Hello everyone! New AM Quickie team member Robert Hitt here. I'm a masters student at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management and former intern at the American Prospect. I have a soft spot for workers’ rights so I'll flag a fair number of labor stories for your reading pleasure.-Robert
THE BIG NEWS
Striking to Win! LA School Workers Reach Tentative Deal With District
A three-day strike applied the necessary pressure to win a deal between striking workers and Los Angeles United School District. Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union agreed to a tentative deal with LAUSD that would provide 30% raise for more than 30,000 of the school district’s lowest-paid workers, including bus drivers, gardeners, special education assistants, teacher aides, custodians, and cafeteria workers.
The Los Angeles Times interviewed some celebrating workers for whom the win meant relief from financial desperation:
For Carmen Carbajal, who works as a special-education assistant at Bandini Elementary School in San Pedro, the extra money will go toward paying off more than $4,000 in credit card debt she accumulated to pay off utility bills and put gas in her car. She also hopes to repair the leaky roof in her garage.
“I will be able to breathe a little bit,” said Carbajal, who has worked in the district for more than 25 years and earns $22 an hour.
The New York Times reports that Mayor Karen Bass was instrumental in mediating the deal, with both the union and school district singing her praises. Bass told NYT that she’d been holding informal talks with both sides before the strikes and offered Los Angeles City Hall as a neutral meeting space.
Teachers and the public made a strong showing of solidarity for the school support workers. LAUSD teachers joined the strike, more than doubling the number of strikers to 65,000. And despite the work stoppage causing schools to close for over 400,000 kids, parents were largely on the side of the workers.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Putin to Deploy Tactical Nukes to Belarus
Russia is aggressively escalating its war in Ukraine and conflict with the U.S. and Nato by placing tactical nuclear weapons in its ally Belarus, potentially violating the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Putin denies any violation because ownership of the weapons is not being transferred to Belarus, but this doesn't change that the nukes would be in striking distance of Kyiv. He has made a habit of violating nuclear-arms treaties and publicly threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons to defend Russia's “territorial integrity." No announcement has been made for when the nukes would be moved.
Spill that Tea: NLRB Retroactively Strikes Down Broad Non-Disparagement Clauses
Further solidifying her rock-star status among laborites, National Labor Relations Board general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued guidance declaring “overly broad” non-disparagement clauses in severance packages void. Keep an eye out for all the stories of employer wrongdoing that this decision brings to light; it already triggered many mistreated workers to let loose on twitter.
- Netanyahu Fires Defense Minister Sparking Massive Protests Bibi fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after the cabinet member's public call to halt controversial judicial "reform." The move is fueling historically-large protests and a general strike that threaten Netanyahu's hold on power. via NYT and CNN.
- Biden Declares State of Emergency in Storm-Ravaged South At least 26 were killed in Mississippi’s Friday tornadoes and risk of severe storms continue into today and tomorrow. via NBC.
- Chocolate Factory Explodes in Pennsylvania Five people were killed and one remains missing after an explosion that ripped apart the R.M. Palmer chocolate factory in West Reading, PA. The cause of the explosion is under investigation. via NYT.
- Twitter Might Be Worth Less Than Half What Musk Bought it For An internal memo suggested that Musk’s $44 bn investment is now worth $20 bn. via the Guardian.
- Chad Nationalizes Exxon Mobil Assets Cue the Chad vs. virgin oil company jokes. via the Associated Press.
That’s how much time Cigna spends on average reviewing patient records before determining whether certain procedures are medically necessary. A recent ProPublica investigation showed that medical directors at the insurance giant rely on an inaccurate algorithm to accept or deny claims. This method, which is almost certainly illegal, has saved the company millions while shifting costs onto patients.
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