Steelworkers Move to End 6-Month Special Metal Strike – Denver Starbucks Workers Strike – Western PA Nurses to Strike

Special Metals steelworkers on the picket line in Huntington, West Virginia (@HeyJohnRussell)


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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. 

For more, check out Denver CBS. 

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.” 

For more, check out WSAZ. 

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.”

For more, check out The Washington Post. 

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.”

For more, check out the Tribune-Review.

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere

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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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