Showing posts with label afl-cio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label afl-cio. Show all posts

Monday, January 22, 2018

United Campus Workers of Georgia @ University of Georgia affiliates with Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO

(Photo from The Red and Black)

The United Campus Workers of Georgia has been officially chartered by the Communications Workers of America (AFL-CIO) as UCW-GA / CWA Organizing Local 3265​.

According to its website:

“We at United Campus Workers of Georgia are striving to create a forum where all voices are heard and respected. We envision a broad alliance reaching every sector of the UGA workforce and call on all employees at UGA to band together to fight for the working conditions of all on campus.” 

On its website, UCW-GA has posted a Campus Workers Bill of Rights that includes:

1.       A living wage and just compensation: We have the right to a base salary high enough to provide for our families to live a decent life without reliance on governmental assistance or private charity, and to salaries that are equitable with wages paid at peer institutions and in private employment.
2.       Job protection: We have the right to jobs protected from the threat of privatization, outsourcing, and subcontracting. We have the right to employment that is not “at will,” and to not be terminated except for just cause.
3.       A Right to Organize: We have the right to organize labor unions; to official recognition of our union; and to the ability to “meet and confer” with officials at the departmental, institutional, and state levels on all issues of concern.  We have the right to freely conduct meetings on non-working hours; to petition for redress of grievances; to deduct dues from paychecks; and ultimately to bargain collectively in order to protect and advance our collective interests.
4.       Due Process: We have the right to a grievance procedure that includes the right to grieve all matters that can impact safety, evaluations, raises, transfers, layoffs, promotions, and disciplinary actions, and we have the right to representation of our choice at all levels.
5.       Non-discrimination: We have the right to a workplace free from harassment, exploitation, and discrimination. We have the right to receive fair and equal treatment, opportunities, pay, and benefits regardless of our religion, race, nationality, immigration history, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disabilities, or political orientation. We have the right to equal pay for equal work.
6.       Adequate benefits: We have the right to guaranteed comprehensive health care; to an adequate retirement; to paid vacations and / or sabbaticals; to paid parental leave; and to tuition remission or adequate funding for educational opportunities for us and our families, including partner benefits.
7.       Safe Workplaces: We have the right to a safe and secure working environment with adequate training and the proper safety equipment necessary to perform our duties; to timely and effective corrective measures to our health and safety concerns; and to refuse dangerous work when proper safety precautions are not adequately met.
8.       Governance: We have the right to participate in determining the content and direction of the institution, including freely elected representation on governing bodies, and without fear of retaliation for expressing our views.
9.       Universal inclusion: All university employees, regardless of status or job classification, have the right to be treated equally with regard to all of these rights. Adjunct and contingent faculty especially have the right to work without exploitation and to be transitioned to real employment.

The creation of the UCW-GA follows the ongoing efforts to organize university workers in Tennessee, which has chapters on a number of campuses in Tennessee including UT-Knoxville.

In a news article published by The Red and Black, which claims to be the largest college newspaper in Georgia, the UCW-GA chapter reports that it has 70 members and “hopes to continue advocating for fair pay and benefits during this semester, starting with the State of the University address Wednesday, Jan. 24, where union members will be handing out postcards which state the organization’s platform.”


Monday, December 19, 2016

AFL-CIO circulates petition opposing Andrew Puzder's nomination for Labor Secretary

The AFL-CIO has begun an online petition to oppose the nomination of Andrew Puzder to the post as Secretary of Labor.

 In an interview with Franchise Times titled Why CKE's Andy Puzder Thinks the Government Doesn't Understand Job Creation, Puzder, who currently serves as the CEO of restaurant chain CKE, is quoted as saying:

Government overregulation has had severe consequences for economic growth, job creation, dignity and self-respect, he said. “And restaurants may be the canary in the coal mine,” he added, referring to the sacrificial canaries used to test whether the levels of carbon monoxide in mines would kill miners.
Government, he contended, needs to get out of the way of entrepreneurs and allow economic growth to happen without the restrictions of Obamacare and mandating minimum wages and overtime, among other things. "If employers are competing for the best employees, they will pay more," he said. "You can’t order businesses to be profitable, or place restrictions on them and expect them to grow."

Here is the full message being sent out by the AFL-CIO:
There were many signs that President-elect Donald Trump would be a disaster for working families, but his choice for secretary of labor—fast food CEO Andrew Puzder—is truly horrifying.
Puzder’s anti-worker views are no secret. He’s railed against a meaningful increase in the minimum wage, opposed expanding overtime pay and advocated replacing working people with machines. Of his Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants that were investigated for labor law complaints, 60% were found to have violated the law. Most of these complaints were for failure to pay workers minimum wage or overtime.
And, while working people at his fast food chain sometimes were making below minimum wage, Puzder was taking big compensation packages. In 2012, he made 291 times as much as workers at his restaurants.
Now, he could be in charge of enforcing our nation’s labor laws—from ensuring workplace safety to investigating wage theft.
During the election, Trump made a lot of promises to create good jobs. But he’s filling his cabinet with CEOs and right-wing billionaires who have spent their lives undermining working people’s rights to come together in unions, while fighting minimum wage increases, and paid sick and family leave policies.
Puzder’s track record raises serious concerns about his qualifications. Trump will never meet his campaign promises to working people if he surrounds himself with people like Puzder, whose values are completely out of step with America’s workers.
In Solidarity,
Rich
--------------
Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Workers protest outside of Federal Labor Department offices in Atlanta

The Southeast regional offices of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics were picketed on Wednesday by 81 employees who work for Office Resources Inc. (ORI), a contractor at the Atlanta offices of BLS.

