Posts tagged work conditions

    Labor unions are pushing hard for double-digit raises and better hours. Many are winning

    August 28, 2023 // More than 320,000 workers have participated in at least 230 strikes so far this year, according to data from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. That’s already higher than the roughly 224,000 workers who participated in roughly 420 strikes in 2022, due in large part to tens of thousands of striking workers with the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Writers Guild of America. “Major” strikes involving 1,000 or more workers so far amount to just 16 such work stoppages this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to a recent high of 25 recorded major work stoppages in 2019 and 23 last year.

    Biden Names Veteran Union Official as Labor Policy Adviser

    August 22, 2023 // Danaher until last Friday served as labor policy adviser at the Transportation Department, consulting with Secretary Pete Buttigieg on recent labor negotiations critical to supply chains involving freight railroads, West Coast ports and talks between United Parcel Service Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He also served on the administration’s supply-chain task force. “Brendan has been a trusted adviser to me and our entire Department during our ongoing work to help transportation workers secure the wages, benefits, and safe conditions they deserve,” Buttigieg said in a statement. Before joining the Biden administration, Danaher worked for two decades at a number of labor organizations including the AFL-CIO, Transport Workers Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.

    Philadelphia Orchestra singers unionize

    August 14, 2023 // With this step, they join the New York Philharmonic Chorus, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus as AGMA members. Next, the Philadelphia singers hope to begin negotiations with orchestra management for their first contract. A Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc. spokesperson declined to comment, except to say that POKC was looking forward to working with AGMA. The Philadelphia Symphonic Choir — which does not perform concerts on its own beyond appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra — has about 200 singers on its roster, though about 40 to 90 are generally called upon at a time to perform on specific concerts.

    When California’s public workers go on strike

    August 11, 2023 // On Tuesday, thousands of city workers across Los Angeles, including staff at LAX and Van Nuys airport, City Hall, animal shelters, public swimming pools and other facilities, walked off the job for a 24-hour strike, reports the Los Angeles Times. There have been some efforts in the Legislature to expand strike rights for public workers. State Sen. Tom Umberg, a Democrat from Santa Ana, has proposed a constitutional amendment that would enshrine every worker’s right, including public sector employees, to join a union and negotiate with their employers “to protect their economic well-being and safety at work.” Another measure, authored by Democratic Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes of San Bernardino, would protect public employees from disciplinary action if they join a sympathy strike, refuse to cross a picket line or refuse cover work for striking co-workers.

    Opinion: TALKING TRANSPORTATION: Union Power and the Potential Strike at Metro-North

    August 8, 2023 // The union, which represents car inspectors, coach cleaners and mechanics has been without a contract since 2019 and says MTA management is dragging its heels on a new contract. The union has entered mediation through the Railroad Labor Act but says the first round did not go well. Under New York State law the union does have the right to strike and that would pretty much halt train service. But the effect of that might be far less in these post-COVID times as we’ve all learned how to WFH (work from home). This labor unrest comes as the MTA admits it paid $1.3 billion in overtime last year. About 1100 of its employees doubled their salaries with OT. There are mechanics and MTA cops taking home over $300,000 due to extra duty. Under their contracts, available overtime must first be offered to the most senior (and highest paid) staffers so those veterans, closest to retirement, are raking it in.

    Va. firefighters, medics press city for union rights

    August 2, 2023 // Virginia Beach is considering collective bargaining for its employees and officers. In 2020, Portsmouth was the first Hampton Roads city to authorize collective bargaining for city employees thanks to a unanimous City Council vote. The resolution at the time called for a working group of city leaders and subject matter experts to explore procedures on how to make it happen when the law became effective the following year. But City Council reversed course when that time came after then-Chief Financial Officer Mimi Terry, now interim city manager, informed members that such efforts would likely cost the city $2 million to begin the process while limiting expansion of other services. The council then adopted a resolution to no longer grant employees the ability to collectively bargain.

    AFGE Urges Congress to Pass Bill Reinstating Federal Tax Deduction for Union Dues

    August 1, 2023 // The Tax Fairness for Workers Act, H.R. 4963, would restore the tax deductibility of union dues for workers and would create an “above the line” deduction for unions so workers can use it even if they don’t itemize. The bill, which currently has 158 co-sponsors, would also help workers by restoring the deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses including job search expenses, travel, out of pocket cost of uniforms and tools, and other costs related to being an employee. AFGE thanks Reps. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., and Donald Norcross, D-N.J., for introducing his important bill. AFGE also thanks Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., for leading the Senate bill, S. 738, which has 39 co-sponsors.

    Big Labor Is Getting an Assist From Far-Left Activists | Opinion

    August 1, 2023 // From Connecticut to California, these groups are rolling out the pernicious practice of "salting" in the hope of turning employees against their employers. Salting involves paid union organizers applying for jobs and acting as employees of non-union companies. The "salt" then surveils the targeted company, collecting employees' personal information, stirring dissent, isolating non-union employees, and filing unfair labor practice claims. The claims mire employers in frivolous and costly administrative charges.

    Terminations and failed union negotiations lead to closures of Nashville coffee shops

    July 7, 2023 // The futures of two popular Nashville coffee shops are uncertain as multiple Barista Parlor locations and Three Brothers Coffee remain closed after weeks of failed union negotiation efforts and unexplained terminations. Employees at both companies say baristas have major concerns about the coffee industry in Nashville because of multiple closures, terminations and low or stolen wages. Golden Sound, a Barista Parlor location in the Gulch, closed almost two months ago. Some employees transferred to the Germantown location before all but three staff were fired without warning June 14. A Barista Parlor worker said management attempted to have one-on-one meetings with staff in order to terminate them, but the group demanded to meet together. Three staff members who were not terminated quit in solidarity. The entire staff of the Hillsboro Village location also walked out, citing similar concerns about working conditions, understaffing, wages and job security. Katte Noel, who has worked at Barista Parlor for a year and a half, said workers have experienced hundreds of dollars in wage theft in the last few months. Noel said management has promised to repay those wages but This was in addition to hours being cut and company favorites being given better shift times and assignments, which Noel says puts stress on baristas trying to make ends meet; shorter shifts mean slimmer pay checks.

    500 Michigan Medicine workers unionize

    June 30, 2023 // About 500 additional workers from Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine have joined the United Michigan Medicine Allied Professionals, American Federation of Teachers Local 6739, according to a health system statement shared with Becker's June 28. The workers join a bargaining unit that represents diagnostic technologists. With the additional workers, the bargaining unit now has about 1,400 members. New members seek more input in scheduling, staffing-related working conditions and other workplace issues, Cheryl Bodmer, a surgical technologist at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, said, according to