Greetings from the Burgh, where it’s been a very exciting day covering developments in the Major League Baseball Lockout. (See our latest story “MLB misuses Clemente’s image in their locking out of the Players’ Union.”)
We’re fundraising tonight to cover the players’ lockout and connect their fight to the broader struggles for workers’ rights in the U.S.
Huntington Hospital Strike Ends with Concessions
In Huntington, West Virginia, 900 SEIU members have agreed today to end a month-long strike at Cabell Huntington Hospital. SEIU lauded the tentative agreement as a victory.
“Our members stood proudly in solidarity on the strike line and beat back concession after concession,” Sherri McKinney, regional director for the union, told WBAZ. “These healthcare heroes deserve way more than what this hospital finally offered, but we are celebrating the victories that were won.”
SEIU did concede they accepted many concessions to settle the strike.
According to a union bulletin obtained by WBAZ the concessions include premium free healthcare until January 1, 2023, after which workers will pay bi-weekly premiums of “$22 per pay to $176 per pay.” Employees will also be able to reduce those premiums by 20%-55% if they complete an annual health assessment and earn “between $500 and $1,000 off their premiums.”
The union bulletin notes that the ratified plan will reduce deductibles and prescription costs. Additionally:
- “The hospital’s final offer does dramatically reduce benefits for retirees by stealing Cabell Hospital healthcare from those 65 years and older and replacing it with a $250 stipend they can use to purchase a supplemental plan. As part of the bargaining process Tuesday, the hospital agreed to extend the prescription discounts to the retirees to help off-set the cost unpaid by Medicare.”
- “Those qualifying employees who are retired or will retire between the age of 62-65 years old will still be able to keep the Cabell Hospital insurance plan but will have to pay $125 per month starting April 1, 2021.”
Special Metal Strikes in Huntington Could Expand
While the Cabell Huntington Hospital Strike is ending, it appears the Special Metals strike across town is dragging on as the holidays approach.
The strike may expand in early December to a nearby Special Metals facility where 85 steelworkers are employed. Payday has plans to head back down in mid-December to check on the strike as Christmas approaches.
Donate today to help us continue to cover the Special Metals strike in Huntington, West Virginia, or sign up as one of our 640 recurring donors.
Be sure to check out our recent video that we made in collaboration with @JohnRussell of The Holler Ohio Valley from Huntington on what Warren Buffet has to do with the Special Metals Strike.
200 Buzzfeed Workers Walk Off the Job
For more than two years, workers at Buzzfeed have been unable to win a first union contract at Buzzfeed. Now with Buzzfeed going public on the stock market, workers are concerned there’ll be even fewer reasons for the company to settle.
Wanting to pressure the company, the workers went on strike today.
“We’ve been bargaining our contract for almost 2 years, but BuzzFeed won’t budge on critical issues like wages — all while preparing to go public and make executives even richer, So TODAY, we’re walking out to send a reminder that there’s no BuzzFeed News without us,” tweeted @bfnewsunion on Twitter.
For more, check out BuzzFeed union’s Twitter feed.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Strike Ends After 10 Days and Return to Bargaining Table
Before Thanksgiving, concession workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport went on strike. One of their key demands was racial pay equity.
According to a study released by the union in 2019, Black workers at the airport made only 67% of what white workers made while Latinos made 78%.
After failing to make progress at the bargaining table, concessions workers at the airport went on strike right before Thanksgiving. Now, after a 10-day strike, airport workers at Phoenix Sky Harbor are returning to work with what they feel is a new sense of momentum at the bargaining table.
“Our intention with our strike was to bring more attention to the company’s stinginess after four years of negotiations, and to do it at a time when the company would be forced to recognize the value of our labor most – Thanksgiving,” Victoria Stahl, a barista in Terminal 4, told KPNX. “We did that and now we are ready to go back to the negotiating table.”
Seattle Concrete Workers Strike
In Seattle, 100 concrete truck drivers have been on strike for more than two weeks and are upset the company hasn’t come back to the table with a bargaining offer since they’ve gone on strike.
“If they really cared about their employees the way they claim to, they need to come back to the bargaining table and let’s negotiate a contract that rewards the hard work our members have performed day in and day out throughout Seattle’s construction boom,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks.
For more, check out the Teamsters Local 174 website.
News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere
- 1,400 Kellogg’s workers, who have been on strike for two months, have reached a tentative agreement that could potentially end their strike.
- Buffalo Starbucks workers say they are confident they’ll have enough votes for a union victory.
- In October, McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon went on a two-day strike; they’re now threatening to strike again this upcoming Monday.
- Oregon farmworkers file a petition challenging state regulations that exclude farmworkers from overtime pay.
- Alabama federal judge blocks striking Warrior Met miners from picketing at company properties.
- Wirecutter union members went on strike last week and were able to make up their lost wages through crowdfunding,
1695 Strikes on the Strike Tracker
Finally, folks, our Strike Tracker has reached 1,695 strikes, with Buzzfeed going on strike today. Keep sending in tips to [email protected].
Remember, we’re hosting our Hanukkah Fundraiser Party tomorrow in Regent Square at Murphy’s Taproom. (See invite here.)
And if you can’t make it, remember, we appreciate your donations so we can continue our coverage of the MLB lockout and keep our Strike Tracker going strong.
Also, please consider this holiday season, signing up as one of our 640 recurring donors.
Please keep tips, comments, complaints, and links to stories to [email protected]
Love & Solidarity,
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