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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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“Unconscionable”: Uncle Sam spends just $3.99 on job safety as Black and Latino worker deaths soar


By Bob Hennelly

May 3, 2023

"The true impact of COVID-19 infections due to workplace exposures is unknown," the AFL-CIO asserted. "Limited data show that more than 1.5 million nursing home workers have been infected." "Every American should be alarmed and outraged by the tragic data unearthed in this report," said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. "It is unconscionable that in the wealthiest nation in the world, Black and Latino workers are facing the highest on-the-job fatality rates in nearly two decades. This report is more than a wake-up call, it is a call to action. No one should have to risk their lives for their livelihoods. There is no corporate cost-benefit analysis that should put human life and worker safety on the wrong side of the ledger."



The White House Is Probing How Companies Use AI to Surveil and Manage Workers


By Josh Eidelson

May 1, 2023

The White House is probing how companies use artificial intelligence to monitor and manage workers, practices the Biden Administration says are increasingly prevalent and can inflict significant harm. “While these technologies can benefit both workers and employers in some cases, they can also create serious risks to workers,” deputies from the White House Domestic Policy Council and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy wrote in a blog post slated for publication later Monday, announcing a formal request for information from the public about how automated tools are being deployed in the workplace.



WGA Plans Rallies For May 15 In L.A. And New York As Strike Enters Second Day


By David Robb

May 3, 2023

There’s no telling how long the Writers Guild of America strike will last, but as it enters its second day, guild leaders expect it to still be going by May 15, when they’re planning to stage massive rallies on both coasts. The last writers strike, in 2007-08 lasted 100 days, and the one before that, in 1988, lasted 153 days.


Culinary workers may strike at Valley Hospital

Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Ricardo Torres-Cortez

May 3, 2023

Back-of-the-house workers at Valley Hospital warn that a strike is imminent as they negotiate a new union contract, according to the Culinary Local 226. The union represents about 90 crew members in the cleaning, kitchen, cashiers and stewards departments of the central Las Vegas hospital. Clad in Culinary-red, some of them showed up this week to local government meetings to announce their intentions for a work stoppage if a deal isn’t reached by early next week.


WGA Strike Meetings: LA Crowd Gives Chief Negotiator Ellen Stutzman Loud Standing Ovation; New York Event Told “Entire Labor Movement Is Behind Us”


By Dominic Patten and Sean Piccoli

May 3, 2023

On the second day of the Writers Guild of America’s first strike in 15 years, the guild is holding big meetings on both coasts with members to detail how they got here, what’s going on, and what’s next. 

Picket lines broke up earlier Wednesday as the WGA East met at The Great Hall at Cooper Union in NYC and the WGA West gathering at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The event at the former was set to kick off at 6 p.m. ET, while the packed meeting at the latter was set for 7 p.m. PT. The Great Hall has a capacity of nearly 1,000, and former Oscars venue the Shrine can hold about 6,000 people. There was big applause from WGA members as the solidarity from other guilds and unions like IATSE was brought up. “The entire labor movement is behind us,” one WGA leader told the crowd. “The White House is behind us.”



Every Pennsylvania worker deserves strong workplace safety protections (Opinion) 

Pennsylvania Capital-Star

By David Henderson

May 3, 2023

The National AFL-CIO’s 2019 Death on the Job Report shows that state and local public-sector employees are 64% more likely to be injured on the job than private-sector workers. Public sector workers face higher rates of workplace violence in comparison to workers in the private sector, with an incidence rate 745% higher for state employees and 535% higher for local government workers.


Firm that hired kids to clean meat plants keeps losing work

The North Platte Telegraph

By Josh Funk

May 2, 2023

The slaughterhouse cleaning company that was found to be employing more than 100 children to help sanitize dangerous razor-sharp equipment like bone saws has continued to lose contracts with the major meat producers since the investigation became public last fall.


Labor investigation fines McDonald’s franchise operators that used 305 child workers, including two 10-year-olds

By Robert Higgs

May 3, 2023

Three McDonald’s franchise operators in Kentucky were fined by the U.S. Department of Labor after an investigation found they employed more than 300 children, including two 10-year-olds, without pay until as late as 2 a.m. Investigators in Kentucky found the companies employed 305 children to work more than the legally permitted hours and perform tasks prohibited by law for young workers. The violations prompted the Labor Department to assess $212,544 in civil penalties against the employers.



Wisconsin sees fewer workplace fatalities generally, but there's higher risk in agriculture, forestry industries nationally

Post Crescent

By Becky Jacobs

May 3, 2023

The number of people who have died at work in Wisconsin has declined in recent years, a new report shows. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations released its 32nd annual report titled "Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect" in late April, which provides a state-by-state analysis of worker safety and health in the United States, based on the most recently available data.


Protect workers from killer temperatures! (Opinion)

New York Amsterdam News

By Stuart Appelbaum

May 4, 2023

Extreme temperatures in the workplace can injure and kill workers. The recently introduced Temperature Extreme Mitigation Program (TEMP) bill, co-sponsored by Assemblymember Latoya Joyner and State Senator Jessica Ramos, is a first-in-the-nation move designed to protect New York’s workers from temperature-related illnesses.  The TEMP bill requires employers to mitigate extreme temperatures in the workplace by providing access to drinking water and places to shelter during winter and summer. TEMP will create a statewide workplace standard for heat and cold that will cover workers in agriculture, construction, landscaping, delivery, and food service; indoor and outdoor, including vehicles. 



Bernie Sanders is planning to introduce a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $17 an hour

Business Insider

By Juliana Kaplan, Ayelet Sheffey, and Eliza Relman

May 3, 2023

Bernie Sanders is planning to introduce a bill to raise the minimum wage to $17 an hour, reigniting his long-standing battle to hike federal pay standards as income inequality and corporate profits grow. Sanders confirmed to Insider that he will be introducing legislation to do just that on Thursday. He will be joined by workers and union leaders, including AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and SEIU International President Mary Kay, according to a media advisory. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25, an amount unchanged since 2008. With rising inflation, the wage is worth less than it has been in decades.


Lifting Workers Out of Poverty

The Progressive Magazine

By Sharon Johnson

May 3, 2023

About one-third of the U.S. workforce—fifty-two million people—earn less than $15 an hour, according to Oxfam America. Eighty-nine percent of the workers whose annual pay is less than $31,200 are aged twenty or older, its March 2022 report found. Women and people of color are disproportionately affected by low wages. Twenty-five percent of American men earn less than $15 an hour, while 40 percent of women do. That figure is 27 percent for white workers, compared with 46 percent of Latinx workers and 47 percent of Black workers. In addition to the Nebraska State AFL-CIO and the NAACP Lincoln Branch, the Raise the Wage Nebraska coalition included Planned Parenthood Advocates, Heart Ministry Center (the state’s largest food bank), and civic groups like the League of Women Voters and the Holland Children’s Movement, which works to prioritize children and families in state budgets.