DC Hotel Workers Union Hints at Inauguration Wildcat Strike – Fast Food Workers to Strike to Pressure Biden – NJ Teachers Strike

Dozens of protesters march during the “Strike for Black Lives” in downtown Chicago on July 20, 2020. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

Greetings from the Burgh, where we are preparing to cover labor’s mobilization to push Trump out of office. 

Union Hints at DC Hotel Workers Wildcat Strike Around Inauguration 

After the Capitol riot last week, many of the rioters stayed at hotels in the DC area. Now, to stop this from repeating, UNITE HERE Local 25 is calling on DC hotels to close for everyone except security personnel. 

“We are calling on hotels in the DC region to close ahead of inauguration, unless they are hosting security personnel. Any hotel that stays open must permit workers to stay home and/or leave the moment they feel unsafe,” said UNITE HERE Local 25 in a statement. 

Under federal labor law, wildcat strikes, that otherwise would be illegal, are legal if workers take them over safety concerns.

For more, check out the UNITE HERE Local 25 Statement. 

Donate Help Us Cover Labor’s Mobilization Against Trumpism 

With riots expected in the upcoming days, some in the labor movement are organizing in non-traditional ways to push back against the long term effects of Trumpism. 

We are entering an unprecedented period in American history, where the labor movement is likely to respond in non-traditional ways. 

Payday hopes to be able to cover these efforts. 

Donate Today to Help Us Cover Labor’s Fightback Against Trumpism

Fast Food Workers Plan Strike to Pressure Biden 

During the Obama Administration, organized labor worked slowly in mobilizing Obama to pass labor’s priorities. As a result, the Employee Free Choice Act was never even brought up for a vote in Congress. 

Now, organized labor is mobilizing in a somewhat aggressive fashion. On Monday, fast food workers across the nation plan to go on strike to send a message to the Biden Administration that passing $15-an-hour minimum wage should be passed in his first 100 Days. 

While the Biden Administration has pledged to pass $15-an-hour, workers think it’s vital to organize early on to hold them accountable for their campaign promise. 

“We still need to keep the pressure on and make sure they follow through,” McDonald’s worker Terrence Wise told USA Today. 

For more, check out USA Today. 

New Jersey Teachers Walkout Over School Reopening Plan 

Teachers in the South Orange Maplewood School District in Essex County went on a wildcat strike today over the school’s reopening plan while the state has been surging in COVID cases. 

“While we may be pleased to see our colleagues again after months away and look forward to engaging our students through in-person instruction, we do so with a great amount of trepidation,” teachers union president President Rocio Lopez said in a statement. “We mean that very seriously. Indeed, we cannot help but feel that we are entering into a situation of very real danger, to ourselves and colleagues, and to our students and their families.”

For more, check out The Village Green. 

448 Oregon Hospital Workers Unionize 

Facing the risk of COVID, more than 448 hospital workers at OHSU Hillsboro Medical Center unionized. 

“I’m feeling ecstatic,” said emergency room receptionist Shellie Powers, the worker who first contacted the union back in April 2020 told the Northwest Labor Press. “It’s so overwhelming.”

For more, check out the Northwest Labor Press. 

Hats Off to Officer Eugene Goodman, Whose Quick Thinking Saved Lives in the Senate 

During the Capitol occupation, an image of a lone Black officer holding off a massive crowd trying to burst into the Senate went viral around the world. 

Now, more information has emerged about the officer, Eugene Goodman, who is a Black DC native from the other side of the Anacostia River and served with the 101st Airborne in Iraq. 

Goodman was able to trick the rioters into following him up a staircase away from the Senate chambers and likely saved lives with his decision. 

The Washington Post has more: 

Those who know Goodman said his decision to lead the rioters away instead of directly engaging them reflects his military experience.

“He was diverting people from getting on the Senate floor and getting hostages. It was the smartest thing that he could have ever done,” his colleague said. “I don’t know that many people who can think on their feet like that. . . . His quick thinking enabled those senators to get to safety.”

A close friend of Goodman’s, who asked to be identified by his first name, Terry, out of fear of being targeted by far-right extremists, said the officer has a reputation for being a calm leader during emergencies.

“I’ve always said, if bullets start ripping through, I’m finding Goodman,” said the friend, who has spoken to Goodman several times since the incident. “He’s been in hostile firefights, so he knows how to keep his head.”

For more, check out the Washington Post. 

That’s all for today folks. Keep sending story ideas, links, comments, and criticism to [email protected] 

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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 labor movement & 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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