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Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood Workers Unionize

Thu, 18 Jul 2024 14:08:00 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood Workers Unionize

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

Workers at Planned Parenthood’s Kalamazoo Health Center became the first Planned Parenthood site in West Michigan to unionize. They will be represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951. They will start negotiating their first contract and they say union representation is a step in the right direction toward a lasting career.

“I was happy to have a hand in organizing our clinic and to put my ‘yes’ vote in the ballot box for representation with the UFCW,” said Deedee Rounds, medical assistant at Kalamazoo Planned Parenthood. “My personal motivation was to strengthen the position of working-class people in my workplace. Without working people, the crops don’t grow, the trains don’t run, and in this instance, the clinics don’t open.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Hot Labor Summer: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Wed, 17 Jul 2024 14:05:49 +0000

Hot Labor Summer: What Working People Are Doing This Week

What Working People Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

Actors' Equity:

AFGE:

AFSCME:

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Teachers:

American Postal Workers Union:

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Boilermakers:

Bricklayers:

Communications Workers of America:

Department for Professional Employees:

Electrical Workers:

Heat and Frost Insulators:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

International Labor Communications Association:

Jobs With Justice:

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Labor Heritage Foundation:

Laborers:

Machinists:

Mine Workers:

Musical Artists:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

National Association of Letter Carriers:

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

National Nurses United:

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

Roofers and Waterproofers:

SAG-AFTRA:

Solidarity Center:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers Union:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

Union Veterans Council:

UNITE HERE:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

United Steelworkers:

Utility Workers:

Writers Guild of America East:

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: San Diego Convention Center Workers Secure TA, Averting Strike Before Comic-Con

Wed, 17 Jul 2024 13:57:22 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: San Diego Convention Center Workers Secure TA, Averting Strike Before Comic-Con

UNITE HERE  members

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

San Diego Convention Center food and beverage workers, who are represented by UNITE HERE Local 30, reached a tentative agreement (TA) on Friday, averting a potential strike two weeks before the largest annual pop-culture convention was set to open.

UNITE HERE’s negotiations have been with Sodexo Live, a food and beverage services company contracted by the convention center for events like San Diego Comic-Con, which draws in more than 135,000 attendees. The old contract covering 650 cooks, dishwashers, bartenders, servers, baristas and food concession workers at the event space expired on June 30 and, two days prior to the TA, more than 99% of members had voted in favor of authorizing a strike if they didn’t get a fair deal. And their unwavering commitment to one another has paid off: the TA ensures massive pay raises among other wins. Under the new agreement, non-tipped workers will get a $3-an-hour increase each year over the lifetime of the contract—that means the overall percentage wage boost for staff will range from 55% to 67%. The union also secured health benefits for a number of staff who currently don’t work enough hours to qualify for health insurance and an agreement related to a defined pension benefit plan.

“We are happy to report that we just settled an amazing contract for our members,” Local 30 President Brigette Browning said. “We need to schedule ratification, but we are confident it will be approved by the membership.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Endless Union Summer: In the States Roundup

Tue, 16 Jul 2024 13:51:33 +0000

Endless Union Summer: 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 X (formerly Twitter).

California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO:

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Illinois AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Workers at Jewish Family Services Secure Union

Tue, 16 Jul 2024 12:34:56 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Workers at Jewish Family Services Secure Union

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

Workers at Jewish Family Services voted overwhelmingly to join Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 6400 as Jewish Family Services Workers United. The victory comes after months of organizing and sustained union avoidance tactics from management. Workers cited high turnover and a toxic work environment among their reasons for organizing.

“We won both,” said Natashia Pickens, executive vice president of Local 6400. “This was a hard-fought win. They were pushing very hard to stop this, and it came down to the vote. We are very excited for the workers, and we are looking forward to building a collaborative process with Jewish Family Services. Workers will have a voice on the job, and a say in what happens to them in the workplace. And the company has to work with them on some of the issues they have there in the center.”

Jewish Family Services provides services for children, families and older adults designed to help alleviate hunger and improve mental health. They also operate the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry and child abuse prevention programs.

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Vallejo City Council Approves New Contract with IBEW

Mon, 15 Jul 2024 14:03:19 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Vallejo City Council Approves New Contract with IBEW

Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245 members

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

The Vallejo City Council last week approved with near unanimity a new contract with the Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245, which was overwhelmingly ratified by membership days prior.

The memorandum of understanding secures key wins like wage increases, improvements to medical benefits and more. Council members approved a two-part resolution—which recognized the tentative agreement and passed a notice of intent to amend the city’s 2024–25 budget and salary plan—and also took an opportunity to commend the dedication of city workers. The union credits this hard-won victory after months of negotiations to members’ commitment to making strong appearances at City Council meetings and to an outpouring of support from labor and faith allies in the community.

“It’s a great day,” Local 1245 Business Manager Bob Dean said. “This is a victory that belongs to the hard-working men and women of the City of Vallejo and everyone who supported them.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Building a Southern Economy for All: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 15 Jul 2024 13:15:52 +0000

Building a Southern Economy for All: The Working People Weekly List

Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

President Biden Attends Meeting with Union Leaders at AFL-CIO: “President Biden delivered remarks at a meeting with national union leaders at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. ‘We’re gonna build this country from the bottom up and the middle out, not the top down,’ he said, and drew a contrast between himself and his Republican presidential challenger Donald Trump on plans for the economy and labor. He was introduced by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.”

Unions and Communities Are Building a Southern Economy for All: “Gov. Brian Kemp and five other Southern governors recently sent a chilling statement to working people in this state: Don’t you dare join a union. While politicians in the South have a long and sordid history of thwarting workers’ legal right to stand together in a union, these brazen and highly inappropriate threats no longer carry the weight they once did. Workers at the Blue Bird electric bus factory in Macon made history last year by voting to join the United Steelworkers and last month ratified their first contract, which included substantial wage gains, health and safety protections, and much more. These workers and many others in the South who choose to stand together in a union are sending a powerful message to anti-union governors like Kemp: We won’t be bullied.”

