< Back
You are here  >   Need a Union?  >  AFL-CIO News Feed
Minimize

AFL-CIO News Feeds

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 13:36:23 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Following a comprehensive complaint filed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued its largest coronavirus-related citation in the state, fining food processing company Overhill Farms and its staffing agency more than $200,000 for serious health and safety violations. “It should not be so dangerous to go to work every day. I commend the leadership of the workers at Overhill for speaking up in the face of atrocious safety violations at the plant and for creating an innovative safety committee at Overhill. Without their leadership, even more workers would be sick,” said John Grant, president of Local 770. “Now the state of California has weighed in with meaningful citations that show just how dangerous the working conditions were.” One worker at Overhill died from COVID-19 in April, and more than 1,100 members of Local 770 have tested positive for the virus. Cal/OSHA specifically cited Overhill because its employees have been unable to maintain physical distance at several points at the jobsite.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:36

New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:40:07 +0000

New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with an important victory in the fight against COVID-19 for Las Vegas' workers and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life. 

Las Vegas Unions Negotiate New COVID-19 Protections: Workers at MGM Resorts and Caesars hotels and casinos in Las Vegas represented by Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 successfully negotiated new protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new agreement will provide more than 36,000 workers with extended health benefits, paid time off for quarantines and other protections. “Behind every worker is a family, and we are proud to have partnered with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment during this difficult time to ensure workers are protected during this pandemic and are not left behind when the economy recovers. These new historic agreements mean workers will have their family health benefits in place until next year, even if they are currently laid off, and that workers will be able to return to their jobs as business recovers with full seniority rights,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union.

Feminist Majority Foundation Staff Join NPEU: Staff at Feminist Majority Foundation voted to join Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU) and have asked management for voluntary recognition. Said NPEU President Kayla Blado: “We are excited to welcome Feminist Majority Union to NPEU and the labor movement. Women’s rights are union rights, and with their union, FMF staff will be able to more effectively advocate for feminism and the rights of women. We look forward to FMF management promptly recognizing its staff union.”

New American Leaders Staff Join NPEU: Staff at New American Leaders (NAL) voted to be represented by NPEU and have made a formal request to management for voluntary recognition. NAL Workers United and NPEU said in a statement: "We believe that unionizing is integral in the fight to eradicate the oppressive structures of white supremacy, systemic racism, and capitalism. We see unionizing as a way to live our progressive values internally; a union will help us use democratic principles to root out white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism and classism within the workplace, which will only strengthen our ability to serve our communities better and with more authenticity."

Meow Wolf Staff Ask Management to Recognize Union: Meow Wolf employees have asked management to voluntarily recognize their unionization and intent to be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Meow Wolf Writer Bill Rogers said: "Once we're recognized, we will work with the company to negotiate a contract that represents the well-being of all workers in Meow Wolf. We believe this will set Meow Wolf apart from its peers in the immersive entertainment industry. Meow Wolf has been a beacon for working artists all around the world. That ideal drew many of us to Santa Fe [New Mexico] in the first place. We want to help the company achieve that yet again."

SAG-AFTRA Members Ratify Television Animation Contract Overwhelmingly: More than 87% of members voted to approve the 2020 SAG-AFTRA TV Animation Contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The new contract includes wage increases, improved residuals for streaming services and other gains. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said: "This is a strong, future-focused agreement with significant gains for our members. It applies scale wages to more productions, lowers budget thresholds for half-hour HBSVOD programs and delivers additional money for the use of interstitial programs in new media.”

Philadelphia Museum of Art Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Join AFSCME: With 89% voting in favor of unionization, workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be represented by AFSCME District Council 47. The victory establishes the first wall-to-wall union at a major museum in the United States. The yearlong campaign was delayed by COVID-19 and management's "attempts to discourage unionization."

