Labor News Feed

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NewsFeed - Labor

This feed was created by mixing existing feeds from various sources.

Organizing Update

The latest on who is voting to join CWA.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:57 pm

Bargaining Update

The latest bargaining information for Frontier Communications in Connecticut, the MinnPost, LifePath, and the Cumberland County Utilities Authority.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:52 pm

CWA Activists Continue to Fight for Equitable Broadband Access and Good Jobs

Thanks to the leadership and the activism of CWAers, the $65 billion allocated in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to expand our nation’s broadband networks will help states across the country bring their telecommunications infrastructure into the 21st century.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:39 pm

United Campus Workers in Georgia Secure a Big Win for College Students

The state senate’s Student Fees Study Committee has recommended the elimination of the special institutional fee.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:30 pm

Shelton Outlines Stakes for IUE-CWA Workers at GE as Company Splits into Thirds

In an op-ed in Fortune, CWA President Chris Shelton outlined what is at stake for workers at General Electric following the announcement that it plans to split into three separate companies.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:20 pm

Worker Power Update

Last Thursday, CWA activists and leaders participated in a national phone bank to build support for the Freedom to Vote Act, and more.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:14 pm

Register for the 2022 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

The virtual conference will take place on January 16 and 17, 2022.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 3:00 pm

UPS Drivers Stage a Walk-in to Defend a Fired Co-Worker

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To protest the unfair firing of a co-worker, on Tuesday morning 150 UPS drivers in Chicago took a simple action: they didn’t go into work early.

Instead, they gathered outside with an inflatable fat cat. They grilled food, played music, and then walked in together, right on time.

This departure from routine was enough to throw their management into a panic.

Posted: December 23, 2021, 5:00 am

Christmas On Strike: Warrior Met Miners Stick It Out

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This Christmas, as millions of families settle in to adorn fir trees, the children of striking coal miners in Alabama have asked mainly for practical gifts. Shoes and clothes top their lists, followed by Barbies and Rainbow High dolls, Legos, Nerf guns, and makeup kits.

Posted: December 22, 2021, 10:11 pm

More Than 120 National Audubon Society Workers Across 11 Regions Vote to Form Union with Communications Workers of America

More than 120 workers across 11 regions at the National Audubon Society voted overwhelmingly in favor of forming a union with the CWA in a string of official National Labor Relations Board elections last week, joining their colleagues in the organization’s national headquarters as members of CWA.

Posted: December 22, 2021, 3:27 pm

Whatever Happened to 'Eight Hours for What You Will'?

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When Frank Carrico talks about why he and his co-workers at the Heaven Hill distillery went on strike, he talks about family. “I missed out on my kids’ activities” because of forced weekend shifts, he says. “I missed out on a lot, and I don’t want the young people coming behind me to have that happen to them.”

When we spoke, the distillery workers had just come off a six-week strike demanding to maintain a 40-hour week, Monday-Friday, with overtime pay beyond that.

Posted: December 22, 2021, 1:38 pm

Tower Climbing Safety School Goes Union

Workers at Tower Safety in Phoenix, Ariz., a company that offers cell phone tower climbers an array of trainings and certifications with an emphasis on safety, won voluntary recognition and joined CWA.

Posted: December 21, 2021, 6:32 pm

It's Awfully Convenient for Shippers that Longshore Workers Get Blamed for Delays, As Contract Fight Looms

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If you ordered a teddy bear or a designer picture frame as a holiday gift, you know that it likely took a lot longer to get here than in past years.

There have been problems getting things from point A to point B since the pandemic started. At one point in October, 77 percent of the world’s ports were experiencing long delays.

Posted: December 21, 2021, 3:49 pm

Who Might Strike in 2022? Hundreds of Big Contracts Will Be Up

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2021 saw high-profile strikes and contract battles that put unions in the public spotlight. And 2022 could potentially be more explosive.

Workers are already sensing their increased leverage in a tight labor market. They’ll be feeling the squeeze of record inflation while their employers rake in profits. There’s every reason to hold the line against concessions, or to win back what they gave away before.

Posted: December 20, 2021, 6:55 pm

Airline Passenger Service Workers Speak Up About Passenger Rage Incidents in a National Ad and Call for Federal Action

Airline passenger service agents and members of CWA announced that they are expanding a digital advertisement campaign designed to raise awareness about the rise in passenger rage incidents and encourage civility among passengers as travel spikes with the impending holiday season.

