MI Union Publishes List Of Workers Who Opt Out: TownHall.com reports that Operating Engineers Local 324 has begun publishing a "Freeloaders List" containing the names of workers who choose not to become union members at their workplace. The list, created in response to dwindling union membership as a result of Michigan’s new "right to work" law, is dangerous because it puts workers who opt out at risk of intimidation (or worse). Currently, there are no laws on Michigan’s books that explicitly prevent this practice. We will keep you posted as this story develops further.
UPMC Nurses March On Headquarters: William Kibler of The Altoona Mirror writes that nurses working at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center marched on UPMC’s headquarters yesterday, only a day after engaging in a 24 hour labor strike. The nurses yelled and picketed for about 20 minutes before moving on down the street. Contract negotiations are set to resume between the parties early next week, with wages and retirement benefits the current sticking points. We will keep you posted.
NFLPA Backs Northwestern Football Players: Travis Waldron of ThinkProgress writes that earlier this week, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith backed the Northwestern University football players in their attempt to organize. Smith did not go so far as to say college athletes should be paid, but noted that unionization would be the best way to handle issues that need addressing.
It seems to me there are some fundamental things normal Americans should be able to agree on,” Smith said. “Should any college player on a scholarship live below the poverty line? I think the answer should be no. Do I think any college athlete should have to pay out of his own pocket for injuries that he or she suffered playing a college sport? I think the answer’s no. And I think if you get injured playing college athletics and you lose your scholarship, I think there’s something morally wrong with you not being able to continue your academics.
The Northwestern players had their first hearing earlier this week in Chicago on whether they should be allowed to form a union. The next hearing on the issue is set for February 18. We have been watching this story very closely and will make sure to post on any pertinent updates.