Don't Settle for Less: The Working People Weekly List

Don’t Settle for Less: 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.

Tennessee’s Right-to-Work (for Less) AmendmentDon’t Settle for Less: “A ‘misnomer’ is a wrong or inaccurate name, term or designation. ‘Morning sickness’ is a misnomer because feelings of nausea can hit women day or night. Another example is Tennessee’s constitutional Amendment 1—the Right-to-Work amendment. It more accurately should be called the ‘Muzzling of Workers and Right-to-Work for Less Amendment.’ Like morning sickness, it’s nauseating. Here’s why: We live in a time of rising income inequality, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Furthermore, inflation is at a near 40-year high, with many working families struggling to pay bills. The minimum wage in the Volunteer State is $7.25 an hour, half the living wage in a place like Nashville. Meanwhile, CEOs of large companies make 340 times the wages of a frontline worker, a pay gap of 340:1. Despite this imbalance, some of our so-called state leaders have decided that now is the time to not only limit the little leverage workers have, but to enshrine this injustice in the Tennessee Constitution.”

What to Know About: The Amendment to Make Illinois Union Friendlier: “‘Bruce Rauner had a war on unions,’ says Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. ‘It was quite the wake-up call. We had also seen in Wisconsin, a progressive state that led the nation in labor, Scott Walker wiped out collective bargaining for public employees.’ That was in 2011, and Wisconsin’s governor was able to do so because, unlike private sector workers, public sector employees are not protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Enshrining the right to collective bargaining in the state constitution would prevent an Illinois governor from following Walker’s example. Vote Yes for Workers’ Rights, a PAC formed by the Illinois AFL-CIO to promote the amendment, has raised more than $12 million, including $1 million apiece from LIUNA Chicago Laborers’ District Council and the International Union of Operating Engineers. The PAC has spent $4 million of that on a TV ad featuring a nurse complaining that staffing shortages and longer shifts at his hospital are endangering patients. ‘When we speak up, we risk being fired,’ he says. ‘But the Workers’ Rights Amendment will protect us when we stand up for our patients.’”

‘The Greatest Harm I Could Ever Imagine’: Organized Labor Blasts Fed Rate Hikes: “Organized labor is expressing anger about continued interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, joining a chorus of voices on the left arguing that lower inflation is not worth the pain of recession. ‘The Federal Reserve is doing the greatest harm I could ever imagine,’ Bill Spriggs, chief economist of the AFL-CIO labor union federation, said in an interview. ‘I consider what they’re doing right now politics, and they are making a political statement about the economy, and they are wrong. Their analysis is flat wrong.’”

Regan: Infrastructure Law Is Most Pro-Worker Bill Passed by Congress: “AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan joined the ‘America’s Work Force Union Podcast’ and discussed why the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the most pro-worker infrastructure law ever passed by Congress. Regan recently testified before Congress about the importance of the act. Regan touted numerous pro-worker provisions in the bill, including its commitments to Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) and a 5% expenditure on workforce training, which he called unprecedented. He believes the current Congress is the most productive he has seen in his 20-year career, as they have passed numerous pieces of legislation to create meaningful jobs for working families.”

Labor Leaders Say Jobs Top Issue in November Election: “Labor leaders from the state and local level made a stop in the Miami Valley on Tuesday speaking about issues important in this upcoming election. Labor leaders said it needs people who will fight for Ohio jobs. According to Tim Burga, Ohio-AFL-CIO president, working people, union workers and voters want candidates and messages that matter. ‘Fighting for working people matters, plans matter,’ said Burga. ‘Sharing Ohio values matter, and Tim Ryan checks off all the boxes when he’s fighting for his district, fighting for the state of Ohio, fighting for the working people.’”

Netflix Music Supervisors Seek NLRB Election in Order to Be Represented by IATSE: “Music supervisors at Netflix, who are seeking representation by IATSE, today filed for a union certification election with the National Labor Relations Board.  According to the union, an ‘overwhelming majority’ of music supervisors currently or recently employed by Netflix requested that the streaming giant voluntarily recognize their union, ‘a request Netflix has declined.’ ‘Their creative vision is behind some of the most beloved moments in film and television,’ IATSE said in a statement. ‘But, as the importance of music in media has grown, their responsibilities have expanded, their conditions have deteriorated, and their pay has stagnated.’”

New Jersey State AFL-CIO Urges Senate to Vote for Temporary Worker’s Bill of Rights: “The New Jersey State AFL-CIO respectfully urges you to support A1474, the Temporary Worker’s Bill of Rights in concurrence with the Governor’s recommendations. The bill would increase accountability for staffing firms, protect temporary workers against wage theft, pay discrimination and unsafe working conditions, and improve predictability in temporary worker’s schedule. Specifically, as recommended by the Governor, the bill requires staffing firms provide temporary workers equal pay for performing work equal to an employee in addition to requiring staffing agencies to register with the state and disclose certain information related to temporary worker paychecks.”

An Epidemic: Health Care Workers Speak Out About Being Violently Attacked on the Job: “National Nurses United surveyed more than 2,500 nurses across the nation and found that 48% reported an increase in workplace violence. These incidents have risen to the public attention in the Triangle with a hospital nurse attacked earlier this summer and a Durham nurse practitioner stabbed to death by a patient. Jean Ross, a registered nurse and the president of National Nurses United, said staffing is one of the biggest issues contributing to these incidents. National Nurses United’s survey found that 69% reported staffing has gotten worse, a significant increase from surveys conducted last year. ‘Let’s say you’re just standing in line at a store, waiting for a clerk to help you, it’s frustrating and the longer you stand there, the more frustrated you are,’ Ross said. ‘Now, pretend you’re a patient, maybe you’re in pain. You’ve got your light on, the nurse can’t come, there aren’t enough nurses.’”

Kenneth Quinnell
Wed, 11/02/2022 – 10:56

Updated: November 8, 2022 — 12:17 pm