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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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AFL-CIO’s Liz Shuler calls GOP demands an ‘affront to working people’

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

April 28, 2023

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler is describing the GOP demands to undo the progress made by the Biden administration in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling as an “affront to working people” and she has branded those demands as a complete cave-in by Speaker Kevin McCarthy to the radical right in his party. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler was blunt about the bill’s impact, criticizing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who pushed the legislation through at the behest of his radical right Freedom Caucus, the 40-lawmaker tail that wags the Republican House dog. “House @SpeakerMcCarthy’s default debt ceiling plan is an affront to working people,” Shuler tweeted at 3:16 pm, just before the vote. “The AFL-CIO is strongly urging Congress to reject this plan to careen our nation into default, which would tank the economy and put millions of workers at risk. “The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 poses an imminent threat to the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of Americans, life-supporting benefits, and programs for veterans, seniors, children, and low-income families,” her second tweet said.


AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer to speak at ASU


By Melanie Hogan

April 28, 2023

The Secretary-Treasurer of the International AFL-CIO Fred Redmond will be the guest speaker at Alabama State University on Monday, May 1, 2023. Fred Redmond is the first African-American to hold this position and is the second in command for the House of Labor. Organizer, Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Political Science, Dr. Derryn Moten says the event is set on International Labor Day. Moten says Redmond will talk about the role unions played in civil rights, spotlighting, the Brother of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids. Former ASU President Dr. William H. Harris studied A. Phillip Randolph and wrote a book called, "Keeping the Faith: A. Phillip Randolph, Milton H. Harris, and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, 1935-37."



Wyoming is the deadliest state in the nation for workers, again


By Dustin Bleizeffer

April 28, 2023

One “fatal alert” posted at the Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website summarizes a 2022 mowing incident in just 68 words and lists as a factor, “It took approximately 20 minutes for anyone to notice the employee was in need of assistance.” Wyoming improved its year-over-year per-capita fatality rate in 2021 — the most recent year for which complete data is available — seeing 23% fewer on-the-job fatalities, according to state and National Safety Council data. Even with the improvement, Wyoming ranked worst in the nation. Wyoming also ranked worst-in-the-nation in 2020, according to an AFL-CIO report, with 13 workplace fatalities per 100,000 workers compared to second-worst Alaska with 10.7.


Shuler on Deaths On The Job: ‘This report should not have to exist’

People’s World

By Press Associates

April 28, 2023

Flourishing a copy of this year’s AFL-CIO Deaths On The Job report, a very moved federation President Liz Shuler had a blunt message for the nation’s errant employers: “This report should not have to exist…These pages should be blank.” She had good reason to say so. Shuler joined a large crowd in the U.S. Labor Department’s main auditorium to honor the 5,190 workers killed on the job in calendar 2021, the latest federal data available, and the data the AFL-CIO uses for its annual report.


It’s Workers’ Memorial day. Let’s ‘fight like hell for the living’ (Opinion)


By Tammy Johnson

April 28, 2023

There’s an old saying in America: “Mourn for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.” It’s attributed to Mother Jones, a woman who, early last century, organized workers all over the country in an effort to raise pay, end child labor and make jobs safer. In Wyoming, I’m sorry to say, we haven’t been fighting like hell for the living. We have continued to let each other die. Instead, we offer excuses. We say our jobs are more dangerous here, which isn’t true. Our official reports blame the workers, even though we know that workers do what employers require. And the penalties for employers whose workers die are laughable, often $2,000 or $3,000. The recommended solutions are worse. A recent post-mortem analysis called on an employer to “consider implementing a safety check system.” 


Black Workers Are Dying on The Job at a High Rate

Black Enterprise

By Atiya Jordan

April 28, 2023

April 28 is Workers Memorial Day. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations released an annual report to spread awareness on the alarming rise in worker deaths, particularly among Black and Brown workers. Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, a national and state-by-state profile of worker safety and health, not only includes data on the fatality rates in all 50 states, but also the most affected industries. The report is a call to action for funding and support needed for critical job safety oversight and enforcement. More progress is needed. Though underreporting is widespread, AFL-CIO discovered the fatality rate for Black workers grew from 3.5 to 4.0 per 100,000 workers, and more than 650 died on the job, the highest number in nearly two decades.



They Want to Change the World. They Would Also Like a Raise.

The New York Times

By Julie Satow

April 28, 2023

The newly unionized employees at Community Solutions, a nonprofit based in New York City that combats homelessness, were in the early days of negotiating their first contract. They had assumed that their proposal to protect formerly homeless people from being discriminated against in the organization’s hiring process would be a simple matter for both sides. Mr. Collier, along with all but one of his colleagues, voted to join Office and Professional Employees International Local 153 last year. When they informed management of their decision, workers said they were surprised when Community Solutions hired a powerful law firm, Proskauer, to negotiate a contract.


Actors' Equity Association Membership Ratifies New Unified Touring Agreement With The Broadway League

Broadway World

By A.A. Cristi

April 28, 2023

Actors' Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers working in live theatre, and The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, officially have a new contract governing touring productions, following ratification by vote of Equity membership. The new Touring Agreement will be in effect through September 7, 2026. "Creating a new, unified touring agreement has been a long-term goal, and it was a massive undertaking," said Kate Shindle, president of Actors' Equity Association. "Thousands of collective hours - from the negotiating team, from Equity staff, from committees, from our members who mobilized to an historic degree - went into pouring this foundation that we can now build upon. We made some major gains: more competitive salaries, producer-paid housing options across the entire touring landscape, meaningful increases in per diem and some new models for coverage, so that the show can go on without the need for actors and stage managers to work when we're sick or injured. The new contract contains advances in equity, diversity and inclusion, paid sick leave for everyone in the Equity company and safeguards for those who need reproductive and gender-affirming care. Touring is hard, and living on the road full time presents unique challenges. We will continue to focus on improving quality of life for the actors and stage managers who commit to bringing world-class theatre to communities across the country. I am grateful for the sustained, passionate and creative work of everyone who contributed to this negotiation."


