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NewsFeed - Labor

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This MLB power couple is fighting to save 200 union jobs

It all started so innocently. On Sunday night, Eireann Dolan — the wife of Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle — was in the car with her husband doing some research on official MLB hats, because her friend was interested in buying one for his son. But when she searched for New Era — the official manufacturer […]
Posted: February 20, 2019, 4:21 pm

West Virginia Strikes Again, Defeating Privatization Bill in a Single Day

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“Don’t start those buses tomorrow,” said Joe White, executive director of the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.

He was announcing the second statewide education strike in West Virginia in a year, alongside the leaders of the state’s two teacher unions.

The next morning, February 19, buses throughout the state sat idle in garages.

And by the middle of the day, strikers declared victory with the defeat of an anti-union, pro-privatization education bill in the state House.

Posted: February 20, 2019, 4:00 pm

‘People Are Starting to See That Winning Is Possible’: Denver Teachers Win, Oakland Next

Denver students held signs spelling out "We heart teachers."
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The teacher strike wave keeps gathering steam. After three days out, February 11-13, Denver teachers won a settlement that achieved their main goal—to dramatically reduce the effects of the district’s chaotic merit pay system.

Oakland teachers, meanwhile, have announced they will strike February 21.

The new contract in Denver will put more money into base pay and into steps and lanes, which reward teachers for their years of experience and level of higher education.

Posted: February 19, 2019, 9:39 pm

We’ve Been Fighting for $15 For 7 Years. Today I’m Celebrating a Historic Victory.

On Tuesday, Illinois became the first state in the Midwest to enact legislation phasing in a $15-per-hour minimum wage, giving 1.4 million workers a raise every year between 2020 and 2025. Upon hearing the news last week that both houses of the Illinois General Assembly had passed the $15 minimum wage bill and would be […]
Posted: February 19, 2019, 4:15 pm

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: AFGE

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: AFGE
AFGE
AFL-CIO

Next up in our new series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the AFGE. The series will run weekly until we've covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: American Federation of Government Employees

Mission: The union exists for the purpose of promoting unity of action in all matters affecting the mutual interests of government civilian employees in general, all other persons providing their personal service indirectly to the United States Government and for the improvement of government service.

Current Leadership of Union: J. David Cox Sr. is currently serving his third term as AFGE's national president. Cox, who is from North Carolina, began working in health care in 1970 and became a registered nurse in 1983. That launched a public sector career with the Veterans' Administration that lasted until 2006, when he became AFGE's national secretary-treasurer. Everett Kelley serves as national secretary-treasurer and Jeremy Lannan serves as national vice president for women and fair practices.

Current Number of Members: 315,000.

Members Work As: Food inspectors, nurses, correctional officers, lawyers, police officers, census workers, scientists, doctors, park rangers, border patrol agents, transportation security officers, mechanics, computer programmers and more.

Industries Represented: Members work for the federal government or the government of the District of Columbia.

History: AFGE formed in 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression. Federal employees were refused most of the rights they have today. Politicians had crippled the civil service, and AFGE's founding members came together in opposition to these attacks. In the decades leading up to World War II, new chapters of the union began to form across the country. In the 1940s and 50s, AFGE fought for and won a pay raise of nearly 16%, the largest increase for the federal government workforce in the country's history. They also won within-grade pay increases, transportation allowances and payment for accrued annual leave, overtime, and night and holiday work. Finally, in 1962, federal workers secured the right to collectively bargain when President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10988. Since then, AFGE has continued to fight for government workers and has won real bargaining rights and extended the dignity of a union contract to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Check out AFGE's Labor History Timeline to learn more.

Current Campaigns: Stop the Shutdown seeks to end the unfair and unnecessary shutdown of the federal government. AFGE is also fighting to protect the rights for TSA workersprotect correctional officersprotect official time for federal employees and to fully fund and resource the Veterans Administration. AFGE's Use Your Voice empowers young workers to engage their fellow AFGE members, friends and family to register to vote and turn out to the polls on Election Day. Family First is a campaign to pass paid parental leave for all working families. 

Community Efforts: Each One, Teach One is a mentorship program for AFGE members. AFGE is part of AFL-CIO's Union Veterans Council whose mission is to inform, organize and mobilize union veterans. AFGE Y.O.U.N.G. seeks to mobilize young union members to become leaders for social change. AFGE's Pride program supports the union's LGBTQ membership and allies. HISCO supports professional advancement, leadership development and education opportunity for AFGE members of Hispanic origin.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 02/19/2019 - 09:50
Posted: February 19, 2019, 2:50 pm

West Virginia teachers strike (yes, again) to protest attack on public education

This is not a blast from the recent past: West Virginia teachers are on strike again, just a year after they kicked off a wave of teacher uprisings that is still reverberating around the nation. The teachers won a badly needed pay raise last year, but now they’re protesting as their state legislature considers a […]
Posted: February 18, 2019, 4:08 pm

Grifting the Working Class

Since the 2016 election, pundits have pondered how a man who began his campaign by gliding down an escalator in a gaudy Manhattan skyscraper festooned with his name managed to ride working-class resentment and anxiety to the presidency. How did … Continue reading
Posted: February 18, 2019, 12:48 pm

A Green New Deal for American Labor?

Two workers installing solar energy at Garfield County Fairgrounds
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The simple yellow protest signs were stenciled “Green Jobs for All.” Speaker after speaker stepped into the middle of the office floor, marked with a U.S. House of Representatives seal. Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fresh off her election win, gave the protesters high fives.

That was the scene in November when the youth climate justice organization Sunrise Movement held a sit-in at the office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who was soon to be the Speaker of the House.

Most Americans had never heard of the “Green New Deal” at the time.

Posted: February 15, 2019, 10:34 pm

Janus for the Rails and Air?

They did it to public workers. Next they want to do it to railroad and airline workers.

A right-wing policy think tank filed a Janus-style lawsuit against the Machinists on January 8, claiming that non-members shouldn’t be required to pay fees for union representation.

