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CWA Demands General Electric Use Expertise and Excess Capacity to Manufacture Ventilators In-House to Help Address COVID-19 Pandemic
Union leaders from manufacturing and healthcare are calling on General Electric (GE) to use its highly-skilled workforce and unused manufacturing capacity to make much needed ventilators in-house to help address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases and New York City is the epicenter of the outbreak with over 30,000 confirmed cases.
Health care workers in New York City say the hospitals feel like a war zone. Patients are stacked in beds that line the hallways. So many people are dying that semi-truck trailers in hospital parking lots are being used as make-shift morgues.
For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were, and some who still are, leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today, we are looking at Roxanne Brown.
Roxanne Brown currently serves as international vice president at large for the United Steelworkers (USW). She has served USW's membership for more than two decades.
During her career, she has helped advance legislation to strengthen U.S. defense procurement laws and shape environmental policies to benefit USW members with jobs. She helped build bridges between USW members and the Environmental Protection Agency to achieve mutually beneficial goals. She worked to rally 20,000 people to protect the steel industry from foreign dumping.
She was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in New York. Through the And Still I Rise program, Brown wrote about her work. Here are some key excerpts.
On the challenges of moving to clean energy:
Much of the work that we’re trying to do is to help design good, sensible and reasonable clean energy policies that take my members into account on the industrial side, and in the building and construction trades. We want to ensure that all of us play a role in this new, emerging economy.
On the gender wage gap:
We have to create that equality across the board. Every wage gap that exists is money that’s leaving the pockets of women all over the country. I grew up in a single-family household. My mom was a single mom. Every penny counts when you’re a single mom. The labor movement understands that. This is why wage equality has been one of its biggest fights.
On how she got into union work:
I grew up around unions, but didn’t know what they were. I’m from Jamaica. My family settled in New York. The women in my family worked in healthcare and food services. An aunt who worked for the county hospital was a member of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA). She would take me to union picnics and union parties, but I had no idea what CSEA was. I just thought it was the hospital party. That was my very first experience with unions. I started with the Steelworkers when I was 19 years old.
On why she loves her fellow union members:
My very first day with the Steelworkers, I met a group of legislative interns who were members. That is when I fell in love with my union, because I fell in love with our members. They were nontraditional and diverse. They were from all walks of life. We’re the largest union in the paper sector; the oil sector; chemicals and rubber; and the auto industry. We actually have more people working in the auto industry than the United Auto Workers because our members make the components for automobiles—steel, aluminum, seats, glass and tires—literally everything.
On diversity in the labor movement:
It is very helpful for the future and growth of our union for our members to be more comfortable with diversity, particularly as more and more public sector workers are organized and we get more nurses, bus drivers, and cab drivers in the fold. For our union to fully move into the 21st century, it needs to be inclusive. I’m part of us moving in that direction.
On the purpose of unions:
I want young people, people of color, immigrants, and women to know that unions are about power. They are about economic power. They are about educational power—because those wages allow people to send their kids to school. They are about financial power for the future, because a lot of these union jobs have very strong retirement benefits associated with them.
Thanks to House and Senate Democrats, the legislation passed today to respond to the COVID-19 crisis is much improved for working families.
Two hundred education workers from across the United States and Canada were on a call together to learn from each other about how to organize in the face of the novel coronavirus. As the virus extended its reach in Seattle and New York City, educators fought to shut down the schools.
We have been forced to choose between two terrible options:
- 1. Lock ourselves down to prevent the spread of the virus, resulting in massive job loss—while many vulnerable workers are still forced to work in unsafe conditions, or
2. Maintain some business as usual, stemming the economic impact but putting tens of millions of people at risk.
It didn’t have to be like this.
We could not have prevented the virus itself, nor the resulting loss of life altogether. But imagine if:
WEBINAR: Organizing without a Union During the Coronavirus / Organizándose sin sindicato durante el coronavirus
Some employers are laying us off and canceling our health care. Others say workers must show up for work regardless of the danger—and then not giving us the protective equipment we need.
What can non-union workers do to protect themselves, their families, and the public?
Find out how to take on the boss and organize on the job in this webinar organized by Labor Notes, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, and the Pioneer Valley Workers Center.
Trevar Smedal is a member of Machinists (IAM) Local 1406 employed at General Electric's Datex-Ohmeda in Madison, Wisconsin. He and his co-workers are in a race against the clock to produce ventilators needed in the worldwide fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video to hear Trevar's story.
Workers, Supported by CWA, Call on Maximus to Meet with Organizing Committee Immediately to Address COVID-19 Crisis
As Maximus continues to take inadequate precautions to protect its employees at large federally contracted call centers, the workers who are organizing to join CWA are calling on Maximus CEO Bruce Caswell and senior leadership to immediately meet (via video) with their organizing committee to address the safety precautions the company must take to protect its workers, their families, and our communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATE, March 29: Judy writes: "It’s SO MUCH WORSE NOW. Nostalgia for the day I described." -Ed.
