Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

MUST READ

California unions cheer big Newsom win

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

September 15, 2021

“Union members and our families made the difference in this election by rejecting the recall and ensuring Gov. Gavin Newsom can continue his work building a stronger, more prosperous California,” national AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler declared. She spent the prior weekend campaigning for him. “However, it cannot be lost on any of us that this attempted power grab wasted time, money and focus on an ultimately futile attempt to oust a popular and respected public servant,” Shuler warned.

 

Striking Nabisco workers to vote on contract offer

Chicago Sun-Times

By David Roeder

September 15, 2021

Mondelez International and a union said Wednesday they have reached a tentative agreement that could end a strike against the company’s Nabisco operations. The walkout by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union started in August and has affected six locations nationwide, including the Chicago bakery at 7300 S. Kedzie Ave. and a distribution site in Addison. Both sides said a ratification vote by union members will occur in a few days, once information about the proposal is circulated. Picketing will continue until an agreement is ratified. A striking worker in Chicago said a vote might occur Friday. Union President Anthony Shelton said in a statement that an agreement was reached “very late” Tuesday night. It came after a concentrated two-day period of bargaining. The union has said the strike involved about 1,000 workers in the U.S., about 345 of them in the Chicago area.

POLITICS

Gavin Newsom used threat of COVID, Larry Elder to defeat recall

The Sacramento Bee

By Sophia Bollag

September 15, 2021

In the final weeks, unions provided much of the volunteer manpower for door-to-door canvassing and phone banking efforts. In the final four days of voting, union members made up many of the roughly 25,000 volunteers for the anti-recall campaign who worked to turn out voters, according to the California Labor Federation.

Newsom overwhelmingly defeats California recall attempt

Cal Matters

By Laurel Rosenhall and Sameea Kamal

September 15, 2021

“It really was all about in-person contact and communication,” said Steve Smith, a spokesperson for the California Labor Federation. “That’s what we knew it would take, given the research we did early in the summer where we saw a tremendous amount of apathy and low information. TV ads alone weren’t going to solve that problem.”

JOINING TOGETHER

Union members picket outside of John Deere headquarters

KWQC

By Brittany Kyles

September 14, 2021

Tuesday morning Union Auto Workers who work for John Deere came with signs in hand to picket outside the John Deere Headquarters. One union member says he’s participating to highlight some of the issues employees are faced with in the company. UAW member Tim Niedert says he’s been with the union and John Deere for almost 20 years and some of the issues he has include wages, higher copays, seniority provisions, cuts to short term disability and healthcare.

Workers at Darwin’s Ltd., a Group of Cambridge Cafes, Are Forming a Union

Eater

By Terrence Doyle 

September 15, 2021

Workers at Darwin’s Ltd., a Cambridge cafe with four locations, are forming a union. On Wednesday, September 15, the Darwin’s United Organizing Committee sent a letter to management informing them of their intent to form a union. In the letter, the organizing committee requested that management voluntarily recognize the union through a card check procedure and participate in good-faith contract negotiations. A majority of Darwin’s roughly 40 workers have already signed union cards, signaling their support for the organizing effort. “A partnership among us will strengthen the business while better supporting the staff — for it is through collaboration, not proclamation, that we excel,” stated the letter. The organizing committee also wrote that the cafe’s stated image of itself — one of community and consciously sourced goods, according to the letter — should “align itself with the action of supporting the foundation of the business: the workers.”

IATSE turns up heat on Hollywood producers; talks at ‘critical juncture’

Los Angeles Times

By Anousha Sakoui

September 15, 2021

Relations between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, IATSE, and the major studios took a turn for the worse Wednesday, as the head of the union issued an unusually blunt warning to employers over their handling of contract negotiations. Since a deadline lapsed Friday night, talks have reached a critical juncture, the union’s international president, Matthew Loeb, said in a statement Wednesday. The IATSE’s general executive board unanimously voted to resource and support any actions necessary to win an agreement in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, AMPTP, he said. “The importance of these negotiations cannot be understated,” said Loeb, whose union represents 150,000 crew members in the U.S and Canada. About 60,000 of them are covered by the motion picture and TV contracts being renegotiated, 40% of the membership. He argued the results would have far-reaching consequences. “It is not a fight any of us can afford to sit out.”

 

INCOME INEQUALITY

U.S. Soccer Is Offering The Same Contracts For Its Men's And Women's Teams

NPR

By Jaclyn Diaz

September 15, 2021

The U.S. Soccer Federation took a major step regarding equal pay concerns for its men's and women's national teams. The federation announced Tuesday that it's offering the respective players' unions for the men's and women's national teams the same contract proposals. The move is in an effort to align the two senior national teams under a single collective bargaining agreement structure, and thus, pay structure. In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Soccer says it "firmly believes that the best path forward for all involved, and for the future of the sport in the United States, is a single pay structure for both senior national teams."

GIG ECONOMY

Unions seek to organize ride-hailing drivers

Andover Townsman

By Christian M. Wade

September 14, 2021

Steve Tolman, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, said ride hailing workers deserve the same collective-bargaining rights as other transportation workers. "These workers are being exploited by multi-million-dollar tech companies," Tolman told the committee. “They are paid less than the minimum wage, generally receive no benefits, and are being excluded from legal protections against injury, harassment and discrimination that are guaranteed by our state laws." Mike Vartabedian, a Massachusetts AFL-CIO official and spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 264, said driving for Uber and other companies isn't just a moonlighting job for many workers. "It's not a side-hustle," Vartabedian told the panel. "It's their full-time, primary source of income that their family relies on to keep a roof over their heads, and it's time our state laws caught up with the realities of this new industry."