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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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AFL-CIO President notes LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

Windy City Times

By Press Release

June 3, 2024

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler released the following statement to commemorate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month and the many contributions of queer workers to the labor movement:

“This June, we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring equity, dignity, and inclusion both in life and in the workplace. Collective bargaining remains the best tool against discrimination of any kind, which is why the AFL-CIO fights so that working people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions can enjoy the protections of a union contract. “We honor the legacy of queer organizers, whose contributions have too often gone underappreciated and unknown. From Bayard Rustin’s central role in the March on Washington to the ongoing advocacy of Pride at Work, queer leaders have always been at the cutting edge of worker advancements. Still, queer people face ongoing discrimination due to the lack of adequate federal protections in the workplace. 



Federal judge blocks GOP attempt to censor New Hampshire teachers

People’s World

By Press Associates

June 4, 2024

U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro in New Hampshire has rejected the state’s attempt at censoring what public school teachers may teach about race in the Granite State’s classrooms, a decision that elates both big teachers’ unions, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. The AFT called the measure “a divisive concepts” law. “The judge saw this case for what it was: A politically based, divisiveness-fueled attempt to stoke fear—fear of honest history, fear of critical thinking, fear of knowledge,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten, a New York civics teacher with a law degree. AFT Local 8037, with 3400 members, was one of two unions that sued. New Hampshire’s National Education Association affiliate was the other.



Eldora Mountain Resort withdraws objections to ski patroller union vote

The Colorado Sun

By Jason Blevins

June 4, 2024

Eldora Mountain Resort has withdrawn its objections to the vote by ski area patrollers in April that approved union representation. Eldora, which is owned by Powdr, originally objected to the vote because not all volunteer ski patrollers were included. The resort’s patrollers in April voted 29-3 to join the United Professional Ski Patrols of America union, which has grown in recent years as a wave of ski patrollers and lift mechanics unionize in hopes that collective bargaining will improve pay and benefits for workers in pricey mountain communities. In a letter to ski patrollers, Eldora president and general manager Brent Tregaskis last week said he hopes the withdrawal of the election objections marks a move toward “good faith” bargaining over a new patrol contract. 


Influencers Are Driving a New Category of Unionizing: Pharmacists

The Wall Street Journal

By Joseph Walker

June 4, 2024

It started with posting memes on Facebook and has grown into a national labor-organizing campaign. The target: unionizing pharmacists at CVS, Walgreens and other chains. With social-media handles like “The Accidental Pharmacist,” “RxComedy” and the hashtag #PizzaIsNotWorking, a small group of social-media influencers late last year co-founded the Pharmacy Guild, a union affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. This new breed of labor organizers are pushing for more staffing, which they say will alleviate prescription backlogs and ease the frustrations of customers. The organizers also seek better wages and benefits, especially for the workhorses of the pharmacy called technicians who often put the pills in bottles.



TruStage workers reflect on contract a year after going on strike 

Wisconsin Examiner

By Abigail Leavins

June 4, 2024

It’s been just over a year since workers at TruStage — formerly CUNA Mutual Group — started one of the largest strikes by white collar workers in decades in the state of Wisconsin over unfair labor practices. Two employees who were on the strike line last year said although the strike led to some positive changes, the union is still filing grievances against the company. The strike lasted from May 19 to June 5, 2023. After over 400 days without a contract, OPEIU Local 39, the union for TruStage employees, authorized a strike to encourage the company to negotiate. They finally reached an agreement on a contract in December 2023. Mike Fairway has been at TruStage since 2014, and was just recently named chief steward in October 2023 after Joe Evica was fired. Evica was originally fired in March 2023, but his termination was one of the grievances the union had with TruStage. 


EPA union ratifies contract to protect employees’ scientific integrity

Government Executive

By Erich Wagner

June 4, 2024

The nation’s largest federal employee union has ratified a new contract with the Environmental Protection Agency with new measures aimed at protecting the agency’s workforce from political interference. EPA employees, represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, voted to approve the new four-year deal last week. The contract’s ratification marks the first full deal between AFGE Council 238 and the agency after the Trump administration unilaterally imposed a contract on the workforce in 2019.


Hundreds of IBEW Local Union 98 members gather in support of Philadelphia 76ers' proposed arena

CBS News

By Alicia Roberts and Ross DiMattei

June 4, 2024

Union members gathered Monday night in support of the Philadelphia 76ers' proposed arena in Center City.  Several hundred members of IBEW Local Union 98 gathered at their Navy Yard office in support of 76 Place – the Sixers' proposed arena complex on East Market Street. "You're talking thousands of construction jobs, you're talking about maintenance jobs; afterwards, you're talking about putting people to work in the actual venues," Mark Lynch, a business manager at IBEW, said. According to the 76ers Development Corporation, the $1.55 billion project represents 9,100 construction jobs, 1,000 permanent jobs and $400 million in annual economic output for the city. 