The plaintiffs are customer service agents at United Airlines. They’re covered by the Railway Labor Act, which governs unionization and collective bargaining for hundreds of thousands of union members who work for railways or airlines—from flight attendants to freight train engineers.

Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:23 pm

Federal judge blocks military from discharging service members with HIV

A federal judge in Virginia ruled Friday that the U.S. military must suspend its practice of discharging service members because they have HIV. The injunction followed a lawsuit filed by two airmen who learned in November that they would not be permitted to continuing serving in the military because of their HIV status. This is […]
Posted: February 15, 2019, 4:05 pm

Collective Action Continues to Rise: The Working People Weekly List

Collective Action Continues to Rise: 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.

Number of Workers Striking Across the U.S. Jumped in 2018: "Almost 500,000 workers participated in work stoppages last year, driven primarily by protests in the education, health-care and social-assistance industries, the Labor Department said. Overall, there were more such disputes than in any year since 2007, and more people on strike or lockout than any year going back to 1987. 'If you think that neither the political system nor the economy is working for you, you turn to each other, knowing it’s the only way you can make change,' said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million unionized workers."

Let’s Not Forget Unions and Collective Action When Discussing Victories on Workers’ Rights: "Too often in our public discourse about workplace issues, the crucial role of labor unions and the legal right of workers to join together in collective action to improve their working conditions is forgotten or ignored."

Trump Wrong to Scapegoat Immigrants, AFL-CIO President Says: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses the trade war between the U.S. and China and the implications for the U.S. labor force with Bloomberg's Jason Kelly on "Bloomberg Markets: Balance of Power."

Was It Worth It? Many Suffered in Trump’s Wall Budget Loss: "Wall or no wall, that wasn’t the question during a silent demonstration in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. For 35 minutes on Wednesday afternoon, members of the American Federation of Government Employees and others held their fists high to mark the number of days in the longest shutdown that ended three weeks ago. In solemn fashion, they declared not to tolerate such an assault on the government and its workforce. Arms were raised. At the sound of triangle chimes and a small bell rung on each minute, individuals lowered one arm and then raised the other. Each minute was displayed on a paper plate, so the demonstrators would know how much they had to endure."

Congress’s Spending Deal Doesn’t Include Back Pay for Federal Contractors: "Democratic lawmakers led by Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith wanted to attach a bill guaranteeing back pay for federal contractors to a final spending package in an effort to provide some financial relief for as many as 580,000 workers who may have missed out on wages during the recent shutdown. Contractors say they struggled with everything from covering medications to buying baby formula. The legislation, which would have been the first law of its kind to grant contractors back pay after a government shutdown, had been caught up in spending negotiations and faced Republican pushback, according to multiple Democratic sources. As Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) told reporters pointedly on Wednesday, 'I’ve been told the president won’t sign that....I guess federal contractors are different in his view than federal employees.'"

Working People Rally to Protect Dreamers and Workers with TPS: "More than 1,000 of our union brothers and sisters from across the country marched on Capitol Hill Tuesday to call on Congress to save the temporary protected status (TPS) program and allow the workers who depend on it to continue to pursue their dreams in America."

Painters Lend Helping Hand in the Construction Trades: "Work in the construction trades is very physically and mentally demanding. For some workers, those conditions, combined with other factors, can lead to the need for support from the community. The Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union is stepping up to provide that support for workers who are dealing with depression or substance abuse with IUPAT Helping Hand, a new program designed to raise awareness and provide resources for working people who are struggling."

No More Shutdowns: 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."

U.S. Unions Bring Solidarity to Striking Mexican Workers: "A delegation of union leaders from the national AFL-CIO, the Texas AFL-CIO, the UAW and the United Steelworkers (USW) traveled to Matamoros, Mexico, last week to support tens of thousands of factory workers who have launched a wave of strikes to demand wage increases and democratic control of their unions."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Amalgamated Transit Union: "Next up in our new series of taking a deeper look at each of our affiliates is Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The series will run weekly until we've covered all 55 of our affiliates."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:57
Posted: February 15, 2019, 3:57 pm

Bargaining Update

The NABET-CWA Network Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement this week with NBC Universal on a new contract to replace the Master Agreement, which expired on March 31, 2018.

Posted: February 14, 2019, 8:22 pm

Organizing Update

Organizing news from BuzzFeed News, the Hartford Courant, and Parking Production Assistants.

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:58 pm

House Hearing Reveals Weakness of T-Mobile and Sprint's Merger Claims

CWA President Chris Shelton testified in front of Congress on Wednesday at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:51 pm

USIC Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Keep Their Union!

USIC workers, members of CWA Local 1101, voted overwhelmingly to keep their union last week.

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:39 pm

CWAers Across the Country Make Progress on Passing Legislation to Protect Call Center Jobs

CWAers across the country are making major strides on passing legislation to protect call center jobs from offshoring!

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:36 pm

Aviation Safety at Risk if Government Shutdown Resumes

At a press conference this week, CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens and AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson called on Congress and the White House to avoid another federal government shutdown in order to keep workers and the flying public safe.

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:32 pm

NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA Decry Violence at Trump Rally

The NewsGuild-CWA and NABET-CWA released a joint statement decrying violence at President Trump's rally earlier this week in El Paso.

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:27 pm

CWA Shares Vision for Future of American Labor

CWA was well-represented at a conference last week at Georgetown University Law Center on "The Future of American Labor."

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:24 pm

Happy Valentine's Day from CWA!

We go together like...

Posted: February 14, 2019, 6:16 pm

Working People Rally to Protect Dreamers and Workers with TPS

Working People Rally to Protect Dreamers and Workers with TPS
TPS Action
AFL-CIO

More than 1,000 of our union brothers and sisters from across the country marched on Capitol Hill Tuesday to call on Congress to save the temporary protected status (TPS) program and allow the workers who depend on it to continue to pursue their dreams in America.

Despite the wind and rain, workers from UNITE HERE, the Laborers (LIUNA), the Bricklayers (BAC), the Ironworkers, the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) rallied at the U.S. Capitol, demanding #TPSJustice.

