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We Must Stop the Worldwide Problem of Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace

Thu, 2018-05-24 11:44
We Must Stop the Worldwide Problem of Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace

Sexual harassment and gender-based violence are not just problems we see in the United States. In fact, gender-based violence is one of the most common human rights violations in the world. While it can affect any worker, women are most likely the targets because of systemic, unequal power relations.

A new video from the Solidarity Center takes a look at the worldwide problem and offers solutions. Watch the video and learn more at the Solidarity Center's Gender-Based Violence webpage.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 05/24/2018 - 11:44

Wrongfully Detained Korean Union Leader Han Sang-gyun Wins Release

Wed, 2018-05-23 11:06
Wrongfully Detained Korean Union Leader Han Sang-gyun Wins Release KCTU

In December 2015, President Han Sang-gyun of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was imprisoned for defending trade union rights and fighting back against corporate corruption and the repressive government of former President Park Geun-hye of South Korea. This week, Han finally won his freedom.

Of Han's release, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) said:

We are all relieved that KCTU President Han Sang-gyun has been released from his wrongful detainment that was a political act of retribution expressly aimed at punishing his role in organizing union protests. President Han represents the best of the labor movement—an advocate armed with unwavering dedication to the fight for economic justice, even in the face of personal persecution.

Across the globe, working people salute his sacrifice and welcome him home with open arms. Still, the struggle for justice will continue until we secure the release of KCTU General Secretary Lee Young-joo, who was arrested for the same organizing efforts. Her continued detainment highlights the enormous fights that lie ahead for working people, and the release of Han reflects our capacity to ultimately win.

In 2017, AFL-CIO awarded Han with the George Meany–Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award for his activism on behalf of working people. Han's career is noted for perseverance in the face of anti-democratic repression and militant action against long odds.

Starting as a student activist, Han later helped organize a union at the auto manufacturing plant where he worked. In 2008, he was elected chair of his union. His efforts to fight layoffs at his company led to a 77-day occupation of the plant for which Han was sent to prison for three years. After his release, he continued to fight for working people with a 171-day sit-in near the plant. After the conclusion of the sit-in, hundreds of jobs were saved.

In 2014, KCTU held it's first direct vote to choose their president and Han won. During his tenure in office:

Union activists have been at the forefront of the fight for social justice in South Korea. Workers have mobilized against anti-worker labor legislation and government corruption in a series of massive peaceful demonstrations. President Park frequently responded to dissent with police brutality, mass arrests and harsh jail sentences targeted at leaders, including President Han, who bravely continued to organize. The Korean labor movement and civil society eventually forced the ouster of President Park, who later was charged with bribery, abuse of power and other crimes....

After the impeachment and trial of President Park Geun-hye, the Korean labor movement helped usher in a new, more worker-friendly administration under President Moon Jae-in. However, its fight for justice is ongoing. Many activists still are imprisoned and Korean workers continue to struggle in the face of regressive labor laws and a lack of accountability from Korea’s major corporations.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:06

Tags: Korea

We All Do Better with an Immigration System that Works for All Working People

Tue, 2018-05-22 11:23
We All Do Better with an Immigration System that Works for All Working People AFL-CIO

Yesterday, the AFL-CIO hosted the "We All Do Better" conference, which focused on an important discussion on advancing an immigration agenda for all working people. Attacks against working people come in many forms, but we must stand against the idea that some of us are more worthy of freedom and worker protections than others.

At the opening of the conference, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) said:

We need workers to understand America’s broken immigration system puts downward pressure on pay and benefits for all of us. Our answer is to stand united, as a politically independent movement of working people, for an immigration agenda that lifts us up. That starts with a path to citizenship for the millions and millions of people who live and work here and are American in every way but on paper.

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s time to reform captive work visa programs so they are based on actual industry needs and include full labor rights and fair wages for every single worker. We must end the enforcement overreach and provide explicit protections to workers who want to organize a union or have the courage to speak up about unsafe conditions. We must keep families together, offer safe harbor to refugees and open our doors to working people from all over the world who want nothing more than a better life, just like my family did.

If we do it right, immigration reform will make jobs better for everyone, improve the health of our democracy and empower us to organize millions of workers into unions.

Here are some of the key tweets sent from the event:

.@jboland President of @IUBAC opens the #WeAllDoBetter Conference at @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/n1G8enpgeO

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018

We must emphasize an immigration agenda for ALL workers. @TexasAFLCIO @AFLCIO @AFLCIOLatino pic.twitter.com/t0KReAJIZ8

— Montserrat Garibay (@MontseTXAFLCIO) May 21, 2018

“I am the product of chain immigration... We were maimed, crippled, and killed on the job, and we stood strong in solidarity despite our differences.” @RichardTrumka pic.twitter.com/M20czcMpHG

— AFL-CIO Latino (@AFLCIOLatino) May 21, 2018

“If we do it right, immigration reform will make good jobs for everyone, improve the health of our democracy and empower us to organize millions of workers in union.” @RichardTrumka #WeAllDoBetter

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018

“The only card we care about is the union card” - Eric Dean, President @TheIronworkers #WeAllDoBetter

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018

The enemy of workers is not other workers. It is managers who want to profit not with us, but at our expense. #InThisTogether #Union #WeAllDoBetter pic.twitter.com/wDDd34Iki7

— Celeste Drake (@CDrakeFairTrade) May 21, 2018

Immigrants are core constituencies of our unions and we need to speak up for them says Eric Dean of @TheIronworkers #WeAllDoBetter pic.twitter.com/o0urQBrckV

— AFL-CIO Latino (@AFLCIOLatino) May 21, 2018

Immigration is NOT the cause of stagnant wages @hshierholz @EconomicPolicy #WeAllDoBetter pic.twitter.com/KAEgAHMxIb

