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Updated: 6 hours 18 min ago

Extending a Helping Hand to Those Affected by the Shutdown

Thu, 2019-01-17 10:28
Extending a Helping Hand to Those Affected by the Shutdown AFL-CIO

Across the country, working people are marching and rallying for an immediate end to the government shutdown. Already the longest funding lapse in American history, this manufactured crisis has put the weight of ideological extremism on federal workers and their families. As we continue fighting to reopen the government, the labor movement also is joining together to support our brothers and sisters as they go without a paycheck.

If you have been impacted by the shutdown, there are a number of resources available to you. We are engaging a network of United Way/AFL-CIO labor liaisons and labor-associated community service organizations across the country to organize support; furloughed workers can call 2-1-1 to talk to a live, trained professional to find support and identify critical services.

Additionally, as a union member, you may be able to access a range of Union Plus benefits, including a $300 furlough grant, mortgage assistance, credit counseling, personal loans, auto insurance, and life and accident insurance.

Other resources available to those affected by the shutdown include:

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/17/2019 - 09:28

Tags: Government Shutdown

Stop Starving Our Schools

Tue, 2019-01-15 16:37
Stop Starving Our Schools UTLA

The streets of Los Angeles are packed with the sights and sounds of collective action this week. Braving the cold rain, some 30,000 United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) members turned out for picket lines across the city yesterday, joined by more than 10,000 parents, students and community members. Every L.A. school site—more than 900—participated in the strike, culminating in a 50,000-person march to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD’s) headquarters.

Teachers and their allies aren’t letting up. From the leaders of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and California Labor Federation to working people across the country, the entire labor movement is showing solidarity with UTLA’s fight for better lives, schools and communities. Here are just a few of the realities they’re working to change:

  • The cost of living has increased 27% since 2008.

  • California’s student-to-teacher ratio ranks 48 out of 50 states.

  • Students in transitional kindergarten to sixth grade take more than 100 standardized LAUSD tests.

  • California is the richest state in the nation, yet ranks 43 out of 50 in per-pupil spending.

  • California’s student-to-counselor ratio is 945:1.

  • L.A.’s charter school industry has grown by 287% since 2008, draining nearly $600 million from public schools each year.

Take action today and tell Superintendent Austin Beutner to meet the demands of Los Angeles teachers, parents and students.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/15/2019 - 15:37

Thousands Rally in D.C. to #StopTheShutdown

Tue, 2019-01-15 13:04
Thousands Rally in D.C. to #StopTheShutdown AFL-CIO

As the government shutdown became the longest in U.S. history, thousands of working people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to send a clear message to the president and Congress to stop the shutdown and let federal government employees get to work. Thousands more rallied at other locations around the country.

Facing a politically motivated crisis, federal workers desperately need the solidarity and backing of our brothers and sisters. Leaping into action over recent days and weeks, the AFL-CIO has mobilized the full resources of the labor movement behind them.

With the support of affiliates, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) successfully lobbied senators in halting consideration of any legislation until the government is reopened. Using our toll-free hotline, thousands of union members have contacted their senators to strengthen that effort.

In addition to the rally in D.C., we mobilized our state federations and central labor councils to turn out members for satellite rallies in dozens of communities across the country—from Colorado and Pennsylvania to Utah and Texas—demanding an immediate end to the shutdown and highlighting the fact that many of the workers locked out during the shutdown live outside of the nation's capital.

With each day that the shutdown drags on, the federation will expand and escalate our efforts. Working people won’t allow our brothers and sisters to be left out in the cold. We’re angry, we’re loud and we will be heard.

Here are what attendees said about the rallies in D.C. and around the country, using the hashtag #StopTheShutdown:

Join @AFGENational today at 12pm as we march from the @AFLCIO headquarters to the @WhiteHouse calling for an end to the shutdown. #StopTheShutdown #1u pic.twitter.com/R6cEwRE4RL

— AFGE (@AFGENational) January 10, 2019

 

It’s not even noon and workers have shut down 16th street in front of the @AFLCIO. #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/s138yFekFH

— Ringuette (@Ringuette) January 10, 2019

 

“If this shutdown continues to Saturday it will be our largest shutdown in history and this isn’t a record that anyone should be proud of, let’s call this shutdown what it is: It’s a Lockout. And this has to end NOW!” - @RichardTrumka at #StopTheShutdown Rally #1u

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) January 10, 2019

 

.@AFGENational’s @JDavidCoxSr says this is a lockout and a shake down — not a #shutdown. #1u #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/d6INpOTAWg

— AFGE (@AFGENational) January 10, 2019

 

“Stop playing politics with our lives. End this lockout. Do your job and open the government so we can do our jobs.” -@RichardTrumka, @AFLCIO #StoptheShutdown #TrumpShutdown #Shutdown pic.twitter.com/X2xVsZyyyg

— PFAW (@peoplefor) January 10, 2019

 

Outside the ⁦@IRSnews⁩ building in Kentucky telling Senate @gop to end this senseless government shutdown! All #Union members stand with our ⁦@AFGENational⁩ ⁦@AFLCIO⁩ sisters and brothers! pic.twitter.com/kbeHexc8cX

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) January 10, 2019

 

TCU joins our @MachinistsUnion brothers and sisters in saying #StoptheShutdown and #OpentheGovernment #1u pic.twitter.com/2ziSaGIJ4X

— Transportation Communications Union/IAM (@TCUnionHQ) January 10, 2019

 

