The Future of America's Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

The Future of America’s Labor Movement: 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.

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Future of America’s Labor Movement: “Liz Shuler is the first woman ever elected president of the AFL-CIO. She took over a time when the world of work has been turned upside down. Today, On Point: A Conversation with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler.”

NLRB Lawyer Seeks to Toss Out Company Meetings on Unions: “The top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board will ask the board to rule that mandatory meetings held by some companies to persuade their workers to reject unions is a violation of federal labor law. NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo said in a memo to the agency’s field offices Thursday that she believes these meetings, sometimes referred to as ‘captive audience meetings,’ are at odds with the National Labor Relations Act. She argues the law allows workers to refrain from listening to employer speech about collective bargaining. The meetings are routinely held by companies such as Amazon and Starbucks during union drives. The labor board has allowed corporations to hold such meetings in the past but Abruzzo, who was appointed by President Joe Biden, is seeking to overturn that precedent.”

‘Amazon, Here We Come’: Biden Boosts Warehouse Unionization Efforts: “President Joe Biden on Wednesday expressed support for efforts to unionize Amazon workers, after one of the company’s warehouses voted to join a union last week. ‘The choice to join a union belongs to workers alone,’ Biden said in remarks at the national conference of North America’s Building Trades Unions. ‘By the way, Amazon, here we come. Watch.’”

AFL-CIO’s Shuler Envisions a More Diverse Construction Workforce: “Democratic President Joe Biden’s five-year $1.2 trillion Infrastructure And Jobs Act presents building trades unions with ‘a golden opportunity’ to grow, but ‘it’s up to us’ to shape the future U.S. construction workforce, AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler says.”

Infrastructure Law Demands New Focus on Transit Worker Assaults: “Transit operators and unions say they’ve seen a spike in violence against transit workers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And workers complain it’s hard to quantify that spike. Under the Federal Transit Administration’s prior definition, a worker was considered assaulted if, for example, they had to be hospitalized for more than 48 hours or if they had certain fractures, severe bleeding, or damage to nerves, muscles, tendons or internal organs. The FTA also does not separate customer assaults from assaults by fellow workers in the National Transit Database, according to the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. That the law creates a more specific definition of assault is important, according to Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Currently, ‘the way they define assault is really odd,’ he said. ‘You could have a worker with a broken nose, and it would not be considered an assault under the current guidelines. Similarly, a driver who had hot coffee thrown on him would not be considered assaulted.’”

WRTP: Awarded Mark H. Ayer’s Community Achievement Award by North America’s Building Trade Unions: “BIG STEP (WRTP) and the Milwaukee Building & Construction Trades Council (MBCTC) have been awarded the prestigious Mark H. Ayer’s Award by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). NABTU announced the award recently in response to the ongoing work by WRTP and MBCTC to engage women in careers in the trades. Mark H. Ayers was an American labor leader and president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department from 2007 until his death in 2012. The award was established to recognize and honor programs and individuals that expand, grow, and open new doors that provide opportunities for all.”

Spotify Podcast Union Is Ready to Strike Over Contract Terms: “A Spotify Technology SA podcast union said its members are willing to walk off the job if the company doesn’t meet its contract demands, complicating the streaming giant’s effort to build out that business. The Parcast Union, affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, East, is meeting with management for final contract negotiations this month and said outstanding issues include staff diversity, control of intellectual property rights and pay.”

‘We’re Not Disposable’: Massachusetts Senate Staff Move to Form Union: “Senate employees at the Massachusetts State House launched a petition to form a union this week, hoping to become the second collective bargaining unit of legislative staff in the nation after workers in Oregon unionized last year. ‘We are not disposable. We are people who provide a valuable service to the commonwealth and deserve workplace protections,’ said Evan Berry, an organizer and communications director for Sen. Becca Rausch. ‘At the end of the day, we’re still trying to put food on our tables and get by paycheck to paycheck.’ Union organizers secured a majority of support for the effort and are organizing with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 2222.”

Worker-Led Win at Amazon Warehouse Could Provide New Labor Playbook: “‘If you think of unions as just for a certain industry or sector from the ‘old economy,’ that’s not the case. It’s an outdated view of what unions are,’ AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in an interview. ‘Unions are what you want them to be. The workers themselves define it, and I’m seeing all kinds of innovative examples of unions being used to negotiate their companies carbon footprint, and workers in some of these new ‘emerging industries’ are facing the same working conditions and challenges around securing predictable schedules and decent pay and benefits as workers in the traditional economy.’”

The March Jobs Report Was the First Good Month for Black Women in a While: “‘After the Great Recession, it took a long time for Black women’s labor force participation to climb back up,’ Dr. William Spriggs, the chief economist of the AFL-CIO and economics professor at Howard University, told Insider.  ‘Fortunately, we’re not waiting years in this case.’ However, the participation rate dropped for Black men, as 149,000 Black men exited the labor force in March.”  

Kenneth Quinnell
Mon, 04/11/2022 – 12:57

Updated: April 21, 2022 — 3:37 am