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New York City’s transgender community faces significant employment discrimination, new report finds

The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) released a new report Tuesday detailing systemic discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people across the city. Compared to the general New York City population, TGNC individuals are five times more likely to be unemployed, and among those with college degrees, more than four times more likely to be […]
Posted: December 12, 2018, 6:50 pm

Ohio’s Ironworkers Local 290 Invests in the Future

Ohio’s Ironworkers Local 290 Invests in the Future
Ohio Ironworkers
Ironworkers

One of the country’s best-kept secrets is that the American labor movement trains more workers than any organization other than the U.S. military. Apprenticeships and job training programs represent a powerful, life-changing opportunity that unions are in a unique position to provide. When those resources are made readily available to working people, membership growth often follows.

That’s a major reason why the leadership of Ironworkers Local 290 in Dayton, Ohio, has made expanding their training capacity a top priority. Given expected growth in the construction industry, the local is positioning itself to train more apprentices and grow its ranks.

“We knew we had a big, big problem,” said Local 290 Business Manager Jeff Bush.

Limited to four small classrooms and unable to build out its facility, the local went about finding a new home for the program. It purchased a 45,000 square-foot industrial building on six acres of property, renovating the space into a massive new training center.

Initially facing hesitation from members over the prospect of leaving their longtime union hall, the investment quickly proved its worth.

In the three years since the move, the local has dramatically expanded its training and outreach programs, launching daytime training, partnering with local high schools and recruiting existing skilled tradesmen to pursue membership and certification.

Local 290’s class of first-year apprentices has ballooned to 78, and affiliated contractors are welcoming the highly skilled graduates with open arms.

“Since we have made this move, every member is ecstatic about it. They’re bragging to all their people. They bring people through,” said Bush. “Nobody likes change, but we have to change or one day we’ll be sitting here wondering what happened to us.”

That willingness to change—coupled with a dedication to fostering a relationship with the community and providing value to working people—has proven to be a powerful organizing strategy. Over the past 18 months, the local’s membership rosters have skyrocketed by 25%. What’s more, Local 290 is now in a strategic position to lead the local building trades in the political and organizing fights that lie ahead.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 12/12/2018 - 12:04
Posted: December 12, 2018, 5:04 pm

State of the Unions’ Podcast with Sara Nelson: Aviation's First Responders

State of the Unions’ Podcast with Sara Nelson: Aviation's First Responders
Sara Nelson podcast
AFL-CIO

Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. In the latest episode of our podcast, “State of the Unions,” we talk to UNITE HERE's Rachel Gumpert about recent worker victories at Marriott and go in-depth with Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) International President Sara Nelson. 

State of the Unions” captures the stories of workers across the country. It’s co-hosted by two young and diverse members of the AFL-CIO team: Mobilization Director Julie Greene and Executive Speechwriter Tim Schlittner. A new episode will drop every other Wednesday featuring interesting interviews with workers and our allies across the country, as well as compelling insights from the podcast’s hosts.

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:43
Posted: December 12, 2018, 3:43 pm

‘A Handle on Our Future’

‘A Handle on Our Future’
UNITE HERE
UNITE HERE

As details of the agreements between UNITE HERE workers and Marriott become public, one thing is clear: These victories provide a blueprint for collective bargaining going forward. As Brian Lang, president of UNITE HERE Local 26 in Boston said, “It changes people’s expectations about what’s possible.”

For more than two months, 7,700 hotel workers from Boston to Hawaii went on strike, demanding better wages and respect from Marriott, the most profitable hotel chain in the world.

These workers not only won better wages, they won a better future. Their wins could show the way forward for all workers, whether they’re in a union or not.

While the contracts vary by each location, here are six top noteworthy wins from across the country:

  • A 20% raise over 4.5 years;

  • A 37% increase in pension contributions;

  • Six weeks of paid maternity leave, plus two weeks for spouses;

  • A paid holiday for every worker who becomes an American citizen;

  • Advance notice and training for workers whose jobs will be affected by new technology; and

  • Cutting-edge sexual harassment protections for workers.

The technology provisions of these contracts are especially noteworthy, as workers won the right to be at the bargaining table to discuss things like automated check-ins or robotic bellhops, instead of management deploying them without workers’ input.

