8,500 Grocery Workers Strike in CO – Pitt Spent $3 Million on Anti-Union Law Firm – Baton Rogue Teachers Strike

King Soopers grocery store workers walk the picket line as they strike at more than 70 stores across the Denver metro area on Jan. 12, 2022 in Denver. (credit: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)


Greetings from the Burgh, where Payday is slowly getting back into gear as I continue recovering from COVID. 

8,000 Grocery Workers Strike at 77 locations in Colorado

Today, 8,500 King Soopers workers went on strike at 77 locations throughout Colorado. 

The workers went on strike after rejecting a proposal that would raise workers’ wages to $16 an hour, which the union doesn’t feel is enough. 

The company rolled back key union security provisions, allowing them to open non-union stores and hire non-union temp workers in unionized stores. 

“We strike because it has become clear this is the only way  to get what is fair, just, and equitable for the grocery workers who have risked their lives every day just by showing up to work during the pandemic,” said the union in a statement. “We will continue to be relentless in fighting for our members.” 

For a full breakdown, check out this fact sheet put out by the union. 

East Baton Rouge Teachers Sick Out 

In East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, teachers today have gone on a sickout strike organized by their union over the school, forcing teachers to teach in person. 

“We have received reports of entire departments being out, and classes being combined,” the union said in a statement. “In addition, teachers, ancillary, office staff, and other staff are being forced to cover classes, putting the health and safety of educators and students at risk.”

For more, check out The Advocate. 

Pitt Spent $3 million on Anti-Union Law Firms 

Here in Pittsburgh, an exposé by The Pitt News revealed the University of Pittsburgh paid nearly $3 million to the anti-union law firm Ballard Spahr. 

“Part of our motivation in organizing is that we want the Pitt administration to prioritize our campus community and invest in students, faculty and staff rather than squandering resources on things like unnecessary legal fees,” union member Melinda Ciccocioppo told The Pitt News. 

For more, check out The Pitt News. 

Jewish Museum Workers Unionize 

Finally, a big congratulations to my cousin Shaunna Bahssin on her successful union drive at the Jewish Museum. 

“Our goal is to create a workplace built upon communication, respect, and integrity, where staff are involved in setting the terms of employment and are allowed to sustainably grow their careers,” the workers wrote in a union mission statement posted on Instagram. “In keeping with our love of the Jewish Museum’s exhibitions, collection, and rich history, the staff is eager to realize a fairer, more inclusive, and more diverse workplace.”

For more, check out Hyperallergic. 

Strikes and News Happening Elsewhere

Alright, that’s all for today! 

Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 662 recurring donors today.  We’re only 28 short of reaching 700 recurring monthly donors. Thanks again to all those who have donated to the recovery fund. 

As always, send tips, story ideas, links, and comments to [email protected]. 

Thanks again for all the support yinz. 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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