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

AFL-CIO News Feeds

Black History Month Profiles

Tue, 27 Feb 2024 16:17:23 +0000

Black History Month Profiles

Celebrating Black History Month

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country.

Kenneth Quinnell

A Terrible Idea: The Working People Weekly List

Tue, 27 Feb 2024 15:36:05 +0000

A Terrible Idea: 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.

Fairfax Connector Suspends Bus Service as Workers Go on Strike: “Fairfax Connector workers have launched a strike after months of negotiations for a new labor contract with Transdev, the company that operates Fairfax County’s bus service. Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, which represents about 638 bus operators and mechanics for Fairfax Connector, announced the strike just after midnight Thursday. Workers began hitting picket lines at garages in Herndon, Lorton and on West Ox Road in the Fairfax area at 2 a.m. In a news release, the union said there remains ‘a vast divide’ between its demands and Transdev’s, and a strike became ‘unavoidable’ after 12 bargaining sessions due to ‘Transdev’s unfair labor practices and regressive bargaining.’”

Another Major Hollywood Union, the IATSE, Is Heading Into Studio Negotiations. Here's What To Know: “IATSE represents more than 150,000 below-the-line entertainment workers, from costume designers to motion picture editors. About 60,000 workers are affected by the two contracts coming up for negotiation. In 2021, IATSE threatened to go on strike, producing an overwhelming 98% authorization vote (with a whopping 90% turnout). But the worst was averted with an October agreement. This time around, the talks come on the heels of last year’s historic WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.”

Southwest Airlines Reaches Tentative Agreement with Transport Workers Union: “Southwest Airlines has reached a tentative agreement with a local unit of the Transport Workers Union that represents nearly 18,000 operations, provisioning, ramp and cargo agents, the company said on Thursday. The carrier did not provide any details about the agreement signed with TWU 555, which will communicate details of the deal directly to its members.”

Major Strikes in 2023 Set 20-Year Record, Labor Department Says: “American workers led 33 major strikes in 2023, the most in more than two decades, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, as a booming labor market fueled a strong year of activity for unions. In total, 458,900 workers participated in major strikes, defined as involving 1,000 or more workers, according to the Labor Department. That’s more than three times the number of strikes in 2022, according to the agency’s data, which excludes a lot of strikes at smaller workplaces.”

Vanderbilt Graduate Students Push for Official Campus Union: “Vanderbilt University graduate students have collected hundreds of union authorization cards from colleagues, leaders say—a major step in winning official recognition from the school before the end of the year. Late last year, campus organizers officially associated with the United Auto Workers, which claims more than 400,000 active union members, in hopes of unionizing an estimated 2,200 graduate student workers.”

Atlantic Theater Workers Vote to Join IATSE: “178 crewmembers of the Atlantic Theatre Company have voted in favor of joining The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). This makes them the first group to unionize with IATSE in a major non-profit theater off-Broadway. Two weeks ago, workers at the off-Broadway musical ‘Titanique’ voted unanimously in favor of IATSE representation.”

UChicago Medicine Nurses Vote Authorize Strike as Negotiations Continue: “Nurses at UChicago Medicine gave union leaders the green light to call a strike. This comes as they continue to negotiate with management. Tuesday's 97% strike vote allowed union leaders to call a one-day strike over what they say are understaffing and patient safety concerns. No actual strike has been announced.”

Barnes & Noble on Manhattan's Upper West Side Files for Union Election: “Workers at the Barnes & Noble on West 82nd St. in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board on February 20. Workers are seeking representation with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). This marks the third unionization effort launched at a Barnes & Noble location in New York City in the past year. The move is only the latest in a series of labor efforts across many sectors of the book business in recent years, but especially in bookselling. In that sector, the RWDSU has been a big player, including leading successful organizing efforts at McNally Jackson and Greenlight Bookstore.”

Faith Leaders Call Out Racial Disparities in Pay for Sky Harbor Workers: “Public pressure is mounting on the city of Phoenix to address complaints against the company it uses to manage concessions at Sky Harbor International Airport as workers raise concerns about racial inequities in pay, discriminatory discipline and unsanitary conditions. Religious leaders sent a letter to Phoenix City Council on Thursday asking for officials to investigate allegations of racial disparities by airport contractor SSP America. The letter, signed by a diverse coalition of 31 clergy members from across the Valley, was received by Vice Mayor Yassamin Ansari during a press conference across the street from Phoenix City Hall. Workers and labor organizers from the Unite Here Local 11 joined the religious leaders at the media event.”

