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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Biden tariffs will 'level playing field' for workers: AFL-CIO pres.

Yahoo! Finance

By Brian Sozzi

May 14, 2024

"It's created an unlevel playing field for workers where you have an auto worker struggling to keep a good job in the auto industry because they're competing against a country that's taking advantage of manipulating their currency or instituting unfair practices," American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Liz Shuler tells Yahoo Finance Executive Editor Brian Sozzi. The AFL-CIO is America's largest union federation comprised of 60 unions — both domestic and international — and over 12 million employed and retired workers. Shuler provides several examples of the methods China has used to undermine American workers, including steel and aluminum producers, while outlining the trust union leaders have in President Biden.



New Alabama Law Punishes Union-Friendly Employers


By Dave Jamieson

May 14, 2024

After Georgia approved its bill, Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO labor federation, called the legislation “appalling,” and said it undermines the “fundamental freedoms” of both workers and employers. Labor groups could mount legal challenges to the laws on the grounds that they conflict with the National Labor Relations Act, the federal law covering collective bargaining in the private sector. Benjamin Sachs, a labor law professor at Harvard Law School, recently told HuffPost that he believed state laws like Alabama’s will probably be overridden by the federal law.


AFL-CIO blasts ‘sad and sinister’ Alabama union law from ‘bought-and-paid-for’ politicians

By John Sharp

May 14, 2024

Representatives of the country’s largest federation of unions are blasting a newly signed Alabama law that restrictions voluntary recognition of unions by employers within the state. The Alabama president and national secretary-treasurer of the American Federal of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO), blasted the law. “Working families in Alabama deserve far better than these crooked politicians who are only looking out for themselves and the interests of their corporate donors,” said Bren Riley, president of the Alabama AFL-CIO. “The Alabama labor movement will continue to fight these pathetic attempts at undermining the freedoms of honest, hard-working people in our state and will never stop defending workers’ rights to organize for the wages and dignity they serve.” Fred Redmond, secretary-treasurer with the AFL-CIO, said the legislation is “bad for Alabama’s business as it is for Alabama’s workers,” adding that it “disenfranchises and demeans” the state workers “who want the freedom to improve their workplaces and lives.” “It also strips business owners of their freedoms by limiting how they choose to conduct their labor relations,” Redmond said. “Unions are democracies, and the majority of America’s workers would join a union right now if they could. The passage of SB231 is another instance of extremist lawmakers bent on eroding our rights and our democratic ideals.”



Alaska Telecommunications Leaders Partner to Encourage Alaskans to Consider Telecom Careers

Financial Times

By Staff

May 14, 2024

The partnership is in support of NECA/IBEW’s Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust (AJEATT). The trust, commonly referred to as electrical apprenticeship school, provides hands-on classroom and on-the-job training for a variety of electrical jobs, including telecommunications. Nearly $2 billion in federal broadband funding is earmarked to connect rural Alaska to the internet. MTA was awarded a USDA Grant Project in Tyonek and Beluga. This project will construct over 50 miles of fiber, bringing Alaska closer to its goal of closing the digital divide. Alaska Communications’ partners have received more than $100 million so far to build reliable, high-speed fiber broadband in 15 communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.



Too many flight attendants earn so little they live out of cars

The Street

By Veronika Bondarenko

May 14, 2024

While the early days of aviation helped cement the image of the glamorous flight attendant, the reality often could not be farther from it. Despite dealing with unpredictable hours and increasingly difficult passengers, flight attendants often have salaries that are nothing to write home about — Labor Department data shows that the average flight attendant in the U.S. earned just over $63,000 last year. "While Alaska Airlines executives reward themselves with millions in bonuses, frontline Flight Attendants literally have to choose between buying groceries and paying their bills," AFA Alaska President Jeffrey Peterson said in a statement on the findings. “By dragging out contract negotiations, management is harming Flight Attendants. Enough delay. We demand a fair contract now."


Scoop: The Athletic employees mull union


By Sara Fischer

May 14, 2024

Staffers at The Athletic are in active discussions about forming a union, sources told Axios. The conversations have ramped up as The Athletic becomes further integrated with its parent, the New York Times. The Athletic would likely need to form its own bargaining unit within the NewsGuild of New York and establish its own contract with management. Sources told Axios there have been conversations about a unionization effort between the NewsGuild and some staffers from The Athletic.



Mercedes-Benz workers in Alabama are voting to join the UAW. Here's what's at stake for workers nationwide.

ABC News

By Max Zahn

May 14, 2024

Thousands of Mercedes-Benz workers in Alabama are voting on a union this week, marking a major test for the United Auto Workers just one month after a watershed victory in nearby Tennessee. The UAW faces a more difficult contest this time around because Mercedes-Benz has carried out an anti-union campaign, attempting to dissuade workers and tilt the outcome, experts told ABC News. A victory would hold significant implications, redoubling the union’s momentum as it seeks to organize a slew of additional plants throughout the South, where auto workers have struggled to gain a foothold for decades, they said.


Co-chair of Poor People’s Campaign gives pro-UAW speech in Montgomery

Alabama Political Reporter

By Chance Phillips

May 14, 2024

On Monday night, Bishop William Barber II spoke to Hyundai employees and other community members at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Montgomery. Barber is a minister, the founder of the religious nonprofit Repairers of the Breach, and a co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. Workers at the Hyundai plant in Montgomery began a union organizing drive in February. While auto workers at the Mercedes plant in Vance are voting in a union election this week, the campaign at the Hyundai plant has yet to get a majority of workers to sign authorization cards and is still a ways away from filing for an official election. “We’re here tonight because workers are crying out for justice,” said Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a Baptist preacher who works with the Poor People’s Campaign.