Posted: December 20, 2021, 4:37 pm

The Pandemic as an Employment Shell Game

I have always been skeptical of the use of labor statistics. In 2009, I began to write in Working-Class Perspectives about the de facto unemployment rate, because official reports on the unemployment rate in Youngstown left out much of the … Continue reading
Posted: December 20, 2021, 12:52 pm

Review: How Labor Can Stop ‘The Privatization of Everything’

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Several years ago, Don Cohen, a former central labor council staffer from San Diego, appeared on a panel discussing the privatization threats faced by union members across the country. He and other speakers were addressing a conference of state, county, and municipal workers represented by the Communications Workers (CWA).

Posted: December 20, 2021, 5:00 am

2021 Year In Review: The Only Way Out Is Through

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2021 reminds me of a riddle: What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm in your apple. What’s scarier than a year of pandemic? A second year of pandemic.

We’re on new terrain, but labor is finding its footing. This was the year of a sudden “labor shortage,” the year everyone learned the phrase “supply chain problems”—and also the year that many who had been called “essential” saw how quickly they went, in the words of Kellogg’s striker Trevor Bidelman, “from heroes to zeros.”

Posted: December 18, 2021, 12:05 am

The Top AFL-CIO Blog Posts of 2021

The Top AFL-CIO Blog Posts of 2021
Richard Trumka, Rest in Power

By any measure, 2021 was another historic year. Working people across the country continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, engaged in an historic wave of strikes and worked to hold the administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris true to their promise to be pro-worker. We covered these stories and many others throughout the year and here are the top 10 most-read stories by you, our readers.

Working People Respond to Attempted Coup at Nation's Capitol (January 7): Yesterday saw an unprecedented attack on U.S. democratic institutions and working people across the country, and world, were shocked by what unfolded before us. Here are responses to Wednesday's events from across the labor movement.

RWDSU-UFCW Leads Organizing Drive at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Alabama (January 26): The strongest effort to create a union at Amazon in many years is underway in Bessemer, Alabama. Organizers with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW (RWDSU-UFCW) have been working with employees at the Amazon fulfillment center. By December, more than 2,000 workers had signed union cards, leading to an election set to begin in February. The company is engaging in union-busting activities in response, but the workers are not backing down. Many of the organizers and the employees at the fulfillment center are Black, and the organizers have focused on issues of racial equality and empowerment as a part of the drive.

John J. Sweeney, 1934-2021 (February 2): John Sweeney, who led an era of transformative change in America’s labor movement, passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 86. Sweeney was one of four children born to Irish immigrants in a working-class Bronx neighborhood shortly after the Great Depression. His parents, James and Agnes Sweeney, worked as a bus driver and a domestic worker, respectively. Sweeney always understood the struggles and the pride of working people.

20 Ways the American Rescue Plan Helps Working People (March 11): This week, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion bill to help fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Biden signed the law, which will provide significant assistance to the American people during this unprecedented crisis. Here are 20 ways the American Rescue Plan will help working people.

Success in the Tech Industry: Worker Wins (March 25): Despite the challenges of organizing during a deadly pandemic, working people across the country (and beyond) continue organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life. This edition begins with: “CODE-CWA's Tech Industry Organizing Efforts Lead to Union Recognition at Mobilize....”

Profiles in Courage: Celebrating AAPI Labor Activists (March 31): In the wake of the rise of hate crimes and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, we take an important pause to voice our support of our brothers, sisters and friends in the AAPI community. The AAPI community has played an important and active role in the growth, expansion and unique diversity of this country and has given the labor movement many of its true heroes. This community is our community, and we are proud to celebrate these seven labor activists—all of whom have advanced the cause of worker justice.

13 Ways the PRO Act Helps Working People (April 26): The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is a generational opportunity and the cornerstone of the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Agenda. It motivated working people this past election cycle to mobilize for a pro-worker trifecta in the U.S. House, Senate and White House. And working people won a mandate. The PRO Act was introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) and Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (Va.), and it is landmark worker empowerment, civil rights and economic stimulus legislation, and an essential part of any plan to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.

Richard L. Trumka’s Lifelong Devotion to Family and Democracy (August 13): Richard Louis Trumka dedicated his entire life to making sure every institution he touched—the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), the AFL-CIO, the U.S. government and the world community—served working people and the public interest, comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.

