News & Commentary

March 30, 2022

Fran Swanson

Fran Swanson is a student at Harvard Law School.

Approximately 47,000 grocery store workers in central and southern California have voted to authorize a strike should bargaining with employers break down again after talks resume this week, NPR reports. A three-year contract covering hundreds of Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions stores expired on March 6th. Forbes reports that employees’ calls for a $5/hour raise over three years were met with a proposed $1.80 raise. 75% of Kroger workers report struggling to feed their families, at a time when the company raked in a record $4 billion profit and its CEO made $20 million. They are also calling for better schedules for part-time workers and safer conditions in the midst of a pandemic that has killed hundreds of grocery workers.

The Biden Administration would support an increase in NLRB funding over the $319.4 million in the White House’s FY 2023 budget request, Bloomberg Law reports. In testimony before the House Budget Committee, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young described the NLRB’s $45 million requested increase in the White House’s budget as the beginning of a “rebuild.” It represents the first increase in requested NLRB funding since FY 2014. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky emphasized that more was needed for “the NLRB to really do its job.”

Finally, 350 Condé Nast employees are requesting that the publishing giant voluntarily recognize a union that would cover over 500 editorial, production video workers, the Washington Post reports. It follows the successful voluntary recognition campaign waged by New Yorker employees. Both groups of employees have emphasized that the prestige associated with these jobs—ones that “a million girls would kill for,” as one pro-union employee quoting The Devil Wears Prada put it—does not make up for the long hours, culture of burnout, and meager pay. Pro-union employees have called for greater job security, better pay, and more transparency about salary and diversity.

Enjoy OnLabor’s fresh takes on the day’s labor news, right in your inbox.