Houston Teachers Sickout – 3 More AFL-CIO Call for General Strikes – Andre Dawson Wins Curt Flood Award

Cy-Fair teachers, staff and parents gather with protest signs at the main entrance to the district administration building against the COVID-19 teaching requirements before a Cy-Fair school board meeting Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in Houston, TX. (Houston Chronicle)


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Houston Teachers Sickout 

The wave of teachers’ wildcat strikes continues as teachers in Houston hold a sickout. The moves come as Houston loosened their safety guidelines for keeping schools open for in-person instruction. Doctors have recently warned Texas is on track for a second wave of COVID-19

Houston Public Media has the story

“That’s simply frightening to me,” said Traci Latson, who teaches at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School. “Elementary, the students are pretty confined to one classroom. But when you’re on a secondary level, that’s a lot of exposure to a lot of students and educators in a building, so that’s frightening.”

Previously, the state’s largest school district had stricter criteria: Just one confirmed or presumed case of COVID could trigger a school’s closure for deep-cleaning. That led to the 16 schools closing after the first day of in-person learning this week.

“We quickly realized that we do not know if we are COVID positive or negative. And we are just openly going into the building on a wish and a prayer that we are negative,” she said of HISD’s reopening this week.

For more, go to Houston Public Media. 

More Labor Councils Vote to Adopt General Strike Plans if Trump Steals the Election 

Last week, Payday Report broke the story of how the Rochester AFL-CIO became the 1st local AFL-CIO in the country to issue a call for a General Strike if Trump Steals the election. 

Now, it appears that other Labor Councils around the country, including the Central Wisconsin AFL, Western Massachusetts AFL-CIO, and the Seattle AFL-CIO have passed resolutions calling for General Strikes if Trump doesn’t leave office if he loses the election. 

This week, the AFL-CIO was set to meet to discuss similar plans. However, the meeting was delayed after news of the meeting was leaked to the press. 

For more on the growing General Strike movement, check out Truthout. 

Whizz App Launched to Help Gig Drivers Find a Place to Pee

Despite the fact that many restaurants rely heavily on gig delivery drivers for sales, those same businesses often ban gig drivers from using their restrooms. Now, a new app, Whizz, has launched to help drivers find a bathroom. 

“On top of the physical challenges of working out of their cars daily, most drivers are working increasingly long hours, often far from home and at an unrelenting pace,” the Whizz team wrote in a press release. “Adding to their challenges, drivers are often denied access to restrooms leading to a growing indignity of having to find relief in parks, alleys, and even containers they carry around in their own vehicles.”

For more, check out Edward Onsego Jr. coverage  at Vice. 

Andre Dawson Win First Curt Flood Award Presented by MLB Players’ union

Finally, the first annual Curt Flood Award was presented by the Major League Baseball Players’ Association to Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. 

In 1987, Dawson was at the top of his game, but no team would sign him because of active collusion among owners to prevent players from leaving their teams via free agency. 

To flee the astroturf field in Montreal that was destroying his knees, Dawson took a blank check into the Chicago Cubs and told them that he was willing to sign for whatever they would give him. The Cubs offered Dawson a mere $500,000; less than half of what he made for the Montreal Expos. 

Despite being the second-lowest paid player on the Cubs, Dawson went on to win the National League’s MVP that year hitting 49 home runs with 139 RBIs. 

“That changed the circumstances of the way people looked at the entire thing that was going on with collusion,” said fellow Hall of Famer and MLBPA special advisor Dave Winfield in a ceremony broadcast by the Major League Association. “[Dawson] could have had a bad season, but he didn’t. He played under immense pressure. It was by hard work, dedication, going against the odds and playing in pain.”

For more on how Dawson helped build the Player’s Union, check out the Undefeated. 

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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]

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