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Billionaire Owners Give Ballpark Workers the Boot

A Black Lives Matter banner hangs behind a statue of Willie Mays at Oracle Park.

UPDATE: This story was originally published on August 4 at 48 Hills. Since then, UNITE HERE Local 2 has initiated some hardball negotiations in response to these terminations, and is planning an action to counter the billionaire owners’ disrespect. Workers and supporters will assemble on Friday, August 14 at 6pm at the Willie Mays statue at the Giants ballpark, prior to the Giants-A's game. For the latest info, check out the Local 2 website.

Posted: August 10, 2020, 6:17 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Nurses National Day of Action Advocates for Safety for Patients and Hospital Workers

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Nurses National Day of Action Advocates for Safety for Patients and Hospital Workers
NNU
NNU

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Thousands of nurses rallied across the country last week as part of the National Nurses United (NNU) day of action. The more than 200 actions at hospitals were focused on saving the lives of nurses, other health care workers and patients. The nurses demanded proper infection control practices, most importantly providing nurses optimal personal protective equipment and mandating safe patient care ratios. The registered nurses of NNU also called for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and for elected officials everywhere to address the underlying conditions that have exacerbated the effects of the pandemic, such as racial injustice, high unemployment and hunger, and the failure to value human lives over profit.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:22
Posted: August 10, 2020, 5:22 pm

Economy Gains 1.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 10.2%

The U.S. economy gained 1.8 million jobs in July, and the unemployment rate declined to 10.2%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month’s biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+592,000), government (301,000), retail trade (258,000), professional and […]
Posted: August 10, 2020, 2:12 pm

Black workers are hurt most as Congress doesn’t extend unemployment

One mostly unintended—definitely on the Republican side—aspect of the $600 in added unemployment benefits is that it reduced racial disparities. But that means that one aspect of the $600 expiring is that those same racial disparities have come roaring back. Why? Because, for one thing “Black workers disproportionately live in states with the lowest benefit levels […]
Posted: August 10, 2020, 2:07 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ironworker Blazes a Trail for Women of Color

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ironworker Blazes a Trail for Women of Color
Latinas Welding Guild

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Consuela Poland is a member of Ironworkers Local 22 in Indianapolis. Having been the only woman of color in her welding class seven years ago, she is now trying to encourage workers like her to join the trade. “Being new to the industry you don’t know what questions to ask, you don’t know who to talk to, no one teaches you that stuff,” she told The Indianapolis Star. “If they don’t feel confident enough to go buy their own supplies, then there’s a chance they won’t keep welding. There’s a chance they give up.” Poland founded the Latinas Welding Guild in 2017 to mentor and empower the Latina community and women in central Indiana through welding. Local 22 in Indiana represents more than 1,000 members in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Lafayette, and only 11 of those members are women.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/07/2020 - 12:12
Posted: August 7, 2020, 4:12 pm

Economy Gains 1.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 10.2%

Economy Gains 1.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 10.2%

The U.S. economy gained 1.8 million jobs in July, and the unemployment rate declined to 10.2%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the July job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

Almost 1/3 the job gain reported by @BLS_gov for July was the 502,000 rebound in food and drink establishments, consistent with the combined rise from the household survey for those usually working part-time and continued fall in temporary layoff @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 7, 2020

With schools closing early, the seasonal adjustments to local and state education showed up as job gains, but the @BLS_gov reports state and local employment remain over 1 million lower than February. Strong reason for state and local government aid. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 7, 2020

Retail trade continued to show some recovery, @BLS_gov reports 280,000 jobs came back (almost half in clothing stores). But, retail remains 913,000 it's peak in February. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 7, 2020

Last month's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+592,000), government (301,000), retail trade (258,000), professional and business services (170,000), other services (149,000), health care (126,000), social assistance (66,000), transportation and warehousing (38,000), manufacturing (26,000), financial activities (21,000) and construction (20,000). Mining lost 7,000 jobs in July.

In July, the unemployment rates declined for teenagers (19.3%), Black Americans (14.6%), Hispanics (12.9%), Asians (12.0%), adult women (10.5%), adult men (9.4%) and White Americans (9.2%).

