NoLa Public Works Employees Strike – Rhode Island Marijuana Workers Strike – Frito Lay Workers Vote to Strike

Union members protest outside of Frito-Lay in Topeka. (Evert Nelson/The Capital Journal)

Greetings from the Burgh, where we are three days away from our end-of-the-month fundraising goal.

Only $935 to Go to Reach Monthly Payroll Goal

Folks, we don’t make a lot here at Payday Report, but every little donation matters a lot to us.

We are coming up at the end of the month with payroll, rent, and health insurance bills. And your donation matters a ton.

Please help us reach our goal today. We are $935 short of our $7,000 monthly goal.

If you can, become a monthly sustaining donor. Thank you.

New Orleans Public Works Employees Strike

Last week, the New Orleans City Council voted to raise the wage for city contractors to $15 an hour. However, under city law, the city council lacks the authority to raise wages for city employees, some of whom make as little as $11.21 an hour. Those changes must be made by the independent City Service Commission.

To draw attention to their plight, two-thirds of the workers, some of whom are employed by the city fixing potholes and making only $11.21 an hour, decided to go on a wildcat strike.

The workers say they aren’t just protesting low wages, but also unsafe working conditions, including a lack of protection from the summer heat.

“It’s a safety issue,” city worker Eric Gardner told The Lens. “It’s so hot out there. We’re dealing with asphalt that will burn your skin off. We gotta get in the hot truck, get in the hot sun and work and get back in the hot truck.”

For more, check out The Lens.

Marijuana Workers Strike in Rhode Island

In April, cannabis workers employed by Greenleaf in Rhode Island voted to unionize with UFCW Local 328 by a margin of 21 to 1. Will this decision impact the supply chain of some of the cannabis products shown on this website? Only time will tell.

However, since voting to unionize, the company has dragged its feet on bargaining a contract. Now, the company has even fired a worker who served on the negotiating committee; a move that the union saw as retaliatory. Perhaps the fired employee should now look at how to start a dispensary himself with the potential contacts he could have made during the unionization. He might also want to seek the government’s help in acquiring the licenses and paperwork necessary to sell cannabis products in the dispensary for medical use. In that regard, it is possible that the person might also wish to growing weed outdoors for commercial purposes, in which case a different license may be required. That way, he can have a better profit margin.

He can also learn from existing cannabis vendors like mmj express or similar businesses and potentially open an online retail business after some time.

To protest the firing and show the company that the new union meant business, the workers went on a one-day strike to protest it.

“The Greenleaf workers saw an injustice and responded with an incredible display of solidarity,” said the union in a statement. “Throughout the day, patients offered their support and commitment to demanding CEO Seth Bock stop the pattern of retaliation and to reinstate a valued member of their team who was unjustly terminated.”

For more, check out GoLocalProv.

Frito Lay Workers to Strike in Topeka

In Topeka, Kansas, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union employed at a Frito-Lay factory voted to strike by a margin of 353 to 30.

The strike slated to begin on July 5 would be the first time that workers went on strike at the factory since 1973.

“It’s the first time in many, many decades that the members of Frito-Lay, the union members, have had to do this,” Kansas AFL-CIO Executive Vice President John Nave told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “It’s been eight to 10 years since they’ve had a wage increase – so something’s wrong here. … Workers are tired of it.”

For more, check out The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Colorado Farmworkers Win Right to Unionize

On Friday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill granting farm workers the right to unionize and collectively bargain.

Colorado is now one of only a handful of states allowing farmworkers the right to unionize as the largely Latino workforce of farmworkers is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and the National Labor Relations Act.

“We stand here to change almost a hundred years of racially motivated exclusion for ag workers from basic labor protections, many of whom are still Black and brown,” Fatuma Emmad of Frontline Farming and Project Protect Food Systems, celebrating the legislation, told Colorado Springs Gazette.

For more, check out Colorado Springs Gazette.

News Happening Elsewhere

Alright, folks that’s all for today. Keep sending along story ideas, tips, complaints, and links to [email protected]

Donate so we can cover the stories of workers still struggling to pull out from the grip of the pandemic.

Sign up today as one of our 600 recurring donors and help build our sustainable funding base.

Keep sending tips, story ideas, links, and comments to [email protected].

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]

Be the first to comment on "NoLa Public Works Employees Strike – Rhode Island Marijuana Workers Strike – Frito Lay Workers Vote to Strike"

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.