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In the News
Florida Teachers’ Union Bleeding Members
November 3, 2022 // The Florida Education Association (FEA) lost more than 4,500 members – a 3.3 percent drop – in just the 2020-21 school year. By comparison, the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) lost 2.3 and 2.1 percent of their memberships, respectively, in the same single school year.
Taking the ‘Free’ Out of ‘Freelance’
November 3, 2022 // ...the Biden administration’s recent broadside against independent work, in the form of a new Department of Labor proposed rule for determining when a worker is properly classified as a contractor or an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (and thus subject to minimum wage, overtime, and other labor regulations). The rule is complicated and still preliminary, but most experts agree on its objective and likely result: to make it more difficult for workers to be classified as independent and thus to force many of them to be reclassified as employees, whether they like it or not.
CT’s ‘captive audience’ law challenged in federal lawsuit
November 2, 2022 // Connecticut’s ban on “captive audience” meetings, which unions say are used to thwart organizing, is unconstitutional and a preemption of federal labor law, a coalition led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claimed in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford. The lawsuit, joined by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and trade groups representing retailers and others, says the ban violates free-speech and equal-protection rights under the Constitution by “chilling and prohibiting employer speech” with their workers. The defendants in the lawsuit are Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo of the state Department of Labor, the department itself, and Attorney General William Tong. Chris DiPentima,
Teachers union spends $1M on Michigan governor’s race
November 2, 2022 // Yet the MEA, along with its parent organization, the National Education Association, is heavily funding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reelection campaign, as well as some Michigan school board races. The NEA is spending $1 million in Whitmer’s favor. The MEA is also endorsing nearly 200 candidates in local school board races and giving more than $1,000 each to many candidates across the state. This amount goes a long way in local school board elections. The NEA and MEA are supporting candidates who will back the status quo. The Washington Examiner reported April 7 that the NEA spent $66 million on political activities and another $117 million on political contributions, gifts, and grants for the 2020-21 reporting cycle. MEA’s total spending for 2022 is not yet available.
Teamsters Union votes to end strike with local beverage distributor, sending dozens back to work
November 2, 2022 // About 60 local workers returned to their jobs at Swire Coca-Cola in north central Washington on Monday after spending a little over two weeks on strike. With warehouses in East Wenatchee, Omak and Moses Lake, Swire distributes Coca-Cola products to store across north central Washington. Drivers, merchandisers and loaders for the company were represented by Teamsters 760, the union that had initially turned down Swire's initial labor contract. The dispute between Swire and some of its workers began when the union rejected a new labor deal before the last one ended on April 1, 2022. Union workers continued to work and remain employed with the company until the labor union rejected Swire's revised deal for the second time on Oct 11, prompting employees to strike the following day.
TARC management, TARC Union to meet for new contract negotiations Wednesday
November 2, 2022 // The union has already voted to authorize a strike if necessary. Per Kentucky law, public employees like TARC drivers aren't allowed to strike or engage in work stoppage. In a statement, a TARC spokesperson said they're hopeful they'll finalize a contract that provides employees with the best possible wages while also meeting TARC's budgetary responsibilities.
Trader Joe’s United’s first loss is further proof that unionizing isn’t easy
November 2, 2022 // Ananya Bhattacharya Mon, October 31, 2022 at 4:43 AM·3 min read Three months into its unionizing efforts, Trader Joe’s United has lost its winning streak. At a Trader Joe’s store in Brooklyn, workers on Oct. 28 voted 94 to 66 against joining the independent union, which represents employees at two other stores in Massachusetts and in Minnesota.
Delta Air pilots vote to authorize strike
November 2, 2022 // Pilots at Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) have voted to authorize a strike if negotiators cannot reach agreement on a new employment contract, their union said on Monday. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents nearly 15,000 pilots at the Atlanta-based carrier, said 99% of those who cast their ballots backed strike-authorization. Under U.S. law, Delta pilots cannot walk off the job until the National Mediation Board grants them permission.
Op-ed: Nothing Does More to Weaken Unions Than Union Leaders
November 2, 2022 // In 2018, before the Janus decision affirmed that teachers can refuse to support their unions’ radical politics, the CTA boasted 310,000 members. Today that number stands at 280,000 — a loss of more than 30,000 members and $36 million a year in lost dues revenue — much of which would have gone into campaign coffers to buy elected officials who would serve Big Labor’s interests.
Biden’s Labor Department moves to raise taxes on the American workforce
November 1, 2022 // The Labor Department’s proposed rule would force Americans who don’t want a boss to have a boss. Under current law, independent contractors perform a task or execute a project and present the result to an individual or business for payment. Unlike traditional employees, independent contractors have the freedom to set their own schedules, determine their workload, and can put food on the table without needing a boss. Labor’s new proposed rule would force independent contractors to reclassify as W-2 employees if the worker is “economically dependent” on the entity that is paying him or her.
