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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Union workers at Clarios automobile battery manufacturer go on strike


By Jay Skebba

May 8, 2023

Hundreds of union workers at the Clarios automobile battery plant in Holland walked off the job Monday morning. UAW Local 12 President Bruce Baumhower said the facility employs about 500 people who have been in negotiations with the company for several months. The previous contract was extended multiple times in an attempt to reach a fair agreement.


UMass Dartmouth grad-student employees form union

Dartmouth Week

By Magnolia McComish

May 8, 2023

UMass Dartmouth graduate student employees let out cheers of joy on Thursday, April 27 after they voted to officially become a labor union after months of effort. Of the 122 certified votes received at the on-campus election only three were against unionizing, said AJ Vincelli, a seventh-year PhD student in Protein Engineering who is among those leading the unionization drive. That high favorability for a union “speaks very loudly of how horribly mistreated our graduate students have been,” said Vincelli. UMass Dartmouth could not be reached for comment. The students will join the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts (AFT MA) union. Prior to this vote, UMass Dartmouth was the only UMass campus other than the medical school that did not have a union for grad-student employees and had among the lowest compensation rates of the four main campuses, organizers said.


Chicago REI store workers vote to join union

Chicago Sun-Times

By David Roeder

May 8, 2023

Workers at the Near North Side store of REI have voted to unionize, part of a nationwide push to organize at the outdoors retailer. Employees at the 905 W. Eastman St. store voted to affiliate with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The proposed bargaining unit will cover about 64 employees.

Organizers cited a “living wage” and more predictable hours as key goals for collective bargaining. They also cited a pattern of unfair treatment by REI, a company based near Seattle that is organized as a co-op.


The WGA Strike Is a Fight Against Silicon Valley’s Gigification of the Entire Economy


By Andrew Wolf

Thousands of Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers in New York City and Los Angeles are on strike fighting the impact of technological innovation on their industry and earnings. These entertainment writers are in many ways the original gig workers. Even for unionized writers, job security never lasts more than a few weeks. Much like other gig workers including Uber drivers and DoorDash delivery workers, technological innovations driven by Silicon Valley firms have been used to drive down wages and to justify rewriting the terms of employment in the industry to workers’ detriment. Where taxi drivers saw their work moved onto apps like Uber and its independent contractor model, writers saw their shows moved from broadcast networks to streaming services — with entertainment bosses insisting that residuals, the compensation writers receive on reruns and other future revenue generated from their work, no longer need to be paid.


Union workers at Clarios automobile battery manufacturer go on strike (Video)



May 8, 2023

About 500 employees at the plant are UAW members. UAW Local 12 President says the company's current proposal would cost workers money.


Culinary strike to target Las Vegas hospital

Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Ricardo Torres-Cortez 

May 8, 2023

A planned strike by back-of-the-house workers at Valley Hospital Medical Center set for Tuesday was delayed at the last hour after the employer made “significant proposals” in the union contract negotiations, according to Culinary Local 226. “In order to continue progress, the Culinary Union negotiating committee voted today to extend the strike by 10 days,” the Culinary wrote in a statement Monday night. “The Culinary Union urges Valley Hospital to do the right thing and settle a fair contract that protects worker’s health care and pension, and provides significant raises to deal with inflation and the rising cost of living.”


St. Charles, Bend nurses face off again over claims of unsafe staffing, unfair labor practices as talks continue


By Bola Gbadebo

May 8, 2023

As negotiations between the St. Charles Bend nurses and the hospital continue, nurses filed multiple unsafe staffing complaints against the hospital on Friday, the Oregon Nurses Association said Monday. The nurses are pressing their claims that the hospital is "severely understaffed and continues to violate Oregon’s hospital safe staffing law, creating health and safety hazards for local patients, caregivers and the community." 


Laborers Local 955 members end strike at Wildcat Materials with fair contract, community support

Labor Tribune

By Staff

May 8, 2023

Laborers (LiUNA) Local 955 members at Wildcat Materials ended their strike and went back to work on April 27 after voting unanimously to ratify a new fair contract. Wildcat Materials originally offered only three percent raises in each of the three years of the contract, but after a week-and-a-half long strike and a full day of negotiations on April 26, the company agreed to 10 percent raises in each of the three years of 2023, 2024 and 2025. Local 955 members ratified the contract on April 27 and went back to work the same day.



One out of every five state jobs in Nevada are vacant, workers lobby for better wages


By Audrey Mayer

May 8, 2023

About one out of every five state jobs in Nevada are unfilled, according to the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The trade union along with a number of state employees lobbied at the Capitol Complex Monday. State employees say because of all the job vacancies, many workers are doing the job of two or sometimes even three people. “Wait times for DMV appointments are months out. It means youth with special needs are delayed in getting the early intervention and treatment for services they need to grow. It means our most vulnerable populations are not getting the mental health services they need to survive," said Harry Schiffman, President of AFSCME and Unpaid Lobbyist at the Nevada Legislature.



He Died Helping Build Tesla’s Gigafactory. Tesla Didn’t Tell Local Officials.

Texas Observer

By Gus Bova

May 8, 2023

Shocking as it seems, on-the-job fatalities like Ramirez’s are somewhat routine in Texas. The state is arguably the nation’s deadliest for workers in general and construction laborers in particular, with heat playing a significant and systemically underrecognized role in work-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths. Despite Texas’ sweltering temperatures, state law doesn’t mandate that employees receive rest breaks. Federal law broadly tasks employers with providing safe workplaces but doesn’t specifically require breaks or other heat precautions. Texas, among the nation’s least-unionized states, also stands alone in letting most private-sector employers opt out of workers’ compensation insurance altogether. The dangers bred by this system of neglect tend to fall heaviest on immigrant and non-white men. Tesla, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company, stormed into employer-friendly Texas in 2020 with plans both to build its newest Gigafactory and relocate its headquarters to the Travis County site, nestled in a sweeping bend of the Colorado River a few miles from Austin’s airport. Behind the corporation trailed a long history of worker safety violations, along with allegations of underreporting injuries to regulators, in California and Nevada. Central Texas labor advocates sounded the alarm, and county government extracted some safety promises in return for tax breaks. But Ramirez’s case, which the Texas Observer has spent five months investigating, not only exposes the state’s shredded safety net for manual laborers but also reveals that Tesla failed to comprehensively report accidents in compliance filings required by the county.