Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

MUST READ

Joe Biden has laid down the gauntlet to other G7 nations – his ‘worker first’ policies are the blueprint for global recovery

Independent

By Frances O’Grady and Richard Trumka

June 9, 2021

As leaders from the world’s richest nations meet in Cornwall for the G7, significant global challenges are mounting. While many of the nations are continuing the rapid rollout of vaccines in their own countries, the pandemic is gathering pace elsewhere, and the global economic outlook remains bleak, with mass unemployment still a very real threat. On top of that, the economic challenges of the last decade which were thrown into focus by the 2008 financial crisis — rising inequality, stagnant wages and falling living standards – have not gone away. That’s why the G7 must step up and show serious ambition. On the agenda will be our global recovery from the pandemic, tackling the climate crisis and advancing democracy.

TRADE

U.S. asks Mexico to review a second complaint about labor violations in its auto industry.

The New York Times

By the New York Times

June 9, 2021

The action, announced Wednesday by the Labor Department and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, follows a complaint by groups including the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s largest federation of unions, that workers were being denied the rights of free association and collective bargaining. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. said workers at the Tridonex plant in Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, had been harassed and fired over their efforts to organize with an independent union in place of one controlled by the company. Tridonex is owned by Cardone Industries, an aftermarket auto-parts manufacturer based in Philadelphia.

U.S. files labor complaint against Mexican factory under USMCA enforcement rules

Reuters

By Reuters

June 9, 2021

The U.S. Trade Representative's office said it made the request involving the Tridonex auto parts factory in the northern border city of Matamoros after the AFL-CIO union federation petitioned the agency to review the case over allegations that the factory denied workers collective bargaining and free association rights.

JOINING TOGETHER

Strike Possible As Smithfield And Union Remain 'Far Apart' On Contract Negotiations

SDPB

By Arielle Zionts

June 9, 2021,

A South Dakota labor leader says he expects Smithfield and the Sioux Falls workers’ union to reach a contract negotiation this week, but if not, to expect a strike. The pork plant gained national attention when it became a coronavirus hotspot last year. The 3,700 workers produce about 5% of the nation’s pork each day.  Kooper Caraway is the president of the South Dakota Federation of Labor. He expects Smithfield and the Sioux Falls union to reach a contract agreement this week even though they remain ‘far apart’ on certain issues.  

IN THE STATES

IBEW Local 98 member the first female electrician to climb Limerick nuclear power plant cooling tower to install new aviation lights

Philly Voice

By IBEW Local 98

June 8, 2021

IBEW Local 98 Member Elaine McGuire, a Zone 1 Electrician with 22 years of experience, recently took on the challenge of climbing the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant’s massive cooling tower to install new aviation lights. The cooling tower project consisted of climbing 510 feet to the top where Elaine and an IBEW Local 98 North team of experienced electricians had to change out the existing beacon aviation lights. Elaine McGuire, a resident of Broomall, Delaware County, was the first female electrician in the union's history to take on and complete the daunting task. "Elaine McGuire earned a great deal of respect from her co-workers at the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant and the entire IBEW Local 98 membership for being the first female electrician to perform such an intimidating, but vitally important task," said IBEW Local Business Manager John J. Dougherty. "On behalf of the IBEW Local 98 leadership team, we congratulate Elaine on her milestone achievement."

In new Connecticut pay discrimination law, equal pay for equal work is now equal pay for comparable work

Hartford Courant

By Stephen Singer

June 9, 2021

Sal Luciano, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions, told lawmakers in February that some employers use salary history to screen out job applicants. Hiring managers may assume a job applicant whose salary is “too high” would refuse a lower-paying job and that another whose salary is “too low” does not have the skills, knowledge or experience for the job, he said. “Using salary history to evaluate and compare applicants’ job responsibilities and achievements assumes that prior salaries are an accurate measure of an applicant’s experience and achievements, and not the product of discrimination or gender bias,” Luciano said.

Massachusetts workers miss out on almost $1 billion in pay a year because of wage theft

Sentinel & Enterprise

By Colin A Young 

June 9, 2021

AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman said existing state laws have “proven to be ineffective to the scale of the problem of wage theft” and that unethical employers have “a very clear roadmap” on how to take advantage of their workers. “That roadmap says to outsource, to subcontract, oftentimes to employers whose bids come in impossibly low — and we all know how they come in so low,” he said. “But for too many employers, it pays not to ask because with the insulation of the subcontractor between you and the workers who you are profiting from, you’re shielded from the liability and you’ve created confusion among workers about who’s actually responsible to pay them,” Tolman said. “Now take that situation and add a few more layers of subcontracting and you have a situation that is nearly impossible for workers to navigate.”