Greetings from the Burgh, where we are busily preparing for the MLB lockout that’s set to begin at 11:59 tonight. (Check out our story “In Era of “The Great Resignation,” Baseball Players Want to Choose Where They Work.”)
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Like many Americans following the pandemic, baseball players are pushing for more autonomy and control over their workplaces. Ballplayers are looking to modify a rule that effectively keeps baseball players under one team’s control for seven years at the minor league level and six years at the major league level before they become eligible to choose where they work.
Payday is hoping to connect the struggles of baseball players with everyday workers. Please donate to help us cover the MLB struggle and meet our end-of-the-month payroll goal.
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Reno Bus Drivers May End Third Strike
Over the past several months, Payday Report has chronicled a series of three daring strikes by Reno, Nevada bus drivers. (See our newsletter “Reno Bus Drivers on Strike for 3rd Time in 4 Months.”)
Since last August, workers have gone on strike three different times. Each time they’ve ended their strikes only after winning agreements on some parts of their contract. Then, they striked again if they didn’t win enough improvements on the remaining unresolved parts of the contracts.
Now, after more than a combined 65 days on strike over the past four months, the union has reached a tentative agreement yesterday with the company, which they will vote on Thursday.
“While many issues still exist between the corporation and the employees such as numerous unresolved Unfair Labor Practices and arbitrations, we are hopeful Keolis will cooperate to resolve these outstanding disputes in the coming months to help secure a better working relationship with its essential workforce in Reno, Nevada,” said a statement from Teamsters Local 533.
Northeast Alabama Poultry Workers Walk Off the Job
The usage of intermittent strikes is considered an overlooked tactic by unions as a way to achieve some gains while keeping workers financially solvent.
So for the second time in two months, poultry workers in Albertville, Alabama, employed by Wayne Farms, walked off the job yesterday and demanded a new union contract with their UFCW union. Workers there are demanding less forced overtime, higher pay, and better treatment by management.
Cabell Huntington Hospital Workers Reach a Tentative Agreement
At Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, WV, SEIU has reached a tentative agreement with the hospital after at least 900 hospital workers have been on strike for nearly a month. The contract proposal is going up for a vote this Wednesday evening.
So far, no details of the proposal have been released.
Meanwhile, police arrested two “scab” replacement workers outside of Cabell Huntington Hospital after getting in a fight that left one scab worker stabbed.
Dave Dayen’s Longform on the Unrecognized General Strike
Over at the American Prospect, Dave Dayen has penned a masterpiece cover story entitled “The Great Escape” on the incredible wave of resignations and strikes that have dramatically improved things for workers.
I hope this piece is taught in shop-steward trainings, community colleges, and socialist reading groups alike for some time to come.
From The American Prospect:
The pandemic functioned as that reset, creating a mental escape hatch from the immiseration and even danger of ordinary work. If you call someone an “essential worker” for long enough, they start to believe it. They start to wonder whether they deserve more, given their essential nature. Gaining courage from social media, the most vulnerable people in America have started the closest thing we’ve seen in a century to a general strike.
For now, it’s working to deliver higher wages and better conditions. But from my talks with workers, they’re really seeking something more ineffable than a couple more bucks an hour. Work is the largest time block of the day, in a moment where we’ve all learned how precious time can be. People simply want to spend that time getting the dignity and respect denied to them for so long.
News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere
- As St. Vincent Hospital enters its 9th strike month, the hospital’s owners, Tenet Healthcare, reach a deal with another group of workers as the union holds out for promised language guaranteeing strikers the right to return to work.
- Seattle Teamsters construction drivers’ strike continues.
- Leader of Activision Blizzard strike has resigned from the company and is leaving the gaming industry over inaction to address sexual harassment and abuse.
- NY AG files an injunction to force Amazon to rehire Chris Smalls after being fired for leading COVID-19 protests.
- Harris County, Texas (Houston) creates first in the nation Essential Workers Board.
- Finally, folks, there is a Santa Claus shortage nationwide as even Santa is demanding more pay this winter.
Well, I gotta run folks to my chiropractor and get my pitching shoulder popped back into my shoulder.
As always, send any comments, tips, complaints, or links to [email protected].
Love & Solidarity,