Labor News Briefs

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…

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
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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
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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
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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…

Cleveland Librarians Set Feb. 4 Strike Date
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Cleveland Librarians Set Feb. 4 Strike Date

CLEVELAND, Ohio — About 400 Cleveland Public Library workers will go on strike Feb. 4 if they can’t reach a contract deal, 1199SEIU announced Jan. 21. “Proposals by Cleveland Public Library administration would outsource Cleveland jobs, and make it more difficult for front-line staff that is already stretched to provide valuable services and programs to…

FedEx Ran Massive ‘Union Avoidance’ Campaign
Features, Finance, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National, Transportation

FedEx Ran Massive ‘Union Avoidance’ Campaign

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—FedEx ran a massive campaign to ward off attempts by drivers to organize with the Teamsters over the past five years, spending at least $837,000 on union-avoidance between 2014 and 2018. According to recordings and videos obtained by the U.K. Guardian, workers at captive-audience meetings were told that union supporters were “very ungrateful,” and…

32BJ Rallies for $15 Minimum Wage in Delaware
Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Municipal Government, National

32BJ Rallies for $15 Minimum Wage in Delaware

DOVER, Del.—The 32BJ SEIU property-service workers union, which won a contract last month that will raise members’ wages in the Philadelphia-Delaware area to $15.35 an hour in 2021, rallied on the steps of the Delaware Capitol Jan. 14 to urge legislators to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15. “We won’t stop until all workers…

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