Strikesgiving: The Working People Weekly List

Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Pronouns Matter. How to Respect Transgender, Non-Binary People in the Workplace: “Pronouns are how we address each other outside of our name. We refer to friends, colleagues, children, family members, strangers, even our pets with their pronouns—they identify us. Transitioning in the workplace can be one of the most challenging endeavors a transgender person can experience. Organizations that are interested in a gender diverse environment seem to understand that embracing all of their employees is good for the organization and its corporate social responsibility. Bess Watts (she/her/hers) is the president of the Pride at Work, AFL-CIO, Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter. She said that often when someone transitions at work, we think about ourselves and the relationship we have with that person instead of what the person is going through and how we can support their transition.”

Winning at Kaiser: “Coming off of ‘Striketober’ and heading straight into ‘Strikesgiving’ has gripped the nation with constant headlines, growing momentum, and a sense of long overdue wind at the backs of working people. Here in Oregon, Nabisco workers had just come off of a months-long strike against their multinational, publicly traded employer as the Striketober hashtag was beginning to make the rounds. And a strike database from Cornell University shows that more than 250 strikes have taken place since the start of this year.  As AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler put it recently, this rise in strike activity and worker action is ‘a healthy response to imbalances of power created by employers who believe they should be able to squeeze more and more out of the workers who make their companies profitable.”

Deere & Co. Workers Approve the Latest Contract Offer and Will End Their Strike: “Deere & Co. workers approved a new contract Wednesday that will deliver 10% raises immediately and end a monthlong strike for more than 10,000 employees. The United Auto Workers union says 61% of the members approved the deal with the tractor maker on their third vote, even though this offer was strikingly similar to one that 55% of workers rejected two weeks ago. ‘UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace,’ UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement Wednesday night.”

The Factors Driving 'Striketober': “NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Jasmine Kerrissey, professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, about the recent wave of strikes and what it says about labor in America.”

Alabama Miners Are Still on Strike After 8 Months: “Last week, more than 500 coal mine workers picketed in New York City, joined by a diverse army of other labor movement members and supporters. The mine workers, who extract coal for steel production, are now in the eighth month of their strike against Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama. Their aim is to force Warrior Met to restore the pay, benefits, and schedules they had before their previous employer, Walter Energy, declared bankruptcy and auctioned off its assets in 2016.”

Union Busting: 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver': “John Oliver discusses the mechanics of union busting, why the companies who do it face so few consequences, and what it really means when your manager wants to talk to you about ‘your attendance.’”

AFL-CIO President Shuler Discusses Worker Power and Leverage on Bloomberg TV: “AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler joined 'Balance of Power' to discuss how workers are standing up for change across the country.”

Liz Shuler: Seeing a Bigger Role for Women in the Labor Movement: “When you’re the only woman in a room full of power linemen and older men, it’s challenging to have your voice heard and respected. I had to get creative in how I got things done. I also built a bench of mentors that I could lean on. All my mentors were men. I was always kind of assimilating back then. I have been passionate about women’s issues at work throughout my career, but it wasn’t until I came to the AFL-CIO, frankly, that I opened up and really stepped into what it’s like to be a woman leader.”

A Chance for More Worker Power: “Workers across the country are unsatisfied with their subpar employment arrangements and many feel empowered to do something about it. While some are quitting their jobs, others are using collective power to create lasting change. Last month, which came to be known as ‘Striketober,’ workers across the country joined picket lines and threatened to walk off the job in response to stagnant wages, long hours and poor working conditions.”