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I’ve never been tear gassed before. The smell is similar to fireworks and the effect is explosive—and effective. I immediately wanted to get as far away as I could from the noxious source of burning eyes and throat.
I was in Paris when France’s “yellow vest” (gilet jaune) movement shut down the center of the city.
There were thousands of demonstrators, all wearing the bright yellow safety vests drivers are required by law to have in their cars.
The U.S. economy gained 155,000 jobs in November, and unemployment was unchanged at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market can be a leading indicator for the economy. Soft wage growth has been accompanied by weaker auto sales than typical for this low level of unemployment, leading General Motors to plan plant closings, and slowing home sales point to stresses for workers and the household sector of the economy. The Federal Reserve needs to move with great caution and hold off on more rate increases.
In response to the November job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:
#JobReport Payroll employment up 155,000 in November, unemployment rate steady at 3.7% Over the year, wages were up 3.1% not impressive enough numbers for the @federalreserve to maintain increasing interest rates @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
#JobsReport Labor Force Participation rates remain flat overall, the Black and white rates remain similar, both near 62.2% for Blacks 62.9% for whites. @AFLCIO @rolandsmartin pic.twitter.com/1s8Rt1wCA4— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
A look at the question of structural unemployment issues: unemployment rate falls for high school dropouts to 5.6%, and high school grads to 3.5%, while it edges up for college (less than bachelors) 3.0 to 3.1 and bachelor's (or more) 2.0 to 2.2% #JobsReport @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
A look at structural unemployment questions: Here's the recent history of unemployment rates for computer related occupations--very strong cyclical component and little different from just college educated workers, generally. #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/49hbSKJQiA— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
#JobsReport A quick graphical summary of job gains (losses) by industry and earnings (thanks @BLS_gov ) only losing industries were above average wages, biggest gains were below average wage industries @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/EqkxniZ6cd— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
We won't grow as a nation if we don't increase public investment in education, these declines in state and local education are not good signs for the future @AFTunion @AFLCIO @AFSCME #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/Rx7URL4jgo— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
GM layoffs are yet to come, but auto sector already shows weakness, down 800 in November and 1,800 over the year, @UAW @AFLCIO #JobsReport This is an interest sensitive industry the @federalreserve needs to be watching more closely— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
Bad sign, @IWPResearch @HeidiatIWPR : Last month, more unemployed women dropped out of the labor force (811.000) than found work (731,000) -- reversing recent trend and opposite the success of men #JobsReport @AFLCIO https://t.co/IPzxmzhpO2— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018
Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (32,000), professional and business services (32,000), manufacturing (27,000), transportation and warehousing (25,000) and retail trade (18,000). Employment in other major industries—including mining, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government—showed little change over the month.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12%), blacks (5.9%), Hispanics (4.5%), adult women (3.4%), whites (3.4%), adult men (3.3%) and Asians (2.7%) showed little or no change in November.
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined slightly in November and accounted for 20.8% of the unemployed.
Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Brad Markell: ‘What’s Wrong with GM’: “Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. In the latest episode of our podcast, ‘State of the Unions,’ we talk to longtime UAW member and AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about General Motors’ recent decision to close five North American plants, costing up to 14,000 workers their jobs.”
Remembering George H.W. Bush’s Commitment to Public Service: “President George H.W. Bush will be laid to rest at a state funeral today. Remembrances have been flowing in from across the political spectrum, but one thing we all can agree on is that Bush lived a life that was devoted to public service, not only for himself, but for those who answered his call for all of us to help our fellow Americans.”
Stop the Lame-Duck Power Grabs: “After losing the top offices in Wisconsin and Michigan, anti-worker legislators are trying to strip powers from Govs.-elect Tony Evers and Gretchen Whitmer, respectively—before they are even sworn in. Doing so would have enormous negative consequences for working people in both states. We must stop these outrageous lame-duck power grabs.”
Infrastructure Matters. It’s Time to Get Serious About Funding It: “One hundred billion dollars is a lot of money. With that much cash you could buy four Starbucks lattes for every living human on the planet. (That’s 33 billion lattes in total, if you’re counting.) If coffee is not really your thing, consider buying every single NFL team three times over. Don’t like sports? You and the record-holding Powerball winner can compare piles of cash and together marvel at how yours is 63 times taller.”