HAPPENING NOW: Federal workers in Tallahassee demanding our leaders #StopTheShutdown! pic.twitter.com/u9eIVaDcoA

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) January 10, 2019

 

“Do not hold 800,000 people’s lives as political pawns” - @MarkWarner #1u #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/R8dj6pUyLp

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) January 10, 2019

 

#TrumpShutdown2019@AFLCIO⁩ ⁦@AFGENational⁩ ⁦@NFFE_Unionpic.twitter.com/oa58nKZqPI

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) January 10, 2019

 

@realDonaldTrump, @senatemajldr, Senate Republicans: cut it out. End this shutdown!” -@ChrisVanHollen #StoptheShutdown #TrumpShutdown #Shutdown pic.twitter.com/ylHIBG5IDb

— PFAW (@peoplefor) January 10, 2019

 

Members of @IATSELocal22 spent the morning setting up for today's #StopTheShutdown rally outside the @AFLCIO. We stand in #solidarity with all working people and demand an end to this unnecessary government shutdown! pic.twitter.com/hEgdGFymyV

— IATSE (@IATSE) January 10, 2019

 

NALC rallying in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the AFL-CIO to end the government shutdown! pic.twitter.com/pE6PbG8yEQ

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) January 10, 2019

 

Out here for all people affected by the #TrumpShutdown2019 #stoptheshutdown #1u pic.twitter.com/a4t2xpJZub

— DC Jobs With Justice (@DCJWJ) January 10, 2019

 

Steve Ching, a Machinists Union member and NASA contractor at Kennedy Space Center, says it’s time to put working America back to work! #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/AXPW1KfCqW

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) January 10, 2019

 

#Teamsters are standing with federal workers and other trade union allies at a rally in Washington, DC right now to demand an end to the government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands of our union brothers and sisters are locked out or working without pay. #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/TKzcQfUE9o

— Teamsters (@Teamsters) January 10, 2019

 

“Let’s hear it for the federal workers of the United States of America!” @rweingarten pic.twitter.com/fnwjXExrDx

— AFT (@AFTunion) January 10, 2019

 

"This shutdown is hurting our families. It's hurting our communities. It's hurting our country." - @AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders #StopTheShutdown #1u pic.twitter.com/91CWazz2Ls

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) January 10, 2019

 

It’s a cold one, but Aviation’s First Responders are out here in DC with labor allies calling an end to the shutdown! #1u #StoptheShutdown pic.twitter.com/0CRmj22DmV

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) January 10, 2019

 

The faces of federal employees affected by the shutdown. #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/T34JEk45ls

— Chi Fed of Labor (@chicagoaflcio) January 10, 2019

 

.@AFGENational McAllen workers are demanding to go back to work and get paid @AFLCIO @TexasAFLCIO @RickTxAFLCIO @Tefere_Gebre @JDavidCoxSr #EndShutdown pic.twitter.com/7ageX7pvWQ

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) January 10, 2019

 

With @SenSanders in front of the @AFLCIO standing against the #TrumpShutdown https://t.co/92nyVRyB1e

— Mike Levin (@MikeLevinCA) January 10, 2019

 

Y’all, the wind chill is 26F in D.C. right now, and an enormous crowd of federal workers and allies have gathered in front of @AFLCIO to demand Trump reopen the government. Proud to be here.#TrumpShutdown pic.twitter.com/Zp7T3GJJln

— Charlotte Clymer

No Joke: Worker Wins

Tue, 2019-01-15 10:17
No Joke: Worker Wins The Onion

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with several newsrooms using collective action and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

Onion Creative Staff Approve New Contract: The creative staff at The Onion, which includes various other related publications, voted to approve a new contract. Nearly 70 employees are covered by the two-year contract. The Onion Inc. Union, affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, East, wrote: "We’re elated to have reached a first union contract for the members at Onion Inc. In addition to the gains made in our contract, we experienced immediate workplace improvements while organizing, including increased interdepartmental communication and a gender pay parity analysis. As part of the WGAE, we have access to resources and the solidarity of thousands of union members across media and entertainment. We’re proud to be part of a wave that’s raising standards across the industry and we encourage everyone to organize their workplaces."

Law360 Editorial Staffers Unanimously Approve First Contract: After a two-year battle, members of The NewsGuild-CWA who work as editorial staff at LexisNexis-owned Law360, a legal news site, unanimously approved their first contract. The four-year agreement includes a 22% raise and a minimum annual salary of $50,000. In a statement, the unit said: "Last night, we unanimously (168-0!) ratified a remarkable first contract that fiercely protects and improves the working conditions of everyone in the newsroom at Law360. For years, we have been adamant about protecting the editorial integrity of the newsroom and of our bargaining unit. We successfully negotiated language that prevents the company from reinstating non-compete agreements and onerous daily story quotas. We also achieved a provision that preserves the contract in the event of a sale or acquisition of the company."

New York Media Editorial Employees Join NewsGuild: After nearly 80% of eligible staffers signed on, editorial employees of New York Media voted to be represented by The NewsGuild of New York-CWA. The new unit would cover 160 full- and part-time staffers and has asked the company for voluntary recognition of the union. A mission statement from the new unit said: "We believe that unionizing is the best way to address our grievances in the workplace and allow us to continue publishing stories as honest, gritty, and exceptional as this city. We hope that New York Media will recognize our union so that we can begin an amicable collective-bargaining process and build a stronger, more equitable company for another 50 years."

