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Vote for Worker-Friendly Candidates: In the States Roundup

Vote for Worker-Friendly Candidates: In the States Roundup
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.

Alaska State AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

Illinois AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana State AFL-CIO:

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/30/2020 - 12:47
Posted: September 30, 2020, 4:47 pm

How Amy Coney Barrett’s Appointment Would Escalate the War on Workers

The death of Supreme Court Jus­tice Ruth Bad­er Gins­berg has trig­gered a hasty search by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Sen­ate Repub­li­cans for a jus­tice to fill the emp­ty seat before the Novem­ber pres­i­den­tial election.  Now Trump has cho­sen Amy Coney Bar­rett, of the two women at the top of his short­list, as his Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion, but she […]
Posted: September 30, 2020, 3:22 pm

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes

Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today’s profile covers Dora Cervantes. In nearly 30 years in the labor movement, Cervantes has participated in nearly every aspect of the fight for the rights of working people, and […]
Posted: September 30, 2020, 3:05 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UWUA Helps America’s Veterans Transition to Good Jobs

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UWUA Helps America’s Veterans Transition to Good Jobs

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Utility Workers’ (UWUA’s) Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) announced last week it is the recipient of a $200,000 Lumina Foundation grant to help service members successfully transition into post-military careers. The union said this grant will help P4A replicate the success of its gas sector training-to-placement program that’s benefited more than 700 veterans since 2012. “The utility sector has a lot to offer veterans and service members, including a supportive team environment and a mission-driven ethos to serve communities,” said UWUA President James Slevin. “This important grant funding will help more individuals take full advantage of the skills they learned in the military and smoothly launch them into high-wage, family-supporting careers.” The funding will help some 100 service members and veterans—particularly men and women of color—to apply the skills and credentials they gained in the military toward continued education and employment as civilians.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/30/2020 - 09:53
Posted: September 30, 2020, 1:53 pm

Collective Action Is How We Shake Ourselves Free of Pandemic Isolation

A group of teachers marches on the sidewalk in downtown Andover, Massachusetts.

The pandemic has made me see more clearly why it works when workers get together to solve problems collectively.

With no public health system to access and a disorganized, inept, and neglectful response from the government, individuals have been cast out alone to deal with the pandemic. Decisions about working—and risking one’s health and safety—have become individual.

Workers at home are isolated and workers at worksites are afraid.

Posted: September 30, 2020, 1:18 pm

Book Review: The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy

Amazon's name appears regularly on picket signs and in headlines decrying worker abuse and corporate callousness. It can be difficult, though, to find a comprehensive perspective on the company's crimes and transgressions, not to mention discussion of what we can do about it. In The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy, organizers and academics provide just that.

Posted: September 29, 2020, 7:48 pm

A Model for the Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

A Model for the Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List
Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement: "More than six months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and more workers across America are joining together in solidarity to create changes in our workplaces. Minneapolis is one city that has seen a wave of worker actions and organizing wins in the hospitality sector, and the labor movement’s successes there will undoubtedly inspire workers in other parts of the country who are looking to form a union."

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes: "Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile covers Dora Cervantes."

50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers: "As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to protect workers and fight for us. President Trump hasn't lived up to that noble rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute reports on 50 ways that the Trump administration has been bad for workers." 

SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE: "On a Thursday in March, when much of the country was being told to shelter in place due to the effects of COVID-19, members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 24 in Ohio were beginning to modify and transform Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) units to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks for health care workers. By Monday, SMART members at Wolf Metals had created four units, with more created since then, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among front-line health care workers."

Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections: "In a partisan 3-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes that will make it harder for investors to hold corporate CEOs accountable by filing shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. The AFL-CIO strongly opposed these rule changes as a threat to shareholder democracy."

California Labor Federation Wins New Protections for Workers: "Last Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a package of bills to expand worker protections. The new state laws will provide a workers’ compensation presumption for front-line workers who are afflicted with infectious diseases on the job and a requirement for employers to give timely notification of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. The California Labor Federation, under the leadership of Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski (IAM), took charge of the fight for these new policies."