Tuesday’s Gone, But Don’t Stop Giving: What Working People Are Doing This Week: “Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here’s a look at the broad range of activities we’re engaged in this week.”
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Richard Trumka: ‘I’ve Never Been More Optimistic’: “Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. Welcome to the latest episode of our podcast, ‘State of the Unions,’ where we talk to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the midterm elections and the future of the labor movement.”
The U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale: “The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) just released a new ad in support of its U.S. Mail Not for Sale campaign. The campaign is a worker-led effort that brings together working people, elected officials and member organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service to fight plans to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.”
“How can we get young workers involved?”
That’s the question on everyone’s lips, with union density at near-record lows. Many unions have begun holding summits for young members or forming local committees, which is great.
But too often they’re missing a step that’s more essential: don’t sell young workers out.
When you settle a two-tier contract that puts new hires on a lower wage scale or trades away their pension, it sends a message: “This union is for us, not for you.”
The latest bargaining information for Envoy Air, Law360, AT&T Southwest, and A&T Midwest.
Workers at media outlets are coming together to improve their working conditions and strengthen their ability to serve their communities by joining NewsGuild-CWA.
CWA joined more than 70 organizations to urge the largest corporate funders of ALEC to cut ties with the organization.
Last week, the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee held a hearing on the New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act.
Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. In the latest episode of our podcast, “State of the Unions,” we talk to longtime UAW member and AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about General Motors’ recent decision to close five North American plants, costing up to 14,000 workers their jobs.
“State of the Unions” captures the stories of workers across the country. It’s hosted by two young and diverse members of the AFL-CIO team: Mobilization Director Julie Greene and Executive Speechwriter Tim Schlittner. A new episode will drop every other Wednesday featuring interesting interviews with workers and our allies across the country, as well as compelling insights from the podcast’s hosts.
Listen to our previous episodes:
- Discussing the midterms and the future of labor with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
- Our midterm recap with Rep. Conor Lamb from Pennsylvania.
- Talking about union members in office with Mayor Dahlia Vertreese of Hillside, New Jersey.
- An interview with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint, Michigan, water crisis whistleblower.
- Inaugural episode where you can learn about hosts Julie and Tim.
President George H.W. Bush will be laid to rest at a state funeral today. Remembrances have been flowing in from across the political spectrum, but one thing we all can agree on is that Bush lived a life that was devoted to public service, not only for himself, but for those who answered his call for all of us to help our fellow Americans.
George Herbert Walker Bush was born in 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts. As a high-school senior when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, Bush was inspired to join the U.S. Navy after graduation and he became the youngest U.S. Navy pilot in the country. During the war, he flew 58 combat missions in the Pacific theater, earned the rank of lieutenant and received three Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.
After returning home, he finished his Bachelor of Arts at Yale before moving into the oil industry. By the time the 1960s had arrived, Bush entered politics; and in 1962, he was named chair of the Texas Republican Party. After several failed attempts to win a U.S. Senate seat, Bush was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966. After a successful re-election campaign, President Richard Nixon asked him to run for the U.S. Senate, but the bid was unsuccessful. Nixon appointed Bush as ambassador to the United Nations. Once Gerald Ford became president, Bush was named envoy to China before returning to the United States to be the director of central intelligence. In 1980, he ran for president and lost, but was chosen as vice president by Ronald Reagan and served two terms in that role before successfully winning the presidency in 1988.
While in the White House, he worked with the Mine Workers (UMWA) and then-UMWA President Richard Trumka to sign the Coal Act, which guaranteed health care to more than 120,000 retired miners. He also signed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.
From the end of his one term as president through his death at 94, he turned his focus toward inspiring others to pursue public service through his Points of Light Foundation. He also worked with former President Bill Clinton to raise funds in the wake of natural disasters such as the 2004 southeast Asian tsunami.
While we didn't agree with all of his policy positions, we would like to thank President Bush for his lifelong commitment to public service and for inspiring that devotion in many other Americans.
At CBS, Les Moonves got away with ‘transactional’ sex. A working mom couldn’t get a schedule change.
Chicago teachers are leading the way again. Today they launched the first charter school strike in U.S. history.