Northside School District approves raises, boosting teacher pay over $60,000


By Ethan Trejo

June 3, 2024

At its recent Board of Trustees meeting, the Northside Independent School District (NISD) greenlit a salary increase for all full-time employees. The base compensation will be a 2% increase plus an additional $1,100 stipend for full-time employees, and $550. 

This will elevate the base pay for all teachers, incoming and returning, to slightly over $60,000 annually. The district views this adjustment as a significant step towards achieving its objective of retaining teachers within its schools.


Columbus firefighters in line for big pay raise after City Council meeting

The Columbus Dispatch

By Bill Bush

June 4, 2024

Columbus firefighters will get an 18.5% pay raise between now and October 2025 under a new three-year contract recommended by a factfinder after Columbus City Council took no public action on the matter Monday. The first pay raise, 7.5%, is retroactive to October 2023. This coming October, firefighters will get another 5% raise, followed by 5% in October 2025. Compounded, the raises add up to about an 18.5% raise over the period. The contract expires in October 2026 - meaning the annual pay raises would end but its other terms would continue until a new deal is reached. Neither the city nor the firefighters' union were able to provide The Dispatch with salary information for Division of Fire personnel as of early Tuesday afternoon.


IATSE Remains “Hopeful” About Finalizing Basic Agreement Before Teamsters Take Up Baton, Wages Still A Sticking Point


By Katie Campione

June 3, 2024

IATSE is still chipping away at a new three-year deal with the studios, even as the union’s scheduled bargaining days dwindle. The union revealed over the weekend that talks on the Area Standards Agreement, which were scheduled to conclude by Friday, will continue later this month. The union is now taking the week to shift the focus back to the Basic Agreement and is trying to iron out those details by Wednesday.



Local programs create training pipeline for Intel’s 3,000 semiconductor plant jobs

Dayton Daily News

By Lynn Hulsey

May 30, 2024

Intel Corp. is pouring money into educational programs at Ohio universities and colleges, including some free training, to get workers ready to fill 3,000 new jobs at the company’s two semiconductor fabrication plants under construction in New Albany. “Training a workforce of 3,000 individuals for the Intel plants, ranging from technicians to engineers and managers, represents a substantial challenge,” said Mohammadreza Hadizadeh, associate professor of physics and director of the Intel-funded alliance led by Central State University.



Nashoba Valley Medical Center workers rally to keep the facility open amid Steward Health crisis

Boston 25 News

By Jim Morelli

June 3, 2024

Also concerned about Nashoba Valley’s future: paramedics. “Delay in care is a problem when you close a hospital like this,” said David Greenwood, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 2544 at the Ayer Fire Department. “We’re not the city of Boston fortunate enough to have a hospital on every street corner.”



As silica dust rule goes into effect, experts advocate education for the industry’s youngest

News from the States

By Caity Coyne

June 3, 2024

As a new federal rule to limit silica dust exposure for mine workers is set to go into effect later this month, advocates and industry experts are hoping to see the younger generation of coal miners learn more about — and use — the rights they have to ensure the updated industry standards are being met. The rule — finalized and published by the Mine Health and Safety Administration in April — is the first of its kind to limit silica dust exposure for workers in mines, which is a leading cause of black lung disease among coal miners. Its implementation comes more than 50 years after other industries adopted similar standards to enforce exposure limits based on a wide body of evidence.



200-to-1: Gap Between CEOs and Workers Grew Even Wider in 2023, Analysis Finds

Common Dreams

By Edward Carver

June 3, 2024

The median compensation of chief executives at major U.S.-listed firms increased by 12.6% to $16.3 million in 2023, far outpacing the growth in worker wages and widening the CEO-to-worker pay gap to nearly 200-to-1, according to new reporting by the Associated Press on Monday. The increase in CEO compensation came as private sector workers' pay increased just 4.1% last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Among hundreds of surveyed firms for the AP analysis, the median gap between CEO pay and median employee pay was 196—up from 185 in 2022.



‘Fearful, divisive, scary’: Employer accused of union busting by employees for layoffs


By CNN Newssource

June 4, 2024

Unionized workers at a Madison organization are accusing their employer of union busting via pending layoffs poised to impact one-in-four employees. Tension has been increasing between Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 39 and America’s Credit Unions (ACU), a credit union advocacy group, since the latter announced layoffs in January. OPEIU is the labor union representing some of the workers at the employer. OPEIU Local 39 sent out a statement Thursday objecting to ACU’s impending layoffs. The employer filed a legally-required notice with the state Department of Workforce Development in January warning it would soon let go 25 percent of its workforce. The reduction would amount to approximately 38 people at the Madison office.



Nurses claim VA hiring practices affecting care

Becker’s Hospital Review

By Erica Carbajal 

June 4, 2024

Members of the nation's largest union of registered nurses are calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to lift a so-called hiring freeze they say is creating patient safety risks at hospitals across the country. The National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United — which represents more than 15,000 nurse at 23 Veterans Health Administration facilities across the country — claims the VA is refraining from filling nursing positions and has rescinded job offers, pointing to VA data it said shows there were 13,000 vacant nursing positions across the VA system as of mid-March. Overall, there were 66,000 vacancies. 



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