Largest Strike in U.S. Ends as IAM Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract: After nearly 10 weeks, the strike by Machinists (IAM) Local S6 members who work at Bath Iron Works is over, with 87% of the membership approving the new contract. The contract includes protections against expanded subcontracting and preserves seniority rights. IAM Local S6 President Chris Wiers said: “This strike was a testament to the culmination of Local S6 leadership, our negotiating committee and the incredible power of solidarity shown by our membership. Now that we successfully protected our contract language with respect to subcontracting and seniority, we need to get back to work and continue to prove to the U.S. Navy that ‘S6 built is best built.’”

Management Voluntarily Recognizes Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Staff Union: Staff at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law voted to join NPEU, and management voluntarily recognized the union after a majority was confirmed through card-check. The LC United organizing committee statement said: “Every day, the Lawyers’ Committee staff works hard to protect the civil rights of our country’s most vulnerable populations. We are excited to be recognized and work with management to ensure better workplace protections and conditions for our deserving and dedicated staff.”

Staff at Educational Site Chalkbeat Join WGAE: Reporters, story editors and other staff at educational website Chalkbeat voted to join the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Management voluntarily recognized the union. In a statement, the staff said: "We are thrilled to take this step in concert with Chalkbeat management, which swiftly recognized our union. We believe that every child deserves an excellent education and that sustaining vital newsrooms is crucial to that mission. As Chalkbeat continues to grow, it is imperative that those closest to the journalism we produce have a greater role in the decisions that affect us. Our decision to unionize and negotiate a contract reflects our desire to help strengthen this news organization."

USW Members at Former Briggs & Stratton Ratify Contract: Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2-232 ratified a new contract with the successful bidder for the company Briggs & Stratton. The engine maker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and an affiliate of investment firm KPS Capital Partners submitted the successful bid to buy the company, subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. “The USW supports the KPS bid, and we look forward to a long and productive partnership with the company here. The company has a solid track record of success in running manufacturing facilities like this, and this contract will put the company and the workers on that same track,” said Michael Bolton, director of USW District 2.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/18/2020 - 08:40

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Jersey State AFL-CIO Celebrates Legislative Victory on Workers’ Compensation

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 15:36:25 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Jersey State AFL-CIO Celebrates Legislative Victory on Workers’ Compensation

AFL-CIO
AFL-CIO

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO, led by President Charles Wowkanech (IUOE), issued a statement Monday commending Gov. Phil Murphy for signing into law a bill that shifts the burden of proof from the employee to the employer in workers’ compensation claims for essential workers who interact with the general public and contract COVID-19 during the declared state of emergency. “Front-line essential workers who were required to come in and work during the stay-at-home order and continue to perform services that put themselves and their families at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 at their jobs deserve the benefits of workers’ compensation and peace of mind this law provides,” Wowkanech said. The presumption of infection at the workplace is rebuttable by the employer or the insurance company if evidence exists that the worker contracted the virus outside the course of their employment. The state federation said that essential employees’ claims of workers’ compensation are routinely rejected by employers because the employees can’t prove they contracted COVID-19 at their place of work.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/17/2020 - 11:36

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IATSE Members Rally in Texas for Extended Unemployment Insurance

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 13:43:24 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IATSE Members Rally in Texas for Extended Unemployment Insurance

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) locals in Texas are pushing to extend the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit to not only entertainment workers, but also to the 30 million families across a wide array of industries who continue to rely on these benefits to make ends meet during the pandemic. IATSE members rallied outside the state Capitol in Austin on Sept. 15 to demand passage of the HEROES Act, which remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/16/2020 - 09:43

Labor and Faith Forge Partnership for Social, Racial and Economic Justice

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 15:29:09 +0000

Labor and Faith Forge Partnership for Social, Racial and Economic Justice

Take the pledge

Today, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and the AFL-CIO marked the 57th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, where four girls were killed after white supremacists bombed the church on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1963, with a virtual candlelight vigil and commitment to a 10-point pledge for social, racial and economic justice.

At this moment in history, labor and faith must come together, stand together and act to stop the injustices that plague the nation—institutional racism and racist violence, the immoral response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deepening economic crisis driven by division and greed.