Members of the United Educators for Justice hit the picket lines this morning. The strike involves 550 teachers and paraprofessionals in all 15 Chicago charter schools in the Acero charter chain.
Strikers want to “put a check on privatization and the idea that schools are a business,” said Joanna Wax Trost, a seventh-grade English-language teacher at Acero’s Marquez Elementary School.
After losing the top offices in Wisconsin and Michigan, anti-worker legislators are trying to strip powers from Govs.-elect Tony Evers and Gretchen Whitmer, respectively—before they are even sworn in. Doing so would have enormous negative consequences for working people in both states.
We must stop these outrageous lame-duck power grabs.
Wisconsin lawmakers are rushing through proposals that would:
Strip key power and authority from Gov.-elect Evers and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul before they take office.
Lock the state into a misguided lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.
Make it harder to vote.
Lower hardworking construction workers’ pay by limiting the number of transportation projects subject to federal prevailing wage standards.
In Michigan, the lame-duck legislature is considering bills that would:
Transfer powers from the governor’s and attorney general’s offices to the legislature.
Remove the secretary of state from overseeing the state’s campaign finance laws and establish a six-person commission with nominees chosen by the state’s political parties.
Weaken new minimum wage and sick time initiatives.
Take action NOW. Call Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s office and urge him to oppose these proposals: 517-335-7858.
This post comes from Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).
One hundred billion dollars is a lot of money. With that much cash you could buy four Starbucks lattes for every living human on the planet. (That’s 33 billion lattes in total, if you’re counting.) If coffee is not really your thing, consider buying every single NFL team three times over. Don’t like sports? You and the record-holding Powerball winner can compare piles of cash and together marvel at how yours is 63 times taller.
Or, if you are the federal government, you can pitch in your annual share of the cost to build and maintain our highway, water, mass transit, aviation and rail infrastructure. (It’s worth noting the actual amount we spend as a country is much higher, though states and local government chip in for most of it.)
But here’s the kicker: Even if you weigh your options and pick infrastructure over a monopoly on football, your $100 billion comes nowhere close to how much we should be spending each year if we want to achieve world-class infrastructure that boosts the country’s economy and grows the middle class. For our roads and bridges alone, we’re facing a backlog of $836 billion (that amounts to two complete bailouts of Greece, with some change to spare). Transit likely needs another $100 billion (can each of my fellow humans and I get another four lattes, please?), passenger rail around $28 billion, and let’s not forget our aging air and sea ports.
You would expect that someone in Congress has been tasked with figuring out how to pay for all of this, right? Well, not so fast.
In the House, raising funds for infrastructure falls under the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee. As one might expect, they’ve put together subcommittees over the years to focus on many of our major national needs: health care, Social Security, tax policy, trade and so on. But when it comes to infrastructure, that hasn’t been the case.
So when we heard some members of Congress have been pushing for a new subcommittee singularly focused on infrastructure, we took note. It’s easy to understand why: Over the past eight years, after more than 400 hearings and thousands of witnesses brought before Ways and Means, just one hearing has been held on transportation funding and finance. A single, two-hour hearing in which each lawmaker is allotted five minutes to figure out how to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars in must-have infrastructure needs is not going to cut it.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee—the authorization committee for us policy geeks—has correctly focused its energies on how to spend existing resources. But expanding the pool of revenues that we know are needed will require congressional tax writers to be focused on solving this problem as well.
For the millions of working Americans who build, maintain, operate, and travel on our nation’s infrastructure network, this is an idea whose time has come. As one of America’s largest expenditures, it makes perfect sense that Congress would task its members with solving our ever-growing infrastructure problem.
There are a lot of reasons why Congress hasn’t been able to raise enough revenue to meet our transportation needs over the past 25 years. The politics are extremely difficult. Many members have an unshakable belief that raising revenue is political suicide—though we respectfully disagree—and there are any number of competing answers on how to get this right. A gas tax increase or mileage-based user fee may be a great place to start, and there are plenty of other financing tools that should be considered.
But if we aren’t pulling experts in the field—whether they are economists, front-line transportation workers, road users or administration officials—before Congress on a consistent basis until this problem is solved, we are missing a significant opportunity to ask the serious questions this problem warrants. Perhaps more importantly, we are missing an important opportunity to receive the serious answers that Congress deserves to hear.