TPS provides people from countries experiencing crises such as war, natural disaster or ongoing violence the opportunity to build a life in the United States. TPS holders are major contributors to our workplaces, economy and communities. They deserve a stable future, but the Trump administration has terminated the program for the 400,000 who have 275,000 U.S. citizen children.

Tell Congress that working people support immigrants and want to protect TPS and create a pathway to citizenship.

Here is what people said on Twitter from the rally:

Our big day is here, join us starting at 9 am, at the White House, as we march for the Justice of the TPS Community 👊🏾✊🏽. #TPSMarch #TPSJustice #ResidencyNow #ProtectTPSFamilies #TpsPeoplesSummit pic.twitter.com/KIrsBiXBHP

— Nat’l TPS Alliance (@TPS_Alliance) February 12, 2019

“Everything I do is for them. I can’t imagine what I would do if I lost them.” TPS recipient Doris talks about her 3 US citizen children and the nightmare she faces if Congress doesn’t act quickly to #ProtectTPS. Join us in fighting for #TPSjustice: https://t.co/YLAlU3HeBF pic.twitter.com/fqol6uXF9Q

— iAmerica Action (@iAmericaAction) February 12, 2019

CALL IN DAY: Has your Representative committed to preventing the termination of TPS and providing permanent protections for people whose lives are in limbo? Call and find out: 202-335-9949 #TPSJustice #SaveTPS pic.twitter.com/4J18UQzZwA

— Working Families United (@wfucoalition) February 12, 2019

It is cold and rainy at the White House today, but that won't stop us from fighting for #TPSJustice - we're out here to fight for our brothers and sisters who are TPS holders because they too deserve a pathway to become permanent residents. pic.twitter.com/cQWlcOdYGR

— APALA (@APALAnational) February 12, 2019

RIGHT NOW: A crowd led by @TPS_Alliance and other ntl. orgs has gathered outside the White House to demand #TPSJustice pic.twitter.com/5HD9FXvK41

— Juan Escalante (@JuanSaaa) February 12, 2019

“No lluvia, ni viento, detiene el movimiento!”
“Rain & wind can stop the movement”#tps #savetps #TPSJustice pic.twitter.com/5X833PehRp

— Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) (@Join_SIM) February 12, 2019

“We are not standing in the rain because we like to stand in the rain. We are here for a cause. We are here because we don’t know what is coming next!” - Cristina Wilson #TPSjustice pic.twitter.com/7zGVr0i6Hx

— Nat’l TPS Alliance (@TPS_Alliance) February 12, 2019

We're at the #TPSMarch march today in Washington, where thousands have shown up to defend this humanitarian program.

Find out more about Trump’s attacks against the TPS community and what’s at stake: https://t.co/jcJ5REuPXY#TPSJustice #ResidencyNow #ProtectTPSFamilies pic.twitter.com/lT7mR8mGBh

— WOLA (@WOLA_org) February 12, 2019

Our march to Capitol Hill is about to begin!

Nuestra marcha hacia el Capitolio ya empieza! #TPSJustice pic.twitter.com/qo163uAIO4

— Nat’l TPS Alliance (@TPS_Alliance) February 12, 2019

For Haiti, for 13 countries. We march for #tpsjustice. pic.twitter.com/XuuucwfuNT

— Working Families United (@wfucoalition) February 12, 2019

Lots of signs
Lots of enthusiasm
Lots of determination

ALL FOR #TPSJUSTICE pic.twitter.com/8SOl3wZqaD

— Nat’l TPS Alliance (@TPS_Alliance) February 12, 2019

I had the privilege of sponsoring “The Last Dream: Stories Created & Performed by the Children of TPS” by the #Boston Experimental Theatre to create space for these children, children of #TPS recipients, to tell their stories & demand #TPSJUSTICE. pic.twitter.com/ey4I3cLUOC

— Rep Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) February 12, 2019

Lobbying our Texas legislators to #ProtectTPSfamilies #TPSJustice #SaveTPS @GoIUPAT @TexasAFLCIO @unitehere @AFLCIO @wfucoalition @IUBAC pic.twitter.com/l0PgJvgwNE

— Montserrat Garibay (@MontseTXAFLCIO) February 12, 2019

Rain or shine, we're proud to stand with our partners who are fighting for TPS recipients — immigrants who have built careers and made their lives here for decades now. #SaveTPS #TPSJustice pic.twitter.com/k8DcQRiXrU

— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) February 12, 2019

Ana has lived & worked here for nearly two decades with #TPS. Today she is taking her mssg to Congress to advocate for a permanent solution for her & over 300,000 TPS holders who work hard for this country & deserve a pathway to citizenship. #SaveTPS #TPSjustice @WorkersUnitedWS pic.twitter.com/ysPfl4Dj6C

— iAmerica Action (@iAmericaAction) February 12, 2019

America’s mothers call on Congress to enact legislation that affirms the dignity of immigrant women & children and of our nation. We stand with TPS holders and their fight to stay with their families and continue building their lives in the U.S. #SaveTPS #TPSJustice pic.twitter.com/YyZAqkm4oI

— MomsRising (@MomsRising) February 12, 2019

“I came here in 1985 w/ dreams & am now a US citizen. I’m here to ask my sen @marcorubio to help us pass legislation to provide a permanent solution for #TPS recipients. If they’re forced to leave, there’s gonna be a big hole in this country.” -Javier, @WorkersUnited #tpsjustice pic.twitter.com/6n3XdDW5J6

— iAmerica Action (@iAmericaAction) February 12, 2019

Ending TPS would put more than 400,000 TPS holders and their families at risk for deportation. Advocates took to the streets of D.C. today to demand permanent protection for these workers and families. #TPSJustice #SaveTPS #ResidencyNow pic.twitter.com/PeDcrBE7Ut

— Advancing Justice | AAJC (@AAAJ_AAJC) February 12, 2019

Thank you Rep. @DonnaShalala staff for hearing our #TPS stories! Our Florida families need your support! #ResidencyNOW #TPSJustice @TPS_Alliance @afsc_org pic.twitter.com/LULYFTZMhC

