Man, it’s a hot one. I would even go so far as to say that it feels like we’re seven inches from the midday sun! As you can tell, we’ve got a Hot Labor Summer on our hands, and this week’s roundup is sizzlin’. Let’s get into it.
Starbucks makes unreasonable demands: Apparently not yet tired of taking L’s, Starbucks has started demanding its “partners” make themselves available for 150% of their requested hours every week. But, as the Starbucks Workers United account points out, this curiously does not apply to workers at unionized stores. Huh!
.@Starbucks is now requiring workers to have availability for AT LEAST 150% of their desired hours. But notice one thing— this requirement does NOT apply to partners at certified union stores or stores undergoing union activity without bargaining. THIS is the power of a union. pic.twitter.com/WQ9QyiXce8— SBWorkersUnited (@SBWorkersUnited) July 27, 2022
Labor content drop: Looking for some high-quality labor content? I’ve got some good strains for you here. Into a stimulating audio-video experience? Check out this HuffPost panel with union leaders from Amazon, Starbucks, REI, and Apple. Or perhaps this Twitter Broadcast (yeah, I don’t know either) that Uncle Bernie did with heavy-hitters like My President Chris Smalls of the Amazon Labor Union, Sara Nelson of the AFA-CWA, and Sean O’Brien of the Teamsters on Wednesday.
Looking for something a little more mellow? I’ve got a couple smooth audio-only options here for ya, with a new podcast from In These Times called Working People and an episode of the Citations Needed podcast, which covers labor depictions in Hollywood over the years. Fire one up! Put it in the air!
USPS plans to cut 50,000 jobs: Speaking of “firing one up,” remember when the head of the USPS, Louis DeJoy, was being investigated for allegedly making illegal campaign contributions? Or when he removed voting machines before the 2020 presidential election? Well, DeJoy, who still somehow retains his position, is at it again. He’s planning to cut 50,000 USPS jobs in an effort to balance the agency’s budget, which does not matter. Someone tell zombie Biden he forgot to axe this guy on Day 1. He should “fire” Louis DeJoy “into the fucking sun.”
Local alleged wage thieves pay back over $121,000: Time for some reaping and some good ol’ namin’ and shamin’. The Department of Labor disbarred Welton Orchards and Storage LLC in East Wenatchee from participation in a federal agriculture program and fined them $64,120 after finding multiple “egregious” violations, including threats to send their workers back to Mexico. Closer to town, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards fined Vishal Sehijpal $57,209 in a settlement to cover the money he allegedly withheld from eight workers at two local 7-Eleven stores. In Kennewick, a Superior Court Judge sentenced Rodney Eugene Dietrich to 30 days’ house arrest after he pled guilty to a felony charge of refusing to pay workers’ comp insurance.
Card Kingdom welcomes union: But it’s not all boos for bosses around here. This week, I’m directing one (1) “good job” to Card Kingdom, who released a statement vowing to recognize their unionized employees, who joined up with UFCW 3000. They said they “look forward to negotiating a contract with the union.”
The results of the union election process for Card Kingdom’s Operations employees have been announced. The United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 3000, has been elected to represent Operations employees from Card Kingdom. Read more from our leadership: https://t.co/B55nHLqzP4— Card Kingdom (@Card_Kingdom) July 26, 2022
Amazon Labor Union keeps growing: In Nashville, workers at the biggest Amazon warehouse in the country are organizing with Amazon Labor Union—another sign ALU is going national, as this is the third warehouse outside of New York to organize with ALU. Like what they’re doing and looking for a new gig? ALU is hiring both part-time and full-time organizers (which accounts for the big pay range) as well as data coordinators.
Teamsters protest deadly UPS working conditions: The Teamsters made some news of their own this week. Teamsters Local 804 in New York held a rally after a UPS driver in Pasadena, CA, died of heat exhaustion. And on top of that, last week, four of their drivers had to be rushed to the emergency room. President Vincent Perrone said, “These buildings are infernos inside. The only things that are air-conditioned are the management’s offices and where they keep their electronics.” A banger quote for sure, poignant and vivid, but the star of the rally was this incredible inflatable monstrosity:
Good Morning Brooklyn!— Teamsters Local 804 (@804_local) July 28, 2022
PEOPLE OVER PACKAGES
UPS NEEDS TO TAKE THE CAMERAS OUT OF THE TRUCKS AND PUT IN AIR CONDITIONING pic.twitter.com/khvnyPrJlk
The stench of desperation: In the face of this growing labor movement, the other side is getting antsy. How antsy, you say? Well, Texas Congressman Henry Cueller introduced a bill to make gig workers (so, all of us?) exempt from minimum wage laws; a Chik-Fil-A in Henderson, NC, offered to pay “volunteer” workers in chicken; an Alabama Hyundai plant is being investigated for allegedly employing underage workers for years; and Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would raise the mandatory retirement age for pilots to 67. The hurdles! Leave the kids alone and let the old pilots play backgammon or whatever.
The famous “what else” section: A Trader Joe’s store in Hadley, MA, became the first TJ’s to vote in favor of a union. Also, Oregon went nuts on the labor front this week, as we saw NLRB petitions from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Association, pharmacy technicians at four different Oregon Safeway stores, and simulator operators at a Boeing plant in Klamath Falls.
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell, 2004: Drop us tips, drop us compliments, and drop some dang comments! The hotter the better!
IYKYK: I gave you all the clues! From the critically acclaimed 1999 hit album, Supernatural, here comes the earworm, “Smooth.” Legendary axe man Carlos Santana dropped the song with Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas. It topped charts for three whole months, easing our collective Y2K anxiety and carrying us into the new millennium with a certified bop. It’s uncut pleasure straight from the source when you hear Carlos resist the urge to absolutely shred Abraxas-style throughout the whole song until he decides, alright, Rob, that’s it, I just gotta cut loose here. And when he does? Folks, life is good. That’s it for me. Stay hydrated.