CDC Continues to Choose Politics Over Science: "On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally acknowledged airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. But this long awaited recognition was promptly retracted from its website Monday morning with the message, 'Posted in error.'”

Solidarity and Cookies Lift Spirits at Operation Feed Atlantic City: "Nurses bring their healing touch with them wherever they go, and on Thursday members of Shore Nurses Union/NYSNA in New Jersey added a touch of sweetness to the Operation Feed Atlantic City food-distribution program with a donation of 500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that will help lift the spirits of laid-off union members and the Atlantic City community."

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Ernesto Galarza: "Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile features Ernesto Galarza."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: United Steelworkers: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the United Steelworkers."

IFPTE Backs Corporate Bankruptcy Reform: "Members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) are putting their weight behind the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020 (H.R. 7370), a bill to rebalance America’s corporate bankruptcy laws to protect workers."

UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California: "Following a comprehensive complaint filed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued its largest coronavirus-related citation in the state, fining food processing company Overhill Farms and its staffing agency more than $200,000 for serious health and safety violations."

New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with an important victory in the fight against COVID-19 for Las Vegas' workers and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/29/2020 - 12:22
Posted: September 29, 2020, 4:22 pm

Hospital Workers Fight Job Cuts at Duluth’s Biggest Employer

Our health care employer announced hundreds of unnecessary layoffs this spring. Outraged at its poorly disguised greed, we didn’t just rely on negotiations. Instead, the members of our union voted unanimously to take the fight to the streets and into the community. We spent the summer fighting back—including holding our local’s first-ever pickets. Essentia Health […]
Posted: September 29, 2020, 3:40 pm

Restaurant Workers Are Building Solidarity Amid the Pandemic

BOISE, IDA­HO—It was rain­ing light­ly June 29 when Geo Eng­ber­son, own­er of the Pie Hole pizze­ria, con­vened an emer­gency staff meet­ing. He had intend­ed a quick con­fer­ence in the park­ing lot behind the restau­rant, known for its steady stream of week­end bar-goers. Giv­en the weath­er, Eng­ber­son fer­ried the hand­ful of work­ers into his trailer.  Ear­li­er that month, work­ers at […]
Posted: September 29, 2020, 3:36 pm

Advocating for Your Rights Even in Your First Interview

Going in for your first job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, no matter what. Whether you’ve been out of the working world for a while, or you’re just looking for something new, it’s normal to be a bit nervous for interviews. But, don’t let those nerves overshadow your own rights. When you stand up […]
Posted: September 28, 2020, 7:02 pm

#ExtendPSP: What Working People Are Doing This Week

#ExtendPSP: What Working People Are Doing This Week
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.

Actors' Equity:

AFGE:

AFSCME:

Air Line Pilots Association:

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Musicians:

American Federation of Teachers:

American Postal Workers Union:

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Boilermakers:

Bricklayers:

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Communications Workers of America:

Department for Professional Employees:

Electrical Workers:

Fire Fighters:

Heat and Frost Insulators:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

Ironworkers:

Jobs With Justice:

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Laborers:

Longshoremen:

Machinists:

Metal Trades Department:

Mine Workers:

Musical Artists:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

National Association of Letter Carriers:

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

National Federation of Federal Employees-IAM:

National Nurses United:

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW:

Roofers and Waterproofers:

SAG-AFTRA:

Solidarity Center:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers Union:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

Union Label and Service Trades Department:

Union Veterans Council:

UNITE HERE:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

United Steelworkers:

United Students Against Sweatshops:

Utility Workers:

Working America:

Writers Guild of America, East:

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/28/2020 - 14:22
Posted: September 28, 2020, 6:22 pm

Judge Amy Coney Barrett Fits the Trump Model for Increasing Corporate Power

With each appointment to the Supreme Court, Donald Trump has selected judges that have a track record of ignoring the concerns of working people in favor of giving more power and control over our lives to corporations. He has also selected judges that have put party loyalty above legal precedent and norms. Amy Coney Barrett fits that model.

