Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, where the TV news has been playing extended segments on the latest coming from America’s elections.
One interesting point is that Brazilians are shocked to learn America’s election results could take days to be released. In Brazil, elections are administered by an independent election commission and chaired by a Supreme Court Justice. Results are known within 3 to 4 hours.
Lula to Address Climate Change Conference in Cairo
During Lula’s presidency in the early 2000s, Brazil, as the 7th largest economy, began to play a substantial role in helping foster international cooperation. Lula even helped broker a major peace deal with the Iranians.
Now, many Brazilians are hoping Lula can once again play a major role on the international stage.
This week Lula is attending the United Nation’s COP 27 Climate Change conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. In his major address as president-elect last week, Lula pledged that he would fight for zero deforestation in the Amazon and fight climate change.
“Brazil and the planet need the Amazon alive,” said Lula. “We will prove once again that it is possible to generate wealth without destroying the environment.”
Payday Passes 2,400 Strikes Tracked in the US
This weekend, Payday Report’s Strike Tracker recorded its 2,400th strike tracked when workers at Starbucks in Santa Fe went on strike Saturday.
The workers first informed Starbucks of their intention to unionize in August. However, in September, Starbucks management transferred many of the pro-union Starbucks workers to other locations. Fearing they would lose the union election with the current workforce, the union withdrew their petition to hold a vote in October.
But on Saturday, they went on strike to draw attention to the union-busting tactics of Starbucks.
“I was sick of hearing people say they would quit,” Starbucks employee Shawn Harper-Ray told the Santa Fe New Mexican. “I want to see things improve. Good people work here. I just want to see things improve.”
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55,000 Ontario Educators Win Walkout & Law Repeal
Last week, over 55,000 Ontario educators walked out to protest a law passed by the Ontario parliament that would dramatically roll back their rights, including the right to strike.
Now, the Ontario government has pledged to rescind the law if teachers agree to return to the classroom.
The teachers union accepted the deal and said they would return to the classroom beginning on Tuesday.
“We hope that this gesture is met with the same good faith by this government in a new proposal at the bargaining table as soon as possible,” Laura Walton, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ (CUPE) Ontario School Board Council of Union said during a news conference.
Reuters Staff Vote to Strike & New York Times Staffers Move to Strike
Yesterday, reporters at Reuters announced that their union had voted to authorize a strike against their newspaper. The over 300 reporters at Reuters voted to strike 81% to 19%.
Workers said Reuters offered them raises that don’t keep up with inflation while healthcare costs continue to increase at the paper.
“Our colleagues have given us a clear mandate to do what it takes to get a contract that reflects runaway inflation and the company’s multibillion-dollar cash hoard. So far, the company has dismissed the incredible amount of dedication we showed during the global pandemic and what we continue to do on a daily basis,” Tim McLaughlin, Reuters Guild Unit Chair, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, The Daily Beast writes that New York Times reporters are moving closer to striking. Many workers are pushing forward the idea they will strike if serious progress isn’t made at the paper. The paper is offering staffers a raise of 2.7% while inflation remains high at 8.2%.
“Given the high rates of inflation and the company’s fantastic financial health we think this is an insulting and unacceptable offer,” Times business reporter and bargaining committee member Stacy Cowley told The Daily Beast.
Home Depot Workers Lose Big in Philly Election
This past weekend in Philadelphia, workers at Home Depot voted overwhelmingly against unionizing with a vote of 165 to 51. In an interview with WHYY, workers there say they felt unprepared for the company’s anti-union campaign. From WHYY:
Managers had been breaking up conversations between employees, he asserted, and tried to isolate him from his coworkers while perpetrating a “character assassination” to discredit him — “ ‘I’m trying to steal people’s money,’ things like that,” Quiles said. Lead organizers have filed a formal complaint to the National Labor Relations Board.
Still hopeful, Quiles sees the 51 “yes” votes as a window forward.
“I see it like this, they’re very beatable,” he said. “Had we better prepared for that propaganda, for that intimidation, this would have gone differently.” He described the union’s five-week campaign as a “fly by the seat of your pants operation.” Organizers didn’t spend any money, he said, but the effort still garnered national attention.
Quiles cited an age divide when it came to supporting the union, with more of the push coming from younger employees.
Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere
- A general strike in Greece on Wednesday has shut down airlines throughout the country.
- Nearly 1.7 million workers are moving to strike in the biggest strike wave seen in England since the 1980s.
- Twitter is already trying to rehire workers Elon Musk fired days ago
- St. Louis Ballet wants to join the American Guild of Musical Artists union.
- HarperCollins Union moves to strike.
- In Eastern Tennessee, there has been an uptick in interest in union organizing in recent years.
- Finally, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh says Congress needs to block any rail strike if no new deal can be reached.
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