New York City Rideshare App Drivers Win Historic Pay Rules: After a campaign by the Independent Drivers Guild (an affiliate of the Machinists) that involved rallying 16,000 drivers to events, lobbying days and thousands of calls and letters, drivers for rideshare apps in New York have won a minimum pay rate that is equivalent to the city's $15 per hour minimum wage. "Today we brought desperately needed relief to 80,000 working families. All workers deserve the protection of a fair, livable wage and we are proud to be setting the new bar for contractor workers’ rights in America," said Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild. "We are thankful to the Mayor, Commissioner Joshi and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, City Council Member Brad Lander and all of the city officials who listened to and stood up for drivers."

Nurses at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital Win Union Election: Nurses at the hospital in Cortlandt, New York, voted to join the New York State Nurses Association after an anti-union campaign that led to state officials vowing to investigate labor abuses alleged against the hospital. Nurse and organizer Susan Beck said: "We got an email from our president that said respect will be at the center of how we will continue to work together. That’s what nurses really wanted in the first place."

Educators at Acero Charter Schools Reach Agreement to End Strike: Educators at Acero charter schools in Chicago ended the first strike in charter school history by reaching a tentative agreement with the school network. The 500 educators won pay improvements, reductions in class sizes and language that makes the school a sanctuary for the schools' immigrant students, including protection against federal immigration enforcement on school grounds. Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said: "This was the culmination of our vision over more than a decade of organizing. Our vision is that educators at charter schools and at Chicago Public Schools have common interests. We live in the same neighborhoods, we teach the same kids, and we wage the same struggles over resources and underfunding. We are now a movement that commands national attention and can stop a city."

Environmental Charter School Educators Vote to Join AFT: Educators at Environmental Charter School in Pittsburgh voted to join the AFT. The new unit will represent teachers, nurses, counselors, social workers, academic coaches and educational assistants. They will now proceed with negotiations on their first union contract.

Steelworkers Ratify Contract with ArcelorMittal: Some 15,000 United Steelworkers members have a new four-year labor agreement with ArcelorMittal USA that increases wages and benefits. The workers in six states had voted to authorize a strike during the acrimonious negotiations. David McCall, lead negotiator for USW District 1, said: "We successfully defended all of the rights and protections that management sought to reduce, restrict and eliminate. On top of that, we were able to make improvements, fill gaps and fix the parts of our contracts that members identified as top priorities."

Oregon Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Workers Join AFSCME: Nearly 270 mental health and addiction recovery workers at Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare in Portland and Milwaukie, Oregon, voted to join AFSCME. The workers are pushing for better pay and lower case loads. The fight for unionization at the clinics was a unwelcome one from management, which held numerous anti-union meetings and AFSCME has filed charges against Cascadia for improperly firing a union supporter.

Laid Off Toys 'R' Us Workers Secure $20 Million in Severance Fight: In the process of Toys "R" Us filing for bankruptcy in 2018, 31,000 employees were laid off and did not get severance payments. Meanwhile, some top executives got bonuses. The laid-off workers fought back and have negotiated a settlement with Bain Capital and KKR, private equity firms that owned part of the toy retailer, to pay $20 million in severance payments.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/15/2019 - 09:17

Tags: Organizing

#StopTheShutdown: The Working People Weekly List

Tue, 2019-01-15 09:45
#StopTheShutdown: The 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: Special #StopTheShutdown Episode: A Conversation with AFGE President J. David Cox: "With the government shutdown in its third week, Julie and Tim talk to J. David Cox Sr., national president of AFGE. Cox says his members are being held hostage by extremist politics and is calling on all working people to demand that Congress and the White House reopen the government and put federal employees back to work."

Our Paycheck Is Not a Bargaining Chip: "It’s day 20 of the government shutdown, and the AFL-CIO has called upon the entire labor movement to fight for our affected brothers and sisters."

End the Shutdown: 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."

Economy Gains 312,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Rises to 3.9%: "The U.S. economy gained 312,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report shows an increase in unemployed workers and while wage gains are stronger, they are not consistent with a tight labor market. This ongoing financial and economic volatility means that the Federal Reserve needs to hold off on more rate increases."

AFL-CIO's Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018: "Today, we are taking a moment to reflect on a historic year for collective action by highlighting the top 10 most-read posts on the AFL-CIO blog in 2018. Throughout the year, working people across the country joined together to build a better America. These are our stories."

New Congress Begins with Influx of Worker-Friendly Members: "The 116th Congress begins today and it features a diverse group of members who are more friendly to working people than their predecessors in recent Congresses. Not only does the new class of incoming senators and representatives have the largest group of women ever and the first Native American women, the first Muslim American women and the first openly bisexual senator, it features a dozen union members and even more worker-friendly members."

Stop the Shutdown: "The government shutdown is now in its 12th day, meaning some 800,000 federal employees are still without a paycheck because President Donald Trump refuses to sign a federal budget that doesn’t include $5 billion for a border wall. Working people—and their livelihoods—should never be used as political pawns. As congressional leaders prepare to meet with Trump later today, take action now to stop the shutdown."

UAW Releases 2019 Union-Made Vehicle Buying Guide: "No matter when you are buying a new vehicle or for what purpose, you have the opportunity to use this substantial buying power to support working people. The UAW releases a guide every year that lets consumers know which cars are union-made in America. Here is this year's list."

