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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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YOUR LETTERS: Advancement of immigrant rights is a win for ALL Workers (Opinion)

Labor Tribune

By Liz Shuler

July 1, 2024

The AFL-CIO lauds President Biden’s action to remove barriers to citizenship and good jobs for long-term members of our workforce, our communities, and our unions. Immigrant rights are workers’ rights, and any policies that strengthen protections for immigrants are key to our efforts to build worker power and lift standards in our industries. Until all workers, regardless of immigration status, have equal and enforceable rights in this country, employers will continue to underpay, mistreat, and misclassify the hardworking immigrants who help keep our economy running. In the face of decades of shameful congressional inaction, the Biden administration has taken a sensible and much-needed step forward.


Biden to extend overtime protections for 1 million workers

The Hill

By Tobias Burns

July 1, 2024

President Biden is extending overtime protections to 1 million workers who make less than the median individual salary and is vowing to take more action if reelected. The executive action announced Monday will extend protections to workers making less than $43,888 per year, the White House said in a statement.


Biden administration proposes rule for workplaces to address excessive heat

ABC News

By Suman Naishadham

July 2, 2024

The Biden administration proposed a new rule Tuesday to address excessive heat in the workplace, as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories due to blistering temperatures. If finalized, the measure would protect an estimated 36 million U.S. workers from injuries related to heat exposure on the job — establishing the first major federal safety standard of its kind. Those affected by excessive heat in the workplace include farmworkers, delivery and construction workers, landscapers as well as indoor workers in warehouses, factories and kitchens. President Joe Biden planned to highlight the rule on Tuesday when he gets a briefing on extreme weather and delivers remarks.



What’s in the new IATSE deal? Wage increases, AI rules and more

Los Angeles Times

By Christi Carras

July 1, 2024

The crew members union IATSE released a summary over the weekend of its new tentative agreement with the top Hollywood studios, including terms related to pay, pension and health benefits, working conditions, streaming residuals and artificial intelligence. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers arrived at a resolution Tuesday on the Hollywood Basic Agreement, which spans three years and covers some 50,000 craftspeople primarily based in the Los Angeles area.


The Win for EV Workers in the South You Didn’t Hear About

The Nation

By Ella Fanger

July 1, 2024

Organized labor is in the midst of a fierce campaign to make inroads at auto manufacturers in the South, most recently at the Mercedes plant in Vance, Alabama, where on May 17, 56% of workers voted narrowly against joining the United Auto Workers. But a few months before the unsuccessful vote at Mercedes, workers 100 miles away at an EV bus manufacturing plant in Anniston, Alabama, unionized and won a historic contract. In January 2024, the majority of the around 600 workers at a plant run since 2013 by New Flyer, the largest transit bus manufacturer in North America, signed a union card to join the International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA). Over the last couple of years, workers at the company’s other plants in Kentucky and New York have unionized, joining two longtime union shops in Minnesota. Together, they now make up the largest union in the public transit bus manufacturing sector in the United States, with over 2,350 members.


FedEx pilots' contract dispute carries on: Where things stand and how we got here

Commercial Appeal

By Corey Davis

July 1, 2024

Contract negotiations between FedEx pilots and the Memphis-based logistics giant have entered their fourth summer. The two sides remain in mediated negotiations under the jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board, following the board's decision to deny the Air Line Pilots Association International's request for a proffer of arbitration, FedEx told The Commercial Appeal in an emailed statement. The pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA). On June 17, ALPA sent a request to the National Mediation Board to discuss the status of the case and to determine a path forward to secure an amended collective bargaining agreement for the FedEx pilots group, the association said in a statement. ALPA said the National Mediation Board responded on June 25 and scheduled a conference on the status of negotiations with the board members for Aug. 21.


Rock Region Metro drivers fight for higher wages, more paid time off


By Jessica Ranck

July 1, 2024

The fight for higher wages continues at the bus stop. Over the past month, drivers have been in negotiations with Rock Region Metro, calling for higher wages and more paid time off. Getting around the Capital City usually isn’t too difficult, whether you choose to bike, ride, or walk. However, if you’re a sitting passenger on the public bus, the wait may be longer than expected. In the last two years, Local 704 Amalgamated Transit Union President said nearly 30 drivers have either quit or gotten fired from the job.


Strike looms for Minneapolis parks workers


By John Croman

July 1, 2024

Park maintenance workers are set to walk off the job here as early as Tuesday, as negotiations over a new contract continue in private. Both sides were hunkered down in contract talks Monday, looking for ways to avoid the strike, which would affect about 35 percent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's year-round workforce. Those covered under the LIUNA Local 63 contract include 201 permanent and 114 seasonal maintenance crew members at parks, pools and playgrounds. The unit also includes arborists who care for hundreds of thousands of trees.


After a year of negotiations, Louisville firefighter union approves contract with city


By Ian Hardwitt

July 1, 2024

In total, the new contract for International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 54 members boosts firefighter pay by 24% over five years. "The dollars speak for themselves," Local 54 President Jeff Taylor said. "It makes us one of the highest, if not the highest paid fire department in the state of Kentucky."


