Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Charter Communications  Won’t Let People Work From Home; Fires Critic
Environment and Energy, Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Charter Communications Won’t Let People Work From Home; Fires Critic

DENVER, Colo.—The Charter Communications cable-TV and Internet company, whose New York field technicians have been on strike for three years since it slashed their health benefits, is being equally harsh with its office staff. Workers in several different cities told the tech-news site Gizmodo that the company is refusing to let them work from home…

New Unemployment-Benefits Claims Jump by 70,000
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

New Unemployment-Benefits Claims Jump by 70,000

WASHINGTON—New claims for unemployment benefits jumped to 281,000 last week—up 70,000 from the previous week—due to layoffs and closings from the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department announced Mar. 19. It was the largest number of new claims since the 299,000 after Hurricane Harvey in September 2017, and the largest percentage increase since 1992, according to…

Postal Workers Union Endorses Sanders; UNITE HERE Local Backs Him & Warren
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Postal Workers Union Endorses Sanders; UNITE HERE Local Backs Him & Warren

WASHINGTON—Citing his opposition to privatizing mail service, the American Postal Workers Union endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic presidential nomination on Jan. 30. “We’re pleased that a number of presidential candidates have taken positions and actions supportive of postal workers and expanding union rights,” APWU President Mark Dimondstein said in a statement. “But when…

Locked-Out Canadian Oil Workers Blockade Refinery
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Locked-Out Canadian Oil Workers Blockade Refinery

REGINA, Saskatchewan—Workers locked out of the Co-op Refinery Complex here since Dec. 5 have begun blockading the refinery to prevent strikebreakers from getting in and trucks from getting out. Federated Co-operatives Limited locked out the about 800 workers after Unifor Local 594 rejected a contract offer that would end FCL’s contributions to workers’ pensions and…

Virginia Teachers Rally for More School Funding
Education, Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Municipal Government, National

Virginia Teachers Rally for More School Funding

RICHMOND, Va.—More than 2,000 red-clad teachers and supporters rallied outside the state capitol Jan. 27, calling on the state government to increase school funding and pay teachers more. “It is time, it is time, it is past time to fund our future!” Virginia Education Association President Jim Livingston called out. While the state raised teachers’…

Union Labor to Build Virginia Offshore Wind Farm
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, National

Union Labor to Build Virginia Offshore Wind Farm

RICHMOND, Va.—A massive planned offshore wind farm will be built by union labor, the Dominion Energy company and three building-trades unions announced Jan. 29. Dominion, the Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Laborers International Union of North America Mid-Atlantic Region said they would negotiate a project…

Seattle Nurses End 3-Day Strike; Hospital Keeps Scabs on for Weekend
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Seattle Nurses End 3-Day Strike; Hospital Keeps Scabs on for Weekend

SEATTLE, Wash.—Some 7,800 nurses and caregivers at Swedish Medical Center’s seven Seattle-area facilities went on strike from Jan. 28-31 after working without a contract for almost six months. Key issues for their union, Service Employees International Union Healthcare 1199NW, include understaffing, inadequate equipment and poor security. However, management at the hospital chain said it would…

Sanders Introduces Bill to Protect Graduate Workers’ Unions
Education, Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Sanders Introduces Bill to Protect Graduate Workers’ Unions

WASHINGTON—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) introduced a bill Jan. 22 that would prevent the Trump administration from nullifying graduate student workers’ right to unionize. The bill, the Respect Graduate Student Workers Act, would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from implementing a proposed rule that defines student teaching assistants and student…

Professional Union Membership Grows, But Not as Fast as Jobs
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Professional Union Membership Grows, But Not as Fast as Jobs

WASHINGTON—The number of professional workers who are union members reached a record high of 6.27 million in 2019, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report released Jan. 22. The news was a bright spot for organized labor in a year where union membership declined from 10.5% to 10.3% of the workforce, as…

Iron Workers Union Endorses Biden for President
Features, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Iron Workers Union Endorses Biden for President

WASHINGTON—The International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers endorsed Joe Biden for president Jan. 22. The union praised the former Vice President for his work administering the Obama administration’s infrastructure stimulus, and said his current infrastructure plan offers “the best value for the building trades.” “Vice President Biden has proven again and again…

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