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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Labor leaders, workers hopeful after President Biden and Microsoft announcements in Racine County


By Chuck Quirmbach

May 9, 2024

Rico Edmondson is a member of the Laborers Union and has already been working to help build the Microsoft data center. He says the announced expansion is good news. “That’s really good for me. Good for me and my brothers and sisters in all the trades, you know. More work means more money, to be honest with you," Edmonson said, laughing. Pam Fendt is President of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council. She also hopes to eventually organize the people who will work inside the data centers and doesn’t expect opposition from Microsoft. “There’s a historic framework agreement between the AFL-CIO and Microsoft to keep a labor peace situation. So, we have great faith that these end-use jobs will also be union. There’s already organizing attention being paid to it for all of these investments," Fendt tells WUWM.



Senate Approves Bill to Reauthorize F.A.A. and Improve Air Travel

The New York Times

By Kayla Guo

May 9, 2024

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation to reauthorize federal aviation programs for the next five years and put in place new safety measures and consumer protections for passengers, at a moment of intense uncertainty and disruption in the air travel system. The bill, which still must win final approval in the House before becoming law, would provide more than $105 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration and another $738 million to the National Transportation Safety Board for airport modernization, technology programs and safety. It would also bolster the hiring and training of air traffic controllers, codify airlines’ refund obligations to passengers, ensure fee-free family seating and strengthen protections for passengers with disabilities. 


First Lady Honors Teachers at Inaugural State Dinner

The Washington Informer

By Ashleigh Fields

May 8, 2024

First lady Dr. Jill Biden shined a spotlight on educators making an impact during the inaugural Teachers of the Year state dinner on May 2. From the president to national dignitaries, academic instructors and support staff from every U.S. state, territory and the Department of Defense Education were honored with special recognition, in addition to receiving an award from the Council of Chief State School Officers. “The real threat is that public education is central to our democracy, central to opportunity, central for kids in communities to thrive. [Book bans are] just another obstacle to stop us from doing the best job we can to help all kids learn,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told The Informer. “Every time there’s an obstacle that threatens a teacher, or makes it so hard that they leave the profession, or has them teaching on eggshells.”



Legacy Health’s primary care providers consider unionizing


By Jashayla Pettigrew

May 8, 2024

Legacy Health’s primary care providers could be the next to unionize. On Wednesday, a group of 150 workers across the healthcare company’s primary care clinics in Oregon and Southwest Washington sent union authorization cards to the National Labor Relations Board. According to the Oregon Nurses Association, the physicians, physician associates and nurse practitioners plan to join the Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association — part of the American Federation of Teachers.



Kroger and UFCW 951 initiate negotiations for new contract

Yahoo! Finance

By Staff

May 9, 2024

US supermarket chain Kroger and labour union United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 have commenced negotiations for a new contract. The negotiation and the new contract will affect more than 1,000 essential grocery workers in the US state of Michigan. This comes as their existing contract is set to expire on 15 June 2024. According to UFCW 951, discussions for a new contract started in late April at its headquarters in Kentwood, Michigan.


Boeing Locks Out Firefighters in Contract Dispute, and Biden Weighs In

The New York Times

By Niraj Chokshi

May 9, 2024

Contract negotiations between Boeing and a union representing firefighters at some of the company’s commercial plane factories broke down last week. On Thursday, President Biden called on both sides to return to the negotiating table. The company locked out about 125 workers represented by a chapter of the International Association of Firefighters union on Saturday after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract, said Casey Yeager, the president of the union chapter, I-66. The previous contract expired on March 1, but the firefighters, who work at Boeing’s plants in the Seattle area, continued to work under its provisions. On Thursday, Mr. Biden expressed support for the firefighters, saying he was “concerned” that Boeing had locked them out. “Collective bargaining is a right that helps employers and employees,” he said on X, adding, “I encourage folks to return to the table to secure a deal that benefits Boeing and gets these firefighters the pay and benefits they deserve.”


