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Today's AFL-CIO Press Clips

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Schumer releases long-awaited AI roadmap: Here’s what it includes

The Hill

By Rebecca Klar 

May 15, 2024

“After talking to advocates, critics, academics, labor groups, civil rights leaders, stakeholders, developers, and more, our working group was able to identify key areas of policy that have bipartisan consensus. Now, the work continues with our Committees, Chairmen, and Ranking Members to develop and advance legislation with urgency and humility,” Schumer said in a statement. 


House clears FAA bill for Biden

Roll Call

By Valerie Yurk

May 15, 2024

Aviation and engineering unions have applauded other workforce language in the bill, including provisions that would require the FAA to update its aviation safety inspector model to boost hiring of safety inspectors and other specialists. The bill would also expand the Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program to include hiring and training of the aviation manufacturing workforce.



Chicago’s service and cultural workers are unionizing like never before.

Chicago Reader

By DMB (Debbie-Marie Brown)

May 15, 2024

As the pandemic first sank its talons into the service industry—closing hotels, restaurants, grocers, and retail stores—service were lauded as “essential workers.” Since then, they’ve been unionizing their workplaces at a speed the U.S. hasn’t seen in more than half a century. Between March 2022 and April 2024, about 290 workers at nine Chicago hotels, bars, and restaurants won union representation with Unite Here Local 1. These new contracts include a minimum wage of $25 per hour, health care coverage, and new or strengthened pensions. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), representing 35,000 museum workers nationally, has seen similar gains. Since 2021, staff at the Art Institute of Chicago, School of the Art Institute, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Newberry Library, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) all joined AFSCME Council 31. Shedd Aquarium employees recently announced their intent to unionize.


Are Advertising and Marketing on the Brink of a Union Wave?

Non Profit Quarterly

By Jill Webb

May 15, 2015

When one thinks of unions within the media industry, film and television actors and reporters likely come to mind. These sectors have been highly unionized for decades, mainly through SAG-AFTRA, NewsGuild-CWA (Communication Workers of America), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and the Writers Guild of America. Even newer iterations of these fields—like digital journalism—have had recent organizing gains.


Gideon’s Bakehouse workers speak out about working conditions at Disney Springs, plan to unionize

Orlando Weekly

By McKenna Schueler

May 15, 2024

Workers at the steampunk-style Gideon’s Bakehouse at Disney Springs have announced plans to unionize after capturing the attention of customers near and far earlier this week, with claims shared online of ghastly low pay, unsanitary working conditions and alleged retaliation for speaking up about it. Organized under the moniker "the Ghosts of Gideon," a group of workers at Gideon’s Disney Springs location (it’s unclear how many) shared their concerns with Orlando Weekly in a press release over the weekend, then went public with their demands for change at the popular bakery earlier this week on Reddit and Instagram.



Condé Nast Union Overwhelmingly Ratifies First Contract

The Hollywood Reporter

By Katie Kilkenny

May 14, 2024

After over a year and a half of negotiations, Condé Nast and a union representing hundreds of its workers officially have a first labor contract. In a ratification vote that took place on Tuesday, 97 percent of Condé Union members voted “yes” on a three-year deal announced by negotiators on May 6. The agreement, which averted a threatened strike from workers at the May 6 Met Gala, boosts wages by $3.6 million in total and converts company permalancers into full-time staff members, according to the union.


Disneyland character, parade performers union voting begins at Disneyland Resort


By Iman Palm

May 15, 2024

Disneyland cast members, particularly those working in the resort’s Characters and Parades departments, can vote on whether to unionize starting today. Voting will take place at various locations at the Disneyland Resort until May 18. Voting results are expected to be announced on Saturday. In February, cast members in the departments announced their intent to unionize with the Actors’ Equity Association, also known as Equity. During that time, cast members who work in the departments began circulating union authorization cards to 1,700 of their colleagues. The group is known as “Magic United.”


NMU, faculty union in agreement in wage reopener

The Mining Journal

By Journal Editorial Board

May 15, 2024

Hats off to both the Northern Michigan University administration and the school’s faculty union for successfully concluding negotiations under a wage reopener approved several years ago. The recent memorandum of understanding stipulates a 6.25% wage increase in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1 and a 2.75% increase in the second year beginning July 1, 2025, which is also the final year of the current five-year contract. This proposal affects nearly 400 employees of the university consisting of about 300 full-time faculty and 100 contingent faculty, members of the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers.