Sixteen Months on Strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Bob Batz, Jr., thought it would end quickly. ‘It's kind of cute now, that we thought getting into last December [2022] and January was a long time,’ Batz said. ‘Little did we know. [We said] ‘Oh, it’s Christmas and we're still on strike. We can't believe it.’’ Batz is one of 31 Newspaper Guild workers striking the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, owned by the family company Block Communications, Inc. Journalists at the Post-Gazette have been on strike since October 2022—making this strike the longest of the digital age—along with four other units: mailers, advertising workers, and Teamster truck drivers and pressmen.”

Unions Launch Crash Drive Against GOP Commission to Cut Social Security: “The AFL-CIO will play a big role in the fight, as it did, one speaker said, when it led the successful assault on GOP President George W. Bush’s 2005 plan to privatize Social Security, thus turning over its billions of dollars in annual revenue—taken from workers’ payroll taxes—to wolves of Wall Street. Federation President Liz Shuler called Johnson’s commission scheme ‘a terrible idea.’ Though she could not attend the press conference, Shuler added the Republican commission’s cuts ‘would push older Americans into poverty, take away people’s health care and end up costing the government more.’”

U.S. Unions Target the Housing Affordability Crisis as Their ‘Biggest Issue’: “As housing has become a top issue in strikes and protests in recent months, U.S. unions are pushing for change and backing innovative solutions for the housing affordability crisis. With U.S. house prices and rents rising in recent years, and high interest rates and inflation taking their toll, housing affordability has become a major issue at the bargaining table for U.S. labor unions. Many workers are facing 60-, 90-, even 120-minute commutes to work because they cannot afford to live near their jobs.”

Nonunion Restaurants Along the Vegas Strip are Fueling a Campaign to Organize Them: “For all the glitz of the Las Vegas Strip—home of the Bellagio’s fountain and several faux Wonders of the World—one of Vegas’ true wonders often goes unremarked: It is a union town, with 60,000 hospitality and restaurant workers represented by the Culinary Workers Union. But as the city has come back after the pandemic, hosting this year’s Super Bowl and swing-state campaign workers, that wonder is showing signs of stress. Nonunion restaurants have crept onto the Strip over the last decade, and the union estimates that today there are 10,000 nonunion jobs. ‘It’s a huge problem for us,’ said Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union, also known as UNITE HERE Local 26. Local 26 last summer took on one of organized labor’s monumental tasks: protecting and expanding union strongholds. The task is simple and immense. Immense, because it requires organizing those 10,000 workers across dozens of workplaces in an industry notoriously difficult to unionize. Simple, because so many nonunion workers now labor inside the same complexes where unions are already present.”

ABC6 Workers Announce Union Campaign: “Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts workers at local news station ABC6 are launching union organizing efforts, according to two employees with the unit’s organizing committee. The workers, who want to join the Communications Workers of America’s broadcast arm, The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET), say they are calling for a union because of their concerns about understaffing, low and unequal wages, and outdated equipment. They also say their leadership may be empowering amateur community members to replace the jobs of their photographers in exchange for gift cards. On Friday would-be union members presented their leadership with a petition explaining their reasons for desiring to form a union, and, simultaneously, filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Black History Month Profiles: Shereese Slate

Tue, 27 Feb 2024 15:19:19 +0000

Black History Month Profiles: Shereese Slate

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today's profile is Shereese Slate of IATSE.

Shereese Slate’s passion for hair and beauty started at the early age of six years old. The Detroit native has worked on many commercials, music videos, and some television and film sets. In her spare time, Slate educates and speaks to students about their options and opportunities in television and film. "As a kid, I often would dream of seeing my name in lights. That dream finally came true in 2002 when I saw my name in the film credits for the first time. This was one of my proudest moments and it brought tears to my eyes."

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Cannabis Workers in New Jersey Continue to Join UFCW Local 152

Tue, 27 Feb 2024 15:09:44 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Cannabis Workers in New Jersey Continue to Join UFCW Local 152

New Jersey cannabis workers

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 the Design 710 cannabis dispensary in Atlantic City, New Jersey, joined United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 152. The five workers, who are employed as budtenders, formed a union by majority card-check. Local 152 plans to meet with these workers to begin the process of obtaining a first union contract. Over the past year, cannabis workers in New Jersey have been joining Local 152 across the state, including workers at The Botanist in Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City, MPX/iAnthus grow facility in Pleasantville, MPX/iAnthus dispensary in Atlantic City, and Columbia Care Cannabist facility in Vineland.

