One Day of Warren Buffett Wealth Gains Could Cover Rail Workers’ Paid Sick Leave

Billionaire Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world and the CEO of BNSF Railway’s parent company, saw his wealth jump by nearly $1.4 billion in a single day earlier this week, a sum that could easily fund 15 days of paid sick leave for every rail worker in the United States. BNSF is one of the major railroad giants refusing to budge in contract negotiations with rail unions as they fight for 15 days of paid sick leave. Under a White House-brokered contract that major rail unions have recently voted to reject, rail workers would not receive…

Workers Have Held More Strikes So Far in 2022 Than in All of 2021, Data Finds

U.S. workers have waged more strikes in the first nine months of 2022 than in all of 2021, data shows, lending evidence to unions’ and activists’ observations that the labor movement is undergoing a resurgence. According to Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations’s (ILR) Labor Action Tracker, between January and the end of September, there were 288 strike actions across the U.S. and its territories. In all of 2021, researchers tracked about 260 strikes and work stoppages. The strikes have also grown in size this year. In the first half of 2022, there were about 180 strikes involving…

Rail Union Workers Reportedly Win Right to Sick Time in Tentative Deal

The Biden White House on Thursday announced a tentative agreement between unions and rail carriers that reportedly includes a win for workers on sick leave, an issue central to the dispute that nearly resulted in a nationwide strike. The Washington Post reported that the deal, which still must be approved by union members, would give rail workers “the ability to take days off for medical care without being subject to discipline.” The Post’s Lauren Kaori Gurley noted on Twitter that “workers will receive voluntary assigned days off and a single additional paid day off. (They previously did not receive sick…

Sanders Tells Warren Buffett to Treat Rail Workers Better and Avert Strike

As a strike by tens of thousands of railroad workers looms, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is calling on multibillionaire and owner of a parent company involved, Warren Buffett, to listen to workers’ demands and intervene to avert the strike. Rail workers have been pleading with major freight companies to agree to give workers basic benefits; one of the biggest sticking points, workers say, is that many of them can’t take sick or emergency days, whether paid or unpaid, without racking up points that could lead to their termination. Workers say they’re also expected to be on call 24/7, which exacerbates…

Hundreds Protest as Starbucks Holds Investor Day Without Any Retail Workers

Hundreds of workers took to the streets in front of Starbucks’s Seattle headquarters on Tuesday as the company hosted investors for its biennial investor day, in which executives and investors discuss the company’s outlook — an event that has never once included representation from a Starbucks retail worker, the workers’ union says. Joined by other union members, workers with Starbucks Workers United are demanding that the company give them a say in its strategy and financial decisions and a place at the bargaining table for contract negotiations, which the company has been delaying. They are also asking the company to…

Seattle Teachers Strike for Smaller Classes, Higher Pay and Special Ed Support

Originally published by The 19th. On Thursday, Tymmony Keegan stood on a picket line in front of Cleveland STEM High School in Seattle, where public school teachers had begun a strike the previous day on what would have been the start of the school year. Her colleagues held signs stating, “Listen to educators! Fund our kids’ dreams! A nurse in every school!” It was her twin boys’ 4th birthday, a milestone they celebrated by temporarily joining the picket line. Cars and trucks honked their support for educators as they drove past the closed school. “All of us who are out…

Protesters Call for Student Strikes If Lawmakers Fail to Pass Gun Reforms

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in over 450 protests across the country Saturday demanding lawmakers take action on gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. March for Our Lives, the youth-led organization created by students who survived the mass shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, organized Saturday’s rallies. Patricia and Manuel Oliver, whose son, Joaquin, was among those killed in Parkland, addressed the Washington, DC crowd announcing a new campaign called I Will Avoid. “Our elected officials have betrayed us and avoid the responsibility…

“Year of the Worker”: 2021 Saw Over 3 Million Strike Days With 140K Participants

Workers waged hundreds of work stoppages in 2021, marking millions of total “strike days” over the course of the year that saw a resurgence of the U.S. labor movement but a decline in overall union membership. According to a new report by researchers at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, 140,000 workers went on strike or otherwise participated in a work stoppage last year in 265 strikes and lockouts. Together, the workers logged over 3.2 million strike days. Pay was the most common reason for workers to go on strike, the data shows. Nearly 60,000 workers…

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