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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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Pete Buttigieg promotes American-made steel while visiting Harrisburg area

The Keystone

By Sean Kitchen

June 4, 2024

Maurice Cobb, the Secretary-Treasurer with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, was a fourth generation steelworker at the Steelton plant and said it was great for Buttigieg and Shapiro to tour the plant. “It shows a partnership between the union and the company and the dedication to good-paying jobs, investment in our facilities, and keeping our infrastructure and transportation made in America,” Cobb told The Keystone. Cobb went on to explain the importance of using American-made steel for the country’s infrastructure projects. “The importance of it is it’s providing well paying jobs for Americans and our products made in America are far superior to foreign steel,” Cobb said. 


G.O.P. Blocks Contraception Bill in Senate as Democrats Seek Political Edge

The New York Times

By Annie Karni

June 5, 2024

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked action on legislation to codify the right to contraception access nationwide, a bill Democrats brought to the floor to spotlight an issue on which the G.O.P. is at odds with a vast majority of voters. All but two Republicans present — Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voted against advancing the legislation. Democrats, who unanimously supported it, were left nine votes short of the 60 they would need to take up the bill, which would protect a reproductive health option that many voters worry is actively at risk of being stripped away. “This should be an easy vote,” Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote. “It almost shouldn’t be necessary.”


Biden urges Congress to restore Roe v. Wade protections after Senate GOP blocks contraception bill

The Hill

By Sarah Fortinsky 

June 5, 2024

President Biden doubled down on his push for Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law, after Senate Republicans blocked a bill from consideration Wednesday that would have established a federal right to birth control. “@VP and I believe that women in every state must have the freedom to make deeply personal health care decisions,” Biden wrote in a post on the social platform X, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris.



Fairfax educators rally for historic collective bargaining effort to improve teaching conditions, student learning

VA Dogwood

By Isabel Soisson

June 5, 2024

The Fairfax Education Association and the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers have banded together to ensure that educators and school support staff are able to negotiate a contract with Fairfax County Public Schools for better working conditions and student learning conditions. Teachers and school support staff in Fairfax on Monday launched a campaign that would secure their right to collectively bargain for the first time in nearly 50 years if successful, all in an effort to better serve local students. The YES for Fairfax Education Unions (FEU) campaign is an alliance made up of the two largest education unions in Northern Virginia: the Fairfax Education Association (FEA) and the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT).The two organizations have banded together to ensure that Fairfax educators and school support staff are able to negotiate a contract with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for better working conditions and student learning conditions.


Workers at Ann Kim's Uptown Minneapolis restaurant plan to unionize

CBS News

By Ubah Ali

June 5, 2024

Workers at a premiere Minneapolis restaurant, Kim's, want to unionize, but award-winning chef Ann Kim doesn't believe that's necessary. More than 50 restaurant workers signed a petition in favor of forming a union and delivered it to Kim's management Vestalia Hospitality last week. The employer can recognize the union voluntarily or a petition can be filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote.  He believes unionizing and joining Unite Here Local 17, a local hospitality union, is the solution. "It's been a long time coming," Hofrenning said. "Unions are for everybody."   



University of the Arts employees rally, call for labor negotiations

Metro Philadelphia

By Jack Tomczuk

June 5, 2024

As the University of the Arts prepares to permanently close Friday, faculty and staff on Wednesday called on school leaders to begin negotiations over possible severance payments and other benefits. Meanwhile, Temple University officials have signaled an interest in potentially partnering to keep the college going, and a group of staffers have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court. UArts administrators and representatives from the United Academics of Philadelphia, a union representing school employees, were supposed to meet Tuesday to begin discussions. But the sessions were canceled following university president Kerry Walk’s sudden resignation and have yet to be rescheduled, according to UAP.


LIUNA Local 814 Reaches New Contract Deal With WVUH


By Staff

June 5, 2024

Union workers at WVU Hospitals have approved a new contract. Members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 814 have ratified the deal with WVUH that will be in place through March 2027. LIUNA Local 814 Business Manager Kristi Snider said the contract was ratified by a vote of 369-235. Approval came after two previous contract proposals on April 12 and May 17 were voted down. “When we went back and had those conversations and reinterpreted what the membership wanted and why that was needed, we came to a resolution,” Snider said. “That’s how we finally came to a contract they felt comfortable ratifying.”


Lancaster County courthouse workers look for raises in new contract

Lancaster Online

By Tom Lisi

June 5, 2024

An arbitration hearing this week could benefit scores of county government clerical workers who believe their current pay levels are not keeping pace with the local economy. Negotiations broke down earlier this year between the county commissioners office and the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 1310, which represents courthouse employees from seven different departments. Amid a stalemate, both sides can opt to hire an arbitrator to make the decision for them. In an arbitration hearing, both parties present their best arguments on their positions. The arbitrator then issues a binding decision that both sides must accept. Appeals are possible but rarely successful.



