Tuesday, November 17, 2020


There seems to be some positive news on the labor front from President-elect Joe Biden. 

This is from CNBC:

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden hosted a joint meeting Monday with labor union leaders and the chief executives of major tech, retail and auto companies.

The business leaders at the virtual meeting were General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Microsoft president and CEO Satya Nadella, Target chairman and chief executive Brian Cornell, and Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap.

Biden said later that he told the CEOs, “I want you to know I’m a union guy,” adding “that’s not anti-business.”

“Unions are going to have increased power [in a Biden administration],” Biden said. In response, Biden said the CEOs just nodded.

Labor leaders present for the meeting were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union; Rory Gamble, president of the United Auto Workers; Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

In Washington DC, they say personnel is policy so who will Biden pick for the Secretary of Labor? 

This is from Politico:

Union leaders are hoping to influence Joe Biden's pick for Labor secretary — but they're increasingly at odds over who should get the job.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and some of his organization’s largest affiliate unions are singing the praises of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who previously led the city’s Building and Construction Trades Council and could appeal to construction workers who supported President Donald Trump. But other unions in the federation are publicly pushing Rep. Andy Levin, a Michigan Democrat who worked as a labor organizer and ran the state’s job training program before he was elected.

Those two names look much better than Eugene Scalia, who is President Trump's current Secretary of Labor. This is how the New Yorker described Scalia's handling of coronavirus:

As the coronavirus has overrun America, Scalia’s impulse has been to grant companies leeway rather than to demand strict enforcement of safety protocols.

On April 28th, Richard Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., sent Scalia a letter accusing the Department of Labor of forsaking its mission. Even as millions of workers were risking their health to perform jobs deemed essential, osha had done little more than issue a modest list of voluntary safety guidelines. Trumka demanded that Scalia impose emergency temporary standards that would require companies to follow specific rules to slow the spread of covid-19, such as providing employees with personal protective equipment and adhering to social-distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control.

Scalia’s response was polite but unyielding. “Correspondence such as yours can help us do our jobs better,” he began, but then insisted that Trumka’s complaints were riddled with “basic misunderstandings.” Imposing emergency temporary standards was unnecessary, Scalia wrote, because osha already had the authority to penalize irresponsible companies under the General Duty Clause, which requires employers to create an environment “free from recognized hazards.” This was the basis for osha’s actions against SeaWorld in 2010—notwithstanding the objections Scalia lodged at the time, which were so strenuous that Judge Rogers asked him at one point if he believed that “the agency, under the General Duty Clause, has no role to play.” The clause has played little role lately, Trumka told me. Since the pandemic began, osha has received more than ten thousand complaints alleging unsafe conditions related to the virus. It has issued just two citations under the General Duty Clause.

So why again is there no talk of a general strike in this country?


Anonymous said...

Were the scabs furloghed yet? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Is this what you planned, James?


Venture capital executive Ronald Klain

Former pharmaceutical, insurance lobbyist (Steve Ricchetti).

Top Dem recipient of Big Oil $ cedric richmond

Co-founder of firm that represents pharma & private equity j omalley dillon

Anonymous said...

We should all "use our voices."

Anonymous said...

Only Joe has a voice.

Anonymous said...

Yeah the guy who helped send blue collar jobs out of the country over decades will now be good for labor. I guess if by pro labor you mean will Biden wine and dine union heads like Mulgrew then yes. Biden will give them a seat at the table so they can all keep their bellies full while working guy continues to starve. You guys hate Trump so much that you’re actually entertaining the thought that a 78 year old tiger is going to change his stripes. Joe from Scranton is a bullshit construct. Joe Biden was and is a corrupt politician who doesn’t give a fuck about the working guy but is likely very interested in maintaining the support of any fatcat union heads that still have sway over their members. Insanity.... same old thing yet you expect a different result. Pure insanity.

Shelley said...

A nearly silly rhetorical question from James: Why is there no general strike in the USA? If you are waiting for a general strike forget about it. When the Virus actually shut down the global economy, not like now where the economy is actually very much open for business and recovering from the brief self-induced global depression, now a recession in a K or V recovery, we had that opportunity and missed it. The UFT's president dared whisper the words "strike" and the phrase "job action" in public spaces and this blog quickly and naively endorsed the president and his newfound militancy. Then, when the president walked back his hasty public threats, this blog dis the same, arguing that this "strike" would not resemble any "strike" in history, that it was technically not a strike but more a job action, possibly a safety strike, though why use such militant terms and phrases? --when all that was happening was an appeasement of the more "militant" (there is no true militant caucus in the UFT) caucuses and members, a head fake that bought the president some time to stomp out a possible sickout. This blog has been aiding and abetting the Unity/UFT ever since. General strike? You might as well ask why the teachers haven't coordinated a strike with the TWU to block the bridges, tunnels, and trains. We are UFT and we are not living in France. Silly rhetorical questions like this make we wonder what reality bloggers live in. It used to be: why is UFT/NYC not like Chicago? A silly enough question but at least it only asks us to compare apples to meatpackers not apples to the RATP in Paris. We are not Chicago teachers, we are not Parisians. Even in Paris, in France, the strike, though recently resurrected from the dead, is not what it used to be.

see here---->


OSHA? OSHA is not protecting workers these days. Please pay attention. And, why doesn't the UFT require OSHA training? Now that we are machine workers don't we need to be protected from what this all day machine work will do to our spines, our necks, our eyes? Other unions in NYC require it, but we must sit through another sensitivity training PD. Another on race. Another on SEL and Trauma.

Where be our machines that comply with OSHA? We are given laptops. Keep working on a laptop, a machine that never was meant to be used as a desktop for 7 hours a day and see what happens to your body. No Teacher's Choice and we must buy machines, tools, chairs, wireless mice and keyboards, standup desks, artificial tears ... and the list goes on . . .or suffer a broken body. Where be our Union on this?

General strike my ass.

Anonymous said...

Shelly, you continue to impress me.

James Eterno said...

I said why is there no talk of a general strike, Shelley. Big difference as opposed to why there is no general strike.

Sara Nelson called for a general strike in 2019. It helped end the government shutdown and made her a star in labor.

Sam Lazarus and I called for the UFT to work with transit workers in 2005. The ideas are there. The organizers to spread the word in schools are what's needed.

James Eterno said...


For reference.

Anonymous said...

You leftist teachers are really sickening. You complain about lack of discipline in schools, lack of accountability, yet you vote for it. Biden spokesperson just came out and said he will go back to Obama's policy, which Trump took out, of not suspending black students. YOU VOTE FOR IT. Now stop complaining.

Anonymous said...

Agreed 7:49