IN THIS EDITION, YOU WILL FIND:
- The latest news regarding line speeds in poultry plants, the Biden Administration’s program to secure pension plans.
- Why the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade signals a future threat to labor laws.
- News around the nation and in your region.
Federal Legislative and Policy Updates
- The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it plans to amend the poultry products inspection regulations related to line speeds, under the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) as one of its long term actions with no specific target date for action.
- President Biden announced the final rule implementing the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance program that will help ensure that current and future retirees from multiemployer pension plans are fully funded. The plan will ensure that over 200 pension plans are funded through 2051 and preserving retirement security for 3 million families.
- The U.S. Supreme Court cited the anti-labor arguments from Lochner v New York in their decision to overturn Roe v Wade paving the way to weaken labor laws by re-instituting the pro-business provisions of this infamously bad SCOTUS ruling.
- New state laws have taken effect in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia giving legal protection to gig employers, by classifying their employees as independent contractors.
- DOL Wage & Hour held an employer forum to get input on the rule being developed defining independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Most employers said they needed independent contractors to operate but one healthcare employer, Gale HealthCare Solutions (GHS), said that the misclassification of workers hurts their business because it allows other companies to undermine responsible firms that provide the same services.
- The US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services approved a $1.9 billion increase in funding for key agencies adding funds to OSHA, the Wage and Hour Division, and even $1 million for the NLRB to establish and administer a process for conducting electronic elections. The bill goes to the House floor for a vote sometime this summer.
News From Around the Nation
- Over 762,000 essential workers in Minnesota have already applied to receive the state’s “hero pay”. Applicants have until July 22nd to submit their applications for the $750 in pay.
- Former UFCW Associate Legislative and Political Director Nikki Budzinski won the Democratic primary in the Illinois 13th Congressional District getting over 75% of the votes! She will face Republican Regan Deering in the general election open seat this November.
- Nikki Kateman – Political and Communications Director at RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 – was appointed by New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to the New York Cannabis Advisory Board. In this role, she will work with the Office of Cannabis Management to establish an equitable and inclusive legal cannabis industry in the state of New York.
- The Delaware State Senate passed SB 280 – a bill that would mandate all medical cannabis dispensaries with 20 or more employees to have a labor peace agreement. The bill goes to the desk of Governor John Carney (D) where it is expected to be signed into law.
- Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7) co-authored a guest column published by Fox News in which she criticized the four largest meat packing companies for charging customers exorbitant prices– while reaping record profits.
- The California legislature approved a wide-ranging bill to change the state’s adult-use marijuana program, including eliminating the cannabis cultivation tax and reducing the number of non-management employees that a business can have before being required to enter into a labor peace agreement from 20 to 10.
- The United States District Court for the District of Arizona issued an injunction requiring Curaleaf Arizona to reinstate a fired union supporter. The injunction also instructs Curaleaf to stop threatening employees about losing their tips if they form a union, promising employees benefits if they don’t join a union, and creating an impression that employees’ union activities are being kept under surveillance. As a result, Budtenders’ at a Curaleaf Dispensary voted 13-to-6 in favor of unionizing, becoming the first cannabis workers in Arizona to join UFCW Local 99.