Posted: September 28, 2020, 5:22 pm

Hospital Workers Fight Job Cuts at Duluth’s Biggest Employer

Our health care employer announced hundreds of unnecessary layoffs this spring. Outraged at its poorly disguised greed, we didn’t just rely on negotiations. Instead, the members of our union voted unanimously to take the fight to the streets and into the community. We spent the summer fighting back—including holding our local’s first-ever pickets.

Posted: September 28, 2020, 5:03 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Western Kentucky Labor Movement and Faith Community Demand McConnell Support Workers and Racial Justice

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Western Kentucky Labor Movement and Faith Community Demand McConnell Support Workers and Racial Justice
Western Kentucky

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

J.W. Cleary remembered his friend and union brother, the late W.C. Young, a national labor and civil rights leader from Paducah, Kentucky. “W.C. always said, ‘I’ve got my union card in one hand and my NAACP card in my other hand,’” said Cleary, the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP branch president and a retired member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 550. “The unions and the NAACP have always walked hand in hand.” Cleary was one of several dozen union members who joined a 30-vehicle caravan sponsored by the Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival that converged on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in Paducah on Sept. 21 to protest his “meanness, mayhem and misery.” Benny Heady (UA) said, “McConnell is not for the working people. I came out today because we need a change. We need somebody in there who will do things to help the people as a whole.” Read the full story of how union members, civil rights activists and faith leaders are coming together in Kentucky to fight for workers and racial justice.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/28/2020 - 11:37
Posted: September 28, 2020, 3:37 pm

Seattle makes DoorDash and Postmates pay out COVID-19 hazard pay

Seattle really pissed off gig economy companies by imposing $2.50 in hazard pay for each food delivery order during the pandemic. It’s no surprise that some of the big companies stiffed their workers—but there is a surprise here: Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS) successfully pressured DoorDash and Postmates to do internal audits and pay up. “After receiving calls […]
Posted: September 28, 2020, 2:42 pm

Lessons from the NBA Strike for Black Lives

In their righteous wildcat strikes, professional athletes showed us both how collective action can directly challenge power but also how a workplace campaign can get cut short if we’re not prepared. It’s an all-too-common experience in workplace organizing: you and your coworkers have been grumbling about injustices at work for a while but haven’t taken […]
Posted: September 28, 2020, 2:26 pm

A Law and Order Platform to Unite Working-Class Voters

Donald Trump has positioned himself as the “law and order” president, because the term provides a positive framing for the racially-tinged rhetoric he uses to divide members of the white working and middle classes from people of color. The Guardian’s … Continue reading
Posted: September 28, 2020, 11:18 am

Viewpoint: As the West Coast Burns, We Don’t Need Unity. We Need to Point the Finger at Those Responsible

building and vehicle totally destroyed by fire

#NeverForget. #SupportOurTroops. #BostonStrong. Americans often react to tragedy with calls for unity. People want to feel that we’re in this together.

But as fires burn throughout the West Coast, I’d like to offer an alternative vision. What we need now is to point the finger at those responsible. Rather than unity, we need blame and accountability.

Posted: September 25, 2020, 7:13 pm

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes
Dora Cervantes
IAM

Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile covers Dora Cervantes.

In nearly 30 years in the labor movement, Cervantes has participated in nearly every aspect of the fight for the rights of working people, and she has a distinguished career that is still going stronger than ever. Cervantes joined the labor movement in 1989, when she became a reservations agent for Southwest Airlines in Houston. Before long, she was an active member of Machinists (IAM) Local 2198, serving as an organizer, shop steward, recording secretary and then vice president.

