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This Week in Workers News

Walmart Is Eliminating Greeters. Workers With Disabilities Feel Targeted

Walmart is changing the job requirements for front-door greeters in a way that appears to disproportionately affect workers with disabilities. Greeters with disabilities in five states told NPR they expect to lose their jobs after April 25 or 26. Read the full story at NPR.

The Specific Form of Wage Theft Affecting the Local Cooks Who Make Your Meals

“They get away with not paying the minimum wage,” says Tucker. “In my mind, that’s the real scandal.” Read the full story at the Washington City Paper.

Strike Wave Wins Raises for Mexican Factory Workers

Mexican maquiladora workers in 70 factories have won big wage increases and bonuses in a strike wave that began in January. Read the full story at Labor Notes.

GE just spun off its locomotive unit. Workers immediately went on strike

General Electric just spun off its century-old railroad division to Wabtec, which is pushing for a number of significant changes, including the introduction of mandatory overtime, arbitrary schedules, wage cuts of up to 38% for recalled and new workers, and the right to use temporary workers, according to the union. In response, 1,700 union workers at the factory walked off the job on Tuesday. Read the full story at CNN.

Sex Workers Unionize in Guatemala

Criminalization and a lack of protection by law enforcement makes sex workers in Guatemala and beyond vulnerable to violence. But one group has decided to organize to make their work safer. Read the full story at nacla.

Black Women in the Labor Movement Have Long Defended American Workers

Black leaders, activists, and organizers formed the backbone of the U.S. labor movement. Even when the forces of structural racism and segregation sought to stifle their contributions, their resolve to fight for workers’ rights alongside the cause of civil rights remained unshakable. Black women, in particular, have played an enormous role in the movement’s legacy and development. Read the full story at Teen Vogue.

Race for shareholder profits has left workers in the dust, according to new research

“The rise of shareholder primacy has contributed to America’s high-profit, low-wage economy, in which the wealthy few capture much of value created by working people.” Read the full article at Trib Live

Workplace discrimination is illegal. But our data shows it’s still a huge problem.

To understand how well the nation protects victims of employment discrimination, the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in Washington, DC, analyzed eight years of complaint data from the EEOC as well as its state and local counterparts. It reviewed hundreds of court cases and interviewed dozens of people who filed EEOC claims, which are made under penalty of perjury. What emerged is a picture of a system that routinely fails workers. Read the full story at Vox.

Lordstown workers fear for future as GM prepares to ‘unallocate’ plant

A series of indefinite plant idlings stretching from Detroit to Maryland and Ontario starts next Friday when GM kills the lights at its only assembly plant in northeast Ohio. A harsh reckoning for thousands of other line workers in the Midwest looms this summer when GM and national leaders for the United Auto Workers gets a chance to negotiate the fate of Lordstown Assembly, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Warren Transmission and Baltimore Operations. Read the full story at The Detroit News.

Three Ohio Sonic Locations Lost Their Entire Staffs Due To ‘Terrible Management’

Much of the backlash reportedly is the result of reduced wages. Management cut pay from Ohio’s $8.55 minimum wage to $4 an hour plus tip, the Post continued. A source for the publication continued, noting that the employees all quit “after the franchise was bought out by corporate.” The regional director, district managers, and a number of general managers were all reportedly let go after seven plus years of employment. Read the full story at Delish.

Group of Walmart Mexico workers threatens strike for higher pay

A union representing workers at Walmart Inc’s Mexico unit said on Monday it would go on strike next month if it did not secure better pay and conditions for thousands of employees. Read the full story at Reuters.

Transgender nurse barred from using men’s restroom wins discrimination case against Iowa

Jurors found that the state engaged in discrimination by forcing Vroegh, 37, to use the female restroom at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, where Vroegh worked as a nurse for about seven years. Read the full story at USA Today.

Oakland parents lead ‘strike schools’ in homes as negotiations continue

Johnson is in a group of parents across the Oakland Unified School District who have stepped up as impromptu caretakers and teachers during the strike, opening up their homes to other school kids as a show of solidarity to teachers asking for better wages and more resources. Read the full story at SF Chronicle.

JCPS closes after Kentucky teacher sickout over pension board bill

Kentucky’s largest school system was forced to shut down Thursday after thousands of teachers called in sick as part of a statewide “sickout.” The closures come just hours after a grassroots group urged teachers to call out sick so that they could travel to Frankfort in protest of a bill that would restructure the board that oversees the state’s teacher pension system. Read the full story at the Courier Journal.

Union workers at Colorado-based King Soopers, City Market chains seek better wages in contract fight

King Soopers and City Market employees, represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, have been working without a contract since Monday when the union terminated a temporary extension of a prior contract that expired in January. UFCW Local 7 represents 12,200 of the 152-location grocery company’s 23,000 employees. The end of the extension does not mean a strike will happen, but it opens up the possibility. Read the full story at the Denver Post.

Thousands of Stop & Shop employees vote to authorize strike, union says

According to UFCW Local 1445, all of Stop & Shop’s proposals during negotiations have only cut workers’ benefits, despite its parent company, Ahold Delhaize, netting $74 billion in sales last year. The union also said Ahold Delhaize authorized over $1 billion in stock buybacks for its shareholders. “This is a slap in the face to our members, our communities, and Stop & Shop customers.” Read the full story at WCVB.

A million public sector workers paid less than living wage, says report

More than 1 million public sector workers in Britain are paid less than the amount required to make ends meet, trapping them in in-work poverty, according to a report. Read the full story in The Guardian.

Inside The New Movement To Decriminalize Sex Work In NY

Formed by people in the sex trades—whether through choice, circumstance, or coercion—Decrim NY links the fight for sex workers’ rights with a broader movement to end the criminalization of people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, and low-income people in New York. Read the full story at Gothamist.

Auto workers’ union sues GM to keep three plants open

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Ohio, asks the court to order GM to reverse its decision to close plants in Baltimore; Lordstown, Ohio; and Warren, Michigan. It also seeks damages for affected employees, including back wages and benefits.The UAW says the closings breach a 2015 labor agreement that “prohibits the Company from closing or idling any plant during the term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” Read the full story at CNN.

Unpaid Super Bowl workers demand accountability from NFL, City of Atlanta

Former Atlanta City Councilman Derrick Boazman, community activists and dozens of employees who worked during Super Bowl week demanded accountability from the City of Atlanta and the NFL after B.E. Staffing apparently closed without handing out paychecks to over 200 people. Read the full story at 11Alive.

Outsourced university workers seek collective bargaining rights

Outsourced workers in Britain should be able to negotiate pay and conditions directly with third parties they carry out activities for, London’s High Court was told on Tuesday in a landmark legal challenge with implications for millions of people. Read the full story at Financial Times.

Textile workers picket at Richmond/Charlestown factory that prints military camouflage

Local 3121TPresident Keith Greene said the informational picket was intended to show the company’s new owners that workers stood behind their union negotiators. Workers seek to move forward in pay and benefits, Greene said. Some objected to uninformed new managers making decisions about practices honed by decades of experience. Read the full story at Providence Journal.

Calls Increase for Trump Labor Sec. Alexander Acosta To Resign

A U.S. District judge ruled Thursday that U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta committed a crime in 2007 when, as a U.S. prosecutor at the time, he secretly gave a lenient plea deal to a politically-connected billionaire accused of sex trafficking underage girls. Read the full story in In These Times.

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