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NewsFeed - Labor

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The News Media’s Blind Spots Covering the Working Class

At midnight on Sept. 15, 49,000 UAW-GM workers walked out on strike at locations across the country, a day after their 2015 collective bargaining contract with General Motors expired and the union declined to extend the provisions of the agreement. … Continue reading
Posted: September 23, 2019, 11:59 am

Lend a Hand: Here’s a List of General Motors Picket Lines

Strikers shown from behind, waving at cars, fists in air, signs read "UAW On Strike"

This week 49,000 auto workers are walking the picket lines at General Motors factories across the U.S. in the biggest private sector strike in more than a decade. And you can help!

Despite flush profits, the company wants workers to pay more for health care, accept a raise lower than inflation, and continue its system of unequal tiers of workers. But GM didn’t count on the solidarity of the rank and file. Strikers are making a stand for equality for temps and second-tier workers.

Posted: September 20, 2019, 6:52 pm

Viewpoint: A Green Transition Is Inevitable, But Justice Is Up to Us

huge crowd of people, front row carries "global strike for the climate" banner

Humans have created an existential crisis. It’s up for grabs who will live, how and where, which species will survive, and how the big decisions are made.

No exaggeration—we are in the eleventh hour.

Fossil fuel companies, banks, and all those who profit from these industries have exacerbated the warming of our planet, creating a climate disaster.

Posted: September 20, 2019, 3:05 pm

Federal Agencies that Trump Hates Attack Their Unions

EPA workers protest the government's anti-union directive at a union rally in Manhattan in August.
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At an awards ceremony for Environmental Protection Agency workers July 10, scientist Loreen Targos took over the stage with a sign: “I care about EPA workers having a fair contract to address public health and climate change. Do you?”

Targos is a Government Employees (AFGE) Local 704 steward who was being honored, along with her co-workers, for superior service in the clean-up of contaminated wetlands in the Great Lakes region.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 6:08 pm

Bargaining and Mobilization Update

CWA members at CenturyLink in District 7 ratified a new agreement with the company this week.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 6:04 pm

CWA Members Gather to Watch Democratic Presidential Candidates Address Working People's Issues

CWA members held watch parties across the country for the Democratic presidential primary debate last week to learn where the candidates stand on the issues.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 6:02 pm

CWA Members Testify About New York's Lack of Rural Broadband Access

Telecommunications companies are leaving New Yorkers in rural areas behind by failing to build out broadband.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:57 pm

CWA Next Generation Stands with Global Climate Protesters

The Communications Workers of America's Next Generation program stands in solidarity with young people all over the world, who on September 20th will walk out of their classes, their jobs, and their homes in a global protest for climate justice and a sustainable economy that works for everyone.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:50 pm

Victory for Call Center Workers in California!

CWA members held lobby days, made phone calls to legislators, and much more.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:48 pm

New SUNY Fellowship Celebrates the Life of CWA President Emeritus Morty Bahr

Bahr was also a true believer in lifelong learning and SUNY Empire, raising funds for a full scholarship for union members and their families that now bears his name. 

Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:44 pm

Working In These TimesThe Strike Against General Motors Is One Front in a Much Larger Class War

Nearly 50,000 General Motors (GM) auto workers left their posts and marched off the job en masse late Sunday night. Since then, it’s been all able bodies to the picket line. The strike is on. With negotiations between GM and the United Automobile Workers (UAW) leadership hitting an impasse, the 2015 GM collective bargaining agreement expired […]
Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:19 pm

Solidarity with UAW Workers on Strike at GM

CWA members across the country stand with 50,000 UAW workers who are on strike at GM.

Posted: September 19, 2019, 5:14 pm

Solidarity with Autoworkers: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Solidarity with Autoworkers: What Working People Are Doing This Week
What Working People Are Doing This Week
AFL-CIO

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:

The latest issue of Equity News is available now!

In this issue: Looking back at Equity's first strike, updates to the Short Engagement Touring Agreement and more! https://t.co/FJ25BeCmWj pic.twitter.com/vSmIvsnN11

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) September 18, 2019

AFGE:

We’re sending a clear message that no one messes with America’s workforce. Join us on September 24. https://t.co/FyYxjY90h4 #FedUpRiseUp #1u #RedForFeds pic.twitter.com/zN0bYjHVzg

— AFGE (@AFGENational) September 18, 2019

AFSCME:

“He means the world to me,” says Never Quit Service Award winner Mandy Roberts-Amo. “I treat him like one of my own kids, because I know that he can do things. He’s a very strong-willed child and he’s extremely intelligent.” https://t.co/Z2bUXw3DSH

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) September 18, 2019

AFT:

The secretary of labor needs to be a true advocate for working people, not a lawyer who spent his career defending corporations and stripping workers of their rights. Sign the petition here & reject Eugene Scalia for Secretary of Labor! https://t.co/MHDzk7kl5l pic.twitter.com/bGjZZ9ig4r

— AFT (@AFTunion) September 18, 2019

Air Line Pilots Association:

Did you miss @ALPAPresident's keynote at #NATCACFS2019? Check out the full remarks here: https://t.co/GuxGo24Aiq

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) September 17, 2019

Alliance for Retired Americans:

ALERT: The Trump administration is pushing short-term health plans. But these plans don't provide the comprehensive coverage the ACA does and leave consumers with hefty bills. We can't afford insurance companies' greed any longer. #ProtectOurCare #JunkInsurance https://t.co/kq1Bh0X2QT

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) September 18, 2019

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Silicon Valley light rail, bus drivers reach contract deal after contentious negotiations https://t.co/T6Vl6bN0P4 #1u #p2 #UnionStrong

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) September 9, 2019

American Federation of Musicians:

Never surprising, but always outrageous when the corporate overlords try to stop working people from joining together in union. Solidarity with the @kickstarter staff organizing! ✊🏿✊✊🏾 #1u
https://t.co/eaNHECekAx via @slate

— AFM (@The_AFM) September 13, 2019

American Postal Workers Union:

Have you made the call? #USPSFairnessAct #APWUnited #1U pic.twitter.com/iDjlKBcE4v

— APWU National (@APWUnational) September 18, 2019

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Power to the striking @UAW workers!

