Greetings from the Burgh, where it’s been wonderful receiving so many messages of support after I filed a whistleblower lawsuit yesterday against the NewsGuild who had retaliated against me for exposing a sexual misconduct cover-up.
Thank you for all the support — together, we can build a union that values the transparency and accountability that we practice every day as journalists.
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Heat Dome Inspires Voodoo Doughnut Worker Walk-Off
As yesterday’s heat dome in the Pacific Northwest led to temperatures reaching 117 degrees, some workers at the Voodoo Doughnut shop decided to walk off the job rather than work in record heat.
“We, Doughnut Workers United, decided the strike was necessary given the extreme heat making it unsafe to continue to work, especially during swing shift. No person should work in temperatures in excess of 90 degrees,” a group of workers told Willamette Week in a statement.
Yakima Valley Farmworkers Forced to Work in 117-Degree Heat
In the Yakima Valley of Washington State, there has been a good deal of organizing with more than a dozen work stoppages last year alone.
However, yesterday farmworkers were still being forced to work in the Valley.
Because there are no existing federal regulations that dictate when it’s safe to work, workers there say they have been forced to endure brutal temperatures.
“There’s no shade where I work,” a cherry picker in Yakima County told Vice. “A lot of people who don’t feel well keep working so as not to lose money for lunch or rent. People endure a lot to finish. They give more than they are able to.”
Amazon Warehouse Kept Working Without Working Air Conditioning
At one Amazon warehouse in Kent, Wash., workers were forced to work in heavy heat despite there being no working air conditioning system. The Seattle Times has the story:
Heat precautions were less evident at another of Amazon’s Kent facilities, where interior temperatures neared 90 degrees by midday, a second worker estimated. Not every workstation had functioning fans, that worker said. And some departments were running “power hours,” in which workers are asked to move as quickly as they can for an hour to boost productivity.
“I was sweating immediately,” said the second worker. “I’m really surprised at how ill-prepared they are, given we have known it would be this hot for a little bit now.” Some workers went home early because they couldn’t stand the heat, the worker said.
Michigan Health Techs Vote to Unionize 159-13
Finally, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, health technologists at the U.P. Health System Marquette voted to unionize by a margin of 159 to 13
“The past year of COVID crisis has really brought us together and shown us how much stronger we are when we are united,” Kerri Beckman, a medical technologist, told UP Matters. “We all need each other to keep moving forward. With a union, we will be able to retain quality employees to make sure that we can always provide the kind of patient care our community deserves.”
News Happening Elsewhere
- Governor of Maine debates signing legislation that would partially decriminalize sex work.
- In New Jersey, immigrant rights activists shut down the New Jersey Turnpike to call on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to add $1 billion to the state’s excluded worker fund.
- A new investigative story in The Intercept shows that ICE discussed retaliating and barring visitors from immigrants’ rights groups that they deemed too adversarial.
- The Boston Globe has a moving op-ed on how many disabled activists hope that following the pandemic that we continue to make public settings accessible for those, who can’t travel far outside of their homes for disability reasons.
- Last year, Payday Report covered the story of a local KDKA reporter, who was severely beaten. Now, one of the people, who did the beating, has been convicted and sentenced to six months in jail.
Alright, folks that’s all for today. Keep sending along story ideas, tips, complaints, and links to [email protected].
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