Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Workplace Hazards and Violations

Amazon Workers on Staten Island Aim for Union Vote

Technology
Tucked in four plastic tubs in a tent by a Staten Island bus stop are stacks of cards with valuable autographs: the signatures of more than 1,700 hourly Amazon workers.“I, the undersigned, authorize the Amazon Labor Union to represent me for the purpose of collective bargaining,” the cards read.The commitments are the results of six months of organizing at Amazon’s only fulfillment center in New York City. The organizers expect to have several hundred more by Monday, when they plan to file for a union election.If the National Labor Relations Board validates their request, it could bring the second unionization vote at an Amazon warehouse in less than a year. In April, Amazon defeated a union election at its warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., in what was the gravest union threat the company had f...
OSHA, citing Covid failures, moves to strip three states of workplace safety authority.

OSHA, citing Covid failures, moves to strip three states of workplace safety authority.

Business
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that it was taking steps that could strip three states — Arizona, South Carolina and Utah — of their authority to regulate workplace safety, citing shortcomings in policies on coronavirus protection.Under federal law, states can assume responsibility for occupational safety if the government approves their plan for doing so and if the plan remains at least as effective as federal enforcement.Federal officials said Tuesday that the three states had failed to adopt a rule that OSHA issued in June — or to adopt one at least as effective — requiring certain Covid-related safety measures by employers, like providing protective equipment.“OSHA has worked in good faith to help these three state plans come into compliance,” Jim Frederi...

Hollywood’s Behind-the-Scenes Workers Reach Deal, Averting Strike

Business
LOS ANGELES — You might say that the people behind the cameras have found their voices.Late Saturday, a union representing Hollywood’s version of blue-collar workers — camera operators, makeup artists, prop makers, set dressers, lighting technicians, editors, script coordinators, hairstylists, cinematographers, writers’ assistants — reached a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract with film and television studios, according to officials from both sides.The union, IATSE, which stands for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, had said that its members would go on strike beginning on Monday, a move that would have resulted in a production shutdown at a particularly inopportune time for the entertainment industry.The studios, which include stalwarts like Disney, ...

Pandemic Puts New York City Restaurants at Front of Homeless Crisis

LifeStyle
The disputes became so severe that Ms. Serrano decided to move the restaurant to a larger space down the block, where there have been fewer troubles. “It was a blessing in disguise for us, really,” she said. “We were honestly busting at the seams.”Nadine Strossen, a professor at the New York Law School, said a security guard can’t shoo someone panhandling away from outdoor diners because sidewalks and streets are considered a forum where people can exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech. The exception is when that speech crosses a line into harassment, coercion or intimidation; the law doesn’t allow a security guard to act against speech that is merely controversial or upsetting.Karim Walker, 40, who was homeless since 2016 and is now living in his own apartment, said people ...
Leader of Apple activism movement says she was fired.

Leader of Apple activism movement says she was fired.

Technology
A leader of an activist movement within Apple said she was fired by the company on Thursday.Janneke Parrish, who was a program manager for Apple Maps based in Austin, Texas, and one of the two leaders of a group that called itself #AppleToo, had been on suspension for several days while Apple investigated her activities. On Thursday, she said, an Apple lawyer and a human resources worker told her on a phone call that she was being fired.The reason, Ms. Parrish said she was told, was that she had deleted files from her company computer and phone before handing them over to be examined. She said she had deleted files that contained personal and financial information.Ms. Parrish, 30, said she believed Apple was retaliating against her for helping to organize the activist group. In recent mont...
In a Blue Origin Rocket, William Shatner Finally Goes to Space

In a Blue Origin Rocket, William Shatner Finally Goes to Space

Technology
Mr. Bezos, who has said he was inspired by “Star Trek” as a boy, listened, still as a statue. He may have been giving Mr. Shatner some space, but it was a sharp contrast to his appearance after his own brief spaceflight in July, when he was aboard the same spacecraft. Then, Mr. Bezos held forth from a stage, rousing condemnation from critics of the vast company he founded as he thanked Amazon’s employees and customers for making it possible for him to finance his private space venture.Mr. Shatner shared the capsule on Wednesday with three other passengers: Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vice president who oversees New Shepard operations, and two paying customers: Chris Boshuizen, a co-founder of the Earth-observation company Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a co-founder of a company that buil...
Tesla to Move Headquarters to Texas from California

Tesla to Move Headquarters to Texas from California

Business
Tesla will move its headquarters from California to Austin, Texas, where it is building a new factory, its chief executive, Elon Musk, said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.The move makes good on a threat that Mr. Musk issued more than a year ago when he was frustrated by local coronavirus lockdown orders that forced Tesla to pause production at its factory in Fremont, Calif. Mr. Musk on Thursday said the company would keep that factory and expand production there.“There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area,” he said, adding that high housing prices there translate to long commutes for some employees. The Texas factory, which is near Austin and will manufacture Tesla’s Cybertruck, is minutes from downtown and from an airport, he said.Mr. Musk was an out...
American, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue add vaccine mandates for workers.

American, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue add vaccine mandates for workers.

Travel
American Airlines told employees on Friday that it would require all U.S.-based employees and some international crew members to be vaccinated.In a letter to employees signed by the company’s chief executive and presidents, American said the move was necessary because of its status as a government contractor. Last month, President Biden announced that employees of government contractors would be required to be vaccinated, with only limited exceptions.The airline’s letter gave no timetable, but the White House has said the deadline for employees of current contractors to be vaccinated is Dec. 8.“While we are still working through the details of the federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines,” the letter...
Paul Riley Fired as N.W.S.L. Is Shaken by Abuse Accusations

Paul Riley Fired as N.W.S.L. Is Shaken by Abuse Accusations

Sports
A prominent head coach in the top women’s soccer league in the United States was fired on Thursday after several former players accused him of verbally and sexually abusing them while they were members of his teams, a troubling reminder of the power dynamics that can put women in professional sports in vulnerable positions even as their prominence and paychecks have grown in recent years.The head coach, Paul Riley, was the second fired by a National Women’s Soccer League team this week, and the third to lose his job for misconduct since August. Both Riley, who led the North Carolina Courage to two league championships, and Richie Burke, who was dismissed by the Washington Spirit on Tuesday, were removed from their roles after players detailed what they described as abusive and — in Riley’s...
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Accused of Toxic Culture and Safety Issues

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Accused of Toxic Culture and Safety Issues

Technology
Former and current employees at Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and one of the richest people in the world, say the company is rife with sexism, intolerant of employees who dare to contradict their bosses and lax on safety.The claims, including charges of sexual harassment by company executives, were put forward in an essay written by 21 employees and former employees and published Thursday on the website Lioness. Only one former employee identified herself. The essay also suggested that there were safety concerns about New Shepard, the vehicle that flew Mr. Bezos and three other passengers to the edge of space in July.“In the opinion of an engineer who has signed on to this essay, ‘Blue Origin has been lucky that nothing has happened so far,’” ...