Greetings from the Burgh, where I am getting ready for the weekend. Donate today to help us take the weekend off.
Starbucks Workers Strike in Denver
With over 118 Starbucks stores moving to unionize since December, Starbucks continues to fire union organizers and dig deeper into a fight movement.
But workers in Denver, Colorado, are fighting back. Today they striked over unfair labor practices that they called “retaliatory and intimidating.”
“We are striking today to call attention to Starbuck’s retaliatory and intimidating actions, including but not limited to: cutting hours, thus threatening livelihoods and access to (benefits such as) schooling and insurance; baseless final warnings for (alleged violations of) vague and inconsistently enforced policies, and spying on and otherwise monitoring pro-union partners and their activities,” Starbucks shift supervisor Michaela Sellaro said in a statement.
West Virginia Special Metals Workers May End 6-Month Strike
For six months, 450 workers have been on strike against the Warren Buffet-owned Special Metals in Huntington, West Virginia. (See Payday’s coverage from the picket lines in November.)
Now, union leadership is encouraging the workers, members of the Steelworkers union, to vote on Sunday for a tentative agreement to end the six-month-long strike, warning them that if they don’t, Special Metals could permanently idle the plant.
In a letter to the strikers, International United Steelworkers President Tom Conway added: “As in all strikes, the toll that it begins to take on our families after an extended period can be brutal and the union has to take an honest look and evaluate whether the cost of continuing the strike, when weighed against the terms of the proposed settlement offer, are worth the risk and continued hardship to our members and their families. I believe we are at that point.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Cites Roles of Fans Supporting Players Union
Yesterday MLB and the Players’ Union signed a new collective bargaining agreement, ending a more than three-month lockout.
While a public poll by Morning Consult showed fans supported players by a margin of 2-1 (reversing trends from the last four decades when fans rallied against the players’ unions), one factor cited by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was the role of social media. From Chelsea Janes The The Washington Post:
“ ‘Social media has completely changed the interaction between rank-and-file and union leadership. It allows for a lot more active participation. That can have plusses and minuses to it,’ [Manfred] said, echoing concerns expressed by baseball officials privately over the past few weeks about the way players’ minds changed about various facets of proposals once they saw public reaction to them.”
Western PA Nurses to Strike on Sunday
This Sunday, in nearby Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, 220 nurses are expected to begin striking. In the past year, the union has lost more than 40 members of its bargaining unit because of high turnover. Nurses say they are striking to lower workloads and create sustainable working conditions.
“Nurses are fleeing the bedside not because we don’t like being caregivers. We love our patients and our role as their advocates,” nurse Cassie Wood, a resident nurse and president of ACMH Nurses United, told the Tribune-Review. “What we don’t like is feeling that the skill, experience, and commitment we bring to the job every day are grossly undervalued. That means that patient care is undervalued.”
News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere
- Sonoma County, California, teachers strike.
- Suburban Chicago teachers’ strike enters 2nd week.
- Entertainment-industry choreographers organize to address long-simmering issues.
- The AFL-CIO promotes a union in Ukraine with links to Neo-Nazis.
- ICE illegally obtained bulk financial records from Western Union.
- Finally, formerly incarcerated ironworker Heather Kurtenbach writes on how the Ironworkers union helped her get employed, leading to her becoming the business agent of the Seattle local and introducing Joe Biden at a recent infrastructure event at the White House.
Alright folks, that’s all for today. If you can, donate today to help support our work on union busting in national parks, and help pay for health insurance.
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Thanks again so much for all of your support.
Love & Solidarity,