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Today's AFL-CIO press clips

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Workplace heat rules proposed by Biden administration to protect workers

Maine Public

By Peter McGuire

July 8, 2024

A rule proposed by federal workplace safety regulators would offer some workers protection from extreme heat. The regulation pitched by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes that climate change makes dangerous high heat days more common, said Matt Schlobohm, executive director of the Maine AFL-CIO labor union. "Employers obviously can’t control everything about the weather and the temperature, but workers deserve fundamental rights and protections and we need to adjust to this new reality and this rule is a great step in that direction," Schlobohm said.



Michigan strong: Local ironworkers creating a legacy with Gordie Howe Bridge

Macomb Daily

By Gina Joseph

July 8, 2024

Kyle Dedenbach is among the ironworkers building the Gordie Howe International Bridge, and while his work has him climbing to heights of more than 700 feet, his biggest fear is not that he will fall. “My fear is dropping an item or tool knowing I’ve got brothers and sisters working below me,” said the Macomb Township resident and member of Ironworkers 25, a union of labor workers from several counties across Michigan.



UM grad employee union certified

NBC Montana

By Jacob Owens

July 8, 2024

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has certified the University of Montana Graduate Employees Union, according to the Montana Federation of Public Employees. The union, which will cover more than 400 positions at UM, is part of the larger Montana Federation of Public Employees. Organizing efforts began in fall 2021 with students like Colette Berg.



As strike impacts events, Minneapolis park board plans special meeting

CBS News

By Pauleen Le and Jonah Kaplan

July 8, 2024

Monday is day five of the Minneapolis park workers strike, and union leaders are upping the ante as negotiations remain at a standstill. LIUNA Local 363 filed a new unfair labor practice complaint against the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Superintendent Al Bangoura for what they call illegal and anti-worker behavior, including threatening their job security. "Threatening that they would lose their jobs, potentially threatening demotions, threatening to take away their seniority and telling them that they would not be allowed to come back to work until the strike was resolved and a contract was then ratified," said A.J. Lange, LIUNA Local 363's business manager.


LIUNA files unethical labor practice suit against Minneapolis Parks Board


By Diane Sandberg

July 8, 2024

On Monday the union representing more than 300 Minneapolis Parks workers announced their intent to file an unethical labor practice charge against the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). LIUNA Local 363 made multiple allegations against MPRB and Superintendent Al Bangoura in a press release. The union said a "deliberate" campaign to undermine workers is underway while the Park Board refuses to bargain in good faith. 


Westin Long Beach workers strike, demanding higher wages

Hotel Dive

By Jenna Walters

July 8, 2024

Union workers at the Westin Long Beach hotel in Long Beach, California, walked out on the job Saturday, days after the workers voted to authorize a strike, hospitality union Unite Here Local 11 announced in a release obtained by Hotel Dive. Workers said that the hotel has not yet signed a contract that would raise wages and enhance workplace conditions, similar to those already inked by more than 60 hotels in Southern California. Private equity firms Rockpoint and Highgate own the Westin Long Beach, and Highgate operates the hotel. 


Grocery Workers Ratify Contract Agreement With Food 4 Less/Foods Co.

Progressive Grocer

By Bridget Goldschmidt

July 8, 2024

Following months of negotiation, members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442 voted on July 3 to ratify a new three-year contract with Food 4 Less/Foods Co., a division of The Kroger Co. “By ratifying this contract, Food 4 Less/Foods Co. workers have secured meaningful raises, increased hours for part-time workers, and a more direct path to top-rate pay over the next three years,” the locals noted in a joint statement. “After countless hours at the bargaining table and in the streets between their shifts, the hard-working members of UFCW stood together for their families and each other and secured a strong contract.



Transit Workers Demand ‘Fix Our Schedules,’ Packing Board Meeting

Labor Notes

By Michael Sebastian and Richard Marcantonio

July 8, 2024

“Fix our schedules.” That’s the demand that filled the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit board room in Oakland, California, beyond capacity on June 5. Bus operators are “not able to have a break,” Transit (ATU) Local 192 President LaTrina Meredith said, opening two hours of public comment. “They’re trying to make a schedule that is unsafe. They won’t drink water because they don’t have time to use the restroom.”



