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AFL-CIO Press Clips: June 13, 2022

Berry Craig
16 Jun, 2022
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MUST READ

Shuler Wins AFL-CIO Presidency, First Woman Elected to Role

Bloomberg Law

By Ian Kullgren

June 12, 2022

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler won election to a four-year term at the federation’s national convention Sunday, solidifying her spot at the helm of the US labor movement. Delegates from the federation’s member unions selected Shuler, who was elevated to the job after Richard Trumka died unexpectedly last year. She ran unopposed. Shuler is now the first woman formally elected AFL-CIO president at a time when labor is becoming less male and White. But she also faces steep challenges, including a steady decline in union membership rates despite a surge in new organizing at major companies such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Delegates also elected Fred Redmond secretary treasurer, the first Black person to hold the federation’s No. 2 spot.

 

CIVIL, HUMAN, AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS

The Time is Now to Build a More Compassionate America… (Opinion)

Labor Press

By William J. Barber II and Fred D. Redmond

June 10, 2022

America’s workers, especially poor and low-wage workers, are stretched thin. They have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, and after risking their health and safety to work in frontline positions during the pandemic, they are now treated as expendable. They are struggling to make ends meet and don’t know whether they’ll be able to put enough food on the table, care for themselves and their families or retire with dignity.  Invidious and systemic racism and poverty continue to plague our country, pushing more and more people to the margins while the rich keep getting richer. There are 140 million poor and low wealth people in this country, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the inequities they face. Corporations have experienced record profits, but working people have been denied a living wage, paid leave, quality health care and other basic rights.

TECHNOLOGY

New AFL-CIO leader eyeing tech sector for organizing

The Hill

By Olafimihan Oshin

June 12, 2022

Liz Shuler, the new leader of the nation’s largest federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO, said in an interview published Sunday that she is eyeing the tech sector for organizing efforts amid shifts in the U.S. workforce. Shuler spoke to Axios along with Fred Redmond, AFL-CIO’s first Black secretary-treasurer, ahead of her confirmation as president at the group’s constitutional convention. She has been running the organization since longtime leader Richard Trumka’s death last summer. “It’s our moment to write the next chapter of the labor movement,” she added. “We are looking to seize on this moment to show that the labor movement is wide open — that we are open to transformational change.” -Both leaders said targeting workers in the tech field was part of broader efforts to build more diversity within the labor movement.


 

POLITICS

President Joe Biden Will Visit Philadelphia Tuesday For AFL-CIO National Convention

CBS Philly

By CBS3 Staff

June 12, 2022

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden will be in Philadelphia to attend the AFL-CIO National Convention. Labor leaders gathered for opening day at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Sunday afternoon. The first order of business for these delegates was electing the officers of the union. President Biden will give the keynote address when at Tuesday’s afternoon session.

 

JOINING TOGETHER

Feel the benefit: union workers receive far better pay and rights, Congress finds

The Guardian

By Michael Sainato

June 10, 2022

Workers represented by labor unions earn 10.2% higher wages than their non-union peers, have better benefits and collectively raise wages industry-wide, according to a report released by the House and Senate committees on Friday and first shared with the Guardian.


Activision Blizzard Agrees to Union Negotiations

Time

By Cecilia D'anastasio

June 10, 2022

Activision Blizzard Inc. Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said the US’s biggest independent video-game publisher will start negotiating with the Communications Workers of America over a collective bargaining agreement for employees at its subsidiary Raven Software. Last month, a majority of video game testers at Raven Software employees voted to form a union—a first for a US-listed game company. Workers came together in response to job cuts at the company last December. CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens described Kotick’s message as a positive step toward better labor relations at Activision Blizzard. “We know that the management approach recommended by anti-union consultants is ineffective and detrimental,” she said in a statement to Bloomberg. We “hope that today’s announcement is the first of many steps towards full collaboration between ABK leadership and employees to positively shape the future of Activision through a strong union contract.”

 

Researchers at UW vote yes on unionization

My Northwest

By Logan Gilbert

June 10, 2022

In a vote of 606-104, researchers at the University of Washington have voted to unionize across all three campuses, with the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to certify the union in the next few weeks. The bargaining unit is made up of a total of 1,450 employees of the university across all research areas. The new UW Researchers United joins the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4121 alongside 100,000 academic employees at more than 40 universities and colleges across the country. UAW Local 4121 also works with a separate union of postdoctoral employees and academic student employees. “Research Scientists are showing that they’re not going to let the University administration slow them down,” Ron McInroy, Director of UAW Region 4, which includes Washington state, said. “The UAW International has their backs. We’ll keep fighting until these workers get the respect they deserve.”

 

Union representing workers at Pembina Motor Coach Industries plant claims company broke promises

Grand Forks Herald

By Ingrid Harbo

June 11, 2022

Jennifer Winkler, an electrician of eight years at the Pembina plant, said the Thursday, May 19, announcement from NFI came as a surprise to employees who had previously been told the plant was profitable and would remain open, even during a round of layoffs in spring 2021. “We were just in shock thinking back to all the things we’ve been told, the broken promises — how we’d never close because we were paid for and have so much to offer this community — things like that,” said Winkler, who serves as president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union lodge at the MCI plant. The plant has approximately 200 employees; approximately 175 are members of IAM.

 

‘Workers are winning’: Colorado law hailed as important victory for public sector workers

The Guardian

By Michael Sainato

June 12, 2022

Labor unions have been fighting to secure the right to unionize and collectively bargain for more than 250,000 public sector workers at cities, schools, colleges and counties in Colorado. On 27 May, Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, signed the Collective Bargaining for Counties bill into law, which expands collective bargaining rights to 36,000 county workers throughout Colorado – though that is far from the total sought by unions in the state. Heather Burke, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3927, and a full-time social caseworker for Adams county division of children and family services, fought with her co-workers to win collective bargaining rights before the bill’s passage, winning a first contract in August 2021, which included important safety protections for workers on the job.