House GOP Subpoenas UAW over Gaza Ceasefire Activism – How Global Boycotts Helped Starbucks Workers United – French Olympic Threat Wins Higher Wages

Unions representing a majority of us union members have now called for a ceasefire in Israel (Left Voice)


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House GOP Subpoenas UAW Over Gaza 

Yesterday, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Workforce, issued a subpoena against UAW Local 2325 for supporting a ceasefire in Gaza. 

“The Committee sent Local 2325 a letter on the vote and adoption of the “Resolution Calling for a Ceasefire in Gaza, an End to Israeli Occupation of Palestine, and Support for Workers’ Political Support,” wrote Foxx. “The Committee’s letter highlighted the concerning nature of the Resolution as well as the backlash it caused among Local 2325’s members, employers that are party to collective bargaining agreements, and the public. The Committee noted how several of Local 2325’s members were forced to be associated with a union that has taken a critical position affecting their faith, the State of Israel, and Israel’s sovereignty”. 

Now, the Committee is subpoenaing the UAW local for more information on their activities against the attack on Gaza. 

Read the full letter here. 

How Global Anti-Zionist Boycott Helped Starbucks Workers Win

Over at the Nation, Jonathan Rosenblum has a look at how the Palestinian Justice movement’s boycott at Starbucks helped push the coffee giant to agree to bargain with its employers. From the Nation: 

Starbucks has operations in 82 other countries around the globe. Its customers and investors—in particular in the Middle East and Asia, where sentiment is overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian—were not pleased that the company was providing cover for the Israeli state and its defenders in the US political establishment.

US brands across the board have taken a hit overseas as a result of the Israeli war on Gaza and the US government’s unswerving support for the Israeli brutalities. But Starbucks chose, in response to the workers’ advocacy for Palestine, to enter the geopolitical arena with vigorous declarations, making its overseas stores especially attractive targets for protests and boycotts. The foreign actions were amplified by boycott calls from social media activists in the US.

Asian financial advisers recommended that investors dump their stocks in the company operating Starbucks franchises in Malaysia after they found “at least a 30 per cent fall in foot traffic, as a result of the ongoing boycott of Starbucks Coffee due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.”

In OmanJordan, Morocco, and other Arab countries, activists organized boycotts of Starbucks and other US brands. “Some campaigners have singled out Starbucks for suing its workers’ union over a post on the Israel-Hamas conflict,” Reuters reported.

In Turkey, where citizens organized sit-ins at Starbucks stores in solidarity with the Palestinians, the state-run railway system ordered its food and beverage contractor to remove Starbucks products from all dining cars. The state railway chairman pointed explicitly to the Starbucks Workers United struggle in announcing his decision. “Our [state railway] company does not have a contract with the coffee producer that has been accused of mistreating workers for criticizing Israel’s occupation and the suffering of our Palestinian brethren. We have officially instructed our contractor to provide passengers with alternative products instead of those from the mentioned coffee producer.”

For more, check out the Nation. 

Worried about Olympic Boycotts, France Agrees to Pay its Workers More

For the past few months, government employees in France have been threatening to strike unless they were paid extra. Now, the French Government has agreed to pay big bonuses ranging from 500 to 1,500 euros as well as provide childcare assistance for workers employed during the Olympics. 

For more, check out the Washington Post

Sherrod Brown Backs Kroger-Albertson Merger

Finally, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio has earned a reputation as a union backer. However, the Senator has recently faced criticism for backing the controversial Kroger-Albertson merger, which progressive groups have opposed. 

It’s yet another situation of organized labor abandoning progressive allies to gain a few thousand members. 

“The Senator believes that if this merger is done correctly, and Kroger ensures that workers have a seat at the table, the company has the potential to become one of the largest union companies in an industry that is increasingly dominated by nonunion corporate giants,” Brown spokesperson Kevin Donohoe told HuffPost. “It’s in the interest of both grocery shoppers and workers for unionized grocery chains to stay out of the hands of private equity and be able to compete with megastores like Walmart, Amazon and Target.”

For more, check out Daniel Maran’s story at HuffPost. 

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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]