We want to have a handle on our future. This is an act of self-determination,” said Jean Te’o-Gibney, UNITE HERE Local 5 member and Royal Hawaiian front desk worker.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 12/11/2018 - 14:58
Posted: December 11, 2018, 7:58 pm

Mugno or not to Mugno: The Senate Must Decide

As the sun sets on the 115th Congress and the mid-point of this term of the Trump administration, the sun also seems to be setting on any chance of seeing an Assistant Secretary for OSHA in the foreseeable future. Or maybe not…. You may recall that former FedEx Ground safety director and Chamber of Commerce […]
Posted: December 11, 2018, 6:45 pm

Equal and Inalienable Rights

Equal and Inalienable Rights
Human Rights Day
AFL-CIO

Seventy years ago today, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Translated into more than 500 languages, it recognized that “the inherent dignity and...equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Article 23 of the declaration lays out the economic rights of working people, including:

  • The right to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

  • The right to equal pay for equal work without discrimination.

  • The right to just and favorable wages that ensure human dignity—supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

  • The right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of one’s interests.

The working people of the labor movement have organized, marched and fought toward securing those rights as a universal reality. In the face of a corporate right-wing campaign to destroy these fundamental freedoms, the AFL-CIO is carrying on the work of defending our rights and dignities on the job. Do your part today by taking action to protect working people.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 12/10/2018 - 13:42
Posted: December 10, 2018, 6:42 pm

Ivanka Trump promised her dad would deliver a great family leave plan. Here’s what we got.

Ivanka Trump once promised that if her father was elected, she would ensure paid family leave was a staple in every workplace, and Donald Trump promised the program would finance itself. Two years later, the Trump administration is no closer to accomplishing this goal than they were when Ivanka and her father told prospective voters and […]
Posted: December 10, 2018, 6:42 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

Economy Gains 155,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Unchanged at 3.7%

The U.S. economy gained 155,000 jobs in November, and unemployment was unchanged at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market can be a leading indicator for the economy. Soft wage growth has been accompanied by weaker auto sales than typical for this low level of unemployment, leading General Motors […]
Posted: December 7, 2018, 6:35 pm

Swept Up in France's Yellow Vest Protests

I’ve never been tear gassed before. The smell is similar to fireworks and the effect is explosive—and effective. I immediately wanted to get as far away as I could from the noxious source of burning eyes and throat.

I was in Paris when France’s “yellow vest” (gilet jaune) movement shut down the center of the city.

There were thousands of demonstrators, all wearing the bright yellow safety vests drivers are required by law to have in their cars.

Posted: December 7, 2018, 5:14 pm

Economy Gains 155,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Unchanged at 3.7%

Economy Gains 155,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Unchanged at 3.7%

The U.S. economy gained 155,000 jobs in November, and unemployment was unchanged at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor market can be a leading indicator for the economy. Soft wage growth has been accompanied by weaker auto sales than typical for this low level of unemployment, leading General Motors to plan plant closings, and slowing home sales point to stresses for workers and the household sector of the economy. The Federal Reserve needs to move with great caution and hold off on more rate increases.

In response to the November job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

#JobReport Payroll employment up 155,000 in November, unemployment rate steady at 3.7% Over the year, wages were up 3.1% not impressive enough numbers for the @federalreserve to maintain increasing interest rates @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

#JobsReport Labor Force Participation rates remain flat overall, the Black and white rates remain similar, both near 62.2% for Blacks 62.9% for whites. @AFLCIO @rolandsmartin pic.twitter.com/1s8Rt1wCA4

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

A look at the question of structural unemployment issues: unemployment rate falls for high school dropouts to 5.6%, and high school grads to 3.5%, while it edges up for college (less than bachelors) 3.0 to 3.1 and bachelor's (or more) 2.0 to 2.2% #JobsReport @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

A look at structural unemployment questions: Here's the recent history of unemployment rates for computer related occupations--very strong cyclical component and little different from just college educated workers, generally. #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/49hbSKJQiA

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

#JobsReport A quick graphical summary of job gains (losses) by industry and earnings (thanks @BLS_gov ) only losing industries were above average wages, biggest gains were below average wage industries @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/EqkxniZ6cd

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

We won't grow as a nation if we don't increase public investment in education, these declines in state and local education are not good signs for the future @AFTunion @AFLCIO @AFSCME #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/Rx7URL4jgo

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

GM layoffs are yet to come, but auto sector already shows weakness, down 800 in November and 1,800 over the year, @UAW @AFLCIO #JobsReport This is an interest sensitive industry the @federalreserve needs to be watching more closely

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

Bad sign, @IWPResearch @HeidiatIWPR : Last month, more unemployed women dropped out of the labor force (811.000) than found work (731,000) -- reversing recent trend and opposite the success of men #JobsReport @AFLCIO https://t.co/IPzxmzhpO2

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) December 7, 2018

Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (32,000), professional and business services (32,000), manufacturing (27,000), transportation and warehousing (25,000) and retail trade (18,000). Employment in other major industries—including mining, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government—showed little change over the month.  

