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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Organized labor takes on the AI future


By Derek Robertson  

April 1, 2024

As artificial intelligence inserts itself into the American workplace, people are starting to worry about what might happen to actual human workers. Labor unions have become a political counterweight to some of AI’s potential harms, but the most venerable and powerful unions are also decades-old groups that struggle with social and technological change themselves. This weekend in POLITICO Magazine Tom McGrath profiled Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO, who has identified AI as a crucial challenge for unions to grapple with — and also as an opportunity for a movement that isn’t always seen as part of the high-tech landscape. “She’s determined not only to return organized labor to a place in American life that it hasn’t occupied for decades,” McGrath writes, “but for labor to help shape our technological future.”



How a Union Battle Could Decide Who Wins the U.S. Senate


By Alex J. Rouhandeh

April 1, 2024

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio branch of the AFL-CIO—America's largest federation of unions—told Newsweek that once organized labor mobilizes around a candidate, unions can tap into their extensive networks and existing infrastructure, to spread political messages. Through worksite outreach campaigns, door-to-door volunteers, and manpower to deploy traditional campaign mailers, unions can play a pivotal part in turning out voters. With Brown's robust labor record, Burga expects him to garner support across the board, saying, "I couldn't even quantify. It's really strong."



Barnes & Noble workers plan union drive at largest US bookstore chain

The Guardian

By Michael Sainato

April 1, 2024

Workers at America’s largest chain of bookstores are gearing up for a nationwide union drive after six Barnes & Noble outlets voted to organize over the past year. “Many more” stores will unionize, according to booksellers demanding better pay and conditions. At locations that already have, employees accuse the chain’s management of dragging their heels during contract negotiations. James Daunt, the CEO, is said to have embarked upon a months-long campaign to dissuade employees from voting in favor. “He would come in and essentially try to talk us out of unionizing,” said Jessica Sepple, a bookseller for more than two years at Barnes & Noble’s flagship New York City store in Union Square. “The big argument against us unionizing was it would make his life harder, which he would repeat several times. It wasn’t very successful.” The store voted 76-2 in favor of unionizing last summer, becoming one of three in New York City to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Another followed in Bloomington, Illinois, while two others – in San Jose, California, and Hadley, Massachusetts – joined other unions.


Eldora ski patrollers vote to form union

Rocky Mountian PBS

By Alison Berg and Andrea Kramar

April 1, 2024

In a 29-to-3 vote held Saturday, ski patrollers at Eldora Mountain Ski Resort followed in the powder tracks of seven other Colorado ski areas in voting to form a union through the United Professional Ski Patrols of America. “We have an incredibly strong team and just like when we’re dealing with medical emergencies on the mountain, we have each other’s backs and we’re ready to do what it takes to help each other out and to serve the greater good,” said Nick Lansing, a fourth-year ski patroller and member of the union organizing committee. “This is really incredible.” Eldora — couched in the northern part of Boulder County, one of the closets resorts to the metro area — is one of Colorado’s smaller ski areas and is owned by Utah-based POWDR. 


Unions at Oxford University Press and Barnes & Noble are continuing to organize the book world.

Literary Hub

By James Folta

April 1, 2024

Workers at the Oxford University Press Union are threatening to strike as negotiations with management continue to stall. The union has faced stiff resistance, and filed a successful complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that the Oxford University Press has broken the law by refusing to negotiate and by moving bargaining union work overseas. A strike may be next for the union as they continue to fight for better conditions and protections “to ensure the sustainability of OUP’s legacy and to serve as a model for fairness and stability across the industry.” Elsewhere, Barnes & Noble workers are gearing up to unionize more of the chain’s more than 600 stores. Organizing efforts have already been successful at seven stores, and workers are hoping to keep the momentum up and push for more.



