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‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Serving Those Who Served

Wed, 2019-11-13 14:35
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Serving Those Who Served

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene Collier and Tim Schlittner talk with Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig about his work connecting the labor movement and the veterans community.

Listen to our previous episodes:

  • A conversation with union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union. 
  • A chat with Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT, IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.
  • Talking to Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) about worker power, automation, trade and his decision to stay in the U.S. Senate. 
  • Checking in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interviewing Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California.
  • SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris discussing the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader. 
  • North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Chief of Staff Mike Monroe exploring the Department of Labor proposal that would undermine world-class apprenticeships in the construction industry.

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

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/13/2019 - 13:35

Tags: Union Veterans Council, Podcast

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Nurses United

Tue, 2019-11-12 13:20
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Nurses United AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is National Nurses United.

Name of Union: National Nurses United (NNU)

Mission: To win workplace and health care justice here in the United States and globally by building the nation’s most powerful union of direct-care registered nurses and by fostering a social movement of nurses allied with the patient public. To achieve these goals, NNU aims to unionize all direct-care registered nurses (RNs) in the United States; promote effective collective bargaining representation to all NNU affiliates to advance the economic and professional interests of all direct-care RNs; organize that collective power to compel the health care industry, governments and employers to be accountable to patients and not solely profits; expand the voice of direct-care RNs and patients in public policy, including the enactment of safe nurse-to-patient ratios and patient advocacy rights in Congress and every state; protect and advance the practice of nursing so that RNs can fully exercise their professional judgment to provide safe, effective, therapeutic care; and campaign to win health care as a human right through a Medicare for All system.

Current Leadership of Union: Bonnie CastilloRN, serves as executive director of NNU, as well as executive director of NNU’s largest founding affiliate, California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC). Before being named executive director, Castillo held multiple leadership roles over two decades within the two organizations, including director of the Health and Safety program, director of the Registered Nurse Response Network, an NNU-sponsored program that sends RN volunteers to provide medical assistance after disasters and catastrophes, and director of government relations for CNA/NNOC—among other positions. An intensive care unit nurse for many years, Castillo played a key role in helping unionize her own hospital and naturally transitioned into organizing and representing registered nurses on a larger scale.

NNU is also ultimately governed by an elected, 19-member RN executive council headed by a Council of Presidents consisting of nurses Deborah Burger, Zenei Cortez and Jean Ross.

Number of Members: 150,000

Members Work As: Primarily direct-care registered nurses, but some affiliates also represent ancillary hospital workers.

Industries Represented: Public and private medical institutions, including some Veterans Health Administration facilities.

History: With more than 150,000 members across the country, NNU stands as the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.

National Nurses United was founded in December 2009 to create an organization to build a powerful, national movement of direct-care registered nurses. NNU unified three of the most active progressive nursing organizations. The vision resulting from the founding convention focused on advancing the interests of direct-care nurses and patients, and winning health care justice for all.

Over the past decade, NNU and its affiliates have achieved significant success. In addition to those states represented by its founding affiliates, NNU members now include thousands of registered nurses in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Missouri, North Dakota and Arizona—many from states traditionally considered hostile to union organizing. NNU has organized tens of thousands of non-union nurses, making it one of the most successful organizing unions in America. NNU RN members also focus on negotiating strong collective bargaining agreements that set the highest workplace, practice and economic standards for their states as well as the entire country. In the legislative arena, NNU has sponsored major federal legislation, including national safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios, a bill to improve and expand Medicare for All in the United States, and stronger protections against workplace violence.

Current Campaigns: NNU currently has numerous active campaigns, including: unionizing nurses all across the country,  RN-to-patent ratios, preventing workplace violence, Medicare for All, health and safety and environmental justice.

Community Efforts: NNU nurses believe that allying with our patients and the public is key to winning our goal of health care justice. To that end, many of our campaigns include working in coalition with local communities. On a national and global scale, an NNU project, the Registered Nurse Response Network, sends registered nurse volunteers to disaster-stricken areas to provide assistance and emergency care. Nurses have helped victims of floods, earthquakes and fires within the continental United States, as well as Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Philippines and Guatemala.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitter

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/12/2019 - 12:20

Building the Battleground Bench: Union Members Elected to Office Across the Great Lakes Region

Fri, 2019-11-08 12:16
Building the Battleground Bench: Union Members Elected to Office Across the Great Lakes Region AFL-CIO

While the labor movement was busy helping to elect pro-worker candidates in important elections in Kentucky and Virginia this week, union members themselves were on the ballot, and they were elected to local offices across the country at an impressive rate. This result was especially pronounced in the battleground states in the Great Lakes region, where an energized union candidates program helped carry union members to victory.

In Pennsylvania, organized labor helped elect its endorsed candidate to the Superior Court in the Commonwealth and elected hundreds of union members to local offices. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, himself a victorious union member candidate for auditor in Carroll Township in York County, recognized the significance of the program. “There is no better way to ensure that working people are represented than through the election of card-carrying union members,” Snyder said. “It's not enough to elect supporters of workers' rights, we must elect champions of workers' rights. Today, we did just that."

More than a dozen union members were elected or re-elected to local office in the Cleveland area on Tuesday night, bringing the number of members within the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor holding public office to over 40. Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO pointed out how supporting union member candidates can immediately have an impact on public policy. “No one understands the needs and interests of working people better than our members themselves,” she said. “When our members are empowered and have the resources to win local elections, it brings a whole new perspective to the halls of government.”

The Greater Northwest Ohio AFL-CIO helped to elect members to City Council seats in Toledo and Maumee, among other local offices. Across the state, the Ohio AFL-CIO supported 51 union member candidates in the election and 32 won their races. “The whole purpose is to support candidates who believe in collective bargaining, who believe the economy is not some mystical thing but rules put in place by those we elect,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “Those rules can create living wage jobs, project labor agreements, collective bargaining laws and a fight for fair trade.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:16

Enough is Enough: In the States Roundup

Tue, 2019-11-05 14:53
Enough is Enough: In the States Roundup AFL-CIO

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Pres. of the Alaska AFL-CIO @vincebeltrami responded: “Unfortunately, I am not surprised at all by AG Clarkson's attempt to derail the Recall Dunleavy effort. I've said it before and I'll say it again; both Governor Mike Dunleavy and AG Clarkson have got to go.” #akleg #akgov

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) November 5, 2019

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

Thank you for our #oneLRSD #onelrsd #lrea sign at the Arkansas AFL-CIO office!!