NYC Parking Production Assistants (PPAs), who voted unanimously in February to join CWA Local 1101, have come to a tentative agreement on their first union contract!
Workers from the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Valley Advocate and AT&T Mobility vote to join with NewsGuild-CWA and CWA.
In remarks at this week's Democracy Initiative Annual Meeting, CWA President Chris Shelton urged attendees to take on the power of corporate interests in our political system to build a system that represents all of our interests.
CWA sent a letter this week calling on Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) to hold hearings in early 2019 on the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.
Approximately 400 children are infected with HIV every day. Together, we can stop this.
Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.
A. Philip Randolph Institute:
Group Made Its Way Through Mississippi Before Senate Runoff to Get Black People to Register to Vote—and to Understand Their Political Power https://t.co/Le8DxuWT2h— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) November 27, 2018
Performers deserve fair compensation & residuals, pension &health contributions and a safe work environment. Join fellow union members to let BBH know that you deserve the ability to build a sustainable career. https://t.co/RdmF654qHq— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) November 28, 2018
"Together, we are stronger than as individuals. Together, we can ensure that working in the field of mental health is sustainable.” https://t.co/TaSU7uv0Xg— AFSCME (@AFSCME) November 27, 2018
So-called “right to work” legislation is a nasty trick lawmakers use to bust unions & take away our voice in the workplace. Hopefully with the new crop of governors & state lawmakers, we can fight for working families and stop these laws in their tracks. https://t.co/ur6ouXPuq1— AFT (@AFTunion) November 28, 2018
Air Line Pilots Association:
“I’ve always said that it’s our pilots in Canada who put the ‘international’ in Air Line Pilots Association, International.” ALPA President-Elect Capt. Joe DePete is speaking to guests at ALPA Canada’s Annual Holiday Reception. pic.twitter.com/nAHTjNAXF1— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) November 27, 2018
Alliance for Retired Americans:
A @washingtonpost report shows that health code violations for the Carlyle Group, a private equity fund and top nursing home owner, rose 26% in the years before it filed for bankruptcy this March. We must fund and improve quality #longtermcare for seniors! https://t.co/hOokYa69BU pic.twitter.com/r1JlPVXjZV— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) November 28, 2018
Amalgamated Transit Union:
American Federation of Musicians:
American Postal Workers Union:
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:
People across the nation are giving back to fights that they believe in - will you prioritize building power for AAPI workers and their families, today? Your gift to APALA will reaffirm your commitment to fight against hate! https://t.co/Qhjg7hzYL0 #GivingTuesday pic.twitter.com/QT9kyonoii— APALA (@APALAnational) November 27, 2018
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:
When tragedy strikes, the AFA Disaster Relief Fund strives to have an immediate, positive impact on as many active and retired Flight Attendants as possible. On this #GivingTuesday, make your donation matter: https://t.co/YGYcmsdWdA pic.twitter.com/flNimu4QE7— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) November 26, 2018
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:
Communications Workers of America:
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO:
"Overall, the authors find that a worker with a low-quality job and a worker with a higher-quality job who are taking home identical paychecks have very different chances of walking down the aisle."https://t.co/YsdUtZ79ym— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) November 28, 2018
Farm Labor Organizing Committee:
We are boycotting VUSE e- cigarettes by Reynolds Tobacco @7eleven @CircleKstores @Wawa because of the slave-like working and living conditions many of the farm workers who harvest their tobacco experience. Human rights abuses. Join us and spread the word. https://t.co/ODCUjPjK4m— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) November 28, 2018
Heat and Frost Insulators:
With a program like the one with the Insulators Union, we care about finding a career that fits you. We know the transition is hard after the Military, but we are here to help! Hear more today: https://t.co/wQ3owc5ZpW— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) November 28, 2018
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:
International Labor Communications Association:
The 730,000-sq-ft #milwaukeebucks arena required construction of approximately 8,000 tons of structural steel. Steel erection needed to be completed in 10 months. Ironworkers from IW Local 8 were able to finish three weeks ahead of schedule. https://t.co/HiiokSYYVh— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) November 27, 2018
Jobs With Justice:
GM employees say they had no warning the auto company planned to shutter several plants and layoff an estimated 15,000 people. https://t.co/N5LQyK8y1L— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) November 28, 2018