— AFSC South Region (@AFSCSouthRegion) February 12, 2019

In DC fighting for TPS and DACA. Fighting with Working Families United. A group of about 15 international Unions who are fighting for our people. Thank you Congressman Ro Khanna for meetings with us.#SaveTPS #TPSJustice @wfucoalition pic.twitter.com/pHkNzprrdg

— IUPAT DC5 ORG (@IUPAT_DC5) February 12, 2019

Threatening #TPS families is just another form of family separation. Govt should lead with compassion, not cruelty and chaos. TY to everyone for sharing your story today. Together, we're going to #SaveTPS. #protectTPS #TPSJustice @fams2gether @MIRACoalition @TPS_Alliance pic.twitter.com/hlldi53DAj

— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) February 12, 2019

This is what union solidarity looks like. Workers from 12+ states and eight+ unions pushing Congress to pass permanent protections for #TPSJustice NOW! pic.twitter.com/Rt7MhZ93Po

— Working Families United (@wfucoalition) February 13, 2019
Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 02/14/2019 - 12:52
Posted: February 14, 2019, 5:52 pm

With Shutdown Over, OPM provides Guidance on Back Pay for Federal Employees

In late January, federal employees across the country returned to work for the first time in over a month.  In an effort to provide retroactive pay as quickly as possible, The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued guidance to federal agencies impacted by the shutdown to explain how their employees should receive back […]
Posted: February 14, 2019, 4:02 pm

House Hearing Reveals Weakness of T-Mobile and Sprint's Merger Claims, Opponents Show Merger is Not in the Public Interest

During today’s U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing on the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, witnesses raising concerns about the proposed merger offered detailed and extensive documentation and analysis, while merger supporters relied on vague and unsubstantiated claims.

Posted: February 13, 2019, 9:33 pm

Painters Lend Helping Hand in the Construction Trades

Painters Lend Helping Hand in the Construction Trades

Work in the construction trades is very physically and mentally demanding. For some workers, those conditions, combined with other factors, can lead to the need for support from the community. The Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union is stepping up to provide that support for workers who are dealing with depression or substance abuse with IUPAT Helping Hand, a new program designed to raise awareness and provide resources for working people who are struggling.

Construction workers have the highest rate of suicide and drug abuse of any job category in the United States. Many of these addictions begin as treatment for work-related pain or injury. Workers often return to the job before they are fully healed in order to start earning a full paycheck again. Others come back to work still using painkillers that may affect job performance and safety.

IUPAT Helping Hand is designed to help construction workers and their family and friends get access to resources that can identify warning signs and prevent or alleviate these problems before they get out of hand. 

Watch the video above and visit the Helping Hand website to learn more. 

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:34
Posted: February 13, 2019, 1:34 pm

Illinois poised to be next state to pass $15 minimum wage

After New Jersey made its move toward a $15 minimum wage official, the question was where next—and it hasn’t been a long wait to find out. The Illinois state Senate has passed a bill raising the state’s minimum wage from its current $8.25 an hour to $15 in 2025. The state House, which has a […]
Posted: February 13, 2019, 1:13 pm

Denver teachers go on strike for the first time in 25 years

Thousands of teachers from Denver Public Schools gathered at the state Capitol Monday to kick off their first strike in 25 years, demanding pay increases and a long-term solution to the state’s ongoing problem of underfunding schools. The strike, which is led by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA), will affect more than 200 schools […]
Posted: February 13, 2019, 12:10 am

No More Shutdowns: In the States Roundup

No More Shutdowns: In the States Roundup
In the States Round-up
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.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

After learning OMB Director Donna Arduin and Governor Dunleavy's plan for the budget as well as this newly rolled out supplemental budget, all we can say is someone needs a dictionary.

trans·par·ent:(of an organization or its activities) open to public scrutiny. #akleg #akgov pic.twitter.com/JqgYph6Exw

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) January 30, 2019

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Congratulations to former UFCW member Cardi B on making history at last nights Grammy’s! https://t.co/yIdRhdgr8Q

— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) February 11, 2019

California Labor Federation:

"Most gig economy workers are still classified as contract workers, meaning that they aren’t covered by federal minimum wage laws & other labor protections." We need to stop greedy corporations from cheating workers! #CaLeg must vote #YesOnAB5! https://t.co/Y3hoyx5iq8 @LorenaAD80

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) February 8, 2019

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Sotonye Otunba-Payne, court reporter & member of @AFSCMECT4: "We believe that outsourcing will lead to the destruction of middle-class jobs that are the backbone of our economy" #ThriveTogetherCT #1u pic.twitter.com/76CwOCoPrz

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) February 11, 2019

Florida AFL-CIO:

“There is a lot of uncertainty, and there is a high stress level in the people. It’s affecting the home life of people. Now they don’t know what their future is.” #NoMoreShutdowns https://t.co/rpipMtFYGI

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) February 7, 2019

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Instead of 4 beautiful words stamped on cars, we need 5: "UNION MADE in the USA". #1u #SOTU

— AFL-CIO Georgia (@AFLCIOGeorgia) February 6, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

“The GOP tax cut didn’t help. The free trade agreement hasn’t helped. There’s nothing Trump has done that has helped.” #1uhttps://t.co/OKnFM4jaEg

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) February 7, 2019

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Black Civil Rights Activists https://t.co/RyMY1W3IfC

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) February 11, 2019

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

“Janus hasn’t had any effect at all on us,” said the Kentucky AFL-CIO president, Bill Londrigan, whose state gained 5,000 new public union members after a series of dramatic teachers’... https://t.co/iFFpkxtN4g

— Kentucky AFL-CIO (@aflcioky) February 8, 2019

Maine AFL-CIO:

Federal workers Bill and Rob speak to fellow area union members about the impact of the lockout, aka shutdown, had on their members and families. Never again! @AFGENational #mepolitics #1u pic.twitter.com/R7PYr4e0vr