Trump’s SEC Chairman Proposes to Disenfranchise Investors and Reduce Shareholder Democracy

Tue, 2019-11-05 12:36
Trump’s SEC Chairman Proposes to Disenfranchise Investors and Reduce Shareholder Democracy

In a partisan 3-2 vote, the Trump administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to curtail the rights of investors to file proposals for a vote at company annual meetings. If adopted, these changes will hinder shareholder proposals by union members and their pension plans to hold corporate management accountable.

"We strongly oppose the SEC's shareholder proposal rule changes that will limit the ability of working people and their pension plans to have a voice in the companies that we invest in," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). The proposed changes include dramatic increases in stock ownership requirements and vote resubmission requirements.

Corporate CEOs of the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce have long wished for these changes to the shareholder proposal rule. In a 2017 letter to the SEC, the AFL-CIO showed how these proposed rule changes will undermine efforts to increase corporate responsibility for environmental, social and governance issues.

"The right to petition corporate management by filing shareholder proposals is an integral part of shareholder democracy in the United States,” Trumka explained. “The SEC should protect the rights of working people as the real main street investors, not the interests of overpaid and unaccountable corporate CEOs."

For more information about the efforts of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, nominated by President Trump, to disenfranchise investors and reduce shareholder democracy by curtailing the shareholder proposal rule, please visit the Investor Rights Forum.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/05/2019 - 11:36

Standing Up Against Corporate Greed: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 2019-11-04 13:30
Standing Up Against Corporate Greed: 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 the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

UAW Members at GM Ratify New Agreement: "The longest and largest automotive strike in decades came to an end this week as UAW members employed by General Motors Co. ratified the tentative agreement between the union and the automaker. Nearly 50,000 UAW members went on strike Sept. 16 seeking fair wages, affordable quality health care, profit sharing, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temps. With the victory of the UAW members, working people across the country lauded the strikers and thanked them for standing up against corporate greed."

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Flexing Labor’s Muscle: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union."

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

Egregious Worker Rights Violations Cause Thailand to Lose Trade Benefits: "On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced it will withdraw preferential tariffs for many imports from Thailand due to egregious, ongoing worker rights violations in the country. As highlighted in submissions by the AFL-CIO going back to 2013, the government of Thailand actively retaliates against workers and allows the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, including forced labor, to proliferate throughout its economy."

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

Union Apprenticeship Works: 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."

Building Pathways: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter."

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

 

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:30

A Boss Is a Boss: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Mon, 2019-11-04 13:20
A Boss Is a Boss: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

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

Belabored Podcast #186: 'A Boss Is a Boss': Two organizers discuss recent efforts to unionize nonprofit workers. Plus: an interview with Chicago teacher Kenzo Shibata about the first day on the picket line. With Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen.

Building Bridges: 'Analyzing Bernie Sanders’ Workplace Democracy Plan': "Shaun Richman is an In These Times contributing writer and the program director of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College. Senator Bernie Sanders has announced his Workplace Democracy Plan to build worker power on the job by protecting unionizing and strikes by workers. In many ways it goes back to the intent of New Deal Legislation, which has been seriously weakened over the years by right wing legislation and court decisions. But it also builds on them calling for new private and public sector workers rights and forms of union representation that transcend the National Labor Relations Board framework of enterprise based contract bargaining."

CTU Speaks! 'Five Days Later!': Five days into the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike, Jim sits down with Cook County Commissioner, CTU member and former middle school teacher Brandon Johnson. Brandon puts the strike in historical context and helps us understand it as a potential pivot point for the city, while also underscoring the ways that CTU has been impactful for labor and education across the country.

Heartland Labor Forum: 'Disappearing the Poor and the New Servant Economy of Wealth Jobs': "The Trump administration wants to redefine who is poor. Experts say they want to disappear the poor. Then, Mark Muro of Brookings Institute will talk to us about wealth work. That’s the growing number of jobs in what’s called the 'new servant economy.' Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming."

Labor History Today: 'Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman': "On this week’s show: Robbin Légère Henderson talks about her grandmother, Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins, on the Tales from the Reuther Library podcast. Henderson shares stories from Robbins’ autobiography, Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman: A Memoir from the Early Twentieth Century, explaining how the optimism of a 13-year-old immigrant from the Ukraine was soon undone by the realities of working in garment sweatshops on the East Coast, leading to Matilda Robbins’ brief but influential role as a labor organizer for the International Workers of the World from 1912 to 1917. She was one of only two women organizers for the IWW during its early years, along with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Plus a clip from 'Mother Jones in Heaven,' a one-woman musical by Si Kahn, starring Vivian Nesbitt as 'Mother' Jones, with musical accompaniment by John Dillon, recently performed at The Robin Theatre in Lansing, Michigan."

Union City Radio: Airs weekdays at 7:15 a.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Bus drivers strike in Lorton, Virginia; hotel workers settle in Baltimore; STRIKE! The game of worker rebellion; Washington, D.C., residents urged to testify at City Council health committee hearing; D.C. janitors approve contract.

Union Strong: "TWU Local 100 is in a contract fight with the MTA. We cover everything from the Trash Train competition to the trash email that went public, all on the day of a massive rally taking place tonight in NYC."

Willamette Wake Up: Features an interview with Graham Trainor, the new president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. We cover racism and sexism, some features of labor's program in Oregon, the recent Oregon AFL-CIO convention, and some of labor's challenges and opportunities. KMUZ is at 100.7 or 88.5 in the Keizer-Salem-Turner area, or at https://kmuz.org regardless of where you are. Our labor segment will run at around 8:10 a.m. on Friday morning.

