No More Bad Jobs: The Working People Weekly List

No More Bad Jobs: 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.

New Contract with King Soopers Is Industry Leading, Union President Says: “The agreement approved by Denver-area King Soopers employees after a 10-day strike is an industry-leading contract that fixes longtime problems, said Kim Cordova, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7. Union members voted Monday to ratify the contract, officially ending the labor dispute that involved more than 8,000 employees in Boulder, Parker and the Denver area. Employees at King Soopers and City Market stores in other parts of the state will vote on the contract Wednesday through Monday. ‘The work that our members did by going out on strike and taking a stand against King Soopers’ unfair labor practices, it’s really going to set the bar and the standard, hopefully, for workers around the country to really strive for that kind of change,’ Cordova said.”

AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees Urges Congress to Approve Increased Funding for the Arts & Public Broadcasting: “The AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees is urging Congress to increase federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to $565 million in fiscal year 2022 and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to $201 million each—funding levels that were passed by the House of Representatives in July. ‘This is a critical moment for helping ensure that creative professionals can get back to work in the wake of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,’ DPE President Jennifer Dorning said in a letter to the chairs, vice chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House appropriations committees. ‘The CARES Act and American Rescue Plan helped creative professionals get through the worst of the pandemic and allowed them to start to get back on stage and return to sets, but the reality is that industry employment remains below pre-pandemic levels. Increased NEA, NEH, and CPB funding will help ensure that professionals working in the arts and public media can fully recover from the pandemic.’”

The Biden Jobs Boom Is Bigger Than We Thought: “When it comes to what’s been called the ‘Great Resignation,’ there’s nothing new about Americans quitting their jobs to look for something better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that from 2015 to 2019, an average of 38 million full-time and part-time working people voluntarily left their jobs per year—and that excludes retirements and layoffs. In 2021, those voluntary ‘quits’ jumped to 47 million, the highest level ever. The pandemic almost certainly played a role by inspiring workers to reconsider their life choices. But for most people, moving from ruminating to resigning requires confidence that they can find a good position somewhere else. That’s why huge numbers of quits only happen in a booming job market. People who quit in 2021 generally found new positions much faster than normal. The number of open jobs waiting to be filled averaged 9.6 million per month in 2021, 47% higher than the average for 2015 to 2019.”

Georgia AFL-CIO Endorses Democrat Abrams for Governor: “A major union in Georgia is endorsing Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor. The Georgia AFL-CIO announced its endorsement at a news conference with Abrams in Atlanta on Wednesday. The union also endorsed Abrams early in her previous run for governor. Union President Charlie Flemming said Abrams would work to ‘fight our skyrocketing racial and economic inequities.’ ‘She knows that working people and their families have needs that must be met, and she has done that work and will continue to do that work to address them,’ he said.”

Howard University Professor Says Americans Are Quitting ‘Bad Jobs’: “William Spriggs, a professor in Howard University’s Economics Department and an economist for AFL-CIO, cautioned that the government’s job numbers shouldn’t frighten anyone. ‘The problem of job matching was going to be a problem once we, the United States, showed a policy of separation as opposed to retention to make it through the virus,’ Professor Spriggs remarked. He said the federal government placed workers on unemployment, separating them from their jobs with no reconnection plans.”

Employer Appeals for Temporary Worker Visas Meet Union Pushback: “Liz Shuler, president of AFL-CIO, said in a statement that employers have misused the H-2B program to lower wages, discriminate against and exploit both U.S. and foreign workers. ‘To steer our country towards a just economic recovery, we need to fix the systems that are failing workers, rather than expanding failed models,’ she said.”

‘We Will Not Beat This Pandemic Until We Stop the Spread of the Virus at Work’: Backlash Against Supreme Court’s Decision to Block Biden’s Vaccine Mandate: “AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler had some strong words for the the Supreme Court justices, and their ruling to stay enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine mandate, saying the organization was ‘disappointed’ in the court’s decision. ‘While infections and hospitalizations surge, we again urge the Biden administration to require employers to provide protections beyond vaccines.’”

Advancing Dr. King’s Voting Rights Legacy: “But now, in 2022, as we honor Dr. King on his birthday, voting rights are under siege. Last year alone, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to the ballot box and silencing the voices in particular of communities of color, voters with disabilities, young people and other historically underrepresented groups. The powerful forces behind these laws have made a ruthless calculation. They know that they can’t win on the merits, that their agenda doesn’t have enough public support to win fair and square, so they are rigging the system instead. In Dr. King’s native Georgia, Stacey Abrams and other activists have worked relentlessly in recent years to register, organize and mobilize voters in huge numbers.”

Voting Rights Fight, 2022 Elections, Take Center Stage at AFL-CIO’s MLK Conference: “Talk about having a lot on your plate: The AFL-CIO’s annual Martin Luther King conference will have big-ticket issues to discuss, namely criminal justice reform, an economy that works for all workers—including Blacks—and most of all, voting rights. ‘Throughout our history, the labor movement has stood up for the disenfranchised and those on the margins of our democracy,’ says AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, who will keynote the conference, along with Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond. ‘That work continues today as we push for passage of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which will protect the right to vote for all eligible Americans’ as well as the Freedom To Vote Act, she adds. ‘Anti-worker politicians continue to use every tool at their disposal to rig our democracy to their benefit. Their actions pose a real threat to America’s representative government. In response, union members are doing everything we can to promote democracy—both in our workplaces and at the ballot box,’ Shuler declared on January 7.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 02/01/2022 – 10:47

Updated: February 4, 2022 — 1:38 pm