We brought our protest pup Hermione to the picket line at the Whitemarsh GM plant in MD where many workers share that this will be the 5th or 6th time they are are left to forcibly quit or relocate. #UAWstrike #StandWithUs pic.twitter.com/kWIxZmXGuT

— APALA (@APALAnational) September 18, 2019

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

A room full of @afa_cwa Government Affairs activists gearing up to head to Capitol Hill to fight for Flight Attendant issues. #1u pic.twitter.com/CcGGaLK30p

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) September 17, 2019

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

One day longer @UAW. This fight against the greed of @GM is for all of us. We stand with you in solidarity. #UAWStrike #1u https://t.co/Jpt0ahO3T2

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) September 18, 2019

Boilermakers:

Local 158 (Peoria, IL) members love veterans. Find out how they show their support https://t.co/vVN9VDr1CL

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) September 16, 2019

Bricklayers:

Proud BAC Local 13 Nevada members are working on this project! #BestHandsintheBusiness #1u https://t.co/jq9IvMm1Cs

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) September 18, 2019

California School Employees Association:

The final member who received the Member of the Year award at conference this year was Sandy Bennett! pic.twitter.com/4Kuy0uZN6u

— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) September 17, 2019

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists stands in solidarity with our striking UAW sisters and brothers. Know that your fight is our fight. Your victory will be our reward. #OneFight #solidarity @UAW pic.twitter.com/GapR8eyihB

— CBTU (@CBTU72) September 17, 2019

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Register TODAY: September 16, or an extra $50 dollar fee will be added to the price of registration. https://t.co/KtwL7xICwu pic.twitter.com/nx52WQIdfF

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) September 16, 2019

Communications Workers of America:

This #HispanicHeritageMonth, we celebrate the valuable contributions of Latinx communities around the country to our culture and history! We recognize the incredible sacrifices made by Hispanic labor activists and continue to fight in their honor to build solidarity and power. pic.twitter.com/IV8QekUeUM

— CWA (@CWAUnion) September 16, 2019

Department for Professional Employees:

Story producers for reality tv shows often have low pay, no benefits, and poor working conditions. Joining together in union is best way to fix these problems. #1u https://t.co/OdsITpX9Ok

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) September 18, 2019

Electrical Workers:

Hotel employees in the #IBEW ? In this Iowa community, they’re a perfect fit. https://t.co/kEiEAgj3HW

— IBEW (@IBEW) September 16, 2019

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

Farm worker members working hard all day, doing backbreaking work at these speeds, work we will not do. We thank them and fight alongside them for their human rights!https://t.co/JVNmgHf5DW

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) September 18, 2019

Fire Fighters:

#IAFFBurnCamp19 is happening this week and burn campers had a chance to tour the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. To learn more about the International Burn Camp visit: https://t.co/qN8uvsjhaj pic.twitter.com/6JtB3y9oFQ

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) September 18, 2019

Heat and Frost Insulators:

We are extremely excited to announce that the Insulators Union will be participating in the @EnergyCommerce hearing this Friday at 9am:
“Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for the U.S. Building Sector."

The hearing will be streamed live: https://t.co/KCPLf4nJ5b

— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) September 18, 2019

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

. @IFPTE, @seiu_uhw, and @OPEIU are ready to #STRIKE for their patients and their families!! #KaiserPermanente can still do the right thing and put patients over profits! #1u #UnionStrong https://t.co/32tkkC28hK

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) September 18, 2019

Ironworkers:

On September 27, you have a unique opportunity to learn first-hand how an old stove turns into the World Trade Center. Steel mills, fabrication plants, and other facilities across the country will open their doors for an annual #SteelDay celebration. https://t.co/rb59QLS2Uy pic.twitter.com/OVux8FyN3w

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) September 18, 2019

Jobs With Justice:

When employers force working people to sign arbitration agreements, they strip them of their ability to take action if and/or when the employer does something wrong. https://t.co/GKUUXcC9nv

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) September 18, 2019

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Hispanic Heritage Month has kicked off, read this compelling interview with Yanira Merino, LCLAA's National President and LiUNA's National Immigration Coordinator.@LIUNA https://t.co/bxtRawhkmc

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) September 17, 2019

Laborers:

#LIUNA members are speaking out against so-called right-to-work in Virginia https://t.co/Mc3ttMYETX

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) September 17, 2019

Machinists:

🧘🏿‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️🧘🏽‍♀️🧘🏾‍♀️🧘‍♀️ teachers are organizing around making yoga instruction a sustainable profession. Follow @Unionize_Yoga for more ℹ️ #1u https://t.co/dgIDFvavPI

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) September 18, 2019

Metal Trades Department:

“For this particular strike, I think what happened is the union feels somewhat betrayed. Because they helped GM during the bankruptcy period by taking concessions. And then GM turned around and closed those plants.” https://t.co/uZic6CXVJl

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) September 17, 2019

Mine Workers:

“In July, we were alarmed to learn that 1,200 retired coal miners, their widows and their dependents would lose their health care benefits at the end of the calendar year." https://t.co/MI6Jd04hQY

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) September 17, 2019

Musical Artists:

New York is a Union Town. Had a great day marching in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in organized labor! @AFLCIO @lizshuler @Local_802_AFM #LDP2019 #unionstrong #1u pic.twitter.com/6me5Seuk3I

— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) September 7, 2019

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

For the panel “Commercial Space: Integrating the Future of the NAS,” NATCA Commercial Space Rep Paul Behan introduced ACTA's Kevin Hatton & Space Florida Senior VP & GM Jim Kuzma at #NATCACFS2019 to talk about ensuring compliance while encouraging commercial space operations. pic.twitter.com/teZl9eoFOS

— NATCA CFS (@NATCACFS) September 17, 2019

National Association of Letter Carriers:

Gerome went to #NewMexico! He visited the Hot Air Balloon Museum in Albuquerque & then met with a retired letter carrier, Daniel Cdebaca, at the post office in Bernalillo. Write to cbragg5414@comcast.net if you want Gerome to visit you. https://t.co/XgDZrRdfJa #1u #postalproud pic.twitter.com/zzeEIKlNgD

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) September 18, 2019

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

"Every single candidate needs to answer this question."

NDLON's @sg_ndlon on whether Dems will #ChangeCourse on immigration, and the powerful #ElPasoFirme call to action

Via @latinorebels: https://t.co/eEqoJ0uIhn

— NDLON (@NDLON) September 16, 2019

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

Here’s how we do it:
→ Universal Family Care
→ Paid family leave
→ Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) September 18, 2019

National Federation of Federal Employees:

It's time to rise up against attacks on federal workers' rights, union contracts, and the ability to have a voice in the workplace! Join us on 9.24.19. #FedUpRiseUp pic.twitter.com/mxl65YWwnq

— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) September 18, 2019

National Nurses United:

Why are #nurses at @UChicagoMed going on strike on Friday?

Three words: For. Our. Patients.

RN Denise Summers speaks at the @RPCoalition Saturday Morning Forum about this week's #RNStrike: pic.twitter.com/0vmh7LFuH5

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) September 18, 2019

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

Lyft, you may recall, is the same company that has been lying to California drivers, telling them that the new rules in AB5 will force the company to make drivers work scheduled shifts, when nothing in the law has any impact on driver schedules.

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) September 13, 2019

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Congratulations on winning your first raise in more than a decade! Keep fighting the good fight! https://t.co/3mUyzxTOO8

— NewsGuild (@news_guild) September 18, 2019

NFL Players Association:

Veteran @BBulaga has the right idea–it's all about being prepared. #StayReady #ExpirationisComing https://t.co/zy5kIQ6o3D pic.twitter.com/IoCHaIS0ox

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 17, 2019

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Another day, another #UnionConstruction project 🙌

Great progress is being made on the new 65,000 @Raiders stadium. Check out what the #BuildingTrades union members have to say!
https://t.co/lPnkpscJct

— The Building Trades (@NABTU) September 17, 2019

Office and Professional Employees:

We must put an end to #ForcedArbitration to ensure all working people retain the right to hold their employer accountable.