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:
The disregard for Trabajadoras’ life, health & safety is an urgent call for tougher legislation that can protect workers from abuses & defend their right to work in a healthy environment. We acknowledge & stand with Trabajadoras & their resilience to work in these conditions.2/2— LCLAA (@LCLAA) November 27, 2018
Union members are always at the front of the line when it comes to giving back. https://t.co/e8P7OFaPz0— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) November 28, 2018
Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association:
National Air Traffic Controllers Association:
Don’t miss out on important #NATCA news, updates, benefits, events, charitable efforts, and so much more. Join us across all our platforms today and invite your #NATCAfamily members to like & follow! pic.twitter.com/3OGqJbXTzh— NATCA (@NATCA) November 27, 2018
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA:
Help CWA Members Devastated By California Wildfires https://t.co/m67Th6Jgc4— NABET-CWA (@NABETCWA) November 16, 2018
National Association of Letter Carriers:
Meet our three #Alabama letter carriers who really mean business! Together they brought in nearly half a million dollars for the #PostalService by submitting customer leads. Congratulations, Flo, Ursula and Debra! https://t.co/8ZshUr6qE3 #PostOffice #CustomerService pic.twitter.com/Gc3JndzXnV— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) November 28, 2018
National Domestic Workers Alliance:
Thank you from all of us at the National Domestic Workers Alliance to everyone who gave on #GivingTuesday. With your donation, we will continue to fight for equal rights, dignity, and justice for workers.— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) November 28, 2018
Watch this special thank you message from our #WeDreamInBlack leaders: pic.twitter.com/SD2pMEdtnd
National Nurses United:
#Teargas has been banned in warfare for over 20 years. As nurses, we are outraged that U.S. Customs and Border protection agents fired it on children and families.— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) November 28, 2018
Humane solutions that support human health and safety must start now. https://t.co/MZZumkQDmr #AsylumSeekers
National Taxi Workers Alliance:
NYTWA ED Bhairavi Desai at TLC hearing on congestion pricing: "I have gone from being a labor activist talking about livable incomes to workers literally living."— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) November 28, 2018
“When they walked in, @PVNewsGuild members rose from their work, came to the door, and applauded. After a second, they began applauding back, and the groups stood grinning at each other in gratitude and admiration.” https://t.co/BYzQSw18ff pic.twitter.com/0iamTcxhos— NewsGuild (@news_guild) November 28, 2018
NFL Players Association:
#GivingTuesday is HERE! Support @yourPAF today and be part of providing:— NFLPA (@NFLPA) November 27, 2018
✅ Emergency relief in natural disasters
✅ Scholarship funds
✅ Cognitive care
✅ Former players & their families in times of need
...& more. Give at https://t.co/qRRe2odpGj. pic.twitter.com/fYdvYl6F1r
North America's Building Trades Unions, ALF-CIO:
Painters and Allied Trades:
Plasterers and Cement Masons:
“It is critical that [Democrats] focus on an agenda that serves our nation’s workers. This must include House Democrats working to raise workers’ wages, restore workers’ access to justice on the job, and promote workers’ right to collectively bargain.” #1u https://t.co/3y2ydPVk9H— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) November 27, 2018
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:
Aviation safety is critical to the flying public every day, not just around holidays—if there is a government shutdown Dec. 7, aviation safety inspectors at the FAA would be grounded. #NoGovernmentShutdown #publicservice #aviationsafety https://t.co/HkqSMjpuUG— PASS (@PASSNational) November 27, 2018
The Principal’s Guide To Strategic Storytelling. RSVP here: https://t.co/Til0vZ8q9H— AFSA Leadership (@AFSAUnion) October 16, 2018
Cast your vote for worker rights! Vote for @SolidarityCntr and help us be recognized as a prominent social justice organization making change for workers. (Open to those in US) #VoteToGive @AmalgamatedBank— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) November 20, 2018
Vote now! https://t.co/fIOzBOA4qS
Theatrical Stage Employees:
Supporting great causes isn't just for #GivingTuesday, it should be a year-round affair! The @MPTF is about Hollywood caring for its own, and they have a history of helping our members when they need it most.— IATSE (@IATSE) November 28, 2018
Donate to the MPTF here: https://t.co/3ftGB5W0ra
Transit Division Director Curtis Tate encourages your participation! This isn't a competition or challenge among locals. The challenge is to step up & perform an act of giving. No local is too big or small. No act is too big or small. That’s the challenge! https://t.co/fX67lXcdwq— TWU (@transportworker) November 27, 2018