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12%), blacks (5.9%), Hispanics (4.5%), adult women (3.4%), whites (3.4%), adult men (3.3%) and Asians (2.7%) showed little or no change in November.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined slightly in November and accounted for 20.8% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:32
Posted: December 7, 2018, 4:32 pm

State of the Unions: The Working People Weekly List

State of the Unions: 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 this week’s Working People Weekly List.

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Brad Markell: ‘What’s Wrong with GM’: “Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. In the latest episode of our podcast, State of the Unions,’ we talk to longtime UAW member and AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about General Motors’ recent decision to close five North American plants, costing up to 14,000 workers their jobs.”

Remembering George H.W. Bush’s Commitment to Public Service: “President George H.W. Bush will be laid to rest at a state funeral today. Remembrances have been flowing in from across the political spectrum, but one thing we all can agree on is that Bush lived a life that was devoted to public service, not only for himself, but for those who answered his call for all of us to help our fellow Americans.”

Stop the Lame-Duck Power Grabs: “After losing the top offices in Wisconsin and Michigan, anti-worker legislators are trying to strip powers from Govs.-elect Tony Evers and Gretchen Whitmer, respectively—before they are even sworn in. Doing so would have enormous negative consequences for working people in both states. We must stop these outrageous lame-duck power grabs.”

Infrastructure Matters. It’s Time to Get Serious About Funding It: “One hundred billion dollars is a lot of money. With that much cash you could buy four Starbucks lattes for every living human on the planet. (That’s 33 billion lattes in total, if you’re counting.) If coffee is not really your thing, consider buying every single NFL team three times over. Don’t like sports? You and the record-holding Powerball winner can compare piles of cash and together marvel at how yours is 63 times taller.”

Tuesday’s Gone, But Don’t Stop Giving: What Working People Are Doing This Week: “Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here’s a look at the broad range of activities we’re engaged in this week.”

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Richard Trumka: ‘I’ve Never Been More Optimistic’: “Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. Welcome to the latest episode of our podcast, State of the Unions,’ where we talk to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the midterm elections and the future of the labor movement.”

The U.S. Mail Is Not for Sale: “The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) just released a new ad in support of its U.S. Mail Not for Sale campaign. The campaign is a worker-led effort that brings together working people, elected officials and member organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service to fight plans to privatize the U.S. Postal Service.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 12/07/2018 - 10:01
Posted: December 7, 2018, 3:01 pm

Here's the Secret to Getting Young Workers Involved

“How can we get young workers involved?”

That’s the question on everyone’s lips, with union density at near-record lows. Many unions have begun holding summits for young members or forming local committees, which is great.

But too often they’re missing a step that’s more essential: don’t sell young workers out.

When you settle a two-tier contract that puts new hires on a lower wage scale or trades away their pension, it sends a message: “This union is for us, not for you.”

Posted: December 6, 2018, 9:50 pm

Philadelphia Just Passed the Strongest Fair Scheduling Law in the Nation

Philadelphia, the poorest big city in the country, just enacted the most sweeping bill yet to give low-wage workers some control over their schedules. The city’s new law, which passed the city council on Thursday, will require businesses with more than 250 employees and more than 30 locations worldwide to provide employees their schedules at […]
Posted: December 6, 2018, 6:09 pm

Bargaining Update

The latest bargaining information for Envoy Air, Law360, AT&T Southwest, and A&T Midwest.

Posted: December 6, 2018, 6:00 pm

Organizing Update

Workers at media outlets are coming together to improve their working conditions and strengthen their ability to serve their communities by joining NewsGuild-CWA.

Posted: December 6, 2018, 5:52 pm

Facing Public Pressure, AT&T, Verizon Pull Funding from Anti-Worker Organization

CWA joined more than 70 organizations to urge the largest corporate funders of ALEC to cut ties with the organization.