— OPEIU (@OPEIU) September 18, 2019

Painters and Allied Trades:

Sign up for the IUPAT Rapid Action Network now! This e-activist network is our latest effort to get you the issues that matter the most on time and in your inbox. https://t.co/6qsEy4YPrk pic.twitter.com/VyyZKD7111

— GoIUPAT✊🏽 (@GoIUPAT) September 17, 2019

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

“IRAPs will not only jeopardize standards in the construction industry, putting workers and customers at risk, but also endanger the public who use the buildings and infrastructure the workers build. IRAPs have no place in the construction industry” https://t.co/uk5LojFyx3

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) September 18, 2019

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Aviation safety begins with men & women who make up the aviation workforce worldwide. PASS members at Federal Aviation Administration who perform safety critical work stand in solidarity w #RyanAir & @sepla_pilotos fighting for a fair contract. #unionsolidarty @WeAreALPA @AFLCIO https://t.co/CFLHOH10mf

— PASS (@PASSNational) September 13, 2019

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

Who do you think really represents the interests of working people? The union members & allies who came out to protest, or the @RightToWork attorney they were protesting who literally represented Mark Janus in front of the Supreme Court? pic.twitter.com/d1C0qlDTni

— RWDSU (@RWDSU) September 17, 2019

SAG-AFTRA:

Union Announces Sweeping Changes for Largest Third Party Signatories https://t.co/mGUAssQSOt pic.twitter.com/BN3eFfJ4y5

— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) September 17, 2019

School Administrators:

GM closing plants and sending job overseas not only hurts workers and our economy, it impacts the tax base in our communities taking vital money and resources away from schools and our children. Don't buy a GM car until the workers get a fair contract. Read our letter. #UAWStrike pic.twitter.com/rDN7f6k4Dg

— AFSA Leadership (@AFSAUnion) September 17, 2019

Solidarity Center:

50+ union leaders & activists have been abducted in #Zimbabwe since Jan, & doctors now are protesting the abduction & disappearance of the acting president of the Zimbabwean Hospital Drs Assoc, Peter Magombeyi. @ZctuZimbabwe @ituc_africa @AfriNewsAgencyhttps://t.co/rzJrrFqZKk

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) September 18, 2019

Theatrical Stage Employees:

"His great grandfather John Epley Barnhart was one of the original founders of IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, whose logo Lohrer proudly wears on the sleeve of his official The Lion King shirt." https://t.co/cyyv9Hh64Z

— IATSE (@IATSE) September 18, 2019

Transport Workers:

The TWU supports @UAW workers on strike! #1u #solidarity https://t.co/hsqRGpT1Yz pic.twitter.com/tfnQCC4eSf

— TWU (@transportworker) September 17, 2019

Transportation Trades Department:

The time to invest in our transportation #infrastructure is now, as, in the words of @RepPeterDeFazio, "the cost of inaction is too great."https://t.co/wVz5AuZsQW

— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) September 18, 2019

UAW:

We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we need GM to stand with us and invest in the healthcare we deserve. Working in the plant takes a toll on our bodies, so quality healthcare and affordable prescriptions are an investment in us! #Solidarity #StandWithUs pic.twitter.com/mFXKQpihLW

— UAW (@UAW) September 18, 2019

Union Veterans Council:

It’s Saturday morning what are you doing🤔

I spent time this morning with over 50 union volunteers with the NOVA Labor Council launching a walk for @HelmerVA.

Don’t just post about change! Be the change by knocking 🚪’s and making 📞’s. #1u pic.twitter.com/2a06sR3vip

— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) September 14, 2019

UNITE HERE:

Truth is, @Marriott’s “Green Choice” program hurts housekeepers.

💸 We lose wages and benefits.

🤕 Our jobs are harder and more painful.

🧪 We have to use more chemicals.

Don't skip housekeeping. Sign the pledge to reject "Green Choice" → https://t.co/9XVtbcIRll#OOW19

— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) September 18, 2019

United Food and Commercial Workers:

Congrats to these members! MT @PaulMeinemaUFCW: Firefighters in Quebec - proud members of #UFCW Local 501 - have achieved a new union contract that provides wage increases, minimum hours of work & more. That's the #union advantage! https://t.co/Lg8Q3v5b9d pic.twitter.com/6nIN3UsXfq

— UFCW (@UFCW) September 17, 2019

United Steelworkers:

As summer ends, other journeys begin at district Women of Steel leadership trainings https://t.co/TteioPgFSZ #WOS pic.twitter.com/ObIriD5sxF

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) September 18, 2019

United Students Against Sweatshops:

"Campus activism can have a huge impact. Take the case of United Students Against Sweatshops..." Climate Strikes: What They Accomplish And How They Could Have More Impact https://t.co/QVAY5TCrPz

— USAS (@USAS) September 16, 2019

United Union of Roofers and Waterproofers:

September is #SuicidePreventionMonth. We have partnered with the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention to bring awareness to our members and their families. Pledge to STAND up for #suicideprevention. https://t.co/HaWee9IciE pic.twitter.com/WjLimz1vXA

— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) September 16, 2019

Utility Workers:

Thank you, @SenDuckworth of Illinois, for taking the time to meet with us this week. It was an honor to meet you, and we appreciate the opportunity to discuss important issues faced by our members both in the state and across the nation. pic.twitter.com/iMqKXdf74m

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) September 18, 2019

Working America:

.@GM cutting off the health coverage of @UAW members striking for fair wages and better job security is beyond cruel.

It's even worse when you remember that the CEO of General Motors was compensated $21.87 million in 2018 alone. #GMStrike https://t.co/toc3Z419pO

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) September 17, 2019

Writers Guild of America, East:

Introducing #LaborLingo - the WGA East's official Union Glossary! Because fall may be back-to-school season, but you can learn about unions any time of the year. #1u pic.twitter.com/rQljE7zIOR

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 12, 2019
Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:50
Posted: September 19, 2019, 1:50 pm

How Does the Passage of AB 5 in California Affect Me and Others in the Gig Economy?

Today Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 5.  The untitled new law will have a significant impact on the gig economy in California.  It will be increasingly difficult to lawfully classify California workers as independent contractors.  With the exception of several significant carveouts, which I discuss below, the definition of “to employ” announced […]
Posted: September 18, 2019, 8:15 pm

GM Strikers Say 'No More Tiers!'

GM strikers march with "UAW on strike" signs. Black and white women in foreground.
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Forty-nine thousand auto workers are on strike at General Motors in the largest private sector strike since the last time union and company clashed, in 2007.

(Ready to lend a hand? Click here for a list of picket line locations.)

Posted: September 18, 2019, 7:02 pm

49,000 Striking Auto Workers Should Vote No on “Two-Tier.” Here’s Why.