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) February 7, 2019

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Thank you to our union brothers and sisters working extra hard to keep the #MBTA running safely this morning during heavy use for the #PatriotsParade @carmensunion589 @IAM264Boston @IBEW103 @IBEW104

— Massachusetts AFLCIO (@massaflcio) February 5, 2019

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

DC's JW Marriott engineers join IUOE 99 https://t.co/mTbMguthIY

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) February 8, 2019

Michigan AFL-CIO:

Wherein he passes the torch to all of us. Rest in power, John Dingell. #1u https://t.co/p60l38TK2E

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) February 9, 2019

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

The Fight Against Labor Trafficking Expands https://t.co/Ev2ECr027Y (via @workdaymn) #1u pic.twitter.com/6gM0pvlKVU

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

Missouri AFL-CIO:

The enemies of open government in Missouri have made clear they have no regard for either the principle of transparency or the overwhelming will of the people. #moleg https://t.co/eVBiG2cjOM

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) February 8, 2019

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

Mark your calendars now to help Stamp Out Hunger. pic.twitter.com/YawTXOzhYq

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) February 6, 2019

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

Bright and snowy opening of #nvleg ❄️❄️❄️ Looking forward to warmer days and passing legislation to help NV working families #1u pic.twitter.com/7AtQxaU3IG

— Nevada State AFL-CIO (@NVAFLCIO) February 5, 2019

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

#StoptheShutdown ! Give our Brothers and Sisters the dignity they deserve! #Solidarity #1u pic.twitter.com/ukLH9JdheU

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) February 11, 2019

New York State AFL-CIO:

Labor leaders optimistic bill penalizing companies for outsourcing call-center jobs will pass in Dem-controlled Albany https://t.co/AJqcvdG2wE

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) February 11, 2019

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

We need you in Raleigh Feb. 27th for 2019 Medicaid Expansion Advocacy Day! RSVP at https://t.co/Qwf0ZDcDGA https://t.co/cl4WQ3wju7

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) February 10, 2019

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Rep. Nelson stands with North Dakota Firefighters and Police and their right to join together and negotiate the terms of their employment. Thank him! menelson@nd.gov - 701-550-9731 #HB1463 #NDPOL #1u pic.twitter.com/ealExPZn1T

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) February 5, 2019

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Fear @wrightstate faculty, staff, students & @aaupwsu,

Thank you for standing united in #solidarity for a better university. The lessons taught on the picket line will last a lifetime (and beyond).

Congratulations and in the best way possible, we say, “Now get o work.”

💪👏✊ https://t.co/w2z6FyymlF

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) February 11, 2019

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Check out IBEW 1141 member Joshua Matthews giving back to his community! https://t.co/NvNHGF7EKX

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) February 11, 2019

Oregon AFL-CIO:

This blocks working peoples' pathway to prosperity. Enough is enough. #YESonSB608 is our chance to fight the housing crisis head on. https://t.co/q5NC433lib

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) February 5, 2019

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

10s of thousands of Pennsylvanians are shut out of our workforce. If we want to address workforce development we NEED to address our criminal justice system! @GovernorTomWolf #BudgetAddress #CriminalJustice #CleanSlate pic.twitter.com/5lTNrXJlM2

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) February 5, 2019

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

RI labor movement suffered a great loss when Teamster Assistant Business Agent Dennis Lavallee passed away unexpectedly. A planned fundraiser has been set for Saturday, February 23 a trust has been established to assist the Lavallee family.@IBT251 #1U #Teamsters #IBT pic.twitter.com/LMNF6xt4YK

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) February 11, 2019

South Carolina AFL-CIO:

Workers, AFL-CIO, Democrats open legislative push for $15 minimum wage https://t.co/h83fE8brTY

— SC AFL-CIO (@SCAFLCIO) February 9, 2019

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Electrolux fired 658 employees, contract workers in Memphis the year before closure announcement https://t.co/V9ZzWtVCZo

— Tennessee AFL-CIO (@tnaflcio) February 10, 2019

Texas AFL-CIO:

Write your Texas senator now: Vote NO on David Whitley https://t.co/Z4ZqoaPYLt

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) February 9, 2019

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024 would lift pay for nearly 40 million workers | Economic Policy Institute https://t.co/y7yegm4gRw

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) February 5, 2019

Washington State Labor Council:

Our time counts—at work and away from it (WSLC Legislative Update) https://t.co/CGHD5Ve2Bs re: Secure Scheduling, funding community colleges, honoring labor on the 100th anniversary of the Seattle General Strike #waleg #1u pic.twitter.com/gotmegIqN3

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) February 8, 2019

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Here’s an explanation for why Corrupt @SenCarmichaelWV is pushing an "omnibus" education bill no one wants. #hatesworkingfamilies https://t.co/ZcDMAiOL3y

— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) February 3, 2019

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Unions Join Together to Challenge Wisconsin’s Lame Duck Laws, https://t.co/77fTdYIdIo

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) February 9, 2019
Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 02/12/2019 - 09:17
Posted: February 12, 2019, 2:17 pm

Meet the Militant Flight Attendant Leader Who Threatened a Strike—And Helped Stop Trump’s Shutdown

The government shutdown introduced America to an audacious new voice in the labor movement: Sara Nelson. While receiving the MLK Drum Major for Justice Lifetime Achievement Award from the AFL-CIO on January 20, Nelson, the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, called for a general strike to support the 800,000 federal employees who […]
Posted: February 12, 2019, 12:07 am

U.S. Unions Bring Solidarity to Striking Mexican Workers

U.S. Unions Bring Solidarity to Striking Mexican Workers
Matamoros Delegation
AFL-CIO

A delegation of union leaders from the national AFL-CIO, the Texas AFL-CIO, the UAW and the United Steelworkers (USW) traveled to Matamoros, Mexico, last week to support tens of thousands of factory workers who have launched a wave of strikes to demand wage increases and democratic control of their unions.

