Well, it’s 11/11 and you know what that means!!! (If you do, please tell me.) This week, we’re yelling about layoffs, checking in on election results, and chatting about some pickets and walkouts. A nice warm bowl of labor news for you to slurp. Let’s get into it.
Meta lays off 11,000 workers: This week, Meta announced they laid off 11,000 workers. Serious condolences to all those affected. You may be wondering: didn’t Twitter just do this last week? And Stripe, too? You’re right, and the list is much longer:
Some recent layoffs (% of workforce):— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) November 9, 2022
Twitter unlocks “dumpster fire” mode: Wondering how Twitter’s doing after laying off all those people? Well, under the leadership of Elon Musk—the diamond mine heir who mocked a child for their father’s suicide and got kicked down a stairwell, and grew up to become a union-buster who was accused of sexual assault by an employee—it’s now overrun with hate speech, verification issues, and has 2017 White House vibes with tons of jobs sitting open. In the latest breaking news (though I’m sure there will be more today), Musk emailed Twitter employees at 2:30 AM to say Twitter is in financial trouble and he needs everybody working remotely to come back to the office.
Starbucks orders up another bad week: Last week, Schultz ‘n Co got plenty of bad press after they successfully petitioned a judge to let them subpoena union workers’ communications with the media, in a blatant infringement on free speech. This week, the workers at the 505 Pike store in Seattle walked out over understaffing issues, workers at an NYC store entered their third week of striking over health concerns, People’s Policy Project ran a piece about the hundreds of Federal charges (!!!!!) Starbucks faces, and Jacobin explained why Starbucks breaking Federal laws matters to every working person in this country.
Unions go blue: With the midterms now in the rearview, we can dig into the data. The numbers say union folks voted Democrat 57-42:
Democrats won union households handily, CNN exit polls showed.— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) November 10, 2022
57% of people from union households voted for a Democrat, compared with just 42% for Republicans. pic.twitter.com/NQxJ5joV5l
But Tennessee stays blood-red: While we saw pro-union candidates like John Fetterman of Pennsylvania win on Tuesday, and Illinois established a new state constitutional right to join a union. But Tennessee went backward, enshrining an existing “right to work” law. Sorry to the working folks of this state. Not sure what “right to work” is? Here’s an explainer.
REI got shamed for not giving their union stores the day off to vote (which we should all get!!!):
I'm deeply disappointed that @REI is excluding their only unionized stores, including @reiunionsoho, from getting paid time off to vote on election day.— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) November 7, 2022
Excluding unionized stores that are still negotiating a contract under the guise of bargaining is wrong.
Inflation cools off: Inflation, which in large part has been driven by corporate greed for the past few months, appears to finally be leveling out, as consumer price increases were 7.7% higher than average last month as compared to 8.2% in September.
Amazon workers in Minnesota walk-off: Minnesota workers at an Amazon warehouse walked off the job twice this week to protest the elimination of a day shift, forcing them to take on brutal night shifts. Check out the summary here, with a lengthy quote from a worker named Conor who develops class consciousness in the middle of an interview. Welcome to the fight, Other Conor:
Amazon delivery center workers walked off the job today in Minnesota for the 2nd time this week over forcing day shift workers to night shifts pic.twitter.com/xxzzpVCPEN— Michael Sainato (@msainat1) November 7, 2022
Amazon union drive starting in Kentucky: Fed up with what they call “Low pay, forced overtime, and arbitrary disciplinary measures,” workers at an Amazon air hub in Kentucky are organizing. Workers at the hub are demanding a $30 minimum wage and more time off.
American Airlines picketing next week: On Tuesday, American Airlines workers at 11 bases across the country will be picketing for a new union contract to combat understaffing and rising costs:
American Airlines flight attendants are picketing all AA bases on Tuesday, November 15 for a new union contract that improves staffing levels and takes into account rising cost of living and rising healthcare costs pic.twitter.com/kVXUJBlZuX— Michael Sainato (@msainat1) November 9, 2022
Serve it up: Workers at Hot Cakes in Capitol Hill are unionizing!
Meanwhile, Crossroads workers are still negotiating a contract eight months after their successful union vote, and they’re fed up:
Management has made it clear that they don't want to listen to workers, they want to maintain the status quo.— Crossroads Workers Union (@CrossroadsUnion) November 5, 2022
Read our bargaining update here: pic.twitter.com/cO8BAKuEgB
Want to organize your workplace? Start here!
What eeeeeeelse: The Guardian found gig drivers in Colorado make only $5.49 AN HOUR. Railroad companies and the Teamsters agreed to extend the railroad strike deadline to December 4. There’s a labor dispute in the Seattle port. Three new NLRB election filings this week, from Multi Air Services Engineers in Seattle, Comprehensive Life Resources (representing 225 people!) in Tacoma, and Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Kennewick.
Tip me! If you’ve got tips about what’s going on in your workplace, be it strikes, layoffs, unionizing, or union-busting, send it here!
Your weekly song of the week this week (it’s a song): Last week’s banger of the week was David Bowie, and folks, I’m still craving the ‘wie. But let’s throw a twist in there, a Bowie song covered by Nirvana in their 1993 MTV Unplugged session 29 years ago next week. Here’s “The Man Who Sold the World.” Have a great weekend! Stay warm!