After a decade of dedicated service, she was chosen to serve as an apprentice organizer for Air Transport District 142 and then became a general chairperson for the district the following year. Tom Buffenbarger, then-IAM international president, later appointed her to serve on IAM's 2002 Blue Ribbon Commission. In the following years, she served as a special representative in the Transportation Department of the IAM Grand Lodge and then Grand Lodge representative.

In 2012, Cervantes was chosen to serve as assistant secretary to then-IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach Jr. The next year, she became the first Hispanic woman to serve as a general vice president for IAM. In 2015, she became IAM's 12th general secretary-treasurer, the first woman to direct the union's finances. She continues in this capacity today.

She also serves as a national board member for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, is an active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, is a member of United Against Human Trafficking and is a trustee for the National IAM Benefit Trust Fund and the IAM National 401(k) Plan.

Cervantes holds a bachelor of arts degree in labor studies from the National Labor College and helps teach the Spanish leadership series for the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center and the IAM-Aviation High School Partnership Program.

Cervantes spoke to IAM's ViewPoints program in 2015:

This post originally appeared on the AFL-CIO blog in 2018.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/25/2020 - 13:38
Posted: September 25, 2020, 5:38 pm

Your Letters and Parcels Are Piling Up Thanks to the New Privatizer General

As a postal worker I’ve seen firsthand how new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has changed mail delivery in his first months on the job, all in the name of “efficiency.” The results aren’t pretty.

DeJoy’s cost-cutting initiatives in July began with the order that all trucks must leave on time. These trucks take the mail, for instance, from a mail sorting plant to a post office.

Posted: September 25, 2020, 5:05 pm

Return of the Lockout: Uber and Lyft Try to Strong-Arm California

In August a California court ordered Uber and Lyft to reclassify more than 100,000 drivers as regular employees. The two companies, which depend on a business model that defines drivers as independent contractors, got the decision lifted for at least a few months. But in the meantime their threat to shut down operations in California—and […]
Posted: September 25, 2020, 4:28 pm

American Workers Have Lost Control of Their Time. It’s Time To Take It Back.

It wasn’t sup­posed to be like this, accord­ing to John May­nard Keynes. In 1930, the econ­o­mist pre­dict­ed that his grand­chil­dren would be work­ing 15-hour work weeks. Tech­nol­o­gy would have advanced to the point two gen­er­a­tions after his own that work­ers’ aver­age time on the job would be a frac­tion of what it once was. We would all be […]
Posted: September 25, 2020, 3:39 pm

What a Just Transition Would Actually Mean for Workers

just tran•si•tion noun 1. A frame­work to address the liveli­hoods and needs of the work­ers and com­mu­ni­ties most impact­ed by the switch to renew­able ener­gy“We want [a plan to] mobi­lize the econ­o­my in a way that tran­si­tions us off of fos­sil fuels in 11 years, but also pro­tects every sin­gle work­er [and] their abil­i­ty to have a job and health­care.” —Nicole […]
Posted: September 25, 2020, 3:36 pm

Midwest Elected Officials Call on AT&T to Suspend Job Cuts to Aid Pandemic Recovery

Elected officials from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana released letters Wednesday calling on AT&T to suspend its job cuts and offshoring to support America's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 7:04 pm

CWA Veterans Come Together for Social Change

Fourteen military veterans from across CWA completed the first ever CWA Veterans for Social Change Training Institute last week.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:56 pm

Keep the Pressure on to Extend PSP Program and Save Thousands of Jobs

With just six days left to extend the critical PSP, CWA members are mobilizing across the country to put pressure on Senators and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to take action.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:47 pm

CWA, Filipino-American, and Human Rights Groups Applaud Newly-Introduced Philippine Human Rights Act

As Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte escalates his campaign to punish and execute trade union activists, CWA and others united to urge Congress to pass the Philippine Human Rights Act.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:35 pm

Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement

Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement
Minneapolis Model

More than six months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and more workers across America are joining together in solidarity to create changes in our workplaces. Minneapolis is one city that has seen a wave of worker actions and organizing wins in the hospitality sector, and the labor movement’s successes there will undoubtedly inspire workers in other parts of the country who are looking to form a union