Posted: December 6, 2018, 5:40 pm

CWAers are Fighting for Call Center Jobs in New Jersey

Last week, the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee held a hearing on the New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act.

Posted: December 6, 2018, 5:36 pm

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Brad Markell: ‘What’s Wrong with GM’

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Brad Markell: ‘What’s Wrong with GM’
SOTU: Brad Markell
AFL-CIO

Recently, the AFL-CIO launched another tool to bring you the issues and stories that matter to working people. In the latest episode of our podcast, “State of the Unions,” we talk to longtime UAW member and AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about General Motors recent decision to close five North American plants, costing up to 14,000 workers their jobs.

State of the Unions” captures the stories of workers across the country. It’s hosted by two young and diverse members of the AFL-CIO team: Mobilization Director Julie Greene and Executive Speechwriter Tim Schlittner. A new episode will drop every other Wednesday featuring interesting interviews with workers and our allies across the country, as well as compelling insights from the podcast’s hosts.

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on iTunesGoogle Play MusicSpotifyStitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 12/05/2018 - 09:49
Posted: December 5, 2018, 2:49 pm

Remembering George H.W. Bush's Commitment to Public Service

Remembering George H.W. Bush's Commitment to Public Service
George H.W. Bush
Wikimedia Commons

President George H.W. Bush will be laid to rest at a state funeral today. Remembrances have been flowing in from across the political spectrum, but one thing we all can agree on is that Bush lived a life that was devoted to public service, not only for himself, but for those who answered his call for all of us to help our fellow Americans.

George Herbert Walker Bush was born in 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts. As a high-school senior when the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, Bush was inspired to join the U.S. Navy after graduation and he became the youngest U.S. Navy pilot in the country. During the war, he flew 58 combat missions in the Pacific theater, earned the rank of lieutenant and received three Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.

After returning home, he finished his Bachelor of Arts at Yale before moving into the oil industry. By the time the 1960s had arrived, Bush entered politics; and in 1962, he was named chair of the Texas Republican Party. After several failed attempts to win a U.S. Senate seat, Bush was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966. After a successful re-election campaign, President Richard Nixon asked him to run for the U.S. Senate, but the bid was unsuccessful. Nixon appointed Bush as ambassador to the United Nations. Once Gerald Ford became president, Bush was named envoy to China before returning to the United States to be the director of central intelligence. In 1980, he ran for president and lost, but was chosen as vice president by Ronald Reagan and served two terms in that role before successfully winning the presidency in 1988.

While in the White House, he worked with the Mine Workers (UMWA) and then-UMWA President Richard Trumka to sign the Coal Act, which guaranteed health care to more than 120,000 retired miners. He also signed the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. 

From the end of his one term as president through his death at 94, he turned his focus toward inspiring others to pursue public service through his Points of Light Foundation. He also worked with former President Bill Clinton to raise funds in the wake of natural disasters such as the 2004 southeast Asian tsunami.

While we didn't agree with all of his policy positions, we would like to thank President Bush for his lifelong commitment to public service and for inspiring that devotion in many other Americans.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 12/05/2018 - 09:00
Posted: December 5, 2018, 2:00 pm

At CBS, Les Moonves got away with ‘transactional’ sex. A working mom couldn’t get a schedule change.

At CBS News, she asked for a role that would give her “some small measure of predictability” over her schedule so she could work while parenting a young son. From his corner office atop CBS, he was demanding that a different female employee be “on call” to perform oral sex. She left her job. He […]
Posted: December 5, 2018, 1:17 pm

Chicago Teachers Launch First Charter Strike in History

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Chicago teachers are leading the way again. Today they launched the first charter school strike in U.S. history.

Members of the United Educators for Justice hit the picket lines this morning. The strike involves 550 teachers and paraprofessionals in all 15 Chicago charter schools in the Acero charter chain.

Strikers want to “put a check on privatization and the idea that schools are a business,” said Joanna Wax Trost, a seventh-grade English-language teacher at Acero’s Marquez Elementary School.

Posted: December 4, 2018, 9:59 pm

Stop the Lame-Duck Power Grabs

Stop the Lame-Duck Power Grabs
Take action now
Wisconsin AFL-CIO

After losing the top offices in Wisconsin and Michigan, anti-worker legislators are trying to strip powers from Govs.-elect Tony Evers and Gretchen Whitmer, respectively—before they are even sworn in. Doing so would have enormous negative consequences for working people in both states.

