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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

VP joins hospitality workers in Vegas to hail new union contracts

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Thursday, January 4, 2024   

Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off 2024 with a stop in Las Vegas on Wednesday to join culinary union members in celebrating new contracts negotiated with some of the largest hotel operators in Southern Nevada.

After settling union contracts for more than 40,000 hospitality workers, the Culinary Union said the win will bring historic wage increases and workplace safety improvements.

Harris said workers are the backbone of the nation.

"It is union members and the working people who are members of organized labor, who have always fought and continue to fight for the rights, for the dignity of working people and the dignity of work itself," Harris emphasized.

The vice president pointed out the Culinary Union's achievements signal to other unions around the country what can be achieved and the power they have. Her visit to the Silver State comes as the Biden-Harris administration seeks a second term in D.C., with Nevada being a key battleground state Biden won in 2020.

Julie Su, acting Secretary of Labor, said union organizers in Nevada made history last year with their contract negotiations at the bargaining table. She noted what members have done is help "reset and lift up the market rate."

"I heard corporations say that the wage increase you want is too far above the market rate," Su observed. "My response to that is, 'Instead of telling workers that their demands are too high, why don't we start to question why the market rate is so low?'"

Su added unions help close race and gender pay gaps. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said Latina union workers can earn up to 40% more than their nonunion counterparts. For Black women, belonging to a union means they earn 24% more than their nonunion colleagues.


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