Working History: Making the Woman Worker: "On SLSA's latest Working History podcast, 'Making the Woman Worker,' Eileen Boris discusses her new book, Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019, the history of the International Labor Organization's labor protections for women, domestic and home workers in the global north and global south, and ongoing fights to recognize precarious labor from the care economy to the gig economy."

Your Rights At Work: Health care in southeast D.C. with Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Chris Hawthorne, District of Columbia Nurses Association nurse Roberta Lenoir and organizer Djawa Hall with SEIU 1199. Plus latest labor news updates. Thursdays 1-2 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/04/2019 - 12:20

Tags: Podcast

Economy Gains 128,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Up Slightly to 3.6%

Mon, 2019-11-04 11:21
Economy Gains 128,000 Jobs in October; Unemployment Up Slightly to 3.6%

The U.S. economy gained 128,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.6%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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

Unemployment rates for whites and Blacks continue to converge, last year, Black over white unemployment was 6.2:3.3 and now is at 5.4:3.2.  A reminder of what some @federalreserve argued couldn't happen without extreme inflation. Full employment is good for everyone @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

After last year's revisions downward, and a continuation of the trend to start the year, the good news is @BLS_gov has revised August and September numbers up a combined 95,000.  This brings average payroll gains to 176,000 over the last 3 months; a good sign. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Jobs in food services continue to grow--despite the industry whining about increased minimum wages.  Last month @BLS_gov reported gains of 48,000 with a 3 month average gain of 38,000.  The House has passed @BobbyScott bill to #Fightfor15, but Mitch McConnell--crickets.  @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

September and October, Local government employment has finally recovered to its July 2008 level, over 11 years ago.  That means we still have fewer @AFSCME  @IAFFNewsDesk, @AFTunion   per person than back then. Lower public investment is not good. @AFLCIO @RepRoKhanna pic.twitter.com/z9eiDemkDk

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Part of the average wage problem is that lower than average wage industries (the bottom half of the graph) are showing much greater job gains (the farther right on the graph) than higher wage industries: Why state minimum wage increases are pushing up wages. #Fightfor15 @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/igabWzyQyP

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

It is troubling that despite many improvements in unemployment rates, long term unemployment remains a bigger problem than before 2008.  It helps explain the frustration many people experience, despite low unemployment rates.  @AFLCIO #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/jOr7WwzpQe

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Despite a slightly accelerated rate of job growth the last 3 months, the broadest measure of labor market slack (including those who are part-time but want full-time work and discouraged workers) has been essentially flat. @AFLCIO  #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/Se0UyzMiiS

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

#OneJobShouldbeEnough @IWPResearch @HeidiatIWPR 5.7% of women are working two jobs, and the number working two full-time jobs is up over last October.  #Fightfor15 America needs a raise.  @BobbyScott got the House to pass a raise, Mitch McConnell is doing nothing! @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/NjWZlsnUdN

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

The problem for the long-term unemployed is not easily explained by some skill bias, since unemployment rates for all education levels have fallen back to 2008 levels--though the college educated are a slight bit higher. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/AseiIaI9D4

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 1, 2019

Last month's biggest job gains were in food services and drinking places (48,000), professional and business services (22,000), social assistance (20,000), financial activities (16,000), and health care (15,000). Manufacturing employment decreased by 36,000 and federal government employment was down 17,000 as a large group of temporary census workers completed their work. Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and information, showed little change over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.3%), blacks (5.4%), Hispanics (4.1%), adult men (3.2%), whites (3.2%), adult women (3.2%) and Asians (2.9%) showed little or no change in October.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined in October and accounted for 21.5% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/04/2019 - 10:21

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Flexing Labor’s Muscle

Wed, 2019-10-30 11:49
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Flexing Labor’s Muscle AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union. 

Listen to our previous episodes:

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

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 10/30/2019 - 11:49

Tags: Podcast

UAW Members at GM Ratify New Agreement

Wed, 2019-10-30 08:41
UAW Members at GM Ratify New Agreement UAW

The longest and largest automotive strike in decades came to an end this week as UAW members employed by General Motors Co. ratified the tentative agreement between the union and the automaker. Nearly 50,000 UAW members went on strike Sept. 16 seeking fair wages, affordable quality health care, profit sharing, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temps. With the victory of the UAW members, working people across the country lauded the strikers and thanked them for standing up against corporate greed. Here's what people said:

Terry Dittes, UAW vice president and director of the UAW-GM Department:

General Motors members have spoken. We are all so incredibly proud of UAW-GM members who captured the hearts and minds of a nation. Their sacrifice and courageous stand addressed the two-tier wages structure and permanent temporary worker classification that has plagued working class Americans.

UAW President Gary Jones:

We want to once again thank our members’ families and their local communities for their outpouring of support. Our members not only joined together in solidarity but felt the support of their whole community throughout this important stand.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA)

I’ve never felt prouder to be a union member. Backed by millions of brothers, sisters and friends across the country, UAW members stood together to win the fair treatment that they’ve earned over years of selfless sacrifice. I commend the UAW’s national negotiators for standing firm to deliver on what their members demanded and hope this will bring an end to one of the most courageous fights I have ever seen.

This is the latest victory in a wave of collective action happening across America. Working people won’t allow greed to dictate our lives, and we won’t tolerate a system that’s been rigged against us. Bosses everywhere should take note—we’re not going to take it anymore.

UAW:

Today, after five weeks of intense negotiations, the UAW GM National Negotiators and UAW GM Vice President Terry Dittes announced the achievement of a Proposed Tentative Agreement with General Motors.

— UAW (@UAW) October 16, 2019

The National Negotiators, elected by their local unions, achieved major wins for members in the Proposed Tentative Agreement. The negotiators voted to recommend the National Council accept the Proposed Tentative Agreement as the agreement represents major gains for workers.

— UAW (@UAW) October 16, 2019

The number one priority of the national negotiation team has been to secure a strong and fair contract that our members deserve,” said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, Director of the UAW GM Department.

