Today's AFL-CIO press clips

MUST READ
'Historic Moment': House Passes Bill Allowing Congressional Workers to Unionize

Common Dreams

By Andrea Germanos

May 11, 2022

“Workers everywhere must have the free & fair opportunity to join together & form a union if they so choose –– congressional staff included,” said Liz Shuler.

The largest labor federation in the country calls on Biden to cancel student debt: 'We cannot ask working people to make further sacrifices'

Business Insider

By Ayelet Sheffey and Juliana Kaplan 

May 12, 2022

"Organized labor was built on the foundation of creating a pathway to the middle class for everyone, but skyrocketing student loan debt has become an insurmountable obstacle to achieving this goal," Shuler wrote on Twitter.

 

STUDENT DEBT
AFL-CIO presses Biden to cancel student debt

The Hill

By Karl Evers-Hillstrom 

May 12, 2022

The AFL-CIO on Thursday urged President Biden to forgive student loans, putting additional pressure on the White House to cancel at least some of the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. “The Biden administration’s decision to continue to pause student debt has made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many borrowers, but these borrowers still live with the uncertainty of not knowing when they will need to drastically alter their finances in order to begin repaying their loans,” AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in a statement. 

ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND CLIMATE

Wind power, built by union workers

Grist

By Joseph Winters

May 12, 2022

North America’s Building Trades Unions, or NABTU, and the Danish wind company Ørsted have reached a historic agreement to build offshore wind power with an all-union workforce. The National Offshore Wind Agreement, which was announced at a ceremony last week, is expected to create tens of thousands of middle-class jobs while advancing a “just transition” away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner sources of energy.

 

WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH

Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Services Act introduced in the Senate

Safety + Health Magazine

May 12, 2022

“We are bearing the brunt of a broken health care system at a time when people’s frustration and stress are at their highest,” said NNU President Jean Ross, a registered nurse from Minnesota. “The violence is just getting worse. We are not willing to take it any longer.” Ross added that the legislation is necessary because “health care employers won’t do it on their own.” She continued: “We are tired of being called heroes and angels while our health and safety – and our very lives – are being put in jeopardy. We need action.” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten were also on hand to express their support for the bill.

JOINING TOGETHER

American Red Cross employees rally for fair contracts, healthcare benefits this past week

Bristol Press

By Erica Drzewiecki

May 12, 2022

Local frontline workers joined fellow American Red Cross (ARC) employees across the U.S. rallying for fair contracts and healthcare benefits this past week at the AFSCME Local 3145’s Council 4 headquarters. Shellye Davis, executive vice president for the Connecticut AFL-CIO representing 200,000-plus Connecticut workers, called on the ARC to stand up on behalf of its dedicated staff. “You not only deserve our thanks, but you deserve to be compensated fairly,” Davis told Local 3145 members. “I’m sick and tired of hearing executives thank essential workers but then refuse to pay them a living wage or provide affordable insurance. The entire membership of the Connecticut AFL-CIO proudly stands with AFSCME Local 3145 and the rest of the coalition of Red Cross unions as they fight for a fair contract.”

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society forms partnership with American Guild of Musical Artists

Broadway News

By Broadway News

May 12, 2022

The American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO (AGMA) and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) have entered into a new reciprocal agreement, the two organizations announced Thursday. “AGMA and SDC have been working together for quite some time,” said Sam Wheeler, National Executive Director of AGMA in a statement. “AGMA and SDC share members, workplaces, and a vital interest in the arts in the United States. This agreement expands our partnership and provides direct benefits of AGMA and SDC’s collaboration to our members. We are so excited to see where this dynamic partnership takes us next.” “We are delighted to extend our partnership with AGMA and support the members of both unions,” said Laura Penn, Executive Director of SDC in the press release. 

Steelworkers at Arconic's Davenport Works in Riverdale authorize strike if talks fail

Quad City Times

By Tom Loewy 

May 12, 2022

Members of the United Steel Workers Local 105 union streamed in and out of Suite A of the hotel's conference center during the day to cast a unanimous vote to authorize a strike against Arconic if new-contract talks break down. The current three-year contract was signed in July 2019 and expires May 15.

IATSE Script Supervisors & Production Coordinators Local 161 Fighting For “Pay Equity” As Contract Talks Begin Monday

Deadline

By David Robb

May 12, 2022

IATSE Local 161, which represents East Coast script supervisors, production coordinators and accountants, will begin bargaining with the AMPTP on Monday for a new film and TV contract. Pay equity is a major issue, said Dawn Mountain, the local’s president and chair of its contract negotiations committee.