Last Sunday I worked in the Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division Emergency Department and I want to share with you the real-life story—and most certainly not the worst story.
To back up... I had some concerning symptoms that started the previous Sunday at about 10 a.m. but escalated severely by Tuesday night. I was “approved” for COVID testing only because I had these symptoms and, perhaps, due to my age.
As the COVID-19 crisis spreads and deepens across the world, we know that you are concerned about your health and safety on the job and about the possibility of layoffs and furloughs.
CWA has established a memorial page for members who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
CWA members are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Shortages of N95 respirators, surgical masks, latex gloves, and other protective equipment leave essential workers at risk of infection.
CWA legislative activists have been engaging with their members of Congress and Senators to make sure that the coronavirus emergency relief bill addresses the needs of working people, not just CEOs and Wall Street.
The latest bargaining information for AT&T West and Altice.
You must register to participate in this webinar. Please register here.
Defying health experts who say we need a five-week national lockdown, Republicans and employers are pushing for workers to endanger themselves and everyone around them by returning to work in April.
The Denier in Chief is leading the charge to get everyone back on the job. Essential workers are living with how bad things are now--and they know how bad it will get if millions start defying doctors' orders.
As the coronavirus spreads, more and more workers who are still on the job are taking action to defend their health and safety and demand hazard pay. Here's a round-up. (For an earlier round-up, see “Organizing for Pandemic Time-Off,” Labor Notes, March 16, 2020.)
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.
Our @afscme2384 Brothers and Sisters need Personal Protective Equiptment (PPE’s) to SAFELY do their jobs! @MayorGallego @CityofPhoenixAZ @PHXDistrict5 @PhxDistrict8 @Pastor4Council @PhxDistrict7 https://t.co/eXU1DPpU1T— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) March 23, 2020
California Labor Federation:
.@Uber's proposal drew sharp criticism from labor unions. “A ‘third way’ is just a euphemism for creating a new underclass of workers with fewer rights and protections,” said @ArtPulaski executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation https://t.co/TBauHtnKBs— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) March 25, 2020
With the freedom to join a union, public service workers have the voice on the job they need to advocate for better resources & training to respond to #Covid_19. Call your Representative @ 1-877-682-6145 & tell them to support the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act #PSFN— Colorado AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOCO) March 12, 2020
The #COVID19 pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of our worker protection and health care systems. Contact the Governor and your legislators to urge them to ensure the health and economic security of all working people in Connecticut: https://t.co/KhyvtS14Wi pic.twitter.com/3IbNEXxMq9— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) March 23, 2020
The current administration has quietly pushed for rules making it harder for public sector unions during the pandemic.— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) March 24, 2020
There’s nothing more disgusting than union busting, especially during a crisis!https://t.co/ZL4R9lfIXr
.@BrianKempGA grocery store, pharmacy, and food production workers ARE emergency service providers. Include us in your emergency declaration so we can keep on feeding America during this crisis. Send a message to Gov Kemp & share this link: https://t.co/8Sal2ukE8r #1u #gapol— AFL-CIO Georgia (@AFLCIOGeorgia) March 25, 2020
Indiana State AFL-CIO:
How many will die before @GDBIW & the @USNavy begin taking the #COVID19 crisis seriously?— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) March 24, 2020
Tell Assistant Navy Secretary James Geurts, GD CEO Phebe Novakovic, BIW President Dirk Lesko & BIW VP @jonfitz207 to protect workers & the public! https://t.co/Q7rlmQRdmz #mepolitics
Metropolitan Washington (D.C.) Council, AFL-CIO:
“It’s very bad”: DC hotel workers cope with COVID-19 - Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO https://t.co/wlHcfAkOTC— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) March 25, 2020
Please help our brothers and sisters fighting on the frontlines to #stopthespread. If you have any of these critical materials, please ship or drop them to the regional emergency management coalition site that’s closest to you: https://t.co/WUENUtfiML #coronavirus #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/5hcy3OTCor— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) March 23, 2020
🚨 Gov. Parson continues to drag his feet on decisive action that will help workers and protect our communities. Working families across Missouri are hurting during this crisis. We need Governor Parson to lead. We need you to take action now! ✊ https://t.co/xCUUjR7fRk— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) March 25, 2020
Nebraska State AFL-CIO:
While public health officials work to limit the spread of the #coronavirus (#COVID19), we're asking for your help with another potential public health issue: a severe shortage of blood for patients. Healthy donors are urged to make an appt w/ the @RedCross https://t.co/rLmGbhXoBn pic.twitter.com/ulyUTEVMnT— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) March 23, 2020
New Jersey State AFL-CIO:
