97% of UAW Votes to Strike at Big 3 – Cali May Give Unemployment Benefits to Strikers – Youngstown Teacher Walkout

UAW members voted with 97% in favor of striking at the Big Three (UAW)


Greetings from the house of my old college host family in Rio de Janeiro, where I have spent the last two and half weeks on vacation to celebrate some good news that Payday received recently (more on this later). 

Now, I am returning to work, providing updates on strikes in the US and overseas. Also, we are preparing to cover the Landless Workers Movement (MST). 

$250 Raised to Hire a Brazilian Videographer to Help with Coverage Down Here

Next week, I’m going into rural Brazil to cover the Landless Workers’ Movements. While I speak fluent Portuguese, I have decided, for safety reasons, to hire a veteran Brazilian journalist, Fernando Cavalcanti, who has worked for Folha de São Paulo, BBC, and CNN, to help me. 

Fernando will also film as we drive around and visit three different settlements of the Landless Workers Movement. We plan to release a short 9-10 minute documentary explaining to our subscribers what is happening. 

Donate to Help Us Hire a Brazilian Journalist to Help Us Cover the Landless Workers Movement

UAW Votes Overwhelmingly to Strike 

Today, the UAW announced that over 97% of its 140,000 members employed at the Big Three had voted to authorize a strike. While the union has been talking tough about striking, it signaled that, as the Teamsters did at UPS, they were willing to settle and avert a strike. 

“There’s nervousness but there’s excitement,” UAW Local 51 Vice President Luigi Gjokaj said at a rally in Detroit this week. “If the company comes to the table and they’re fair, we’ll have an agreement. If it has to go to a strike, we are prepared.”

For more, check out the Detroit Free Press. 

Youngstown Teachers Strike Ruled Legal by State Board 

Earlier today, the Ohio State Employee Relations Board (SERB) ruled that a strike by 400 teachers in Youngstown is legal and can continue. The Youngstown Education Association (YEA) celebrated the decision but cautioned that they still had to battle with a school board unwilling to negotiate. 

“The Board has continued to insist that they alone, though they have little to no direct interaction with students, have the ability to determine our students’ learning conditions,” said YEA union leader Jim Courim in a statement. “We know that we need a real voice in this. We know that our negotiated agreement with the Board has to carry the full force and weight of any negotiated agreement, and the Board has no business attempting to cancel a negotiated contract.”

For more, check out Mahoning Matters. 

With 60 Union Contracts Unsettled, LA Hotel Workers Escalate Strike

For months, tens of thousands of hotel workers throughout Southern California have been engaging in a series of roving strikes. More than 60 hotel workers’ union contracts remain unsettled in the city. 

Now, hotel workers are escalating their tactics by asking groups to avoid hosting conventions altogether in LA until their concerns are addressed.

“We’re asking them to stay away from Los Angeles,” Kurt Petersen, one of the union’s co-presidents, told HuffPost. “Tourism is the most important industry [here]. If tourism doesn’t pay workers a living wage, then this city will continue to collapse, and the housing crisis will be even worse than it is now.”

For more, check out HuffPost. 

California May Give Unemployment Benefits to Striking Workers 

While the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA continue to report meaningful progress at the bargaining table with Hollywood studios, California state legislators are pushing legislation that would give unemployment benefits to striking Hollywood workers. 

“We have to remember the long-term costs of strikes — not just to workers, but the rest of the community,” Cornell’s Kate Bronfenbrenner told Insider. “When workers are on strike, they don’t have money to make purchases, they’re not shopping, they’re late on their rents and their mortgage payments. So it’s good for the community for workers to get unemployment too.”

For more, check out Insider. 

South Korean Actors Demand Netflix Bargain with Their Union 

Finally, the strike of Hollywood workers isn’t just inspiring workers in the US, but also overseas. Recently, Netflix announced that they intended to invest $2.5 billion in South Korean content, but they have refused to bargain with the Korean actors union. 

“Netflix has made a lot of money from South Korean content,” Korean Broadcasting Performers Rights Association President Kim Juh-Ho told the LA Times. “It’s now time to meet.”

For more, check out the LA Times. 

Alright, folks, I gotta run to dinner here in Rio. Keep sending story ideas, tips, and comments to [email protected] 

Donate to Help Us Pay a Brazilian Journalist to Cover the Landless Workers Movement. If you can, please sign up as one of our 753 recurring donors today. 

Thank you for all the support. 


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]