Ohio’s Ironworkers Local 290 Invests in the Future: "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."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/15/2019 - 08:45

Ohio Labor Coalition Swings Speaker Election, Changes Dynamic in Legislature

Thu, 2019-01-10 15:16
Ohio Labor Coalition Swings Speaker Election, Changes Dynamic in Legislature Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati Enquirer

Despite the number of victories in congressional and gubernatorial races across the country in 2018, many of the top labor-endorsed candidates in Ohio lost their elections. The losses were a disappointment to Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga, but he recognized the need to get to work to make the best of the situation. "It was a tough loss in the election, we had higher hopes," Burga said. "We didn’t have any time to waste lamenting the loss, we had to get to work preparing for a new incoming governor and a new legislature." And prepare they did.

Drawing on experience from the collective bargaining fights of 2011, the Ohio AFL-CIO recognized the threat of ongoing and renewed attacks on working people in the single party government and immediately got to work trying to supersede the threats.

As the political picture came into view after the November elections, it became clear that there would be a highly contested race to become Ohio speaker of the House in a chamber overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans. One of the candidates, Rep. Larry Householder, who has established relationships with Ohio union leaders, indicated he would abandon the regular attacks on collective bargaining, wages and labor's core issues that were constantly introduced and pushed in prior GOP Ohio legislatures.

The race for speaker was a very close one, with the candidates effectively dividing the GOP majority into two equal parts. Any significant defection of minority Democrats to support one or the other candidate emerged as a potential deciding factor in the outcome of the most important vote of the legislature. The Ohio AFL-CIO launched a union coalition and advocated for the ousting of the current speaker to be replaced by Householder, given his commitments to stand with trade unionists and working people. The intense and intricate effort brought forth the desired result. In the end, Householder won the race for speaker with 52 votes—26 from Republicans and 26 from Democrats.    

This win was multifaceted. The advocacy effort caused an open dialogue between Householder and House Democrats as they discussed offering their support. House Democrats were able to secure significant procedural and structural advancements from now-Speaker Householder that create a unique opportunity for the minority party to participate in major policy decisions. With these agreements in place, many expect the chamber to also conduct itself in a more deliberative and transparent manner than has been the case in recent years.

"The voice of working people is a powerful thing and it knows no partisan lines," Burga said. "It is great when we have members of both parties recognize that, and come together to pave a way forward," he said.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/10/2019 - 14:16

Our Paycheck Is Not a Bargaining Chip

Thu, 2019-01-10 11:18
Our Paycheck Is Not a Bargaining Chip AFL-CIO

It’s day 20 of the government shutdown, and the AFL-CIO has called upon the entire labor movement to fight for our affected brothers and sisters. 

Watch AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on "Morning Joe" talking about the shutdown:

On Tuesday, the AFL-CIO asked the leadership of the general board and state federations and central labor councils to marshal our resources and use our collective power to end the shutdown.

As Trumka said, this shutdown is a direct attack on our unions. “These are the moments this federation was created for. When you mess with one of us, you have to deal with all of us: 12.5 million working people and 55 unions strong.”

Together, we’re working at every level to make our voices heard, including:

  • Rallying today at the AFL-CIO headquarters.

  • Blitzing targeted senators with calls from both members and leaders.

  • Bringing a delegation of workers to meet with senators to demand an end to the shutdown.

  • Publicly shaming a senator if they refuse to meet with workers.

  • Activating our network of labor liaisons and community partners like the United Way to respond to requests from impacted workers.

Our simple ask to our senators: Pass the House bills and open the government.

AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. was interviewed on the latest edition of the “State of the Unions” podcast about the effects of the government shutdown and reminded us that “the average take home pay of our members is around $500 a week....They live paycheck to paycheck. And missing one paycheck—and particularly a paycheck that could have overtime on it—creates devastating effects.”

“We’re being held hostage for political purposes and that just needs to stop,” he declared.

Check out the full episode here.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/10/2019 - 10:18

Tags: Government Shutdown

End the Shutdown: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Mon, 2019-01-07 14:48
End the Shutdown: What Working People Are Doing This Week AFL-CIO

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

A. Philip Randolph Institute: 

Want to give a big shout out to our brother E.J. Jenkins for putting events on like this in several communities over the past few years thru his outreach program. Another reason why we need to support him in with the #BlackLaborWeek2019. We all... https://t.co/PSqf2DuwT9

— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) January 7, 2019

Actors' Equity: 

It's been 11 years – we are over due for a new Lab Agreement, and @BroadwayLeague needs to support paying Equity Members for their creative contributions.

Sign your #NotALabRat commitment card online! Visit https://t.co/tYMoZ94Ns4 to add your voice. pic.twitter.com/RPaxKGpjhU

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) January 6, 2019

AFGE: 

Even some members of @HouseGOP are saying it's time to #EndTheShutdown and get federal workers back on the job, with pay! Let's reopen the government TODAY! https://t.co/5SlJmGsyu9

— AFGE (@AFGENational) January 7, 2019

AFSCME: 

ICYMI: 800,000 federal workers are definitely #NotOnStrike. #1u https://t.co/x572XnMPGG

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) January 6, 2019

AFT: 

“The standoff between L.A. Unified and United Teachers Los Angeles is a struggle over the future of public education.” - @UTLAnow Pres @CaputoPearl #StrikeReady #UTLAStrong https://t.co/Xp2pzoEm50