Today the State Senate passed over two dozen bills to assist residents, workers and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Of particular interest to the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and its members are bills assisting workers. https://t.co/l3ebOseoit— New Jersey AFL-CIO (@NJAFLCIO) March 19, 2020
New York State AFL-CIO:
North Carolina State AFL-CIO:
North Dakota AFL-CIO:
Call 1-866-832-1560 and Tell @SenJohnHoeven and @SenKevinCramer to put working people like us first, not big business and the 1%. Now is not the time for crony capitalism.#1u #ndpol #aflcio pic.twitter.com/mXBgFiUKRh— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) March 22, 2020
That’s our Senator! Always and forever standing up for working people. https://t.co/vLAZOW4byh— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) March 25, 2020
.@OregonGovBrown issued an executive order today urging Oregonians to stay home. Here's 4 ways you can help fight #COVID19 and protect workers while social distancing: https://t.co/pRPcIOWXft@AFLCIO #1u #UnionStrong— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) March 23, 2020
Rhode Island AFL-CIO:
"There’s so much we could have done, and should have done, that would have made our ability to respond so much more effective. There’s nothing inevitable about what’s happening right now; we’ve been warning the state about this for years.” - @RickTxAFLCIO https://t.co/ZsBqzyEgxa— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) March 25, 2020
#SocialDistancing is not social isolation.— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) March 25, 2020
🎲Family game night
🚶♀️Going on a walk
📲Calling or texting a friend or older neighbor
🍝Cooking a meal
💻Virtual trivia nights
📕Reading a good book
🎮Playing video games
📺Streaming a show#COVID19VA pic.twitter.com/lvrKmyA2Ns
Washington State Labor Council:
Get the latest information on how to apply for unemployment benefits in Washington state, including eligibility for workers temporarily laid off due to the governor's "stay home" order. @ESDwaWorks https://t.co/VWKo4Z3yvT— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) March 25, 2020
West Virginia AFL-CIO:
1/2 Members of IUPAT District 53 (construction trades) are gathering N95 Respirators & protective suits, distributing to local healthcare/nursing home facilities. This load of 75 masks/150 suits headed to facilities in Parkersburg area. Keep up good work, stay safe👊! #wvpol pic.twitter.com/i3BX9EFXZX— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) March 23, 2020
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:
Evers Administration Issues 'Stay-At-Home' Order For Wisconsin, https://t.co/Qn9ptxJczh— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) March 25, 2020
Statement from CWA President Chris Shelton on Airlines Provisions in Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Package
The coronavirus economic stimulus package agreement reached in the U.S. Senate that includes $25 billion in grants for airlines to keep employees on payroll through September 30. Shame on any airline that does not take this opportunity to provide stability for its workers and their families during this time of fear and uncertainty.
There’s good news and bad news about TORN, the latest book of cartoons from Gary Huck and Mike Konopacki. The good: It’s a doozy! The bad: It’s their last one.
After 37 years of syndicating Huck/Konopacki Labor Cartoons to unions and newspapers, these Wisconsin-bred practitioners of pushback, parody, and in-your-face outrage against enemies of the working class sent out their last monthly package in February.
It was a great run while it lasted, as some high-profile admirers have attested over the years:
This story has been updated to reflect changes in the policy and political debate.
At 1:30 a.m. today, Senate and House leaders and the Trump administration reached a deal on an enormous $2 trillion proposal to dramatically expand unemployment benefits, provide direct payments to American households, give money to state governments and Native American tribes, and assist businesses reeling from the economic catastrophe unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) graduate student workers have been on a wildcat strike for a raise since December 2019. Since February, nearly 80 strikers have been fired, while the strike has spread to other UC campuses.
Graduate student workers at 10 UC campuses across the state receive the same wages—$2,434 a month—which after taxes amounts to $19,000 a year, given that we are only paid for nine months.
For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were, and some who still are, leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today, we are looking at Jessie Lopez de la Cruz.
In 1919, Jessie Lopez was born in Anaheim, California. Her family was poor enough that she began working in fruit and vegetable fields at five. Her family soon began working as migrant farmworkers, and they were hit hard by the Great Depression.
While working in San Juan Capistrano in 1932, Jessie was asked to help translate during a strike of Mexican workers, as she had the best English of the workers, who were mostly Mexican. In 1938, she married another farmworker, Arnold de la Cruz, and they went on to have six children.
She continued as a farmworker for decades before becoming inspired to start organizing workers. She wouldn't become an organizer until she was in her 40s. Her husband, Arnold, began working with César Chávez and the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) in 1965. Meetings were held in the couple's home, and soon Jessie began to volunteer as well.
After the NFWA became the United Farm Workers (UFW), Jessie became the top recruiter in the union. She led or participated in a variety of actions, such as picketing stores, to advocate for the safety of Mexican American workers and against employer corruption and abuse.
