OHIO AFL-CIO A KEY FACTOR IN DEFEAT OF GOP ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY
The news last week was filled with stories about the defeat of Ohio Republicans’ attempt to make it harder for citizens to amend the state constitution. A referendum introduced by Republicans in the legislature on a strictly partisan vote would have made it necessary for future attempts at amendment to garner 60 percent of the vote instead of the current simple majority. Republicans weren’t keeping their motives secret. Several top GOP leaders in the legislature conceded that their aim was to prevent the success of a referendum scheduled for November that would have protected women’s abortion rights in the state.
What was very sparsely reported was the fact that the Ohio labor movement played an important role in the vote to defeat it. The AFL-CIO state federation, along with central labor councils across the state, worked with affiliates and allies to execute a comprehensive voter outreach campaign in a very short period of time. Through canvasses, mailings, phone banks, worksite actions, postcard writing and more, labor activists and volunteers provided much of the muscle for the campaign and, in the end, it showed.
“We are grateful for the union members and activists who over the last nine months exposed the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the proponents and their fraudulent issue, and turned-out working people in massive numbers to protect the principle of one-person, one-vote,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga (USW) after the issue was defeated.
NYC HOSPITAL W0RKERS WIN BIG PAY RAISES
The New York City Nurses Association, in an announcement July 1, said that nurses at public hospitals in the city will make big gains in their new contract.
The contract, to run for five-and-a-half years, was decided by an arbitrator. Under it, the nurses will receive a $16,006 raise the first year and another &5,551 raise the second year. In the final three years of the contract they will get raises of 3%, 3%, and 3.25% respectively. It brought them closer to their goal of achieving pay parity with nurses at private hospitals, the nurses union said.
AMAZON DRIVERS DEMAND: RECOGNIZE OUR UNION AND BARGAIN
Amazon delivery drivers and dispatchers in Palmdale, Cal, are striking to demand that the company recognize the Teamsters Union as their bargaining agent, reinstate workers unlawfully fired for union activities and bargain in good faith with the union. Among the major issues the union raises are the low pay and unsafe working conditions that force drivers to make deliveries in extreme heat with no air conditioning in their vans and limits the amount of water they can take with them, said a striking worker.
NORTHSTAR AEROSPACE WORKERS OK NEW 4-YEAR CONTRACT
Workers at Northstar Aerospace, members of International Unon of Electrical Workers-Communication Workers of America Local 14430, ratified a new collective bargaining agreement July 27 after striking for almost two months. The new four-year contract includes an 18 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement, no change in medical cost premium shares, and improvements to safety and benefits, including vacation and short-term disability. In addition, the workers successfully fought back against the company’s attempt to adversely change the attendance policy.
TSA WORKERS WIN BIG PAY RAISE
Among federal workers, the ones employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have been just about the lowest paid. They are the people who checks you in before you board a plane and are responsible for security and safety at airports. But the union that represents them, the American Federation of Government Employees announced this month the first major pay raise since the agency was established 21 years ago. TSA workers have received a 31 percent pay increase effective immediately.
CORNELL ENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH STARBUCKS OVER UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES
Cornell University has announced that it is terminating its partnership with Starbucks with the expiration of its current contract in June, 2025. The contract has allowed the company to operate cafes and sell its products in dining halls on campus. Cornell has acted in the wake of a decision by the NLRB that Starbucks punished pro-unionization Cornell students who were Starbucks employees by denying them leave over Cornell’s academic breaks during the unionization process at Ithaca’s three locations, among other violations. The university is currently working with the Student Assembly’s dining committee to find suitable alternatives for Starbucks.