Pittsburgh Mayor “Redbaits” Black Challenger in Closing Message – Juice Store Workers Strike in Texas – Steelworkers Strike in Western New York

Ed Gainey defeated Bill Peduto (Public Source)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where I just got back from voting at my polling place in the historic African American neighborhood of the Hill District.

The polling place was packed with many residents of the Hill District hoping a new day was on the horizon for racial justice as Black mayoral candidate Gainey appears to be within striking distance of defeating two-term incumbent Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. 

Peduto “Red Baits” Gainey in Closing Message of Campaign

Today, while addressing TV cameras in Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto attempted to paint his opponent, Black State Rep. Ed Gainey, of being a “socialist.” 

“I believe that there is a referendum on what is a progressive value versus what is a socialist,” Peduto told reporters today after he finished voting at his polling place in one of Pittsburgh’s most affluent neighborhoods, Point Breeze.

Given the historic role of “red-baiting” often used to attempt to marginalize and attack racial justice movements, many local racial justice activists took to Twitter to call out Peduto’s comments. 

“This is so unoriginal,” remarked Black socialist State Rep. Summer Lee, who faced similar red-baiting smears when she defeated white incumbent State Rep. Paul Costa in 2018. 

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Help us focus the next few days on covering this historic election here in Pittsburgh. Donate today to help us cover this historic moment for racial justice in Pittsburgh. 

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180 Towanda Steelworkers Strike at Unifrax

At Unifrax in Tonawanda in Western New York, 180 steelworkers have gone on strike. 

Steelworkers there have been working without a contract since January, but say they have made little progress at the bargaining table and went on strike to force the company to improve their offers. 

“These guys have said that they have had ‘enough’ and that’s why we are strike,” United Steelworkers Local 2-4504 President Don Rice told the Buffalo News in a video post. 

The company has dug in their heels and hired temporary “scab” replacement workers to keep the plant running while the workers are on strike. 

For more, check out The Buffalo News. 

4 Austin-Area Juiceland Stores Go on Strike 

Across the United States, there has been a growing trend of fast-food workers going on strike and demanding higher wages. There have been many photos of signs posted on fast-food restaurants, informing customerscustomers that the fast-food restaurant workers have walked off the job, the photos have gone on viral and helped to inspire a bigger movement

On Sunday, workers at a small chain of four Austin-area Juiceland stores have also gone on strike to protest the company’s treatment of its workers. 

“For too long the Juiceland production facility workers have endured unsanitary, rough working conditions, and no hazard pay during the pandemic,” read an Instagram statement by the United Front of Juice Crews posted Sunday. “As a result, we have made a list of demands and are currently not working as we negotiate with Juiceland.”

For more, check out KXAN. 

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is a yinzer labor reporter who covered the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his $70,000 NLRB settlement from being fired in the union drive at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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