— AFT (@AFTunion) January 7, 2019

Air Line Pilots Association: 

ICYMI: Check out ALPA’s favorite (and breathtaking!) office views of 2018: https://t.co/D3uZRoNSWf pic.twitter.com/i09bLM3sL7

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) January 7, 2019

Alliance for Retired Americans: 

Thanks to NYSARA Exec Director Stephen Madarasz for protesting the government #shutdown at a rally outside @RepStefanik 's Glen Falls office. It's time for federal workers to return to their jobs with the pay they deserve! #1u @AFGENational pic.twitter.com/8TJpHdeOp2

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) January 7, 2019

American Federation of Musicians:

In 1960 when she raised her baton at the Majestic Theater to start #TheMusicMan, Liza Redfield became the first woman to conduct a Broadway orchestra. She was a #UnionMusician for over 70 yrs. Rest In Power Liza!
https://t.co/AL8TmTLlOh

— Amer. Fed. Musicians (@The_AFM) January 3, 2019

American Postal Workers Union:

Albany Local staying #APWUnited on Union Gear Day! If you celebrated yesterday send us your pictures to communications@apwu.org. pic.twitter.com/PPNAkZpFN5

— APWU National (@APWUnational) January 4, 2019

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance: 

The Trump administration has launched its most aggressive legal attempt yet to end all immigration to the United States -- an asylum ban. Seeking asylum is a human right. #AsylumIsLegal

Submit a public comment to stop this ban! https://t.co/iFqjDoR7ch pic.twitter.com/myvtopgPST

— APALA (@APALAnational) January 2, 2019

Boilermakers: 

Boilermaker bonds are strong, but for a L-465 member, brotherhood proved lifesaving. Find out how an L-169 apprentice faced danger to save his #Boilermaker brother. https://t.co/YCJfgbDkPV pic.twitter.com/q3tCuIHDNe

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) January 4, 2019

Bricklayers:

The House of Representatives passed reasonable, commonsense legislation to re-open & fund the government. But Mitch McConnell & #Senate GOPs refuse to bring it up for a vote. Urge your Senator to re-open the Government today: https://t.co/DEMl335nBX #StopTheShutdown pic.twitter.com/PUVvOFC0GW

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) January 7, 2019

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists: 

So proud. So fierce. So liberating. https://t.co/UjMINvTm56

— CBTU (@CBTU72) January 5, 2019

Coalition of Labor Union Women: 

We’re so excited to be an official partner of the 2019 @womensmarch in Washington, DC, on January 19. The #WomensWave is coming. Join us: https://t.co/Qkqq5PJpNo #1u pic.twitter.com/3Xf6bYl7H3

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) January 3, 2019

Communications Workers of America:

Corporate CEOs & wealthy donors have rigged our political system & working families are ready to take it back! The #ForThePeople Act makes voting easier and gets big money out of politics. CWA supports bold action to reclaim democracy for working families! https://t.co/kihlRjhcbw

— CWA (@CWAUnion) January 7, 2019

Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO: 

"We are collaborators, and we need to be acknowledged for what we’re doing. We’re putting in more skin than we once did, and after recoupment we think it’s fair that we should be able to share in the success of the show.” #1u #NotALabRat https://t.co/zkYz1FfSuJ

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) January 7, 2019

Electrical Workers: 

What the federal #Shutdown means to #IBEW members and their families https://t.co/L1exzUdYRx

— IBEW (@IBEW) January 7, 2019

Farm Labor Organizing Committee: 

At 71, @baldemarfloc is still organizing. Here he is with the farm workers and...in front of a Confederate Flag. A sign that is not hospitable to people of color. See his comment in the picture below. As we've said, he is 71 and us younger folk struggle to keep up with him! pic.twitter.com/XydR3ZRwYT

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) January 4, 2019

Fire Fighters: 

The IAFF’s position on proposed degree requirements for accredited paramedic programs is that the certification/licensure process SHOULD continue to be a viable option through which a prehospital care provider becomes credentialed. https://t.co/TRRJ6oWpRB

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) January 3, 2019

Heat and Frost Insulators: 

Learn more about the Insulators Union and our involvement across the country to recruit the next generation of Mechanical Insulators during the the 2018 @USDOL National Apprenticeship Week. https://t.co/z4MVMJHP5n

— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) January 7, 2019

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers: 

#Disgusting that these hard working Americans are being forced to do their job without pay! We stand with @AFGENational and all #FederalWorkers affected by the #TrumpShutdown ! https://t.co/LW64QjvKYk

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) January 5, 2019

Ironworkers: 

The Iron Workers with its contractor-ironworker partnership IMPACT, has been busy developing new programs for construction personnel to help them succeed. #skillsshortage #skilledlaborshortage https://t.co/w8Z5yVeOF0

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) January 3, 2019

Jobs With Justice: 

Well, this isn't tone deaf: while the people who clean our government buildings and service our national parks are furloughed, high ranking Trump administration officials--including Vice President Pence--nearly received a significant raise. https://t.co/C1k05WrhhO

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) January 7, 2019

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement: 

The partial government shutdown has now entered its third week, and as it drags on thousands of working people are being denied denied a paycheck. America's working families are counting on our Congressional leaders to bring this situation to an end.