Oakland City Workers Criticize Administration Over Uncollected Business Taxes


By Kiley Russell

May 14, 2024

A group of city workers and union leaders gathered on the steps of Oakland City Hall on Tuesday morning to demand answers to their allegations regarding tens of millions of dollars in uncollected city taxes. At a time when Oakland is facing a potential budget shortfall of roughly $177 million, union leaders allege that the city’s Finance Department failed to collect taxes from thousands of businesses by the April 17, 2023 deadline and that as much as $34 million in unpaid business taxes from previous years could still be outstanding.



Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird Dish Excitement About the Future of Women's Sports

Sports Illustrated

By Madison Williams

May 15, 2024

USWNT legend Megan Rapinoe and WNBA champion Sue Bird both made monumental differences in their respective sports during their careers that will impact the entire landscape of women’s sports going forward. Bird helped set the table for the WNBA as she was Vice President of the WNBPA Executive Committee that, in 2020, established the league’s first collective bargaining agreement. Rapinoe played an instrumental role for the landmark CBA with the USWNT that equalized pay between the men’s and women’s teams in 2022. 



AFL-CIO criticizes governor for signing bill restricting voluntary recognition of unions

Alabama Political Reporter

By Chance Phillips

May 15, 2024

In a statement released on Tuesday, Bren Riley, the president of the Alabama chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, said: “It’s funny to me that Governor Ivey and the sponsors of this bill try to paint unions as the outsider.” Riley pointed out how the “cookie-cutter” bill was promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a national conservative organization that is based in Virginia. Almost identical bills were passed in both Georgia and Tennessee before Ivey signed SB235. The secretary-treasurer of the national AFL-CIO, Fred Redmond, called the bill “yet another sad and sinister attack on the rights of working people by self-serving politicians, and … as bad for Alabama’s business as it is for Alabama’s workers.” “It disenfranchises and demeans Alabama’s workers who want the freedom to improve their workplaces and their lives,” Redmond said. “And it also strips business owners of their freedoms by limiting how they choose to conduct their labor relations.”



Texas public schools face a ‘budget crisis’ under Gov. Greg Abbott, teachers and lawmakers say

Denton Record-Chronicle

By Megan Cardona

May 14, 2024

Texas public schools are struggling with layoffs, closures and cuts to student services caused by severe underfunding, according to a report released this week by the Texas American Federation of Teachers. The report cited data showing Texas ranked 41st in the nation for per-pupil education funding and said more than 91% of kids in Texas public schools attended schools that were inadequately funded. During a Monday conference call with reporters, Texas AFT President Zeph Capo said it was disheartening that calls to increase state funding weren’t gaining traction with Gov. Greg Abbott, who wants to create a school voucher program in Texas.



BAC ADC union celebrates opening of new training center in Bordentown


By ROI-NJ Staff

May 15, 2024

Back in September 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, the Bordentown training center of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Administrative District Council of New Jersey sustained damage from a large structural fire. Between the fire, smoke and water damage, the building was rendered useless. The difficulties were just beginning. After several delays from dealing with an insurance company that the BAC ADC felt was unwilling to compensate for the full value of the group’s policy, the union finally was able to start the process of rebuilding. Finally, after a two-year process with many hurdles, through the cooperation of architect Brooks Garrison, general contractor JR Prisco, all the subcontractors, and the trustees of the N.J. BAC Apprenticeship and Training Fund (the owner of the building), the building was completed and ready for occupancy and, more important, training apprentices in early January. Earlier this month, the group held a formal grand opening — one that featured a statewide apprentice contest in which 32 apprentices competed. John Capo, director of the BAC ADC of N.J., Locals 4 & 5, said the day was a huge success.



Retired Arizona teacher touts Biden’s efforts to protect seniors’ economic security

The Copper Courier

By Sophie Boudreau

May 15, 2024

Linda Somo is no newcomer to fighting for her rights and the issues that matter to her. The Mesa-based retired teacher—who also counts herself a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—was heavily involved in the Arizona Education Association during her working years. After retiring, she joined the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, which operates as a coalition under the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the nation’s largest federation of union members. And last August, Somo was elected president of the Alliance. “We have approximately 50,000 members in Arizona in a variety of unions that we represent,” Somo said. “Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—those are our big issues, as well as voter protection and senior rights.”