Posts tagged Senate
Starbucks union to greet new CEO Narasimhan with 100-cafe strike
March 22, 2023 // Unionized Starbucks Corp. baristas plan to welcome their new chief executive officer with strikes at about 100 cafes Wednesday, demanding that the company drop its alleged anti-union coercion. Striking baristas from Oregon and Washington state plan to converge for a midday protest outside Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. The work stoppage, which organizers said will involve stores in more than 40 US cities, is the union Starbucks Workers United’s latest effort to force a pivot by the coffee giant.
House Republicans’ attempt to block staffer unions may have missed mark
March 13, 2023 // The House began allowing members’ staff to form unions last year by adopting a resolution that authorized regulations from the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights. Republicans opposed the measure at the time, and after taking control of the House, they adopted a rule that said the “regulations adopted pursuant to [last year’s resolution] shall have no force or effect” during the current Congress. While that might seem to nullify aides’ ability to form new unions, the language is actually ineffective, said Kevin Mulshine, author of the Demand Progress Education Fund report and a former senior adviser and counsel at OCWR.
Opinion: Biden Labor Nominee Julie Su is a Threat to Independent Contractors and Freelancers Nationwide
March 2, 2023 // Su, who is currently serving as Deputy Labor Secretary, has a demonstrated record of mismanagement of taxpayer resources and will wage war on the nearly 60 million Americans that engage in freelance work. Before DOL, Su worked as California Labor Secretary. Under Su’s scandal-tarred watch, California’s unemployment system paid out over $11 billion in fraudulent claims, totaling 10 percent of all benefits paid. Estimates show that a further $19 billion in claims were improperly distributed. An audit spurred by Su’s failed leadership showed that her work was a “high-risk issue” and “inefficient.” Su will also raise your taxes. Su will likely push a national version (such as the PRO Act) of AB5 if confirmed, breaking Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 per year.
Unionize the Senate, staffers urge
February 9, 2023 // Labor advocates are pushing the Senate to recognize staff unions, in the hopes of kickstarting progress in the chamber now that their House organizing efforts have stalled under Republican control. The Congressional Workers Union sent a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Rules and Administration Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Bernie Sanders, demanding a vote by the end of the month on a resolution authorizing Senate offices to unionize.
They work for Congress. They also have second jobs
January 31, 2023 // The group behind the new project, the Congressional Progressive Staff Association, hopes those posts will be the first of many that will illustrate the financial hardships of poorly paid Hill staffers. The series, which you can also follow on Twitter, was inspired by Humans of New York, the popular photoblog that pairs on-the-street portrait photography with short and often poignant stories from the subjects, according to CPSA spokeswoman Zoe Bluffstone. Her group partnered with Dear White Staffers, an Instagram account that allows Hill aides to share their gripes and gossip anonymously. Bluffstone hopes Humans of the Hill will similarly show staffers that they’re not alone in their financial struggles and should band together to demand better working conditions.
Legislative staffer unions percolate beyond D.C.
January 26, 2023 // Part of its argument is that the legislative union would violate the separation of powers because it would be overseen by Oregon’s Employment Relations Board, a part of the executive branch. “All of its members are appointed by the governor, so it's controlled by the executive branch, and that subjects the legislature to the executive branch in a specific way,” Freedom Foundation attorney Rebekah Millard told POLITICO.
Unions are “Baking In” Remote Work for Federal Employees
January 19, 2023 // But the prospect of conflict with union contracts, uncovered by TechTarget, adds a wrinkle to any plans. “Remote work policies are also getting baked into federal employee union agreements, which could make it difficult for federal agencies to order workers back to the office even if they wanted to,” the story said. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) claims to be “made up of over 281,000 workers in almost every agency of the federal and D.C. governments, spread across 936 local unions.” In December 2022, after some extended legal struggles with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the union said that the two parties had reached a settlement over immediate flexible work arrangements “while we negotiate terms for a permanent telework program.”
Railroad unions hopeful Biden will act to give workers paid sick time
December 14, 2022 // 70 Democrats in Congress signed a letter asking for President Joe Biden or some federal agency to issue an order giving rail workers the seven sick days a year they were seeking. The letter pointed out that both the House and Senate supported legislation to do so, with some nominal Republican support in both chambers along with nearly unanimous Democratic support. But the legislation failed because it didn’t get the 60 votes it needed in the Senate. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter from the unions’ congressional allies. But officials with the rail unions said they have been talking to the administration about some kind of executive action to get them the sick time they’ve been seeking, and that they are hopeful action could be forthcoming.
HEMMED OUT: Why Legislative Employees Can’t Unionize Under the Taylor Law
December 12, 2022 // Union advocates have argued that employees of the New York State Legislature are covered by the Taylor Law, the 1967 state law that requires state and local public employers, including state agencies, municipalities, and school districts, to recognize and bargain with employee unions. However, applying the Taylor Law to the Senate, the Assembly, or individual members of either house would raise numerous practical and constitutional issues, and any attempt to enforce a contract negotiated under the Taylor Law would likely be voided by state courts.
The ‘pro-union’ president risks the support of a key constituency to avert a rail strike
December 5, 2022 // Biden faces a backlash from a core of rail workers and allied groups, as some of them see his push for a measure to avoid a strike as a betrayal. He signed the measure, which passed with bipartisan support, at the White House on Friday, giving rail workers a significant raise, but denying them the paid sick leave that had been a sticking point in some of the contract talks. Hours later, he arrived at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and was met by scores of protesters objecting to his handling of a labor dispute that threatened to halt rail service at the peak of the holiday season.