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) January 7, 2019

Laborers:

#MemberMonday - Got a story? Got pictures? Working on a new project? Send to communications@liuna.org pic.twitter.com/D2j4Ho5VJM

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) January 7, 2019

Machinists:

Tell your U.S. Senators: The work our members do is vital to our country. We need them to get back to work and be paid for the work they do. #StopTheShutdown https://t.co/9Eu8P07Ffc

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) January 7, 2019

Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO: 

A furloughed federal employee's guide to filing for unemployment during the shutdown https://t.co/0iaswWxZLm

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) January 6, 2019

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

The government shutdown is directly affecting air traffic controllers. NATCA member Matt Craviotto from Wilmington, N.C. (ILM), whose home was flooded during Hurricane Florence in September, shared how the #shutdown is impacting him. https://t.co/Bzv4AfTlDS

— NATCA (@NATCA) January 3, 2019

National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALCREST -- A #retirement #community for letter carriers that is union-made! The Nalcrest community is for retired letter carriers who are members dreaming to retire in a nice & sunny location. For more information & how to apply https://t.co/V98r12UfAg #postalproud #Florida pic.twitter.com/Fngi9y6AHV

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) January 6, 2019

National Domestic Workers Alliance: 

Today, there are millions of domestic workers like Cleo in @ROMACuaron, caring for homes and families around the world. Here’s what they had to say about the movie: https://t.co/ohBSrc0bKt

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) January 6, 2019

National Federation of Federal Employees-IAM:

NFFE-IAM member Erin Kidwell of NFFE Local 1968 tells how many federal employees are struggling by being furloughed during the holidays. "We do live paycheck by paycheck," said Kidwell. https://t.co/uYYvbB32tB

— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) January 2, 2019

National Nurses United: 

#SafeStaffing can be a life-or-death issue.

Studies show that #nurses from units with low staffing were twice as likely as nurses on well-staffed units to report risk factors for needle-stick injuries and near misses.

Support nurse-to-patient ratios: https://t.co/2COmQyKfDf pic.twitter.com/RMg2aKiah7

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) January 6, 2019

National Taxi Workers Alliance: 

NYC Taxi & Limousine Commissioner Meera Joshi is stepping down. Read our statement: "The timing of commissioner Joshi's resignation is concerning because the crisis for New York City drivers is far from over and the TLC's work to fix it is just beginning." pic.twitter.com/3c54M8g3EB

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) January 5, 2019

The NewsGuild-CWA:

.@news_guild members are part of an organizing movement. We're ready to spread the news at our sector conference in Orlando!https://t.co/Ke8jif3vIo#TNGmeets#TNGorganizes#Right2Report#1u pic.twitter.com/4C5th91A6u

— NewsGuild (@news_guild) January 3, 2019

NFL Players Association:

Will you be in town for #ATLSB53? We're partnering with orgs all over Atlanta to have a candid conversation around #mentalhealth.

If you have questions or are interested in attending, send an

Economy Gains 312,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Rises to 3.9%

Fri, 2019-01-04 11:29
Economy Gains 312,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Rises to 3.9%

The U.S. economy gained 312,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report shows an increase in unemployed workers and while wage gains are stronger, they are not consistent with a tight labor market. This ongoing financial and economic volatility means that the Federal Reserve needs to hold off on more rate increases.

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

Over the year, wages rose 3.2% in December report from @BLS_gov not the most robust, but moving in the right direction #JobsReport #NumbersDay @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

In a show of growing worker confidence, more unemployed workers are job leavers--839,000--than those who are entering the workforce--588,000 #JobsReport #JobsNumbers @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

Black unemployment rate jumps from 6.0 to 6.6%, on the rise in unemployed workers from 1.22 million to 1.35 million #JobsReport @rolandsmartin @LVBurke @amjoyshow @AFLCIO @CBTU72 @APRI_National

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

Job gains were in all broad industry groups except information. Biggest gains in education and health, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services leading in growth #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/MhRDA7KKnH

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

Number of long term unemployed (those over 26 weeks) tics up slightly. But, the duration of unemployment continues to heal. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/vZk1Q2Tlsi

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

The broadest measure of labor force slack (including part-time for economic reasons and discouraged workers) was flat at 7.6%, while the narrower measure was up to 3.9% #JobsDay #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/WnwK9O5MxV

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

Over the year, unemployment rates fell for all education attainment groups, but was flat for college grads. But, from November to December, unemployment rates and number unemployed were up for all education groups, except college grads. #jobsday #JobsReport @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

Over the year, and in December, construction and mining show gains. In a trend dating back to 2010, construction is almost recovered to its record level of employment in 2007 @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/68cUzgS4Sh

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

December was a movement in the right direction for education employment with state and local government, but over the year the employment is still down--NOT GOOD for America's long term growth. @AFTunion @AFSCME @AFLCIO #JobsReport #jobsday pic.twitter.com/QsB6iBSRY7

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

 

Many are seeing a sunny picture, but this job report shows an increase in unemployed workers (Black workers, all workers with less than college degrees, younger workers). Wage gains stronger but not consistent with a tight labor, the @federalreserve still needs to pause @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 4, 2019

Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (50,000), professional and business services (43,000), food services and drinking places (41,000), construction (38,000), manufacturing (32,000) and retail trade (24,000). Employment in other major industries—including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government—showed little change
over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates rose for blacks (6.6%), adult men (3.6%) and Asians (3.3%). The jobless rate for teenagers (12.5%), Hispanics (4.4%), adult women (3.5%) and whites (3.4%) and showed little or no change in December.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined slightly in December and accounted for 20.5% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/04/2019 - 10:29

AFL-CIO's Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018

Thu, 2019-01-03 14:49
AFL-CIO's Top 10 Blog Posts of 2018 AFL-CIO

Today, we are taking a moment to reflect on a historic year for collective action by highlighting the top 10 most-read posts on the AFL-CIO blog in 2018. Throughout the year, working people across the country joined together to build a better America. These are our stories. 

