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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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At a time of uncertainty, LGBTQ+ community sees meaningful representation in latest Biden judicial nominees


By Nicole Chavez

Feb. 8, 2024

The Biden administration has nominated two LGBTQ+ women to the federal bench in a pattern that advocates and scholars say can help build public trust in a community that has faced political and legal threats. If Nicole Berner and Melissa DuBose are confirmed, the Biden administration will have appointed 11 LGBTQ+ judges to lifetime positions, tying the record set under the Obama administration, according to data analyzed by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a lobbying group. A coalition of labor unions, including the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union, released a statement in support of Berner’s nomination. Berner “exemplifies the type of diverse representation that is important in our justice system,” the statement said. “If confirmed, Ms. Berner will bring to the bench her life experience as a Jewish, LGBTQ woman, and will be the first openly LGBTQ judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.”



Bitter Battle Rages Over Effort To Raise Pilot Retirement Age To 67


By Ted Reed

Feb. 8, 2024

The battle over whether pilots older than 65 should fly commercial jets is still raging, although many in the airline industry say the pilot shortage has ended, ending the need. The contentious issue is being addressed as part of Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, which has become one more area where the Senate version is in conflict with the House version. The Senate version has the support of labor including the Air Line Pilots Association. “Raising the pilot retirement age is a solution in search of a problem,” ALPA President Jason Ambrosi said Wednesday. “Labor doesn’t want it; airlines are not calling for it, and the FAA says it shouldn’t happen. I’m not sure why we should be arguing about this.” At the press conference, Ambrosi was joined by Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO and Greg Reagan, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, an indication of labor backing. ALPA represents 77,000 pilots at 43 U.S. and Canadian airlines.



CBS News Digital Staffers Form Union, Demand Voluntary Recognition From Management


By Todd Spangler

Feb. 8, 2024

Amid a wave of layoffs sweeping across the media industry, writers and editors at CBS News Digital have formed a union with WGA East for the purpose of collective bargaining. An “overwhelming” majority of CBS News Digital’s 46-member bargaining unit signed union cards on Monday, Feb. 5, according to WGA East — and they are asking management to recognize the union. The union covers workers at CBS News digital platforms including, its mobile website, social-media channels and the CBS News app.



North Ridgeville enters into new contract with firefighters’ union

The Morning Journal

By Martin Mcconnell

Feb. 7, 2024

The city of North Ridgeville and the International Association of Firefighters Local 2129 of AFL-CIO officially entered into a new contract, according to the Mayor’s Office. North Ridgeville City Council approved the contract Feb. 5, ending the North Ridgeville Fire Department’s negotiation period. The negotiations went “relatively nice,” according to union executive Mark Cominsky.


Unionized hospitality workers in Baltimore to march for better pay

CBS News

By Amy Kawata

Feb. 8, 2024

Hospitality workers in Baltimore, from hotels to stadiums, are set to march Thursday for equal pay. The unionized workers say they're struggling financially since they last bargained, pointing to rising prices nearly everywhere. "Prices for gas and groceries have gone up so much since we last bargained," La'Tan Smith, a cook at the Hilton Baltimore, said in a statement announcing Thursday's demonstration. "As a cook, I make more than a lot of my co-workers, and I still have to choose between paying my car payment and buying food. We shouldn't have to struggle this much just because our bosses think they get away with paying Baltimore workers less."


After Three Years, Unionized Faculty at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts Reach Tentative Contract Agreement


By Francesca Aton

Feb. 8, 2024

After three years of negotiating, unionized faculty at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (UArts) announced on Instagram Sunday that they have reached a tentative contract agreement with school administrators for a first contract. The agreement came hours before a strike authorization vote slated for Monday. This would be the first contract passed since UArts faculty unionized in November 2020. The union has been fighting for such issues as job security, wages, and healthcare. Previously, there were also wage disparities between departments, as well as those teaching studio and lecture courses. They have held multiple actions, demonstrations, and picket lines, with contract negotiations beginning in March 2021. The union is organized under the United Academics of Philadelphia, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 9608.


IATSE Puts Strike Authorization Vote On the Table As Negotiations Near

The Hollywood Reporter

By Katie Kilkenny

Feb. 8, 2024

The major Hollywood crew union IATSE is planning on a potential strike authorization vote if deals on two major labor contracts are not reached around the time they expire on July 31. The union indicated that it is factoring the possible vote into its negotiations strategy in new contract campaign websites for its upcoming Basic Agreement and Area Standards Agreement talks. Both websites present a timeline of events before and after negotiations begin on March 4 for the Basic Agreement (covering West Coast workers) and, after, for the Area Standards Agreement (applying to workers outside of New York and L.A. and projected to begin in late April). Around the July 31 expiration date for the two deals, which collectively apply to more than 60,000 industry workers, IATSE says it expects either a ratification vote for a tentative deal or a vote that will gauge members’ interest in a walkout, “depending on the status of negotiations.”


Bend-La Pine Schools, union representing classified employees reach agreement on new 4-year contract


By KTVZ news sources

Feb. 8, 2024

Negotiators for Bend-La Pine Schools and Oregon School Employees Association Chapter 6 reached a conceptual agreement Wednesday evening on a new contract for about 900 classified employees in the school district, including those who transport students, run school offices, prepare and serve meals, clean and maintain facilities, support students in the classroom, and serve in other support roles.


PCC grocery workers ratify industry-leading contract

The Stand

By Staff

Feb. 8, 2024

After nearly a year of hard negotiations and a series of collective actions, workers at PCC held a day of voting Tuesday at all PCC locations on a new contract proposal. It was announced late Tuesday night that PCC workers at every store location, all members of UFCW 3000, had voted overwhelmingly to approve the new two-year agreement.



Unions push back on Iowa bill that would add new recertification requirement

Des Moines Register

By Kevin Baskins

Feb. 8, 2024

Several representatives of public employee unions voiced opposition to the proposal, saying it would penalize employees for the actions ― or lack thereof ― of their employers. The bill, Senate Study Bill 3158, would amend legislation passed in 2017 that requires collective bargaining units to hold recertification votes about 10 months before the expiration of their existing contracts ― typically, every two or three years. In the balloting, workers are asked to say whether they want to retain their current union representation.



Bus organizations participate in Stuff the Bus to benefit Project Topeka


By Shayndel Jones

Feb. 8, 2024

Bus organizations are participating in Stuff the Bus to benefit Project Topeka.Topeka Metro officials said they, along with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) #1360, are announcing on Thursday, Feb. 8 that the food drive will benefit Project Topeka from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10. A Topeka Metro bus will be staged at the front entrance of the Dillons Store at Fairlawn Plaza in Topeka. According to Topeka Metro, Stuff the Bus has occurred since 1986, the same year Project Topeka was established. Topeka Metro employees and bus operators will be on site to collect canned goods and non‐perishables to place inside the bus. We will also accept monetary donations. Last year, we gathered 2,500 lbs. of food and $400 in donations. We deliver the food and money directly to Project Topeka immediately after the food drive.