Labor Round-Up: October 2019

  • The Chicago teachers strike continues into its second week, as negotiations have yet to result in an agreement with both sides. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who campaigned on the promise that a teacher strike would not occur during her administration, has referred to adequately funding Chicago Public Schools as a “bail out.” Teachers are fighting to end the austerity that has underfunded and undermined Chicago’s Public School system. CPS and Mayor Lightfoot are refusing to address rampant understaffing, exorbitant classroom sizes, and replacing the prep time taken away from teachers by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    A tentative deal has been reached with SEIU Local 73 members, which represents school support staff workers https://abc7chicago.com/education/city-reaches-deal-seiu-talks-resume-with-ctu;-classes-canceled-monday/5652739/

  • Teachers in Dedham, MA defied an injunction filed by the state to prevent a strike. The strike resulted in a tentative deal.

    https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/Dedham-Teachers-Strike-Tentative-Deal-563947881.html

  • Teachers in Park County, Colorado ended a 10-day strike last week as the union agreed to re-enter federal mediation

    https://kdvr.com/2019/10/23/park-county-school-district-re-2-teacher-strike-ends-after-10-days/

  • Over five months after around 1700 coal miners were abruptly laid off, left unpaid, and had their last paychecks bounce, leaving many with unpaid bills, bounced check fees, and late bill fees, some workers are reporting they are finally starting to receive paychecks this week.

    Some workers are reporting issues with cashing the new checks, that they were shorted hours in the paychecks, that banks are still holding onto the checks for several days to ensure they don’t bounce again, and workers are yet to be paid any severance or repayment for fees they incurred as a result of the unpaid paychecks.

    Updates are available on the public Facebook group made by unpaid miners and their family members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1779166075561864/

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jul/22/blackjewel-mines-shut-down-layoffs-future

  • Amazon workers at a warehouse in Etna, Ohio blew the whistle on two worker deaths this year where the workers were left without receiving medical attention for 20 minutes in once case and 3-5 minutes in another case. Both workers passed away due to cardiac arrest, while their colleagues were pushed to continue working through the incident.

    Billy Foister’s brother told me Amazon paid Foister’s wife $7,000 for the funeral expenses if she signed a NDA to not discuss what happened.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/17/amazon-warehouse-worker-deaths

  • Sanitation workers are Republic Services continue their strike which began on August 29, 2019. The workers have set up picket lines across the US, with the latest in Indiana.

    https://959watd.com/blog/2019/10/marshfield-republic-services-responds-to-strike-extension/

    Bill Gates owns about 34 percent of shares in Republic Services, the second largest sanitation company in the US. Workers are calling for wage increases to fix pay discrepancies among workers, and improvements to retirement pensions and healthcare

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/16/republic-services-strike-bill-gates-sanitation

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