Railroad Union Votes Out Union President – 100,000 UK Nurses Strike – 500 Authors Protest HarperCollins


Greetings from the Burgh, where I am getting back into the swing of things after being sick for the last week. The transition from 90 degrees and humid in Rio de Janeiro to 30 degrees in Pittsburgh and dry indoor heating systems, did a real number on my respiratory system. 

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Railroad Workers Union Votes Out Union President 

While unions representing the majority of railroad workers voted against the tentative agreement proposed by the railroad, Dennis Pierce, the president of the 28,000-member strong Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, pushed his union to successfully ratify the agreement with only 53% of his union voting in favor. 

Today, it was announced that Pierce has lost his re-election to challenger Eddie Hall by a margin of 53% to 47%. The defeat of Pierce could be a warning sign to union presidents, who push tentative agreements that lack popularity. 

100,000 Nurses to Strike in Britain 

Over in Great Britain, over 100,000 nurses, members of the Royal College of Nursing, are set to strike in Wales, England and Northern Ireland. The strike is the first time that the entire union, the Royal College of Nursing, has gone on strike in its 106-year history. 

With inflation at 11% in UK, nurses are only being offered a 4% wage increase by the National Health System. 

“(For nurses) the job is getting harder and harder all of the time for a salary that is worth less and less,” Patricia Marquis, director of the RCN in England told Reuters.

For more, check out Reuters.

500 Authors Demand Harpers Collins Strike Ends

Over 200 workers have been on strike at HarperCollins since November 10th; they are protesting low pay that they say makes it difficult for them to live in high-priced New York City. 

Now, over 500 authors, including Barbara Kingsolver, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander, have signed an open letter calling on HarperCollins to settle the strike. 

“We stand with the people who mold and champion our work and ask that they be compensated justly and fairly for their labor,” the letter reads. “Our hope is that HarperCollins will not be satisfied with meeting an industry standard that is far too low to retain top talent.”

For more, check out NPR. 

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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]

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