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Can’t get enough pro-worker media
A recap of our party and discussion last week, our newest stories, and some pro-worker media for you.
Thank you for celebrating our relaunch! 🎉
Thank you to those who were able to make it to our relaunch party at Arbeiter Brewing. We had such a wonderful time meeting new folks and seeing familiar faces and discussing worker stories. Thank you to our panelists who shared their stories of organizing and how they use media to build power—Kevin Borowske with SEIU Local 26, Ibrahim Nur with the Awood Center, Ethan Carlson with Starbucks Workers United, and Mary Webb-Hampton with MFT 59. Thank you to our partner In These Times and Executive Director Alex Han for hosting our panel. Thank you to John See, Media Coordinator at Labor Education Service, who gave a short and stunning history of Workday. And thank you to our teammates at LES for supporting the Workday team.
Thanks to Jay Boller at Racket for interviewing Amie and writing up a story capturing our evolution: Workday Magazine is Relaunching to Better Tell Pro-Labor Stories.
The latest from Workday
Our coworker Cassie Williams, a labor educator and poet, wrote about Black motherhood and life in Even Breathing Is Strange: Reflections on the 3rd Anniversary of George Floyd’s Murder.
Sarah’s latest story, co-published with The American Prospect, Minnesota Prison Officials Seized $10,000 in Wages From Incarcerated Workers, shows how Stillwater prison authorities gave 44 incarcerated workers a raise and then, months later, said they had to pay it back. The authorities even took money out of a check someone’s grandma sent them.
Happy Pride month! Did you catch the inclusive definition of family member in Minnesota’s new paid family and medical leave policy? Learn about it in Amie’s latest story: How Minnesota’s New Paid Family and Medical Leave Protects LGBTQ+ Working Families.
In addition to paid family and medical leave, workers can celebrate a few wins from this legislative session, although there has been some craven capitulation to corporations. The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act became the Nurse and Patient Safety Act after Gov. Walz caved into the Mayo Clinic’s demands to be exempt from labor standards in the bill. The governor also vetoed a bill regulating Uber and Lyft after Uber threatened to stop operating in the state of Minnesota. However, Gov. Walz called for a committee to examine rideshare drivers’ working conditions and make recommendations for next year’s legislative session. Notably, the committee must include three members representing drivers, two representing companies, one from a union, and one from a disability services or advocacy group.
"Workers are not indentured servants, bound to continue laboring until any planned work stoppage would be as painless as possible for their master. They are employees whose collective and peaceful decision to withhold their labor is protected by the NLRA even if economic injury results." —Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s words of dissent in the Glacier Northwest Inc. v. Teamsters ruling.
Check out this review in The Nation of former president Barack Obama’s new docu series on Netflix, which was inspired by Studs Turkel’s reporting on working Americans.
Here’s another review ripping the president-turned-media maker a new one for violating the spirit of a picket line in an homage to Terkel. Much thanks to Hamilton Nolan for giving Workday a shoutout in his newsletter, How Things Work. In an essay on captive audience meetings, Nolan links to Workday’s article by law students Dustin Loosbrock and Bobby Lindsay, and argues that states must follow in Minnesota’s footsteps and ban this anti-union tactic deployed by lying bosses and their scheming consultants. Nolan rightly recommends that if you liked Obama’s show, check out the Working People Podcast hosted by Maximilian Alvarez, which platforms worker stories from all kinds of industries and geographies.
For The Real News, Maximilian Alvarez interviewed George Floyd’s brother and sister-in-law, Philonise and Keeta, founders of the Philonise and Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change. They talked about George’s life and passions, and how he inspires their community work. “All the money that they gave us, they can have it all back. I just want my brother,” says Philonise.
Democracy Now! aired a segment for Memorial Day weekend on the new documentary: Memorial Day Massacre: Chicago Cops Killed 10 During 1937 Steel Strike, Then the Media Covered It Up. In 1937, Chicago police shot at and gassed unarmed steelworkers and supporters on strike for union recognition, killing 10 people. News media created and then suppressed a film showing footage that contradicted the police narrative. I definitely want to check out the companion book after viewing the film!
If you haven’t read this next piece yet, I recommend listening to the audio version. Kim Kelly’s investigation for In These Times, The Young Miners Dying of “An Old Man’s Disease”, examines a new rise of black lung in coal workers. Workers’ health is abandoned over and over again, and preventable threats to our respiratory systems, akin to a deadly virus still circulating, are not prioritized. Coal may be dying, says Kelly, and it’s taking an entire new generation of miners out along with it.
Stay up to date on labor law after the latest SCOTUS ruling
Sign up for an online skills class, Labor Law for Organizers, taught by LES labor educator Amy Livingston. June 8th, 5:30-8:30pm.
This class will provide a broad overview of two key labor laws for labor organizers based in Minnesota: the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Minnesota’s Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA). We will also examine recent NLRB and Supreme Court decisions that impact the interpretation and implementation of labor law for U.S. workers and their unions.
Thank you for reading. We are each other’s harvest.