IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:
- Information from the NLRB on union petition increases this year.
- Announcement for USDA funding in underserved communities.
- News around the nation and in your region.
Federal Legislative and Policy Updates
- The House passed the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act with two amendments supported by UFCW. One amendment would allow unions greater access to organizing on military bases and one would allow cannabis workers to use traditional banks.
- The NLRB reported that during the first nine months of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 (October 1–June 30), the number of union representation petitions filed increased 56%, up to 1,935 from 1,240 during the first three quarters of FY 2021. By May 25, FY 2022 petitions exceeded the total number of petitions filed in all of FY 2021.
- USDA announced more than $14 million to support agricultural workforce training in historically underserved communities that is intended to increase the resilience of the U.S. meat and poultry processing sector. Funding is available through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) process to eligible universities
- The U.S. government will extended the COVID-19 public health emergency, continuing measures that have given millions of Americans special access to health insurance and telehealth services.
- DOL’s Wage and Hour Division and Women’s Bureau will host representatives from the EEOC to present a series of webinars on workplace protections for new and expecting mothers on August 10th from 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern Time. The event will include information on the federal laws that protect pregnant workers from discrimination, provide time off for the birth or adoption of a child, and ensure nursing workers can take breaks to pump breast milk while at work. Interested participants can register here.
News From Around the Nation
- Three Georgia Starbucks stores have voted to unionize, and other efforts are afoot to organize lower-wage workers. The Ansley Mall store in mid-June became the third Starbucks in Georgia to vote for a union, part of what seems to be a low-key, yet undeniable ripple of union organizing.
- The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes will be outlawed, which will make voting harder in the future. Wisconsin voters will still be able to vote absentee, but will need to make sure to put them in the mail early to ensure they arrive on time. One of the Justices used her opinion to also cast doubts on Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 due to the drop boxes, which has resulted in Donald Trump calling for the 2020 Wisconsin results to be decertified.
- Outdoor retailer Patagonia settled allegations with Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards and agreed to pay $54,654 to 95 employees, plus a $575 fine to the city, the office announced Wednesday. Patagonia employs about 25 people at its Belltown store. The alleged violations spanned from May 2019 to April 2022.
Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law a new state budget. The new budget passed by lawmakers in mid-June and signed by Governor Newsom two weeks later will take California’s existing tax deduction for union dues payments and turn it into a tax credit capped at 33% of dues paid. Changing the deduction to a credit makes the union tax break more generous and benefits those who don’t itemize or have a tax liability.