“We are excited about representing workers from this growing industry for the purpose of collective bargaining,” said UFCW Local 152 President Brian String. “Together, we can make jobs in the cannabis industry a career choice for many individuals. We will strive to give our newest members the best representation in the entire labor movement.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Black History Month Profiles: Lisa Shelton

Mon, 26 Feb 2024 15:19:22 +0000

Black History Month Profiles: Lisa Shelton

Lisa Shelton

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today's profile is Lisa Shelton of AFSCME.

For Lisa Shelton, public service is a family affair. Her husband is a retired corrections officer, and they met through AFSCME Local 159. Their daughter followed in their footsteps, serving as a corrections officer until she began a career in health care. Shelton is grateful for the opportunities she's had to make a difference in her community through her career, and she continues to pay it forward by organizing community fundraising and coat drives with her local.

Kenneth Quinnell

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Friends of Youth Staff Join Together with OPEIU

Mon, 26 Feb 2024 15:02:00 +0000

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Friends of Youth Staff Join Together with OPEIU

Friends of Youth staff

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 Friends of Youth voted overwhelmingly for representation with Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8. The group of 125 youth specialists, case managers, therapists, on-call staff, coordinators, administrative staff, facilities and other classifications in Seattle are devoted to providing youth and families with critical services, including shelter, supportive housing, transitional housing, rapid re-housing, housing navigation support, safe place and street outreach, and behavioral health services. They are seeking to ensure greater equity and transparency, and to have the ability to participate more fully in decisions that impact the community they serve.

“I am excited for this new opportunity to work collaboratively with our senior and executive leaders in a way my co-workers have never been allowed to before,” said Eric Tilton, youth specialist. “The staff at Friends of Youth hold so much knowledge about the needs of the youth we serve because of how closely we work with our clients. I am excited for us to finally be able to use that knowledge to advocate for better working conditions for ourselves, as well as better services for our clients.”

Kenneth Quinnell

Black History Month Profiles: Linda Powell

Sun, 25 Feb 2024 15:17:19 +0000

Black History Month Profiles: Linda Powell

Linda Powell

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today's profile is Linda Powell of SAG-AFTRA.

As vice chair of SAG-AFTRA’s TV/Theatrical negotiating committee, Linda Powell played an integral role in the union’s recent strike and subsequent contract ratification. A national board member since 2012, her election in October to executive vice president makes her the first African American person to serve in the union's top tier of leadership. Powell also serves as a trustee of the SAG-AFTRA health and pension plans and chair of the board of advisers to the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, and she is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association (Equity).

Kenneth Quinnell

Black History Month Profiles: Willie E. Haywood

Sat, 24 Feb 2024 15:10:47 +0000

Black History Month Profiles: Willie E. Haywood

Willie E. Haywood

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today's profile is Willie E. Haywood of AFGE.

Willie E. Haywood Jr. is a Navy veteran who began his work as an AFGE lifetime advocate at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, where he held various positions within AFGE Local 31. He retired from the VA Medical Center in 2006 and continued his position and dedicated duties as the 6th District president of AFGE National VA Council 262 until May 2023. He always had the passion and will to fight for bargaining unit employees, and he had the honor of being a part of the midterm bargaining committee at the national level. Haywood always volunteers during election season with phone banking and post card writing. He is always willing to join in informational pickets in support of union causes.

Kenneth Quinnell

Black History Month Profile: Chey Smith

Fri, 23 Feb 2024 18:28:48 +0000

Black History Month Profile: Chey Smith

 

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. 

Today's profile is Chey Smith, an organizer with the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) who worked on the passage of a community-benefits agreement in St. Pete. 

Audrey Edmonds

Black History Month Profiles: Myia Brown

Fri, 23 Feb 2024 18:16:33 +0000

Black History Month Profiles: Myia Brown

 

This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. 

Today's profile is Myia Brown of the Art Institute of Chicago Workers United (AICWU) who was part of AICWU's first bargaining team as they bargained their first contract. 

Audrey Edmonds

   
  

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 2024 ITPEU Terms Of Use Privacy Statement