1. If You Live in Missouri, Vote 'No' on Proposition A: "On Aug. 7, Missouri voters will have the chance to vote against Proposition A, a divisive attack on working people funded by big corporations and their wealthy allies. The misleading measure is a direct attack on the rights of the working people of Missouri. Here are the key reasons why Proposition A is wrong for Missouri...."

2. What You Need to Know About the Vote on Missouri's Prop. A Today: "While Missourians are headed to the polls today, working people are mobilizing across the Show-Me State in a massive final push to defeat Prop. A."

3. Executive Paywatch 2018: The Gap Between CEO and Worker Compensation Continues to Grow: "CEO pay for major companies in the United States rose nearly 6% in the past year, as income inequality and the outsourcing of good-paying American jobs have increased. According to the new AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch, the average CEO of an S&P 500 Index company made $13.94 million in 2017—361 times more money than the average U.S. rank-and-file worker. The Executive Paywatch website, the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay, showed that in 2017, the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned about $38,613 per year. When adjusted for inflation, the average wage has remained stagnant for more than 50 years."

4. Donald Trump: A Year of Making Workplaces More Dangerous: "It has been a year since Donald Trump took office. Despite promising to be a friend of workers, Trump has spent much of his first year making our workplaces less safe."

5. 7 Labor Activists You Should Know About for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: "Each May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, when we celebrate the accomplishments, culture and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Today, we are going to take a deeper look at members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community who have advanced the cause of worker justice. Here are seven labor activists who you should know about for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month...."

6. The Racist Roots of Right to Work: "Proponents of "right to work" laws often use lofty language to sell their agenda, with false appeals to freedom, among other high ideals. But right to work is about freedom only in this way: It’s about taking away the freedom of working people to join together in strong unions."

7. 15 Things You Need to Know from the 2018 Death on the Job Report: "These are challenging times for working people and their unions, and the prospects for worker safety and health protections are uncertain. What is clear, however, is that the toll of workplace injury, illness and death remains too high, and too many workers remain at serious risk. There is much more work to be done. Here are 15 key things you need to know from this year’s report, which primarily covers data from 2016."

8. The Awesomeness of 'Black Panther': Union Made: "Wow, the "Black Panther" movie was awesome, wasn't it? And while we could spend hours about how great an action movie it is or how beautiful it looks or the social implications of the themes and representation of African culture, let's take a few minutes to look behind the scenes at the work it took to bring a movie like "Black Panther" to life, work done by union members."

9. 6 Activist Women You Need to Know About for Black History Month: "As we celebrate Black History Month, we thought we'd take a look back at some of the women who have made history in the realm of fighting for the rights of working people. The battles they fought at the intersection of the rights of African Americans, women and working people should have made these women household names. Women continue to be at the forefront of battles for the rights of African Americans today, building on the work of these women and many others. Here is an introduction to a group of amazing women who did some amazing things."

10. One Job Should Be Enough: "'8,300 UNITE HERE members have the courage and the power to take on the biggest hotel company in the world and are willing to fight to transform jobs they can’t survive on into careers where they can support their families with dignity,' said UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor last week as strike headquarters opened across the country."

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/03/2019 - 13:49

New Congress Begins with Influx of Worker-Friendly Members

Thu, 2019-01-03 14:06
New Congress Begins with Influx of Worker-Friendly Members

The 116th Congress begins today and it features a diverse group of members who are more friendly to working people than their predecessors in recent Congresses. Not only does the new class of incoming senators and representatives have the largest group of women ever and the first Native American women, the first Muslim American women and the first openly bisexual senator, it features a dozen union members and even more worker-friendly members.

Union members in the 116th Congress include:

  • Sen. Jacky Rosen (UNITE HERE) of Nevada;

  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter (LIUNA) of Colorado;

  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CWA) of Connecticut;

  • Rep. Jahana Hayes (AFSA) of Connecticut;

  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (AFT) of Iowa;

  • Rep. Stephen Lynch (Ironworkers) of Massachusetts;

  • Rep. Donald Norcross (IBEW) of New Jersey;

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (NWU) of Washington;

  • Rep. Kim Schrier (Public School Employees) of Washington;

  • Rep. Denny Heck (Public School Employees) of Washington;

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (AFSCME) of Minnesota; and

  • Rep. Colin Allred (NFLPA) of Texas.

And while the new Congress starts their term, more than 800,000 people working for the government are going without paychecks because of the shutdown. The House plans to vote this afternoon to reopen the government. Take action now. Tell your elected officials that it’s time to stop the shutdown.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/03/2019 - 13:06

Stop the Shutdown

Wed, 2019-01-02 14:25
Stop the Shutdown AFGE

The government shutdown is now in its 12th day, meaning some 800,000 federal employees are still without a paycheck because President Donald Trump refuses to sign a federal budget that doesn’t include $5 billion for a border wall. Working people—and their livelihoods—should never be used as political pawns. As congressional leaders prepare to meet with Trump later today, take action now to stop the shutdown.

