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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

Berry Craig
31 Jan, 2023
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UAW Local 974 overwhelmingly authorizes strike as Caterpillar contract negotiations continue

NPR Illinois

By Tim Shelley

Jan. 30, 2023

Members of the union representing Caterpillar employees at facilities in Illinois and Pennsylvania overwhelmingly authorized a strike on Friday as negotiations on a new contract continue. UAW Local 974 second vice president Tony Newton said 98% of membership voted in favor of strike authorization. Local 974 represents employees in East Peoria, Morton, Decatur, Pontiac, Mapleton, Mossville, and York, Pennsylvania. A strike authorization vote doesn't mean a union is immediately going on strike. Rather, it gives the union the authority to call a strike if contract negotiations falter. The union's current six-year contract with Caterpillar ends in March. Wages, benefits, and 401Ks are some of the biggest issues in the negotiations, according to a UAW Local 974 newsletter circulated to members in December.


WGA East Members Threaten To Strike HuffPost Unless Given A Fair Contract By Midnight Tuesday


By David Robb

Jan. 30, 2023

WGA East members employed as writers and editors at the HuffPost news site are threatening to go on strike if a fair contract can’t be reached by Tuesday night at midnight ET. With only two days left of bargaining, their strike pledge comes after months of negotiations for a new contract. According to the guild, 98% of the 91-member HuffPost Union signed on to the strike pledge.


Portland city laborers rally ahead of planned strike


By Newsroom Staff

Jan. 30, 2023

Ahead of a planned strike on Thursday, dozens of members of LiUNA Laborers’ Local 483 joined together at a rally on Saturday, outside Portland City Hall, after the city and the union failed to agree to new contract terms after 10 months of negotiations. “We’re here to show the city — that if they want to be an employer of choice — then they have to bring the money,” said one of the speakers to a crowd holding signs. “They have not accounted for inflation. They have not accounted for cost of living. They have not accounted for how every single person’s job has changed.”


Nurses rally in Hollister

San Benito

By Staff

Jan. 30, 2023

A small group of registered nurses rallied outside Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Thursday in support of adequate staffing at the Hollister medical facility, which is currently facing a financial emergency. “(We are) focusing on safe staffing,” said Pedro Silva, an RN at HHMH and member of the California Nurses Association. “We want to make sure that Hazel Hawkins doesn’t reduce any services to the community, and continue (existing) services so our nurses can provide the best care to our community.”  About a half-dozen local nurses participated in the Jan. 26 protest at the hospital on Sunset Drive. The rally was part of a national day of action organized by National Nurses United and the CNA to bring awareness to “unacceptably low staffing levels across the country, fueled by the hospital industry’s prioritization of money over patient care,” the NNU said in a statement prior to the rally. 



Sims: United, there’s nothing we cannot do

The Stand

By April Sims

Jan. 30, 2023

Earlier this month I had the extraordinary honor of being sworn in as President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the largest union organization in the state. I want to share why your new WSLC Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter and I are so excited about the future and our opportunity to build power for Washington’s working families. As the first Black woman in the nation to be elected president of a state federation of the AFL-CIO, I am a reflection of the leaders who blazed a trail for me. It’s a profound honor and a responsibility I don’t take lightly. But I am not alone. Last year we elected Liz Shuler, first woman president of the national AFL-CIO, and Fred Redmond, first Black man elected as the federation’s secretary treasurer. Earlier this month, Yvonne Taylor Brooks was appointed the first Black woman to lead the Georgia AFL-CIO. Last month Yvonne Wheeler became the first Black woman elected president of the L.A. County Central Labor Council.


North Dakota lawmaker proposes minimum wage increase

The Center Square

By Kim Jarrett

Jan. 30, 2023

 Rep. LaurieBeth Hager, D-Fargo, said she didn't think she would need to refile a bill raising North Dakota's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. The North Dakota AFL-CIO supports the bill. "The current minimum wage of $7.25 was set in 2008 and is not indexed to inflation, requiring action from the legislature to increase it," said Landis Larson, president of the organization. "This is far too low for any job that is worth doing. Wages will not be going back down to these levels and we should raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation to keep up with our neighboring states and a large majority of the rest of the country and to ensure that any employers in North Dakota are paying a wage that is at least closer to a livable wage (than) $7.25."



Firefighters Union Pushes to Rid Protective Gear of ‘Forever Chemicals’

The Wall Street Journal

By Kris Maher

Jan. 26, 2023

Growing concern among firefighters across the country that high rates of cancer in their profession are linked to chemicals in protective gear they wear has led to a sharp change of course in the union that represents them. The chemicals, known as PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been associated with cancers and other illnesses and are coming under greater scrutiny from environmental regulators. After years of playing down concerns about the chemicals, the International Association of Fire Fighters is now urging that gear with PFAS be removed whenever possible. “We need to combat what’s killing us,” IAFF President Ed Kelly told the union’s 330,000 members. “That starts with removing PFAS from our turnout gear and, until PFAS-free options exist, reducing our exposure as best we can.”


Actors' Equity Releases Statement Condemning Attacks on Transgender People and Drag Performances

Broadway World

By Stephi Wild

Jan. 30, 2023

Actors' Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has issued a statement regarding the growing number of attacks on transgender people, often framed as attacks on drag performance. Read the full statement below: "We are witnessing not just attacks on expression but attacks on existence. The recent rise in legislation limiting gender-affirming health care, as well as the increase in both physical and legal threats to drag performances, must be named for what they are: a coordinated attack that seeks to eradicate transgender people. To be clear: transgender people are not living their lives in drag; they are living their lives authentically. The purposeful conflation of drag performance and transgender life is the latest tactic in a sickening campaign to delegitimize and dehumanize transgender people. This is abhorrent.