Liz Shuler Elected President as Part of Most Diverse Leadership Team in AFL-CIO History (August 20): The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO. 

Do You Know Where Your Nabisco Treats Are Made? (August 25): Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) working at Nabisco plants throughout the United States take great pride in producing the iconic products that have been a part of millions of Americans’ lives for more than 50 years. Workers at five Nabisco locations in the United States are currently on strike. 

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 12/16/2021 - 15:30
Posted: December 16, 2021, 8:30 pm

Troublemakers Schooled in Detroit and Philly

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“They called us essential workers, so we believed them.” The labor shortage taught workers we could use the crisis to our advantage. A hundred thousand American workers either went on strike or authorized strikes in Striketober. And on November 20, 210 union members and allies showed up for a Troublemakers School in Detroit, eager to learn how to build power in their workplaces. On December 11 similar numbers did the same in Philadelphia.

After a long in-person hiatus, Labor Notes’ famed local Troublemakers Schools were back in business, catering to pent-up demand.

Posted: December 16, 2021, 7:39 pm

Once in a Generation Opportunity: In the States Roundup

Once in a Generation Opportunity: In the States Roundup
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.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Arizona AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Illinois AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council:

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 12/16/2021 - 10:26
Posted: December 16, 2021, 3:26 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council Holds Toy Drive for Families of Striking UMWA Members

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council Holds Toy Drive for Families of Striking UMWA Members
Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council

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.

Since April, more than 1,000 members of the Mine Workers (UMWA) have been on strike against Warrior Met Coal in Alabama, demanding a fair contract that recognizes their sacrifices and contributions that helped lift the company out of bankruptcy several years ago. Striking UMWA members have received support and solidarity from across the labor movement. And after holding a toy drive earlier this month, members of the Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council are spreading holiday cheer by sending dozens of kids’ toys and bikes to the families of UMWA members on strike. “Happy holidays from your family in western Pennsylvania!” the labor council tweeted. “One day longer, one day stronger!”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 12/16/2021 - 09:13
Posted: December 16, 2021, 2:13 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: AFSCME Recognizes First Native Woman to Serve as Alaska State Trooper

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: AFSCME Recognizes First Native Woman to Serve as Alaska State Trooper
Anne Sears

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.

Anne Sears, a former member of the Public Safety Employees Association, AFSCME Local 803, is being honored by her union following her retirement from decades of public service as Alaska’s first native woman to work as a state trooper. In 2017, the trailblazer won an AFSCME Never Quit Service Award for going above and beyond the call of duty in serving her community. Sears, her husband, Jay, who was also a state trooper, and their colleagues were also the stars of the reality television series, “Alaska State Troopers,” which aired on the National Geographic Channel from 2009 to 2015.

“That show opened a lot of doors for me just in the villages alone because people would, of course, recognize me; they’d want to take pictures with me,” she said. “Even folks I was dealing with that I was having to arrest, eventually, after things, you know, settled down, we would talk about the show and seeing me on the show. It was an amazing thing to be a part of.”

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 12/15/2021 - 09:31
Posted: December 15, 2021, 2:31 pm

A First: The Working People Weekly List

A First: The Working People Weekly List
Working People Weekly List

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.

Starbucks Will Have at Least One Unionized Cafe in Buffalo, New York—A U.S. First for the Chain: “After a months-long battle, Starbucks workers in Buffalo, New York, supported efforts to unionize at least one cafe. The result marks the first successful attempt in the U.S. at unionizing within the giant coffee chain since Starbucks went public nearly three decades ago and could send ripples through the restaurant industry. Workers at the Elmwood Avenue location voted 19 to eight in favor of unionizing under Workers United New York, a branch of the Service Employees International Union.”

AFL-CIO’s Redmond Visits Teamsters Picket: “As a group of 330 Teamsters who transport sand/gravel and concrete for six different construction companies remain on strike, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond joined Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks, Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown and Secretary-Treasurer April Sims, and other Washington labor leaders on the picket line Tuesday outside Stoneway Concrete to express their solidarity. They urged the striking Teamsters to keep fighting ‘one day longer’ than their employers until they get a fair contract.”

