Today's AFL-CIO press clips

MUST READ

‘We will not beat this pandemic until we stop the spread of the virus at work’: Backlash against Supreme Court’s decision to block Biden’s vaccine mandate

MarketWatch

By Quentin Fottrell

Jan. 14, 2022

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler had some strong words for the the Supreme Court justices, and their ruling to stay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine mandate, saying the organization was “disappointed” in the court’s decision. “While infections and hospitalizations surge, we again urge the Biden administration to require employers to provide protections beyond vaccines.”

VOTING RIGHTS

Advancing Dr. King’s voting rights legacy (Opinion)

The Grio

By Lee Saunders

Jan. 17, 2022

But now, in 2022, as we honor Dr. King on his birthday, voting rights are under siege. Last year alone, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to the ballot box and silencing the voices in particular of communities of color, voters with disabilities, young people and other historically underrepresented groups. The powerful forces behind these laws have made a ruthless calculation. They know that they can’t win on the merits, that their agenda doesn’t have enough public support to win fair and square, so they are rigging the system instead. In Dr. King’s native Georgia, Stacey Abrams and other activists have worked relentlessly in recent years to register, organize and mobilize voters in huge numbers.

Voting rights fight, 2022 elections, take center stage at AFL-CIO’s MLK Conference

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

Jan. 14, 2022

Talk about having a lot on your plate: The AFL-CIO’s annual Martin Luther King conference will have big-ticket issues to discuss, namely criminal justice reform, an economy that works for all workers—including Blacks—and most of all, voting rights. “Throughout our history, the labor movement has stood up for the disenfranchised and those on the margins of our democracy,” says AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, who will keynote the conference, along with Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond. “That work continues today as we push for passage of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which will protect the right to vote for all eligible Americans” as well as the Freedom To Vote Act, she adds. “Anti-worker politicians continue to use every tool at their disposal to rig our democracy to their benefit. Their actions pose a real threat to America’s representative government. In response, union members are doing everything we can to promote democracy—both in our workplaces and at the ballot box,” Shuler declared on January 7.

 

CORONAVIRUS

Weingarten: Omicron is the enemy, not teachers (Video)

USA Today

Jan. 13, 2022

The president of the American Federation of Teachers says teachers are trying to keep schools open.

LABOR AND ECONOMY

With new nominees, Biden attempts to assemble most diverse Fed in history

The Washington Post

By Rachel Siegel

Jan. 17, 2022

Cook and Jefferson’s confirmations would mark the first time the Fed board has included more than one Black governor at once, according to research from Kaleb Nygaard, an expert on Fed history at the Yale Program on Financial Stability. William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO and an economics professor at Howard University, emphasized the importance of that kind of representation as policymakers evaluate the economy. “It will be harder to have a repeat of the kind of meetings that took pace during the Great Recession, where no one discussed Black unemployment,” Spriggs said. “As well intentioned as I do believe [Fed Chair] Jay Powell is, it may need having some members of the board who are far more personally invested and experienced in what the problems may be.”

JOINING  TOGETHER

Veterinary workers in Brighton vote to unionize

WXXI

By Beth Adams

Jan. 14, 2022

Employees at a veterinary hospital in Brighton made history Friday by becoming among the first in the nation to join a union. They gathered at the Hampton Inn in Henrietta to watch remotely as the National Labor Relations Board counted the ballots cast by workers at Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Services on East Henrietta Road. The dozen or so veterinary assistants and technicians who attended the watch party cheered as the final vote count was read: 65-28.

Newport News Shipbuilding, United Steelworkers Union go back to bargaining table

13 News Now

By Mike Gooding

Jan. 17, 2022

Negotiators for Newport News Shipbuilding and its largest labor union will meet this week to resume contract talks. The return to bargaining table on Thursday comes two months after members of United Steelworkers Union Local 8888 rejected a proposed 60-month collective bargaining agreement by a vote of 1,312 to 684. Local 8888 represents 12,000 of the shipyard's 25,000 employees. The union wants higher wages, Veterans Day to be a company-paid holiday, and for employees to be treated like "essential workers."

Grocery workers, ski patrollers fuel a growing labor movement in the Mountain West

KUNC

Robyn Vincent

Jan. 15, 2022

The grocery strike is emblematic of a broader labor movement sweeping the country, and parts of the Mountain West, as workers walk out for better pay and benefits or unionize to harness their collective power. Back in Colorado, Josette Jaramillo is the first woman of color and first LGBTQ person to lead the Colorado chapter of the AFL-CIO. It represents 180 affiliate unions. “We really are working on diversifying the labor movement, because it's not just a bunch of older white men sitting around the table making decisions about the work and the unions that people of color and women are involved in,” she said. In a politically divided region like the Mountain West, that kind of solidarity gives Jaramillo hope, both for workers rights and how the labor movement could heal divides.

 

IN THE STATES

Boston Celebrates Life And Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

CBS Boston

By Paul Burton

Jan. 17, 2022

From virtual prayers, digital billboards, artwork and service, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is being remembered in Boston. At the IBEW Local 103 Union Hall electrical workers donated food, drinks and other essential items to be distributed to multiple food pantries in the city. Union members also provided free electrical services to pantries in need of upgrades. “We have electricians here and we ran circuits over at Shirley’s Pantry for their deep freezers and also we are going to run some cameras over at Juice Up,” Reneeleona Dozier of IBEW Local 103 said. MLK art kits were handed out as images and paintings of Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders are on display throughout the museum. Tameka Lymon of Brockton brought her three children including 9-year-old Cadence who’s learning valuable lessons about King. “That white people and Black people can always be together and live in harmony,” Candence Lymon said.

LABOR AND COMMUNITY

IBEW Local Union 659 donates to community

The News Guard

Jan.17, 2022

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 659 Executive Board Recording Secretary Kathy Joy is pictured making donations to the Lincoln City Food Pantry and Lincoln City Backpack for Kids. Each entity has received a total of $12,500 in donations from IBEW LU659. Year to date, IBEW Local Union 659 has donated over $22,000 to local non-profit organizations that help with feeding people who live in the communities we serve. The communities where our members work, live, and raise their families. Those same communities help our members prosper and we are committed to return those gestures in improving living conditions to help those less fortunate.

Heartwarmers provides free and safe way to stay warm

News-Press Now

By Ryan Hennessy

Jan. 16, 2022

House fires can begin with a person feeling cold and deciding to use an ill-advised means to warm their home. One organization in St. Joseph offers a safer option. Heartwarmers is a nonprofit group dedicated to supplying space heaters free of charge through AFL-CIO Community Services. R.J. Jackson created the organization in 2017. “Thanks to our very generous donors at the Bring the Heat Car Show, I was able to just buy a giant stockpile of them – about 100 heaters,” Jackson said.