Hot Labor Summer: Actors Release Studio-Rejected Demands - The Wednesday AM Quickie 7/19/23

CNN bizarrely fixated on Jack Smith getting a sandwich from Subway after Trump announced he was a "target" for Smith's Jan. 6 probe (more on that further down). Anchor John King said, "Jack Smith going to Subway today is a message to Donald Trump... a simple $5 sub in his hand saying 'I'm not going anywhere.'" Brilliant analysis guys 🥴. - Robert

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Labor Updates: Actors Release Rejected Demands, Amazon Delivery Station Workers Strike, Georgia EV Plant Union Effort Aided by EPA-Mandated Neutrality Agreement

There's lots happening in U.S. labor movement. Let's me give you the hottest updates of this "Hot Labor Summer."

  • Actors Guild Publicly Releases Studio-Rejected Demands Among a litany of other rejected reasonable demands, the studios, represented by AMPTP, outright refused any revenue sharing for streaming services, as well as rejecting a proposal to treat West Coast background actors with the same standards as East Coast counterparts. via Gizmodo.
  • Tom Cruise "Implored" Studios to Take SAG-AFTRA Demands on AI and Stunt Doubles Seriously Studios had plans pay extras for a day of shooting before using their image in further AI generated scenes. Cruise, the practical effects king, has a whole movie out about a rogue AI after all, so I think we can say his concerns are genuine. via Hollyood Reporter and IGN.
  • Georgia Blue Bird EV Plant Unionization Efforts Helped by EPA Grant Neutrality Provision The company has begun negotiating with workers' recently won union. Retaliation persists, and the company introduced a new punitive disciplinary "points" system, but union organizers say the threat of enforcement of the neutrality provision has softened the company's anti-union activities. via the American Prospect.
  • Amazon Delivery Station Workers Strike in Michigan The largest collective action at a delivery station to date coincided with Amazon's Prime Day promotions. Amazon gave media faulty numbers and location details for the strike. via Labor Notes.
  • NLRB Finds Dollar General Liable for Union Busting An NLRB judge found that Dollar Store Corp. committed “numerous and blatant” violations of labor law  “clearly intended to interfere” with employees' (successful) attempt to unionize a Connecticut store. The judge found that the illegal union busting “involve[d] individuals at the highest levels” of company management. via Bloomberg.
  • President Biden and Bernie Sanders Meet with Union Organizers at the White House Among the organizers will be workers from Starbucks and recently organized video game companies. via the Associated Press.
  • Teamsters President Tells Biden to Stay Out of Potential UPS Strike “My neighborhood where I grew up in Boston, if two people had a disagreement and you had nothing to do with it – you just kept walking,” President Sean O’Brien said. via the Associated Press.
  • Teamsters Threaten Strike of Yellow Corp. Operators After Failure to Make $50 Million in Benefits Contributions The withheld payment would put workers' health coverage and pensions in jeopardy. Strikes could start as early as next Monday. via Freight Waves.
  • Pennsylvania Locomotive Manufacturers Strike for Greener Jobs "A report from the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that manufacturing green, Tier 4 locomotives at the Erie plant would create between 2,600 and 4,300 estimated new jobs, and additional several thousand in the region." via Grist by way of Salon.

If I can pick out a theme here, it is that workers are increasingly willing to fight against attempts to break their spirit. It's a beautiful thing to witness. Roll the union on!

Texas Troopers Instructed to Push Migrant Children Into Water, Deny Water, Set Razor Wire Traps, Per Internal Email

According to a trooper from the Department of Public Safety, Greg Abbott's border security is using depraved actions against migrants, per the Houstan Chronicle:

The July 3 account, reviewed by Hearst Newspapers, discloses several previously unreported incidents the trooper witnessed in Eagle Pass, where the state of Texas has strung miles of razor wire and deployed a wall of buoys in the Rio Grande.
According to the email, a pregnant woman having a miscarriage was found late last month caught in the wire, doubled over in pain. A four-year-old girl passed out from heat exhaustion after she tried to go through it and was pushed back by Texas National Guard soldiers. A teenager broke his leg trying to navigate the water around the wire and had to be carried by his father.

The trooper, whose email was shared by a confidential source, alleges that razor wire wrapped barrels were placed in areas of low-visibility to trap migrants, or force them to swim in areas that would increase their likelihood of drowning. Monstrous.

Trump a 'Target' of January 6th Insurrection Probe

Trump will likely be indicted again in a matter of days, this time for his schemes to overturn his 2020 election loss relating to the January 6th insurrection (not to be confused with the election interference case in Georgia). Trump received a letter indicating he was a target of the investigation, per the New York Times. Trump took to Truth Social to call special counsel Jack Smith "deranged," and reported he'd been summoned to appear before a grand jury in four days "which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment." Congressional Republicans are following Trump's "witch hunt" victimization theater. Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the indictment(s) were attempt to "weaponize government to go after [the Biden administration's] Number One opponent." Sure Kev. I wonder what changed since he said Trump was responsible for the January 6th coup attempt.


  • Manchin Likely to Decline Centrist Presidential Run The potential No Labels centrist presidential ticket has no constituency beyond its dark money donors. via Slate.
  • GOP Seeks to Strip Funding for LGBTQ Center in Appropriations Bill, Rep. DeLauro Slammed Republicans as Discriminatory 'Terrorists' The amendment, which passed 32-26, would cut funding to three community centers which provide counseling and other services for the LGBTQ community. via Politico.
  • McDonald's Workers Allege 'Toxic Culture' of Sexual Harrasement and Racism in U.K., Ireland A BBC investigation documented over 100 claims of sexually assault or harassment, with several workers alleging McDonald's management targeting underage workers. via BCC.
  • Remember Guiliani's Lackey Lev Parnas? He Says GOP Should Lay Off Hunter Biden Parnas, who helped Guiliani try to dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine, told Republicans that investigations into Hunter's activities in Ukraine had "no merit." via the New Republic.



Updating the tally from last Wednesday's Quickie, that's how many consecutive days Phoenix has experienced temperatures of over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, as of yesterday. Will next Wednesday be the 27th day in a row?. via the New York Times.


7/19: It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma talk to Mila Wade, a Louisville area Starbucks worker, who participated in recent store shutdowns.  Then, they are joined by Guardian environmental reporter Oliver Milman to discuss his recent piece "'Double Agents: Fossil-Fuel Lobbyists Work for US Groups Trying to Fight Climate Crisis."


Israel’s Palestinian Expulsion | Basel Adra | TMR

Check out Palestinian journalist and activist Basel Adra's piece titled “The Destruction of Masafer Yatta,” co-authored with Yuval Abraham.

Republicans DESPERATE To Defend Elon Musk And Twitter

Weird how Republicans' attacks on "Big Tech" end when the FTC actually moves to break them up.


"As you know, we can wipe our *** (you know what) with all letters and grandiose statements we are sending to the executive branch. Only money matters."

-- Victoria Spartz (R-IN), in a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy alledging that he hasn't done enough to cut federal spending. She asserted that she plans to oppose all Republican floor rules until her demands are met. That leaves three votes of wiggle room for McCarthy until House business comes to a screeching halt. via Politico.

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