Black Women See Unemployment Rate Fall Sharply in November, but Are Still Left Behind in Overall Labor Market Recovery: “The unemployment rate for Black women fell sharply in November, but labor market recovery from pre-pandemic levels remains uneven across race and gender lines. ‘This is the first time where Black labor force participation got rewarded with actual job growth,’ said William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO and a Howard University professor. ‘The fact that Black workers are now showing greater success in their searches—that’s good news.’”

U.S. Labor Movement’s Next Frontier Is the Tech Industry, AFL-CIO’s Shuler Says: “The U.S. tech sector is the next frontier for labor organizing, and its workers are starting to understand the collective power unions have, President of the AFL-CIO Liz Shuler said on Friday at the Reuters Next Conference. Shuler said the labor federation—which comprises 56 affiliated unions and 12.5 million workers—wants to enable more organizing in the tech industry under her leadership. ‘What we are seeing in the tech sector is workers rising up. You look at companies like YouTube, Google, Apple. Their workers have been speaking out. They have been staging walkouts on issues like racial justice and sexual harassment,’ Shuler said. ‘You don't have the collective power that you have when you have a union, and I think tech workers are starting to connect the dots,’ she said.”

Union Leaders Shuler, Henry Join V.P. Harris in Big Push for Build Back Better: “AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Service Employees President Mary Kay Henry joined Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris and other progressive leaders in yet another big push to convince a balky Senate to approve Biden’s 10-year Build Back Better plan to repair many holes in the nation’s leaky social safety net. Shuler said the AFL-CIO’s members ‘will not rest’ until the BBB bill passes. They’ll concentrate on the Senate, since the House already approved BBB, technically a ‘reconciliation bill,’ affecting only taxes and spending, on party-line votes.”

Meet the Woman on the Brink of Transforming Labor in America for the Young and Reshuffling Workforce: “When Liz Shuler rides on an airplane, she often has an experience that will be familiar to most travelers: Her seat mate asks, ‘What do you do?’ Five years ago, after saying she worked for a labor union, Shuler said, most people would put their noses back in their books. Today, she's met with reactions like ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing.’ ‘There's a genuine excitement out there,’ Shuler said. It's not just airplane riders who are excited. More than 100,000 American workers at companies like John Deere and Kellogg's voted to authorize strikes in October and November to demand better pay and working conditions.”

Labor Board Calls for Revote at Amazon Warehouse in Alabama in Major Victory for Union: “Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., are going to get a second shot at unionizing, after a National Labor Relations Board official called for a revote after finding that the e-commerce giant improperly interfered in the first election. The RWDSU, which is working to unionize the staff in Bessemer, applauded the decision. ‘Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along—that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace—and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal,’ union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. ‘Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union.’”

Progressive U.S. Lawmakers Mark Black Friday with Calls to Pass the PRO Act: “As workers worldwide took to the streets while shoppers flooded stores for Black Friday, progressive U.S. lawmakers used the event to pressure the Senate to pass sweeping, House-approved labor rights legislation. Without calling out any lawmakers by name, AFL-CIO president Liz Shuler in late August signaled there could be electoral consequences for right-wing Democrats like Sinema who won't support ending the filibuster or passing the PRO Act. ‘Workers want to hold elected officials accountable on an agenda that they voted for. Right now that agenda is being blocked by arcane rules in the Senate. We believe that voters will take that into consideration for the next election,’ Shuler said. ‘Elected officials, if they're not listening, that's when elections end up having consequences.’”

Biden’s Nearly $2 Trillion Social Spending and Climate Bill Is a Boon for Unions: “The newer green-energy industry is largely not unionized, according to Tim Schlittner, a spokesman for the AFL-CIO. ‘We want to make sure that as we fight climate change that good union jobs are at the center of the fight,’ Schlittner said. Schlittner of the AFL-CIO called the new fines ‘the most significant step forward in labor law since the 1935 National Labor Relations Act,’ which gave workers the right to form labor unions and go on strike. ‘It’s a tremendous opportunity to rein in employer behavior that is preventing workers from freely forming unions,’ he said.”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 12/14/2021 - 16:26
Posted: December 14, 2021, 9:26 pm

Unions Improve Workers' Lives: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Unions Improve Workers' Lives: What Working People Are Doing This Week
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.

