Today's AFL-CIO press clips

LABOR AND ECONOMY

America Is in the Midst of a Dramatic Labor Resurgence

The New Republic

By Faiz Shakir

October 8, 2021

Our nation is in the midst of a labor revolution. It’s a wonderful thing, and you may not be aware of it. After an emotionally, physically, and mentally taxing year dealing with ramifications of Covid-19, workers across the country are standing up for basic dignity and respect on the job in a historic way. And through the pandemic, the nation was reminded of the essentialness of labor—not the labor of Wall Street; rather, the labor that drives our hospitals, our groceries, our mail, our livelihoods. They are striking; they are picketing; they are demanding fair contracts. They are forming new unions on campuses and coffeehouses, and they are walking out on low-wage jobs at Burger King, Dollar General, and elsewhere. In short, laborers are demanding their due. And it is infectiously spreading from workplace to workplace.

JOINING  TOGETHER

U.S. Workers Are Realizing It's the Perfect Time to Go on Strike

Time

By Alana Semuels

October 8, 2021

Thousands of workers have gone on strike across the country, showing their growing power in a tightening economy. The leverage U.S. employees have over the people signing their paychecks was amplified in Friday’s jobs report, which showed that employers added workers at a much slower-than-expected pace in September. The unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points during the month, to 4.8 percent, the government said Friday, and wages are continuing to tick up across industries as employers become more desperate to hire and retain workers. In the first five days of October alone, there were 10 strikes in the U.S., including workers at Kellogg plants in Nebraska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee; school bus drivers in Annapolis, Md.; and janitors at the Denver airport. That doesn’t include the nearly 60,000 union members in film and television production who nearly unanimously voted to grant their union’s president the authority to call a strike.

Memphis Kellogg’s Workers Continue Strike

Memphis Flyer

By Jesse Davis

October 9, 2021

Kellogg’s workers in several U.S. cities, including Memphis, are on strike. The strike began on Tuesday, October 5th, when the master contract between the Kellogg Company and the local Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International unions expired, after a one-year extension that was put in place in 2020. 

Fifth Day Of Do-Or-Die IATSE Contract Talks Wrap; Will Resume Monday

Deadline

By David Robb

October 9, 2021

IATSE and the AMPTP have ended their fifth day of do-or-die contract talks and will resume bargaining for a new film and TV pact on Monday. But if a deal is to be reached, and a strike averted, it will have to be made soon. On Friday, Matt Loeb, the union’s president, said that either way, “It’s a matter of days, not weeks.” The two sides have been bargaining, on and off, since mid-May. The union’s members are clearly ready to go on strike, if that’s what it takes to get a fair deal. Last weekend, members of 36 locals across the country, including 13 in Los Angeles, voted resoundingly — 98.68% out of more than 53,000 votes cast — in favor of granting Loeb the authority to call the union’s first-ever nationwide strike if a deal can’t be reached.

Kaiser Permanente health care workers vote to approve strike

KPTV

By FOX 12 Staff

October 11, 2021

Nearly 3,400 Kaiser Permanente nurses and other health care professionals have voted to authorize a strike, according to the union that represents those workers. Over the past week, members of Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals voted digitally on the strike. Voting finished on Sunday night, and OFNHP says there was a 90 percent participation rate, with 96 percent voting yes. "Our members turned out in record numbers to say that they are willing to do what it takes to save patient care in Oregon," says Jodi Barschow, a Kaiser Sunnyside RN and President of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, AFT, AFL-CIO. "Kaiser’s proposals would be a disaster for Oregon’s entire care system and show a profound disrespect for the frontline healthcare workers who are risking their lives during COVID." The two sides were at odds over what each side considers "safe staffing."

IN THE STATES

Iowans want and need Rep. Cindy Axne to help pass infrastructure, reconciliation measures (Opinion)

Des Moines Register

By Paula Martinez

October 7, 2021

As a lifelong Iowan and Des Moines area resident, I am familiar with the concept of “Iowa Nice.” And as the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who helped build railroads and who worked in the fields of this great state, I’ve seen firsthand how Iowans treat newcomers: with grace, respect, and acceptance. For Iowans, new neighbors quickly become old friends. In the coming days and weeks, Congresswoman Cindy Axne will have a chance to bring billions of dollars of federal funds into our state. Through the pending infrastructure and reconciliation bills, she — and other Iowa elected officials — can transform the lives of all Iowans. These bills represent a once-in-a-lifetime investment in our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing crises of our failing roads and bridges, climate change, and low wages.

UNION BUSTING

HelloFresh Is Paying Thousands Of Dollars A Day To Anti-Union Consultants

HuffPost

By Dave Jamieson

October 8, 2021

The meal-kit company HelloFresh is paying thousands of dollars each day to anti-union consultants in an effort to foil an organizing campaign by workers, according to federal disclosure forms. Filings with the Labor Department dated Oct. 7 (here and here) show that Germany-based HelloFresh is forking over $3,500 a day, plus expenses, to each consultant hired through the “union avoidance” firm Kulture Consulting, which is run by CEO Peter List. The filings list seven different consultants being used between two HelloFresh facilities in Colorado and California, suggesting the company could spend more than $20,000 in a day if all the consultants were deployed.