REI Union Demands Company Settle Contract with Every Unionized Location by End of Year


By Matt Dougherty

June 30, 2024

During the grand opening weekend of the new REI Co-op store in Ithaca, a rally took place outside the storefront calling for REI to respect workers’ rights to unionize and settle a contract with all ten unionized REI locations by the end of the year. The rally, organized by REI workers and supported by local elected officials and community members, underscored Ithaca’s reputation as a strong union town. Unionization efforts at REI began during a nationwide wave of union organizing that started during the pandemic at companies like Starbucks,  Amazon and Trader Joe’s. “Ithaca is a union town, New York is a union state, and workers will continue to struggle for a fair contract at every union shop,” said Steve Buckley, Senior Sales Specialist at REI SoHo. REI employees, particularly from the SoHo location in New York City — the first to unionize —  have been vocal about their desire for a union to secure better working conditions. 


Nurses stage informational picket at Oak Hill Hospital

Suncoast News

By Vincent F. Safuto

July 1, 2024

Nurses at HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital need more pay, better health coverage and more colleagues, said Judy Preuss, a nurse in the intensive care unit. About 25 to 30 nurses, many from the night shift in the ICU and some from Largo and St. Petersburg, held an informational picket the morning of June 19 along Cortez Boulevard. “We are out here because our nurses have been chronically understaffed for a very long time,” Preuss said as traffic passed by and drivers occasionally honked their vehicle horns. “We want our patients to have the best care because this is our community, and we have our families come to this hospital, and we care about the quality of care that our patients get.”



Workers are voting to join unions at record high rates

Labor Tribune

By Staff

July 1, 2024

As autoworkers, baristas, package carriers, Hollywood writers and actors, and thousands of other workers fight for and win new unions and new union contracts, Biden administration appointees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are helping prevent anti-union employers from undermining worker organizing. However, these gains are under threat from The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 — a playbook with strategies for eroding checks and balances across the government that offers instructions for gutting the NLRB’s enforcement capacity. This would threaten workers’ ability to come together in unions to bargain for better wages and working conditions.



Poor People’s Campaign: ‘We are the swing votes in this election’

People’s World

By Mark Gruenberg

July 1, 2024

Declaring “we are the swing votes” to decide this fall’s election, thousands of people from all over the U.S. massed in Washington on June 29 to mobilize millions of poor and low-wealth people to cast ballots by or on November 5—and to warn politicians they risk their own power if they don’t heed that call. The campaign drew huge support from progressive organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees 1199 Health Care Workers, the Machinists, the Communications Workers, the Government Employees, the Postal Workers, the Amalgamated Transit Union and AFSCME. Jewish, progressive Protestant and Muslim faith groups also marched.


Thousands of Faith Leaders, Union Members, Activists Rally for Poor

Word & Way

By Jack Jenkins

July 1, 2024

Thousands of clergy, union members, and activists rallied on behalf of the poor near the U.S. Capitol on Saturday (June 29), with faith leaders calling for lawmakers to embrace a slate of policies and for low-wealth Americans to make their voices heard in November as the nation’s “largest potential swing vote.” The Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the organizing group the Poor People’s Campaign, declared to the sprawling crowd Saturday morning that poor people — who, he stressed, represent members of both major parties — are one of the largest untapped voting blocs in the country. Citing studies compiled by the Poor People’s Campaign, Barber argued poor and low-wealth people do not vote to their full potential, despite making up around 30% of the national electorate and close to 40% of voters in battleground states.



Brooke Shields Has Worn Many Hats. Now She’s a Labor Boss.

The New York Times

By Michael Paulson

July 1, 2024

Brooke Shields has a new office. It’s empty, and she hasn’t figured out how she wants to furnish it, or even how often she’ll be there, but it’s a sign of her new and unexpected status, as president of Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union representing theater actors and stage managers in the United States. Shields’s candidacy was a surprise, even to herself. But when Kate Shindle, who had led the union for nine years, announced in April that she was stepping down, Shields’s music director suggested she consider the opening, and soon enough, she had tossed her hat in the ring, and in May she won the vote by members, defeating two more-seasoned labor activists. She’s already led her first meeting of the union’s council, and came away realizing she has a lot to learn, starting with parliamentary procedure.



W.S.L.C.Volunteer for Labor Neighbor

The Stand

By Staff

July 1, 2024

Labor Neighbor, the grassroots member-to-member political action program of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, engages union members to inform fellow union members and their families about the candidates who earned labor’s endorsement — and why they earned it.


LI Electrical Union Members Visit Lindenhurst High Students


By Jade Eckardt

July 1, 2024

Students in Lindenhurst High School’s home improvement class talked electric safety with the pros lately during a visit from a local electrical union and Suffolk County officials. Members from union IBEW Local 1049, Legislator Kevin McCaffrey and Chief of Staff Guy Calla met with the students visited to talk about the importance of safety while working with electricity.