— UAW (@UAW) October 16, 2019

There is no change to health care and no additional costs to members in the UAW-GM Tentative Agreement. #Bargaining2019 pic.twitter.com/vn68vIybiv

— UAW (@UAW) October 18, 2019

The UAW-GM Tentative Agreement provides a defined path to permanent seniority for temporary workers and includes improved time off policies and new restrictions on GM's use of temporary employees. #Bargaining2019 pic.twitter.com/HI81ltsdeR

— UAW (@UAW) October 19, 2019

The UAW-GM Tentative Agreement maintains and extends the benefits of the current Legal Services Plan. #Bargaining2019 pic.twitter.com/1p1G0MuV6q

— UAW (@UAW) October 20, 2019

UAW General Motors members ratified the 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement this evening ending the longest automotive strike in 50 years. https://t.co/Ijap4brQdX

— UAW (@UAW) October 25, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

The #UAWStrike in photos

LGBT History Month Pathway to Progress: The Founding of Pride At Work

Tue, 2019-10-29 11:55
LGBT History Month Pathway to Progress: The Founding of Pride At Work AFL-CIO

History has long been portrayed as a series of "great men" taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of LGBT History Month, we will take a look at the founding of Pride At Work (P@W).

Prior to 1969, the labor movement mostly ignored issues that affected LGBTQ working people. The events at Stonewall Inn and the rebellion that followed woke up many in the ranks of labor to the need to step up efforts to include all workers, including our LGBTQ siblings. After Stonewall, unions began to recognize that discrimination based on sexual orientation was another assault on working people, one that victimized union members and weakened efforts at solidarity among working families. 

As the 1970s began, the AFT was the first union to pass a resolution against discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 1974, the Teamsters worked with the LGBTQ community members in San Francisco on a boycott against the anti-union Coors Brewing Co. Over the next few decades, support for LGBTQ rights in the labor movement continued to grow. The AFL-CIO passed a resolution that called for legislation to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. More and more unions started creating LGBTQ caucuses and opened up space for LGBTQ workers to be activists and open about their sexual orientation.

While some unions took the lead, the labor movement was largely silent on issues related to LGBTQ rights and issues. This lead LGBTQ union activists to come together to form Pride At Work. The activists met in New York in 1994, the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall rebellion. Earlier efforts at organizing had led to groups such as the Lesbian and Gay Labor Alliance (in the San Francisco Bay Area), the Lesbian and Gay Labor Network (New York) and the Gay and Lesbian Labor Activists Network (New England). Efforts such of these would eventually be consolidated into a larger LGBTQ workers organization, Pride At Work. In 1997, the organization was officially recognized by AFL-CIO as a constituency group.

Among Pride At Work's first campaigns were efforts to pressure Chrysler to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Chrysler made the requested changes in 1999 and Ford and General Motors soon followed. Domestic partner benefits were gained a year later. Later, in 2005, P@W successfully convinced the AFL-CIO to support marriage equality. In 2012, the AFL-CIO supported the legal case that led to the national legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Today, Pride At Work continues to educate the labor movement and wider culture about the importance of unions for LGBTQ workers and the value those workers provide employers. Pride@Work also supports electoral candidates that support LGBTQ workers and helps LGBTQ working people run for political office.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 10/29/2019 - 11:55

Tags: Pride at Work

Egregious Worker Rights Violations Cause Thailand to Lose Trade Benefits

Mon, 2019-10-28 12:39
Egregious Worker Rights Violations Cause Thailand to Lose Trade Benefits

On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced it will withdraw preferential tariffs for many imports from Thailand due to egregious, ongoing worker rights violations in the country. As highlighted in submissions by the AFL-CIO going back to 2013, the government of Thailand actively retaliates against workers and allows the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, including forced labor, to proliferate throughout its economy.

Numerous reports document rampant forced labor in the fishing sector, however, extreme worker rights violations are present throughout the Thai economy, with both Thai workers and migrant workers facing repression and abuse. The government severely limits all workers’ ability to form and join unions, does not enforce collective bargaining and prevents workers from striking. The meager protections that do exist are not enforced. 

The Thai government targets independent labor leaders and activists. The government fined seven leaders of the State Railway Union of Thailand (SRUT) $760,000 for protesting unsafe conditions following a deadly train derailment in 2009. In November 2018, the State Railway began deducting the fines from its monthly pay or retirement checks, leaving some with as little as $9 a month in take-home pay. The fines have been condemned by Thailand’s own National Human Rights Commission, but the Thai government has only increased repression in the past months. In February, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, a body that is supposed to investigate high-level government corruption, began to investigate SRUT leaders over their health and safety initiative. They are now being prosecuted under the criminal code.

Employers are allowed to retaliate against workers who organize with impunity. When companies illegally fire workers who try to organize, Thai labor officials often pressure the workers to accept meager buyouts. Mitsubishi Electric’s Thai subsidiary sent workers who tried to form a union to military re-education camps, forced them to issue personal public apologies to the company and eventually locked out all union members. Thailand’s Labor Relations Committee issued a ruling that the locked-out workers should be reinstated, but the company simply ignored it without consequence. Companies can even bring criminal defamation claims against workers and advocates who publicize abuses. For example, migrant workers who reported severe abuses at the Thammakaset chicken farm have been repeatedly sued by the company.

Thai laws enshrine systemic discrimination against migrant workers, including barring them from forming unions, which creates a vulnerable underclass ripe for exploitation. Trafficked migrant workers are trapped at sea, sometimes for years, forced to sleep in cramped quarters and fed as little as a plate of rice a day. Those too ill to work are sometimes thrown overboard. Unfortunately, human trafficking and forced labor are not confined to sea work, but appear across the economy, including in agriculture, construction and domestic work. 

These abhorrent practices must end. Thailand was the second largest recipient of preferential trade benefits under the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in 2017. The decision to suspend benefits sends a strong message that countries should not seek a competitive advantage in global trade by artificially lowering labor costs through oppression. This is a rare example of a U.S. trade policy that attempts to create incentives to protect and respect human rights, and it is welcome news that is finally being applied in Thailand. Workers should share in the wealth they create, and we hope that the economic pressure of GSP suspension will lead the Thai government to change course and allow workers to exercise their fundamental rights.  

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 10/28/2019 - 12:39

Tags: Thailand

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Mon, 2019-10-28 11:17
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Name of Union: National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).

