Posts tagged Covid

    A new union is born in the South

    December 1, 2022 // USSW workers and staff are bullish on their new union, believing that its fusion of labor and human rights organizing will help them secure livable wages, stronger safety protections, control over their work schedules, and new respect for the African Americans and Latinos who make up the majority of their members. They are encouraged by the growing public approval for labor unions and the increase in worker protest during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among essential or frontline workers. They are also building off of nine years of organizing through Raise Up — the Southern expression of the Fight for $15 and a Union and an affiliate of the sprawling Service Employees International Union. Raise Up veterans like Gas and Smalls, and the Durham, North Carolina-based Ieisha Franceis and Jamila Allen, will be critical to the USSW's success. Beginning in September 2020 and continuing over the next year, Franceis and Allen led three walkouts that forced their employer, Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, to agree to their demands for raises, paid leave for employees in quarantine, and new sanitation procedures. Franceis was initially hesitant about striking, but she trusted the much younger and more soft-spoken Allen, who had been meeting with Raise Up organizers for a year and gently prodding her coworkers to take collective action.

    THE SYSTEMIC RACISM OF TEACHERS UNIONS

    November 21, 2022 // Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could reverse the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision, in which SCOTUS asserted that the use of an applicant’s race as a factor in an admissions policy of a public educational institution does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The current case specifically cites the use of race in the admissions process at Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, Students for Fair Admissions, maintain that Harvard violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, “which bars entities that receive federal funding from discriminating based on race, because Asian American applicants are less likely to be admitted than similarly qualified white, Black, or Hispanic applicants.”

    Looming rail strike could impact US economy ahead of holidays

    November 17, 2022 // All 12 rail unions must approve their deals to prevent a strike, although no strike is imminent because all the unions have agreed to keep negotiating even if their members vote no, until a deadline early next month. Seven other unions have ratified the five-year deals that include 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses. The focus now is on the three unions that have voted down their agreements and the remaining two that haven't finished voting.

    Opinion: Hunter Tower: Teachers’ unions deserve no ‘amnesty’ for exploiting Covid fears

    November 8, 2022 // “There’s no way that you’re going to have full-time schools for all the kids and all the teachers the way we used to have it,” Weingarten actually said in July 2020. A month later, when the American Academy of Pediatrics encouraged schools to reopen for classes in fall 2020, Weingarten opposed then-U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ efforts to reopen schools.

    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.

    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.

    Labor Tries City-By-City Push In California For $25 Minimum Wage At Private Medical Facilities

    October 25, 2022 // What began as a 10-city campaign by the union has been winnowed to November ballot measures in just two cities in Los Angeles County, reflecting expensive political jockeying between labor and industry. And the $25 minimum wage isn’t the only campaign being waged by SEIU-UHW this cycle — the union is also trying for the third time to get dialysis industry reforms passed. A ballot issue committee called the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems — with funding from Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Adventist Health, Cedars-Sinai, Dignity Health, and other hospitals and health systems — opposes a $25 minimum wage because it raises costs for private, but not public, hospitals and health care facilities. Opponents have latched on to this disparity by calling it the “unequal pay measure.” An analysis commissioned by the California Hospital Association estimated that the change would raise costs for private facilities by $392 million a year, a 6.9% increase, across the 10 cities.

    Is the Uber, Lyft and gig economy battle over workers nearing its end game?

    October 17, 2022 // Proposed Department of Labor rules stop short of classifying Uber and Lyft drivers as employees. But the Biden administration’s pro-worker bias has analysts wondering what may come next in the battle over the gig economy and union momentum in the U.S. workforce. In a worst-case scenario, costs could rise as much as 30 percent for on-demand transportation companies just getting to break even, analyst says, and that means fares may rise as well.

    OPINION: Spin Control: How did state reach its deal with its unions? Have to wait to see

    October 12, 2022 // The Office of Financial Management rejected Mercier’s request for the opening offers. The contracts have not yet been approved by the Legislature, it said, so the agreements are tentative and anything leading up to them would be “exempt as part of the deliberative process” under the state Public Records Act. The problem with that reasoning is that the contract approval equals biennial budget approval, which isn’t going to happen for at least six months. The Legislature rarely rejects the negotiated contract and can’t even make changes, like shaving the raises by a fraction of a percentage point or reducing the bonus for getting a shot designed to keep workers from getting sick.

    Jamie Walker: Emails reveal state teachers’ union colluded with districts to keep schools closed unnecessarily

    October 11, 2022 // "In 2020, I was told that the Commonwealth’s teachers’ union had no influence over the decision whether to reopen schools in Bucks County. Two years later, I learned that was a lie."