UAW Prez Shawn Fain Vetoes Disvestment from Israel – Wisc. U Faculty Strike – Cannes Film Festival Workers to Strike

UAW President Shawn Fain stands with Biden after endorsing him for re-election this January. (Alex Brandon/AP)


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UAW President Shawn Fain Vetoes Disinvestment from Israel 

The UAW has billions of dollars of pension funds, some of which are invested in Israel. With nearly ⅓ of its union members representing University employees, the UAW is facing pressure from its members to disinvest from Israel. 

The United Electrical Workers (UE) has already embraced the disinvestment strategy from Israel, but the UAW seems hesitant to adopt the approach. 

Last week, UAW President Shawn Fain and a majority of executive board members voted against disinvesting from Israel. 

It’s not the first time that there has been tension within the UAW over the war in Gaza. Last year, the UAW called for a ceasefire in Gaza but still endorsed President Biden, leading to protests from UAW members during a Biden speech to the union’s membership. (Some UAW members were even dragged out of Biden’s speech at a UAW conference for protesting his policies in Palestine.) 

Things could get ugly once again within the UAW as Fain resists calls to divest from Israel.  The group UAW Labor for Palestine and its members criticized the UAW’s leadership. 

“Again @ShawnFainUAW is proving that he is not nearly as committed to reform as he campaigned on. Pathetic,” tweeted UAW member Adam J. Moore. “Business unions gonna business union.”

University of Wisconsin Faculty Walkout in Support of Protesters 

At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, faculty have walked out to denounce a crackdown on a campus encampment calling for disinvestment from Palestine. 

“Directing campus, city, county and state police to take down the encampment by force was an unnecessary, disproportionate, escalatory and harmful action,” geography professor Keith Woodard told Wisconsin Public Radio. “This shameful action was a failure of leadership who refused to engage in dialogue with student protesters.” 

For more, check out Wisconsin Public Radio. 

Boeing Locks Out Firefighters 

Boeing is facing complaints that it does not take safety seriously, so it has locked out its unionized firefighters in Everett, Washington. 

“Our guys are coming in at $25 per hour and are a couple thousand dollars away from being eligible for food stamps, right now. So, they’re having to work two jobs or seek employment elsewhere,” Union Vice President John Riggsby told KIRO. 

For more, check out KIRO. 

Cannes Film Festival Workers to Strike

Next week, the Cannes Film Festival, but workers there are threatening to strike. From Hollywood Reporter: 

The Sous les écrans la dèche (Broke Behind the Screens) collective made the call in a public statement Monday.

The group has long been sounding the alarm about the precarious nature of film festival work, which typically involves short-term freelance contracts. But unlike other so-called intermediate workers in the entertainment industry, many festival workers are not covered by France’s unemployment insurance program, meaning they do not qualify for unemployment benefits in between jobs or projects.

The Sous les écrans noted that the latest set of benefit reforms, set to go through July 1, will further tighten the rules for employees.

“These reforms are throwing festival workers in such precariousness that the majority of us will have to give up our jobs, thus jeopardizing the events we take part in,” the group said.

So far, the group said, the Cannes festival, the French ministry of culture and the French film board, the CNC, have greeted worker concerns “with polite consideration [but] not concrete measures have been offered. That is why the upcoming opening of the Cannes festival is leaving us with a bitter taste.”

For more, check out Hollywood Reporter. 

Strikes & News 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]