As the Minneapolis hospitality sector moved to reopen this past spring, many service workers began to harness their collective voice to protect their health and safety on the job. Workers at Tattersall Distilling (pictured above) were the first to announce their intention to unionize in June, citing concerns over coronavirus protections as well as pay and benefits. After a series of well-attended community rallies in support of their organizing attempt, Tattersall’s front-end and bottling workers voted to form a union with UNITE HERE Local 17. Employees at Stilheart Distillery, Lawless Distilling and Fair State Brewing followed shortly after, announcing earlier this month that they too had voted to form unions at their respective workplaces.

Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou (UFCW), president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (MRLF), pointed out that the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide grief over his death prompted many of these workers to fight against disparities in their workplaces. Despite words of condemnation about Floyd’s death from local restaurant and bar owners, workers in many establishments believed that not enough action was being taken to foster equality at work. “What I’m hearing from workers, it’s not just about health and safety. It’s about disparities in our workplaces as well,” Glaubitz Gabiou explained. “These bosses would pay lip service, but their words weren’t living up to their actions.”

The renewed effort to organize workers in the Minneapolis hospitality and entertainment sectors was started in part by a unique program to support laid-off workers. The MRLF-led community services program uses organizers to help workers in need access unemployment benefits and health insurance, while also engaging them in organizing conversations and developing potential organizing leads. The relief effort for laid-off workers in the hospitality and entertainment sectors is a partnership between the labor council and its affiliates, including Local 17.

The Minnesota AFL-CIO has also been involved in these campaigns, sharing its expertise and working behind the scenes to help drive turnout in support of workers’ actions. “Worker safety is community safety,” said state federation Organizing Director Todd Dahlstrom (SEIU).

UNITE HERE Local 17 has taken the lead on these organizing wins, and the local and state labor bodies have been working closely with the union’s officers and members. Local 17’s secretary-treasurer, Sheigh Freeberg, said that working in partnership with the MRLF and the Minnesota AFL-CIO has allowed his union to extend its resources. “It’s been really helpful to brainstorm with them on safety provisions and keep each other updated,” Freeberg said. “What we’ve been able to accomplish can be attributed to them, too.”

Last weekend, workers at Spyhouse Coffee went on a one-day unfair labor practice strike over their safety concerns. Organizers on the ground report that progress is already underway at their cafes across the city. Further organizing leads are being pursued, and with such outstanding progress across Minneapolis, there are likely to be more victories for workers in the days and weeks ahead.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 14:29
Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:29 pm

CWAers are Fired Up to Beat Trump and Retake the Senate!

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of CWA members have gathered virtually to make calls for Biden-Harris and pro-worker U.S. Senate candidates!

Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:16 pm

Fair 5G Webinar Exposes San Diego's Backroom Deal with Verizon

Last week, Fair 5G, a CWA project, held a webinar exposing Verizon's empty promises regarding the 5G rollout in San Diego.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:07 pm

How We Can Fix Our Broken Senate

The House of Representatives has passed hundreds of bills that would help working families, but Mitch McConnell has blocked them all.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 6:02 pm

50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers

50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to protect workers and fight for us. President trump hasn't lived up to that noble rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute reports on 50 ways that the Trump administration has been bad for workers. 

The authors of the study said:

The Trump administration’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic marks the administration’s most glaring failure of leadership. However, the administration’s response to the pandemic is in no way distinct from its approach to governing since President Trump’s first day on the job. The administration has systematically promoted the interests of corporate executives and shareholders over those of working people and failed to protect workers’ safety, wages and rights.

Read the full report to find out all 50 of the ways Trump has been bad for working people.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 13:23
Posted: September 24, 2020, 5:23 pm

Lessons from the NBA Strike for Black Lives

Black and white photo of a crowd people, mostly Black, various ages, all with fists raised in the air.

