Worker Power Update - Empowering Striking Workers Act and more
Empowering Striking Workers Act
This week, Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced the Empowering Striking Workers Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would guarantee striking workers across the country equal access to unemployment benefits while engaging in their legal right to protest injustice in the workplace and improve their working conditions.
“Workers sacrifice their paychecks and their family’s financial stability in order to hold employers accountable when they are forced to go on strike by employers who refuse to negotiate fair contracts,” said CWA District 9 Vice President Frank Arce. “No worker should be denied the unemployment insurance they’ve earned and deserve simply because they are exercising their right to strike.”
Currently, only New York and New Jersey give workers equal access to unemployment benefits whether families are missing a paycheck due to layoffs, lockouts, or strikes. A management tactic is to prolong strikes to let workers financially “bleed out” to force concessions. “The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses,” a studio executive told Deadline, regarding the writers’ (WGA) strike. Rep. Schiff’s bill would level the playing field and potentially shorten the duration of labor disputes by preventing unethical employers from utilizing these strongarm tactics that harm working families.
Honoring Nancy Pelosi’s Leadership
Last week, CWA Secretary-Treasurer Ameenah Salaam and AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson participated in an event honoring former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Speaking to the crowd, Salaam said, “For over 35 years, Representative Pelosi’s fervent leadership has been an embodiment of the reminder that we are all long-time soldiers in the fight for a better, fairer, and more equitable world.” The event was hosted by End Citizens United, a group dedicated to fixing our democracy by getting big money out of politics and protecting the right to vote.
This post originally appeared on cwa-union.org.