise of religious freedom?

America is being treated to another unedifying spectacle on the religious freedom v. worker justice front. Some Catholic hospital chains that have systematically underfunded their employees’ retirement plans are before the Supreme Court invoking religious freedom protections to evade accountability. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) protects the retirement of most private sector workers, […]

Union News from Boston College, Loyola U. Chicago

In March graduate student research and teaching assistants at Boston College filed a petition to join the United Auto Workers union. This may sound peculiar at first glance, but in fact the UAW has organized among graduate student employees for many years. The union already represents TAs and RAs in the University of California/CSU systems, […]

Living Wage Movement Arriving in America’s Airports

Do you remember the breakthrough Sea-Tac referendum in November 2013? Inspired by the fight for $15, voters called for a $15/hour minimum wage at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, delivering a living wage to thousands of underpaid airport baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, and wheelchair attendants. Last fall 1,000 of these workers cemented their gains by winning recognition […]

St. Martin’s adjuncts conduct Ash Wednesday walkout, call on university administrators to “give up union-busting for Lent”

As our regular readers know, American universities have cut instructional costs by shifting an ever-growing share of teaching duties from costly tenured faculty to part-time adjunct instructors with low salaries and few (if any) employment benefits. In response, adjunct faculty at several universities, including Catholic ones, have formed unions to bargain collectively. It should be […]

A California Catholic Speaks out on Right-to-Work

from Dave Oddo, member, Catholic Labor Network As part of a prolonged assault on labor rights, U.S. Representatives Steve King (R-Iowa) and Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) have recently introduced the deceptively titled “National Right-to-Work Act” (H.R. 785.)    H.R. 785, which applies exclusively to U.S. private sector workers, has been referred to the House of […]

World Meeting of Popular Movement Gathering in Modesto

Labor unions, community groups, and other grassroots worker justice organizations assembled in February for a widely reported regional gathering of the World Meeting of Popular Movements. Pope Francis sent a message of greeting and encouragement to the assembly. The event, organized by the Vatican, the USCCB, and the PICO Network, was also attended by members […]

Anti-Labor Politicians Target Union Rights of Iowa Public Workers, Over Bishops’ Objections

Iowa seems to be ground zero in an assault on worker rights in early 2017. US Representative Steve King of Sioux City — who identifies himself as Catholic — has distinguished himself both by sponsoring national “right-to-work” legislation and as a leading defender of the President’s executive actions targeting immigrants and refugees. At the state […]