General Motors' decision today to stop production at the Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, Michigan, assembly plants will idle thousands of workers, and will not go unchallenged by the UAW. https://t.co/uRnXARGCP7— UAW (@UAW) November 26, 2018
Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO:
Former Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum writes "Republicans need to roll up their sleeves, reach across the aisle, and get a new federal paid-leave program... https://t.co/Atj1JH1uE1— Union Label Dept. (@ULSTD_AFLCIO) November 27, 2018
Union Veterans Council:
United Food and Commercial Workers:
United Students Against Sweatshops:
This #GIVINGTUESDAY help send students to MISSISSIPPI.— USAS (@USAS) November 27, 2018
Contribute to our Convention Scholarship Fund and sponsor a working class student's travel and participation at the USAS 22nd National Convention: University of Mississippi Feb 22-23, 2019. https://t.co/JL2ZA5ZrR4 pic.twitter.com/yXooCDJKs6
Minnesota’s second-largest city has joined the growing wave of cities across the country that have decided to require that workers be paid a minimum of $15 an hour.https://t.co/RTq51mvKzX— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) November 28, 2018
Writers Guild of America, East:
“Optomen has shown leadership in an industry where the majority of production companies still have little regard for the well-being of their workforce.” - WGAE nonfiction television industry-wide committee #NonfictionUnited #1uhttps://t.co/eAUeypV7xp— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) November 26, 2018
The Troublemakers Union turns 40 next year! We’re planning a whole series of events to commemorate the occasion, from special magazine features to speaking tours and more.
As part of our celebration, we’re gathering memories of Labor Notes history, and we’d appreciate if you shared yours.
When was the first time you came across Labor Notes?
What role have Labor Notes and our supporters played in your organizing?
Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. Welcome to the latest episode of our podcast, “State of the Unions,” where we talk to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the midterm elections and the future of the labor movement.
One in four Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. “State of the Unions” is capturing the stories of workers across the country. It’s hosted by two young and diverse members of the AFL-CIO team: Mobilization Director Julie Greene and Executive Speechwriter Tim Schlittner. A new episode will drop every other Wednesday featuring interesting interviews with workers and our allies across the country, as well as compelling insights from the podcast’s hosts.
Listen to our previous episodes: inaugural episode where you can learn about hosts Julie and Tim; an interview with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint, Michigan, water crisis whistleblower; talking about union members in office with Mayor Dahlia Vertreese of Hillside, New Jersey; and our midterm recap with Rep. Conor Lamb from Pennsylvania.
Upcoming episodes will feature Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) International President Sara Nelson and Joseph McCartin, a labor historian at Georgetown University.
Liu Penghua, along with Mi Jiuping, was one of the three workers who took the lead in trying to form a union at the Jasic welding equipment factory in Shenzhen, China. Liu was the first to face retribution for his actions, suffering a beating by factory thugs on July 16. He is now among the four worker activists being tried for participation in the Jasic organizing.
Detailed economic analysis by CWA has shown that the proposed merger would eliminate 1,705 jobs in New York and 30,000 jobs nationwide.
University workers across California hit the streets October 23-25 in their latest strike aimed at confronting racism in the state’s higher education system.
A longer strike could be ahead. “Like Malcolm X said, by any means necessary,” said bargaining committee member Luster Howard, a truck driver at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The University of California is the state’s third-largest employer, and AFSCME Local 3299 is its largest union, representing 24,000 patient care and service workers across 10 campuses and five university hospitals.
The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) just released a new ad in support of its U.S. Mail Not for Sale campaign. The campaign is a worker-led effort that brings together working people, elected officials and member organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service to fight plans to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.
Watch the video above, then check out the U.S. Mail Not for Sale website, where you can learn the story behind the ad. A short summary:
On June 21, 2018, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a restructuring proposal for the federal government. The proposal, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered misinformation without ever consulting the U.S. Postal Service and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at one affordable price, delivered to all 157 million addresses six days a week–regardless of geographic location. The OMB proposal takes direct aim at the U.S. Postal Service under the guise of reforming and structuring for the 21st century.
