Workers Rise Up: The Working People Weekly List

Workers Rise Up: 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.

U.S. Workers Have Been Striking in Startling Numbers. Will That Continue?: “U.S. workers are doing something we haven’t seen much of in the last three decades: striking. Roughly 25,000 workers have recently walked off their jobs and joined picket lines, earning October 2021 the nickname #striketober. Are these strikes likely to spread? Our research on union activity over the past century has identified several major factors affecting union and strike dynamics. How today’s strikes develop will likely depend on these factors.”

Infrastructure Bill Includes Billions for Broadband: “The infrastructure bill heading to President Biden’s desk includes $65 billion to improve high-speed internet access and affordability. Why it matters: The pandemic proved the necessity of connectivity to participate in daily American life, and Biden’s administration acknowledged that by including this funding in the infrastructure package. By the numbers: The funding is aimed towards building high-speed internet networks, helping low-income families pay for service and digital equity programs.”

Meet the 18-Year Kellogg’s Veteran Who’s Leading Workers in a Monthlong Strike That’s Still Going: ‘What’s at Stake Here Is the American Middle Class’: “Dan Osborn has worked at Kellogg’s for 18 years and he’s on strike for the first time. Not only is he one of the 1,400 workers who have been on strike since October 5, he’s president of the local union branch in Omaha, Nebraska. They’re the latest group opting to stay on the picket line and demand equitable wages as thousands of workers across the country walk out, turning what the labor movement called #Striketober into #Strikesgiving. Just this week, John Deere union members voted down a tentative agreement, meaning that more than 10,000 workers will stay on strike. At Kellogg’s, workers are demanding an end to what they see as an unfair wage system.”

Yamashita: Working Families Go Beyond Negotiation Tables to Secure Democracy: “A strike database from Cornell University shows more than 250 strikes have taken place since the start of this year. All of these work stoppages are a testament to how critical of a time we are in to build a more equitable country. A country where our democracy is secured in the workplace, at the ballot box and where immigrants aren’t forced into the shadows but are given a clear path to citizenship. Workers cannot wait any longer.”

Starbucks Has Cultivated a Progressive Brand—but It’s Urging Buffalo Employees to Reject a Union in This Week’s Landmark Vote: “On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board will mail ballots to employees at three Starbucks Corp. coffee shops in and around Buffalo, New York, who will vote over the next four weeks on whether to establish the first-ever unionized locations among the chain’s thousands of corporate-run U.S. stores.”

Amid Wider Trends, Employers Should Expect More Worker-Led Movements for Better Benefits and Working Conditions: “With all of this attention on labor actions, Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman emphasized strikes are considered a last resort for union members. ‘Nobody wants to go on strike,’ Tolman said. Tolman, who is in his 11th year as president of labor organization, which is a national federation of labor unions maintaining state federations and local labor councils, said he’s hopeful increased support for unions, as well as national legislative efforts to codify increased organizing protections, like the proposed Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 in Congress, which passed in the House earlier this year but not the Senate, will result in more workplaces organizing.”

Alabama Coal Miners Protest BlackRock in NYC: “Striking miners from Alabama protested outside BlackRock headquarters in New York on Thursday, demanding higher wages and better working conditions.”

From Striketober to the Great Resignation: Pandemic Pushes Workers to Rise Up: “As the nation slowly recuperates from the brunt of the pandemic, American workers—many of whom were lauded as ‘essential’ only months ago—are making it clearer than ever that enough is enough. Corrina A. Christensen, Director of Public Relations & Communications of the BCTGM International Union, which represents workers at Frito-Lay, Kellogg, and Nabisco, told Salon that workers are capitalizing on a ‘newfound sense of leverage’ as the employers reckon with the consequences of the pandemic.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 11/16/2021 – 15:30

Updated: December 3, 2021 — 2:52 am