In their righteous wildcat strikes, professional athletes showed us both how collective action can directly challenge power but also how a workplace campaign can get cut short if we’re not prepared.

Posted: September 24, 2020, 4:31 pm

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

On a Thursday in March, when much of the country was being told to shelter in place due to the effects of COVID-19, members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 24 in Ohio were beginning to modify and transform Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) units to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks for health care workers. By Monday, SMART members at Wolf Metals had created four units, with more created since then, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among front-line health care workers. Local 24 Business Manager Rodney French credited the local union’s partnership with Wolf Metals and noted, “This is the kind of work sheet metal workers were built to do as we stand on the leading edge of the response to this deadly pandemic.” He added, “No matter what the consequences, the men and women of this organization will stand ready to serve our local communities through thick and thin.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 09:05
Posted: September 24, 2020, 1:05 pm

Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections

Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections

In a partisan 3-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes that will make it harder for investors to hold corporate CEOs accountable by filing shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. The AFL-CIO strongly opposed these rule changes as a threat to shareholder democracy.

"Corporate CEOs are rejoicing in reaction to Trump’s SEC vote to restrict the ability of investors to file shareholder proposals,” explained AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). “As a result, working people’s retirement plans will be disenfranchised from having a voice for corporate accountability. This will not stand!”

Today’s SEC vote is not the only effort by the Trump administration to undermine the voting rights of working people’s retirement plans. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration proposed new regulations to suppress proxy voting by retirement plans in corporate elections.

Proxy voting is the right to vote at shareholder meetings. It includes voting on important issues such as the election of directors, executive compensation and shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. For more than three decades, the Labor Department has recognized that the right to vote is a valuable asset.

If adopted, the Labor Department’s new proposed rule making will require that retirement plans first conduct an expensive economic analysis before casting any proxy vote. In effect, the proposed rule’s cost-benefit analysis requirement will act as a deterrent to proxy voting by retirement plansa form of voter suppression.

Even more radically, the proposed rule encourages retirement plans to always vote with corporate management or to refrain from voting altogether. Such a rule will effectively urge retirement plans to violate their fiduciary duty to cast votes in the best interests of retirement plan participants and beneficiaries.

The AFL-CIO strongly believes the retirement savings of working people are our deferred wages and should be voted in our long-term interests. As the corporate scandals of the Enron and WorldCom era showed, the corporate governance of a company is arguably just as important as a company’s financial performance.

Comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule on Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights are due on Oct. 5.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 08:42
Posted: September 24, 2020, 12:42 pm

Pandemic Spurs Nashville Restaurant Workers to Organize

Restaurant workers in Nashville are experimenting with new forms of organizing in response to years of management abuse and the new threat of COVID-19.

In early March, just as the pandemic was looming on the horizon, but before any government-mandated shutdowns, a chef in the city’s rapidly growing restaurant industry started a Facebook page called “Nashville Hospitality Union.” Soon more than 1,000 restaurant workers had joined the page.

Posted: September 23, 2020, 1:17 pm

Return of the Lockout: Uber and Lyft Try to Strong-Arm California

In August a California court ordered Uber and Lyft to reclassify more than 100,000 drivers as regular employees. The two companies, which depend on a business model that defines drivers as independent contractors, got the decision lifted for at least a few months.

But in the meantime their threat to shut down operations in California—and thereby fire thousands of drivers while ending service to millions of customers—raises the question: What do we call this extraordinary corporate stratagem? A public relations gambit? A pressure tactic? Blackmail? A capital strike?

Posted: September 23, 2020, 8:33 am

Brooklyn Teachers Demand Full Remote Instruction

Outside the gates of Brooklyn’s P.S. 139 hung a poster with a report card for the Department of Education. Teachers frustrated with the ever-evolving plan to reopen schools had issued the DOE the following grades:

Timely submission of directives? F
Using data to drive decisions? F
Keeping stakeholders prepared and informed? F
Wasting time, energy, resources, driving us crazy? A+.

