Writers’ Guild to Vote on Hollywood Strike – Labor Protests Pa’s Largest Coal Plant Closing – BBC Journalists Move Closer to Strike

Writers Guild stirke in 2007 (Getty Images)

Greetings from the Burgh, where Allegheny County labor council President Darrin Kelly is upset that the state’s largest coal plant in Homer City, Pa, is closing. 

PA Labor Protests State’s Largest Coal Plant Closing

Earlier today, it was announced that the largest coal plant in Western PA, located at Homer City, Indiana County, was closing. Many environmentalists and clean air advocates celebrated the decision to close the plant. 

However, local Western PA AFL-CIO President Darrin Kelly blasted the decision to close the plant. 

“It’s a sad day for western Pennsylvania to learn that the Homer City power plant, the largest coal-fired plant in the state, will be shut down this summer. It’s sadder still that some people will celebrate this as a victory,” said Kelly in a statement sent to Payday Report. “It is not a victory when hundreds of in-house workers and thousands of subcontractors — the majority of whom are members of our labor council — will lose good union jobs.” 

Writers Guild Moves to Strike Vote 

On May 1st, the Writers Guild contract covering thousands of TV writers is set to expire. With writers seeing their pay and jobs disappearing over the past decade, many see a strike as likely. 

Right now, it appears that both sides are still far apart in contract talks. 

“After two weeks at the bargaining table, they [the studios] have failed to offer meaningful responses on the core economic issues in any of the WGA’s primary work areas — screen, episodic television and comedy-variety,” Writers’ Guild leaders said in a statement. “They have listened politely to our presentations and made small moves in only a few areas, almost entirely coupled with rollbacks designed to offset any gains. In short, the studios have shown no sign that they intend to address the problems our members are determined to fix in this negotiation.”

For more, check out the LA Times. 

BBC Journalists to Strike During Local Elections

On May 5th, a day of many local elections in the UK, BBC journalists covering local beats across the UK intend to go on strike. The strikes come as the BBC plans to implement a controversial plan that would slash local programming on BBC stations from 100 to 48 hours a week. 

“Once local radio stops being local then it is the beginning of the end, and BBC bosses don’t have the right to destroy an institution that has existed for over 50 

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere: years,” the National Union of Journalists organizer Paul Siegert told the Guardian. 

For more, check out the Guardian. 

LA Times: “A Masked Mexican Man Fights for Immigrants Rights” 

Finally, the LA Times has an excellent profile entitled “A Mexican masked man fights for immigrants workers rights, in the street and on the radio.” From the LA Times: 

Two decades later, Valentan utilizes a curious pair of props to realize his goals as an immigrant labor activist: a microphone and a wrestler’s mask.

Every Friday morning at 11, he enters a radio booth at the Pasadena Community Job Center, turns on his transmission equipment, adjusts his microphone, and fires up his two-hour radio show, “Voces Jornaleras,” Spanish for “Worker Voices,” or “Journeymen Voices.” His show is a cornerstone of the lineup at Radio Jornalera, an internet-based streaming platform that is a project of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Wearing jeans, a red plaid shirt, and a baseball cap with a Mexican flag logo one recent day, Valentan, 50, leaned into the mike as he welcomed listeners as if they were old friends. His arms and face were tanned from perpetually toiling in the sun, his fingers callused.

“Buenos días, compas y compitas,” he began, before launching into a passionate oration on the persistent problem of wage theft.

For more, check out the LA Times. 

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere: 

Alright folks, that’s all for today. Donate to help us keep labor in news deserts. Please, if you can, sign up as one of 751 recurring donors. 

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Love & Solidarity, 


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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