Actors' Equity:

AFGE:

AFSCME:

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Musicians:

American Federation of Teachers:

American Postal Workers Union:

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Boilermakers:

Bricklayers:

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Communications Workers of America:

Department for Professional Employees:

Electrical Workers:

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

Fire Fighters:

Heat and Frost Insulators:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

International Labor Communications Association:

Ironworkers:

Jobs With Justice:

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Laborers:

Machinists:

Maritime Trades Department:

Metal Trades Department:

Mine Workers:

Musical Artists:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA:

National Association of Letter Carriers:

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

National Nurses United:

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

NWSL Players Association:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

Roofers and Waterproofers:

SAG-AFTRA:

Seafarers:

Solidarity Center:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers Union:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

Union Veterans Council:

UNITE HERE:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

United Steelworkers:

United Students Against Sweatshops:

Utility Workers:

Working America:

Writers Guild of America, East:

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 12/14/2021 - 13:47
Posted: December 14, 2021, 6:47 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: CWA Passenger Service Agents Bring Attention to Passenger Rage Incidents and Encourage Civility in a New Ad

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: CWA Passenger Service Agents Bring Attention to Passenger Rage Incidents and Encourage Civility in a New Ad

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.

Members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 6001 who work as airline passenger service agents in Texas released a digital ad campaign ahead of the holiday travel season to raise awareness about the increase in passenger rage incidents and to encourage civility among passengers. The ads are currently running on Facebook and Instagram.

Incidents of passenger rage, including physical and verbal assault directed toward passenger service agents, have been steadily increasing, but gaps in enforcement of federal law means that abusive passengers are often not held accountable for their behavior in airports. Watch and share this ad with friends, co-workers and family members, and encourage all passengers to be patient and understanding during one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 12/14/2021 - 09:45
Posted: December 14, 2021, 2:45 pm

Kellogg's Strikers: We Want a Clear Path Out of Two-Tier, Set in Stone

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Update: On December 16, Kellogg's and the BCTGM reached a new tentative agreement. Workers will vote on the five-year deal on Sunday, with results expected by Tuesday.

In contract talks with its 1,400 workers this summer, Kellogg's proposed to remove the union logo from its cereal boxes.

Posted: December 13, 2021, 6:30 pm

Delivering for Working Families

Delivering for Working Families

A young couple is expecting their first child. They have done everything rightinstalled a baby-seat in their car, assembled a crib, even checked out what hospital is in their health plan’s network. When it comes to the big day, however, the young couple gets a bundle of joy and a whopping bill for thousands of dollars! Turns out the doctor who delivered the baby actually worked for a medical staffing company that contracted with the hospital and was out of network!

When you go to the hospital, you want a doctor who will deliver the best care possible, not leave you with an unexpected bill. That is why Congress passed the "No Surprises" Actto protect workers and their families from doctors and hospitals who get even richer at their patient’s expense. Securing this landmark legislation was not easythe hospitals and the private equity investors they work with to come up with these revenue strategies fought the legislation vigorously. Now these same groups are trying to undermine its implementation. 

Earlier this year, the Biden administration issued regulations implementing the law that would effectively limit the ability of doctors that stay out-of-network from charging five to ten times what they would get from payers like Medicare. The legislation protects workers by limiting co-pays and co-insurance to whatever an in-network doctor would charge. Physicians would still be paid, but the amount that a health plan would normally pay for in-network care. By preventing a small group of physicians from charging outrageous amounts for care covered by a patient’s plan, this regulation would help keep down insurance premiums for all working families. 

This legislation and the regulations needed for its implementation address a surprisingly common problem. About one in five visits to a hospital emergency room end with an unexpected bill. The practice of surprise billing has cost working families covered by employer-sponsored insurance at least $40 billion annually.  

With the regulations barring this practice set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, the physicians and hospitals are urging the administration to halt everything and rewrite the regulations to protect their bottom line. One group of doctors in Texas is even suing the federal government to rewrite the rules. 

Last week, the AFL-CIO and other groups representing workers and consumers submitted comments arguing strongly to keep the current regulations, which we think is the only way to stop surprise bills from increasing health care premiums. We applaud President Biden for standing up to the big moneyed interests in medicine; this small step in containing health care costs will protect workers from surprise bills and higher premiums down the road!

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 12/13/2021 - 10:23
Posted: December 13, 2021, 3:23 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine’s Labor Movement Celebrates 20 Years of Food and Medicine

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine’s Labor Movement Celebrates 20 Years of Food and Medicine

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.