Barber and Trumka called on the labor and faith communities to come together in the spirit of the four girls killed in the bombing to rededicate and recommit to rebuilding our powerful and historic coalition for social, racial and economic justice.

Here is the 10-point pledge:

  1. We call on all of us here in the United States of America to reject death, whether by racism or economic injustice, and unite to fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone. And as we embrace life, we remember those Americans who gave their lives that we might be free—from the beaches of Normandy to the coal camps of West Virginia to the churches of Birmingham and Charleston.
  2. We call on every person, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation or gender identity, to demand that those whom we the people have granted authority—our elected leaders, our government officials and our law enforcement officers, from the president of the United States to the police officer on the beat—to uphold the Constitution and to honor the oaths you took on the Holy Bible to establish justice, provide for the common defense and the general welfare and, in this time of pandemic, to place the lives, health and safety of our people above the greed of the wealthy and the ambitions of the powerful.
  3. We call on the president of the United States to stop lying, to stop stoking hate and racism, and instead to turn his attention and the full power of the federal government he leads to address the physical and economic fear and pain so many now endure. We further call on him to come to the aid of the essential worker, the unemployed, the poor and the vulnerable, whether in nursing homes, in meatpacking houses or on the unemployment lines.
  4. We call on every person of conscience to reject our country going backward. We call on our nation and our elected leaders to embrace America’s promise, to have the courage to embrace the future that we can build together, not the divisive legacies of our past.
  5. We call on the U.S. Senate to address the intertwined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic pain and structural racism by taking up and passing the HEROES Act and the Justice in Policing Act.
  6. We call on both houses of Congress to go beyond the bills still sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk and take bold action to give all of us, but especially the poor among us, all we need to live and thrive and bring a new day for our country, starting with a good job with rights and economic security for all who want to work.
  7. We call on the authorities who have the responsibility of protecting our democracy, and on every person who believes in America, to come together to stop every attempt at voter suppression, and we call on every citizen of our republic to make every sacrifice needed to vote.
  8. We call on every employer—every business, nonprofit and government body in America to give all workers the day off, or at least time off (with pay), to vote on Election Day.
  9. We call on every person who believes in civil rights and economic justice to take action to defend our right to vote and our democratic republic—to work with your church, your union and your civic organization to stand up for solidarity and to reject death. We can begin by joining in a digital gathering and training on Sept. 14 jointly hosted by the Moral Mondays movement and the AFL-CIO on the theme of “Voting Is Power Unleashed.”
  10. On Sept. 15, we call on every person in this nation to join us virtually at noon to declare that:

We the people, with deep conviction and determination, declare our commitment to defend our republic, won by the blood and sacrifice of those who came before us, by exercising our right to vote. We truly have nothing to fear but fear itself. We will move forward together and we will accept nothing but freedom. We will not take one step back, and we will bring a new day to our beloved country.

Sign the pledge today.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/15/2020 - 11:29

No Friend of Working People: In the States Roundup

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 14:45:49 +0000

No Friend of Working People: In the States Roundup

In the States Roundup

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alaska State AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

Illinois AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana State AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council:

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/15/2020 - 10:45

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Vote. Your Life Depends On It

Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:20:26 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Vote. Your Life Depends On It

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Americans should vote on November 3 because our lives are literally depending on it. A teacher, a nurse, a pharmacy technician and a letter carrier have all experienced the trauma of working and living in a country deeply impacted by COVID-19. These essential workers have lived through the mismanagement of the pandemic and the bad decisions that have cost more than 184,000 American lives and destroyed the economy. It’s time to hold our legislators accountable. Vote on November 3 or, even better, mail in your ballot and stay safe. Find out more at: WorkersFirstVoteUnion.org.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/15/2020 - 09:20

AFL-CIO Honors the Life and Legacy of Father Jack O’Malley

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 19:32:58 +0000

AFL-CIO Honors the Life and Legacy of Father Jack O’Malley

Father John

Father John “Jack” O’Malley, a lifelong champion of labor and civil rights, passed away on Friday at the age of 83. He served as the chaplain of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council. Father O’Malley was an individual of deep religious faith who personified the Beatitudes and believed in taking the Gospel into the streets, said Joseph Delale of IUE-CWA Local 630, former AFL-CIO community service liaison with the Allegheny labor council. Father O’Malley provided spiritual guidance during numerous worker actions, including the Delano grape strike that began in California in the 1960s and spread to other cities, including Pittsburgh’s Strip District. At the time, he housed César Chávez and organizers for the United Farm Workers in his parish house.

