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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

Berry Craig
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NLRB says ‘common law’ — and common sense — defines joint employers

Labor Tribune

By Mark Gruenberg

Dec. 4, 2023

Attempting to put an end, once and for all, to a controversy that has swirled for more than a decade, the National Labor Relations Board issued what it calls “a common law”— and common sense — rule on when joint employers are jointly responsible for obeying or breaking Labor law. Using that same “basic common sense” explanation, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler called the new rule “an important win” for workers. “The point of the rule is simple — when workers negotiate for fair wages and working conditions, companies shouldn’t be able to hide behind a subcontractor or staffing agency to deny us what we’ve rightfully earned. “Today, too many employers use intermediaries like staffing firms or temp agencies to evade their responsibilities under the law. This rule ensures union members can bargain with each company that has the power to make changes in the workplace. “The right to collectively bargain is nonexistent if the company that has the power to change workers’ terms and conditions of employment isn’t negotiating with workers.”



San Mateo County community colleges approve new contract

The Daily Journal

By Sierra Lopez

Dec. 4, 2023

After more than a year and a half of negotiations, the San Mateo County Community College District and its faculty have landed on a new contract that outlines pay increases, benefits updates and improved working conditions. College district trustees voted 4-0 — board President Lisa Petrides was absent — on Wednesday to approve a new contract with the San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1493. Of union members, 94% voted to ratify the new contract in November. 


One month later, AC Electric and striking union may have agreement

Courier Post

By Kaitlyn McCormick

Dec. 4, 2023

Atlantic City Electric and its almost 400 union employees have reached a tentative agreement after a month-long strike. Though details are confidential, the company said a proposed contract would make Veterans Day a fixed holiday for members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 201. Other factors include increases in pay premium, meal stipends, training pay and clothing allowances, as well as a work-from-home option for certain positions. The contract also would address vacation time and military leave.


College students at Smith, Mount Holyoke joining union wave

Daily Hampshire Gazette

By James Pentland

Dec. 4, 2023

 Joining a rising wave of fledgling student worker unions nationally and locally, student dining workers and residential advisers at Smith College have announced the formation of new unions to represent their interests. The student dining workers at Smith say their decision to form the United Smith Student Workers (USSW) is the result of mistreatment related to pay, training, safety concerns and management. The new union is affiliated with Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153.


Nurses at Ascension Via Christi to strike Wednesday


By KWCH Staff

Dec. 4, 2023

 Ascension Via Christi nurses in Kansas and Texas are prepared to strike on Wednesday. The National Nurses United said the registered nurses are protesting unsafe conditions management has failed to remedy. The nurses notified Ascension of their intent to strike last month. Although the strike is for one day, the nurses will not be able to return to work until Dec. 10. Ascension said that it is contractually obligated to provide four days of work for those who are temporarily replacing nurses.


Contract negotiations drag on for UChicago nurses, grad students

Fox 32 Chicago

By Fox 32 News

Dec. 4, 2023

Nurses and graduate students at the University of Chicago gathered Monday to demand their contract negotiations be finalized. Students are calling on the university to "settle their contracts without unnecessary delays." Graduate students are also demanding the university address the economic needs of those who provide educational services. "Nurses have been negotiating a new contract with the Medical Center for two months," said one National Nurses United member "We have already completed 10 bargaining sessions. While we have made progress on some non-economic issues, the University of Chicago remains unwilling to move on our proposals to safely staff the hospital. That ain't right."


The Jefferson gig workers who act as medical patients want to unionize

The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Juliana Feliciano Reyes

Dec. 4, 2023

In practice-exam rooms at medical schools across the city, there are workers who act as patients. They memorize entire character profiles — symptoms, family histories, emotional temperaments. Dressed in thin hospital gowns and underwear, they allow their bodies to be examined by students, who palpate their stomachs and scope their ears. In some instances, these “patients” may be instructed to scream or cry. And then they give the students feedback on their examination. Known as standardized patients, these gig workers say their roles are crucial to public health but invisible to the public and often undervalued. Now, the ones at Thomas Jefferson University want to unionize. OPEIU has filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election and is waiting for a date. If the union campaign is successful, it would likely be the first union of this kind of workers in the country.



UAW Local 598 donates $15,000 worth of toys

ABC 12

By Ryan Jeltema

Dec. 4, 2023

Members of United Auto Workers Local 598 took the day to give back to the community during the holidays on Saturday. The UAW members worked together on a massive drive with Toys for Tots. At the union hall in Flint on Sunday, visitors could see just how much money was raised and how many toys they bought for kids in need.