The labor movement in Maine is celebrating 20 years of Food and Medicine (FAM) with a new video about the union-backed organization. FAM started in 2001 when a series of companies outsourced jobs and left some 3,000 Mainers jobless. “Food and Medicine was founded with the idea that nobody should be forced to choose [between] food, medicine and other basic necessities,” said FAM Director Jack McKay (not pictured). “That was a moral position that we had in the beginning.”

Over the years, FAM has launched a series of programs to improve the lives of working people in Maine, including Solidarity Harvest, which has taken place every Thanksgiving since 2003. FAM purchases large quantities of fresh food from local farmers and gives meal baskets to unions, churches and nonprofit organizations to distribute to laid-off workers and families in need. Solidarity Harvest is sponsored by the eastern, southern and western Maine labor councils.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 12/13/2021 - 09:44
Posted: December 13, 2021, 2:44 pm

Work is a Real Life Squid Game for the Global Precariat

I’m assuming you’ve heard of Squid Game, but have you also heard that Squid Game is the most watched television show in Netflix history, inspiring 1.65 billion hours of viewing in its first month? This week we learned that Squid … Continue reading
Posted: December 13, 2021, 12:15 pm

Workforce Development Strategies: Make Your Staff Remarkable

Investing in the right workforce development strategies is a win-win situation for employers and employees. When teams are competitive, productivity increases. In today’s highly competitive global economy, companies need to continuously enhance their processes for better efficiency and stay on top of the competition. One of the ways to achieve peak productivity is through workforce […]

The post Workforce Development Strategies: Make Your Staff Remarkable first appeared on Today's Workplace.
Posted: December 9, 2021, 5:29 pm

Causes of Workplace Burnout and How to Avoid It

Workplace burnout can affect anyone from any walk of life, regardless of their profession. It often stems from an excessive workload and, if untreated, can seep into all aspects of day-to-day life, affecting mood and general welfare.  Over half (52%) of U.S. workers surveyed in a recent study by Indeed reported feelings of burnout, with […]

The post Causes of Workplace Burnout and How to Avoid It first appeared on Today's Workplace.
Posted: December 9, 2021, 5:20 pm

Instead of Coal, These Nurses Gave Their Boss 900 Documented Incidents of Unsafe Understaffing

Blog: 
Author(s): 


Since the Chief Nurse Executive was “in a meeting,” the nurses taped their petition to a door with a red bow...


Posted: December 8, 2021, 7:36 pm

Who Wants to Be Rich? Working-Class People Would Like Their Share

A recent crop of TV shows — Maid, Succession, Squid Game — have demonstrated that being rich doesn’t lead to happiness. Family, friendship, and other aspects of life are more important. If the world of the rich is filled with … Continue reading
Posted: December 6, 2021, 12:08 pm

Economy Gains 210,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Down to 4.2%

Economy Gains 210,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Down to 4.2%
BLS

The U.S. economy gained 210,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate declined to 4.2%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

Last month’s biggest job gains were in professional and business services (+90,000), transportation and warehousing (+50,000), construction (+31,000), manufacturing (+31,000), leisure and hospitality (+23,000) and financial activities (+13,000). The only industry to see losses over the month was retail trade (-20,000). In November, employment showed little change in other major industries, including health care, information, mining, other services, public and private education and wholesale trade.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates fell in November for Black Americans (6.7%), Hispanics (5.2%), adult men (4.0%), adult women (4.0%) and White Americans (3.7%). The jobless rates for teenagers (11.2%) and Asian Americans (3.8%) showed little change over the month.

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) showed little change in November and accounted for 32.1% of the total unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 12/03/2021 - 10:54
Posted: December 3, 2021, 3:54 pm

Environmental Protection and the Protection of Those Preserving Tomorrow

Many of us are concerned about the environment and our impact on the planet but, fortunately, there is a bright future ahead. People are more interested in sustainability than ever before and as technology evolves, we see more companies using new forms of green energy to make their products. However, while these changes are helping […]

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Posted: December 1, 2021, 9:52 pm

How the Wage Gap is Affecting Women’s Mental Health

In America, women earn 82 cents for every $1 earned by a man. This significant wage gap is not only affecting women’s financial security and independence, it’s also having a negative impact on women’s mental health. Why Do Women Earn Less than Men? Perhaps the most common question relating to the gender pay gap is, […]

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Posted: December 1, 2021, 6:50 pm

Building Back Better?

