A New Era: The Working People Weekly List

A New Era: 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.

A New Era for the American Worker: “‘I’ve been working for the union for 40 years and there’s never been a better time to organize than right now,’ D. Taylor, international president of the hotel and food service worker union Unite Here, told Recode, citing a pro-labor administration, labor shortages, and growing economic inequality. He said that while workers are using the current situation to eke out better pay and benefits, those gains are temporary and could be wiped out in coming years by inflation and layoffs. ‘The only fundamental way to change the economic livelihood and the rights of workers is through the union movement,’ he said.”

TTD Labor Coalition Gains Three Unions, ‘Unifies’ Rail Labor: “The Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO (TTD) last week announced the affiliation of three more unions: the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED), both divisions of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. The latest affiliations brings the coalition’s total membership to 36 affiliated unions. The re-affiliation of BLET and BMWED means all rail labor unions in the United States have a unified voice, TTD officials said in a press release.”

The Badass 50: “21. Liz Shuler. ‘We are building pathways and support structures to grow a bold, inclusive, and transformative movement—I think that’s pretty badass,’ says Shuler, the first woman elected president of the AFL-CIO in the labor federation’s history. She took the reins as leader of the organization’s 57 unions last August, in a year marked by a groundswell in union and strike organizing, from taxi cab drivers in New York City to Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama. ‘At this inflection point, we have unlimited potential to reimagine and rebuild a worker-centered democracy and economy.’”  

IBEW Honors Life Savers: “IBEW Local 48 recognized three members for heroic actions—for saving the lives of two ironworkers after a roof collapse on a construction project in summer 2020. At the union’s Dec. 15 meeting, members Kevin Jorgenson and Keoki Hookano each received the IBEW Life Saving Award, and Sergey Elikh received the IBEW Certificate of Recognition. The Life Saving Award is presented by the international union to any member who, by direct personal involvement, saves the life of a fellow human being. The Certificate of Recognition is awarded when a member did not meet the criteria for the Life Saving Award but deserves special recognition for their presence of mind, prompt action and genuine concern for a fellow human being.”

Why Alabama Coal Miners Are Still on Strike: “Take the owners of Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama; instead of sitting down at the bargaining table and hammering out a mutually satisfactory contract with the union negotiators who represent the will of their workforce, they have chosen to stall and, as an unfair labor practices charge filed by the the United Mine Workers of America alleges, to operate in bad faith. This kind of stubborn cruelty is bad for workers, but it’s also bad for business. The strike has cost Warrior Met nearly $7 million and counting. The strike’s circumstances have shifted over the past 10 months, but the root of the conflict remains the same: The coal miners want a better union contract, and the company does not want to give it to them.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 01/18/2022 – 10:00

Updated: January 27, 2022 — 12:19 pm