The group was joined by Charlie Flemming, president of the Georgia AFL-CIO.




An online video of the protest is available here.

The ORI workers are fighting for their first union contract after joining the International Association of Machinists last year.

BLS contracts out part of its collection activities including telephone collection for their Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey that produces national employment information.

The BLS Southeast Region handles data collection for a number of statistical surveys, including the Consumer Price Index, most of which are collected by federal employees led by long-time Regional Commissioner Janet Rankin.

While BLS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, it has traditionally kept its distance from other USDOL agencies and tried to avoid controversial and political issues.

The agency describes itself as “the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.”

The BLS mission “is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant.”

The BLS Director for Public Affairs was unavailable for comment.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Workers Memorial Day – April 28, 2016

Workers' Memorial Day will be observed in Georgia and across the nation on April 28, 2016.

It is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers. It is also the day OSHA was established in 1971. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. (From the OSHA web site)

In Georgia, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers' Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs. The AFL-CIO has declared that "this year, workers will come together to call for work in this country that is safe, healthy, and pays fair wages."

On Workers’ Memorial Day, April 28, workers in all International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) local unions have been asked to pause and offer a moment of silence at 1 pm EDT / 10 am PDT on behalf of those in the entertainment industry and all workers who have paid the ultimate price in order to support themselves and their families.

A nationwide listing of events for April 28, 2016 can be found on the AFL-CIO web site. A listing of events scheduled for Workers’ Memorial Week (April 23 – 30, 2016) can be found on the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health web site.

Materials and posters to aid in the observance of Workers' Memorial Day may be downloaded here or ordered online here. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Union Summer targets Atlanta in 2016

The AFL-CIO is now recruiting college interns and a site coordinator to work in teams to support union organizing campaigns and other initiatives in Atlanta during June, July, and August 2016.


According to the AFL-CIO, tasks include:

“…having one-on-one conversations with workers in the process of organizing a union in their workplaces, organizing direct actions such as marches and rallies, talking with workers impacted by the jobs crisis, as well as assisting in building community, labor and religious support for union organizing efforts.”

While Union Summer is an annual event, the cities targeted vary each year. In 2016, targets will include:

·       Jackson, MS
·       Atlanta, GA
·       Anniston, AL
·       Houston, TX

Interns participating in this year’s activities are not considered employees but do receive a stipend of $480 per week. The site coordinator will be paid $3,200 per month.

Interns should possess the following characteristics to be successful:

·       Flexible and willing to work long hours and nights and weekends on an unpredictable schedule (depending on needs of the campaign);
·       Adaptable in the face of new challenges and experiences;
·       Able to work in teams and have excellent communication skills;
·       Open to working with people of different races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations; and
·       Willing to immerse themselves in an intensive, learning-by-doing experience.

The AFL-CIO has not identified which industries or companies in Atlanta would be targeted but past efforts have focused on fast food and health care establishments.

More information on planned activities is available on the Union Summer website.

The AFL-CIO has also uploaded a video on YouTube discussing their 2015 Union Summer.





Sunday, October 4, 2015

Georgia AFL-CIO works to change or defeat TPP

The Georgia AFL-CIO continues to press for changes to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), or failing that, defeat of the current expected 12-nation trade deal.



On Monday, Oct. 5, the union will be asking the Atlanta City Council to pass a resolution, in support of better trade deals. It appears that if the Council approved this resolution, it would place the Council in conflict with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who welcomed the negotiators to Atlanta last week and has generally supported the TPP.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Mayor Reed as saying that “Businesses that engage in exports have a higher chance of survival and they pay higher wages. “At the end of the day, all of this is about folks having a job that gives them some dignity and allows them to support their families.”

The call for a City Council resolution follows the AFL-CIO’s support of protests last week in Atlanta where trade representatives were meeting to try to conclude trade negotiations on the pact supported by the Obama administration.

Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry, Georgia AFL-CIO’s communications director, told the AJC that he has myriad concerns with the potential deal, namely that it will benefit CEOs and not workers.

“Once TPP passes, it could last indefinitely. And other countries can join it without limit or oversight by the public or Congress,” he said. He fears that TPP “is a global race to the bottom, the bottom in environmental standards, the bottom in labor and wage standards.”

The Obama administration has argued that TPP will help U.S. companies increase exports. In turn, they believe that increased business would result in increased employment for American workers.

