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.
PRO Act Builds It Back Better With Unions: "The American Jobs Plan is not threatened by America’s labor movement. It is strengthened by us and the inclusion of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. Let’s clarify a few points. First, the PRO Act will not “force Americans” into anything. Instead, it will give workers the choice to form a union through a free and fair election. That’s not a power grab—just workplace democracy. Not only is the PRO Act strong policy, it’s good politics. A recent Morning Consult poll found a staggering 73% of voters—including 59% of Republicans—support the right to collectively bargain. The PRO Act will strengthen and expand that right. That’s why, in a rare bipartisan vote, the House passed the PRO Act in March."
Biden's American Jobs Plan Builds Back Better for Michigan: "Michigan sits at a transformational moment as we take steps to emerge from this terrible pandemic—not just in winning the battle against COVID-19, but using our recovery to recharge the state’s economy and put people to work as we begin to heal. As leaders with the Michigan AFL-CIO and Michigan League of Conservation Voters, we acknowledge that the labor and environmental movements haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. But one thing we can agree on: Michigan has an incredible, once-in-a-generation opportunity to build back better together."
Dayton Public Schools Announces Dayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO's Take Kids Fishing Day': "The Dayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO is hosting their annual 'Take Kids Fishing Day' set for Saturday, June 19, 2021. Get the kids outdoors for fun-filled hours of fishing and a free picnic lunch! (child, grandchild, neighbor or friends invited)."
Biden Taps Union-Side Labor Atty. For Fifth NLRB Seat: "President Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated labor lawyer Gwynne Wilcox to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board, tapping a union-side practitioner to fill the long-vacant fifth seat on the panel."
The Final Straw’: How the Pandemic Pushed Restaurant Workers over the Edge: "Restaurant chains and industry groups say a shortage of workers like Conway is slowing their recovery, as the sector tries to get back on its feet amid sinking COVID cases, falling restrictions and resurgent demand in many areas around the country. All described the pandemic as an awakening—realizing that long-held concerns about the industry were valid, and compounded by the new health concerns. And forced to stop working or look for other jobs early on in the pandemic, many realized they had other options."
The U.S. CDC's Mask Guidance Ignores the Risks Workers Face Every Day: "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) announcement last week that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or socially distance came as a great relief to millions of people who have been vaccinated. But it has also led to confusion and chaos in workplaces and other locations where vaccinated and unvaccinated people mix. Public health agencies like CDC are charged with protecting the health of populations, not just individuals. With its recent masking recommendation, the CDC is forgetting its basic public health mission, holding back our efforts to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing the danger that workers face."
UAW Gets More than 10,000 Signatures to Organize 10 University of California Campuses: "A quiet campaign by UAW organizers at the University of California ended Monday with more than 10,000 signed cards officially submitted to authorities that would create the Student Researchers United-UAW, representing more than 17,000 higher education workers. These union activists are not required to hold a formal election and can, instead, submit the signed 10,441 cards to California's Public Employee Relations Board in Oakland. Researchers marched down to the office at 1330 Broadway carrying a banner just after 2 p.m. Signatures will have to be certified as union organizers await instructions on next steps."
Unions Are Essential to Racial Justice: "As the president of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), I lead a coalition of 24 national unions representing more than four million professionals. Through bargaining for pay, benefits, and working conditions, our affiliates’ members have created sustainable, family-supporting careers in their industries. While these workplace improvements have raised standards for all professionals, employees of color tend to see some of the greatest gains from union membership. Black union members earn 26% higher wages and are more likely than employees of any other race to be union members. Both of these factors help to narrow the wage gap between Black and white employees. Additionally, while union employees do better than their nonunion counterparts within every racial group, union membership impacts the accumulation of wealth more for nonwhite families than for white families. Nonwhite union families have almost five times the median wealth as their nonunion counterparts."
Shuler, Levin: Pro Act Would Have Stopped Amazon’s Tactics at Bessemer: "In a stark illustration of how current U.S. labor law is tilted against workers, two experts on changing it—AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., a former top union organizer—say the Protect The Right To Organize (Pro) Act would have basically outlawed Amazon’s high-pressure tactics that defeated the union organizing drive at its big warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. And they also added, in a Zoom press conference on May 20, that one defeat won’t stop organized labor’s campaign to both organize the behemoth and to increase union density in the deep-red, union-hostile South. 'In the deep South, there’s a racist streak of dividing Black and white workers, and it’s called 'right to work,'' Shuler declared. So-called RTW laws, a favorite of union haters in the corporate class and the radical right, first arose in the South in the 1940s for just that purpose.'"