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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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At APEC trade meeting, union leaders call for new 'balance' with China


By Joseph White

May 25, 2023

U.S. trade policy with China and other nations must strike a more equitable balance between needs of workers and corporate profits, leaders of two big U.S. unions said at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting on Thursday. "We're not anti-trade," United Auto Workers union President Shawn Fain said during a panel discussion led by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. "We're anti-trade (when) it's a one-sided affair." Fain said U.S. China trade was not balanced. "You can send something to China and it costs 10 times what it costs here, and they flood our market with products," he said. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frederick Redmond, who joined Fain and Tai for a discussion of labor's role in trade policy, said "we don't expect Ambassador Tai to give one inch to the encroachment of China."



UAW's Fain blames 'greed' for 'unfair' trade policies that hurt workers

The Detroit News

By Breana Noble

May 25, 2023

The president of the United Auto Workers told a group of foreign ambassadors Thursday that "labor is not the enemy" as he blamed "unfair" trade policies driven by "greed" for shrinking the union and causing lower standards of living. The comments from Shawn Fain came during a panel before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and just weeks after Fain called employers like Detroit's three automakers "the enemy" during the UAW's own bargaining convention. At Thursday's event, Fain, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai emphasized the need for "worker-centered" agreements in which all parties benefit.

UAW, AFL-CIO leaders say workers need to be at center of trade policy

Detroit Free Press

By Eric D. Lawrence

May 25, 2023

UAW President Shawn Fain and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond called for trade policies Thursday that improve the lives of workers and benefit their communities rather than force a “race to the bottom” through deals that boost the fortunes of wealthy people at the expense of others. “Here in America, free trade deals, they had a disproportionately negative impact on communities and particularly workers of color. These trade deals, they gutted communities, and they really deepened inequality in this country amongst workers,” said Redmond, whose union represents 12.5 million members. “We have the opportunity to reverse the damage through trade policies with workers at the center.”



Workers at Third B&N Store File for Union Election

Publishers Weekly

By Jim Milliot 

May 25, 2023

Barnes & Noble workers at the Park Slope, Brooklyn store filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on May 25, seeking representation from the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU). The news comes a little less than a month after workers at the flagship B&N store in Union Square, Manhattan launched their own union drive, and on the same day as 15 workers at the B&N outlet in Hadley, Mass., voted unanimously to join the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1459. In a release, the RWDSU said that a majority of workers had signed RWDSU authorization cards and that workers had asked B&N to voluntarily recognize the union "so that contract negotiations could commence swiftly." The election, the union added, could be held as early as next month. There are more than 30 union-eligible workers at the store, including baristas, booksellers, cashiers, and maintenance staff.


Union workers to rally in LA for better wages, benefits

The Sun

By Kevin Smith

May 25, 2023

Scores L.A. County workers employed in hospitality, tourism, food service, entertainment and other industries plan to rally in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, May 26 to call for higher wages, better benefits and safer workloads as they struggle to keep pace with high housing costs. The union employees, whose labor contracts have expired or are set to expire this year, are looking to “lift the low standards” amid a major housing crisis. Their contracts are overseen by nine labor unions that collectively represent more than 200,000 workers. They include SEIU Local 721, Writers Guild of America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Unite Here Local 11, among others. Yvonne Wheeler, president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, said Friday’s event will allow the employees to speak with one powerful and unified voice.

TruStage workers extend strike over unfair labor practices

The Cap Times

By Natalie Yahr

May 25, 2023

The biggest strike in the Madison area in more than a decade could extend through June, as unionized workers at TruStage, formerly CUNA Mutual Group, enter their 15th month without a contract. About 450 of the 1,750 workers at the company’s Madison office have been on strike over unfair labor practices since Friday, the first strike since the office unionized in the 1940s. On Tuesday, workers voted 94% to authorize the union to extend the one-week strike, which was originally scheduled to end Thursday, if they don’t reach a satisfactory agreement with management. The union, Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 39, alleges that management illegally fired their union’s chief steward and refused to bargain in good faith. Workers have been picketing outside the company’s headquarters at 5910 Mineral Point Road.



Gov. Walz signs Paid Family and Medical Leave Act into law


By Staff

May 25, 2023

Governor Tim Walz signed the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act into law Thursday afternoon. The bill gives Minnesota workers up to 12 weeks of paid time off for a serious medical condition or pregnancy, or to care for a family member. Individuals can claim a maximum of 20 weeks of paid leave in a single year. On Thursday, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan were joined by House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, legislators, and advocates, including Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bernie Burnham and Doran Schrantz, executive director of ISAIAH and Faith in Minnesota.