Greetings from Ennis, Montana, population 900, where Payday is investigating how the work-from-home revolution has dramatically driven up rent and housing prices in scenic locations like Ennis.
Big thanks to everyone who donated to keep us on the road. We are looking forward to releasing some stories this week from our travels in Montana.
Pittsburgh Coffee Workers Successfully Unionize 1st Store
Back in Pittsburgh, workers at the Pittsburgh-based coffee chain Coffee Tree Roasters voted last week to unionize by a margin of 17-3.
The victory makes the small chain the first successful unionized coffee chain in the city.
“It feels amazing to be a part of this and to get the win for our union,” Riley Davis, an employee at Coffee Tree’s Mt. Lebanon store, said in a statement released last week. “I have seen so many of my previous coworkers leave for better wages and change, and to see that now we have a voice to improve our workplace makes me excited to make it great for the coworkers I have now.”
Sacramento Teachers Walkout Over Lifting of Mask Mandate
In the suburbs of Sacramento, over 200 teachers called in sick to protest Rocklin Unified School District’s decisions to defy the state of California’s mask mandate for K-12.
“While there are varying opinions on masking in our community and our schools, the issue teachers are most concerned about is the lack of respect for educators blatantly displayed by the RUSD Board of Trustees in making this change,” the union stated Monday in a press release.“Our school board’s actions not only violated the state mandate, they violated our collectively bargained agreements, and, most importantly, the trust we worked so hard to establish.”
100 Gizmodo Media Workers Are on Strike
Over 100 media workers went on strike Tuesday at the Gizmodo Media Group following a 93% strike authorization vote. The strike affects publications such as The Root, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Kotaku, and Lifehacker.
The strike is the first time digital media workers have pledged to go on a strike that would last more than one day.
“In 2015, this union broke new ground when it organized the first digital media union,” the GMG union said in a statement. “Now, GMG Union will break ground yet again: We are the first digital media shop to go on an open-ended strike for a fair contract.”
For more on the strike, check out the latest from the Writers’ Guild of America East.
Special Metals Strike Passes 150-Day Mark
The strike at Special Metals in Huntington, West Virginia, passed its 150th day this week.
Back in October, Payday Report traveled to Huntington, West Virginia, to cover the strike of the 450 steelworkers at the Warren Buffet-owned Special Metals. Despite months on the picket line in cold winter weather, the union at Special Metals says it’s prepared to continue fighting.
“Things get tougher, but we’re still here,” Special Metals striker Lonnie Creddock told WOWK. “We’re still out here. We’ve got plenty of support. You hear all those horns? That’s what makes you feel good, that’s what keeps you going.”
Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere
- Carrboro, North Carolina Acme restaurant workers end strike after 3 months; most workers found other jobs.
- Seattle’s Crossroads Trading Co. workers unionize day after shoplifter brutally attacked security guard in late January; union vote will take place this week.
- Minneapolis and St. Paul educators plan to strike March 8 if no agreements are reached.
- After December walkouts, Chicago Amazon workers move to unionize.
- DC’s Union Kitchen accused of firing union organizer.
- Pittsburgh paramedics may strike on St. Patrick’s Day.
- 1,500 Anglican Priests in England have unionized.
- Finally, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle has a long look at the history of African Americans in Montana.
Alright folks, that’s all for today from Wyoming. We will have more dispatches and updates soon.
As always, keep sending story ideas, tips, comments, and news links to [email protected].
Thanks again so much for all of your support.
Love & Solidarity,