Auto workers on strike since midnight at General Motors are between a rock and a hard place—a hugely profitable company making outrageous demands for concessions and a union leadership that made no plan for winning a strike and has not even told members what they’re going out for. Picket signs say simply “UAW on Strike.” […]
Posted: September 18, 2019, 4:41 pm

UAW workers stay on strike in 'battle for the middle class'

More than 45,000 workers remain on strike against General Motors after contract negotiations broke down between the company and the UAW. GM has cut off health insurance coverage for striking workers, while details of the two sides’ proposals remain scant. But the broad strokes are clear: As one worker told CNN, it’s a “battle for the middle class.” GM has […]
Posted: September 18, 2019, 4:34 pm

Trump labor board's drive to hurt temp and fast food workers hits another conflict-of-interest snag

Donald Trump’s National Labor Relations Board and its counsel have made it their mission to roll back every advance for workers from the Obama years. The joint-employer rule—which makes companies responsible, under certain circumstances, for workers employed through franchises and staffing agencies—is a major piece of that. In the rush to roll back the joint-employer rule, ProPublica’s Ian […]
Posted: September 18, 2019, 4:33 pm

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner check in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interview Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California. 

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:40
Posted: September 18, 2019, 2:40 pm

U.S. Labor Movement Supports Mexico's Working People

U.S. Labor Movement Supports Mexico's Working People
RLT
AFL-CIO

At a meeting Saturday in Chicago, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) assured Mexican-American political, labor, community and religious leaders that the U.S. labor movement will work to ensure that any new trade agreement raises the standards of living for all working people across North America.

“Any NAFTA agreement that leaves Mexican workers poor and vulnerable and American workers jobless is dead on arrival," Trumka said. And the U.S. and Mexican labor movement are in agreement that any new trade agreement must work for people not corporations.”

Mexican Sen. Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, who leads Los Mineros, one of Mexico's few independent unions, attended the meeting along with Mexican Congresswoman María Libier González-Anaya. Both agreed with Trumka that any new trade agreement must protect workers on both sides of the border.

Gómez Urrutia
AFL-CIO

Gómez Urrutia explained that while the recently passed Mexican labor law reform was an important step forward, there is still much work to do to protect independent unions, and workers' freedom to bargain for a fair contract.

“When NAFTA was passed 25 years ago, Mexico had the highest wages in Latin America," Gómez Urrutia said. "Today we have the lowest salary. This trade agreement created a model to exploit working people, through sham contracts written by corporations. Today in Mexico corporations set their own unions and enforce their own contracts."

Gómez Urrutia
AFL-CIO

The meeting took place a week after Trumka met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the presidential palace in Mexico City, where they had a frank conversation about the fundamental changes that must be at the heart of any North American trade deal. 

“I am absolutely convinced that President López Obrador wants the new labor law to work," Trumka said. "If in fact the new labor law doesn’t work and we can’t get rid of those 700,000 contracts, then I am afraid that our brothers and sisters in Mexico will be forced to live in poverty for decades to come. This is a great opportunity to enforce that law."

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

While in Mexico, Trumka also met with the nation’s labor minister and leaders from independent unions, including Gómez Urrutia. He witnessed firsthand the obstacles Mexican working people face in freely negotiating a collective bargaining agreement:

My trip only served to confirm the disastrous impact of NAFTA. Forty percent of our brothers and sisters in Mexico are living in poverty. There are still hundreds of thousands of protectionist contracts. For years the Mexican government has kept wages artificially low for Mexican workers, and the tool that they used to do that are these sham contracts. 

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO’s senior strategic adviser for state and local bodies and federations, Ramon Becerra, and AFL-CIO International Director Cathy Feingold played active roles in organizing the meeting and engaging with political and community leaders from Mexican-American clubs, federations and worker centers, and labor and immigration activists.

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

In addition to trade, immigration was a top issue discussed during the meeting. González-Anaya highlighted the important role of labor unions in protecting immigrant rights. 

In his address, Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter (IUOE) said, “At this time of history when Chicago is building on its legacy of being an immigrant city and fighting back against those who seek to divide us on economics and issues of race and ethnicity, when we should be coming together to lift up our core values and fight for economic and social justice.”

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

Trumka reminded attendees that we are a labor movement of immigrants and that our unions must provide sanctuary and our contracts must offer protections where our laws do not. 

“Immigrants can find hope and a home in the labor movement,” he said. “Our nation is being poisoned by hateful rhetoric and divisive tactics that come from the highest level of our government. We are not going to rest until every aspiring American can live here and work here safely as a citizen of the United States.”

 

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO
Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/17/2019 - 10:03
Posted: September 17, 2019, 2:03 pm

Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.

Follow the links below to find podcasts. They also can be found wherever you listen to podcasts:

Arise! Labor Edition: Richard Trumka on Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future.

Building Bridges: "Putting the movement back into the union movement with Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, who denounced President Trump’s government shutdown for endangering airline security and forcing workers to labor without pay and told her fellow labor leaders, 'to end this shutdown with a general strike!' She became America’s most powerful flight attendant and a rising star of the labor movement. And Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, president of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), New York's largest nurses union, which has become known for its support of Medicare for All. It has taken its service-oriented union work and further extended it for community needs. And Bianca Cunningham, a staff writer and organizer at Labor Notes Magazine, who got her start in the labor movement as a Verizon retail worker. She was a leader in the 2014 drive that won a union at seven stores, breaking into wireless retail for the first time in the company's history. These workers went on to win their first union contract when they joined landline workers in the 2016 Verizon strike."

Heartland Labor Forum: "It’s 38 days and counting that the Blackjewel coal miners of Harlan County, Kentucky, are occupying the tracks saying, 'No Pay, We Stay!' We’ll get their story. Then, it’s almost 40 years since President Ronald Reagan fired over 11,000 striking professional air traffic controllers. What are the lessons of the [Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization] strike for today?"

UCOMM Live: This week: "SharpieGate, the Weatherman and our new app, Drug Hub. Plus we have an interview with the AFL-CIO's Liz Shuler. She talks to us at the New York City Labor Day Parade. We remember 9/11 with IBEW Local 3's Business Manager Chris Erikson. Lenny is back to talk about the opioid crisis and some of the great work he did this past week volunteering in Philly. We look at how the [National Labor Relations Board] has lost its way under Trump, his obsession with a weather map, and the 10,000 jobs that were lost because of his trade war."

Union City Radio: For the week of Sept. 9-13.

Your Rights At Work: "Brian Prechtl, co-chair of the Baltimore Symphony Musicians Players’ Committee, with a BSO lockout update; 1199 SEIU's Yahnae Barner on the NLRB ruling that Universal Health Services Inc. at George Washington University Hospital engaged in unfair labor practices; POGO's Becca Jones on the effect of SharpieGate on federal workers, 'Case Closed' with David Schloss and Press Associates Inc.'s Mark Gruenberg with the latest labor news."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/16/2019 - 14:50
Posted: September 16, 2019, 6:50 pm

Hey, Uber and Lyft: Gig Work Is Work. California Just Said So.