UAW and Southern auto jobs: Why it matters, even if you don’t own a car


By Marc Bayard

May 9, 2024

The United Auto Workers recently scored the largest union victory in decades in the South. Their success at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant could be a turning point for labor in a region long known for governmental hostility to unions. The next test will be a UAW election scheduled for the week of May 13 at a Mercedes-Benz factory in Alabama, a state that has attracted so much auto investment it has earned the nickname “the Detroit of the South.” If the roughly 5,000 Mercedes workers vote to unionize, the ripple effects could empower workers nationwide. For decades, Southern states have pursued “low-road” development strategies, luring investors with massive public subsidies and repressive labor policies. This has pitted workers across the country against each other, undercutting everyone’s ability to secure fair compensation.


Metro Atlanta app drivers are rallying for union representation


By Marlon Hyde

May 9, 2024

On May 1, around 50 Atlanta drivers for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft joined a nationwide protest asking for higher wages and more worker protections. A handful of picketers were outside the state Capitol holding signs such as “App Workers Want a Union.” Justice For App Workers is a group leading drivers to push for a fairer pay structure and improved safety. Organizers also say drivers of color are disproportionally deactivated from apps, losing their opportunity to work.



Tesla interfered with union organizing at New York plant, US agency claims

By Reuters

May 9, 2024

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been accused by a U.S. labor agency of discouraging workers at a Buffalo, New York assembly plant from union organizing by barring them from using phones and other devices, an agency spokeswoman said on Thursday. A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official issued a complaint late Wednesday claiming Tesla's workplace rule banning personal technology use, recording, and storing or sharing content violates U.S. labor law, according to the spokeswoman, Kayla Blado.


When Employers Violate the NLRA, the Harm is Always Irreparable

On Labor

By Andrew Strom

May 8, 2024

The Supreme Court recently heard argument in Starbucks Corp. v. McKinney, a case where employers are trying to make it more difficult for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to obtain preliminary injunctions that undo an employer’s illegal acts while a case is pending. Without a preliminary injunction, an employer can interfere with organizing rights or refuse to bargain, knowing that it will take years before it is required to comply with a final judgment.  Everyone agrees that to obtain a preliminary injunction, the NLRB must show that in the absence of an injunction there will likely be irreparable harm.  The fight is over what constitutes irreparable harm. This is an instance where we should watch what employers do, and not what they say. Employers often make exceedingly weak arguments to the NLRB, and exhaust their appeals because they understand that the delay imposes harms on workers, and under current law workers are not compensated for those harms.



Bill penalizing voluntary recognition of unions is headed to governor’s desk

Alabama Political Reporter

By  Chance Phillips

May 9, 2024

But Bren Riley, the president of the Alabama chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, is a harsh critic of the bill. Riley called it “an ALEC bill,” referring to the American Legislative Exchange Council.



Letter Carriers launch “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive, look to increase donations

People’s World

By Press Associates

May 9, 2024

With 44 million people in the U.S., including 15 million kids, going to bed hungry every night, the Letter Carriers kicked off their annual “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive with a ceremony at union headquarters on May 8. The drive, which depends on voluntary donations of non-perishable food, or cash, or both, helps re-stock pantries, shelters and other sources of free food for those who lack something to eat, said NALC President Brian Renfroe. The shelters “are desperate to meet their needs,” he added. “Letter Carriers know the struggles that people in their communities face—we see it every day. For more than three decades, we’ve helped to meet their needs, and it’s time to do so again.” Last year, Letter Carriers collected 43 million pounds of food and spent the Saturday before Mother’s Day—just as they will this May 11—collecting it and redistributing it to food providers whose stocks are running low. The NALC’s drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation.


Nominate members, unions for WSLC’s 2024 awards

The Stand

By Staff

May 9, 2024

Each year at its annual convention, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO presents awards recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of specific union organizations and individual union members. At the WSLC’s 2024 Constitutional Convention at the Coast Wenatchee Hotel and Convention Center on July 16-18, these awards will once again be presented to honor exceptional work within Washington’s labor movement. The WSLC is calling on its affiliated unions to submit names for consideration. The deadline for nominations for all awards is June 1.