UFW established its first hiring hall in 1968 and Jessie became the manager. Her tireless efforts led her to even more exposure and activity in organizations like the Fresno County Economic Opportunity Commission, Central California Action Associates, California's Commission on the Status of Women.
Jessie worked to improve UFW as well. Her advocacy led the union to expand opportunities for women in leadership positions, despite strong opposition.
She retired from UFW in 1993 and spent her retirement working with California Rural Legal Assistance and her local Catholic charity. After she died in 2013, her biography was adapted into a television miniseries.
Watch a video with more about the story of Jessie Lopez de la Cruz:
Everyone can get coronavirus, but economic inequality means it will be worst for those at the bottom
In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.
America’s Work Force: The Benefits of Mechanical Insulation: Insulators Union Labor Management Cooperative Trust Executive Director Pete Ielmini talking about the benefits mechanical insulation offers to mechanical systems and the companies where it is properly installed and maintained.
Belabored Podcast #193: Work in the Time of Coronavirus: As the coronavirus spreads across the world, we discuss what it means for workers in health care, the gig economy and other front-line industries.
Building Bridges: What Is to Be Done: Forging a systemic response to address the health and economic crisis of the pandemic, with Dean Baker, senior economist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Heartland Labor Forum: It's been 55 years since Selma: How far have we come? Also updates on how the pandemic is affecting Kansas City workers.
IAFF Podcast: Managing Your Retirement Accounts in the Era of COVID-19: "IAFF [Fire Fighters] Financial Corp Chief Financial Officer Carrie Tucker sits down with Mark and Doug to discuss the recent stock market volatility, how it is affecting retirement accounts and what firefighters should be doing during this unprecedented time."
Labor History Today: The Great Postal Strike, Watergate and “Casey Jones, the Union Scab.”
Labor Live@5 (D.C.): A D.C.-based women's social justice a cappella group, SongRise, encourages perseverance, raises awareness, breaks down barriers, touches hearts and inspires action through song.
State of the Unions: A discussion with Matt Morrison, executive director of Working America, about how the affiliate union is mobilizing millions of workers from all demographics who otherwise lack representation at work.
Union City Radio: Resources to help survive the economic impact of coronavirus.
Union Strong: COVID-19 relief for working people.
Willamette Wake-Up: The crisis in private sector pensions with Don McIntosh.
WorkWeek: The San Francisco housing and homeless crisis with San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston, port safety with ILWU Local 10 President Trent Willis and more.
You Are the Current Resident (NALC): A discussion with Executive Vice President Brian Renfroe and Mark Sims, COVID-19 updates and more.
Your Rights At Work (D.C.): The latest on workers and the coronavirus.
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.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Talks About the Coronavirus’ Impact on America's Workers: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka talks about the coronavirus’s impact on American workers and what he expects ahead. He talks about the U.S. economy more widely as well, labor’s relationship with Congress and the administration and presidential politics."
AFL-CIO President Trumka on Our Response to the Coronavirus: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was on Bloomberg Radio discussing our response to the coronavirus and our demands moving forward."
AFL-CIO Calls on Federal Government to Protect Entertainment Industry Workers: "With hundreds of thousands of entertainment industry workers suddenly unemployed by the coronavirus shutdown, unions and guilds affiliated with the AFL-CIO’s Department for Professional Employees are calling on President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Congress to quickly pass emergency relief legislation to enhance and expand state unemployment benefits and send direct cash to the impacted workers they represent.”
‘At War with No Ammo’: Doctors Say Shortage of Protective Gear Is Dire: "With coronavirus cases soaring, doctors, nurses and other front-line medical workers across the United States are confronting a dire shortage of masks, surgical gowns and eye gear to protect them from the virus."
The Delivery Workers Who Risk Their Health to Bring You Food: "As New Yorkers barricade themselves in their homes to practice “social distancing,” delivery workers, typically an overlooked group, have now taken on outsized significance and are on the front lines of the outbreak. With demand for deliveries surging, a largely immigrant work force has become a critical link, providing food, groceries, medication and many other items that many people can no longer easily access or are unwilling to go out and purchase. Beside risking their own health, workers typically earn meager salaries and have no health insurance or any other labor protections."
Airline Union Leader: ‘The Casualties Are Starting to Pile Up’: "The airline layoffs that began this week will snowball and cripple the industry’s ability to recover once the novel coronavirus pandemic is contained unless federal lawmakers act swiftly to prop up payrolls, the leader of the nation’s top flight attendants union said Friday."
Trumka Praises Workers, Slams Trump and Profiteers on Coronavirus Pandemic: "Workers, union and non-union, are responding magnificently to the coronavirus pandemic, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says. Business and GOP President Donald Trump are another matter."
'I Can’t Overstate How Devastating This Crisis Has Been': "Karen Kent, head of UNITE HERE Local 1, estimates that three-fourths of the 16,000 hospitality workers her union represents are out of work or laid off as a result of coronavirus-related cancellations and cutbacks."
