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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Apprenticeships provide skills for longterm employment

Marlow Review

By Joe Dorman

Nov. 22, 2022

Last week, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy hopefully connected two organizations that will both benefit from a tremendous opportunity to provide jobs for young people. Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of visiting with Jimmy Curry, the Oklahoma president for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). We were discussing both our jobs at a backyard cookout held by one of our mutual friends in south Oklahoma City and I asked him what programs are in the labor movement that support young people. My father was a member of the Operating Engineers while working as a building contractor, so I knew personally the benefits one receives in a career through a trades union, but wanted to know if there were other things available. Jimmy pointed out an opportunity for high school students to learn a profession through CareerTech classes, which could lead to an apprenticeship through a labor association that would provide a job. For those not familiar with an apprenticeship, this is a pathway to learn a skilled trade through planned, supervised, on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. An apprentice is a regular part of the workforce and earns wages while acquiring important skills. The length of the tuition-free apprenticeship ranges from three to five years.



Strike by U.C. Academic Workers Continues Into a Second Week

The New York Times

By Soumya Karlamangla

Nov. 22, 2022

Hundreds of academic workers chanting “Shut it down” and “We’ve got the power” marched through U.C. San Diego’s seaside campus on Monday as one of the nation’s largest strikes in years entered its second week. The walkout, which began on Nov. 14, involves bargaining units representing nearly 48,000 teaching assistants, researchers and other employees across the University of California’s 10 campuses who are asking for wage increases and better benefits. No end date for the strike has been set, though officials from the United Automobile Workers, which represents the academic workers, and the university say they have come closer to reaching agreements over the past several days. The labor action, which comes amid a wave of union activity across the country, could become a turning point nationwide for graduate student workers, whom America’s universities have long relied on, for relatively low pay.


ATU reaches series of agreements with Pittsburgh Regional Transit, TARC and GO Transit

Mass Transit

By Mischa Wanek-Libman

Nov. 21, 2022

Three local branches of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) reached agreements at two transit agencies in the U.S. and one in Canada.  In Louisville, Ky., Transit Authority of River City (TARC) and ATU Local 1447 reached a tentative agreement that will provide equal wage increases for all workers, additional safety protections and create an apprenticeship program in the maintenance department. ATU Local 1447 membership will take a ratification vote of the agreement after Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 24. The TARC Board of Directors will also vote to ratify the agreement. The Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) Board approved a four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with ATU Local 85, which covers PRT drivers, mechanics and other laborers. Union members ratified the agreement on Nov. 13. The previous agreement expired June 30, 2022, and the new agreement includes wage increases, pandemic bonuses and changes to work and discipline rules. The agreement also reduces the number of schedule adjustments each year, providing transit planners more time to analyze ridership trends, so they can make more informed scheduling decisions.



Yvonne Wheeler Elected President Of LA County Federation Of Labor


By David Robb

Nov. 21, 2022

Yvonne Wheeler, a veteran labor leader and civil rights activist, has been elected president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO – the first Black woman to hold the post. She succeeds Ron Herrera, who resigned last month after being caught up in the leaked tape scandal that roiled City Hall. IATSE 2nd Vice President Thom Davis had been serving as interim president. The Federation represents 300 affiliated labor organizations representing more than 800,000 members. Wheeler, who had been vice president of the Federation, is a national representative for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). A labor organizer and leader for over 30 years, she’s a former president of the California State A. Philip Randolph Institute, an AFL-CIO-sponsored group. She has also worked as an AFL-CIO senior field representative covering all of Southern California and as the California director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).


Yvonne Wheeler becomes first Black woman to lead L.A. County Federation of Labor

Los Angeles Times

By Suhauna Hussain

Nov. 22, 2022

Veteran labor leader Yvonne Wheeler will take over as head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, becoming the first Black woman to lead the powerful group in its nearly 140-year history. Wheeler garnered broad support across various labor sectors in “the Fed,” as the L.A. County Federation of Labor is known, and was elected unanimously Monday night. The Fed, which represents 800,000 workers in 300 unions, has become one of the most influential players in state and local politics.