Equitas Health union workers ratify their first contract with the LGBTQ+ health provider

The Columbus Dispatch

By Mark Williams

April 1, 2024

Equitas Health union workers have ratified their first contract with the LGBTQ+ health provider. Equitas Health Workers United, the union representing more than 200 frontline client-facing employees at 15 Equitas Health locations across the state, announced the ratification on Friday. The deal includes raises, a signing bonus and worker protections such as a binding grievance and arbitration process. About three-quarters of union members voted. Of that number, 96% voted in favor of the contract, according to the union. Equitas workers began organizing in 2021, filed for a union election in May 2022 and won the election in August 2022.


Washtenaw County employees picket for wage increase as negotiations continue on expired contract

Michigan Advance

By Jon King

April 1, 2024

Ignoring the wet, cold weather on Saturday, Washtenaw County employees marched outside the Washtenaw County Administration Building in downtown Ann Arbor, holding signs that demanded “Bargain Fairly” and “Fair Wages for Workers Now,” as passing cars honked in support. The employees, as well as their supervisors, are unionized with AFSCME Locals 2733 and 3052, and the Michigan Nurses Association. They work in the county’s court system, Community Mental Health (CMH), Juvenile Detention Center, Crisis Services and Parks and Recreation Department. Workers have been without a contract since Dec. 31 and are demanding equitable annual pay increases, similar to what non-union employees receive.


University of Maine Graduate Worker Union rally for a fair contract

The Maine Campus

By Steffi Victoria

April 1, 2024

On Tuesday, March 26, the University of Maine Graduate Worker Union (UMGWU) conducted a campus rally, drawing widespread support from graduate, teaching, research assistants, faculty, students and community members. During the afternoon’s contract negotiation session between the union representatives and administration officials at the Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center, all movement participants formed a unified assembly outside, advocating for an amenable agreement. “We are here today to push the University to move swiftly towards a fair contract for workers who uphold these universities of Maine, who deserve better working conditions,” said Andrea Tirrel, a graduate teaching assistant and UMGWU organizer.


University of New Haven facility workers picket for 'job security'

Stamford Advocate

By Brian Zahn

April 1, 2024

Members of a facilities workers' union and their supporters marched outside the University of New Haven's Bergami Hall over what they're calling a setback in UNITE HERE Local 217's contract negotiations with the university. The union, which included 38 members in its initial bargaining unit, has shrunk to 35 members in the last few months following three resignations. Facilities workers at the university said it's nothing new.



Boston Teachers Union president makes bid to lead group's parent organization


By Carrie Jung

April 1, 2024

The president of the Boston Teachers Union is setting her sights on the top leadership role of the group's statewide parent organization, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts. The bid by Jessica Tang comes as current AFT-MA leader Beth Kontos plans to step down from the role next month after six years in the position. If elected, Tang, 42, would become the first person of color to helm the organization, which is one of two statewide teacher unions in Massachusetts.


Union sisters visit Missouri Capitol to lobby for working women

Labor Tribune

By Staff

April 1, 2024

A group of 100 union sisters headed to the State Capitol March 6 for the 8th Annual Missouri Working Women’s Lobby Day in honor of International Women’s Day March 8. The event, hosted by the Missouri AFL-CIO, began at Bone’s Banquet Center in Jefferson City where legislators discussed the issues facing Missouri’s working women. Afterward, union members went to the Capitol where they lobbied state senators and representatives.



Former Culinary head and national labor leader D. Taylor steps aside

The Nevada Independent

By Howard Stutz

April 1, 2024

Labor leader D. Taylor, whose four-decade career in union organizing included helping Culinary Workers Union Local 226 become a Nevada political power, stepped down after 12 years as president of UNITE HERE, the local’s 300,000-member parent organization. UNITE HERE said Taylor’s departure took effect Easter Sunday but didn’t make the announcement until Monday morning. “I believe the next generation of leaders should get their shot,” Taylor said. Taylor, 67, whose given name is Donald but has always gone by D., will continue to serve as chairman of the union’s health and welfare fund and support ongoing efforts to organize the gaming industry.