What’s next for staffer unions on the Hill?
November 1, 2022 // Staff for another five members — all Democrats — have filed petitions with the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights to hold elections. Since the initial eight offices filed petitions when they were first allowed to in July, only two more have done so — staff for Reps. Dina Titus of Nevada and Sean Casten of Illinois. If all form unions, around 100 House staffers out of 9,100 will be represented by the Congressional Workers Union.
Teacher group says communication with APS broke down after School Board allowed unionizing
November 1, 2022 // Arlington Public Schools became the second school district in Virginia to do so, after the General Assembly in 2020 repealed a ban on school employees bargaining collectively. Before that, AEA advocated for public school employees but could not guarantee benefits through legally binding contracts. This month, organization members told the School Board that its approval of the collective bargaining resolution shut out staff, and since then, communication has worsened between employees and APS’s top leaders.
US elections will gauge support for unionization in two states
November 1, 2022 // The most significant drive for labor unionization in the United States since the early 1970s will be put to the test in the upcoming midterm elections. Voters in Illinois and Tennessee are being asked to decide on two antithetical visions of the future of organized labor: the right to collective bargaining versus the right to work. The latter allows individual workers to choose whether or not to join a union, and frees non-members from paying compulsory union dues. Illinois wants to do away with right-to-work laws while Tennessee wants to amend its state constitution to include right-to-work provisions like nine other states. Across the US, 27 states have enacted various right-to-work laws, evidence that the country’s divisive polarization extends to labor relations.
How Biden’s Victory With Railroad Unions Could Be Derailed
November 1, 2022 //
Opinion: How Service Industry Unionization Could Impact Prices
November 1, 2022 // “It’s important for independent restaurateurs to note that these unionization efforts are almost entirely focused on large chains and franchises like McDonald’s and Starbucks,” said Mary King, a restaurant analyst for Fit Small Business and a 14-year restaurant veteran who has worked in every facet of the industry. "Keep in mind that in addition to potential wage increases, restaurants are dealing with rent increases, fuel surcharges, and higher prices for baseline ingredients like flour and bread,” said King. “It is as likely that price increases will come from those increased costs, not merely because some restaurants may be asked to pay their staff higher wages.”
Environmental Protection Agency Workers File Suit Over Remote Work Policies
November 1, 2022 // “Other EPA offices across the country have not been denying remote work requests like we’ve been seeing here in the Midwest,” Cantello said. “The union originally bargained the right to remote work with EPA to protect members and their families during this pandemic, so we need to understand why the Region 5 management is denying applications and withholding documents that the union needs to examine EPA decision-making on remote work under FOIA.” The union is being represented in the lawsuit by Hudson B. Kingston, a litigation and policy attorney at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Freedom of Speech? Not if the National Labor Relations Board Gets Its Way
October 31, 2022 // Amazon unionization efforts recently failed in Albany, NY in October. Workers said no by an almost 2 to 1 margin. In total, less than a quarter of all employees voted for representation by the Amazon Labor Union. Shortly after, the union withdrew its petition to try to organize a California warehouse. It also lost a second vote in Staten Island in May. Amazon workers are clearly saying no to unionization. The NLRB and unions are responding by threatening a bedrock constitutional right of all Americans.
More Power Given to UFW To Unionize Farms
October 31, 2022 // Manuel Cunha, Jr., Nisei Farmers League President said that he was “very disappointed that many of his members and their workers have had their right to a secret ballot taken away by the passage of AB 2183.
‘We’re here to stay’: Local union groups rally in support of Home Depot workers ahead of union vote
October 31, 2022 // Philadelphia unions represented at the rally were AFSCME DC 47 Locals 1723, 1739, 2187, and 2186, Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP), American Federation of Teachers Local 4531, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, Philadelphia Carpenters Local 158, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 52, and Amazonians United. Quiles filed a union election petition in September with 106 workers’ signatures, to represent 266 employees in his unit — including merchandising, specialty, and operations associates.
EMMC facilities workers vote against unionizing
October 31, 2022 // The failed effort to unionize EMMC facilities mechanics follows a handful of successful efforts to organize workers at other Maine hospitals in recent years. Nurses at Acadia Hospital, another Northern Light health center in Bangor, announced this week they had filed to unionize as Acadia Nurses United with the American Federation of Teachers. That bargaining unit, if approved, would represent more than 100 nurses. An election hearing is set for Nov. 10.