Posted: September 22, 2020, 5:36 pm

The Unsettling

It’s fire season again.  Two years ago, my parents lost their home in Paradise.  This year, I almost lost mine.  I live in Oregon, where scores of fires were stoked up by unusual Eastern blasts of dry wind over the … Continue reading
Posted: September 21, 2020, 11:10 am

CWA Statement on the Death of Justice Ginsberg

Ruth Bader Ginsberg has served as an inspiration for countless activists. In the critical months ahead, we will follow her example and never, ever stop fighting for justice, for equality and for our democracy.

Posted: September 19, 2020, 3:01 pm

School and Campus Workers Say: Not Until It's Safe

21 adults in masks outside a school. Together they hold "CAUTION" tape. Handmade signs say "100% remote start," "no mas muertes," "ready or not," "we demand safe schools," "no more martyrs for the DOE #Remote until it's safe" and "people got sick in this buidling."

The push to reopen schools and campuses is hitting educators with a brutal fact: your employer will place you in deadly danger for the sake of the economy.

You knew this already if you worked in a meatpacking plant, an Amazon warehouse, or a construction site. But until 2020 you didn’t think a school or university job might kill you.

Posted: September 18, 2020, 6:12 pm

Take Action Now to Save Our Aviation Jobs

There are only 13 days left before the aviation Payroll Support Program (PSP) in the CARES Act expires on September 30th.

Posted: September 17, 2020, 7:26 pm

Undelivered: The DeJoy Scandal and Democracy in the Balance

In this turbulent moment, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy aptly symbolizes the precarious state of both our democracy and the workers on whose shoulder its future rests.  Last week,  a Washington Post team uncovered seven former employees of New Breed Logistics … Continue reading
Posted: September 14, 2020, 10:52 am

Unemployed Workers of the World Unite?!?

Karl Marx’s famous phrase spoke of the unemployed as the “industrial reserve army.” His argument was plain. Creating greater unemployment was a key tool in giving employers the upper hand in forcing down wages and disciplining workers. I can still … Continue reading
Posted: September 7, 2020, 12:25 pm

No Class: Why You Should Be Getting Your Labor News from Teen Vogue

Last Wednesday NBA players refused to take the court for their playoff games in order to protest the latest police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Jacob Blake of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who survived the shooting but is now paralyzed. In … Continue reading
Posted: August 31, 2020, 11:07 am

Working-Class Public Housing in the COVID Spotlight

The Covid19 pandemic has highlighted many inequalities experienced by working-class people — insecure work, unsafe work places, access to health care, housing conditions and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on people of colour. Mainstream media has also covered many … Continue reading
Posted: August 24, 2020, 12:13 pm

The Hidden Price of an Education: Black and Working-Class in Academe

In August 2004, I entered a doctoral program at Carnegie Mellon University. My family is from Braddock, Pennsylvania, a largely black neighborhood with working-class roots, and they were ecstatic that I would be their first doctor. I did not know … Continue reading
Posted: August 17, 2020, 11:46 am

Essential Work: The 2020 WCSA Awards

At the center of all the chaos and turmoil of 2020 has been the essential worker on the front lines—from healthcare workers treating those infected with COVID-19 to service workers of all kinds who have kept us fed, supplied, and … Continue reading
Posted: July 13, 2020, 11:50 am

The Downwardly Mobile: How Some People Lose Class Privilege

We have two narratives about class in this country. Perhaps the most prominent is the American Dream – the idea that hard work and moral fortitude can lead people from rages to riches. The second is that of the rigged … Continue reading
Posted: June 29, 2020, 11:55 am

Universal Basic Income and Working-Class Futures

There have been few good things to come out of COVID-19. We’ve seen a genuine sense of community spirit emerge along with greater respect for blue-collar workers in the front line. In the UK, we’ve seen another less obvious shift: … Continue reading
Posted: June 22, 2020, 11:23 am