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in July.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:30
Posted: August 7, 2020, 3:30 pm

A growing side effect of the pandemic: Permanent job loss

More jobs are disappearing for good, dashing hopes of a rapid economic rebound. Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the coronavirus recession, but for many of them the news is getting even worse: Their positions are going away forever. Permanent losses have so far made up only a fraction of the […]
Posted: August 7, 2020, 3:08 pm

South Florida AFL-CIO Rallies for Unemployment Insurance

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story. The South Florida AFL-CIO, led by President Jeffrey Mitchell (TWU), partnered with Rise Up Florida! […]
Posted: August 7, 2020, 3:01 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: WSLC’s Foundation for Working Families Donates to Those in Need

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: WSLC’s Foundation for Working Families Donates to Those in Need
FFWF
FFWF

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Foundation for Working Families (FFWF) is the charitable nonprofit formed by the affiliated unions of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) to assist working families in times of hardship or disaster. Since the pandemic started in March, the FFWF has been giving $300 grocery store gift cards to families suffering extraordinary economic difficulties. “The Foundation for Working Families is an important part of the WSLC and its affiliated unions’ work,” said WSLC President Larry Brown (IAM). “Helping families get through difficult times, like many are experiencing amid this pandemic, is what unions have always done. We lift each other up, particularly when some of us are struggling, so we can get through those hard times and ultimately share in the prosperity we have created together.” The foundation will soon deliver its one-thousandth gift card since the outbreak started, having given nearly $300,000 in donations to help families get through these difficult times. Click here to donate to FFWF.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 08/06/2020 - 16:33
Posted: August 6, 2020, 8:33 pm

CODE-CWA Game Workers Win Groundbreaking Strike

Voltage management agreed to pay increases averaging 78% and increase transparency at work.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 6:23 pm

Senators: Extend the Payroll Support Program in the CARES Act to Save Our Jobs

The Payroll Support Program (PSP) is set to expire in October, even though the aviation industry's crisis is far from over.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 6:01 pm

CWAers Put Pressure on Senators to Pass the HEROES Act

This crucial bill passed the House in May, but has stalled in the Senate.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 5:46 pm

On 55th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act, We Must Be Vigilant

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 5:33 pm

Check Out CWA's Panels at Next Week's Netroots Nation Virtual Conference

Netroots Nation is the biggest annual progressive conference in the United States.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 5:24 pm

Who is Paul Singer?

The podcast "Who Is?" has just released an episode focusing on Paul Singer, the billionaire hedge fund CEO behind Elliott Management's predatory campaign to destroy AT&T.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 5:11 pm

On 55th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act, We Must Be Vigilant

We must honor the distinguished memory of Congressman John Lewis and the values he fought so bravely for by making sure that our country has safe and accessible elections in 2020.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 4:25 pm

‘Tidal wave’: States fear fiscal disaster as Congress slow-walks aid

The most vulnerable states for seeing their federal aid cut are those that already carried some of the lowest credit ratings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo couldn’t be farther apart in their views of how Congress should help states recover from the recession. But their states are among those […]
Posted: August 6, 2020, 2:31 pm

Big support for $600 unemployment benefit, but people don’t know who to blame for its lapse

Americans want the $600 pandemic unemployment benefit renewed by a huge margin, a new poll from HuffPost/YouGov finds. Continuing the benefits gets 54% support with just 29% of people opposed.  What’s incredibly frustrating in the poll, though, is that 39% of people say congressional Democrats are “at least somewhat responsible” for the expanded unemployment lapsing last […]
Posted: August 6, 2020, 2:17 pm

Viewpoint: Pro-Labor Candidates Are Upending New York Politics—But Where Are the Unions?

Marchers wearing masks walk through the streets of New York City, with Jabari Brisport and Marcela Mitaynes in the front.
August 06, 2020 / Sam Lewis

At a candidate forum in Central Brooklyn for a New York state senate race, the moderator asked a simple yes or no question: “Do you support charter schools?”

It was no surprise that public school teacher, union member, and democratic socialist Jabari Brisport answered with a terse “nope”—unions rightly see charters as an effort to privatize and deunionize the teaching profession.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 10:45 am

Viewpoint: Failure to Enforce Mask Mandate Leaves Grocery Workers Vulnerable

On July 15 the grocery chain Kroger announced that starting July 22 its stores would begin requiring mask coverings for all shoppers in its stores. Walmart had announced a similar measure earlier that day.