Since Jan. 25, at least 48 factories that produce auto parts and other goods for export to the United States have signed agreements to increase wages by 20% and pay a bonus of 32,000 pesos (about $1,750). This is a huge victory for the workers, most of whom make around $2 per hour. In the past week, the strike wave has spread beyond the factories to supermarkets and other employers, with all the workers demanding "20/32." The leaders of the Matamoros unions, which historically have been close to the employers, were forced to endorse the workers’ demands.

The delegation visited the picket line at Advanced Scientifics, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher Scientifics, which produces medical supplies. Some 70 workers have been camped outside the plant 24 hours a day in near-freezing temperatures.

"It’s heartbreaking to see workers who make life-saving equipment treated with so little respect," said USW District 13 Director Ruben Garza. "This is what happens when we sign trade agreements like [the North American Free Trade Ageement] that have no real protections for workers’ rights."

While the wage increase and bonus are a huge victory, the employers and the Confederation of Mexican Workers unions are striking back already. In the past week, as many as 2,000 strike leaders have been fired and blacklisted, despite legal prohibitions and non-reprisal agreements signed by the employers. The U.S. delegation met with fired leaders from several factories who are planning a public protest to demand reinstatement. Here are their testimonies:

  • "We were told we were fired because we offended the company."
  • "The union never helped us, they deceived us. So we had to put our own courage on the line to confront them."
  • "We need to be firm. I have a family, too. My greatest wish is that justice is served. I don’t want just a salary, I want justice!"

"These workers—many of whom are working mothers—are fighting for the pay they’re owed, for better working conditions and for respect on the job," said Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay. "They are using their voices, and it is time to listen. The Mexican and U.S. governments must both demand that these U.S. companies honor their agreements and stop firing and blacklisting these courageous workers."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 02/11/2019 - 12:51
Posted: February 11, 2019, 5:51 pm

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Amalgamated Transit Union

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Amalgamated Transit Union
ATU
AFL-CIO

Next up in our new series of taking a deeper look at each of our affiliates is Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). The series will run weekly until we've covered all 55 of our affiliates.

Name of Union: Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)

Mission: To fight for the rights of transit workers and promote mass transit.

Current Leadership of Union: Lawrence J. Hanley is the current international president of ATU.

Oscar Owens serves as international secretary-treasurer and Javier M. Perez Jr. serves as international executive vice president.

Current Number of Members: Nearly 200,000.

Members Work As: Metropolitan, interstate and school bus drivers; paratransit, light rail, subway, streetcar and ferry boat operators; mechanics and other maintenance workers; clerks, baggage handlers, municipal employees and others.

Industries Represented: Mass transit and related industries.

History: As industrialization advanced in the United States in the late 1800s, more and more workers needed transportation and workers to run that transportation. Mass transit workers in the early days largely worked with horses that pulled streetcars. The drivers often worked 18-hour days while the horses actually only worked four hours a day or less. The harsh treatment, lack of benefits and low pay set the seeds for the rise of ATU.

Early on, there were numerous attempts to form a union of transit workers, but efforts had little success until 1888, when Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, led efforts to organize the streetcar workers. In 1892, the first convention of what would become ATU was held in Indianapolis. 

Although the year after the first convention was challenging, the union became a beacon of hope for transit workers. Within that first year, 28 local divisions were formed and the first Canadian local was chartered in 1893. Seven years later, membership had reached 8,000.

In the years that followed, ATU would continue to expand rapidly amid an era of strikes and violence. The stronger the organization got, the more impact it had. ATU not only pushed for labor reforms such as the six-day workweek and the eight-hour day, but championed technology and rules that make mass transit safer for both workers and riders.

Current Campaigns: Stop Assaults on Transit WorkersMake Sure Transit Operators Have Bathroom BreaksEnd Fatalities and Injuries Resulting from Poor Transit Bus Design.

Community Efforts: ATU has community partnerships with a wide variety of organizations in pursuit of their values and mission, including: the AFL-CIO, Americans for Transit, the BlueGreen Alliance, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Good Jobs First, the Industrial Areas Foundation, Jobs With Justice, the Labor Project for Working Families, the Partnership for Working Families, the Sierra Club, Transit Riders for Public Transit, the Transportation Equity Network, Transportation for America, U.S. PIRG, USAction and Working America.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitterYouTube.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:02
Posted: February 11, 2019, 1:02 pm

Class and the Dignity of Work

In the week before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced his “Dignity of Work” tour, with events in New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and his home state, Ohio. The tour placed the working class at … Continue reading
Posted: February 11, 2019, 12:42 pm

Protecting America’s Workers Act Introduced. Would Strengthen OSHA and Workers’ Rights

A new and improved Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA) has been introduced into the House of Representatives by Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT). Similar versions of this bill has been introduced every year for over a decade.  The bill number is H.R.1074 and a copy of it can soon be found here. (In the meantime, here is […]
Posted: February 9, 2019, 12:04 am

Profiling African American Labor Champions: The Working People Weekly List

Profiling African American Labor Champions: 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.

Black History Month Labor Profiles: Arlene Holt Baker: "For Black History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various African American leaders and activists who have worked at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Our first profile this year is Arlene Holt Baker."

AFL-CIO Is Profiling Labor Leaders and Activists for Black History Month: "For Black History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various African American leaders and activists who have worked at the intersection of civil and labor rights. First, let's take a look back at our past profiles."

Writers Unite!: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with writers organizing and winning new contracts and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

The State of the Union Is…: "When President Donald Trump takes to the House floor to deliver his State of the Union address this evening, we hope to hear a concrete plan to fund the government and make the economy work for those of us who work the hardest. But so far, his actions in office suggest otherwise. Ahead of the big speech, let’s break down his record."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Air Line Pilots Association: "Next up in our series of taking a deeper look at each of the AFL-CIO's unions is the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The series will run weekly until we've covered all 55 affiliates."

Thousands of NASA Contractors Still Without Pay After 5-week Shutdown. Can Congress Step In?: "Contractors are at the mercy of the deals that companies sign with federal agencies. In the case of the Space Coast and NASA, several workers represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 2061 in Cape Canaveral, including [Dan] Faden, say their contracts have changed in recent years to cut out the provision that previously guaranteed them back pay in the event of a shutdown. Some of the 600 Space Coast contractors represented by the union have already been told outright they won’t see those two paychecks. Others are in limbo, waiting for their companies to determine if they can scrape together back pay."

