Union Busting Is Digusting: 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.

Companies Like Amazon Spend Millions on Anti-Union Efforts. Where’s That Money Going?: “Employers spend about $340 million a year on consultants to prevent union elections, according to a 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute. Laboratory Corp. of America spent $4.3 million on these efforts between 2014 and 2018, while FedEx spent $837,000 over the same period and Quest Diagnostics (one of America’s largest COVID-19 testing companies) spent $200,000 between 2015 and 2017. The EPI also found that consultants can get paid $350-plus an hour or $2,500-plus a day.”

TTD Union Asks Federal Regulators to Delve Into Rail Service, Employment Issues: “The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has joined the chorus of organizations asking federal regulators to address Class I railroad service problems. It is clear that a lack of oversight has allowed Class I railroads to operate in a manner that is harmful to shippers, employees, and the American public, and these issues will not resolve out of self-regulation by the carriers, TTD President Greg Regan wrote in a letter sent to the Surface Transportation Board on Monday. We urge the Board to continue to delve into the service issues faced by shippers, and how these issues have been caused or exacerbated by an overly reduced workforce.

Amazon Workers Seriously Injured at Twice the Rate of Other Warehouses, Study Finds: “Injuries at Amazon warehouses jumped last year, according to a study published Tuesday by union coalition the Strategic Organizing Center. Injury reports at Amazon warehouses exceeded 38,000 in 2021, an increase of more than 20% over the previous year, according to the study. Of the recorded injuries, more than 89%, or roughly 34,000, were classified as serious injuries that left employees either unable to perform their regular job functions or forced them to miss work entirely.”

Vice President Kamala Harris Offers Union Support in Philadelphia Visit: “Liz Shuler, president of the national AFL-CIO talked about how the Biden-Harris administration was one of the most pro-union ever. It looks like a national labor relations board that is ready to put an end to the days of captive audience meetings and bosses cornering employees about unions, Shuler said. Put that away. It looks like an administration that puts working people at the heart of their plans for recovery and for the future.’ ‘This administration is not afraid to say the word union, said Walsh, a former Mayor of Boston and union leader. He added the Biden infrastructure bill has high standards to build a middle class for all.

Labor Board’s Top Counsel Makes a Formal Move to Make it Easier to Unionize: “Reinstating Joy Silk in its original form would stop employers from playing games and refusing to recognize a union when workers have unquestionable proof of majority support and would deter employers from unlawfully interfering in organizing campaigns, wrote American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Liz Shuler on Tuesday.”

On Strike for a Year, Alabama Coal Miners Say: ‘We Won’t Back Down!’: “Members of United Mine Workers (UMWA) Locals 2245, 2368 and 2397 continue to hold the line against predatory Warrior Met Coal. They walked out 370 days ago to protest the company breaking its promise to reverse givebacks that workers made in 2016. To save the parent coal company from bankruptcy, the miners had agreed to bone-deep cuts in wages, health benefits, leave time and other previous gains. Alabama AFL-CIO President Ben Riley summed up the solidarity of the rally: Our labor family is supporting you, across the U.S., across the globe. Give ’em hell! In addition to Riley, presidents or other officers of the Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia state AFL-CIOs spoke. They brought contingents ranging from mining to tobacco to confectionary production workers.”

Kamala Harris, Marty Walsh and the Unlikely Bonds of Politics: “They make such a powerful pairing because they bring different perspectives but are rooted in the same values, said Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO. Sometimes the most rich exchange of ideas and perspectives is when you come from such different places.

Largest U.S. Union Federation Presses FIFA on Labor Rights Around 2026 World Cup: “FIFA wrote back in January 2022, dismissing concerns about the governing body’s human rights policies and implementation of them. It was really just a superficial response. There were no initial commitments, no serious commitment to engaging us, said Cathy Feingold, Director of the International Department at the AFL-CIO. Feingold explained now is the time multi-million dollar deals are made ahead of the 2026 World Cup, in terms of major tax breaks and contract bids, and the coalition is pushing for minimum labor standards to be included in these deals, such as local hiring and diversity hiring directives, use of unionized labor discrimination protections for workers, healthcare access while workers are working events, and minimum wage standards for the event that generates billions of dollars in revenue and profits. In their response, the AFL-CIO and other groups set a deadline of March 15, 2022 for FIFA to schedule a meeting with the groups to discuss the issues before host cities for the 2026 World Cup are selected.”