Posted: August 6, 2020, 9:18 am

'We Feed You, Don’t Let Us Starve': Restaurant Workers Mobilize to Extend Unemployment Benefits

The $600 weekly federal unemployment benefits expired last Friday at midnight. The Senate left town without a deal to extend them, cutting the only lifeline keeping tens of millions of Americans afloat during the worst public health and economic crisis in memory.

The pandemic has hit restaurants harder than nearly any other industry. Restaurants have already shed millions of jobs and there is no end in sight. Food service workers also have fewer tools to advocate for themselves than do many other workers; barely any belong to a union.

Posted: August 5, 2020, 8:36 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Teachers, School and Your Children

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Teachers, School and Your Children

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Candace Pinn is a kindergarten teacher in New Rochelle, New York, and a member of the New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees-AFT. Whether schools open or not is one of the biggest questions right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about what might happen and how teachers are feeling during these dangerous times.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/05/2020 - 14:50
Posted: August 5, 2020, 6:50 pm

Remember the Public Sector in the Fight for Black Lives

Four city workers and supporters rallying to link police brutality and the conditions that city workers face from their bosses.

While today's wave of protests focuses on the role of police in our society, we cannot ignore another big looming crisis for Black lives: the destruction of the public sector.

GDP shrank by a whopping 32.9 percent in the second quarter. The economic crisis induced by the pandemic is leading to massive austerity across the country. Without federal fiscal aid, state and local governments are projected to make cuts resulting in 5.3 million workers losing their jobs before the end of 2021.

Posted: August 5, 2020, 3:56 pm

Working Life Episode 193: The States Go Broke; The Democratic Convention Approaches

The pandemic has ripped a hole through every state budget in the country to the tune collectively of over $550 billion. That red ink is more than half a trillion dollars in money states won’t have—which translates into millions of people losing their jobs, services being decimated that we all rely on, attacks against people […]
Posted: August 5, 2020, 3:19 pm

Gwinnett County, Georgia, joins the list of early school reopening COVID-19 messes

Gwinnett County, Georgia, didn’t even make it to the beginning of the school year before it had serious coronavirus problems amid Gov. Brian Kemp’s push to reopen schools in person. Teachers started in-person planning for the school year on Wednesday. By Thursday, 260 school district employees were out because of positive coronavirus tests or contact with a […]
Posted: August 5, 2020, 3:00 pm

Activision Blizzard Game Workers Take Collective Action to Reduce Pay Inequities

Activision Blizzard Game Workers Take Collective Action to Reduce Pay Inequities

Employees of video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. are comparing their salaries after an internal company survey revealed that more than half of the company’s workers were unhappy with their pay. Activision Blizzard had promised pay increases after conducting a pay equity study, but many game workers have expressed frustration about the raises provided.

The high ratio of CEO-to-worker pay continues to be an issue of concern at Activision Blizzard. Last year, Activision Blizzard’s CEO Robert Kotick made more than $30 million in total compensation, or 319 times the company’s median employee pay. The company's disclosed CEO-to-worker pay ratio did not budge at all between 2018 and 2019.

Even Activision Blizzard’s shareholders are upset. Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services noted that “the CEO’s legacy employment agreement provides numerous overlapping pay opportunities, which raise concerns over potential excessive payouts in the future.” At this year’s shareholder meeting, 43% of votes were cast against the company’s executive pay.

Working people are better able to negotiate a fair return on our work when we have information on rates of play in our workplace. Comparing salaries also can help prevent unlawful pay discrimination based on race or gender. Although 60% of surveyed tech workers reported pressure from their employer to keep salary information secret, sharing pay data is a legally protected right under U.S. labor law.

Game workers create the content that makes video game companies like Activision Blizzard so profitable. The action by game workers at Activision Blizzard is a powerful reminder that working people can reduce pay inequities by coming together collectively. That’s why last year I wrote an open letter pledging our solidarity as a labor movement with game worker organizing efforts.

