Palestinian General Strike in West Bank – AFL-CIO Quashes Ceasefire Organizing – Toyota Raises Non-Union Wages to Match UAW

European trade unionists rally for Palestine in Brusdsels


Greetings from the Burgh, where it’s been an exhausting week. 

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Toyota Raises Wages to Match UAW Wins 

This week, the UAW won a stunning victory by securing a 25% wage increase over three years at the Big Three automakers: Ford, GM, and Stellantis. 

Now, Toyota is raising wages for its non-union workforce by 9%-a-year and increasing its top wage to $ 34.80 an hour for production workers and $ 43.30 an hour for skilled workers. The company also decreased the time to get to the maximum rate from 8 years to only four years. 

In a press release, Toyota announced that it was raising wages to compete for workers with the Big Three. 

“At Toyota, we take great pride in showing respect for people,” Chris Reynolds, executive vice president of corporate resources at Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement. “We value our employees and their contributions, and we show it by offering robust compensation packages that we continually review to ensure that we remain competitive within the automotive industry.”

For more, check out the San Antonio News-Express. 

Palestinian General Strike in West Bank 

As Israel continues its widely condemned attack on Gaza, the Palestine Authority in the West Bank has called for a full general strike. 

“The most important thing we demand is to stop injustice and tyranny, to stop killing innocent people, and refrain from arbitrary revenge,” 26-year-old Ramallah resident Fakhri Muhammad Shreiteh told AFP.

A video released by Al-Jazeera shows that most of Ramallah was shut down by the strike. 

For more, check out Al-Jazeera. 

AFL-CIO Quashes Efforts to Organize for Ceasefire 

Over at In These Times Magazine, Jeff Schuhrke has an in-depth look at how labor leaders are working to quash organizing for a ceasefire. From In These Times: 

Behind closed doors at an AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting last Monday, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President Mark Dimondstein reportedly urged the labor federation to demand a cease-fire while also arguing that Israel and Palestine should be combined into a single state (APWU did not respond to a request for comment). According to the New York Times, ​”no other labor leader in the meeting offered vocal support for his position,” but the AFT’s Weingarten ​”asserted Israel’s right to defend itself.”

The relatively muted response from U.S. union presidents stands in contrast to labor leaders in other countries, particularly the United Kingdom. At a massive Palestine solidarity rally in London last Saturday, the crowd was addressed by Libby Nolan, president of the 1.3-million-member public service union UNISON, and by Mick Lynch, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

“The Labour Party and the whole workers movement must show it is on the side of the peacemakers, not the warmongers,” Lynch said at the rally. ​”End the killing now, call the immediate cease-fire, and let’s create the road to a settlement with peace, social justice, human rights, freedom and dignity for all. Solidarity to Palestine.”

For more, check out In These Times. 

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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]