How to Keep U.S. Workers Safe During Coronavirus: "Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka join 'Morning Joe' to discuss safety for U.S. workers and what the labor movement is doing in this time of crisis."
As Coronavirus Deepens Inequality, Inequality Worsens Its Spread: "As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, it appears to be setting off a devastating feedback loop with another of the gravest forces of our time: economic inequality. In societies where the virus hits, it is deepening the consequences of inequality, pushing many of the burdens onto the losers of today’s polarized economies and labor markets. Research suggests that those in lower economic strata are likelier to catch the disease. They are also likelier to die from it."
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Coronavirus Pandemic: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was on Bloomberg Business discussing the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the American worker."
Gig Economy Workers Are Our Newest First Responders: "These low-paid, unsung workers—Instacart shoppers but also the Amazon delivery folks and everyone else who is doing gig work today that helps other people engage in self-protective social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic—are now the equivalent of first responders."
Women's History Month Profiles: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: "For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were, and some who still are, leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today, we are looking at Elizabeth Gurley Flynn."
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Answers COVID-19 Questions on Facebook Live: "In a Facebook Live event Wednesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) spoke about working people's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and answered questions from union members."
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Working America, AFL-CIO's Community Affiliate: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-host Julie Greene Collier and guest co-host Carolyn Bobb sit down with Matt Morrison, executive director of Working America, the 3.5 million-member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, to discuss how the affiliate is mobilizing millions of workers from all demographics who otherwise lack representation at work."
Transit Workers Win Organizing Victories: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with a series of wins for transit workers and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."
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.
Thank you @SenGaryPeters for introducing this legislation. This would protect arts workers by allowing them to apply for unemployment insurance for jobs they had accepted but had not yet started due to postponement by the coronavirus. https://t.co/IZqyXvuPEG— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) March 20, 2020
“When things like these episodes break out, we’re on the front lines.” – Leo Laffitte, a custodian for 18 years at the Hartford Public Library, a member of AFSCME Local 1716 and a district vice president for @AFSCMECT4. https://t.co/H6yOxL9LfE— AFSCME (@AFSCME) March 20, 2020
Air Line Pilots Association:
READ: ALPA signs on to #aviation labor #union letter to Cong. "It is imperative that any relief package focus on the workers ...Any federal aid must keep employees on payroll, protect labor rights & come w/ statutory guarantees that the money will go to the frontline workforce" pic.twitter.com/j373hH293P— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) March 19, 2020
Alliance for Retired Americans:
Election workers are wary. Fearing infection, voters aren't showing up at the polls. #COVID19 has made it even more important for all 50 states to have the option to vote by mail. Sign our petition to demand action: https://t.co/pQW6jlhT89 pic.twitter.com/xKmb0kwtWF— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) March 19, 2020
Amalgamated Transit Union:
American Federation of Musicians:
The Coronavirus Response Act helps many working people, but it does not help all of us. Many musicians can't qualify for unemployment or other benefits. Tell your legislators to provide relief NOW. #1u #CoronavirusResponse https://t.co/lq075gxbDp— AFM (@The_AFM) March 20, 2020
American Federation of Teachers:
We want to take a moment to thank all the nurses, healthcare professionals, educators, faculty, support staff, public employees, and all others who are on the front lines to keep our communities safe during this pandemic. #ThankAFirstResponder pic.twitter.com/RNIxHNMUT4— AFT (@AFTunion) March 19, 2020
American Postal Workers Union:
Today the union signed two memoranda of understanding with USPS temporarily expanding paid leave for PSEs and expanding the use of dependent care leave for postal employees with unexpected childcare needs as a result of the pandemic. #APWUnited https://t.co/e1GHBiOcEd— APWU National (@APWUnational) March 18, 2020
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:
APALA releases guidance on how to protect AAPI workers in light of the outbreak of COVID-19!— Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (@APALAnational) March 5, 2020
>>>TAKE ACTION 1. Share the guidance on how to protect AAPI workers!
