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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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Biden Calls Climate Denial ‘Dumb,’ Announces New Heat Protections for Workers

The New York Times

By Lisa Friedman and Noah Weiland

July 2, 2024

Environmental groups and labor unions praised the proposed regulation. Liz Shuler, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., said in a statement the heat worker protections “could not be more urgently needed.” She called on Congress to codify the new protections into law.


US Workers Poised to Get Protections From Heat Stress for the First Time


By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Stephanie Lai, and Justin Sink

July 2, 2024

President Joe Biden touted measures to better protect communities from extreme weather, including plans to impose the first-ever federal standards to shield US workers from heat stress. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler called the proposed rule “urgently needed” and said the labor coalition had long pushed to codify such protections in federal law. “Hot and humid conditions have long put indoor and outdoor workers at significant risk of heat-related illness and injury—with workers of color and immigrant workers facing disproportionate risks in many states,” Shuler said in a statement.



OSHA proposes rule to protect workers exposed to extreme heat

The Washington Post

By Anna Phillips

July 2, 2024

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed a rule Tuesday outlining steps employers must take to protect indoor and outdoor workers from the risk of heat illness, the first major regulation aimed at preventing heat-related deaths on the job. The rule, if finalized, could add protections for 35 million workers nationwide. But it will face opposition from industry groups and major hurdles beyond that, including the possibility that Donald Trump could win a second term and block the rule from becoming final.


Biden proposes new rule to protect 36 million workers from extreme heat

Las Vegas Sun

By Suman Naishadham

July 2, 2024

President Joe Biden on Tuesday proposed a new rule to address excessive heat in the workplace, warning — as tens of millions of people in the U.S. are under heat advisories — that high temperatures are the country's leading weather-related killer. The AFL-CIO union federation praised the Biden administration's rule. “If finalized, this new rule would address some of the most basic needs for workers’ health and safety,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.


Connecticut AFL-CIO gears up to build worker power

People’s World

By Joelle Fishman and Jahmal Henderson

July 2, 2024

Delegates to the 15th Biennial Political convention of the Connecticut AFL-CIO were united in their determination to organize and defeat Trump and MAGA candidates at every level in this November’s election. Meeting at the Omni Hotel in New Haven for two days, the themes of the elections and racial and economic justice filled the agenda. “Voting rights, reproductive rights, access to affordable health care, Medicare, Social Security are all on the ballot this November,” warned AFL CIO Secretary Treasurer Fred Redmond as the convention opened. “It’s not who you like, personalities, names. This election is about us workers and our shared values,” declared Redmond.


Biden unveils rules to protect millions of US workers from extreme heat

The Guardian

By Dharna Noor

July 2, 2024

The Biden administration has unveiled a long-awaited proposal to protect workers from extreme temperatures. If finalized, the rule will establish the nation’s first-ever federal safety standard for excessive heat exposure in the workplace and protect as many as 36 million indoor and outdoor workers. Announced on Tuesday amid temperature warnings across the country, the rule would require employers to establish a heat safety coordinators, undergo extreme heat safety training, create and regularly update emergency heat response plans, and provide workers with shade and water.



Rail unions approve government safety findings, despite holes

People’s World

By Press Associates

July 2, 2024

U.S. rail unions and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department have by and large agreed with federal safety findings as a result of the East Palestine, Ohio, freight train derailment disaster early in 2023. But there are some holes. A reading of the National Transportation Safety Board’s summary report shows the top one is no mention of railroads’ one-third cut in the number of freight train workers, including trained safety inspectors, starting in 2015. Unions and workers have battled those cuts ever since. The railroads cut workers, shifting to automation instead, to satisfy the greed for higher dividends and other payouts to their Wall Street investors. As a result, safety went south. “The National Transportation Safety Board’s findings and safety recommendations are an indictment of widespread safety failures across the freight rail industry,” Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan said.



Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese strengthen players' union seeking larger piece of financial pie

USA Today

By Josh Peter

July 2, 2024

As the WNBA enjoys a surge in attendance and TV ratings, negotiates a lucrative media-rights deal and prepares to add four teams that will net tens of millions in expansion fees, the players want a larger slice of the pie. So here's what is likely to happen: Before the Nov. 1deadline, the Women's National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) will opt out of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) set to run through 2027, with added star power. Clark and Reese will be in the fold. The players' association is in a new position thanks to Clark, Reese and the rest of the WNBA's rookie class, said Gary Roberts, the former dean of the Indiana University law school whose expertise includes sports law. "This is really the first draft class that has gotten this kind of attention that would give the union some bargaining leverage," Roberts said. "And it’s all about leverage.


Minneapolis parks workers say they'll strike starting this week

CBS News

By Anthony Bettin

July 2, 2024

Minneapolis park workers announced Tuesday they'll begin a weeklong strike on the Fourth of July holiday. Hundreds of workers with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board represented by LIUNA Local 363 will start striking Thursday, the union says. 


Collective bargaining agreement reached in Maumee, allowing round-the-clock firefighting coverage in city


By WTOL Newsroom

July 2, 2024

The city of Maumee will now have round-the-clock firefighter and paramedic coverage, in addition to more full-time staff members, following a collective bargaining agreement with the firefighters' association. In a press release issued Tuesday, the city said the agreement was tentatively signed by the city and members of the International Association of Firefighters Local 4546 (IAFF) on June 27, then approved by city council on July 2 during a special meeting. 


