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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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UAW President Shawn Fain's historic first year portends more change

The Detroit News

By Chad Livengood

June 6, 2024

"Shawn has been so powerful with his narrative," AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said. "The way he messaged through the strike really galvanized public support. It really gave inspiration to a lot of others."


Fran Drescher: Union boss who turned tables on Hollywood suits

Los Angeles Times

By Meg James

June 9, 2024

Fran Drescher may have been “The Nanny” in another life. But as the president of SAG-AFTRA, she turned the tables on Hollywood’s power crowd. Drescher last year emerged as an unlikely labor leader and champion of the little guy. Best known for her zany 1990s sitcom character with the thick Queens, N.Y., accent, Drescher became one of the most powerful people in Los Angeles by holding firm, despite pressure and personal attacks, until her 160,000-member performers union won its most generous deal in decades. The contract brought an estimated $1 billion in gains for members over three years.



Austin Pets Alive! employees vote to form largest animal shelter union in nation

Fox7 Austin

By Kevin Vu

June 7, 2024

Months after filing a petition, Austin Pets Alive! employees won a vote to form the Austin Pets Allied Workers (APAW) and join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 776, making it the country's largest union of animal shelter workers. "We are celebrating this victory with animal care workers everywhere," said members of the APAW Organizing Committee. "This victory gives us a seat at the table to help make the best decisions for the animals under our care. We look forward to sitting down with Austin Pets Alive! Management to secure a first contract for our fellow caregivers."


Better Buzz Mira Mesa joins unionization push

Fox5 San Diego

By Danielle Dawson

June 7, 2024

Baristas at another Better Buzz store are taking the first step towards unionizing, becoming the second to begin collective bargaining efforts at the local coffee chain over the last few months. In a post to Instagram on Friday, Better Buzz United, the employee collective behind the push, announced that workers at the chain’s Mira Mesa location had filed the initial paperwork to trigger a vote on joining the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 135 chapter.


Kratom workers across eastern Missouri vote to unionize

Missouri Independent

By Rebecca Rivas

June 8, 2024

CBD Kratom employees have become the first Missouri workers in the industry to unionize, following a Friday election. The election spanned across 17 stores in eastern Missouri and Illinois operated by the St. Louis-based CBD Kratom, which sells largely kratom and hemp-derived THC products. Employees voted 23 to 6 to unionize, with 75% of the eligible employees participating. “I’m so excited and so proud of everyone,” said Taylor Moore, sales associate. “I’m encouraged to know that our voices as workers are and will be heard.” Sales associate Nina Sykes said, “This opens the doors for CBD Kratom employees to be more successful in their role.” The employees join more than 15,000 cannabis industry workers nationwide as members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. Of the 17 locations that voted to organize, 14 are located in St. Louis and will be represented by UFCW Local 655. The remaining 3 in Illinois will be represented by UFCW Local 881.


Rose Brooks employees voted to unionize. What comes next for the domestic violence shelter and its staff?

The Pitch

By Kaylynn Mullins

June 8, 2024

Rose Brooks workers devote their time and livelihood to helping families and individuals escape domestic violence through crisis hotlines, shelters, job advocacy, and childcare. While incredibly necessary, social and non-profit work remains difficult, and many in the industry want to see change. When employees began unionizing to obtain benefits such as maternity leave and livable wages, they experienced pushback. After some turbulence with management that resulted in unfair labor charges being filed, the Rose Brooks Union won its election and finally became a recognized union. With the encouragement of the Kansas City Council, excluding two members, the Rose Brooks workers voted to unionize with a 2/3 majority on May 23. 



Local 11 wins big contract gains at NW Natural

Northwest Labor Press

By Don McIntosh

June 7, 2024

Once union members give up their pension, they rarely ever get it back. But at Northwest Natural, in union contract negotiations that were backed by the credible threat of a strike, that’s what just happened. In a multi-day vote that ended May 19, members ratified a new collective bargaining agreement between Northwest Natural and OPEIU Local 11 at about a nine-to-one margin. The agreement raises wages 24% over four years (with compounding) — a 6% raise June 1 and four 4% raises each Dec. 1. Some workers who were deemed under-market for their job class will raises of up to 32%. (The contract lists about 70 different jobs that fall into one of about dozen pay scales, and as of June 1, wages range from $20.82 to $57 an hour.)