Hotel union workers end strike against Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with contract talks set for Tuesday

ABC News

By The Associated Press

May 14, 2024

Nevada's largest labor union concluded a 48-hour strike Sunday meant to pressure Virgin Hotels Las Vegas to agree to a five-year contract on wages and benefits. More than 700 workers with Culinary Union Local 226 walked off the job at the 1,500-room hotel-casino near the Las Vegas Strip on Friday morning and ended the strike Sunday morning. Contract talks are set to resume on Tuesday. Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, and laundry and kitchen workers were among those walking the picket line in front of Virgin Hotels, formerly the Hard Rock Las Vegas. Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the union, said workers hoped the 48-hour strike would help expedite a new agreement. The union’s contract with Virgin Hotels expired 11 months ago.


Employees of Torrington's cannabis store vote to join union: 'Collective voice in the workplace'

The Register Citizen

By Emily M. Olson

May 14, 2024

The employees at Still River Wellness, a medical and retail cannabis store, voted to join Local 371's Cannabis Workers Rising division. Unionizing is a "significant step" for the cannabis industry workers, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 371 said. "The decision to form a union was driven by Still River Wellness’ employees' desire to have a collective voice in the workplace; negotiate fair wages, benefits and working conditions; and ensure a safe and inclusive work environment," union officials said.


After 16 months and a strike, PeaceHealth signs contract with Eugene area hospice nurses

The Register-Guard

By Miranda Cyr

May 14, 2024

After 16 months of negotiations, a strike and unfair labor practice reports, nurses with PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services have ratified a four-year contract with PeaceHealth. The Oregon Nurses Association represents approximately 90 nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services in Springfield. These nurses serve over 500 patients and perform crucial home visits for vulnerable individuals in Lane County — some of whom are in the final days, weeks or months of their lives.


Clinicians at Legacy Health Move to Unionize

Med Page Today

By Michael DePeau-Wilson

May 14, 2024

Physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners from Oregon-based Legacy Health announcedopens in a new tab or window that they intend to unionize, following in the footsteps of other doctors from Legacy hospitals over the past year. Roughly 150 primary care providers plan to unionize with the Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association (PNWHMA), a hospitalist-specific labor union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. The group submitted union authorization cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on May 8, and the agency will hold a hearing to set an election date in the coming weeks, according to a press releaseopens in a new tab or window.


University of Washington student workers go on strike

The Hill

By Sarah Fortinsky

May 14, 2024

Thousands of academic student employees at the University of Washington (UW) went on strike on Tuesday, after union representatives and university officials failed to reach an agreement on wages Monday night. The union, United Auto Workers Local 4121, has held bargaining sessions with university officials since February, and all but one provision in the contract — wages — has been resolved.


Telecommunications union workers picket in Greenville


By Hojung Ryu

My 14, 2024

Telecommunications workers raised their pickets and voices on the side of busy Greenville Boulevard Tuesday morning. The Communications Workers of America, also known as CWA is demanding that Brightspeed Internet stop outsourcing their workers to contractors. Union representative Brian Sawyer says bringing high-speed internet throughout the east is important and in order to do that, they need a fairer contract. “They mandate overtime and have extenuating long hours and require these technicians to go outside of their normal work areas extensively for prolonged periods. We want to address that in bargaining because we believe that if Brightspeed has an adequate labor force staffed, the work-life balance can be maintained,” Brain Sawyer, the union representative said.



National Labor Relations Board hearing begins for proposed Berea College labor union


By Shepherd Snyder

May 14, 2024

The National Labor Relations Board began hearing testimony from Berea College students hoping to form a labor union on campus Tuesday. The Board hearing was originally scheduled for March 27 before two postponements pushed it to May. Berea College says the main reason for the delay was to allow time for the school to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and has since sent legal notices to students. Student information could be shared as part of the hearing’s proceedings. The United Student Workers of Berea announced their plans to organize under the Communications Workers of America banner in March. The school requested an indefinite postponement days after the group’s original filing.



Missouri voters to decide on higher wages, paid sick leave for all workers

Labor Tribune

By Staff

May 13, 2024

“I’ve been a part of several ballot initiatives, and this has been by far the biggest show of power from grassroots groups I’ve ever seen,” said Sharon Al-Uqdah, retired American Postal Workers Union Local 67 president. “Hundreds took to the streets, union halls, front porches and festivals to talk with our neighbors and put this on the ballot. On kick off day, grassroots leaders gathered more than 8,400 signatures in a single day.”



King Co. labor celebrates at Labor Oscars

The Stand

By Staff

May 14, 2024

King County union members, leaders and allies gathered on Friday, May 10 to celebrate the work of the labor movement over the past year at Labor Oscars. The event was held at the new union-built and operated Seattle Convention Center Summit which opened in 2023. Labor Oscars celebrated the people who have done outstanding work to improve the lives of working people in King County. More than 100 people were nominated for 11 Labor Oscar awards. The MLK Labor Board served as the “Academy” by selecting winners. The finalists for each category were recognized at the event to heavy applause. The awards began by honoring the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA, AFL-CIO) as the Ally of the Year for their work turning people out for actions and events. Natasha Crepeau of UAW 4121 won a close vote for Best Shop Steward. The event concluded with Sean Bagsby of IBEW 46 winning Best Principal Officer and Terri Mast (Inlandboatmen’s Union) and Leonard Smith (Teamsters 117) taking home the Lifetime Achievement award.