Biden Says He’s “Proud” of Apple Workers Who Formed Company’s First Union

President Joe Biden praised Apple Store workers who voted to form the company’s first union over the weekend. “I’m proud of them,” Biden told reporters. “Workers have a right to determine under what conditions they’re going to work or not. I think the thing that everybody misunderstands about unions — they tend to be, especially in the trades, the best workers in the world.” He added that “everybody’s better off, including a final product,” when workers are unionized. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which now represents the workers, thanked the president for his words. Apple workers…

Adjunct and Tenured Faculty Must Unite to Resist Pandemic Opportunism on Campus

When COVID-19 descended upon the United States, college and university administrators used the disruption caused by the pandemic to slash the jobs of adjunct faculty. Now, two years into the pandemic, these same administrators are continuing to use the conditions of the pandemic to rapidly accelerate the same neoliberal transformations they had been pushing for pre-pandemic, such as replacing “expensive” tenure-line faculty with a cheaper and more exploitable adjunct workforce. My employer, Portland State University (PSU), is just one of many schools that has used the excuse of the pandemic to place entire programs (and their tenure-line faculty) on the…

Trader Joe’s Workers in Massachusetts File to Form Union as Company Fights Back

In a move that could be monumental for service workers across the country, Trader Joe’s workers in western Massachusetts have filed to form a union weeks after taking their unionization effort public. Workers organizing under their union, Trader Joe’s United, in Hadley, Massachusetts, petitioned for a union election on Tuesday to form a union for the roughly 85 person unit, with support from over 50 percent of employees, according to one union organizer. Workers had previously announced their union effort in a letter to CEO Dan Bane in May, but the company had declined to voluntarily recognize the union. If…

Starbucks Hit With Lawsuit From Labor Board Over Anti-Union Employee Guidelines

In a new lawsuit against Starbucks, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is alleging that a number of the company’s employee guidelines are in violation of labor laws. As first reported by More Perfect Union, the lawsuit, issued on Wednesday, takes issue with 19 sections of the company’s “Partner Guide,” which the NLRB argues are “overly-broad and discriminatory” against workers’ rights. Among the guidelines in violation of national labor laws allowing employees to freely form unions is the company’s dress code, which disallows workers from wearing clothing or even pins that display union symbols, according to the labor board. The…

Labor Leaders Vow United Front Against Amazon Amid New Warehouse Union Election

Ballots will be counted today at a second, 1,500-worker Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, that began voting last week on whether to unionize with the independent, worker-led Amazon Labor Union (ALU) led by retaliatorily terminated Amazon employee Chris Smalls. A win at the warehouse, known as LDJ5, would build on ALU’s stunning April 1 victory at the larger, 8,000-worker JFK8 warehouse just across the street, forming a second unionized workplace at the second-largest private employer in the United States. A victory would cement ALU’s place as a leading force in the U.S. labor movement that could set the…

Sanders Warns Democrats: Back Union Movement Now or Face Defeat This Fall

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) warned Democrats that they need to start publicly supporting surging labor movements or else face defeat in the midterm elections this fall. Since the unceremonious death of the Build Back Better Act last year, the Democratic party has been in dire need of messaging, and needs to embrace a strong pro-union platform if they want to boost their chances of retaining power in Congress, Sanders told the magazine before heading to rallies in support of unionizing Amazon workers in New York and Starbucks workers in Virginia. Democrats have to…

Delta Announces It Will Pay Flight Attendants During Boarding Amid Union Push

In a major win for unionizing flight attendants, Delta Air Lines announced on Monday that it will begin paying its flight attendants during boarding as the company faces a renewed union drive backed by the largest flight attendants’ union in the country. This is a first for a major U.S. airline; U.S. airlines typically don’t pay their flight attendants during boarding, meaning that attendants are providing free labor up until the plane door closes. The new pay will begin on June 2, although attendants will only be paid half of their normal hourly rate. The airline will also increase its…

Sanders Is Traveling to Rally With Amazon and Starbucks Workers This Weekend

This Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is traveling to both New York and Virginia in order to meet with unionizing Amazon workers and Starbucks workers on the same day. In New York City, Sanders will be meeting with Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizers and workers, ALU President Christian Smalls announced on Twitter on Wednesday. “The workers [with Amazon Labor Union] are taking on one of the most powerful companies in the world and one of the wealthiest men in America,” Sanders said. “I’m proud to stand in solidarity with them and support their fight for dignity on the job. See…

Data Reveals 63 Percent of Hourly Starbucks Workers Make Under $15 an Hour

Despite Starbucks’s claims that it is a progressive employer that prioritizes the needs of its workers, newly released data shows that a majority of the company’s hourly workers make less than the average living wage across the U.S. According to research from Harvard/UCSF’s The Shift Project and the Economic Policy Institute, 63 percent of hourly workers at Starbucks make less than $15 an hour. About a quarter of the company’s hourly workers make between $10 and $12 an hour, while another quarter make about $12 to $14 an hour, the data finds. Only about 10 percent of its workers make…

Starbucks Workers Strike to Protest the Company’s Harsh Union Busting

On Friday, Starbucks workers from coast to coast protested against the company’s anti-union campaign, which is becoming increasingly aggressive as the movement rapidly spreads across the country. In Raleigh, North Carolina, workers demonstrated against the company on Friday morning to protest the firing of former pro-union Starbucks worker and college student Sharon Gilman. The company recently terminated Gilman after a sink fell on her while she was washing dishes, accusing her of purposely breaking the sink. Demonstrators demanded that Gilman be reinstated, and said that the allegations are false. “Sharon Gilman is one of the best partners we have at…

Labor Board’s Top Counsel Makes a Formal Move to Make it Easier to Unionize

This week, the top legal counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took a formal step to make mandatory anti-union meetings illegal during union campaigns and to reinstate the Joy Silk doctrine, a long extolled labor law that would make it far easier for workers to unionize. In a legal brief issued on Monday in an ongoing case between the Teamsters and Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, the office of NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo called on the board to overrule a 1956 case that paved the way for employers to force workers to attend mandatory meetings in order to…

Nearly Half of All Warehouse Injuries in 2021 Happened at Amazon Warehouses

If a warehouse worker was injured on the job in 2021, there was about a 50 percent chance that they worked for Amazon, a new report highlighting dangerous working conditions at the company has revealed. Though Amazon employed only about 33 percent of warehouse workers in 2021, it was responsible for 49 percent of warehouse injuries that year, according to a damning new report from the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition between four major labor unions. The report analyzes data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Overall, workers sustained nearly 40,000 injuries at Amazon facilities last year,…

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