Mission: To advance the status, professionalism and working conditions of all air traffic controllers and other aviation safety-related employees through collective bargaining, political action and other lawful concerted activity.

Current Leadership of Union: Paul Rinaldi has served as president of NATCA since 2009. He is the sixth person to hold that position. In July 2018, Rinaldi won re-election to serve an unprecedented fourth three-year term. Prior to being elected president, Rinaldi served as executive vice president for three years. He previously served as an air traffic controller at the Dulles International Airport control tower for 16 years. Working with Rinaldi, Trish Gilbert serves as executive vice president. She also has been in that position since 2009 and is serving an unprecedented fourth term. Prior to her election, Gilbert worked for 21 years as an air traffic controller at Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center. Rinaldi, Gilbert and 10 regional vice presidents make up NATCA’s National Executive Board.

Number of Members: 15,878.

Members Work As: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators and specialists, flight service station air traffic controllers in Alaska, staff support specialists, engineers and architects and other aviation safety professionals, as well as Department of Defense and private sector Federal Contract Tower air traffic controllers. 

Industries Represented: All aspects of aviation safety in the United States.

History: In 1968, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) formed. The union represented air traffic controllers until 1981 when it went on strike, and President Ronald Reagan fired all of the striking controllers.

In the mid-1980s, with the help of AFGE, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and John F. Thornton, who had been active in PATCO, FAA controllers began organizing a new union. The NATCA founding convention was held in late 1986. In addition to forming the new organization, this organizing effort brought solidarity back to the profession. In 1987, NATCA was certified by the Federal Labor Relations Authority as the exclusive representative of air traffic controllers.

NATCA quickly realized the importance of how politics affect federal employees’ rights, pay and working conditions. In 1989, it embarked on its efforts to become a legislative and political powerhouse.

Throughout the 1990s, NATCA worked zealously to transform pay for controllers, working with Congress to exclude FAA from the statutory pay system in 1996, and ultimately negotiating a new pay system based upon air traffic volume and complexity in 1998. 

The same year, NATCA became a direct affiliate of the AFL-CIO and organized the FAA’s Engineers and Architects bargaining unit, its first unit of non-operational FAA employees.

In 2006, after several months of bargaining, the FAA walked away from the table in order to exploit a provision of the 1996 collective bargaining law and, on Labor Day weekend, unilaterally imposed terms and conditions of employment, including a 30% cut to the pay bands at that time. This attempt at union busting only made NATCA stronger. The membership rallied and became more politically active. Solidarity soared as Rinaldi coined the phrase, “our collective spirit is their enemy.” 

Shortly after President Barack Obama was sworn in, he ordered the parties back to the table and a fair collective bargaining agreement was reached in short order. NATCA then moved forward with half-a-million grievances that reached the arbitration stage during the imposed work rules. 

NATCA worked hard to change the law to ensure that no work rules would ever be imposed again, and Congress passed binding mediation-arbitration for all future negotiations. 

The 2009 agreement allowed NATCA to forge a new collaborative relationship with the FAA, working together to develop and implement new technologies and procedures to make the National Aviation System (NAS) safer and more efficient. The parties developed the “Partnership for Safety,” which includes programs to address safety concerns in the operation, fatigue education and awareness, managing distractions in the NAS, and professional standards, among other things.

Always pushing the envelope for federal sector bargaining, NATCA’s 2016 agreement with the FAA formalized the collaborative process to ensure that it was not subject to the political winds.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: Every day, NATCA members control more than 70,000 flights as over 2 million passengers move through our NAS. Most of NATCA’s members are federal employees, and NATCA fights to protect federal workers and their rights. NATCA has long advocated for a stable, predictable funding stream that supports air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance and ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure of the United States. Current stop-and-go funding jeopardizes the safety, efficiency and capacity of the NAS. This year’s 35-day government shutdown pushed the system to the brink of unraveling.

Although NATCA is busy with its advocacy efforts 365 days a year, its advocacy culminates each year at its annual lobbying event NATCA in Washington.

NATCA’s commitment to safety and training is on display each year with its Communicating For Safety (CFS) event that has become the world’s largest aviation safety conference. At CFS, NATCA presents the Archie League Medal of Safety Awards to recognize the best saves by controllers and other aviation safety professionals each year.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitter.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 10/28/2019 - 11:17

Union Apprenticeship Works: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Sat, 2019-10-26 10:45
Union Apprenticeship Works: 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:

This Friday on the campus of Savannah State, the Savannah State chapter youth program will be having a meet and greet on campus to discuss the importance of being a part of this organization! Please let all know to stop by our table on campus this Fri during Homecomings Yard Fest pic.twitter.com/q0myjLBKxV

— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) October 21, 2019

Actors' Equity:

Equity members have voted to ratify the tentative agreement with the Broadway League for a new contract – the last step required to approve the new contract.

Visit the Member Portal for more details - https://t.co/S5cppuLfmC pic.twitter.com/CkXzfOE0sU

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) October 16, 2019

AFGE:

"I am convinced that the path now chosen, if allowed to continue, will leave veterans with fewer options, a severely weakened VA, and a private health care system not designed to meet the complex requirements of high-need veterans." -- Former VA Secretary David Shulkin #SaveOurVA

— AFGE (@AFGENational) October 23, 2019

AFSCME:

AFSCME members help make the wheels of a unique bus go round https://t.co/vjAH8QERMY pic.twitter.com/f51YswuzbI

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) October 22, 2019

AFT:

It's time for @ChicagosMayor to keep her promises to Chicago's students & educators and #PutItInWriting in the contract. RT to support @CTULocal1 & @SEIU73! #FairContractNow #FundOurFuture pic.twitter.com/9V7cOFhycn

— AFT (@AFTunion) October 16, 2019

Air Line Pilots Association:

The FAA has FAILED to meet a key AVIATION SAFETY DEADLINE set by Congress last year. Congress mandated the full implementation of #SecondaryBarriers on all newly-manufactured passenger aircraft to prevent another 9/11-style terrorist attack. Implement secondary barriers NOW. pic.twitter.com/AtFcO7VZiP

