5,000 Philly Transit Workers Authorize Strike – VCU Health Nurses Walkout – Florida School Bus Drivers Walkout

Philly SEPTA workers are seen on strike. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

Greetings from the Burgh, where Payday is getting back into the swing of things after meeting with film workers and union activists on the West Coast for a week.

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5,000 Philly Transit Workers Authorize Strike 

In Philly, 5,000 transit workers have voted to authorize a strike as their union contract will expire November 1. 

The workers are demanding higher pay, paid parental leave for all bus drivers, and a one-time bonus for working during the pandemic. 

“SEPTA has offered us lower wages than everyone else in the region, and we’re not going to accept lower wages and we’re not going to take that. You deserve more and your family deserves more,” Transport Workers Local 234 President Willie Brown said in a video to union members. 

For more, check out WCAU. 

Virginia Commonwealth University Health Nurses “Sickout Strike” over Low Pay 

In Richmond, Virginia, non-union nurses at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health went on a “sickout” strike Monday over low pay and understaffing. 

As to why they feel comfortable striking, one reason may be that a number of nearby hospitals are offering higher bonuses, some as high as $25,000 for skilled nurses. 

“We have stood by VCU, trusting that you would stand by us; now we are burnt out and do not feel valued or supported,” the nurses wrote in a petition that was signed by more than 5,000 nurses at the hospital. “VCU health system emphasizes the goal of being the safest hospital in America, but how is that possible if you are not willing to pay to keep our most tenured and experienced staff?”

For more, check out WTVR. 

Florida School Bus Drivers Sickout Strike

In Lee County, Florida, more than 100 school bus drivers went on a “sickout” strike Monday to protest low pay and working conditions. 

The sickout strike appears to have captured the attention of school management, as they made promises in the press to improve things. 

“They do have concerns about the working conditions, and they’re valid. It’s tough. They’re all overworked,” Lee County’s transportation director Roger Lloyd told WINK. “We can work with the schools, we can do things better here at the compound to help them out. So yes, we’re working on solutions for most of their concerns.”

For more, check out WINK. 

Dollar General Workers Lose Landmark Union Vote by Only 2 Votes 

In the suburbs of Hartford, Connecticut, workers at a Dollar General this week have narrowly voted down the union. However, the outcome of the union election could change based on two ballots that were challenged by management. 

Management lobbied heavily against the union drive and even hired the infamous union-busting firm LRI Consulting Services Inc., based out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, to fly up to Connecticut to run the anti-union campaign. 

For more, check out The Hartford Courant. 

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere

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About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of the late Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered the labor movement & the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement from being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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