Public Theater Crew Members Vote To Join IATSE Union

Broadway World

By A.A. Cristi

June 8, 2024

Today it was announced that crew members at New York City's Public Theater have overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining IATSE, the union representing behind the scenes staff across the entertainment industry.  The vote was nearly unanimous with 94% voting 'yes'. The Public is the 5th venue to organize since the off-Broadway campaign began earlier this year.


Jacksonville firefighters set to get big pay raise after city, union reach 3-year agreement


By Travis Gibson

June 7, 2024

The City of Jacksonville and the International Association of Firefighters, Local 122 announced on Friday that the two sides have reached and signed a three-year tentative collective bargaining agreement to raise pay for Jacksonville firefighters substantially.


Despite challenges, I’m committed to growing the number of women in the trades (Opinion)

The San Diego Union-Tribune

By Jennifer Wilson

June 7, 2024

Women are a small but mighty constituency of the construction workforce. I take great pride in being a part of this infrastructure generation, building our country’s future and actively changing the face of the trades to ensure young women can see themselves in the industry. My path toward construction began in 2010, when I found myself, like so many of my peers, with a college degree and few prospects for a fulfilling and sustaining career. I graduated with a degree in social work the very same year that the administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was enforcing a hiring freeze on all new state workers. I needed work to support myself and build the life I always envisioned. I’ve never been one to shy away from hard work, and I saw construction as both a challenge and an opportunity for growth. I did my research into both union and nonunion apprenticeships, and chose the better, smarter pathway: I applied to the Electricians (IBEW) Local 569 Apprenticeship. With my union, I had access to a pension, full-family health care benefits and an enforceable mechanism to ensure I earned pay equal to my male counterparts in the field.


Contract expires without new agreement in place for Cooper Tire union members

Texarkana Gazette

By Stevon Gamble

June 7, 2024

Union members at Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. are now working under an expired contract after negotiations with their parent company hit a standstill Friday. Kerry Halter, president of United Steelworkers Local 752L, said dialogue with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. stalled at 1 p.m. The previous contract, ratified in 2019, ended at 5 p.m. Friday. "We're still having conversations, but we were a pretty good distance apart on a collective bargaining agreement," Halter said to the Gazette.


Daytime Emmys Picket Averted After IATSE Strikes Deal Giving Guild Coverage to Non-Union Workers

The Wrap

By Ross A. Lincoln

June 7, 2024

With just hours to go before the Daytime Emmys, the international Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has reached a deal with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to extend union benefits to the non-union workers hired for the ceremony. “The IATSE has reached a deal to cover the workers on the Daytime Emmy Awards. Those workers will now receive the benefits of a union contract including their health and pension benefits,” the guild said in a statement Friday. Prior to the deal, IATSE was considering pickets outside the ceremony to protest NATAS’ use of non-union labor. This could have become a ballooning crisis for the Television Academy, as the Writers’ Guild of America advised members on Friday not to attend the ceremony if it meant crossing picket lines, according to Deadline.


Workers union reaches tentative agreement with Ultium Cells


By Abigail Cloutier

June 8, 2024

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has reached a tentative agreement with Ultium Cells. According to the UAW, the tentative agreement includes 30 percent wage increases over three years for production, quality, SRP and material handling workers.]Workers who were there before UAW will see a pay increase 112 percent higher than in 2022, plus a $3,000 bonus upon ratification.


Goodyear Tire contract expires; workers stay on the job as talks continue


By Staff

June 7, 2024

Contract negotiations between Goodyear Tires and the United Steelworkers Union continue in Texarkana, Ark. The tire plant has been in the community for 60 years. It's the third largest employer in the region. Goodyear's contract with the union has expired, but employees plan to stay on the job as long as negotiations are progressing. Union leaders say they're waiting to hear back from the company about their proposal. The Texarkana plant, located off U.S. Highway 49, employs 1,800 workers, many whom belong to the union. Most of the vehicles at the plant had signs on their windshields on Friday that read, "Fair Contract Now."


