SAG-AFTRA Recommends Strike Vote to 160,000 Film & TV Members – Chinese Strikes Surge – Canadian Unions Go “Scab Hunting” & Issue Heavy Fines

(Courtesy: The Writers Guld)

Folks, 

Greetings from the Burgh, where I am wrapping up a busy day after covering the elections for the past two days. (Check out our dispatch “Pittsburgh Progressives Win Trifecta as Establishment Moves into Co-opt Electoral Victories”)

SAG-AFTRA Recommends Strike Authorization to 160,000 TV & Film Members

The strike of over 11,000 Writers Guild members appears to be growing as more unions are joining the call for solidarity on the pocket. Tonite, SAG-AFTRA put out a statement to its 160,000 TV & Film members, calling on its union members to vote to authorize a strike when their contract expires on June 30th. 

“For the first time in a very long time, our member leadership stands in solidarity at the negotiating committee and the National Board levels on moving forward with a strike authorization. We must get all our ducks in a row should the need present itself, said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in a statement released tonite.

 For more, check out SAG-AFTRA’s statement.

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North Hollywood Strippers Unionize in LA First 

In Los Angeles, strippers at North Hollywood’s Star Garden have unionized with Actor’s Equity in a first for Los Angeles. The victory comes after management withdrew its legal challenge to a nearly-year-long legal battle by the strippers for the right to unionize there.  

“The Star Garden dancers have been absolute warriors throughout this long process, and I’m thrilled that we’ve won recognition of their rights to safety and democracy in the workplace and representation at the bargaining table,” Actor’s Equity President Kate Shindle told Hollywood Reporter. 

For more, check out Hollywood Reporter.

CNET Workers Unionize Against the Threat of AI

AI is starting to be used to replace journalists, but some journalists are fighting back. Over 100 journalists at CNET have decided to unionize after CNET began to use AI to replace the work of journalists. 

“In this time of instability, our diverse content teams need industry-standard job protections, fair compensation, editorial independence, and a voice in the decisionmaking process, especially as automated technology threatens our jobs and reputations,” said the CNET Media Workers Union in a statement.

For more, check out Wired. 

Strike Surge in the Chinese Manufacturing Sector 

Over in China, the China Labor Bulletin is asking that international attention be paid to a surge of illegal strikes that they have been seeing in the manufacturing sector that has been undergoing restructuring there. From the China Labor Bulletin: 

Strikes and protests in China’s manufacturing sector have surged since early 2023, as many factories in China face economic difficulties. In the first quarter of 2023, CLB’s Strike Map recorded a tenfold increase in incidents in the manufacturing sector compared to the last quarter of 2022. 

These protests are concentrated in the export-oriented electronics industry, followed by garments and apparel, toys and the automotive sector. Workers are protesting over unpaid wages and benefits as well as layoffs and relocations, requesting economic compensation for these employment changes.

For more, check out the China Labor Bulletin. 

Canadian Unions Go on “Scab Hunt” Following Strike 

Earlier this month, over 155,000 union members, part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), went on a 12-day strike, shutting down nearly ⅓ of the Canadian federal government. 

Now, after resolving the strike, PSAC is seeking to fine the 4% of its union membership that decided to cross the picket line. From the CBC: 

PSAC’s constitution states members who cross the picket line, perform work not required by law, or are paid by the employer not to participate in a strike can face fines equalling the pay they earned while others were out protesting. 

Crossing a picket line is legal but heavily discouraged by unions, who see it as hurting their efforts. 

“It is a disgrace that you will still benefit from the persistence of your fellow members and the bargaining teams,” Vaillancourt’s letter says.

“UVAE National has been receiving the names of UVAE members who crossed the picket line and worked for the employer during the legal strike position who were not designated essential,” it continues. “Names are still coming into the national office.”

The letter says anyone with information about workers who broke with the strike action can send names to that office.

For more, check out the CBC. 

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere 

Alright, yinz, that’s all for today. Email me with story ideas, party invites, complaints, and links at [email protected] 

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See yinz tomorrow, 

Melk 

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. 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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