Learn more at U.S. Mail Not for Sale, where you also can take action to protect the U.S. Postal Service.
Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.
The Election Now: Black Women Rising: "A cadre of black women is working behind the scenes as organizers, fund-raisers, strategists and more. Black women in labor unions, including Julie Greene, who heads the AFL-CIO’s mobilization hub, are making key decisions around this election, while the I Am 2018 voting campaign of the AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees)—which has 1.6 million members—aims to engage communities of color."
Unionized Athletes Need to Stop Crossing Picket Lines and Start Supporting Fellow Workers: "It should have been an easy opportunity to show solidarity. It should have been a friendly, comradely way to unite against oppressive bosses. Instead, professional athletes from the various North American sports unions have, again and again, put themselves ahead of the striking Marriott hotel workers, and crossed the picket lines that were put up in early October 2018. As if these hotel workers didn’t already have enough of an uphill battle ahead of them against the world’s largest hotel company, they now have to contend with athletes and sports unions ignoring their fight. That has to stop."
Pelosi Has Union Support in Bid for House Speaker: "The AFL-CIO and a growing list of labor unions are supporting Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) bid for House speaker. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Nov. 10 tweeted that Pelosi is an 'effective advocate for working families.' A group of six labor unions also pledged support for Pelosi’s bid to lead the 116th Congress, according to a letter addressed to Pelosi and obtained by Bloomberg Law Nov. 14. The correspondence, signed by, among others, the presidents of the United Food and Commercial Workers and the United Auto Workers, said Pelosi has 'made labor rights, including the rights of federal workers, a top priority on your agenda and we support you for doing so.'"
AFL-CIO President: How Working People Defined the Midterm Election: "There was plenty of punditry plastered across cable news last week. But, as the dust settles, there is one story that has come to define this election: working people standing together to make a difference. The labor movement unleashed an unprecedented political program this year. Across the country, union members made the difference, fighting for our issues, for union candidates and for our proven allies. Over the last few months, we knocked on more than 2.3 million doors and distributed 5 million fliers at more than 4,600 worksites. That represents millions of conversations between fellow union members, talking earnestly about the opportunity we embraced in this election—a chance to stand up and demand the fairer economy and more just society that we deserve."
With Its Primary Opponents Voted Out, What's Next for Labor Unions?: "Trumka: The labor movement really did prove to be the driving force throughout much of this cycle. We knocked on over 2 million doors. We passed out 5 million fliers. We had 12 million pieces of direct mail, and I just have to say this, Michel. This is part of something that's bigger than just politics or the last election. You're seeing a tremendous upsurge in collective action throughout the United States right now."
Bridge the Gap: "Did you know that flight attendants and workers for regional airlines are often paid 45% less than their colleagues at major carriers for doing the same work?"
Trumka Talks the Future of the Labor Movement on Yahoo Finance: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) appeared on Yahoo Finance this week to discuss the future of labor unions. Here are some key excerpts from the interview."
Union Strong: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter."
A Detroit News article published in October revealed that our union, the Auto Workers (UAW), is building a luxurious three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath “cabin” as a permanent residence for retired President Dennis Williams at Black Lake, the union’s educational retreat center in Northern Michigan.
The article implied that this wasteful project had the full support of delegates like us at the recent UAW Constitutional Convention. But if this project was before the delegates, it was hidden in obscure language and therefore not apparent.
Yu Juncong—the author of the first open letter to Jasic Technology and one of the first Jasic workers to openly protest the company’s policies—was fired in May 2018 for his actions. On July 27, he attempted to re-enter the factory along with other fired workers who had raised their voices against the company and, along with his wife and younger brother who were there in support, was arrested. Yu is one of the four workers being officially tried in the Jasic incident.
The following is Yu’s story, based on his wife Huang Lanfeng’s recollections.
Note: Li Zhan is a former worker at the Jasic welding-equipment factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Shenzhen. He's been held in Shenzhen Number 2 detention center for over 100 days for supporting the effort to form a union at Jasic this summer. Li is one of four workers against whom charges have been pressed for “disturbing social order” in the course of the Jasic struggle. They have been held in detention and denied access to their lawyers as they await trial.