2. Print out and hang the poster in your workplace or place of business to show support!https://t.co/e2kl7jRfc5 pic.twitter.com/guW1vDfOWN
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:
We've seen catastrophe before. We know what didn't work & we won't let that happen again. We need relief that focuses on REAL people.— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) March 20, 2020
Tell Congress: Any public relief plan should be #PeopleFirst plan w/ legally-binding rules, incl paycheck continuation. https://t.co/mkAhaRIVn4 pic.twitter.com/uty29doZkG
We can all use a little good news right now. If you or a #Boilermaker you know has stepped up in a special way during this pandemic crisis, share your story with the Boilermaker Reporter at https://t.co/DVYXDyb37i. We are #unionstrong in this together.— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) March 19, 2020
California School Employees Association:
Nearly all of California schools are closed or have announced that they will close because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Governor Newsom has indicated that they may not reopen before the summer break. Please view this thread for more information.— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) March 18, 2020
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:
NEW: Statement by CBTU President Terry Melvin on the coronavirus and CBTU’s convention in May. https://t.co/ImGddZtpPW— CBTU (@CBTU72) March 17, 2020
Coalition of Labor Union Women:
In EVERY state, public service workers are on the frontlines of fighting #COVID19. But in 24 states, they lack the freedom to collectively bargain for improvements that protect all of us. Tell your Rep. to pass the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act 1-877-682-6145 #PSFN— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) March 12, 2020
Communications Workers of America:
Nearly all of California schools are closed or have announced that they will close because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Governor Newsom has indicated that they may not reopen before the summer break. Please view this thread for more information.— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) March 18, 2020
Department for Professional Employees:
Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers-USW:
The General Executive Board is placing a suspension on all Local Union Meetings until such time as the COVID-19 virus national emergency quarantine and isolation recommendations are lifted.— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) March 20, 2020
Read more from the General Executive Board here: https://t.co/BDJBz5aMWZ
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:
International Labor Communications Association:
The growing COVID-19 crisis has roiled the U.S. construction industry from coast to coast, with contractors large and small mired in uncertainty and wondering what their next steps should be. #SocialDistanacing #ThursdayThoughtshttps://t.co/gLVVVj7SX1— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) March 19, 2020
Jobs with Justice:
Like so many other working people, minor league baseball players are struggling to make ends meet. A brand new organization just launched with aims on changing that. Excited to see what @MiLBAdvocates has in store! https://t.co/GiFdMDr6aQ— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) March 20, 2020
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:
¿Qué debo hacer protegerme del coronavirus? ¿Cómo puedo evitar el contagio? ¿Quiénes son las personas que corren mayor riesgo? Mantengámonos informados! pic.twitter.com/W2iA08kLdL— LCLAA (@LCLAA) March 16, 2020
We have updated our #COVID19 resource center.— Machinists Union ✈️🚊🚀 (@MachinistsUnion) March 12, 2020
📍 Virus prevention tips
📍 Specific guidance for transportation and healthcare workers
📍 Messages and status updates from IAM leadership https://t.co/xCm6Yg2GmO
Maritime Trades Department:
We may be waiting on a vaccine for COVID-19, but we already have an antidote for when the boss tries to lay you off for getting sick. It’s called a union. Tell your Congressmember to support the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act at 1-877-682-6145 #PSFN— MaritimeTrades (@Maritime_Trades) March 12, 2020
Metal Trades Department:
With all of the uncertainty surrounding the stock market and the economy the MTD has posted "A guide to market fluctuations" from Capital Group | American Funds. https://t.co/nPQnhJqPkt— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) March 12, 2020
While the coronavirus, at this time, is primarily occurring in America’s coastal states, it will soon move inland. We want to make sure that UMWA members and their families have the proper resources to remain as safe and healthy as possible.https://t.co/jmPBpJsEYZ— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) March 19, 2020
In response to the public health crisis brought on by COVID-19, members of the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG) issued the following statement: https://t.co/BWNHjlE5xy #AGMAendures #WeAreAGMA pic.twitter.com/6zBd4ofnqH— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) March 18, 2020
National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-CWA:
B U L L E T I N— NABET-CWA (@NABETCWA) March 16, 2020
March 16, 2020https://t.co/Uuimpfy8lU
National Association of Letter Carriers:
Mandatory Stand-Up Talk on new customer signature capture process. (Mar 19): https://t.co/FfdnkDNskv— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) March 20, 2020
Executive VP Renfroe delivers updates on #COVID19, including the new signature capture process. Listen to the podcast (Ep. 2): https://t.co/xQv3bpaUs8 pic.twitter.com/wCSDANhdUx
National Day Laborer Organizing Network:
Too many low wage and migrant workers are excluded from paid sick leave n other protections, so we are launching the Immigrant Worker Safety Net Fund to provide immediate support so workers can take care of themselves and their families. Will you chip-in? https://t.co/wjJ2QI4sGy— NDLON (@NDLON) March 19, 2020
National Domestic Workers Alliance:
Slowing the spread of the #coronavirus requires most of us to stay home. But many care workers cannot . We can help domestic workers — and all of us — stay safe by donating to the #CoronavirusCareFund. We're all in this together! https://t.co/EuZnHCFunc— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) March 16, 2020