A measure to help Oregon cannabis workers unionize is headed to November ballot, labor group says

Oregon Public Broadcasting

By Dirk VanderHart

July 8, 2024

One of Oregon’s largest labor unions failed last year to convince lawmakers to make it easier for some cannabis workers to unionize. Now the union is spending big to get the law passed another way. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 said Monday that it expects to qualify a measure on the November ballot that would require owners of cannabis dispensaries and processors to allow workers to unionize without interfering.


Denver City Council to vote on employee unionizing efforts (Video)

Denver 7

By Staff

July 8, 2024

Thousands of city workers in Denver could move a step closer to unionizing Monday as Denver City Council take a critical vote on the matter. If approved, voters would have the final say on the November ballot.



Lancaster firefighters' union sounds alarm on staffing changes


By Alyssa Kratz

July 8, 2024

Lancaster's firefighter union is criticizing the city's decision to shrink the number of on-duty firefighters from 13 to 11, a number it says doesn't meet national fire protection standards. Leadership of the union, Lancaster Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 319, expressed concerns in a July 1 post on its Facebook page, saying in part, "We may burn to death tonight… another family or some innocent children sleeping may die due to poor staffing levels tonight — contact city hall and express your concerns."



Campers wear hardhats and yellow safety vests at this Philly construction camp for girls

The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Ariana Perez-Castells

July 8, 2024

Young girls wearing yellow safety vests and white hard hats gathered on a recent Monday morning around work stations at the Sheet Metal Workers’ Training Center of Local Union 19 in South Philadelphia. One by one, they took turns with large machines bending sheets of metal into distinct shapes until they had each built their own toolbox. Amid a nationwide need for workers in construction and a lack of gender diversity in the industry, the girls are participating in a camp aimed at exposing them to the trades. This summer, the girls camp, which is in its 15th year and hosts students entering seventh through 12th grades, is expanding from one cohort in South Philly, to include another session based out of Northeast Philadelphia.


Local unions turn out for LGBTQIA+ rights at St. Louis Pride Parade

Labor Tribune

By Tim Rowden

July 8, 2024

St. Louis area unions turned out in numbers June 30 for the 2024 Grand Pride Parade capping off St. Louis Pride Fest in downtown, celebrating their LGBTQIA+ members and reminding the public that unions provide an equal voice on the job to all workers. Participating unions and affiliate organizations included United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 655 and 88, UNITE HERE Local 74, UAW Local 2250 and the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus with representatives from IBEW Locals 1, 1439, 1455 and 309. Pride Fest, a celebration of LGBTQIA rights, draws attendees from throughout the country. The parade was interrupted and delayed for about an hour by pro-Palestinian protesters who objected to Boeing’s sponsorship of this year’s event. Police eventually arrested the protestors.


Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562 helps nonprofit Housing Partnership better serve clients

Labor Tribune

By Tim Rowden

July 8, 2024

Volunteers from Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562, Bieg Plumbing, Frey Plumbing, Murphy Company and DeLuca Plumbing recently completed the conversion of a first floor closet to a functional restroom at the office of The Housing Partnership (THP), a nonprofit in St. Louis County. The addition will assist THP’s clients, a great many whom are elderly and disabled. Prior to the conversion, only a second floor facility was available. Headquartered in Lemay, the Housing Partnership is a community development corporation, which for 26 years has provided residential development services, homebuying assistance, and home repair/maintenance/modification programming for low-to-moderate-income residents of unincorporated Lemay, Affton, and Mehlville.


Johnson-Shaw Foundation promoting ‘Bridge to Success’ union trade curriculum


By Mike Jones

July 8, 2024

When Jeffrey Johnson left jail in 2015 after several brushes with the legal system, he was looking for purpose as he charted a new path in his life. He found it while living in a halfway house in Braddock when he visited a local career center and a case worker suggested he take an introductory class that was educating people about union trades. “It actually just fell in my lap,” Johnson said. Johnson took the course with the thought of studying to one day work as a union carpenter, but instead followed a path to becoming an electrician with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.