As Activision Blizzard’s game workers have shown, pay transparency can be the first step to negotiating pay fairness in the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are a computer programmer or a factory worker; all working people deserve fair pay and a voice at work.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/05/2020 - 09:50
Posted: August 5, 2020, 1:50 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: South Florida AFL-CIO Rallies for Unemployment Insurance

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: South Florida AFL-CIO Rallies for Unemployment Insurance
South Florida AFL-CIO
South Florida AFL-CIO

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The South Florida AFL-CIO, led by President Jeffrey Mitchell (TWU), partnered with Rise Up Florida! to protest and rally on Friday at Trump National Doral Miami golf resort. Union members and our allies called on President Trump and U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to pass the HEROES Act and extend enhanced unemployment insurance. The central labor council purchased two giant rats, one for Rubio and one for Scott, and a Trump inflatable to be part of the event. “Without that money, we cannot continue with our life,” Roy James, a member of UNITE HERE who lost his job at the Miami International Airport in March, told NBC 6 South Florida. “Even with $1,000, I cannot pay my bills because even my rent is $1,500.” After the rally at Trump’s resort, a caravan of union members traveled to the senators’ Miami offices.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/04/2020 - 10:42
Posted: August 4, 2020, 2:42 pm

Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story. In a union election victory 17 years in the making, child care providers across California […]
Posted: August 4, 2020, 2:30 pm

State and local governments have shed 1.5 million jobs in pandemic

State and local governments have hemorrhaged 1.5 million jobs since February, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports. Nine states lost more than one in 10 state and local government jobs, and in 17 states, more than 10% of jobs in education were lost. But that’s just a down payment on the carnage that’s coming if Senate […]
Posted: August 4, 2020, 2:22 pm

Viewpoint: Concessions Are Back. So Are the Flashbacks.

All of us in the labor movement are—hopefully—scrambling to figure out how to construct defenses and get positioned to deal with the rapidly deteriorating bargaining climate. Every employer is either on the attack or soon will be.

Posted: August 4, 2020, 2:05 pm

Protect Employees and Customers: The Working People Weekly List

Protect Employees and Customers: The Working People Weekly List
Working People Weekly List
AFL-CIO

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

 

Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU: “In a union election victory 17 years in the making, child care providers across California voted overwhelmingly to be represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU). The organizing campaign was a joint effort of United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 and SEIU locals 99 and 521, with 97% of represented workers who voted choosing to join CCPU."

#HeroesActNow: In the States Roundup: “It’s time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.”

Union Members Work on Missouri Power Plant: “Members of United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 562 continue to deliver quality work, despite the challenges of working during the pandemic.”

Report: Retail Banks Must Take Urgent Steps to Protect Employees and Customers: “A new report released by the Committee for Better Banks (CBB) shows the urgent need for major financial institutions to protect the physical health of employees and customers and to protect customers’ economic assets. CBB analyzed 12 of the nation’s top banks, with combined total assets of $8.5 trillion and $155 billion in profits last year. The report ranked banks according to worker protections, lending policies, consumer protections and charitable contributions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Executive Paywatch: 1,000-to-1 Pay Ratio CEOs Furlough Workers: “AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch report, released today, shows that the imbalance between the pay of corporate CEOs and working people persists as a problem. In particular, the report shines light on the 20 companies with pay ratio disparities higher than 1,000-to-1 that furloughed workers in 2020.”

Machinists Rally for BIW Strikers in Maine: “Members of Machinists (IAM) Local S6 in Maine are entering their sixth week on strike against shipbuilder Bath Iron Works (BIW), but they are staying strong.”

Members of Rockford United Labor Help Build a ‘Strong Neighborhood House’: “Members of Rockford United Labor, led by President Bill Corey (UBC), are working with contractors to build a new United Way ‘Strong Neighborhood House’ in Rockford, Illinois.”

Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Manufacturing, Union Dues and More: “The latest episode of the ‘Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly’ features manufacturing, union dues and more.”

Apprentices Help Conserve Marine Life in the Chesapeake Bay: “Earlier this month, apprentices at the Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA) Local 592 training center in New Jersey finished constructing 60 reef balls that were loaded up and sent off to their new home in the Chesapeake Bay.”

Fire Fighters Rack Up Organizing Wins Across the South: “The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union has organized four new bargaining units in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia over the past few weeks. These are significant organizing wins for the union and part of its strategy to increase membership within the IAFF across the South.”

On the Passing of the Rev. C.T. Vivian and the Hon. John Lewis: “Over the weekend, the civil rights community suffered the loss of two giants in the movement—the Rev. C.T. Vivian (95) and Rep. John Lewis (80). As the nation grapples with protests and demands for racial equality, we remember their unwavering commitment to social, racial and economic justice. Both friends to labor and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., their lives were the embodiment of ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.’”

