Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

MUST WATCH

President Richard Trumka joined Bloomberg TV to discuss the PRO Act

Bloomberg TV

April 30, 2021

President Richard Trumka joined Bloomberg TV to discuss the PRO Act, worker safety and how President Joe Biden is delivering for working people.

MUST READ Elon Musk might be hosting SNL, but Tesla workers aren’t laughing (Opinion)

Fortune

By Richard Ortiz

May 1, 2021

Saturday Night Live recently announced its upcoming lineup, and I was shocked to see that none other than Elon Musk—the brash CEO of Tesla, my former employer—would be hosting on May 8. There’s a lot to be impressed by when it comes to Tesla’s electric vehicles (EVs) and other cars of the future. But in my mind, there’s nothing funny about how Tesla has treated workers.

POLITICS

Here Is Everything You Need to Know About the PRO Act

Fatherly

By Cameron LeBlanc

April 29, 2021

During last night’s address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden forcefully called on the assembled legislators to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act, a bill that has already passed the House in March but has languished in the senate. But what is the PRO Act? And, in a speech dedicated to the wellbeing of families, why does it matter? Here’s what to know. The AFL-CIO calls the PRO Act “the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression.” 

IN THE STATES

Iowa AFL-CIO president: It’s time to hold employers accountable (Opinion)

The Gazette

By Charlie Wishman

April 30, 2021

Under current law, the penalties against employers who illegally fire or retaliate against workers who are trying to form a union are a drop in the bucket. As a result, employers routinely retaliate against pro-union workers, because they know it will undermine the organizing campaign and they will face no real consequences. To them, it’s simply the cost of doing business. For the first time in modern history, however, we have the chance to turn this around. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act would hold employers accountable and institute civil penalties for violations of the law, including back pay and damages. The PRO Act would put the decision of whether or not to form a union back where it belongs — in the hands of workers, free from employer interference.

Josh Sword: West Virginia workers need PRO Act (Opinion)

Charleston Gazette-Mail

By Josh Sword

By passing the PRO Act, millions of American workers will have the ability to exercise the freedom to organize and bargain for safer workplaces. The lives and the health and safety of working families depend on their ability to have a say in how they do their jobs. No one should go to work in fear for their lives. Far too many West Virginians have had to do just that. And as we reflect on Workers Memorial Day, may we never forget the lives lost in West Virginia’s sites of labor militancy, where workers were faced with violence in their unionization efforts. We continue the battle in their honor and will not rest until every workplace is 100% safe.

 

While fiscal conservatives worry, Cincinnati business leader supports more government spending

WLWT

By Todd Dykes

April 29, 2021

That's a view shared by Pete McLinden, executive secretary-treasurer for the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council. "When he talked about universal preschool and universal childcare, I mean that's going to help millions of families," McLinden said. McLinden sees the president's wide-ranging plan to bolster America's working class as a chance to level the playing field. "We're not anti-rich," he said. "We're not anti-development or corporations. We're just asking everyone to pay their fair share."

 

AFSCME-backed bill paving way for restoring state jobs to union status passed by Senate

The State Journal-Register

By Dean Olsen

April 30, 2021

Hundreds of state workers who lost union representation during the administration of former Gov. Bruce Rauner could get it back under a bill approved by the Illinois Senate this week and now pending in the House. Decisions on whether public-sector workers should be classified as supervisory and thus not eligible for union protections should be based “on actual employee job duties and not solely on written job descriptions,” according to Senate Bill 525.

 

Virginia AFL-CIO Celebrates Labor Law Enactment in Virginia On May Day

Blue Virginia

By Blue Virginia

May 1, 2021

On May 1, International Workers’ Day, lovingly referred to as May Day, rallies, protests, and demonstrations are typically held across the globe in celebration of working people and their continued fight for rights in the workplace. In Virginia, on this May Day, our celebration will focus on the fights we have recently won. May Day 2021 is a celebration for the long-awaited new laws to empower workers that will go into effect today. The first law taking effect today is the minimum wage increase. The current federal minimum wage since 2009 has been $7.25, but with the new law, Virginia’s wage has increased to the new rate of $9.50 an hour, with an increase to $11 an hour on January 1, 2022, and in 2023, an increase to $12. This law does include a re-enactment provision that requires the General Assembly to vote for them again to $13.25 an hour in 2025 and then to $15 an hour in 2026. This increase in minimum wage will benefit all working Virginians and aid in closing the wage gap for women, minorities, and senior citizens.

 

May Day 2021 celebrates worker solidarity amid pandemic, income inequality in Bay Area

ABC7

By Cornell Barnard

May 1, 2021

Workers across the Bay Area took to the streets Saturday to celebrate International Workers' Day or May Day. This year's May Day marches took on a different tone, remembering those essential workers lost to the COVID-19 pandemic and demanding better labor protections. There was drumbeat on Market Street, union workers marching to celebrate May Day 2021. Many labor Unions are calling for the passage of Protecting the right to Organize or PRO Act to help empower workers to negotiate better wages. They also want President Biden's call for a $15 minimum wage to go beyond just Federal workers. "We're asking for fifteen dollars to be the base it's still not a living wage for this country, that's not too much to ask," Tefere Gebre, Executive VP, AFL-CIO.

LABOR AND COMMUNITY 

South Dakota Labor groups teaming up with USDA for Sioux Falls food giveaway

KeloLand

By Jacob Newton

April 30, 2021

The South Dakota AFL-CIO, Sioux Falls Labor Federation & the Labor Studies and Resource Center announced in a news release that they are cohosting a Farmers to Families Free Food Box Giveaway on Saturday, May 1.

JOINING TOGETHER

Progress made in negotiations between striking nurses, St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester

WCVB

By Josh Brogadir  and Todd Kazakiewich  

May 2, 2021

The union representing a group of more than 800 striking nurses in Worcester says considerable progress has been made in the negotiations between the nurses and the hospital they work for. Leaders of the Massachusetts Nurses Association met with the parent company of St. Vincent Hospital, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, on Saturday. It was just the second round of negotiations that has been held since the strike began in March.