We must stop these outrageous lame-duck power grabs.

Wisconsin lawmakers are rushing through proposals that would:

  • Strip key power and authority from Gov.-elect Evers and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul before they take office.

  • Lock the state into a misguided lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.

  • Make it harder to vote.

  • Lower hardworking construction workers’ pay by limiting the number of transportation projects subject to federal prevailing wage standards.

Call your state senator and representative NOW to stop these efforts to undermine and take away power from Gov.-elect Tony Evers before he takes office.

In Michigan, the lame-duck legislature is considering bills that would:

  • Transfer powers from the governor’s and attorney general’s offices to the legislature.

  • Remove the secretary of state from overseeing the state’s campaign finance laws and establish a six-person commission with nominees chosen by the state’s political parties.

  • Weaken new minimum wage and sick time initiatives.

Take action NOW. Call Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s office and urge him to oppose these proposals: 517-335-7858.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 12/04/2018 - 12:26
Posted: December 4, 2018, 5:26 pm

Philadelphia may be next city to pass a fair workweek law

On-call scheduling is one of the worst common and legal abuses inflicted on service workers that non-service workers may know nothing about. The practice, in which bosses don’t give workers set schedules but force them to be available at the drop of a hat, can make it virtually impossible to hold a second job; hugely complicates childcare arrangements […]
Posted: December 4, 2018, 1:23 pm

Infrastructure Matters. It’s Time to Get Serious About Funding It

Infrastructure Matters. It’s Time to Get Serious About Funding It
Infrastructure
TTD

This post comes from Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).

One hundred billion dollars is a lot of money. With that much cash you could buy four Starbucks lattes for every living human on the planet. (That’s 33 billion lattes in total, if you’re counting.) If coffee is not really your thing, consider buying every single NFL team three times over. Don’t like sports? You and the record-holding Powerball winner can compare piles of cash and together marvel at how yours is 63 times taller.

Or, if you are the federal government, you can pitch in your annual share of the cost to build and maintain our highway, water, mass transit, aviation and rail infrastructure. (It’s worth noting the actual amount we spend as a country is much higher, though states and local government chip in for most of it.)

But here’s the kicker: Even if you weigh your options and pick infrastructure over a monopoly on football, your $100 billion comes nowhere close to how much we should be spending each year if we want to achieve world-class infrastructure that boosts the country’s economy and grows the middle class. For our roads and bridges alone, we’re facing a backlog of $836 billion (that amounts to two complete bailouts of Greece, with some change to spare). Transit likely needs another $100 billion (can each of my fellow humans and I get another four lattes, please?), passenger rail around $28 billion, and let’s not forget our aging air and sea ports.

You would expect that someone in Congress has been tasked with figuring out how to pay for all of this, right? Well, not so fast.

In the House, raising funds for infrastructure falls under the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee. As one might expect, they’ve put together subcommittees over the years to focus on many of our major national needs: health care, Social Security, tax policy, trade and so on. But when it comes to infrastructure, that hasn’t been the case.

So when we heard some members of Congress have been pushing for a new subcommittee singularly focused on infrastructure, we took note. It’s easy to understand why: Over the past eight years, after more than 400 hearings and thousands of witnesses brought before Ways and Means, just one hearing has been held on transportation funding and finance. A single, two-hour hearing in which each lawmaker is allotted five minutes to figure out how to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars in must-have infrastructure needs is not going to cut it.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee—the authorization committee for us policy geeks—has correctly focused its energies on how to spend existing resources. But expanding the pool of revenues that we know are needed will require congressional tax writers to be focused on solving this problem as well.

For the millions of working Americans who build, maintain, operate, and travel on our nation’s infrastructure network, this is an idea whose time has come. As one of America’s largest expenditures, it makes perfect sense that Congress would task its members with solving our ever-growing infrastructure problem.

There are a lot of reasons why Congress hasn’t been able to raise enough revenue to meet our transportation needs over the past 25 years. The politics are extremely difficult. Many members have an unshakable belief that raising revenue is political suicide—though we respectfully disagree—and there are any number of competing answers on how to get this right. A gas tax increase or mileage-based user fee may be a great place to start, and there are plenty of other financing tools that should be considered.