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council Fights for Workplace Safety Enforcement: “Too many front-line workers across the country are working in fear for their health and safety. As the federal government fails to intervene by mandating safety and health guidelines, many states are not acting, either.”

San Diego’s Labor Movement Holds Food Distribution Event: “On Saturday, members of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, led by Executive Secretary-Treasurer Keith Maddox (IAM), held a food relief drive-through at Palomar College.”

IBEW Women’s Committee Raises Money for Dubuque Area Labor Harvest: “The Women’s Committee of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) 11th District, made up of IBEW women from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, has been raising money to help support workers in need during this time of crises by collecting bottles and cans and through private donations from its members.”

An Unstoppable Force for Change: What Working People Are Doing This Week: “Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here’s a look at the broad range of activities we’re engaged in this week.”

Keeping Kids Safe Never Stops: “Colorado AFL-CIO President Josette Jaramillo (AFSCME) is a lead caseworker for the Department of Social Services in Pueblo County, Colorado. For Jaramillo, work never stopped when COVID-19 hit.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/03/2020 - 11:57
Posted: August 3, 2020, 3:57 pm

New York Bookstore Workers Blast Their Boss for Layoffs While Taking a PPP Loan

Shop stewards at the Strand, a prominent New York City bookstore, are denouncing owner Nancy Bass-Wyden for accepting federal loans but failing to keep workers on the payroll.

Strand Bookstore, Inc. received a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of $1-$2 million by claiming to retain 212 jobs. (Public data provide only a range for the loan amount, not a precise figure.) But in fact Bass-Wyden laid off all but a few employees shortly before applying for the loan.

Posted: August 3, 2020, 3:31 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Members in Arizona Donate Supplies, Masks to Navajo and Hopi Nations

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Members in Arizona Donate Supplies, Masks to Navajo and Hopi Nations
Arizona food delivery
Arizona AFL-CIO

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Arizona AFL-CIO, under the leadership of Executive Director Fred Yamashita (UFCW), took part in a donation delivery of nonperishable food, supplies and “Union Yes” face masks to the Navajo and Hopi nations. 

Along with the AFL-CIO, Electrical Workers (IBEW) locals, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 99 and Teamsters Local 104, the state federation dropped off more than $10,000 worth of donations and over 2,000 masks. Safeway also donated several thousand bottles of drinking water. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez thanked all those in attendance, calling them “friends of the Navajo Nation.” 

The state federation is facilitating another drop-off of supplies and donations in the coming weeks, including a $15,000 donation from the AFL-CIO and a $10,000 donation from Local 99. 

Native American tribes have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in Arizona and many other parts of the United States.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/03/2020 - 10:50
Posted: August 3, 2020, 2:50 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU
CCPU
CCPU

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

In a union election victory 17 years in the making, child care providers across California voted overwhelmingly to be represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU). The organizing campaign was a joint effort of United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 and SEIU locals 99 and 521, with 97% of represented workers who voted choosing to join CCPU. “This has been a long time coming,” UDW Assistant Executive Director and AFSCME Vice President Johanna Hester said Monday. “This win gives 40,000 family child care providers in California the opportunity to bargain for higher pay, better training and increased access to care for every child who needs it.” With AFSCME’s and SEIU’s strong support, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the Building a Better Early Care and Education System Act (A.B. 378) in September, paving the way for this historic victory, one of the largest union organizing wins in America so far this century.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:33
Posted: July 31, 2020, 4:33 pm

Brooklyn Teamsters Protest UPS Harassment of Black Shop Stewards

crowd of workers, many in brown UPS uniforms, with "Black Lives Matter" signs
July 30, 2020 / Jonah Furman

A hundred members of Teamsters Local 804 gathered outside a Brooklyn UPS hub July 20 to protest management’s harassment of a Black shop steward and efforts to divide the workforce along racial lines.

It was Local 804’s way to mark the global “Strike for Black Lives,” a day of protest (though it included few conventional strikes) called by a constellation of unions and organizations including the Service Employees (SEIU), Teachers (AFT), Transit Union (ATU), Teamsters, Communications Workers (CWA), UNITE HERE, Farmworkers (UFW), and Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Posted: July 30, 2020, 9:20 pm

Aviation Workers Urge Congress to Extend CARES Act Payroll Support Program to Save Thousands of Jobs

Passenger service agents, Flight Attendants, and other aviation workers are on the front lines of an unprecedented crisis for the airline industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted: July 30, 2020, 6:13 pm

New Report: The Climate Crisis is Threatening Worker Health and Safety

The report features 14 first-hand stories from workers impacted by climate change, including CWA members.