Three Ways Project 2025 Will Impact American Workplaces: “A 922-page document, the Mandate for Leadership 2025: The Conservative Promise, also known as Project 2025, has been a big topic of conversation as the presidential election draws near. The document, which contains a detailed right-wing proposal of drastic changes for the next Republican president to implement, was drafted by the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation. The leader of the Heritage Foundation, Kevin Roberts, stated in a podcast interview that Republicans are in the midst of ‘taking this country back’ and that the U.S. is currently in a second American Revolution that will ‘remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.’ Although several Trump administration officials contributed to the document, former president Trump has claimed to know nothing about it. Every American should understand Project 2025 and its potential long-term impacts. This article explores three major shifts that the authoritarian playbook will cause in the American workplace if implemented.”

Biden Administration Makes Largest-Ever Federal Grant to NY/NJ: Gateway Tunnel Is Finally Funded: “Yesterday, elected officials from New Jersey and New York announced that $6.88 billion in federal funding for the Hudson Tunnel Project has been obtained. The long-awaited project now has enough federal funding to begin the full construction phase. This is the largest federal funding commitment to a rail transportation project in over a decade. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks the Biden Administration for delivering on their commitments to increasing the number of good paying union jobs, while investing in much needed improvements to infrastructure.”

Workplace Heat Rules Proposed by Biden Administration to Protect Workers: “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.”

Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese Strengthen Players' Union Seeking Larger Piece of Financial Pie: “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. 1 deadline, 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.’”

Advancement of Immigrant Rights Is a Win for ALL Workers: “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: “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 re-elected. 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 Unveils $1.7 Billion to Boost EV Production at U.S. Auto Factories: “The Energy Department on Thursday unveiled $1.7 billion for retooling 11 auto factories to make electric vehicles and their components, with a focus on facilities that have shuttered or could close without federal help. The president met Wednesday with the executive council of the AFL-CIO, the country’s largest federation of trade unions. ‘Building a clean energy economy can and should be a win-win for union autoworkers and automakers,’ Biden said in a statement Thursday. ‘This investment will create thousands of good-paying, union manufacturing jobs and retain even more—from Lansing, Michigan to Fort Valley, Georgia—by helping auto companies retool, reboot and rehire in the same factories and communities.’”

U.S. Miners' Union Head Calls House Republican Effort to Block Silica Dust Rule an 'Attack' on Workers: “The head of the national mine workers’ union on Friday condemned what he characterized as an effort by House Republicans to block enforcement of a long-awaited federal rule directed at curbing workers' exposure to poisonous, deadly rock dust, calling it ‘a direct attack on the health and safety of coal miners.’ United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts said a budget provision—approved by a U.S. House subcommittee Thursday—prohibiting the Department of Labor from using funding to enforce a silica dust rule operators must be in compliance with next year is ‘morally reprehensible’ and that the action ‘undermines the principles of fairness and justice that our country stands for.’”

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Versant Workers Secure Strong Contract Gains, Job Security

Fri, 12 Jul 2024 15:57:07 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Versant Workers Secure Strong Contract Gains, Job Security

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

Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1837 members who work at Versant Power ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement after federal mediators were brought in. The contract includes significant improvements to wages, benefits, working conditions and job security. All workers will see wage increases of 4% in 2025, 3% in 2026, and 3% in 2027. Several positions will also see market adjustments.

"These targeted market adjustments are crucial to remaining competitive in the labor market," said Renee Gilman, assistant business manager for Local 1837. "We've seen ten first-class lineworkers leave Versant in the past year due to better pay offered by outside contractors. These adjustments help retain our existing workforce, ensuring we have qualified members on the system ready to restore power to customers when needed. It also helps to attract good, new talent to Versant."

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Second Better Buzz Store in San Diego Votes to Join Union

Thu, 11 Jul 2024 12:19:17 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Second Better Buzz Store in San Diego Votes to Join Union

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

Workers at a second Better Buzz location in San Diego voted to join a union on Monday. The vote at the Mira Mesa location came almost exactly a month after Better Buzz United announced it had filed the initial paperwork to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Baristas, trainers and shift supervisors at the Mira Mesa store followed the lead of workers at Better Buzz’s location in Hillcrest, who approved unionization in May. Workers at both branches said they have concerns about wages, benefits, scheduling and overall workplace safety.

“It’s a shame that a company boasting about its rapid expansion and plans to further grow continues to neglect the workers who are the lifeblood of their business,” said Maribel Mckinze, UFCW Local 135 organizing director. “The employees at Better Buzz Mira Mesa have shown the strength workers have when they unite to fight for what they have rightfully earned. While the company has its plans for expansion, so does the union.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Equal Pay for Equal Work: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Thu, 11 Jul 2024 11:59:30 +0000

Equal Pay for Equal Work: What Working People Are Doing This Week

What Working People Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

Actors' Equity:

AFGE:

AFSCME:

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Teachers:

American Postal Workers Union:

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Boilermakers:

Bricklayers:

Communications Workers of America:

Department for Professional Employees:

Electrical Workers:

Heat and Frost Insulators:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

International Labor Communications Association:

Jobs With Justice:

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Labor Heritage Foundation:

Laborers:

Machinists:

Mine Workers:

Musical Artists:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

National Nurses United:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

Roofers and Waterproofers:

SAG-AFTRA:

Solidarity Center:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers Union:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

UNITE HERE:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

United Steelworkers:

Utility Workers:

Writers Guild of America East:

Kenneth Quinnell

   
  

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