Greetings from the Burgh, where Payday is back after a few days off to celebrate the holidays. A Happy Belated Opening Day to all those who celebrate.
$435 Overdue for Health Insurance
Folks, the good news is that I’m starting to feel better dealing with Long Covid issues and have even hired a health coach to help out. This is very expensive, and I need your help to cover the bill.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Union Leader Crosses Picket Line
For years, Josh Axelrod has been an active union member in the Pittsburgh NewsGuild and publicly very vocal in his support for the union. After six months on strike, Axelrod crossed the picket line on Tuesday, dealing what may be a mortal blow to the scandal-plagued union.
Publicly, Axelrod declared his support for the union, saying that he supported efforts to win a union contract still, but found the efforts of Pittsburgh NewsGuild President Zack Tanner to be toxic and abusive in his dealings with people.
Previously, Payday reported that Tanner, who was implicated in covering up the sexual misconduct of former Pittsburgh NewsGuild President Michael Fuoco (dubbed the “Harvey Weinstein of Pittsburgh” by the New York Times), had alienated many NewsGuild members with his toxic style.
Approximately 2/3rd of those, who were previously members of the union, have either crossed the picket line or gone to get other work; many of them cited the toxic leadership style of Tanner in their decision to leave their union, including Axelrod.
Axelrod lamented this toxic dynamic saying on Twitter that he tried “to stop the union/individual members from torpedoing internal support through their words/actions.”
Tanner took to Twitter to repeatedly blast both Axelrod and his wife, who does not work in journalism.
“I watched our dog die less than 48 hours after a health care bargaining session in Dec and am now trying to budget moving & living alone after my marriage fell apart during this strike,” wrote Tanner on Twitter. “These aren’t valid excuses.”
9,000 Rutgers Strike Could Grow to 11,500 Workers
Yesterday, 9,000 Rutgers workers from 3 different unions went on an open-ended strike to protest poor working conditions at their facility. Now, another 2,500 Rutgers members of URA-AFT who work in facilities, dining services, and residential life are voting today on whether to join the strike.
“We are often the invisible workforce. We are also precarious,” URA-AFT Prez Christine O’Connell told NJ Advance Media. “If management doesn’t move, we may have to move ourselves to push them.”
It’s unclear how long the strike may last. Rutgers Administration had threatened to take legal action against the union for striking illegally. However, POLITICO reports that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy intervened and blocked the university from taking legal action. Murphy is encouraging the administration to settle the strike.
Arkansas Tyson Workers Go on Strike
In Arkansas, non-union workers employed by Tyson are on strike after Tyson announced that they intended to close two plants in the state. While non-union, the workers have been organizing for years with Venceremos, an immigrant worker justice group based in Arkansas.
The workers, many of whom continued working during the pandemic, are protesting the lack of a severance package provided by the company. Today, a petition signed by over 300 workers was delivered to the company demanding a complete severance package.
“Tyson is treating its workers as disposable, denying them the pay they are owed and the basic respect they deserve, not only as employees but as humans,” Magaly Licolli, Executive Director at Venceremos, told KFSM.
Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere
- Injunction denied in University of Michigan graduate employee strike.
- Google Searches on how to unionize surged last year
- Chile shortens its workweek from 45 hours to 40 hours.
- Norway Prepares for a General Strike.
- British resident physicians go on strike.
- What a landmark 1995 sweatshop case tells us about Julie Su’s approach to labor
- Finally, as the Writers Guild begins voting on the 1st Hollywood strike since 2007, 5 Hollywood writers explain how their working conditions have worsened.
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Love & Solidarity,