Today's AFL-CIO press clips

MUST READ

The Badass 50

In Style

By Charlotte Collins, Sarah Cristobal, Jennifer Ferrise, Sydney Haymond, and Samantha Simon

Jan. 10, 2022

21. Liz Shuler - "We are building pathways and support structures to grow a bold, inclusive, and transformative movement — I think that's pretty badass," says Shuler, the first woman elected president of the AFL-CIO in the labor federation's history. She took the reins as leader of the organization's 57 unions last August, in a year marked by a groundswell in union and strike organizing, from taxi cab drivers in New York City to Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama. "At this inflection point, we have unlimited potential to reimagine and rebuild a worker-centered democracy and economy."  

POLITICS

Manchin’s Choice on Build Back Better: Mine Workers or Mine Owners

The New York Times

By Jonathan Weisman

Jan. 10, 2022

So when the miners’ union and the West Virginia A.F.L.-C.I.O. came out last month with statements pleading for passage of President Biden’s Build Back Better Act — just hours after Mr. Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, said he was a “no” — the Capitol took notice.

JOINING  TOGETHER

Unions look for momentum as more workers get fed up

Chicago Sun-Times

By David Roeder

Jan. 10, 2022

Don Villar, secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said local organizing has picked up after sustaining a blow early in the pandemic. Citing union representation petitions filed with the NLRB, Villar said organizers have been busy at health care enterprises, charter schools and cannabis growers and shops. In the burgeoning warehouse sector, union and worker rights organizations have improved outreach to temporary workers, he said. A lot of our unions were suspicious of temp workers as being part of the ‘race to the bottom’ [on wages],” Villar said. “We’ve come to realize these workers need to be educated about and understand what we’ve been fighting for.” 

Cleveland Starbucks location could be chain’s first union store in Ohio

Fox 8 Cleveland

By Talia Naquin

Jan. 10, 2022

Hourly workers at Cleveland’s Starbucks at 1374 W. 6th St. filed a petition Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a union representation election. That’s according to a press release. It is the first time that Starbucks workers in Ohio have asked the Labor Board for a union vote. In a letter e-mailed Monday to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson and signed by a majority of the store’s employees, workers wrote: “Starbucks partners invest their safety, time, and well-being to serve at the forefront of the customer service industry, and this has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. (However), we do not feel we have been adequately cared for in terms of consistent guidelines or effective safety measures… These experiences have often (led) to burnout, disillusionment, and a feeling that rather than being considered “partners”, we are simply cogs in a machine. …we know we can all do better.”

IN THE STATES

The recent surge of labor unions in Maine, and what to know about the past, present and future of unions

Maine Public

By Jennifer Rooks and Jonathan P. Smith

Jan. 10, 2022

Are labor unions experiencing a resurgence? According to a recent Gallup poll, American’s approval rating of unions is at its highest point since 1965. Yet, despite recent growth, only about 10 percent of the workforce is unionized. In Maine, recent successful unionization efforts among nurses at Maine Medical Center and employees at the Portland Museum of Art reflect national trends. We’ll look at the role of the modern labor union and how it fits into other labor trends, such as the Great Resignation. 

UNION BUSTING

Google Had Secret Project to ‘Convince’ Employees ‘That Unions Suck’

Vice

By Lauren Kaori Gurley

Jan. 10, 2022

A National Labor Relations Board ruling sheds light on a highly secret anti-union campaign at Google, that a top executive explicitly described as an initiative to “convince [employees] that unions suck." The campaign was called Project Vivian, and ran at Google between late 2018 and early 2020 to combat employee activism and union organizing efforts at the company, according to court documents. 

TRANSPORTATION 

TTD labor coalition gains three unions, 'unifies' rail labor

Progressive Railroading

Jan. 10, 2022

The Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO (TTD) last week announced the affiliation of three more unions: the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED), both divisions of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. The latest affiliations brings the coalition’s total membership to 36 affiliated unions. The re-affiliation of BLET and BMWED means all rail labor unions in the United States have a unified voice, TTD officials said in a press release.

SUPREME COURT

GOP-named Supreme Court majority cements its role as a pro-corporate fiefdom

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

Jan. 10, 2022

Instead, it’s shown by a string of rulings stretching all the way back to the Lilly Ledbetter case, if not before, that go against workers, against people of color, against the right to vote, and for corporate domination and control of politics. The majority’s opposition to Biden’s mandate is in line with an analysis by AFL-CIO General Counsel Craig Becker, testifying before Biden’s Supreme Court reform commission this past June.  Becker cited a study commissioned by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., a former state Attorney General, who found “80 partisan, 5-4 Supreme Court decisions clearly favoring a big Republican donor interest, all since (John) Roberts became Chief Justice in 2005. “One of the biggest workers’ rights cases of the decade, Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, was decided on a partisan 6-3 split, erasing years of precedent to decimate basic union access to workplaces,” Becker noted. That ruling last year barred union reps from approaching farm workers in California growers’ fields—the only place they could contact them—without the growers’ permission. Becker called Cedar Point “a segregationist throwback” since most farm workers are people of color. And that same month, June, “The conservative majority dismantled Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act,” Becker said. Before that, ”They also decided wealthy dark money donors now have a constitutional right to influence our politics in secret.”