It is unclear whether union locals in Georgia support the TPP protestors or whether the Georgia AFL-CIO is acting more on orders from the national AFL-CIO to oppose the trade deal. Last week’s protest in downtown Atlanta did not show a particularly large turnout of union members.

TPP is the nation’s largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. Much of the present union opposition to TPP stems from what they see as serious job losses due to NAFTA, which they vow to not allow again under TPP.

Nations involved in the current TPP negotiations include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. While China is not part of the current round of negotiations, some fear that China will be added later to the agreement causing loss of more U.S. jobs.

Meanwhile, the trade negotiators themselves are probably less concerned about protests as they struggle to conclude any deal. A number of stumbling blocks over specific issues, including dairy imports and patent protections for pharmaceuticals, continue to delay finalizing details of the trade deal.

The trade talks, which were originally scheduled to conclude on Thursday, have carried over into the weekend. Given these difficulties, it is unlikely that negotiators will be willing to entertain additional modifications to the current trade package.

Assuming that negotiators are able to agree to a final package before leaving Atlanta, the protestors will then need to turn their attention to having Congress to defeat the final agreement.

This will be difficult as TPP was given fast-track status by Congress, meaning that the agreement can be voted either up or down but with very few changes. Fast-track status means that protestors will need to convince a majority of lawmakers to vote down the deal, since they will be unable to amend the final bill.

Asking the Atlanta City Council to approve this draft resolution is one step towards shifting the focus by putting public pressure on lawmakers to defeat the final draft trade deal.




Thursday, September 3, 2015

Delta pilots choose new leadership

Delta's pilots union has selected new leadership for its labor negotiations with Delta Air Lines. 

John Malone has been elected chairman of the Delta Master Executive Council at a special meeting of the Local Executive Councils of the Delta MEC, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International. The meeting was held at the Renaissance Concourse Hotel in Atlanta.

In his address to the MEC, Captain Malone stated, “We need to own our mistakes, listen to the pilots, reconnect with them, encourage their participation and, most importantly, treat all our fellow pilots with respect – even the most ardent critic. ALPA is the only union that can deliver the services needed to restore our profession.”

“This weekend is Labor Day. On this weekend I want you to take real pride in your leadership role of protecting and promoting working people in America. What we – what ALPA does impacts all of labor in America.”

Captain Malone is an Atlanta-based 767-300ER pilot at Delta Air Lines, Inc., and will fill the remainder of the term beginning Sept. 15 through Dec. 31, 2016. He replaces Mike Donatelli, who stepped down as chairman.

The MEC also elected a new Negotiating Committee. Captain Steve Uvena was elected as chairman. F/O Ron Hay, Captain Heiko Kallenbach, and Captain Jeff Anderson were elected as members.

The committee will serve beginning immediately and for a period not to exceed six months after the signing of a new Section 6 agreement.

The changes come after 65% of Delta pilots voting in July refused to approve a proposed contract between the union and Delta Air Lines.

The Delta MEC is composed of 9 Local Executive Councils and acts as the governing body of the airline’s 12,000 pilots.

More information is available on the Delta MEC website at https://dal.alpa.org.

Friday, August 14, 2015

NLRB attorney to speak in Atlanta in September


An attorney from the National Labor Relations Board will be the guest speaker at a September luncheon hosted by the Atlanta chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Lisa Henderson will speak on new NLRB rules and a recent decision concerning deferral to arbitration. 

According to an announcement, the luncheon will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, beginning at Noon at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center located at 800 Spring St. in midtown Atlanta.

The Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) is the singular organization in the country where professionals interested in all aspects of labor and employment relations network to share ideas and learn about new developments, issues, and practices in the field. 

Founded in 1947 as the Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA), LERA provides a unique forum where the views of representatives of labor, management, government and academics, advocates and neutrals are welcome.

Information on the September event can be obtained by contacting Phil LaPorte at 404-316-6798 or emailing plaporte@gsu.edu.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Union organizing rally this afternoon at PruittHealth-Virginia Park


The Georgia AFL-CIO has announced a rally for Thursday, Aug. 13, in support of nursing home workers organizing at PruittHealth-Virginia Park.

In its announcement, the Georgia AFL-CIO writes that the rally is meant to support workers “in their organizing efforts to make a fair wage and decent benefits. And stand against excessive corporate greed.”

Organizers say that while the company received a rate increase this year approved by the State of Georgia, workers at PruittHealth are paid just a little more than minimum wage.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Pruitt family were among Governor Nathan Deal’s top donors to his re-election campaign last year.

PruittHealth had previously announced its official expansion in Atlanta.  PruittHealth – Virginia Park spans 3.6 acres in the historic area of Atlanta known as Virginia-Highland. When completed, the 40,302 square foot building will allow PruittHealth to offer post-acute care services to 128 beds and 18 specialty vent beds.


The rally at 1000 Briarcliff Rd NW, Atlanta, Ga., will begin after 2 p.m.