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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Steelworkers win vote at Blue Bird bus plant in Georgia

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

May 16, 2023

In a big win for the Steelworkers and a big break in the normally union-hostile South, workers at the Blue Bird school bus company plant in rural Fort Valley, Ga., voted for the union on May 12, 697-435. The bargaining unit would cover 1,350 workers, the National Labor Relations Board reports. Total employment at the plant is 2,400.



James Holbrook: Protect our fight for a fair deal; confirm Julie Su as secretary of labor (Opinion)

Helena Independent Record

By James Holbrook

May 16, 2023

Workers across our state are fighting for better contracts, fair pay and safer working conditions every day. We need elected officials and those appointed by President Biden to protect our freedom to fight for what we’ve earned. That’s why we’re calling on Sen. Daines and Sen. Tester to vote to approve the nomination of Julie Su for secretary of labor. As prices soar and the wealthiest corporations are trying to rig the economy in their favor through stock buybacks, union busting and corporate monopolies, we need those we’ve elected to take action and protect Montana's working families and our local economies. That starts by making sure our leaders are crafting policy and legislation that puts working families first and protects our freedom to bargain for a fair deal.



Strippers and California Club Reach Accord on Union After Long Fight

The New York Times

By Noam Scheiber and Ava Sasani

May 16, 2023

Now, under a set of agreements finalized Monday, Star Garden has dropped its ballot challenges and agreed to work with the union, paving the way for the dancers to join the century-old actors and stage managers union, Actors’ Equity Association. That appears to make them the first strip-club dancers to unionize in the United States since the 1990s. Kate Shindle, the union’s president, said the victory could help advance workers’ rights in an industry rife with exploitation and physical hazards. “We felt like we could help them,” Ms. Shindle said in an interview during last fall’s mail-in election. “The things we already pay attention to in contract negotiations and enforcement are also issues that these dancers were confronting: Audience interaction, unsafe stages, broken glass, sexual harassment.”


Union Win at Bus Company Electrifies Georgia

Labor Notes

By Luis Feliz Leon

May 16, 2023

After a bruising three-year fight, workers at school bus manufacturer Blue Bird in Fort Valley, Georgia, voted May 12 to join United Steelworkers (USW) Local 697. “It’s been a long time since a manufacturing site with 1,400 people has been organized, let alone organized in the South, let alone organized with predominantly African American workers, and let alone in the auto industry,” said Maria Somma, organizing director with the USW. “It’s not a single important win. It’s an example of what’s possible—workers wanting to organize and us being able to take advantage of a time and a policy that allowed them to clear a path to do so.” The high-turnout vote was 697 to 435. At two factories and a warehouse near Macon, the workers build school buses and an array of specialty buses. Blue Bird is the second-largest bus manufacturer in the country, after Daimler Truck’s Thomas Built Buses. The Auto Workers (UAW) represent workers at a Thomas Built facility in North Carolina.


Strike continues on Tuesday for First Student bus drivers at Dalton Public Schools

Local 3 News

By Dallas Payeton

May 16, 2023

Tuesday is day two of picketing for Dalton Public Schools bus drivers. They are pushing for fair labor practices from their employer First Student. Bus drivers with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) recently filed an unfair labor practice against first student. Monday evening, First Student and the union members met for negotiations.



Report: Alabama is one of the top 10 deadliest states for workers

Alabama Political Reporter

By Patrick Darrington

May 16, 2023

The AFL-CIO released a report recently that revealed Alabama as one of the top 10 deadliest states in the country for workers. Based on data from 2021, Alabama ranked 7th with a 5.5 percent fatality rate out of 100,000 workers. Aside from fatalities Alabama also had a 2.4 percent rate of injury or illness out of 100 workers. However, due to underreporting the true rate of injury or illness is assumed to be higher than is actually documented. Jacob Morrison, secretary-treasurer for the North Alabama Area Labor Council, said he was not surprised about Alabama’s unsafe working conditions. Morrison told APR that the report was indicative of the lack of unionization in Alabama, right-to-work laws and zero support from politicians of either party in favor of workers. Bren Riley, the president of the Alabama AFL-CIO, said the unions are willing to work with employers to create safer workplaces for the workers.  “We believe a safe workplace is a more productive workplace,” Riley said. “That’s what we stand for and we want everyone to leave with all of their body parts.”