Today's AFL-CIO press clips

MUST READ
Meet DC’s Most Influential

Washingtonian

By Washingtonian Staff 

May 11, 2022

Liz Shuler didn’t choose her moment of maximum influence. It chose her after the death of AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka in August from a heart attack. Two weeks later, she was elected the first female president in the history of the nation’s largest labor organization, tasked with keeping it moving during the uncertainty of the pandemic, a wave of strikes throughout the country, and a grieving staff. But Shuler was ready due to a lifetime of preparation that began when she was 11 and had her first job babysitting—which provided her initial lesson in the power of collective bargaining. “One day, I discovered that the parents were paying different rates for different sitters,” she recalls. “I found out from my friend that her hourly pay was lower than mine, and it seemed pretty unfair. So we came together to ask for equal pay.”

LABOR AND ECONOMY

Lisa Cook is confirmed as a new Fed governor.

The New York Times

By Jeanna Smialek and Emily Cochrane

May 10, 2022

The Senate confirmed Lisa D. Cook as a Federal Reserve governor on Tuesday, making her the first Black woman to hold that influential policy post. Her confirmation came after Vice President Kamala Harris broke a 50-to-50 tie in the Senate, moving the Biden administration one step closer to reshaping the leadership team at the central bank. Ms. Cook, an economist at Michigan State University who has researched racial disparities and labor markets, was nominated alongside a slate of other officials — President Biden had a chance to fill two open governor positions and to pick a new chair, vice chair and vice chair for supervision at the central bank.

WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Introduces bill to protect health care professionals from workplace violence

WisPolitics.com

May 11, 2022

As the nation celebrates National Nurses Week, U.S. Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, introduced legislation to protect health care and social services employees from workplace violence. “This groundbreaking legislation will hold health care and social service employers accountable for the safety of their workers,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN and executive director of NNU. “It’s time for employers to stop putting people’s lives in danger. Everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace, and that includes hospitals, clinics, and social service settings that are so crucial now more than ever given the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the leadership of Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Courtney for spearheading this important legislation.” “Health care and social service workers, especially women, are at greatest risk of violence on the job,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “These workers are on the front lines, serving as caretakers to our families, friends and those in need. This bill is about protecting the lives of these brave heroes, and every single member of Congress should support this critical, life-saving legislation.”

 

JOINING TOGETHER

Non-tenured faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago hold rally in support of union push

The Art Newspaper

By Anni Irish

May 11, 2022

Adjunct and lecturer faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), one of the top art schools in the US, revealed their intention to form a union in an open letter posted on their website on 10 May. The letter was signed by close to 200 people. Non-tenured staff make up about three quarters of SAIC's faculty across multiple departments.

House OKs measure to let its staffers form a union

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

May 11, 2022

One of the least-visible important groups of exploited workers—staffers for U.S. House members and committees—can now go ahead and unionize, after lawmakers approved a resolution, needed under House rules, to let them do so. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., authored the measure earlier this year and lobbied colleagues to sign on, after he met with members of the Congressional Workers Union. It was tucked into a rule for debate on additional U.S. aid to the Ukraine. That rule, in turn, passed on a 217-202 party-line vote: All Democrats for, all Republicans against.

NLRB

NLRB presses Starbucks to reinstate 7 fired workers tied to union drive

The Washington Post

By Aaron Gregg

May 11, 2022

Federal regulators are asking a judge to ensure seven fired workers win their jobs back at the Memphis Starbucks they were attempting to unionize, alleging the coffee giant used “coercive measures,” after the drive attracted media attention. The National Labor Relations Board asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to issue an injunction on Tuesday that would allow the workers to be reinstated at the Poplar Highlands coffee shop in Memphis. Kathleen McKinney, the NLRB director for the New Orleans region, also said that the company must “cease its unlawful conduct immediately so that all Starbucks workers can fully and freely exercise their labor rights.”

IN THE STATES

Wyoming is deadliest state to work

Jackson Hole News & Guide

By Kate Ready

May 11, 2022

According to the annual report released by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, Wyoming had a fatality rate of 13%, the highest in the nation. The national average in 2020 was 3.4%. “It’s not just that we have these dangerous fields here in Wyoming,” said Tammy Johnson, Executive Director of the Wyoming AFL-CIO which compiled the report. “We don’t get inspections or compliance checks done regularly. “In other states, OSHA is federally run, but in Wyoming ours is state run.