Posts tagged Communication Workers of America

    PHILADELPHIA: Former City Councilmember Bobby Henon is facing sentencing for a bribery conviction. Here’s what you should know.

    March 1, 2023 // A former electrician and the political director of the politically powerful union of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, he was elected to Council in 2011 backed by union money and support. While in office, Henon remained on Local 98′s payroll — at a salary of more than $70,000 per year — in addition to collecting his $140,000 paycheck from the city. At Dougherty’s urging, the jury found, Henon drafted and, in some cases, introduced legislation — aimed at punishing a towing company that had attempted to tow the union leader’s car and at supporting his bid to become head of the Building Trades Council, an umbrella group of the city’s labor unions. He granted Dougherty outsized influence during negotiations over the city’s 15-year franchise agreement with Comcast, a potentially lucrative deal for Local 98′s members. Henon was also convicted of a separate bribery scheme in which he extorted a $5,000 bribe in the form of a campaign contribution from the Communication Workers of America, when the union in 2015 needed his help in an ongoing dispute with Verizon. Among those pledging their support: former Gov. Ed Rendell, AFL-CIO President Pat Eiding, Local 98 spokesperson Frank Keel, former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, and City Councilmembers Mark Squilla and Michael Driscoll. Driscoll was elected to Henon’s Council seat in a special election following his conviction in 2021.

    New York’s biggest labor actions of the past year

    February 28, 2023 // Only one other state, Hawaii, has a unionization rate higher than New York’s 20.7%. In the public sector, just around two-thirds of New Yorkers are in a union. In 2022 alone, nearly 200 workplaces in the state filed for representation through the National Labor Relations Board. But, despite the hype and a 57-year high in Americans’ approval of labor unions, New York’s union participation (and the country’s as a whole) is still trending downward. In 2012, 23.2% of New York workers were union members, 2.5 points higher than it is today. CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies Labor Department Chair Ruth Milkman said that despite 2022’s historic union victories, many were with small firms. “So all this publicity and media attention to these iconic companies that have had some recent experience of successful unionization, it’s kind of a drop in the bucket in terms of the whole labor market in New York,” she said.

    ‘Hypocritical’: environmental groups blocking union efforts, US workers say

    February 3, 2023 // Workers at some of the top environmental organizations in the US are calling out their managers as “incredibly hypocritical” as they argue the progressive non-profits are fighting workers’ efforts to unionize. A wave of unionization efforts has swept the non-profit sector as part of a renewed national enthusiasm for unionization. Shortly into the Covid-19 pandemic, workers at, Sunrise Movement, the National Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, Greenpeace USA, the Public Interest Network and the Center for Biological Diversity unionized.

    St. Louis Public Radio workers to unionize

    January 19, 2023 // St. Louis Public Radio (STLPR) is licensed to the University of Missouri System and operated by UMSL. STLPR broadcasts as NPR affiliate KWMU 90.7 FM, as well as KMST 88.5 FM in Rolla and WQUB 90.3 FM in Quincy, Illinois, and streaming channels KWMU-2 jazz and KWMU-3 classical, as well as producing web and podcast content. STLPR has 60 full- and part-time employees, according to an UMSL spokesman. The STLPR Guild intends to represent nonsupervisory employees among the station's newsroom, events, marketing, development and support staff, totaling about 42 people, according to Rachel Lippmann, a guild organizer and the station's justice correspondent. "We expect the exact shape of the unit to be a topic of conversation and discussion," she told the Business Journal in an email. More than 75% of the proposed bargaining unit signed the statement of interest, Lippmann said.

    Tech Layoffs Threaten Unions’ Plan to Draw White-Collar Workers

    January 18, 2023 // Some 500 technology companies have axed nearly 100,000 workers since last October, according to, a public database of tech layoffs. Amazon this month announced it would cut 18,000 jobs, and on the same day, cloud computing company Salesforce and the online video-sharing service Vimeo said they would slash 10% and 11% of their staffs, respectively. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, said in November it would eliminate 11,000 jobs—about 13% of its staff. Those reductions in force don’t bode well for unions that have increasingly funneled resources into tech organizing, which was, until recently, seen as an ever-growing pool of potential members. The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, last year raised membership fees for the first time in two decades, hoping to raise $10 million a year for new organizing. Union leaders this month flocked to Las Vegas for the CES technology conference, set on understanding how the latest innovations in artificial intelligence could disrupt their industries.

    Kaleida Health workers to vote on giving union strike authority

    August 31, 2022 // Voting is scheduled for Sept. 13-15 by 6,300 Kaleida Health workers seeking a swift resolution to negotiations that have gone on for more than five months. The unions conducted Informational picketing earlier this month. Affected workers include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, dietary workers, patient care assistants, professionals, technicians, service and maintenance workers and clerical workers. Kaleida Health has more than 10,000 employees, according to an Aug. 23 union news release.

    Labor of Love: EWOC is Pioneering a New Model for Empowering Workers

    May 26, 2022 // EWOC is most strongly concentrated in California, Illinois, Texas and New York. In New York City, the group has over 500 people — workers, volunteers and trainees — involved in its network. Its volunteer organizers have successfully organized workers at Sara Lawrence College and at Bright Horizons, the nation’s largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Some of the REI-Soho worker-organizers who would eventually see through a successful union drive with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union went through EWOC’s training program. EWOC volunteers also help to funnel Starbucks workers who reach out to them to Starbucks Workers United, the newly-formed, independent Starbucks union.

    President Biden says Amazon union organizer Christian Smalls is his ‘kind of trouble’ and ‘let’s not stop’

    May 12, 2022 // The White House visit came as a swell of organizing sweeps across retail stores from Starbucks to REI to Apple. Biden has repeatedly declared that he intends to be "most pro-union President leading the most pro-union administration in American history.