Black State Rep Poised to Defeat White Pittsburgh Mayor – 2,900 Volvo Workers Reject UAW Deal – DC Paratransit Workers Strike

Ed Gainey defeated Bill Peduto (Public Source)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where we’re preparing to report on our mayoral election tomorrow. Many political observers here feel that State Representative Ed Gainey is poised to defeat incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto and be elected as Pittsburgh’s first black mayor. 

The race is likely to attract national attention and Payday will be there to cover it. (Check our piece profiling the race)

Donate to Help Us Spend the Next Few Days Covering This Important Mayoral Election

DC Paratransit Workers Strike 

This weekend, over 100 DC paratransit workers employed by MV Transportation went on a one-day strike to protest low wages and poor working conditions. Due to concerns about stranding disabled riders, the strike only lasted one day, but workers are vowing that if things don’t change at the bargaining table, they may strike again. The Washington Post has the story: 

“We’re done being disrespected,” Tonia White said Friday afternoon during a boisterous picket, where she said many of her colleagues are African American women, including struggling single mothers. “They absolutely refuse to give us what we’re worth.”

The union said that under a back-to-work agreement, the strike was called off and the company agreed that “no workers will be retaliated against for striking and that it will adhere to federal labor laws.”

“There are still many issues to negotiate, but our riders come first and foremost for us,” said John Costa, the union’s international president. “We do reserve the right to walk off the job again” if the company doesn’t bargain in good faith.

For more, go to The Washington Post. 

Volvo Workers Vote Down UAW Contract

In late April, 3,000 UAW members went on strike at Volvo trucks in Dublin, Virginia for a week. On April 30, the UAW announced they reached a tentative agreement and asked its union members to return to work, who all have returned to working in the plant. 

However, on Sunday workers decided to push the company to improve their offer and have decided to vote down the contract with 91% voting for rejecting the contract and going back into bargaining. 

“Us members of the local 2069 UAW Are strong and we will fight for what we think is fair and right for us and our families,” Volvo worker Montana Green wrote on Facebook. 

Union leaders say that if the contract offer isn’t improved that the workers could strike again. 

For more, check out WDBJ in Roanoke. 

Immigrant Chinese Homecare Workers Being Forced to Work 24 Hours 

Finally, a story from LaborPress reports on how immigrant home healthcare workers of the Chinese-American Planning Council in New York City have been forced to work 24-hour workdays. LaborPress.org has the story: 

Confronted by vehement call-outs from home care workers and their supporters, the self-avowed progressive organization Chinese-American Planning Council’s (CPC) president Wayne Ho has recently paid lip service to ending the 24-hour workday, deflecting the agency’s responsibility in maintaining the extreme exploitation of its home attendants, most of whom are immigrants and women of color.

Earlier this week, dozens of home attendants signed a public letter condemning the violence that CPC has unleashed on their bodies, feelings, and human rights. The letter calls on foundations, organizations, and the general public to put pressure on the CPC to meet the workers’ demands: 1) pay back tens of millions of dollars in stolen wages; 2) end 24-hour workdays immediately; 3) publicly apologize to the traumatized workers. 

But in Ho’s op-ed, the six-figure-earning CEO unabashedly twisted the facts to claim that “no single agency can achieve this change alone,” suggesting that agencies like his can’t help but maintain the grueling 24-hour workday tradition — unless they receive “ransoms” from the Medicaid budget.

For more, go to LaborPress. 

Alright folks, we’re heading out to cover Ed Gainey. Keep on donating so we can report on this important election. 

As always, the best way to support us is to sign up as a recurring donor. 

Keep sending story ideas, tips, criticism, and links to [email protected].

Love & Solidarity, 

Melk

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of the late Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered 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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