Florida Strips Public Employees of Union Rights – Indiana Childcare Workers Strike Statewide – Railroad Union Say Still Can’t Use Sick Time

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a far-reaching bill that stripped most public employees of vital union rights. (CNN)


We’re pulling an all-nighter here in the Burgh as we get caught up on all the labor news happening. 

Be sure to check out the special Writers’ Guild update we released earlier tonight. 

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Good news, we put out a special Writers Guild strike email update around 2:40 (Pittsburgh Time), and already we have raised $660. 

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Florida Strips Public Employees of Union Rights

Yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that removes vital union rights from public employees in the state.

The new law signed by DeSantis forbids the state from allowing unions to deduct union dues from public employees’ paychecks directly. Instead, unions will be forced to set up a costly and time-consuming system to collect union dues through recurring credit card charges. 

Previously, in the “right-to-work” state of Florida, unions could maintain a presence in workplaces even if only a minority of the public employees in a workplace were union members, allowing unions to exist in many areas of Florida’s public sector that otherwise would not have them. 

Now, the bill, signed by DeSantis, would require all unions to have at least 60% of all public workers in a workplace in order to be certified by the state as a union. 

“The school unions have become very partisan. That’s not what school is about,” DeSantis said Tuesday in signing the bill.

For more, check out Insider 

Railroads Union Say Recently Won Sick Leave Agreements Are Deceptive

Over the past several months, nearly ⅓ of all railroad workers have won the right to paid sick leave. The unprecedented wins come after the Biden Administration unilaterally imposed a contract that most railroad union members rejected. 

While the railroad unions have won much praise for giving workers the right to paid sick leave, railroads unions say that they still aren’t able to use their promised sick time. From Fortune: 

One of the key remaining concerns for the BLET is that even where the railroads seem willing to give engineers sick time, the railroads generally still want to hold workers accountable for missing work under their strict attendance policies. So even if workers do get sick time, they may not feel free to use it because they would still be penalized for missing work, although CSX has said it won’t punish workers for taking sick time.

“We’re going to have locomotive engineers and conductors making a choice of whether to work sick and handle some of the most dangerous items that any transportation group handles, but they’re going to work sick or be subject to attendance policies,” said Mark Wallace, BLET’s second-highest official.

For more, check out Fortune. 

Indiana Childcare Workers Strike Statewide

Across Indiana, childcare workers have gone on strike to protest low pay and demand that the state legislature provide more money to support them.  

“We know that child care in this country is in a crisis. Providers, parents and child care workers can no longer shoulder this burden on our own,” child care worker Kelly Dawn Jones told WVPE. “We’re subsidizing child care for our communities.”

For more, check out WVPE. 

Penn Medical Resident Vote to Unionize 892-110 

In a sign of the growing strength of the resident physician unionization movement, residents at the University of Pennsylvania have voted to unionize by a margin of 892-to-110. Their win marks the first union by resident physicians here in Pennsylvania. 

“Winning by such a strong majority is a testament to how hard everyone on the organizing committee has worked, but also how badly a union is needed at Penn Medicine,” Jackson Steinkamp, a third-year internal medicine resident, told Daily Pennsylvania.” We’re definitely celebrating this milestone, but we need to keep looking forward, toward negotiating a first contract.”

For more, check out the Daily Pennsylvanian, 

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere 

Alright, yinz, I’m gonna go to bed before the madness starts all over again in a few hours. 

We raised $660 so far today. Donate to help keep the crowdfunding momentum going. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 749 recurring donors today. 

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See yinz later, 


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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