Communications Workers of America Local 7076 represents custodial workers at Central New Mexico Community College and the University of New Mexico, and the union has organized to end poverty wages at both schools. CWA members were present at a rally in December 2021 organized by a coalition of unions. (Photo by Austin Fisher / Source NM)
The labor movement doesn’t typically get sustained media attention, but it is alive and well in New Mexico.
In recognition of Labor Day and as part of our reflections on our first year, we’ve collected our coverage of work and workers since we started.
One prominent example of the push for rights and wages here is the graduate student worker union at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, from their initial efforts to be recognized as a union, to their ongoing fight for a first contract. As they point out, livable wages and access to health care in exchange for instructing much of the university’s courses means more people would be able to pursue a graduate degree.
Fellow workers in the janitorial and maintenance departments at the University’s five campuses across the state and at Central New Mexico Community College have also put school administrators in the hot seat.
Film workers in New Mexico have also gotten a lot of attention for their threat to join a nationwide strike over conditions threatening their health and safety after the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the film set of “Rust” near Santa Fe.
Following in the footsteps of hundreds of Starbucks stores across the country in the last year, baristas in Albuquerque and Santa Fe are trying to unionize and are facing union-busting tactics.
Our coverage of work has not been limited to union activity. We’ve also looked at how state law affects working conditions, including paid sick leave, pay for teachers and Indigenous language instructors, discrimination against Indigenous teachers and students, a lack of a vaccine requirement for first responders, and Patrick Lohmann’s extensive, bilingual coverage of the state’s chile industry.
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