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) October 17, 2019

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Indiana Alliance Member Pam Alvey needs 20 prescriptions to treat her diabetes and other chronic conditions. She has to pay more than $2,000 a month for her medicine. Retirees can't afford this any more. We need #LowerDrugCostsNow! #HR3 pic.twitter.com/YeTdo6A033

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) October 16, 2019

Amalgamated Transit Union:

International President John Costa joined with @AFLCIO Exec. VP Tefere Gebre, @MineWorkers President Cecil Roberts and union members in Northern Virginia to rally support for ATU Local 689 Cinder Bed workers. #TogetherWeFightTogetherWeWin pic.twitter.com/IUlfnsGZDP

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) October 19, 2019

American Federation of Musicians:

Musicians outside @NABShow again today. @Disney, @MGM_Studios, @NBCUniversal, @Sony, @Viacom, & @WarnerMediaGrp need to respect musicians by paying us fairly for ALL of our work on ALL platforms ALL the time! #1u #BandTogether

Building Pathways: In the States Roundup

Fri, 2019-10-25 14:55
Building Pathways: In the States Roundup AFL-CIO

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alabama AFL-CIO:

Senior Senator from Alabama in the making! #alpolitics https://t.co/E4dUuHqQ7N

— Alabama AFL-CIO (@AlabamaAFLCIO) October 14, 2019

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Congrats to @NEAAlaska member Jesse Bjorkman for winning a seat on the KPB Assembly. Your dedication to students, parents, educators and now citizens of the KPB is just what working people need! #solidarity #1u pic.twitter.com/wIQaO6mTvA

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) October 15, 2019

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

It is a rainy Saturday in Minneapolis but the Women Build Nations ladies did not let that keep them from a HUGE banner parade this afternoon. #1u #nabtu #ARLabor #ARUnions #womeninthetrades https://t.co/foFHsrKhO3

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) October 5, 2019

California Labor Federation:

SF Court Engineers are fighting for their first contract! For years, the JCC has treated Engineers as second-class citizens with substandard training, low pay & no voice on the job. Rally w/ workers & support their struggle! More details here: https://t.co/D0rWSYSpCV @sflabor #1u

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) October 15, 2019

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

In 2016, the CT Building Trades, in concert with the United Labor Agency, launched "Building Pathways CT," to put women and men through seven weeks of pre-apprenticeship training to qualify them to work in construction. @NABTU https://t.co/tAJkRYeNcC

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) October 15, 2019

Florida AFL-CIO:

“We still hope to hear about what Gov. DeSantis plans to do to retain experienced teachers who have devoted years to their students." Fedrick Ingram, President of the Florida Education Association said on the proposed raise.https://t.co/Ry1byxx9en

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) October 14, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Poverty-level pay, harsh working conditions and gender discrimination are commonplace on the farms and plantations that supply tea, fruit and vegetables to the world’s supermarkets. #1u https://t.co/gddDll4wu0

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) October 14, 2019

Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO:

Were Iowa GOP Legislators At ALEC Gerrymandering Panel? - Iowa Starting Line https://t.co/F7LbJi0gPC

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) October 4, 2019

Maine AFL-CIO:

Check out the new Weekly Maine Labor News ➡️Ellsworth Nurses & Techs Fight for a Fair Contract, Maine AFL-CIO 32nd Biennial Convention & more! https://t.co/F0w8tv5RHD #1U #UnionStrong @AFLCIO @MeNursesUnion #mepolitics

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

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Fighting for justice for women, immigrants, and low wage workers. @UNITEHERE26 members show us today with their strike at the Battery Wharf and everyday There Is Power in a Union! @billybragg #1u #solidarity #strike pic.twitter.com/zrYXetbJoM

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

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

Bailey the picketing pooch, on the @UAW picket line in White Marsh pic.twitter.com/D7ECJsiCm8

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) October 15, 2019

Michigan AFL-CIO:

We will continue to stand in solidarity with our UAW brothers and sisters. We know that when they win their fight for fair pay and affordable health care that it will be a victory for all working families. #StandWithUs #GMstrikehttps://t.co/AAZrtM29zQ

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

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

AP analysis: Most states lack laws protecting LGBT workers https://t.co/KtacGkBUPx Minnesota has many protections on the books because workers advocated for them and we had lawmakers who listened. Another reason why elections matter. #1u #mnleg pic.twitter.com/0o68d3tgo2

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) October 15, 2019

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Congrats to our friend @walshgina! https://t.co/GnGiaxeuvR

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) October 6, 2019

Montana AFL-CIO:

The PRO Act would provide clear definitions and tests for when a worker is an employee, an independent contractor, or a supervisor, and when a boss is an employer. Tell @GregForMontana to support working Montanans and vote yes on H.R. 2474. pic.twitter.com/bC3hQM27ja

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) October 14, 2019

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

The Nebraska State AFL-CIO is 63 years old today!

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) October 8, 2019

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

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

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

New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO:

We stand with @UA_UNM as they prepare to vote!#Solidarity #1u https://t.co/Qj79kCjG7j

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) October 15, 2019

New York State AFL-CIO:

#UnionStrong volunteers out walking doors this weekend for local candidates that support working people! Check with your local Union or Area Labor Federation for volunteer opportunities. pic.twitter.com/hGAUlDE0Xd

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) October 12, 2019

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

#ncpol #1u #elections pic.twitter.com/mPOBCaPRC3

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) October 6, 2019

Ohio AFL-CIO:

#Ohio@AFLCIO⁩ President Tim Burga talks to what ⁦@TheDemocrats⁩ have done and are doing for ⁦@AFLCIO#Union members and all working people. Like ⁦@DNC⁩ Chair ⁦@TomPerez⁩ stated today, with these issues on the forefront, we are a battleground state pic.twitter.com/yQGhTPdNYY

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) October 15, 2019

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Check out our October Newsletter with information on The Future and Unions, Oklahoma Labor Hall of Fame, this years YELL Conference, Organizing Training, Union Made Halloween and more!