Despite the shutdown, roughly 420,000 federal employees, from law enforcement and corrections officers to Transportation Security Administration agents, are still working and putting their lives on the line without collecting a paycheck. That doesn’t include about 380,000 workers who are currently furloughed, or sent home without pay.

That’s why AFGE filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for illegally forcing federal employees to work without pay.

“Our members put their lives on the line to keep our country safe,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “Requiring them to work without pay is nothing short of inhumane.”

To make matters even worse, Trump actually suggested that federal employees don’t want to work and then canceled a 2.1% pay increase for this year.

Our AFGE brothers and sisters take home an average of $500 a week. Losing this pay is devastating.

The shutdown began Dec. 22 after Trump demanded more than $5 billion for a wall along the southern U.S. border.

Let’s call the shutdown what it is: the Trump Mexican Bailout.

Mexico was never going to pay for the wall that won’t uplift workers anyway. Now Trump’s holding US workers hostage and wants taxpayers to foot the bill. Say no to the #TrumpMexicanBailout

— Richard Trumka (@RichardTrumka) December 27, 2018

Congress officially returns to Washington this afternoon. Take action now. Tell your elected officials that it’s time to stop the shutdown.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:25

UAW Releases 2019 Union-Made Vehicle Buying Guide

Thu, 2018-12-13 10:21
UAW Releases 2019 Union-Made Vehicle Buying Guide

No matter when you are buying a new vehicle or for what purpose, you have the opportunity to use this substantial buying power to support working people. The UAW releases a guide every year that lets consumers know which cars are union-made in America. Here is this year's list.

UAW Cars

  • Buick LaCrosse
  • Cadillac ATS
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Cadillac CT6 (excluding plug-in hybrid)
  • Chevrolet Bolt (electric)
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Chevrolet Cruze*
  • Chevrolet Cruze (diesel)
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Chevrolet Volt (electric)
  • Ford Mustang
  • Ford Taurus
  • Lincoln Continental

UAW Trucks

  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Chevrolet Medium-Duty Navistar Silverado (crew cab)
  • Chevrolet Medium-Duty Navistar Silverado (regular cab)
  • Chevrolet Silverado**
  • Ford F Series
  • Ford F-650/750
  • Ford Ranger
  • Ford Super Duty Chassis Cab
  • GMC Canyon
  • GMC Sierra**
  • Ram 1500*

UAW SUVs/CUVs

  • Buick Enclave
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
  • Cadillac XT4
  • Cadillac XT5
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Chevrolet Tahoe (police)
  • Chevrolet Tahoe (special service)
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Dodge Durango
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Expedition
  • Ford Explorer
  • GMC Acadia
  • GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon Hybrid
  • GMC Yukon XL
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Lincoln MKC
  • Lincoln Navigator

UAW Vans

  • Chevrolet Express
  • Chevrolet Express (cut-away)
  • Ford E-Series (cut-away)
  • Ford Transit
  • GMC Savana
  • GMC Savana (cut-away)

Unifor Cars

  • Cadillac XTS
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Chevrolet Impala (police)
  • Chrysler 300
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger

Unifor SUVs/CUVs

  • Chevrolet Equinox*
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Flex
  • Lincoln MKT
  • Lincoln Nautilus

Unifor Trucks

  • Chevrolet Silverado (double cab)
  • GMC Sierra (double cab)

Unifor Vans

  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Dodge Grand Caravan

These vehicles are made in the United States or Canada by members of the UAW and Canada’s Unifor union, formerly the Canadian Auto Workers. Because of the integration of vehicle production in both countries, all of the vehicles listed as made in Canada include significant UAW-made content and support the jobs of UAW members.

However, vehicles marked with a single asterisk (*) are also produced in Mexico. Vehicles marked with a double asterisk (**) are produced in Mexico and Canada. All Cruze hatchbacks and some sedans are produced in Mexico. The diesel version is manufactured in the United States by UAW members. The Chevrolet Equinox is manufactured in Canada by Unifor members and also in Mexico.

Beginning in mid-2019, all heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras will be built in Flint, Michigan, only. In early 2019, the light-duty, regular cabs of both trucks will be produced in Mexico only.

When purchasing a vehicle marked with an asterisk, it’s important to check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A VIN beginning with “1” or “4” or “5” identifies a U.S.-made vehicle; a “2” identifies a Canadian-made vehicle; a “3” identifies a vehicle made in Mexico. Not all vehicles made in the United States or Canada are built by union-represented workers. Vehicles not listed here, even if produced in the United States or Canada, are not union made.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 12/13/2018 - 09:21

Tags: Union Made

Ohio’s Ironworkers Local 290 Invests in the Future

Wed, 2018-12-12 13:04
Ohio’s Ironworkers Local 290 Invests in the Future 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

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

Wed, 2018-12-12 11:43
State of the Unions’ Podcast with Sara Nelson: Aviation's First Responders 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

Tags: Podcast

‘A Handle on Our Future’

Tue, 2018-12-11 15:58
‘A Handle on Our Future’ 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

Equal and Inalienable Rights

Mon, 2018-12-10 14:42
Equal and Inalienable Rights 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

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

Fri, 2018-12-07 12:32
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

State of the Unions: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2018-12-07 11:01
State of the Unions: The 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

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

Wed, 2018-12-05 10:49
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast with Brad Markell: ‘What’s Wrong with GM’ 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

Tags: Podcast