WBEZ union files labor complaint against Chicago Public Media


By Monica Eng

June 4, 2024

SAG-AFTRA, the union representing WBEZ journalists, this week filed a federal unfair labor practice charge against parent company Chicago Public Media, alleging the company failed to provide information needed "to represent members and enforce the union contract." The regional office of the National Labor Relations Board is expected to investigate the charge in coming months and determine whether it has merit.



Florida’s Brazen Assault on Public Sector Workers Puts Unions in Survival Mode

In These Times

By Mckenna Schueler 

June 5, 2024

More than a decade in the making, S.B. 256 essentially requires unions to have a lot of dues-paying members while simultaneously making it harder for them to do so. While the law bans public sector unions from deducting dues directly from members’ paychecks, it also requires at least 60% of a bargaining unit to pay dues or risk losing their union status. Shortly after signing the bill, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis framed it in a statement as an effort to “reign in out-of-control unions” that he said take money away from teachers and misuse government funds for political aims. In the same announcement, he specifically mentioned teachers unions, many of which were already required to maintain at least 50% membership under a law approved by then Gov. Rick Scott in 2018.



Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration To Be Held June 15

The Seattle Medium

By Staff

June 5, 2024

A special community event in the Central Area of Seattle will mark the end of 250 years of the brutal plunder and exploitation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The event, which will take place on Sat., June 15, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in front of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) offices, located at 321 South 16th Avenue in Seattle, will commemorate the day that marks the end of slavery in our country on June 19, 1865. Freed slaves in Texas, the last Confederate state that Union soldiers conquered at the end of the Civil War, overheard the newly freed slaves celebrating on the streets of Galveston, referencing that famous day as “Juneteenth.” It was a very colorful reference and the name stuck, all the way down to today.


Take pride in your union

Labor Tribune

By David A. Cook

June 5, 2024

It’s June, which means Pride Month is in full swing. For 10 years, UFCW Local 655 has marched in the Pride Parade and we will be again on June 30. Hope you can join us. We were the first Labor union in St. Louis to add our name to the participants in the Pride Parade, and now every year dozens of Labor Organizations march with us. Every year, we find ourselves fielding the same questions, although we see less and less of them as the years pass. Inevitably, someone will ask us why we march in the parade, why we acknowledge and celebrate pride, or why we say anything about the month and the celebration at all.


The Campfire Project Will Receive 2024 Paul Robeson Award

Broadway World

By Stephi Wild

June 5, 2024

Actors’ Equity Association and the Actors’ Equity Foundation have jointly announced that they will bestow the Paul Robeson Award for 2024 on The Campfire Project. The Paul Robeson Award honors individuals and organizations who leverage theatre to go beyond the stage to enact their commitment to the freedom of expression and conscience, their belief in the artist’s responsibility to society and their dedication to the betterment of humankind. It is the only award jointly administered by the union and the foundation, given annually since Robeson himself received the first citation in 1974. 



Hotel panic button law approaches 6th year of protecting workers from sexual harassment, assault


By ABC7 Chicago Digital Team

June 4, 2024

Workers in hotels say they face sexual harassment and sexual assault on the job. But for thousands, help is just the press of a button away. We are approaching the six year anniversary of a law requiring "panic buttons" for hotel workers across Chicago. Now the "Hands Off, Pants On" campaign against workplace harassment is having an impact far outside the city. Roushaunda Williams, an Illinois AFL-CIO executive board member and member of United Here Local 1, and Sarah Lyons, the communications director for Unite Here Local 1, were both among the leaders of the effort to get that law passed. They joined ABC7 Eyewitness News in studio to talk about the law's legacy and its future.



Meatpacking Workers’ Solidarity on the Killing Floor


By Benjamin Y. Fong

June 5, 2024

This interview with Halpern focuses in particular on the genesis of the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee, one of the many organizing committees of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and its remarkable commitment to overcoming the racial and ethnic divisions that had undermined previous organizing drives in the major packing centers of the United States. Beginning in 1933–1934, industrial workers across the United States in almost every industry began talking to each other, began organizing, began thinking about how they might link their project to that of President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. Meatpacking was no exception. In places like Chicago, East St Louis, Sioux City, Kansas City, anywhere there was a major packing center, workers began thinking about how they could secure a bit of dignity on the shop floor and secure their wages in the midst of an ongoing depression. In the mid-1930s, based on the initiatives of workers in those places I mentioned, as well as some smaller outlying packing centers in Austin, Minnesota, and Waterloo, Iowa, workers came together and formed the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee, or PWOC, which at that time was affiliated with the new CIO headed by John L. Lewis. In many ways, the CIO functioned as an extension of the United Mine Workers, the big industrial union that Lewis headed. But a key point that needs to be emphasized is that the locus of activity was at the local level.