The rideshare industry seems to have been on an unstoppable tear, running roughshod over regulations, filling the streets with cars, and making astronomical sums of Wall Street capital. But California just tripped up Uber and Lyft’s business model with pioneering legislation to rein in the freewheeling “gig economy.” The law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), passed overwhelmingly in […]
Posted: September 16, 2019, 5:27 pm

California bill would increase local control over charter schools, this week in the war on workers

The financial drain and lack of local control of charter schools were a major issue in this year’s teachers strikes in California, and now the state legislature has passed a bill that might help. AB 1505 gives local school boards the ability to block new charter schools under some circumstances. The bill, which still has to be […]
Posted: September 16, 2019, 5:24 pm

UAW workers strike against GM as contract negotiations stall

UAW workers at General Motors are on strike for the first time since 2007. The 49,000 UAW workers at GM went out on strike at midnight Sunday after their contract expired with workers and management far apart in negotiations. Contracts are bargained every four years, with no work stoppages in 2011 or 2015 and the 2007 strike […]
Posted: September 16, 2019, 5:22 pm

Nearly 50,000 UAW Members at GM Go on Strike

Nearly 50,000 UAW Members at GM Go on Strike
UAW Strike
AFL-CIO

As of midnight Sunday, UAW members at General Motors have gone on strike. The 2015 collective bargaining agreement between UAW and GM expired Saturday after GM offered an inadequate new contract. Nearly 50,000 workers are now on strike. They are demanding fair wages, affordable health care, a share of profits, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temporary workers.

UAW President Gary Jones said: “We told UAW GM members that we would stand up for them and their future.”

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes explained: “We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families and the communities where we work and live."

Ted Krumm of UAW Local 652, who is the national bargaining committee chair, further expanded upon the need for the strike: 

We have been clear at the table about what GM members have indicated we will accept. We are standing up for what is right. We as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve. Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) showed the federation's support for members of the UAW:

As our UAW brothers and sisters prepare to walk the picket line, the 12.5 million working people of the AFL-CIO are ready to march alongside them. Calling a strike is a deeply difficult decision and always a measure of last resort. This is a fight to win dignity for the 46,000 auto workers who have delivered their bosses record-breaking profits for years. We will have their backs every day until they win the respect and security that they deserve.

Other labor leaders, organizations and allies quickly showed their support for UAW members:

Statement from President Bieber supporting UAW-GM members on strike. #Solidarity #1u https://t.co/cTCHl0zVkW

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) September 16, 2019

 

Always proud to stand with UAW members fighting for good jobs and fair wages. I’m hopeful the UAW and GM can negotiate and ratify a contract quickly so Michigan’s autoworkers can get back on the job as soon as possible, as this is so important to our economy. pic.twitter.com/BnVAFIlm9D

— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) September 16, 2019

 

Statement of NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on UAW’s Strike against General Motors https://t.co/6ahSY6RjUd

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) September 16, 2019

 

AFGE members stand in total solidarity with @UAW members striking for a fair contract with @GM! https://t.co/GVPa9hqTNO

— AFGE (@AFGENational) September 16, 2019

 

The IAM stands with the thousands of @GM workers as they fight for good wages and benefits! #solidarityhttps://t.co/whLHt9iK7q

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) September 16, 2019

 

.@Teamsters will honor @UAW @gm picket lines pic.twitter.com/NJpBv2DAfy

— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) September 15, 2019

 

I support the @UAW's decision to employ American workers' most serious tool to achieve a better deal. #1u

— Rep. Andy Levin (@RepAndyLevin) September 16, 2019

 

I stand in solidarity with workers as they fight for better wages and benefits.

— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) September 15, 2019

Numerous presidential candidates also weighed in with their support for the UAW members:

Unions like @UAW built the middle class in America by negotiating for better wages, benefits and treatment in the workplace. That work continues today.

I stand with UAW as they fight to ensure their members’ hard work is rewarded with a fair share of the success they’ve created.

— Michael Bennet (@MichaelBennet) September 16, 2019

A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about dignity and respect.

Proud to stand with @UAW to demand fair wages and benefits for their members. America's workers deserve better. https://t.co/vdYS3sp4eo

— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 15, 2019

I'm proud to stand with the hardworking members of @UAW in their fight for fair wages, health care, and job security. @GM should do right by the workers who fuel its profits. https://t.co/3XF8OswRRn

— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 16, 2019

My grandfather was an assembly line worker & @UAW union rep outside of Detroit who showed me the power of collective action as a force to improve lives & right injustice. I stand with UAW workers in their fight for fair wages, better benefits & reversal of plant closures. https://t.co/zgXmm0m8jw

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 16, 2019

As a former union-side labor lawyer, I know how difficult of a decision this is for hardworking folks and their families. They deserve better wages, benefits, and job security. A company generating record profits should pay workers their fair share. https://t.co/rc3ll07SBO

— Steve Bullock (@GovernorBullock) September 16, 2019

The CEO of @GM made nearly $22 million dollars last year—281 times the median GM worker.

I stand with the 46,000 @UAW members who have moved to strike, fighting for affordable health care and fair wages.

GM can afford to do right by them.#StandWithUS #1U

— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 15, 2019

I stand in solidarity with the more than 48,000 United Auto Workers members who are striking for affordable health care, fair wages, and job security. When we raise our voices together, we can win. https://t.co/VJOhoBqjs6

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 16, 2019

I stand with workers. I stand with @UAW. #UnionStrong https://t.co/rCVz7D4VvK

— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) September 16, 2019

I am with the United Auto Workers on strike today—and with workers everywhere, fighting for the dignity they deserve.

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 16, 2019

Proud to be on the picket line w/ Lordstown @UAW members who are striking w/ 40,000+ of their sisters & brothers for fair wages & affordable healthcare, job security, a path for temp workers to become full-time workers and their share of GM's record-setting profits. #StandWithUS pic.twitter.com/dMvIZV2lfR

— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) September 16, 2019

I am proud to support the @UAW workers who are standing up to the greed of GM. Our message to GM is a simple one: End the greed, sit down with the UAW and work out an agreement that treats your workers with the respect and the dignity they deserve. https://t.co/nAQoeX82oz

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 15, 2019

I stand with the 50,000 @UAW members striking at General Motors. GM must put the welfare of its workers above perks for its executives and provide fair wages, affordable healthcare, and secure jobs.

— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) September 16, 2019

Auto workers deserve good wages, comprehensive benefits, and economic security. I stand with @UAW as they strike to get what they deserve, and urge GM to come to the table and negotiate in good faith. https://t.co/VRmL7VzSzt

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 16, 2019

Unions and the @UAW have been a force for worker equity and fair treatment for decades even as our economy has grown more inhuman and punishing. GM should value its workers fairly and compensate them what they deserve. https://t.co/hPwo38VOOp

— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) September 16, 2019
Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:17
Posted: September 16, 2019, 4:17 pm

Memoir as Medium: Bridging the Class Divide

More than three years after its publication in 2016, Hillbilly Elegy and its author J.D. Vance continue to be lightning rods. A recent Washington Post opinion piece caused an uproar by insinuating that Vance lamented the declining white birth rate … Continue reading
Posted: September 16, 2019, 12:02 pm

Amazon Worker: Why We’re Bringing the Climate Strike to Jeff Bezos

Two months after Amazon warehouse workers across the globe staged a one-day strike, the great “disruptor” is facing another workplace disruption—this time by tech workers at its Seattle headquarters. The group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice announced this week that it would join the September 20 Global Climate Strike led by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg. The employees […]
Posted: September 13, 2019, 7:16 pm

Book Review: Women on Strike—A Birth Strike

More than 120 years ago the American Federationist, the newspaper of the American Federation of Labor, printed an editorial denouncing the entry of women into the trades. One of its many nuggets of misogyny was this: “The wholesale employment of women in the various handicrafts must gradually unsex them.”