But if we aren’t pulling experts in the field—whether they are economists, front-line transportation workers, road users or administration officials—before Congress on a consistent basis until this problem is solved, we are missing a significant opportunity to ask the serious questions this problem warrants. Perhaps more importantly, we are missing an important opportunity to receive the serious answers that Congress deserves to hear.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 12/03/2018 - 10:29
Posted: December 3, 2018, 3:29 pm

SCOTUS rules that ADEA applies to all public employers

By unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has clarified that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to all public sector employers. The case centered on two Arizona firefighters who believe they were terminated because of their age. Their fire district claimed that the wording of the ADEA excluded smaller public agencies with less than 20 […]
Posted: December 3, 2018, 1:25 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

The First-Ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Was Just Unveiled—And It’s a Game Changer

When Rosa Sanluis arrived in the United States, she earned $60 per week for a seemingly endless set of household tasks, working for a family in Texas. She worked from 5 a.m. until late at night, sometimes 3 a.m. on weekends, when her employers would go out and leave her to babysit. Like most domestic […]
Posted: November 30, 2018, 1:36 pm

Bargaining Update

NYC Parking Production Assistants (PPAs), who voted unanimously in February to join CWA Local 1101, have come to a tentative agreement on their first union contract!

Posted: November 29, 2018, 7:21 pm

Organizing Update

Workers from the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Valley Advocate and AT&T Mobility vote to join with NewsGuild-CWA and CWA.

Posted: November 29, 2018, 7:17 pm

How Working People Can Win the Fight Against Corporate Power

In remarks at this week's Democracy Initiative Annual Meeting, CWA President Chris Shelton urged attendees to take on the power of corporate interests in our political system to build a system that represents all of our interests.

Posted: November 29, 2018, 7:10 pm

CWA Calls for Congressional Hearings on Proposed T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

CWA sent a letter this week calling on Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) to hold hearings in early 2019 on the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint.

Posted: November 29, 2018, 7:05 pm

On World AIDS Day, CWAers Can Help End Pediatric AIDS

Approximately 400 children are infected with HIV every day. Together, we can stop this.

Posted: November 29, 2018, 6:58 pm

Labor Notes Turns 40! Send Us Your Memories

The Troublemakers Union turns 40 next year! We’re planning a whole series of events to commemorate the occasion, from special magazine features to speaking tours and more.

As part of our celebration, we’re gathering memories of Labor Notes history, and we’d appreciate if you shared yours.

When was the first time you came across Labor Notes?

What role have Labor Notes and our supporters played in your organizing?

Posted: November 29, 2018, 3:43 pm

Virginia firefighter sues employer after allegedly losing his job to anti-gay discrimination

Scott Philips-Gartner of Norfolk, Virginia tendered his resignation from the Norfolk Fire Department one year ago, after a 27-year career. He said it was because he was allegedly about to be fired for being gay. Now, he’s suing the city. A U.S. Navy veteran with war-time service, Gartner started working for Norfolk back in 1991 […]
Posted: November 29, 2018, 1:33 pm

Jasic Detainee #4: Liu Penghua: We Need a Union, Not Just Rights Defense

Liu Penghua, along with Mi Jiuping, was one of the three workers who took the lead in trying to form a union at the Jasic welding equipment factory in Shenzhen, China. Liu was the first to face retribution for his actions, suffering a beating by factory thugs on July 16. He is now among the four worker activists being tried for participation in the Jasic organizing.

Posted: November 26, 2018, 5:00 pm

Class Prejudice and the Democrats’ Blue Wave?

Two days after the mid-term elections, The Washington Post published an analysis under the headline “These wealthy neighborhoods delivered Democrats the House majority.”  That headline is false in several different ways, but it is being repeated among a large group … Continue reading
Posted: November 26, 2018, 12:37 pm

CWA Calls on New York Public Service Commission to Deny T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Petition

Detailed economic analysis by CWA has shown that the proposed merger would eliminate 1,705 jobs in New York and 30,000 jobs nationwide.

Posted: November 21, 2018, 9:16 pm

University of California Workers Strike for Racial Justice

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University workers across California hit the streets October 23-25 in their latest strike aimed at confronting racism in the state’s higher education system.

A longer strike could be ahead. “Like Malcolm X said, by any means necessary,” said bargaining committee member Luster Howard, a truck driver at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The University of California is the state’s third-largest employer, and AFSCME Local 3299 is its largest union, representing 24,000 patient care and service workers across 10 campuses and five university hospitals.