The Best Way to Secure LGBTQ Rights: Unions


By Joanna Wuest

June 9, 2024

LGBTQ advocacy and leadership appear central to a new generation of labor militants. Take for example the Starbucks workers who have voted to unionize over 350 cafes. Reflecting on these efforts, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization’s (AFL-CIO) Pride at Work executive director Jerame Davis remarked that the union drive was “one of the queerest union campaigns I’ve ever seen.” In June of that year, over three thousand Starbucks Workers United members struck against the company’s decision to prohibit in-store Pride decorations, a policy that some perceived as capitulating to rising anti-LGBTQ sentiment. Beyond Starbucks, Pride at Work has received an influx of requests from labor leaders seeking advice on queer-inclusive contract provisions. Among international unions, the United Auto Workers (UAW) recently created an LGBTQ caucus, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have agitated for trans teachers’ and students’ rights.


Food4less workers to vote on strike authorization this week

NBC Los Angeles

By City News Service

June 9, 2024

Members of the union representing 6,000 Food4less workers will begin voting this week on whether to authorize a strike now that their current contract has expired without a tentative agreement on a new one. The results will be announced after voting ends on June 14, according to a statement by United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442. The contract expired Saturday, June 8. The union's demands include equity, fair pay and safe stores.


Strike Halts Work At Many SE Wisconsin Construction Sites

Urban Milwaukee

By Joe Schulz

June 8, 2024

Hundreds of crane and heavy machine operators are on strike in southeast Wisconsin, halting work at more than a dozen construction sites in the region. Roughly 800 members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 went on strike last Saturday for better pay. That’s caused work stoppages at construction sites in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha, Washington and Ozaukee counties.


Carbon OKs union raises

TN Online

By Amy Miller

June 8, 2024

Carbon county has reached an agreement with another of its unions today. On Thursday, commissioners approved a collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME District Council 87, AFL-CIO, Local 2483 for the period of Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2026.


Georgia's Blue Bird Workers Ratify Historic Union Contract, Signaling Southern Labor Rights Advancement


By Chris Allen Thompson

June 8, 2024

In a significant step for labor rights in Georgia, more than 1,500 workers at Fort Valley-based Blue Bird, a manufacturer of electric school buses, ratified their first union contract last month. This move comes after a vote last year where employees of the established company chose to become part of the United Steel Workers, marking a crucial victory for the labor movement in the southern state, as reported by WABE.



Maine State Council of Machinists hosts union workers' conference (Video)

News Center Maine


June 8, 2024

Rep. Jared Golden spoke at the event for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.


Labor counts wins in May primary

Northwest Labor Press

By Don McIntosh

June 7, 2024

Oregon labor organizations saw mostly wins among endorsed political campaigns in the May 21 primary, and a decent number of candidates had some union background themselves. Of the 59 candidates endorsed by the Oregon AFL-CIO, 25 were current or former union members or staff. High points on election night were contested Democratic primaries in state house districts where the Democrat is likely to win in November. Public defender and former AFSCME member Willy Chotzen got 73% in his race in House District 46 in Southeast Portland. And Eugene teachers union member Lisa Fragala got 72% in her race to be Representative for House District 8, replacing longtime labor legislator Paul Holvey, who retired.


Walmart opposes adding panic buttons to stores

The Economic Times

By Staff

June 8, 2024

On Friday, the New York State Senate passed legislation requiring most big retail chains, including Walmart, to put panic buttons in easy-to-access locations in their stores, or to provide staffers with wearable, or mobile-phone-activated, panic buttons. But Walmart's top corporate affairs officer told Reuters that panic buttons are likely to trigger false alarms.



Girls, there’s a future for you in the trades

NW Labor Press

By Don McIntosh

June 7, 2024

An estimated 1,500 girls from 86 schools attended Oregon Tradeswomen’s annual career fair May 17, intended to show them that there are careers for them in traditional male trades. Altogether about 100 employers and apprenticeship organizations set up inside and out of the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center on NE Airport Way, Portland, and most of them offered fun demonstrations of their skills. UA Local 290 offered “sewing with fire” using welding torches to decorate a steel plate. Skanska had a birdhouse building station. Students also got to operate an excavator, go up in a bucket lift, and operate a remote controlled sewer camera.