That term was probably as unclear then as it is today, but if unsexed means women today are declining to pursue “nature’s dearest impulse” (another of the article’s nuggets), then we are indeed unsexed, because there’s a birth strike going on.

Posted: September 13, 2019, 6:19 pm

Never Forget: The Working People Weekly List

Never Forget: The Working People Weekly List
Working People Weekly List
AFL-CIO

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.

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11: "The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 18 years ago today, affected all Americans, but they had a particular impact upon first responders. Thousands of lives were lost that day and more died in the aftermath because of illnesses related to the attacks. The members and leaders of the various unions affected by the 9/11 attacks are memorializing the anniversary in various ways."

Celebrating Labor Day: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup: "In addition to the AFL-CIO's own 'State of the Unions,' there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States."

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

Pathway to Progress: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: "History has long been portrayed as a series of 'great men' taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history 'from the bottom up,' studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our new series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. Today's topic is the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."

Economy Gains 130,000 Jobs in August; Unemployment Steady at 3.7%: "The U.S. economy gained 130,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics."

Responding to Dorian: 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: Humble Courage and 90210: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk to SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris about the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader."

Say No to IRAPs: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."

Stand Up and Be Recognized: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with actors and actresses winning new contracts and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/13/2019 - 13:15
Posted: September 13, 2019, 5:15 pm

Union Power on the Rise: In the States Roundup

Union Power on the Rise: In the States Roundup
In the States Roundup
AFL-CIO

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.

Alabama AFL-CIO:

We wish brother Tom Chamberlain the best with his retirement. #1u #UnionStrong https://t.co/f2HBSFoKFQ

— Alabama AFL-CIO (@AlabamaAFLCIO) August 30, 2019

Alaska AFL-CIO:

We are also excited to support our sister @galradio for FNSB Assembly! #themindycampaign #akleg https://t.co/HPS0I57QHr

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) September 10, 2019

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

Please remember our Sister in Odessa who lost her life this week. 😔 https://t.co/kvaQqzYvRP

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) September 2, 2019

California Labor Federation:

Solidarity with Port Truck Drivers ✊ #EndWageTheft #PortStrike #AB5 https://t.co/O5ZNOCWJYW

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) September 9, 2019

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

"If we can get 99 percent of people to fight together for a more dignified life, we will get it. Let’s get it." #1u https://t.co/SSQfsQD5EM

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) September 6, 2019

Florida AFL-CIO:

“I will be your ally in Tallahassee, we will stand with you and we will stand together in fighting for our future.” ⁦@NikkiFriedFL⁩ joins us at the Biennial AFL-CIO Conference. We’re excited about the new ideas she brings and her accomplishments so far. pic.twitter.com/wVSV2lfxnC

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) September 8, 2019

Idaho AFL-CIO:

#1u #UnionStrong #IdahoUnions #AFLCIO #IDAFLCIO #LaborUnions pic.twitter.com/Z0Ao7YxIg7

— Idaho State AFL-CIO (@IdahoAFLCIO) September 10, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Trump’s NLRB sides with corporations over working people #ElectionsMatter #1u https://t.co/Ale2EPPlgJ

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) September 10, 2019

Iowa Federation of Labor:

How American Workers Won the Eight-Hour Workday https://t.co/pr85ugE9JR

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) September 9, 2019

Maine AFL-CIO:

“We are literally forced to work consecutive shifts from nights to days without enough time to sleep. Our fight, first and foremost, is for safe patient care.” https://t.co/w5wfwGi7Fv @MeNursesUnion @AFLCIO #mepolitics

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) September 10, 2019

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Members of the Mass AFL-CIO’s Young Workers Movement are in #Marshfield standing on the picket line with @Teamsters25 in their fight for a fair contract. #1u #solidarity pic.twitter.com/k8TJi12Jxe

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO (@massaflcio) September 4, 2019

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

Challenger paratransit workers reach first-time tentative agreement - Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO https://t.co/UUjoobX9WA

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) September 9, 2019

Michigan AFL-CIO:

#Solidarity https://t.co/JOvPF69Mjv

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) September 6, 2019

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Five Signs That Worker Power Is on the Rise https://t.co/tyJ1N15O3I #1u pic.twitter.com/FLBXc7GYT6

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) September 8, 2019

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you or someone you care about is struggling, please know you're not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. #WSD2019 #WorldSuicidePreventionDay pic.twitter.com/mED2I8LbNV

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) September 10, 2019

Montana AFL-CIO:

🚨Job Opportunity🚨
If you're looking to break into political work and organizing @MontanaFed is great place to start. https://t.co/XJWMt74QDK

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) September 6, 2019

Nebraska AFL-CIO:

Working people want a better life for everyone, not just the wealthy few. #laborDay #1u pic.twitter.com/oZeqRH5VeR

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) August 28, 2019

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

Watch Pres. Glenn Brackett at today's NHDP Convention addressing 15,000 friends and allies at https://t.co/OQB8giXmQC. pic.twitter.com/WCm0GIk2CC

— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) September 7, 2019

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

President Vince Alvarado in the dunk tank this #LaborDay https://t.co/Dk8PUcBuHJ

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) September 2, 2019

New York State AFL-CIO:

And we are off! #UnionStrong #Solidarity #LDP2019 @centrallabornyc pic.twitter.com/dKp1m0lhGE

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) September 7, 2019

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

Opinion: In This Economy, Every Day Should Be #LaborDay https://t.co/sQbeZfwpZB via @MikeElk #1u

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) September 3, 2019

Ohio AFL-CIO:

👏👏👏
Being #UnionStrong = Strong Communities! https://t.co/l3PMKtqNz7

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) September 9, 2019

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Yes, America is Rigged Against Workers https://t.co/wia8ybPsk3

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) September 6, 2019

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Unbelievable. https://t.co/SB5QG97rWw

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) September 8, 2019

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Have you ever seen a snake at a #LaborDay parade? Thank you, @The_UWUA because now we have!! 🐍 pic.twitter.com/g62H7LOe4W

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) September 2, 2019

Texas AFL-CIO:

State employees rally for higher pay https://t.co/7JgC1HoEUZ

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) September 7, 2019

Virginia AFL-CIO:

20,000 @ATT workers in the South went on strike—and won. @CWAUnion, congratulations on a big win. Read about it here: https://t.co/R506v1v3NX #UnionStrong #Solidarity #JoinAUnion #Winning pic.twitter.com/hgHC1AEkTw

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) September 10, 2019

Washington State Labor Council:

ICYMI... The high cost of Tim Eyman's Initiative 976 (by the WSLC's David Groves) #waelex https://t.co/RiyOnFEYYu

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) September 9, 2019

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Happy Labor Day everyone!!