In 2002, Father O’Malley joined the mining community of Acosta, Pennsylvania, as families were anxiously awaiting news of nine miners who were trapped underground in the Quecreek Mine. In the most trying circumstances, the families of the trapped miners kept their faith in God, he said at the time. “They are praying that time doesn’t run out,” Father O’Malley said. He spent a weekend comforting the families in their time of uncertainty. He slept in his car and on the ground, despite having back troubles. In the end, all nine miners were rescued alive.

Father O’Malley’s work linked the faith community and the labor movement together in solidarity. The Catholic Labor Network called him “one of the great labor priests.” He also played a leading role in establishing the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, encouraging the cross-denominational organization to embrace the labor movement to help workers. In 2014, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO honored him with the state federation’s Citizen of the Year Award. Father O’Malley once said, “We know that when people don’t have enough to eat and don’t have safety at the workplace—whether they’re a mine worker, a steelworker, a farmworker or a fast-food worker—it becomes a moral issue, and the church should be involved.” The AFL-CIO joins in honoring his lifetime of fighting for working people, and we send our condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/14/2020 - 15:32

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Mine Workers

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 19:11:16 +0000

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Mine Workers

UMWA

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Mine Workers.

Name of Union: United Mine Workers (UMWA)

Mission: To provide workers with a voice on the job and financial security at home, to fight for safe workplaces, good wages and benefits, and to provide strong representation for working families.

Current Leadership of Union: Cecil E. Roberts serves as international president of UMWA. Roberts is a sixth-generation coal miner from Kanawha County, West Virginia. He began his career at Carbon Fuels' No. 31 mine in Winifred, West Virginia. In 1982, he was elected international vice president of UMWA and was re-elected subsequently before first being elected president in 1995. He is currently serving his fifth full term as president.

Levi Allen serves as international secretary-treasurer. UMWA also has nine vice presidents: Chuck Knisell, Steve Earle, Gary Trout, Larry Spencer, Michael Dalpiaz, Rick Altman, James Gibbs, Don Barnett and Donnie Samms.

Members Work As: Coal miners, manufacturing workers, clean coal technicians, health care workers, corrections officers and public employees.

Industries Represented: The mining industry, public employees, manufacturing, health care, the Navajo Nation and retirees throughout the United States and Canada.

History: Founded in 1890, UMWA has a rich history. Watch this video to learn more:

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/14/2020 - 15:11

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Relief Efforts Continue for Louisiana’s Labor Movement as the State’s Working Families Recover from Hurricane Laura

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 13:09:32 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Relief Efforts Continue for Louisiana’s Labor Movement as the State’s Working Families Recover from Hurricane Laura

Louisiana hurricane relief

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The labor movement is continuing to lead recovery efforts in southwestern Louisiana, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Laura. The Louisiana AFL-CIO, led by President Louis Reine (SMART), and its affiliates have been collecting bottled water, food and other essential items to distribute to union members and families affected by the storm. Over Labor Day weekend, items continued to be distributed from the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 198 union hall in Lake Charles. The hall is being used as a staging area for the labor movement’s relief efforts.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/14/2020 - 09:09

   
  

Contact Us

ITPEU/OPEIU Local 4873, AFL-CIO
14 Chatham Center South, Unit B
Savannah, GA 31405 

Ph (912) 349-1154
Fax: (912) 777-5912

Copyright 2020 ITPEU Terms Of Use Privacy Statement