National Nurses United:
National Taxi Workers Alliance:
Drivers: We want you to stay safe. We want you to have financial support. Please read our message about available resources. We are here for you during this crisis. https://t.co/dUnVNxCqQr— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) March 16, 2020
Connectivity is essential in times of crisis.That's why our parent union @CWAunion & allies are asking broadband CEOs to lift data caps, waive fees, & do everything in their power to help people connect to the world from home & stop the spread of COVID-19. https://t.co/hJ5rKjZ3on— NewsGuild (@newsguild) March 17, 2020
NFL Players Association:
Players: NOW is the time to reset and refocus. Work on your resume, connect with people you always said you'd get around to connecting with, take an online course.— NFLPA (@NFLPA) March 19, 2020
We have resources with @AthlLife that can help you prepare: https://t.co/JgLJMDkd1f. https://t.co/wc1ISJ8kUm
North America's Building Trades Unions:
Office and Professional Employees:
OPEIU members can access hardship benefits — including healthcare assistance, financial assistance, and homeowner assistance — via @UnionPlus. Learn more at the link below. #1u #COVID19 #OPEIU https://t.co/yfkmRyQLro— OPEIU (@OPEIU) March 19, 2020
Painters and Allied Trades:
Construction workers demand health coverage for the insured and uninsured. Congress needs to recognize that layoffs, jobsite shutdowns, long-term unemployment and prolonged economic uncertainty put us ALL at risk. https://t.co/oA1D0Zv1FP #SaveWorkers #WeAreUnion pic.twitter.com/Q43r3vpI8e— GoIUPAT✊🏽 (@GoIUPAT) March 20, 2020
Pride At Work:
Big heartfelt thanks to the millions of grocery and restaurant workers who are on the front lines making sure we have food. They all deserve affordable healthcare. pic.twitter.com/3tQq4fsLXo— Pride at Work (@PrideatWork) March 16, 2020
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:
LAS tower: PASS alarmed that FAA tech ops workers not immediately informed about test results so they could take proper precautions. Learned about exposure AFTER tower at McCarran was evacuated. FAA must act!@repdinatitus @SenJackyRosen @SenCortezMasto https://t.co/TMH560ff6P— PASS (@PASSNational) March 19, 2020
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:
RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum's latest column: "The goal of any recovery action and legislation needs to be simple: no worker should suffer loss of income because of this pandemic, including those who aren’t sick or caring for the ill." https://t.co/SY0Wsa9F7F pic.twitter.com/GtOSO8FKJr— RWDSU (@RWDSU) March 19, 2020
If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance. We’ve built a database of governmental agency websites: https://t.co/T0pJWB0a8H pic.twitter.com/XTKf2PLlqz— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) March 18, 2020
As #journalists are thrown out of countries or otherwise prevented from doing their job reporting on #coronavirus, govts are jeopardizing the dissemination of essential facts the public needs to keep themselves safe. #pressfreedom @pressfreedom @RSF_interhttps://t.co/w8Mqpk6MiX— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) March 20, 2020
Theatrical Stage Employees:
#IATSEWomen are leading the charge in our efforts to get congress to include entertainment workers in a #COVID19 federal relief package.— IATSE (@IATSE) March 20, 2020
Nearly 60% of those who sent letters to congress through our Action Network link are women!#WomensHistoryMonthhttps://t.co/5j63de0eyc
TWU Local 2055 Secretary Treasure Gary Criscuolo (left, green hard hat & Executive Board member Nick Pascale Chicago (right) appeared in a @FOX61News news segment about cleaning @MetroNorth trains during the #coronavirus pandemic #TWURailroadDivisionhttps://t.co/6DcJ4yJ2CT— TWU (@transportworker) March 19, 2020
Transportation Trades Department:
“We’ve been working very closely with the FCA leadership and are very pleased that they have taken this step to help us protect the hard-working men and women and our communities across the nation." - UAW President Rory Gamble https://t.co/OqQ4E8KDNM— UAW (@UAW) March 18, 2020
🙏Hope is NOT a strategy.— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) March 20, 2020
📝We need a PLAN OF ACTION that addresses urgent & immediate needs of the American worker—not just the American industry.
📲Tell Congress they MUST prioritize #WorkersFirst in any #AirlineBailout.
🔗SIGN & SHARE >>> https://t.co/y7UU00Trz8#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/JSr9gkQKHX
United Food and Commercial Workers:
America’s grocery workers on front lines of #Coronavirus are working long hours to make sure families have food & supplies they need.— UFCW (@UFCW) March 17, 2020
These workers need #PaidLeave to keep our communities strong.@SenateMajLdr @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer @GOPLeader must cover these workers now. https://t.co/GCRx2evRRz
Help keep your members safe & healthy. Check out some materials you can download & share with your local at https://t.co/ckkjyKK2F9. #Coronavirus #Covid19 #1u https://t.co/ckkjyKK2F9 pic.twitter.com/EjxovgX0dy— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) March 20, 2020
If your lights are on, your home is warm, & you have fresh flowing tapwater... thank the UWUA members from across the nation working around the clock to keep all of these services intact. RETWEET to show your support for our hardworking utility workers! #1u #COVID19 #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/hF6eEDolOu— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) March 18, 2020
Big Pharma greed is death profiteering. https://t.co/M6g36GGJUJ— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) March 20, 2020
Writers Guild of America, East:
Schiff is 💯! Many entertainment workers don’t get leave and unemployment benefits due to the unique nature of their work. We need that to change!— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) March 19, 2020
Pls call your Reps at 202-223-3121 & urge them to include entertainment industry workers in the next #COVID19 economic relief bill. https://t.co/6EGItWQpPp
The GOP stimulus bill as introduced is a monumental failure by a shameless group of privileged politicians who have no idea what working people are going through.