Employees at Monument Chemical in Brandenburg plan to go on strike; Here’s why


By Joseph Garcia

July 2, 2024

Union workers at a chemical plant in Meade County plan to go on strike this week, urging fair contract negotiations. The strike at Monument Chemical is expected to begin on Wednesday, union leaders said. UA Local 502 Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Technicians and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 369 said the strike is focused on securing higher wages and protecting workers from subcontracting.


Bookstore workers ratify union contract

Southside Pride

By Jessica Hayssen

July 2, 2024

Workers from four Twin Cities Half Price Books locations ratified their first union contracts on May 31, 2024. Workers unionized with the United Food and Commercial Workers Locals (UFCW) 663 and 1189 to secure better wages, working conditions and a seat at the table. Because of Minnesota workers’ unionization efforts, employees company wide were able to realize 33% raises, with starting wages rising from $12 to $16. The contracts include job protections such as just cause, grievance procedures, and union representation. Workers at Half Price Books’ Minnesota locations were the first in the nation to form a union with UFCW. In 2022, workers won their union elections at Coon Rapids (Northtown), Roseville, St. Louis Park and St. Paul and unionized with UFCW Local 663 and 1189. The locals have 2.5 and 3.5 year contracts, respectively.



NLRB files for injunction against Lucid

HR Dive

By Haley Cawthon

July 2, 2024

Lucid Motors could face an injunction as the National Labor Relations Board claims it unlawfully terminated two employees engaged in unionization efforts at its Casa Grande, Arizona, manufacturing plant. The union-busting allegations were first filed before the U.S. District Court in Arizona in January. However, because the hearing on that complaint is months away, Region 28-Phoenix Regional Director Cornele Overstreet is now pushing for a court injunction that would reinstate the employees, among other measures, according to a June 6 filing.



Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker sued by AFSCME DC 47 over return-to-office policy

CBS News

By Joe Brandt

July 2, 2024

A coalition of unions that represent thousands of Philadelphia city employees announced a lawsuit against Mayor Cherelle Parker over her return-to-office policy. The civil suit was filed Tuesday in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County. In a video posted on Instagram, union leaders said they were offered a contract extension from the city and agreed to a 30-day extension, but would be contesting the return-to-office mandate in court. "On the topic of alternative work schedules and the return to office, Local 2187 and Local 2186 remain ever clear: that this is a mandatory subject of bargaining," said David Wilson, President of AFSCME District Council 47 and Local 2187.


Union that represents Philly city workers sues over return-to-office mandate

The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jake Blumgart and Anna Orso

July 2, 2024

A union that represents thousands of Philadelphia city employees sued Mayor Cherelle L. Parker’s administration Tuesday over the mayor’s return-to-office policy, asking a judge to halt the mandate before it takes effect July 15. The lawsuit was filed by District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents 6,000 administrative and supervisory employees. The suit claims that the city violated its contract by requiring all employees to return to in-person work. “The city’s 180-degree turn will cause substantial harm for city workers, and will throw city services into chaos,” the union wrote in its suit. DC 47 also filed a companion unfair labor practices complaint with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.



Union jobs, at your fingertips

The Stand

By Staff

July 2, 2024

Union workers make more than non-union workers, on average by more than 10%. For women, that differences is more than 20%. That’s a crucial pay bump for many working people, not to mention the job security, workplace protections, and earned respect that come with a union contract. These differences can be life changing. Wanting a union job is one thing — but finding a union job is another. Enter the Virtual Union Hiring Hall, a collaborative project between the Presidents’ Organizing Initiative (POI) housed at the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council (MLK Labor) and Partner in Employment (PIE). This innovative platform allows union employers to post positions, and applicants to look through their options, including pay, descriptions of work, and what union would represent them. Applicants can scroll a full list of positions, or search by job title or union.


Ahlstrom in Rhinelander awards high school students scholarships


By Morgan Johnson

July 2, 2024

Area high school students received scholarships from Ahlstrom Munksjö and its union, United Steelworkers Union Local 2-15 in Rhinelander. Recent graduates of Rhinelander High School and Tomahawk High School were awarded $1,000 scholarships. This is the second year that Ahlstrom and the Union have partnered to award scholarships to students. “We celebrate the achievements of these graduates and wish them continued success on their future endeavors as they pursue their respective fields of study,” said Plant Manager Dan McGreaham.



More than 52,000 PA workers and retirees’ pensions saved by Biden’s American Rescue Plan

The Keystone

By Sean Kitchen

July 1, 2024

President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced a major milestone for their first term in office. More than 1 million workers and retirees, and more than 52,000 in Pennsylvania, have had their pensions saved thanks to the American Rescue Plan. US Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) made the announcement recently when more than 100,000 members of the Baker, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) had their pension saved by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). “Millions of workers rely on the pensions they’ve earned, but before we passed the American Rescue Plan, too many retirees faced devastating cuts to their plans,” US Sen. Bob Casey said in a statement.