As we await U.S. Senate action on President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, it is worth reflecting on what the past few tumultuous months have meant for U.S. workers.  Much has happened in the short time since the summer drew … Continue reading
Posted: November 29, 2021, 12:05 pm

The ACLU of Illinois Seeks a Playbook for Acceptable Progressive Union Busting

The staff union and management are locked in a battle over who can be included in the union. Aunion fight that is playing out in Illinois highlights how progressive organizations can use technical objections to the scope of a proposed union to effectively pursue union-busting while maintaining plausible deniability that they are doing so. This effort […]

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Posted: November 19, 2021, 3:02 pm

Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate to go before Cincinnati-based federal court

The mandate will be tested before a court with a majority of Republican appointees. The legal fight over the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate will be heard before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, after a lottery conducted Tuesday by an obscure federal judicial panel. Nearly three dozen lawsuits have been filed in multiple federal appeals […]

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Posted: November 16, 2021, 11:49 pm

How Class Cultures Work

Across my lifetime, I’ve lived within and between two class cultures that work together in complex and sometimes contradictory ways. Broadly, middle-class professionalism emphasizes aspiration, achievement, and becoming.  Working-class culture, on the other hand, prioritizes authenticity, character, and belonging.  One … Continue reading
Posted: November 15, 2021, 12:12 pm

For 2nd straight month, Americans quit jobs at a record pace

The figures point to a historic level of turmoil in the job market as newly-empowered workers quit jobs to take higher pay that is being dangled by businesses in need of help Americans quit their jobs at a record pace for the second straight month in September, in many cases for more money elsewhere as […]

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Posted: November 12, 2021, 5:37 pm

Mental Health at Work and Appropriate Adjustments Managers Should Make

Mental health in the workplace has, in recent years, become a priority for employers. Many organizations are fighting the stigmas of mental health through training programs and reasonable adjustments in the workplace, ensuring those struggling with their mental health receive the required support.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 […]

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Posted: November 11, 2021, 12:04 am

Will Democrats Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth?

This has been a month of bad news for the Democratic Party. The conflicts around the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills and the November election results make clear that Republicans hold significant advantages with voters on critical issues including … Continue reading
Posted: November 8, 2021, 11:53 am

Biden vaccine mandates will hit after holiday season, offering relief to businesses

The announcement follows weeks of pressure from business leaders who complained the rules would wreak havoc on the supply chain and possibly aggravate worker shortages. The Biden administration’s forthcoming vaccine mandates for millions of private employers, certain health care workers and federal contractors will not be enforced until after the holiday season, following weeks of […]

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Posted: November 5, 2021, 4:00 pm

How Workers at Beverage Giant Refresco Defeated a “Notorious” Union Buster

Refresco has waged a prolonged and costly fight to stop the workers from unionizing. As the spread of Covid-19 forced millions of workplaces to close in March 2020, Cesar Moreira continued to report to a bottling plant in Wharton, N.J., where he works as a batching technician. During 12-hour shifts, Moreira mixes vats of powdered concentrate and sugar to churn […]

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Posted: November 3, 2021, 1:32 pm

Dirty Jobs, Essential Workers, and the Infrastructure Bills

Current negotiations over the second infrastructure bill may remind a lot of people of Mike Rowe’s oddly popular series Dirty Jobs.  Which makes sense.  Watching a man stumble around inside a sewage tank as he gags loudly and directs us … Continue reading
Posted: November 1, 2021, 11:47 am

How Government Statistics Define the Stories of the Working Class

One of my favorite media criticism works is British journalist and media professor Brian Winston’s “On Counting the Wrong Things.” He argues that the categories we use to count can themselves lead to misleading conclusions. Deciding to count the number … Continue reading
Posted: October 25, 2021, 11:19 am

Blue-Collar Babies: Why America’s Working Class Needs Affordable Child Care

In Netflix’s must-see new series, Maid, Alex (Margaret Qualley) flees a violent boyfriend with her two-year-old in tow, only to discover the gordian knot of being an impoverished, unhoused, single mom. Affordable child care is at the knot’s center.  Alex … Continue reading
Posted: October 17, 2021, 5:33 pm

Class and Water: Climate-Charged Displacement

Hurricane Ida in Louisiana in August and the historic wildfires in the West and Midwest are the latest reminders that too much water, or too little, will be in the headlines for the rest of our lives. But to call … Continue reading
Posted: October 11, 2021, 12:18 pm