For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were, and some who still are, leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today, we are looking at Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was born in 1890 in Concord, New Hampshire, to a radical, activist working-class family. When she was 10, the family moved to the South Bronx, where she attended public school. By the time she was 15, Flynn was active in socialist groups. At 15, she gave her first public speech, and the next year she was expelled from high school. She became a full-time organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
In the years leading up to World War I, Flynn was active on women's rights, free speech for IWW speakers and organizing textile strikes in places like Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Paterson, New Jersey. She also worked to organize garment workers in Pennsylvania, silk weavers in New Jersey, restaurant workers in New York City and miners in Minnesota.
Flynn opposed the war when it broke out, and like many war opponents, she was charged with espionage. The charges were dropped and Flynn began working to defend immigrants threatened with deportation for their opposition to the war.
In 1920, Flynn helped found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and was elected to the national board. From 1927-1930, she chaired International Labor Defense. During that time she was active in trying to free jailed labor organizers Thomas J. Mooney and Warren K. Billings. For the first half of the 1930s, she withdrew from public life because of bad health, but she returned to public life in 1939 and was re-elected to the ACLU board. When Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin signed a nonaggression pact, the ACLU expelled all Communist Party members from its ranks, including Flynn.
Flynn ran for the Communist Party of America's Central Committee successfully, and ran for a seat in Congress unsuccessfully. During World War II, Flynn fought for women's economic equality. After the war, as communism grew more unpopular in the United States, Flynn shifted back to defending free speech rights for radicals. In 1951, she was arrested for conspiracy to overthrow the government based on the Smith Act of 1940. She spent more than two years in prison.
She returned to political action once she was out of prison, and in 1961, she became the first woman elected national chair of the Communist Pary. A critic of the Soviet Union, Flynn traveled behind the Iron Curtain and was stricken ill. She died in the USSR and was given a state funeral in Red Square.
In his autobiography, journalist Eugene Lyons described Flynn as "the most brilliant woman I had ever met. A veteran of the front trenches in the labor struggle since fifteen, she was, at thirty, attractive, winsomely Irish in her wit and her savor of life, with a remarkably cool intelligence behind her fiery oratory and personality. In the Mesaba Range strike, the Paterson and Lawrence strikes, her eloquence and courage and sweetness had won her tens of thousands of worshipful friends among the workers."
In a Facebook Live event Wednesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) spoke about working people's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and answered questions from union members.
Lisa, a member of the Ohio Nurses Association/AFT, asked about getting N95 respirators and other vital supplies into the hands of front-line nurses.
Michael, an AFT member in New York, asked what message we can send to ensure that the rich and corporations don’t use this public health crisis to further erode the middle and working classes.
Garrett, a letter carrier in Seattle, asked whether or not this crisis may be an opportunity for the labor movement to increase the number of union jobs in the United States.
Watch the video below to see Trumka's answers to these questions and more discussion of our response to COVID-19. You also can read a transcript of his remarks.
On the latest episode of "State of the Unions," podcast co-host Julie Greene Collier and guest co-host Carolyn Bobb sit down with Matt Morrison, executive director of Working America, the 3.5 million-member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, to discuss how the affiliate is mobilizing millions of workers from all demographics who otherwise lack representation at work.
Listen to our previous episodes:
A discussion with M.K. Fletcher, AFL-CIO Safety and Health specialist, about all things COVID-19, what the labor movement is doing and how we are responding to ensure that front-line workers' needs are taken care of.
Talking with AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre (UFCW) about his journey from being an Ethiopian refugee to success in the labor movement in Orange County, California, and in Washington, D.C., and the people and institutions that helped him along the way.
A conversation with the Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of "On These Things," about Reconnecting McDowell, an AFT project that takes a holistic approach to revitalizing the education and community of McDowell, West Virginia, and how her faith informs her activism.
Talking to Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger about the union’s behavioral health treatment center dedicated to treating IAFF members struggling with addiction and other related behavioral challenges. The discussion also addresses the toll of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on firefighters and their families, the response of the IAFF in its wake, and the life of a firefighter.
A chat with the podcast team on their favorite episodes of 2019.
A discussion with Cas Mudde, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, on the resurgence of right-wing politicians and activists across the world, much of it cloaked in populist, worker-friendly rhetoric.