Greetings from the Burgh, where we are taking the weekend off before heading back on the road again to cover a teachers’ strike in Niles, Ohio, a community devastated by the closing of the Lordstown GM plant.
Niles, Ohio Hiring Scab Crisis Response Team
With the strike deadline set for next Thursday, it appears that Niles School Board is digging in for a long strike. The school district has hired Huffmaster Crisis Response, a staffing agency that specializes in providing scab replacement workers during strikes.
In a text message obtained by Payday Report, a Huffmaster representative named “Toni” wrote, “HuffMaster is currently seeking OH substitute teachers for a strike starting September 1st. The position pays $225/ day”.
Today, Senator Sherrod Brown and Congressman Tim Ryan wrote to the Niles School Board, denouncing the hiring of a strike-breaking company.
“It is our understanding that Niles teachers have repeatedly made sacrifices to ensure that the school district is able to emerge from a state-declared fiscal emergency,” wrote the elected officials. “With the sacrifices in mind, we find it troubling that the Board decided to approve a contract with Huffmaster Crisis Response – time and resources that could otherwise be spent investing in students, educators, and school facilities.”
Donate to Help Us Travel to Ohio Again Next Week
Next week, I’m going up with a cameraperson to film the teachers’ strike in Niles, Ohio strike and union busting at the partially reopened Lordstown GM facility. We will need money for gas, hotel, food, and covering our salaries while on the road.
American University Students Walkout of Convocation in Solidarity with Striking Staff
Today, many freshman students walked out of convocation at American University to show Solidarity with striking support staff, who had been on strike for nearly a week.
“I’m shocked and upset,” Laurita Wong, who had just arrived from Hong Kong, told Washington Post. “It is not a good way to start.”
The walkout worked, and the union announced later in the day that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement.
1st Chipotle Unionizes in Michigan
In a major win for fast food workers, the 1st Chipotle in the US voted to unionize in Lansing, Michigan.
“We set out to show that our generation can make a substantial change in this world and improve our working conditions by taking action collectively.” Samantha Smith, age 18, a crew member at Chipotle, said in a statement. “What this vote shows is that workers are going to keep taking the fight to big corporations like Chipotle and demand the working conditions we deserve.”
Omaha Catholic Charities Workers Endured Surprise Active Shooter Drill
In Omaha, several Catholic Charities workers were traumatized after they were forced to endure a surprise active shooter drill. Omaha World-Herald has the wild story:
Multiple Catholic Charities employees rushed out of the building — some believing they had seconds to live.
What they knew: A man with a semiautomatic handgun had opened fire. Victims were on the ground, streaked in blood.
What they didn’t know: Their bosses had approved the “drill” — hiring the gunman who, in turn, brought along the “victims” to play dead after he fired off several blank rounds.
MLB Players Union Failed to Honor Pledge to Help Concession Workers
During the MLB player’s lockout this spring, the MLB Players Association promised to spend $1 million to help any ballpark or concession workers negatively affected by the lockout. From the Arizona Republic:
When the lockout ended midway through spring training and Stevens told her colleagues the pledged assistance could help offset their three weeks of missed pay, approximately $1,350 plus tips, she was met with cynicism.
“When I mentioned it to my boss, I showed him the clipping from the newspaper and he said, ‘Publicity stunt. You’ll never see that money,'” Stevens said.
Nearly six months later, MLB has disbursed $160,000 among 640 recipients, with each receiving a $250 debit card from MLB Charities, according to April Brown, the nonprofit’s president and league’s vice president of social responsibility.
The MLB Players Association hasn’t given a cent.
It never considered helping spring training workers, has no plans to assist them and ignored their messages seeking information about how to apply for financial help beyond a receptionist’s assurances their queries had been forwarded to executive director Tony Clark, The Arizona Republic has learned.
News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere
- Fort Lee building services workers go on strike
- Sandwich workers at a Seattle chain have gone on strike
- Ithaca Starbucks workers strike after an employee is fired
- 300 Tacoma Area teachers are on strike
- Berkeley REI employees vote to unionize
- UPS is Firing Union Activists in the Middle of Contract Negotiations
- California Governor Gavin Newsome refuses to sign a farmworker’s rights bill backed by the farmworkers union.
- Finally, the Progressive has a piece, “Radical Social Movements As Love Letters: An Interview with Robin D.G. Kelley.”
Alright, folks, that’s all for today. Donate to help us travel to Lordstown and cover the teachers’ strikes in Niles, Ohio.
Keep sending stories, tips, complaints, and ideas to [email protected]. Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions.
Love & Solidarity,