Folks, Greetings from the Burgh, where it’s a beautiful 80-degree day.
$190 Short of Our Monthly Goal
We are $190 short of our monthly goal with just a few hours left to go until midnight. We haven’t been hitting the goal in the last few months since I’ve been sick, so it’s great to be so close.
DC Transit Workers Strike
In the suburbs of Washington, D.C., over 200 transit workers are on strike against MetroAccess contractor Transdev.
“It’s really sad to watch your co-workers struggle to come here to run these routes like they do because they can’t afford to take off,” striking driver Valerie Thomas told WJLA. “We want better healthcare, we want more money, we would like to have a pension.”
Hip Hop Workers Alliance Launched
A group of hip hop veterans including Chuck D, Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick and KRS-One have launched the Hip Hop Alliance, which bills itself as the first-ever union in the hip hop industry. (Check out the video of the launch here)
“Shout out to those who work behind the scenes to make Hip Hop Happen,” the group’s chairman KRS-One wrote in a message announcing the Hip Hop Alliance. “Managers, Artists, Agents, Engineers and Producers, what is the retirement plan, healthcare plan, and fare commission standards for us? What is a fare wage for what we do within ‘hip-hop’ as an industry? Those that drive and assist artists, those that protect artists, those that promote the show, and those that sell merchandise, among other roles and responsibilities that make hip hop happen; Who speaks for us?”
PetSmart Dog Groomers Trapped in Debt
A new lawsuit alleges that PetSmart is forcing groomers to assume $5,000 in debt for training in order to work at their store. If a worker leaves after less than two years, they have to repay the training fee in full.
“PetSmart is just another company cynically engineering new forms of student debt as a tool to trap workers,” Mike Pierce, a lawyer suing PetSmart, told CBS.
New Mexico State Calls Police on Graduate Workers During Contract Talks
At New Mexico State University, the police were called on UE union members negotiating a contract after a graduate worker tore up a contract proposal made by the administration. An administrator claimed that a piece of paper had been hit in the face.
An NMSU police report written by Sgt. John Lovelace stated that officers were first dispatched to the scene because a caller claimed students were throwing staplers. Lovelace said officers found no evidence to support that claim.
NMSUPD made contact with the students gathered outside the meeting room and established the party was not doing anything illegal. Lovelace proceeded to talk with the NMSU administrators inside the meeting room when he was made aware of Jackson’s throwing of the pieces of paper into the room.
“While speaking with Jones, I asked if she wished to pursue charges against Jackson. Originally, she said she did, but then changed her mind,” Lovelace wrote in the report.
Inside Look at how NewsGuild Campaign Failed
Finally, Poytner has a look at how a union campaign by the NewsGuild at Outside Magazine failed:
Immediately after the staff asked Outside to voluntarily recognize the union, the company launched an unusually aggressive anti-union campaign. The Denver Newspaper Guild had prepared the staff for most of the company’s talking points, but one argument caught everyone off guard.
A union, Outside argued, would jeopardize the company’s ability to attract funding from venture capital firms. At stake was not just the jobs of the editorial staff, but the entire company. In addition to Outside Magazine, the company — which is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico — had more than 20 other publications, encompassing roughly 580 employees.
Not wanting to be responsible for the potential loss of hundreds of jobs, the magazine staff withdrew their petition for an NLRB election.
News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere
- Columbus EMS workers say they aren’t getting paid
- New Teamsters chief is readying UPS drivers for a strike as he heads toward contract negotiations — and key moves show he’s not bluffing
- Machinists at Boeing St. Louis to vote on modified contract offer, temporarily averts imminent strike
- Goodyear reaches an agreement on labor contracts after employees walkout Friday
- Seattle-area Verizon Wireless retail workers ratify first union contract
- Finally, WGBH has a look at why there are so few black workers on construction sites in Boston
Keep sending tips, story ideas, comments, and suggestions to [email protected]. Thanks for all the suggestions and support.
Love & Solidarity,