Posted: July 30, 2020, 6:06 pm

Organizing Update

Lawrence School District Paraeducators and staffers at Hope Community, Inc., are among those voting to join with CWA.

Posted: July 30, 2020, 5:58 pm

Somerville Paraeducators Win 20 Percent Raise and Permanent Status After Nine-Month Battle

A crowd holding signs saying Support Somerville Educators and Living Wage for Paras

The ask was clear and self-explanatory: a starting salary of $25,000 and permanent status after four years.

Somerville’s paraprofessional educators made this demand over and over during the course of protracted and contentious negotiations over a contract that expired August 31, 2019. We made the demand on social media, at community meetings and rallies, and in the local media.

Posted: July 29, 2020, 5:59 pm

Could a Teacher Strike Wave Halt Premature School Reopenings and Flatten the Pandemic's Curve?

A woman drives a car with the words "Schools are not safe!" "I love teachers" and "People over profit" painted on the windows

This piece originally ran on July 26 at Jacobin. On July 28, the American Federation of Teachers announced it would back local safety strikes around reopening.—Eds.

Posted: July 29, 2020, 5:07 pm

Essential Work: The 2020 WCSA Awards

At the center of all the chaos and turmoil of 2020 has been the essential worker on the front lines—from healthcare workers treating those infected with COVID-19 to service workers of all kinds who have kept us fed, supplied, and … Continue reading
Posted: July 13, 2020, 11:50 am

The Downwardly Mobile: How Some People Lose Class Privilege

We have two narratives about class in this country. Perhaps the most prominent is the American Dream – the idea that hard work and moral fortitude can lead people from rages to riches. The second is that of the rigged … Continue reading
Posted: June 29, 2020, 11:55 am

Universal Basic Income and Working-Class Futures

There have been few good things to come out of COVID-19. We’ve seen a genuine sense of community spirit emerge along with greater respect for blue-collar workers in the front line. In the UK, we’ve seen another less obvious shift: … Continue reading
Posted: June 22, 2020, 11:23 am

Racism and the Working Class

When I tell other middle-class professionals who don’t know me well that I’m writing a book about working-class culture, it’s amazing how often they respond approvingly that “white racism” is an important subject.  My reaction, depending on the circumstance, ranges … Continue reading
Posted: June 15, 2020, 12:44 pm

George Floyd and the Costs of Racial Capitalism

George Floyd’s public viewing will be held this afternoon at The Fountain of Praise Church in southwest Houston. A private funeral service will occur tomorrow followed by burial in Houston Memorial Gardens Cemetery about sixteen miles south of Houston’s Third … Continue reading
Posted: June 8, 2020, 11:08 am

Will Lawyers Stand Up to Defend Working-Class Consumers?

Three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs. 4.2 million homeowners have placed their mortgages in forbearance. Hundreds of thousands more are in default and have not yet worked out agreements with lenders … Continue reading
Posted: June 1, 2020, 11:27 am

Deindustrialization as a Template for COVID-19

As we wrote in Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown, Youngstown’s story is America’s story. That’s true now as we try to imagine American life after the pandemic. No doubt, coronavirus is a natural disaster that is more contagious, widespread, … Continue reading
Posted: May 18, 2020, 11:36 am

“People Ain’t Gonna Come to Work if They Don’t Feel Safe”

If you live in Iowa, you get to see a little bit of how the sausage is made, so to speak, especially if it’s pork. It’s a common occurrence to see long semi-truck trailers on the highways, with round pink … Continue reading
Posted: May 11, 2020, 11:49 am

Fishing Industry Workers Struggle to Beat Long Odds

A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing signs of worry about the food supply. Meatpacking plants have closed due to high rates of infection among workers. Farmers plow crops under and pour thousands of gallons of milk down … Continue reading
Posted: May 4, 2020, 11:27 am

May Day 2020: Workers in the Pandemic Time

Around the world, the first of May, is generally celebrated as a public holiday.  May Day’s origins go back to 1886, when 300,000 U.S. workers in 13,000 businesses laid down their tools in a general strike, joining 40,000 in Chicago … Continue reading
Posted: April 27, 2020, 11:42 am