Greetings from the Burgh, where we mourn the passing of Pittsburgh baseball legend Dick Groat at age 92.
Swissvale Native Dick Groat Dies at 92
A native of the Swissvale neighborhood of Pittsburgh, around where I grew up, Groat was an 8-time All-Star, 1960 batting champion, and the 1960 MVP, leading the Pirates to a World Series that year.
For years, he was a fixture in the bars and restaurants around where I grew up, and my parents still live. He was known as a friendly, down-to-earth yinzer, and many in the Pittsburgh community mourn his passing. May his memory always be a blessing for yinzers everywhere
Writers Guild Prepare Picket Sign as Talks Drag On
As Payday goes to press, the Writers Guild and the big Hollywood studios, represented by AMPTP, are still at the bargaining table. The main issues stem from the transition to streaming services. If an agreement is not reached, TV writers will go on strike this Monday evening at midnight.
Due to long periods of unemployment, many TV writers often survive off residuals or royalties from when their series run on TV or are streamed. However, online streaming services pay dramatically fewer residuals for their screenwriting productions than broadcast TV did.
In addition, TV series, on average, had 22 episodes per season. While streaming TV series have, on average, only eight episodes, meaning that there is dramatically less work for writers in Hollywood. As the Writers Guild pushes for more money for writers, studios are beginning to be squeezed as funding for major productions shows signs of drying up.
Increasingly, a strike in Hollywood beginning next week is likely. With 97.5% of writers voting in favor of a strike, writers in union halls across Hollywood are preparing picket signs for a strike starting on Monday at midnight.
Currently, neither the Writers Guild nor AMPTP is commenting on what is being discussed at the bargaining table. Payday will update as we learn more.
Help Pay the Rent for May & Extend My Lease Another Year
Good news, after struggling to pay my rent earlier this year, my landlords have offered to extend my lease on my apartment if I pay my rent on Time. I’ve lived in this apartment for five years and would love to stay, but I am nervous about raising the money.
2,500 Oakland Teachers Strike
Two thousand five hundred teachers and school support staff in Oakland may go on strike next week. Union members are upset about the school district’s proposal for a 3.5% wage increase, which wouldn’t keep up with inflation. Union members are instead demanding a 10% wage increase.
So far, union leaders say that little progress has been made at the bargaining table, and 88% of union members have voted to authorize a strike.
“We’re not making progress at this point right now. This is why we’re at this point. But, we are still continuing to bargain, and we are still hoping to settle at the table,” Oakland Education Association Bargaining Chief Vilma Serrano told KTVU.
NYC Doctors to Strike for 1st Time Since 1990
In New York City, resident physicians have threatened to go on strike for the 1st Time in NYC since 1990 at two Queens hospitals operated by the MediSys Health Network. Resident physicians make a salary of only $ 67,000 a year while often being forced to work 80 hours; many residents barely make $ 15 an hour.
“We know how many physicians are leaving the workforce right now because of what has been going on. And so supporting physicians in this Time is extremely important,” Dr. Neha Ravi, a first-year family medicine resident at Jamaica Hospital, told the New York Daily News.
Canadian Unions Want Trudeau Involved in Strike Talks
In Canada, over 155,000 federal workers, members of the PSAC, are still on strike with no end in sight.
Canadian workers initially demanded a 13.5% wage increase but have now moved down to a 9% wage increase. Still, the Canadian government says it’s too much.
With the strike now its 9th day, the PSAC is calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get directly involved in contract talks.
“We’ve moved our wage demand, but yet the employer hasn’t moved on their wage demand,” PSAC National President Chris Aylward said at a press conference on Thursday.” They’re telling us we’re the ones we have to move. That’s not how bargaining works.”
A Strike of Immigrant Workers Enters Its Third Year
Finally, Amir Khafagy of DocumentedNY has a long look at the strike of largely immigrant oil workers employed by United Metro that is now entering its second year:
As the walkout dragged on, the strike funds that were sustaining the picket line dried up. Workers could no longer afford to stand on the picket. With no income, they were forced to find other jobs.
“After all this time I can’t expect the men to stand out there after two years,” said Demopoulos. “So for now I got them working at other places so they can earn some income for their families but they have suffered, suffered greatly. It was over a year they were not working.”
As one of the leaders of the strike, Soleyn was the first of eight workers illegally fired in retaliation. With three daughters, two in college to support, Soleyn was forced to take a part-time job at another oil terminal. As a result, his wife became the family’s primary breadwinner, and to make ends meet, they had to rely on food pantries.
“In my situation, I had to depend totally on my wife,” he said. “Thankfully, she has a job but it was so tough because we had to budget down to the penny on just about everything.”
Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere:
- Atlanta Civic Circle has an in-depth look at how union drives are ticking up significantly in the state
- Texas-based Youtube Music Contractors unionize
- University staff throughout Israel intend to go on strike on Monday
- Reuters has an in-depth look at how legal loopholes allowed Hyundai suppliers to exploit child workers
- Nonprofit Quarterly has a very long look at organizing dynamics in non-profits, particularly Black-run non-profits
- Finally, the Amsterdam News has a look at how Harry Belafonte influenced the labor movement
Alright, yinz, I’m gonna crash out and get some sleep.
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