Check it out here: https://t.co/N1dYjUN2cS

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) October 7, 2019

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Our newly elected president Graham Trainor sat down with @OregonBusiness to share insight into why unions are rising up for workers' rights and where our movement is headed.#1u #UnionStrong #OregonLaborhttps://t.co/xCYWVfj23G

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) October 15, 2019

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Union members at @Mack trucks are standing up for living wages and respect for worker dignity! Show them your support! @UAW strong

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association

Mon, 2019-10-21 11:33
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association.

Name of Union: Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA)

Mission: To elevate and maintain the rights and advance and safeguard the economic and working conditions of its members for their better protection and advancement. 

Current Leadership of Union: Marshall Ainley has been MEBA’s president since January 2014. A 1982 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, he worked with the Military Sealift Command at sea and ashore for 10 years and earned his chief engineer’s license and Group 1 membership in the MEBA. He sailed with Maersk as chief engineer for the nine years before his election as MEBA president. Bill Van Loo has served as MEBA’s secretary-treasurer since 2006. Previously, he was elected twice to the position of MEBA branch agent in Baltimore and has served as a delegate at nine national MEBA conventions. He is a third-generation member who graduated from the Calhoon MEBA Engineering School in 1983 and sailed for 17 years before beginning his service as an official in 2002. In addition to Ainley and Van Loo, MEBA’s five-person executive board includes our coastal vice presidents: Executive Vice President Adam Vokac, Gulf Coast Vice President Erin Bertram and Atlantic Coast Vice President Jason Callahan.

Members Work As: Primarily engine and deck officers on U.S.-flagged vessels, but we also represent shoreside professionals at ports, offices and in the service industries.

Industries Represented: The maritime workforce.

History: MEBA is the nation's oldest maritime labor union, established in 1875. In the late 19th century, the forefathers of the MEBA fought to eradicate dangerous and deadly working conditions on early steam-powered vessels⁠—conditions that threatened not only MEBA brothers and sisters, but all passengers at sea. MEBA was the first union to bargain for a 40-hour workweek while at sea. MEBA helped secure overtime pay and night relief. The union won the right to man their own hiring halls and to have union representatives visit ships to ensure proper working conditions. The tenacity and vision of MEBA’s founding members was ultimately rewarded. Today, with thousands of marine engineers and deck officers, MEBA members are unparalleled in maritime training and experience. 

The leader in continuing education for maritime officers, the union’s training facility in Easton, Maryland, ensures that MEBA continues to be the finest source of maritime labor. The mission of MEBA’s Calhoon School is to provide professional MEBA marine engineers and deck officers with internationally recognized, state-of-the-art training and experience that enhances the safety, reliability and profitability of their vessels while preserving and protecting the natural environment. The school’s world-class bridge simulator allows the facility to offer the intensive, cutting edge training to deck officers that our engineers have typically enjoyed.

The MEBA draws the majority of our membership from the nation’s maritime academies. MEBA is proud to provide a wide variety of lucrative opportunities to Kings Point graduates. Marine officers crew the most technologically advanced ships in the U.S.-flag fleet, including tankers, a cruise ship, Great Lakes vessels and container ships. Members sail aboard government-contracted ships of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command and the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force, on tugs and ferry fleets around the country, as well as vessels and in various capacities in the shoreside industries.

MEBA’s expertise and proven track record of readiness, safety and loyalty in answering America’s call to action is unrivaled. In times of military contingency, members sail into war zones to deliver critical defense cargo to the nation's fighting forces. MEBA members braved the perilous waters of the North Atlantic and the dangers of the Murmansk Run during World War II. Members served in every U.S. conflict since 1875 from Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Members brought critical food-aid to starving people in Ethiopia, Somalia and in dozens of other regions around the world. As America watched the tragedy of September 11 unfold, MEBA was there, ferrying thousands of people to safety in New York. During the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the tsunami in southeast Asia and through other trying times, MEBA was there, with the professionalism, pride and patriotism that has long been the hallmark of the American mariner. 

MEBA members have continually answered the country's call for military sealift power at a moment’s notice⁠—fighting injustice around the globe⁠—and doing what's right for the country. MEBA's officers have repeated their substantial contributions to the nation’s defense since 1875, in times of both peace and war. While the future of the maritime industry is in question, one thing is certain, the members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association will unceasingly fight to preserve America’s fourth arm of defense⁠—the U.S. Merchant Marine. 

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: MEBA provides members with information through the publications Marine Officer and the Telex Times. The MEBA Political Action Fund makes sure that the voices of members are heard in the policy-making realm. The Calhoon Engineering School is the union’s continuing education facility that provides state-of-the-art training to keep members on the front-end of evolving industry needs and requirements. The American Maritime Congress is a research and educational organization. MEBA offers medical and retirement and other employee assistance plans along with a member help line.

Learn More: Website, Twitter, Facebook.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:33

Building Solidarity in the Global Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2019-10-18 16:06
Building Solidarity in the Global Labor Movement: 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 the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Imagine a President Uniting People: "Imagine a president lifting 40 million citizens out of the poverty he had struggled under. Imagine a president making it easier for people who had been excluded from their nation’s wealth to get decent jobs, basic public services, a college education or technical training. Imagine a president uplifting his country on the world stage as a model for shared prosperity and an economy that works for working people regardless of their race. Imagine that president leaving office after two terms with an approval rating over 80%. Where do you imagine that president should be nine years after leaving office?"

Brazilian and U.S. Workers Confronting Common Threat Build Solidarity in the Global Labor Movement: "This week, the AFL-CIO joins much of the global labor movement in Brazil to participate in the 13th Congress of Brazil's largest labor organization, the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT). Fred Redmond, AFL-CIO vice president and United Steelworkers vice president for human affairs, is leading the AFL-CIO delegation."

A Seat at the Table: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with nurses banding together to make patients' lives better and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

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

Economy Gains 136,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Declines to 3.5%: "The U.S. economy gained 136,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.5%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "

Working People Show Solidarity with GM/UAW Strikers: "As the strike by UAW members at General Motors approaches three weeks, labor activists and their allies have shown their solidarity with the UAW members by joining them on the picket lines. Here are some highlights from those visits."

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

Hey, New York Times, Women Wear Hard Hats, Too!: "In a tribute to the hard hat, which was invented 100 years ago, The New York Times curiously equates the safety gear with masculinity. But women wear hard hats, too, and always have."

