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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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Transit Agencies Must Replace Most Maintenance Workers This Decade


By Jared Brey

May 23, 2024

The public transit industry employs 430,000 workers and is anticipating 243,000 job openings for mechanics over the next decade, according to a report from TransitCenter. The industry should build on successful partnerships between agencies, labor unions and high schools and colleges to recruit a more diverse maintenance workforce, the report says.



UC San Diego health workers call for higher wages and housing assistance


By Katie Anastas 

May 22, 2024

Service workers and patient care staff picketed at UC San Diego’s Jacobs Medical Center on Wednesday. They’re asking for higher wages and housing assistance amid ongoing contract negotiations. The University of California and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees or AFSCME, which represents more than 30,000 university workers, have been negotiating a new contract since January.


UC medical, service workers picket for higher pay, housing help


By Zaidee Stavely

May 23, 2024

Thousands of UC workers, including hospital technicians, custodians, gardeners, security officers and parking attendants picketed on UC campuses and medical centers Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The employees, represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299, are demanding higher pay and help with housing. The union has been negotiating a new contract since January. The workers said their wages have not kept up with inflation and rising rents, according to the Chronicle.


Boeing firefighters reject latest contract offer as lockout drags on

The Seattle Times

By Dominic Gates

May 22, 2024

Locked out and facing tough management talks that produced little movement, Boeing firefighters voted late Wednesday to reject a contract offer only marginally improved from one they tossed out in April. The International Association of Fire Fighters union in a statement said the vote was “overwhelming” and General President Edward A. Kelly said Boeing’s offer was “a clear sign of the corporate giant’s complete lack of respect for our members.”


SIU School of Medicine ratifies new contract with union workers in Springfield

The State Journal-Register

By Hope Gadson

May 23, 2024

After long negotiations and bargaining, the SIU School of Medicine has come to an agreement about their contracts with their employees. After 14 months of negotiations, the school and the AFSCME Local 370 agreed to and ratified a new contract on Tuesday. Nearly 800 employees work in positions represented by the union, according to AFSCME. The new contract includes a sustainable pay increase in addition to the 17.2% increase the school has made since 2019.


Culinary contract fight with Virgin heats up, but no Memorial Day strike planned

The Nevada Independent

By Howard Stutz

May 23, 2024

A top executive for Virgin Hotels Las Vegas said Wednesday that the off-Strip resort “simply cannot afford” wage and benefit demands from Culinary Workers Union Local 226 that would cover 700 non-gaming workers employed at the property. Meanwhile, Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said Thursday the union is not planning another temporary walkout by Virgin’s workforce, who set up picket lines in front of the resort two weeks ago, but is asking the company for another contract negotiation session. 


REI Union Soho Rallies During Anniversary Sale to Reach Union Contract by End 2024

SGB Media

By SGB Update

May 23, 2024

Today, during REI’s annual Anniversary Sale, members of REI Union SoHo and members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), held a protest rally in front of the store, claiming REI’s failure to bargain a contract in good faith. Joined by RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, union members, NYC Council Member Christopher Marte, NYC Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, NYC Council Member Chi Ossé and other elected officials, Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and other elected leaders and workers from across New York’s labor movement, REI SoHo employees demanded REI agree to reach “a fair contract by the end of 2024.” 


UAW receives expanded retirement incentive for GM workers

ABC 12

By Ryan Jeltema

May 23, 2024

More General Motors production workers who are ready to retire will qualify for a special incentive bargained by the United Auto Workers union. The UAW announced Thursday that all 1,412 production workers who signed up for the $50,000 Special Attrition Program incentive will be eligible to receive the bonus. It had been available only to 748 workers in the first phase this year.




Biden Moves to Extend Labor Board Chief as He Courts Unions


By Jordan Fabian

May 23, 2024 

President Joe Biden is nominating US National Labor Relations Board Chair Lauren McFerran for a new five-year term, moving to lock in the Democrat ahead of the 2024 election. Reconfirming McFerran this year would ensure Democrats retain a majority on the labor board, even if the party loses control of the White House or US Senate in the November election. Biden appointed McFerran as NLRB chair on his first day in office and on her watch, the agency has issued major union-friendly rulings.



Rapid City Fire Department holds annual ‘Fill the Boot’ for Muscular Dystrophy


By Bryan Savic

May 22, 2024

Rapid City Firefighters were spread out throughout town Wednesday, but not due to a rash of fires. They were busy raising money to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of the Fill the Boot program started by the International Association of Firefighters 70 years ago ... RCFD is continuing this tradition to support MDA’s advocacy for families living with muscular dystrophy and advance research. Lieutenant Rachel Hobbs says the fundraiser is a rewarding experience.


Overwhelming number of district budgets pass, pro-public school candidates elected statewide

Niagara Frontier Publications


May 22, 2024

After a tumultuous state budget season where hundreds of districts faced the threat of budget cuts, advocacy from NYSUT and education partners saw the elimination of the hold harmless policy reversed and Foundation Aid funding increased. Still, 31 districts attempted to override the tax cap with a supermajority vote to maintain programs and services this year. As of Wednesday morning, 19 were successful, 10 failed and two were still pending. Districts where budgets failed will vote again on June 18. 



Nurse leaders to join CDC advisory group weighing looser mask rules

Becker’s Hospital Review

By Mariah Taylor

May 23, 2024

Two nurse leaders have been invited to join the CDC's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, National Nurses United said. Jane Thomason, NNU's lead industrial hygienist, and Lisa Baum, lead occupational safety and health representative at NNU affiliate New York State Nurses Association, were invited to the committee in early May. 


Cancer is killing firefighters. So this city is going PFAS-free

High Country News

By Susan Shain

May 23, 2024

Until recently, that has been a challenge, as effective PFAS-free gear has not been readily available. But earlier this year, five fire departments, including San Francisco and Denver, began testing PFAS-free turnouts. The reception has been positive, said Neil McMillan, director of science and research at the International Association of Fire Fighters, a labor union for firefighters in the U.S. and Canada. Though official results won’t be available until summer, McMillan said that, so far, firefighters have reported “no differences or trade-offs in performance.” 



The Union Leader Who Changed How We Think About Work


By Sarah Jones

May 23, 2024

And so I would say there’s been a sea change in the number of women leading. Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO. Becky Pringle and Randi Weingarten lead education unions. And they’ve had more of a history of women leaders than SEIU, because I’m the first woman leader at this level for our union. So there’s been a sea change, and I would say we still have a long way to go.