Workers around the country are winning because we are standing together and communities are rallying behind us. In fact, fresh research from Gallup shows approval of unions at 64 percent, a nearly 50-year high. #WV #wvpol #UnionStrong 💪 pic.twitter.com/qzPyTDmLJI

— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) September 2, 2019

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenosha AFL-CIO chooses 2 for Labor Person of Year, https://t.co/AYpepI2Mxv

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) September 3, 2019
Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/13/2019 - 11:40
Posted: September 13, 2019, 3:40 pm

Labor Unions Are for Safety and Creativity

Labor Unions Are for Safety and Creativity

I do not go around asking people if they believe in God. But I frequently ask people if they believe in labor unions. I am genuinely curious about how people around me think about collective bargaining in workplaces. How do people who work for a living, or who have at some point worked for a living (meaning most of us) think about people being courageous, together, for the sake of the integrity of their work or the safety of their work or the dignity of their lives at work? Several men working for the fire department recently said, loud enough for people coming out of the grocery store to hear, “Oh, yes ma’am, we sure do need our union.” In a hotel elevator this summer, a man, carrying a poster noting his retirement as an airline pilot, said he is clear that people working in the industry, at all levels, need labor unions. He said it was a basic matter of safety.

This is one very obvious reason why everyone who walks around in the world needs labor unions. If you drive in a car, you want the people who put your car together to have the ability to stop production if they notice something is awry. If you ride around on one of those rent-by-the-day scooters, you want the people who put the scooter together to have been able to take the time to test whether or not the scooter is safe to scoot. (Same for the people who put together the helmet you should be wearing if you are scooting. Just saying.) People who work for the fire department need equipment that allows them to put out the fire safely and quickly if, by chance, you have overestimated your oven’s ability to be “self-cleaning.” (A real, and embarrassing, example.) Look up the cover of “The Berenstain Bears: Jobs Around Town” and tell me a job that Jan and Stan Berenstain feature that does not need a labor union? The man on the girder being lifted by a crane needs the person pulling the lever to be able to call in sick if necessary. The woman selling hot dogs does not want to sell Sister Bear a dog with, well...actual dog under the relish. The bear walking across the bridge with what appears to be a giant pumpkin relies on the fact that the bears who built the bridge had time off to eat lunches and sleep. And the bear with the pink shirt, up in the corner, painting on a canvas? They need a labor union, too.

This is one of the trickiest concepts for some people to grasp. Labor unions are about our safety as people living together in a town or city, and they are also about creativity. As a writer and a teacher, I need the committed, active support of other writers and teachers in order to write and to teach in my own unique, best, way. While I was a graduate student, collective bargaining allowed me to write what turned out to be a damn good dissertation (and eventually a book) without worrying that my adviser would punish me for writing something very different than what he had published. I needed the courage in common that was collective bargaining to formulate my own particular and singular way of thinking. Actors, photographers, journalists, sculptors—all have expressed a similar sense that labor unions allow for individual freedom in their craft. If you want to hear what music sounds like without labor unions, turn on your canned radio station and hear the same pop song every two hours, interspersed with a few others deemed by someone in marketing to meet the least common denominator of music. Alternatively, find the alternative station in the genre that helps you through your own workday, and consider periodically the teamwork behind the scenes that allowed those musicians to defy what some person in the number-crunching department determined would be passable as music.

There are no doubt some people in this world who manage to be remarkably creative without labor unions and the collective bargaining that comes with courage. I am frankly worn out from trying. I need a union as much as people putting out fires and people putting airplanes together. My labor is also important, and so I will keep asking people about their unions and their ideas about unions. And I will keep trying to find the best, most creative and unique ways to explain why I need a team.

Amy Laura Hall has taught ethics at Duke University since 1999. Her most recent book is Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich. This post originally appeared at the North Carolina State AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:41
Posted: September 13, 2019, 1:41 pm

Bargaining and Mobilization Update

UPTE-CWA members at the University of California voted overwhelmingly to ratify new contracts.

Posted: September 12, 2019, 5:25 pm

California CWA Members Beat Back Telecom Deregulation Bill

CWA members in District 9 successfully mobilized to defeat in the California Senate AB 1366.

Posted: September 12, 2019, 5:20 pm

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11

The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 18 years ago today, affected all Americans, but they had a particular impact upon first responders. Thousands of lives were lost that day and more died in the aftermath because of illnesses related to the attacks. The members and leaders of the various unions affected by the 9/11 attacks […]
Posted: September 12, 2019, 5:04 pm

Corporate Raider Targets AT&T Workers

Vulture hedge fund Elliott Management is pushing for changes at AT&T that would lead to drastic job cuts.

Posted: September 12, 2019, 4:54 pm

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11
9/11
IAFF

The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 18 years ago today, affected all Americans, but they had a particular impact upon first responders. Thousands of lives were lost that day and more died in the aftermath because of illnesses related to the attacks. The members and leaders of the various unions affected by the 9/11 attacks are memorializing the anniversary in various ways. Here is what they are saying:

 

Eighteen years ago, 343 FDNY members died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Since then, more than 200 IAFF members have died from 9/11-related illnesses. pic.twitter.com/UjqdkNy89B

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) September 11, 2019

 

Families, #firefighters gather at World Trade Center site for 18th annual memorial service for 9/11 victims https://t.co/aGziPWzNk5 #NeverForget

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) September 11, 2019

 

“As we mark the anniversary of one of the most tragic days in our country’s history, the members of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York join with all Americans in mourning the thousands lost in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C....”

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

...as the result of the despicable attacks that occurred on 9/11. We honor and remember the 61 members of the New York City Building Trades who died in the towers that day, as well as the vast numbers of police officers, firefighters and other first responders who perished.

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

While most New Yorkers were running away from Lower Manhattan, thousands of members of the Building Trades literally ran towards the devastation to help in whatever way they could. Nearly 10,000 construction workers volunteered to help clean up the Ground Zero site...

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

...and they eventually made up eighty percent of the workers there. Through their courageous actions, our brother and sister construction workers showed their patriotism, their love for their fellow human beings, and their commitment to the future of New York City.

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

As a result of these valiant efforts, many suffered illnesses and, sadly, many died. The depth of their commitment is a direct reflection of the union spirit, a spirit driven by a sense of common humanity, solidarity, and kinship. Over the course of more than 150 years...

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

...America’s organized labor movement has enjoyed a proud history. As we reflect on this history, let us remember the bravery, the dedication and the sacrifice of those construction workers who bravely put their health and safety at risk to rebuild Lower Manhattan.

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

We remember what they did, and we thank them. God bless America. #NeverForget #GodBlessAmerica

— NYC Building Trades (@NYCBldgTrades) September 11, 2019

 

Today we honor the 3,000 transit workers who participated in the rescue and recovery effort at Ground Zero. NYCT restored service hours after the towers fell. TWU Local 100 members successfully evacuated thousands. #neverforget @NYSAFLCIO @CentralLaborNYC @transportworker pic.twitter.com/vvFjZAWlsN

— TWU Local 100 (@TWULocal100) September 11, 2019

 

Today we mourn our members and all victims of the senseless #September11 attacks https://t.co/Cbrv6WWIkr

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) September 11, 2019

 

#WeNeverForget #FDNY #OurIAFF #IAFF @IAFFNewsDesk pic.twitter.com/UjYxAIuBWE

— Ed Kelly IAFF GST (@IAFFGST) September 11, 2019

 

#WeNeverForget #FDNY #Tradition #Respect #Honor @IAFFNewsDesk pic.twitter.com/w00o3tbtky

— IAFF District 3 VP (@IAFFdist3VP) September 11, 2019

The New York City Police Department has a memorial website in honor of the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in connection with 9/11.

