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AFL-CIO press clips

Berry Craig
12 Jan, 2022
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MUST READ

UO graduate employee union files complaint against university over COVID-19 policy

OPB

By Meerah Powell

Jan. 11, 2022

Liz Shuler, a UO alumni and president of the AFL-CIO — the largest federation of unions in the nation — tweeted Friday in support of the GTFF. “It’s time for management to honor their request for temporarily remote classes until conditions are safe to return,” she wrote. 

 

POLITICS

Joe Biden Defended the Filibuster for Years. Now He Wants to End It for Voting Rights

Time

By Brian Bennett 

Jan. 11, 2022

-But now that he’s President, Biden says Republican efforts to restrict American access to voting demand a change in his beloved institution. “I believe the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills,” Biden said in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday. “Debate them. Vote. Let the majority prevail—and if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this.”

JOINING  TOGETHER

Animation Guild Expands Beyond L.A. With Unionization of Titmouse New York

The Hollywood Reporter

By Katie Kilkenny

Jan. 10, 2022

In a first since the signing of its charter in 1952, The Animation Guild has unionized a company outside of Los Angeles County. On Monday, IATSE Local 839 announced that the majority of animation workers at Harriet the Spy and Superjail! studio Titmouse who are based in New York signed union cards to be represented by the Guild, and that Titmouse management voluntarily recognized the union. The bargaining unit of 113 workers covers roles such as 3-D modelers, directors, storyboard artists, and prop designers, among others.


A new era for the American worker

Vox

By Rani Molla

Jan. 11, 2022

“I’ve been working for the union for 40 years and there’s never been a better time to organize than right now,” D. Taylor, international president of the hotel and food service worker union Unite Here, told Recode, citing a pro-labor administration, labor shortages, and growing economic inequality. He said that while workers are using the current situation to eke out better pay and benefits, those gains are temporary and could be wiped out in coming years by inflation and layoffs. “The only fundamental way to change the economic livelihood and the rights of workers is through the union movement,” he said.


Art Institute employees win vote to form Chicago’s first major museum union

Chicago Tribune

By Robert Channick

Jan. 11, 2022

Employees at the Art Institute of Chicago have successfully voted to form a union, achieving certification Tuesday from the National Labor Relations Board and ushering in a new era for hundreds of nonmanagement workers at the museum. The results were announced Tuesday, formally recognizing the Art Institute of Chicago Workers United. The first major museum union in Chicago will represent 266 Art Institute employees including art installers, curators, custodians, librarians and retail workers.


Maine Dems form union amid growing push for labor rights at state, national levels

Maine Beacon

By Evan Popp

Jan. 11, 2022

Permanent staff at the Maine Democratic Party will have union representation for the first time after negotiations recently finished and workers gave approval for an initial contract. Party staff will be represented by IBEW Local 1837, according to a Tuesday news release. “We’re all really excited. All of our staff are very much on board with it,” said April Thibodeau, party affairs director and a shop steward for the new union. “By forming a union, we hope that we can set better work-life boundaries, create more permanency in our staff, and strengthen the relationship between the Maine Democratic Party and the labor movement in Maine.” “This is an opportunity for us to live our values as an organization in a very real and tangible way,” added Gaetan Davis, executive director of the Maine Dems. “Allowing working people to have a greater, more equal voice is core to our beliefs as Democrats.” Matthew Beck, IBEW Local 1837 organizer/business representative, also celebrated the formation of the union and praised the party for accepting the organizing effort. 


NLRB

Google ordered to turn over documents related to anti-union efforts in NLRB case

CNN

By Clare Duffy

Jan. 10, 2022

A judge has ordered Google to turn over hundreds of internal documents — many related to its efforts to quash an employee union — as part of a National Labor Relations Board case over the tech giant's firing of former employees. In 2019, a group of workers who had recently been fired from Google (GOOGL GOOGLE) filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, claiming they had been fired for speaking out about the company's practices, such as signing controversial government contracts, and for engaging in protected labor organizing. Google has maintained that the employees were let go for repeated violations of its policies. But in 2020, the NLRB filed a complaint alleging Google had violated labor laws with two of the firings, claiming it had unlawfully targeted and surveilled employees engaged in organizing activities.

CORONAVIRUS

For Retail Workers, Omicron Disruptions Aren’t Just About Health

The New York Times

By Sapna Maheshwari and Michael Corkery

Jan. 11, 2022

Long checkout lines. Closed fitting rooms. Empty shelves. Shortened store hours. Plus the dread of contracting the coronavirus and yet another season of skirmishes with customers who refuse to wear masks. A weary retail work force is experiencing the fallout from the latest wave of the pandemic, with a rapidly spreading variant cutting into staffing. While data shows that people infected with the Omicron variant are far less likely to be hospitalized than those with the Delta variant, especially if they are vaccinated, many store workers are dealing with a new jump in illness and exposures, grappling with shifting guidelines around isolation and juggling child care. At the same time, retailers are generally not extending hazard pay as they did earlier in the pandemic and have been loath to adopt vaccine or testing mandates.

LABOR AND ECONOMY

2 out of 3 Kroger workers struggle to afford food and housing, survey finds

Los Angeles Times

By Jaimie Ding

Jan. 11, 2022

More than two-thirds of Kroger workers struggle to afford food, housing or other basic needs due to low wages and part-time work schedules, a report published Tuesday by a Los Angeles-based research group found. Fourteen percent of Kroger workers are homeless now or have been during the last year, according to the report. Three-quarters are food insecure, meaning they lack access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life, according to the definition set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s seven times the rate of food insecurity in the general population. Fourteen percent of workers report getting food stamps or food from a food bank or community donation program. The Economic Roundtable group based its findings on a survey of more than 10,000 workers at Kroger-owned stores in Southern California, Colorado and Washington. The report was commissioned by several locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.