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)

Folks, 

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, 

Melk

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered Lula & the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of retired United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he was once described as an "abrasive gadfly" by the New York Times for his role in exposing sexual misconduct in the labor movement. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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