Alcoa union workers authorize strike if talks fail


By 7 News Staff

April 28, 2023

Alcoa union workers have voted to authorize a strike if contract negotiations fall through. The United Steelworkers vote, taken Thursday, doesn’t mean a strike will happen; it allows the bargaining unit to strike if talks don’t improve. The vote was taken in Massena and at an Alcoa plant in Indiana, the only 2 major Alcoa plants left in the U.S. The 2 sides go back into negotiations on May 8.


Put it in the books: Union Square Barnes & Noble workers file for union election


By Max Parrott

April 28, 2023

New York Barnes & Noble workers are pushing to put the “union” in the Union Square location of the bookstore giant. Workers at Barnes Barnes & Noble’s flagship store filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday seeking representation under the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).


Will a Chatbot Write the Next ‘Succession’?

The New York Times

By Noam Scheiber and John Koblin

April 29, 2023

When the union representing Hollywood writers laid out its list of objectives for contract negotiations with studios this spring, it included familiar language on compensation, which the writers say has either stagnated or dropped amid an explosion of new shows. But far down, the document added a distinctly 2023 twist. Under a section titled “Professional Standards and Protection in the Employment of Writers,” the union wrote that it aimed to “regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies.”


Actors’ Equity Members Ratify New Touring Contract

The Hollywood Reporter

By Caitlin Huston

April 29, 2023

Members of Actors’ Equity have voted to approve the new touring agreement with the Broadway League. The union, which represents more than 51,000 stage managers and actors, had been negotiating with the League over the new touring contract since mid-January. On April 3, Actors’ Equity announced a strike threat against the Broadway League, which represents industry producers, presenters and general managers. The union announced that it had reached a tentative agreement on April 13. 


Union members protest over United States Postal Service work conditions


By Victoria Wong

April 29, 2023

American Postal Workers Union Members stood on the corner of Fourth and Commercial Streets to alert the community. Kimberly Karol, president of APWU Iowa, said they are understaffed and have more deliveries to more locations. The union wants to see change, including how rural postal workers are treated. “I think it’s really important that, especially in states like Iowa where we have a great deal of rural communities, that the public understands that we are not second-class citizens,” Karol said. Members said they don’t have enough workers and have more packages to deliver than ever before, and that the community doesn’t know what’s happening with USPS.


Rutgers union leaders approve tentative agreement with school less than a month after historic strike


By Liam Reilly

April 30, 2023

Leaders of three Rutgers University unions approved a tentative agreement with the school Sunday evening, just weeks after going on a five-day strike – the first in the New Jersey university’s 257-year history. Elected officials from the three unions – Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union and the AAUP-BHSNJ – convened Sunday evening to approve the agreement and recommend that their 9,000 members ratify it after nearly a year of negotiations, according to a statement from one of the unions.


WGA Tells Members to Get Ready to Picket If a Deal Isn’t Reached

The Hollywood Reporter

By Katie Kilkenny and Kimberly Nordyke

April 30, 2023

The Writers Guild of America told its members Sunday that they should be ready to picket if a new deal isn’t reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers by the May 1 deadline. In an email sent to its members Sunday night, the guild’s negotiating committee also asked the writers to complete a survey on their preferred strike locations and times. “While the WGA Negotiating Committee continues to bargain with the AMPTP with the goal of reaching a fair deal by tomorrow’s May 1st contract deadline, we need to be ready for a potential strike,” the email read. “The greatest amount of leverage we collectively bring to a strike action is the withdrawal of our labor. Picketing is a key tactic to demonstrate that we are all in this together, and that until a strike is resolved, it’s not business as usual.”



How Randi Weingarten Landed at the Heart of America’s Political Fights

The New York Times

By Jonathan Mahler

April 28, 2023

The A.F.T. championed the new movement for racial equity, committing publicly to the fight to end “systemic racism in America.” Some of the A.F.T.’s locals went further. The Chicago Teachers Union took to the streets to demand that the city’s board of education cancel a $33 million contract between Chicago’s public schools and its Police Department for the safety officers who staff the city’s public schools. United Teachers Los Angeles helped lead a successful fight to press its school district to slash its police budget by $25 million and use the money instead to hire more counselors, psychologists and social workers. Under Weingarten, who was elected president of the A.F.T. in 2008, the national union has gone all in on electoral politics, significantly increasing its political spending in the belief that the best way to serve its rank and file is by electing Democrats. But Weingarten was building her own case. Public education was now itself a hyperpartisan issue, and she addressed it in hyperpartisan terms in a fiery speech at the National Press Club. Calling out by name some of the people who had demonized her since the pandemic, including Betsy DeVos, she described the ongoing effort to defund public schools as nothing less than a threat to “cornerstones of community, of our democracy, our economy and our nation.” She pointed to studies that have shown that vouchers don’t improve student achievement, characterizing them as a back door into private and parochial schools that are not subject to the same federal civil rights laws as public institutions and can therefore promote discrimination. “Our public schools shouldn’t be pawns for politicians’ ambitions!” she thundered, moving toward her emotional conclusion. “They shouldn’t be defunded or destroyed by ideologues.”