Posted: November 20, 2018, 9:09 pm

Viewpoint: Where Are Union Auto Workers' Voices in Scandal Reporting?

A Detroit News article published in October revealed that our union, the Auto Workers (UAW), is building a luxurious three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath “cabin” as a permanent residence for retired President Dennis Williams at Black Lake, the union’s educational retreat center in Northern Michigan.

The article implied that this wasteful project had the full support of delegates like us at the recent UAW Constitutional Convention. But if this project was before the delegates, it was hidden in obscure language and therefore not apparent.

Posted: November 20, 2018, 3:22 pm

Jasic Detainee #3: The Story of Yu Juncong: Always Standing Against Injustice

Yu Juncong—the author of the first open letter to Jasic Technology and one of the first Jasic workers to openly protest the company’s policies—was fired in May 2018 for his actions. On July 27, he attempted to re-enter the factory along with other fired workers who had raised their voices against the company and, along with his wife and younger brother who were there in support, was arrested. Yu is one of the four workers being officially tried in the Jasic incident.

The following is Yu’s story, based on his wife Huang Lanfeng’s recollections.

Posted: November 19, 2018, 3:35 pm

Jasic Detainee #2: Li Zhan: Standing with Workers through Thick and Thin

Note: Li Zhan is a former worker at the Jasic welding-equipment factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Shenzhen. He's been held in Shenzhen Number 2 detention center for over 100 days for supporting the effort to form a union at Jasic this summer. Li is one of four workers against whom charges have been pressed for “disturbing social order” in the course of the Jasic struggle. They have been held in detention and denied access to their lawyers as they await trial.

Posted: November 18, 2018, 1:09 am

In the Pacific Northwest, the First Paraeducator-Led Strike of the Teacher Uprising

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Paraeducators in Port Angeles, Washington, are on strike. In this year’s wave of teacher strikes, it’s the first one led by paraeducators.

Teachers have refused to cross their picket lines, shutting down the district’s schools Thursday and Friday.

Posted: November 16, 2018, 9:25 pm

Beyond the Caravan: Why We Must Protect Workers Covered by TPS

In recent weeks, President Trump has been warning of an “invasion” of a caravan of 3,000 Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, heading north towards the Mexico-U.S. border. In October, these immigrants set out on a journey of more than 2500 … Continue reading
Posted: November 12, 2018, 12:29 pm

Veterans’ Healthcare: A Workers’ Comp System That Actually Works

Most American workers who get injured on the job or develop an occupational disease soon become familiar with the inadequacies and injustices of our fifty state system of workers’ comp. Private employers fight their claims. Rehabilitation services are fragmented and … Continue reading
Posted: November 5, 2018, 12:29 pm

Politicizing Immigration Wears Thin in Iowa

For weeks during the summer of 2018, the case of a missing University of Iowa student occupied statewide and national attention. Mollie Tibbetts, 20, who was housesitting in Brooklyn, Iowa (population 1,391), went jogging at night on July 18 and … Continue reading
Posted: October 29, 2018, 11:38 am

Red State, White Evangelicals, and a Blue Wave?

Eyes are locked on Texas. And deep in its heart are white evangelicals who could be part of a blue wave many hope will wash over that red state to carry Ted Cruz far out to sea.  In tight race … Continue reading
Posted: October 22, 2018, 11:33 am

What Does the New Doctor Who Offer Working-Class Whovians?

The new season of British Sci-Fi show, Doctor Who has created a buzz due to the casting of a woman to play the Doctor for the first time in the show’s fifty-five-year history. I’ve been a life-long fan – the … Continue reading
Posted: October 15, 2018, 11:34 am

First-Gen or Working-Class?

Working-class studies scholars often complain about how some researchers use a single aspect of people’s lives – most often education — to determine their social class. Anytime we define class in one way, we oversimplify it and miss important insights … Continue reading
Posted: October 8, 2018, 11:25 am

Is the Fever Breaking? Ground Zero Youngstown

Two years ago, I described the Youngstown area as “crossover ground zero” for Donald Trump and the politics of resentment in working-class and rust belt communities. In local rallies during the 2016 campaign and since he took office, Trump has … Continue reading
Posted: October 1, 2018, 11:10 am