Hundreds of Federal Workers Haven’t Received Back Pay from Shutdown: Report: "Numerous federal workers still owed back pay have not received all of the compensation they are due from the recent 35-day partial government shutdown, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. The news outlet spoke to workers from various agencies that were shuttered from the end of December and through much of January, a period during which hundreds of thousands of federal employees missed two paychecks. Michael Walter, who does food safety inspections for the Department of Agriculture (USDA), told the AP that he got his back pay on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the shutdown ended. Two co-workers told him they had not yet received back pay."

SAG-AFTRA Launches Podcast; First Two Episodes Available Now: "SAG-AFTRA today announced the launch of the SAG-AFTRA podcast. Hosted by President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David White, each episode features in-depth interviews, industry insights and compelling stories affecting the entertainment and media industry. The podcast soft launched in January with the introductory episode 'Making a Revolution.' The next two episodes are available now with subsequent releases available every other Tuesday. 'We are so excited to bring this podcast to the members. It is an opportunity for us to discuss the critical issues that affect our livelihoods within the industry, and will help us to continue laying the groundwork for the future,' said Carteris."

Raise the Wage Act Would Hike Salaries for 40 Million: "Backed by a wide range of unions and women’s groups, veteran lawmakers, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., have reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act—a measure designed to put enforcement 'teeth' into the nation’s 56-year-old equal pay law....The Coalition of Labor Union Women enthusiastically backed the Paycheck Fairness Act and helped ensure every House Democrat, plus one Republican is a co-sponsor....Other union signers were the AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania Federation of Labor, the Government Employees (AFGE), both teachers’ unions, Graphic Communications Conference Local 24M/9N, IBEW District 3 and Local 29, the Machinists, the Auto Workers, the Letter Carriers, the Steel Workers and their District 10 and Local 1088, the Mine Workers, IATSE, the Service Employees and their Local 668, the Transport Workers."

Golden Invites Maine AFL-CIO Leader to Trump's State of the Union Speech: "In a move meant to send a message to Maine’s blue-collar workers, U.S. Rep. Jared Golden invited Cynthia Phinney of Livermore Falls, president of Maine’s AFL-CIO, to be his guest at Tuesday’s State of the Union speech. 'One of my top priorities in Congress is fighting for Maine’s working people,' the 2nd Congressional District Democrat said Friday. 'That’s something Cynthia has done every day for decades.' 'I am feeling tremendously honored,' Phinney said Friday. She said 'it’s a big deal' to be among the few able to attend “this most symbolic and substantial event.'"

GM to Start Laying Off 4,000 Salaried Workers on Monday: "Layoffs for about 4,000 salaried staff at General Motors are due to start Monday—a previously announced move that comes just as President Donald Trump prepares to trumpet American manufacturing at next week's State of the Union address. The layoffs are part of a 15% reduction in white collar jobs in North America that the automaker first announced back in November. At the same time, it announced plans to close four U.S. plants as well as a fifth in Canada."

Being a Union Member Offers Opportunities: "There are certainly many arguments regarding the pros and cons of unions. I spent time engaging with these arguments during my training to become a social scientist. Ultimately, I began to see the issue of union membership differently as I transitioned from primarily identifying as a student to identifying as a worker. Some economist's detached perspective on unions seemed much less important after I personally encountered issues with working conditions, wages or benefits across different employers. I came to a point where I was ready to join a union, and fortunately one was available to me."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 02/08/2019 - 14:45
Posted: February 8, 2019, 7:45 pm

Black History Month Labor Profiles: Arlene Holt Baker

Black History Month Labor Profiles: Arlene Holt Baker
Arlene Holt Baker
Center for Community Change

For Black History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various African American leaders and activists who have worked at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Our first profile this year is Arlene Holt Baker.

Arlene Holt Baker began her work in the labor movement in Los Angeles in 1972. As a member of AFSCME, she began organizing clerical employees who worked for the city. That process taught her that collective bargaining was the way to empower people economically. Her undying optimism was boosted by the fact that soon after she started her organizing work, William Lucy took office as AFSCME's secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold one of the union's top offices. Her belief in the work she was doing was strengthened when she saw Lucy's picture hung on the wall in AFSCME's LA office. "I felt somehow that it was destiny to be there with an organization that believed in social and economic justice," she said.

Arlene's mother, Georgia Louise Leslie, was a domestic worker who sacrificed daily to make sure that Arlene and her six brothers and sisters could  thrive despite not having much. Georgia taught Arlene and her siblings to support their community and instilled in them the value of volunteerism. She inspired Arlene to continue fighting even when times got tough.

In the ensuing years, Arlene moved through the ranks of AFSCME while successfully helping organize California's public-sector workers and winning contracts that improved wages and secured equal pay for women. She worked as the international union area director for AFSCME from the late 1980s up until 1995. During that time, she worked on the state's Comparable Worth Task Force Committee and the Southern California Industrial Relations Research Association. She also worked on AFSCME's political activities, particularly in mobilizing voters.

In 1995, she joined the AFL-CIO as Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson's executive assistant. Among her successes in that role, she helped defeat the anti-working people Prop. 226 in California and helped organe support for migrant workers who wanted to unionize. She was chosen as the first director of the AFL-CIO Voice@Work campaign in 1999, launching a program to engage elected officials, religious and community leaders, and others to support workers' freedom to form unions. In 2004, she served as president of Voices for Working Families, an effort to register and mobilize women and people of color from under-registered communities. In 2006, she returned to the AFL-CIO to lead recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast, helping to bring good jobs and affordable housing in the aftermath of Katrina and other devastating hurricanes.

