IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND: 

  • An update Rhode Island’s new adult use cannabis law, which requires all retailers to have labor peace agreements. 
  • Updates from the Department of Labor including information on upcoming public forums regarding worker misclassification.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

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Federal Legislative and Policy Updates

  • The Supreme Court ruled unanimously for workers in a ruling that says a company can lose its right to force arbitration if it waits to long. 
  • The General Services Administration (GSA) sent the White House for review a final rule to allow union organizers access to the employees of federal contractors on Federal Property controlled by GSA. 
  • JBS Foods received a slap on the wrist from OSHA for exposing workers at seven of its plants to the deadly coronavirus.  This is a few weeks after the House Oversight Committee released an extensive report detailing how Trump was manipulated by the meatpacking industry, in what UFCW President Perrone called, “a deliberate attempt to put industry profits ahead of the people just trying to make a living.”
  • The Department of Labor announced that it will hold two public forums to “hear diverse perspectives” from those effected by worker misclassification. These events are both virtual, one will be on June 24th for employers (register here) , the other will be on June 29th for workers (register here). 
  • The Economic Policy Institute released a study on income inequality, saying that it cost the U.S. economy more than $300 billion every year, dragging growth by more than 1.5% of GDP some years since 1979.

News From Around the Nation

  • Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee (D) signed a bill to make recreational cannabis use legal in the state of Rhode Island. The bill includes provisions ensuring that labor peace agreements will be required for all retail cannabis shops in the state. The bill also provides for automatic expungement of past criminal records associated with low level marijuana offenses.
  • A Starbucks store in Ithaca, New York closed after workers there formed a union and staged a one-day strike.  The company has said the decision to close the store was unrelated to the unionization effort.
  • The Republican controlled North Carolina Senate voted in favor of a medical cannabis bill. The bill is narrow and does not include chronic pain as a justification for prescribing cannabis, nor does it include labor protections or social justice provisions. It is unclear whether the bill can advance this session.
  • In Arkansas, Chris Jones makes history as the first black nominee for Governor from either party.  Jones is a nuclear engineer, holds a Ph.D. in urban planning, is an ordained minister, and led the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. 
  • The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the “Pay Up” bill, increasing wage and mileage requirements for on-demand gig workers. The bill’s intent is to ensure that all gig workers are being paid the Seattle City minimum wage of at $17.27 an hour.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a law that would ban employee noncompete agreements for workers not deemed highly compensated.  The measure, HB22-1317 would put Colorado among states with the strict bans on noncompetes for low-wage workers.
  • The Arizona Republican Party, urged a judge Friday to invalidate Arizona’s overwhelmingly popular system of mail-in voting, a process used by about 90% of voters. They argued that voting by mail is inconsistent with the Arizona Constitution’s requirement for a secret ballot.

IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:

  • Updates on the introduction of the Seasonal Worker Solidarity Act and UFCW role.
  • News from the Hill and the Department of Labor.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

Federal Legislative and Policy Updates


News From Around the Nation

IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:

  • Updates on the introduction of the Seasonal Worker Solidarity Act and UFCW role.
  • News from the Hill and the Department of Labor.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

Federal Legislative and Policy Updates


News From Around the Nation

IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:

  • News from the historic vote in the Senate making Ketanji Brown Jackson the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

Federal Legislative and Policy Updates

  • Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to serve as a justice.  The 53-47 final vote tally showed bipartisan support for Jackson, with three Republicans joining all Democrats to elevate the 51-year-old federal judge to a lifetime appointment.
  • The surprising unionization victory late last month at the Amazon warehouse facility on Staten Island known as JFK8 has had seismic ripple effects in the week-plus since.  Late last week, Amazon formally lodged objectionsto the validity of the election, seeking to nullify its results and force a do-over. It filed an array of challenges, both against the organizing group and the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Today, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memorandum to all Field offices announcing that she will ask the Board to find mandatory meetings in which employees are forced to listen to employer speech concerning the exercise of their statutory labor rights, including captive audience meetings, a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
  • U.S. House Democrats have passed a bill to legalize cannabis use for adults, for the second time. The vote fell upon party lines with only 3 republicans voting yes. The bill is a solid start in creating a national, and legal cannabis market but more work need to be done to ensure workers are given necessary protections. The bill now moves to the Senate where more debate is needed.

