Norfolk Southern Workers Win Paid Sick Days – Hyundai to Divest from Plant that Used Child Labor – BBC Reporters to Strike



Greetings from the Burgh, where I’m struggling with a respiratory infection caused by illegal emissions from US Steel once again. 

Norfolk Southern Workers Win Paid Sick Days 

Earlier this month, CSX agreed to give seven paid sick days to 5,000 railroad workers. Last week, Union Pacific decided to provide sick days to 2,100 railroad workers. Now, Norfolk Southern, reeling from negative publicity, has agreed to give seven days of paid sick leave to 3,000 railroad workers. 

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way – Employes Division (BMWED) celebrated the decision. 

 “Our members are tasked with rebuilding the track of the New Palestine derailment and it is imperative that they have resources available that keep them safe and healthy at a site that many would be apprehensive to work,” BMWED media representative Clark Ballew told Freight Waves. 

For more, check out Freight Waves. 

Donate to Payday’s Paid Day Sick Fund 

As workers across the country win paid sick days, Payday Report still has no paid sick days as I am self-employed. So, when I am sick, like today, I wind up losing money because I’m not working. 

Donate to help me take a few days off when I get sick. Please, sign up as one of our 743 recurring donors today. 

BBC Reporters to Strike for 1st time in 12 Years

For the first time since 2010, reporters at the BBC and members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have voted to strike, with 83% of BBC workers voting in favor of the strike. The workers are mainly employed in producing local news for the BBC, and their strike could affect coverage of the coronation of King Charles. 

 “NUJ members are not opposed to the BBC investing in digital services, but it should not come at the expense of local radio and the communities it serves,” NUJ national broadcasting organizer Paul Siegert told the BBC. 

For more, check out the BBC. 

Hyundai to Divest Alabama Subsidiary Following Child Labor Allegations 

Finally, a blockbuster Reuters investigation last year revealed that immigrant child labor was widely used in both the Kia and Hyundai supply chains in Alabama. Now, Hyundai says that it will divest from one of its suppliers that used child labor. From Reuters: 

One of the plants where children worked, SMART Alabama LLC in rural Luverne, Alabama, is a direct Hyundai subsidiary. According to Hyundai’s financial statements from last year, the automaker controls a 72% stake in SMART.

Chang wrote that Hyundai was “in the process of divesting its ownership interest in SMART,” but it would ensure “that the economically important jobs in the Luverne, Alabama community are preserved.”

Hyundai’s letter did not say when the transaction would be completed, identify a buyer, or take the form a divestiture would take. Since the early 2000s, the metal stamping plant has made chassis parts for hundreds of thousands of Hyundai vehicles per year.

For more, check out Reuters. 

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere 

Alright, folks, I gotta get back to bed. Donate to help me take a few days off when sick. Please if you can, sign up as one of our 743 recurring donors.

Keep sending tips, story ideas, recipes, and complaints to [email protected]. Thanks for all the support & suggestions. 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. 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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