Our Crews Deserve Better: The Working People Weekly List

Our Crews Deserve Better: 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.

‘Our Crews Deserve Better’: Seth Rogen and Ryan Reynolds Share Support for Film Industry Workers: “Advocates are sounding the alarm about working conditions in the film industry and two popular Vancouver actors are sharing their support. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) recently announced that it is preparing for a nationwide strike authorization vote citing unsafe working hours, poor wages for workers in the lowest-paid crafts, and inadequate breaks. It also noted that workers on some ‘new media’ streaming projects are paid less, despite working on productions with equivalent budgets. Vancouver’s own Hollywood heavyweights Seth Rogen and Ryan Reynolds have shared their support for film workers.”

IATSE Leaders Say ‘Now Is the Time to Change the Culture of Our Work Places’ as Union Gears Up for Strike-Authorization Vote: “IATSE President Matthew Loeb and the presidents 13 Hollywood locals, saying that ‘now is the time to change the culture of our work places,’ issued a joint statement Tuesday urging members to authorize a nationwide strike against film and TV production companies. The union leaders said that the strike-authorization vote, which will be held October 1-3, ‘will empower our negotiators to secure a fair deal.’ ‘We each have witnessed first-hand the physical and emotional suffering our members and their loved ones endure as a result of punishing and unrealistic schedules, and lack of rest or meal breaks,’ they said. ‘We have repeatedly seen the economic impact of inadequate rates for members who do not make a living wage, and the discounted ‘New Media’ pay rates that subsidize mature and profitable streaming businesses.’”

As COVID-19 Numbers Soar, Some Nurses Don’t Have Adequate Protections, National Nurses United Says: “Hospitals and health systems must do more to be fully compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect nurses and other healthcare workers from COVID-19, says the latest survey of 5,000 RNs conducted by National Nurses United (NNU). The ETS, which includes requirements on personal protective equipment (PPE), patient and visitor screening, and employee notification within 24 hours of the employer becoming aware of exposure, is the first-of-its-kind enforceable federal COVID-19 standard that went into effect July 21. ‘We are more than 18 months into the pandemic, yet hospitals are still not doing enough to ensure the safety of nurses, patients, and other healthcare workers,’ NNU executive director Bonnie Castillo, RN, said. ‘COVID cases are surging to their highest levels yet in some areas of the country, and some ICUs are over capacity,’ Castillo said. ‘Nurses need optimal personal protective equipment. Healthcare employers must notify nurses as soon as possible when they are exposed and make it easier for RNs and other healthcare workers to get tested.’”

New York Passes Sweeping Bills to Improve Conditions for Delivery Workers: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, food delivery workers on bikes have become even more ubiquitous features of the New York City streetscape, earning low wages and often braving horrendous weather, hazardous streets and the threat of robbery to bring people their takeout orders at all hours of the day. On Thursday, the city became the first in the nation to take aggressive steps to improve those employees’ working conditions, approving a groundbreaking package of legislation that will set minimum pay and address the plight of couriers employed by app-based food delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats.”

Low Wages, Grueling Hours, Lack of Rest: Why IATSE Is Ready to Strike: “In recent weeks, members of the union IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, have been sharing their experiences, many of them posting anonymously on Instagram stories. Camera operators, editors, grips, makeup and hair stylists, costumers, writers assistants and more have posted about low pay, exhausting hours, and dangerous working conditions.”

Study: Union Construction Apprenticeships Rival Bachelor’s Degrees: “A new national study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) has found that on average, graduates of joint labor-management (union) apprenticeship programs in the construction industry are able to achieve near wage and benefits parity with other types of workers with four-year college degrees.”

20 Years After Mine Disaster, Brookwood Miners Are Still Fighting for Safety: “As I travel the country as president of the AFL-CIO, I meet and talk with union members who are the beating heart of our country—quiet heroes like Haeden Wright. As president of UMWA Auxiliary #2245/2368, for the last six months she’s gone above and beyond to keep the strike pantry stocked, clothing donations stacked and meals delivered each week to union members. Her father was working in Mine #7 the day of the 2001 tragedy, and her husband now works at the same mine as the explosion site (which has since turned into a processing plant).”

North Carolina’s Anti-Labor Record Is a Shameful Betrayal of Our State’s People: “As late as the 1950s, North Carolina was still the least unionized state in the nation. It speaks to the decline of American organized labor that our state’s unionization rate in the 1950s, about 9%, was higher than the national unionization rate today. North Carolina’s rate of union membership today is just below 3%. Perhaps that’s why the international NGO Oxfam recently called North Carolina the ‘worst state in the nation’ for working people. Taking into account wages, working conditions and other indicators, Oxfam damned North Carolina as a working person’s hell. The response from our state’s Republican leadership was silence. After all, even the elected Labor Commissioner, Josh Dobson, has spoken to Art Pope’s John Locke Foundation about his robust support for ‘right-to-work’ laws and strong opposition to collective bargaining rights for state employees. Out of the 50 states, only North Carolina and Virginia forbid their state employees from organizing.”

Pass the PRO Act to Demand More for ALL Workers: “Unions and strong labor laws help to prevent employers from violating civil rights as protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. They also help reduce income equality, which the LGBT community faces at much higher rates than the non-LGBTQ community. Though the National Labor Rights Act (NLRA) began holding employers accountable, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act strengthens the power of the people to improve their workplace conditions, pay and benefits.”

Workers Win, Ending Mondelēz Oreo Cookie Strike: “Key issues were not just raises, but working conditions. Those sometimes included back-to-back 12-to-16-hour shifts, BCTGM said. The workers at the firm’s five U.S. snack plants, including Portland and Chicago, didn’t get all they wanted, but they got a lot from the firm and overwhelmingly ratified the contract, said union President Anthony Shelton. ‘This has been a long and difficult fight for our striking members, their families and our union. Throughout the strike, our members displayed tremendous courage, grit and determination,’ he said Sept. 18.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 10/05/2021 – 10:30

Updated: October 7, 2021 — 4:57 pm