News From Around the Nation

  • The Delaware House has fast tracked legislation to provide $300 of relief money to all Delaware residents in the wake of rising fuel costs and grocery prices. The legislation, which would base the receipt of relief upon a 2020 tax return, now heads to the Delaware Senate, where it enjoys support from both Democratic and Republican leadership.
  • Workers’ unions have been cropping up in non-traditional places in Texas over the last few months. The trend gained widespread recognition when employees at a Buffalo, New York, Starbucks store unionized in 2021. Now, in Texas, at least five workplaces have filed for unionization, four of them Starbucks stores in San Antonio and Austin.
  • In a move to upend 50 years of political tradition, The Democratic National Committee has a plan to restructure the Democratic party’s presidential nominating calendar that would remove the Iowa Caucus from the top of the political calendar, reducing its influence in the selection of its party’s nominee for President.
  • Nursing home workers may soon be paid at least $15 per hour under a state-funded minimum wage increase approved by the Colorado legislature. The state Senate passed House Bill 1333 which changes the definition of “eligible nursing facility provider” and makes other conforming changes to allow any Colorado nursing facility that meets the defined criteria to be eligible to receive wage enhancement supplemental payments, as defined in the bill, to increase the minimum wage for nursing facility employees to at least $15 per hour.
  • New Mexico will provide new payments totaling $500 for individual adults or $1,000 per household to offset steep prices for fuel and raging inflation, under a bill approved by the state Legislature. In all, the aid package would distribute nearly $700 million to adult residents of all income levels, including elderly people with little or no income who don’t ordinarily file taxes and undocumented immigrants.

IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:

  • Updates on Biden Administration budget proposal and action on the hill.
  • News on two ongoing Amazon Warehouse union elections.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

Federal Legislative and Policy Updates

  • Rescuing Retirees: Local congressman says multiemployer pension crisis thwarted by American Rescue Plan funds. Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) said they knew for several years that pensions across the country were on the brink of failing due to several contributing factors, including deregulation and the 2008 financial crisis.“Through no fault of their own, people who had earned their pension, delayed their compensation in order to get paid later for work they’ve already done were about to lose their pensions,” he said.
  • DOL filed an amicus brief in a case involving Ralph’s Grocery Company that is before the NLRB detailing what DOL views as the harm that confidentiality provisions in arbitration agreements pose for effective enforcement of worker protection laws under the DOL’s jurisdiction.

News From Around the Nation

IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:

  • Updates and more good news from the Department of Labor
  • UFCW joins Labor voices supporting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, as she prepares for her historic confirmation hearing.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

Federal Legislative and Policy Updates

  • A new Treasury report found that corporate concentration and anti-competitive practices – such as requiring noncompete agreements and misclassifying employees as independent contractors – have stifled wages for workers and reduced their power in the marketplace. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined a White House roundtable this week to discuss the report’s findings with workers who have experienced anticompetitive barriers firsthand.
  • The US Department of Labor will kick off a series of meetings this week to get input on its upcoming overtime proposal. The agency is expected to meet with impacted groups including labor unions to expand the number of workers who could become eligible for overtime benefits if the rule were to be expanded.
  • Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will begin her historic confirmation process with hearings starting on March 21st, lasting for four days. Judge Brown Jackson has been praised for her pro-union record by many labor leaders, including UFCW International President Marc Perrone.
  • Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announces new resources to combat retaliation against workers who inquire about: their rights, pay, hours, working conditions, and filing a complaint with or cooperating in an investigation with WHD.

News From Around the Nation

  • Connecticut lawmakers have introduced a premium pay bill that would grant as much as $2000 to essential workers, including grocery workers.
  • The Maryland House of Delegates approved legislation to submit marijuana legalization to a ballot initiative this November. It will now be taken up by the MD Senate. The Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers.
  • The state of Washington could be on its way to adopting a law with big implications for the gig economy. State lawmakers have passed a bill that offers ride-hailing drivers some new benefits. The bill bars them from being classified as employees and was sent to Governor Inslee (D) on March 10th.
  • Oregon is headed towards becoming the eighth state to mandate overtime pay for farmworkers. The pay bill passed its final legislative hurdle on Thursday and heads to Gov. Kate Brown, who appears ready to sign the new requirement into law. That means an estimated 86,000 farmworkers next year will get overtime pay – a benefit they haven’t been legally entitled to for more than 80 years.