Also watch these videos, which provide more context and pay further tribute.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/11/2019 - 12:47
Posted: September 11, 2019, 4:47 pm

Celebrating Labor Day: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Celebrating Labor Day: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.

Follow the links below to find podcasts. They also can be found wherever you listen to podcasts:

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report: "Reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa, Trump and Netanyahu form unholy alliance to silence Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s support of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement in support of Palestinian people, with Ali Albunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the Battle for Justice in Palestine."

Heartland Labor Forum: "We’re going to cover some labor news⁠—most of it local that you hear little about anywhere else. Then we preview Kansas’ first Troublemakers School training worker activists in how to be effective hell raisers. You may even find out which Kansas City icon corporation just fired all its union janitors. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming at kkfi.org."

State of the Unions (AFL-CIO): "What does Beverly Hills have to do with unions? Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk to SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris about the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader."

UCOMM Live (NYC Area): "On this week's show we are going to be discussing union leaders getting younger and UCOMM's Office gets defaced. We have opened on investigation, was it the Alt-Right, Barstool Sports or just some drunken hipsters? Plus Trump attacks labor, a letter carrier is killed in the latest mass shooting, and we look at how unions celebrated Labor Day. This week's show is our first at the new time of 4 p.m."

Union Strong (NYS AFL-CIO) Podcast Episode 18: NYC Labor Day Parade 2019: "The president of the NYC Central Labor Council is our guest to talk about the oldest and largest worker parade in the country. And we hear from the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Liz Shuler who is this year’s grand marshal."

'Workers Rising' 2019 Labor Day Special (Union City Radio, Washington, D.C.): "Includes Labor Radio/Podcast Network Roundtable with Gene Lantz (Workers Beat, Dallas, Texas); Chris LaGrange (UCOMM podcast, New York City); Rick Smith (Rick Smith Show, Pennsylvania); and Judy Ancel (Heartland Labor Forum, Kansas City)."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/10/2019 - 15:13
Posted: September 10, 2019, 7:13 pm

From the Archives: Labor, Community Groups Mobilize to Fight Klan Recruiting in Pennsylvania

Labor Notes magazine covers

To mark our 40th anniversary year, Labor Notes is reprinting occasional selections from our archives. This story was published in issue # 22 in November 1980. --Editors

On October 25 a coalition of labor, religious, civil rights, and civic organizations held a rally in Uniontown, Pa., 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, to protest a recruitment drive and rally by the Ku Klux Klan. The anti-Klan rally, organized by the Pittsburgh-based Ad Hoc Committee to Counter KKK Activity, drew over 500 people.

Posted: September 10, 2019, 4:43 pm

Steward's Corner: Tips for Helping Members During Investigatory Interviews

Boss pointing to worker
September 09, 2019 / Robert M. Schwartz
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One of the most important jobs of a union representative is to help workers during investigatory interviews over discipline for an alleged infraction. An able rep can help a worker avoid self-incrimination. The rep may also dissuade an employer from imposing a penalty.

Posted: September 9, 2019, 4:03 pm

Censoring the Working Class

Does the first amendment work the same for all Americans? What kind of freedoms do working people have to read, look at, and say what they want? The subject is on my mind this month as I gear up to … Continue reading
Posted: September 9, 2019, 11:23 am

Movie Review: Car Wash

You’ve probably noticed that Hollywood doesn’t turn out many movies about unions. But, says film buff and labor historian Toni Gilpin, there are some overlooked movies out there that depict working people and their lives on the job even though they might lack scenes with picket lines. This is her first installment in an occasional series.—Eds.

Posted: September 6, 2019, 4:05 pm

Corruption Cases in the Auto Workers Complicate Bargaining

Woman auto worker holding up sign
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The Auto Workers' bargaining for 150,000 blue-collar workers at the Big Three auto companies was further complicated August 28 when the FBI raided the homes of UAW President Gary Jones and former President Dennis Williams. The FBI had search warrants for six locations in Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, and California.

Posted: September 4, 2019, 8:13 pm

How Los Angeles Teachers Built Up Our Courage to Strike

September 04, 2019 / Arlene Inouye
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Teachers in Los Angeles struck and won last January. In the months leading up to the strike, how did we overcome our fears and the school district’s intimidation tactics?

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has 34,000 members at 900 schools spread across eight areas of the city, each with its own area meetings. Here’s what we did:

Start early with accurate information.

Posted: September 4, 2019, 5:14 pm

Transnational Reach: 2019 Working-Class Studies Association Awards

As Donald Trump and his ilk on the world stage strip labor protections and human rights under the guise of faux populism,  writers, workers, artists, and activists have refused to submit to the chicanery. An international crisis requires an international … Continue reading
Posted: September 2, 2019, 7:19 am

Workers of the World Unite (At Last)

Neoliberal globalization presents many challenges to labor organizing. Increased mobility of capital has led to a sharp increase in relocation, outsourcing, and offshoring. Multinational corporations can threaten to close plants when workers request better wages, and executives can even pit … Continue reading
Posted: August 19, 2019, 12:08 am

Can the Working Class Trust the Democrats?

Two years ago, we compared the opioid epidemic to the mortgage crisis that nearly cratered the global economy, noting how both were caused by corporate greed. Recent reporting in the Washington Post and other media outlets reveals an important difference … Continue reading
Posted: August 12, 2019, 2:24 pm

Why the Democrats Need to Talk about Race AND Class

In their response to President Trump’s racist tweets telling them to “go back to where they came from,” the four female congressional representatives dubbed “The Squad” tried to shift the debate. Instead of battling over whether the tweets and the subsequent “Send … Continue reading
Posted: August 5, 2019, 1:22 pm

What is a “Working-Class Academic”?

Last week, a law professor from the UK was profiled by The Guardian.  In the article, Geraldine Van Bueren, the daughter of a taxi driver and bookkeeper, discusses the need for people like her to come out publicly.  She has … Continue reading
Posted: July 22, 2019, 11:25 am

Why Can’t It Be Like That Now? Remembering What We Had and Could Have Again

‘But why can’t work be like that now?’ my colleague Julia asked when I told her about my research into the former Guinness brewery at Park Road in West London. After working on the project for the best part of … Continue reading
Posted: July 8, 2019, 10:14 am

Is ‘Doing Your Best’ Ever Enough When You Are Working Class?

In 2016, I wrote about how Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake illustrated the impact of the draconian British welfare system on working-class people. Watching that film was a visceral experience, so much so that I still can’t bring myself … Continue reading
Posted: June 23, 2019, 12:06 pm