Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

INCOME INEQUALITY

IRS records show wealthiest Americans, including Bezos and Musk, paid little in income taxes as share of wealth, report says

The Washington Post

By Todd C. Frankel  and Douglas MacMillan

June 8, 2020

The wealthiest Americans — including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — paid little in federal income taxes at times in recent years despite soaring fortunes, according to Internal Revenue Service data obtained by ProPublica. The release of the records sent shock waves through Washington, with the federal government referring the unauthorized disclosure to investigators and some Democrats saying the revelations affirmed their long-held view that the richest Americans are able to shield much of their wealth from taxation.

WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH

Why this city is sending grocery workers $1,000 checks

The Washington Post

By Eli Rosenberg

June 8, 2021

A city in Southern California is using stimulus money to get hazard pay bonuses into the pockets of essential workers. In Oxnard, a city of about 208,000 northwest of Los Angeles, the city council unanimously approved a measure last week to give anyone who worked at least three months in a grocery store or pharmacy during the first 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic a $1,000 bonus.

 

JOINING TOGETHER

UCSF Fresno residents vote to unionize. They say protections were stripped, funding cut

Fresno Bee

By Yesenia Amaro

June 7, 2021

An overwhelming majority of UCSF Fresno interns, residents and fellow physicians voted to unionize after seeing their program benefits being slashed and the number of residency slots being decreased — actions they say took place in the midst of the pandemic, according to a Monday news release.

Union vote authorizes strike at South Dakota pork plant

ABC News

By Stephen Groves

June 8, 2021

The union at a Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota engaged in contract negotiations Tuesday armed with the authorization to call a strike. A strike authorization at the Sioux Falls chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union was overwhelmingly approved late Monday with 98% of the vote total, the union said. However, union leaders said they hope to avoid a work stoppage as they met with company representatives Tuesday.

IN THE STATES

Laborfest cancelled for second year due to pandemic concerns

Kenosha News

By Joe States

June 8, 2021

The 2021 Kenosha Laborfest has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19, the Kenosha AFL-CIO Council announced Tuesday. This will be the second straight that the celebration, which traditionally is held on Labor Day, has been called off due to the pandemic. In a statement released Tuesday, Council President Richard Gallo said that despite the recent loosening of CDC recommendations, AFL-CIO officials contend it would be too difficult to comply with recommended COVID-19 safety practices.

 

POLITICS

IATSE Praises Biden Budget Proposing  Record Increase for Federal Arts Funding

Georgia Entertainment News

By Staff

June 8, 2021

As the union behind entertainment, we know that funding for the arts directly impacts job growth and work for our skilled craftspeople. Federal arts agencies – like the National Endowment for the Arts – support working families, bolster local economies, and ensure all Americans have access to the arts and entertainment. The Biden administration’s proposed budget includes $201 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY2022. We also join our fellow arts, entertainment, and media industry (AEMI) unions affiliated with the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) in applauding the Biden administration’s commitment to racial equity and justice, which can be seen throughout the FY2022 budget. Earlier this year, the DPE AEMI unions – including IATSE – released A Policy Agenda for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries, which included attaching DEI objectives to federal arts funding and establishing a Chief Diversity Officer at the federal arts agencies.  We urge Congress to approve the President’s proposed funding levels for the federal arts agencies and to utilize our policy agenda to achieve DEI objectives in the arts, entertainment, and media industries.