In 2007, Arlene was unanimously approved to serve the remainder of Linda Chavez-Thompson's term as executive vice president after Chavez-Thompson retired. Arlene became the first African American to hold one of the AFL-CIO's three highest offices. As executive vice president, Arlene fought for working people in many areas, with particular focus on collective bargaining rights, health care, fair trade, immigrant rights, LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights and the right for all union members to fully participate in democratic unions that reflect the rich diversity of the workplace. She was elected to a full term in 2009 and served the federation until her retirement in 2013.

Check out all of our Black History Month labor profiles.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 02/08/2019 - 10:50
Posted: February 8, 2019, 3:50 pm

New York bill would jail employers for discriminating over immigration status

Employers in New York state could face a penalty of up to three months in prison and a $20,000 dollar fine if they make threats regarding a person’s immigration status, under a new bill proposed by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James. Undocumented workers face unique challenges in the workplace when it comes to […]
Posted: February 7, 2019, 11:58 pm

New York Nurses Prepare to Strike over Patient Ratios

Nurses picketing.

Thirteen thousand nurses may be on strike in March at three of the largest employers in New York City.

For several months, hospitals in the Montefiore, Mount Sinai, and New York Presbyterian systems have been bargaining jointly with the New York State Nurses Association.

Posted: February 7, 2019, 10:30 pm

AFL-CIO Is Profiling Labor Leaders and Activists for Black History Month

AFL-CIO Is Profiling Labor Leaders and Activists for Black History Month
Black History Month
AFL-CIO

For Black History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various African American leaders and activists who have worked at the intersection of civil and labor rights. First, let's take a look back at our past profiles:

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 02/06/2019 - 09:51
Posted: February 6, 2019, 2:51 pm

Seattle General Strike: Labor’s Most Spectacular Revolt

February 06, 2019 / Cal Winslow
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On February 6, 1919, Seattle’s workers struck—all of them. In doing so they took control of the city.

The strike was in support of 35,000 shipyard workers, then in conflict with the city’s shipyard owners and the federal government’s U.S. Shipping Board, which was still enforcing wartime wage agreements.

Posted: February 6, 2019, 12:13 pm

Steward’s Corner: Where Do Good Organizers Come From?

February 04, 2019 / Ellen David Friedman
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We know good organizers when we meet them.

They’re accessible. They listen and show respect. They react calmly to all kinds of people, take their time to size up a situation, and engage people on their own terms.

They brim with suggestions for action, but they’re open to new ideas. They’re not bossy. They always take workers’ side against employers—but among workers, they treat divisions with care and diligence.

They don’t act from fear, and they know how to help others lose their fear.

Posted: February 4, 2019, 7:15 pm

Should We Mourn the Loss of Industrial Jobs?

On his show, This Is Me Now, comedian Jim Jefferies recently joked that Canada should build a three-foot wall on its border to prevent ‘Americans [who] are crawling over because their lungs are filled with coal from getting all their … Continue reading
Posted: February 4, 2019, 12:45 pm

A Bad Day for Hoffa: Chicago Teamster Leader Joins Opposition Slate

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“The straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” said Chicago Teamsters leader Juan Campos, “was seeing the international shoving the UPS contract down the members’ throats.”

That’s why he has joined an opposition slate to challenge the union’s top officers in 2021.

Campos announced January 31 that he will run for an at-large vice president seat, on the ticket with Sean O’Brien of Boston for president and Fred Zuckerman of Louisville for secretary-treasurer.

Posted: February 2, 2019, 2:38 pm

Labor Upheaval in Bangladesh Prompts Solidarity Actions

Bangladeshi garment worker at sewing machine looks up, sitting in factory

With the sixth anniversary approaching of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed over 1,000 workers, conditions in the world’s second-largest garment export industry are tumultuous.

Posted: February 1, 2019, 8:40 pm

Labor Notes: Forty Years of Troublemaking

Multiracial group of activists standing next to each other and laughing.
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Everyone knows organized labor is on the decline. And yet bright spots keep flaring up.

Verizon workers in 2016 walked out on the biggest strike in years, proving that corporate giants can still be beaten with old-fashioned solidarity.

Chicago teachers struck in 2012, touching off a wave of teacher militancy that’s still washing over the U.S. Now all eyes are on Los Angeles.

Posted: January 29, 2019, 9:05 pm

The Ghosts of Bisbee

Bisbee ‘17 is a documentary about an Arizona town facing its ghosts.  In June 1917, when copper miners organized by the Industrial Workers of the World had gone on strike for two weeks, 1200 striking workers were rounded up and … Continue reading
Posted: January 28, 2019, 12:29 pm

Working-Class Precarity: An Education

The teacher who most influenced me was Raphael Samuel, one of the leading social historians of his time – though I didn’t know that when I studied with him.  Raph, as we came to know him, had chosen to work … Continue reading
Posted: January 21, 2019, 12:45 pm

Time to Make a Deal on the Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009.  Until last year, when the unemployment rate dropped almost to the level of full employment, wages were stagnant, exacerbating inequality.  In 2018, average hourly earnings went up … Continue reading
Posted: January 14, 2019, 12:54 pm

Blaming Workers Again

Working-class people often get blamed for their troubles. They should have planned better, been less demanding, or just been smarter. Those are just some of the judgments that surfaced again in the weeks after General Motors’ announcement late in November … Continue reading
Posted: January 7, 2019, 1:05 pm

The Global Working Class Fights Back

2018 has seen many working-class people around the world standing up for their rights and pushing back against injustice and inequality. Some of these fights have made the mainstream news in western countries, but many have not. As we reflect … Continue reading
Posted: December 17, 2018, 12:05 pm

Trouble in Paradise

On the 8th of November, Paradise went up in flames.  This small town in Northern California held about 28,000 people, many retirees on a fixed budget.  This was not a rich town.  The median household income was $41,000, 94% of … Continue reading
Posted: December 10, 2018, 12:44 pm

ABC Sitcom The Conners: The Struggle is Real

Life expectancy for Americans has fallen to an average of 78.6 years. This is a drop from the most recent estimates—indicating a downward trend that is virtually unheard of in Western countries. A report just released from the Centers for … Continue reading
Posted: December 3, 2018, 12:50 pm