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Dignity of Work: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk to Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) about worker power, automation, trade and his decision to stay in the U.S. Senate."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 10/18/2019 - 16:06

The State of Working America: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Fri, 2019-10-18 11:53
The State of Working America: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

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

Belabored Podcast: Riding for Deliveroo, with Callum Cant: An inside look at the gig economy. Plus: updates from the GM strike, a teachers’ strike looming in Chicago and more.

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report: Striking Auto Workers need and deserve to win big!

Community Radio and Workers' Rights Movements: "This show looks at the role of radio in workers’ movements. These workers’ movements interrogate the relationship between a community and its systems of communication. From the mines in Bolivia to tomato fields in Florida, radio has served as a place for workers to organize and mobilize, build up spirits and solidarity. Some stations are worker-owned, supported by union dues or cooperative membership. Some begin as programming on local stations and grow to become their own stations or a network of programs. These case studies are an incomprehensive smattering of examples of how working people have utilized the airwaves to fight for rights in the workplace—to create accountability and build autonomy."

Heartland Labor Forum: "We’ll ask what Trump is up to with his apprenticeship proposal and find out from a union leader who knows what a real apprenticeship looks like. Then we ask if the U.S. Constitution can stand up to a presidency that’s out of control and unaccountable to Congress or the courts. Join us when we talk to longtime activist legal scholar Burt Neuborne with a new book called When at Times the Mob is Swayed: A Citizens Guide to Defending our Republic. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM.

Labor History Today: Sex Workers Outreach Project Makes History in Minneapolis: On this week’s show: Dr. Jayne Swift on the historic city ordinance just passed this August that has the potential to change the face of the adult entertainment industry in Minneapolis. Plus, Steve Striffler on Solidarity: Latin America and the U.S. Left in the Era of Human Rights. Interviews by Patrick Dixon.

Resistance Radio: "An online complement to the recent Interference Archive exhibit showcasing the power of radio in the service of social movements and underrepresented communities. We’re sharing stories of the people, stations and organizations from around the world who have battled the system to bring their diverse programming onto the airwaves."

The State of Working America: The Economic Policy Institute has launched a new podcast, which "will give a voice to workers, and place their struggles in a larger policy context." The 30-minute podcasts address a wide range of issues, including: wage stagnation, inequality, worker power, racism, trade and education. New episodes on Tuesdays. 

UCOMM Live: Trump's Plan to Destroy Federal Unions: "On this week's show, we have a leaked memo on Trump's plan to destroy federal unions as he orders agencies to follow his anti-union executive order. In 2016 West Virginia repealed their prevailing wage law and the results are in for how bad that turned out. We explain Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro's plan to strengthen collective bargaining and AT&T is under attack from a vulture capitalist.

Union City Radio: This week’s topics: What’s in that bacon? Sherrod Brown on automation; bus driver runs for Bowie City Council; Sherrod Brown on progressive populism; Kroger member wins back pay, gets job back after year-long suspension

Workers Beat: Airs on KNON radio in Dallas at 9 a.m. Saturdays. The most recent episode features Summer Lollie as guest. "Summer works for the Texas AFL-CIO but has assignments in the Dallas area. She attended the Sky Chef picket on October 9 and is familiar with the entire contract fight concerning food caterers for American Airlines. She has also been out on the General Motors picket lines."

Your Rights At Work: On this week's show: Maria Naranjo, district chair of SEIU 32BJ; Al Neal, sportswriter for People's World; Sam Weinstein, Utility Workers (UWUA) retiree active in British labor movement; Mark Gruenberg, editor for Press Associates Union News Service; and David Schloss, partner in the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 10/18/2019 - 11:53

Tags: Podcast

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Out of the Woods

Wed, 2019-10-16 10:38
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Out of the Woods AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene Collier and Tim Schlittner talk to Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT, IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.

Listen to our previous episodes:

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

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 10/16/2019 - 10:38

Tags: Podcast

Take Care of Yourself: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Wed, 2019-10-16 09:42
Take Care of Yourself: What Working People Are Doing This Week AFL-CIO

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

Actors' Equity:

There is one week remaining to vote on the recently negotiated Production Contract. The negotiating team and National Council recommend that members vote to ratify this contract. To read more about the 2019 Production Contract, visit the Member Portal - https://t.co/a8hHBqSUjW pic.twitter.com/dz1COzzdli

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) October 8, 2019

AFGE:

“Just like we have a say in who should represent us in Congress, we deserve to have a say in matters that affect us in the workplace. That’s democracy.” #1u https://t.co/H5sjH5wPnq

— AFGE (@AFGENational) October 10, 2019

AFSCME:

“It’s been a long road, but I’m pleased that we reached our first contract. It’s been a tremendous experience affiliating and working with @wfsec28 to secure a contract that will make a significant difference in improving the well-being of our AAGs.” https://t.co/jigr3BQ6va

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) October 10, 2019

AFT:

With smaller class sizes, students would receive more individual attention & assistance. That's part of why @CTULocal1 is fighting for a #FairContractNow. https://t.co/fGNF23vNJ4

— AFT (@AFTunion) October 10, 2019

Air Line Pilots Association:

ALPA congratulates Capt. Kurtis Ludwig (DAL) on his induction to the “Hall of Fame” at @ERAUPrescott for his work on behalf of the ALPA ACE Club to promote the pilot profession and mentor aspiring aviators. Thank you for your service to the aviation industry! pic.twitter.com/sUlGEhd6Kh

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) October 7, 2019

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Drug prices are out of control. So today we're letting lawmakers across the country know that it's time for them to take action and put #PeopleOverPharma! pic.twitter.com/kC3nTx5kDQ

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) October 10, 2019

Amalgamated Transit Union:

After security concerns, #MATA experiments with bus driver shield https://t.co/Sg9UHeHBVU #publictransit #transit

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) October 10, 2019

American Federation of Musicians:

"They’re making billions & claiming poverty. People value music in movies," said @ChrisABmusic, an orchestrator, negotiating committee member, & #UnionMusician. #BandTogether #1u