— AFL-CIO Latino (@AFLCIOLatino) May 21, 2018

Ramped Up Immigration Enforcement + Weakened Labor Laws and Enforcement = Cheap and Exploitable Labor. #WeAllDoBetter

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018

“This administration wants to replace TPS and DACA recipients with guest workers who are more vulnerable and exploitable.” @oachacon61 from @ALIANZAAMERICAS #wealldobetter @AFLCIO

— APALA (@APALAnational) May 21, 2018

“We have to go back to the basics of organizing, the same people that are against Labor, women’s rights, workers rights are attacking us every single day, we need to go back and talk to those people who may have voted for the 45th President” - @MontseTXAFLCIO #WeAllDoBetter

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 21, 2018

Kicking off the 2nd Immigration panel at the @AFLCIO with Esther Lopez Sec-Treas @UFCW, Rachel Micah-Jones @CDMigrante, VP Fred Redmond @steelworkers, Melissa Maria @CWAUnion and John Carr Georgetown University. #WeAllDoBetter pic.twitter.com/WiuNCO8ADb

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) May 21, 2018

@AFLCIO We need to have strong narratives, comprehensive strategy and have courageous conversations-Esther Lopez @UFCW @TexasAFLCIO @AFLCIO @RickTxAFLCIO #WeAllDoBetter pic.twitter.com/4MXzoSU2VV

— Montserrat Garibay (@MontseTXAFLCIO) May 21, 2018

#wealldobetter We need to do a better work and not work in silos.Our values are under assault. @lizshuler @AFLCIOLatino @AFLCIO @TexasAFLCIO pic.twitter.com/gG7dxpGpoD

— Montserrat Garibay (@MontseTXAFLCIO) May 21, 2018

If our economy is approaching that of a dystopian novel, it is up to us to stop bemoaning it & work to change it. Divided we beg, united we negotiate for better. @lizshuler at @AFLCIO #WeAllDoBetter conference #AllWorkHasDignity #1u #CIR #GoodJobs

— Celeste Drake (@CDrakeFairTrade) May 21, 2018 Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/22/2018 - 11:23

Executive Paywatch 2018: The Gap Between CEO and Worker Compensation Continues to Grow

Tue, 2018-05-22 10:05
Executive Paywatch 2018: The Gap Between CEO and Worker Compensation Continues to Grow AFL-CIO

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.

"This year’s report provides further proof that the greed of corporate CEOs is driving America’s income inequality crisis," said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. "Too many working people are struggling to get by, to afford the basics, to save for college, to retire with dignity while CEOs are paying themselves more and more. Our economy works best when consumers have money to spend. That means raising wages for workers and reining in out of control executive pay."

Here are eight key facts you need to know about from this year's Executive Paywatch report:

  1. America is the richest country in the world at its richest point in history. And once again, CEOs got richer this year. CEO pay for major U.S. companies was up more than 6% in 2017 as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs increases.

  2. Total compensation for CEOs of S&P 500 Index companies increased in 2017 to $13.94 million from $13.1 million in 2016.

  3. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio grew from 347 to 1 in 2016 to 361 to 1 in 2017.

  4. For the first time this year, companies must disclose the ratio of their own CEO’s pay to the pay of the company’s median employee. This change was fought for by the AFL-CIO and its allies to ensure investors have the transparency they deserve.

  5. In 2017, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 361. In 2016, the ratio was 347. In 1990, it was 107. And in 1980, it was 42. This pay gap reflects widening income inequality in the country.

  6. Mondelēz is one of the most egregious examples of companies that are contributing to inequality. The company, which makes Nabisco products including Oreos, Chips Ahoy and Ritz Crackers, is leading the race to the bottom by offshoring jobs. New CEO Dirk Van de Put made more than $42.4 million in total compensation in 2017—more than 989 times the company’s median employee pay. Mondelēz’s former CEO Irene Rosenfeld also received $17.3 million in 2017, 403 times its median employee's pay.

  7. So far for 2017, the highest-paid CEO in the AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch database is E. Hunter Harrison, CEO of CSX Corporation. He received more than $151 million in total compensation. In contrast, the lowest-paid S&P 500 company CEO was Warren Buffett who received $100,000 in total pay in 2017.

  8. The toy-maker Mattel had the highest pay ratio of any S&P 500 company. Mattel’s median employee is a manufacturing worker in Malaysia who made $6,271, resulting in a CEO-to-employee pay ratio of 4,987 to 1. Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had the lowest pay ratio of all S&P 500 companies, just 2 to 1.

Our economy works best when consumers have money to spend. That means raising wages for workers and reining in out of control executive pay. Executive Paywatch is a tool that helps the U.S. pursue those goals.

Learn more at Executive Paywatch.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/22/2018 - 10:05

Apprenticeship Accelerator Forum Highlights Programs to Attract and Train Needed Manufacturing Workforce

Mon, 2018-05-21 12:28
Apprenticeship Accelerator Forum Highlights Programs to Attract and Train Needed Manufacturing Workforce AFL-CIO

The 2018 Manufacturing Apprenticeship Accelerator Forum took place in Cleveland on Thursday. The forum included presentations from a number of participating organizations, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Chicago Women in Trades and the National Urban League, along with a number of private employers and workforce training providers.

The purpose of the program was to highlight the development of advanced manufacturing apprenticeships to address needed skills training and workforce development in advanced and specialized manufacturing. Representatives from labor unions, private employers, state and federal government, and manufacturing training providers offered an overview of their respective roles in expanding apprenticeship programs to match private-sector workforce needs.

"We're very pleased that so many affiliates came together with the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Department of Labor to share information about how to promote apprenticeships in manufacturing," said Brad Markell, executive director of the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, which sponsored the event. "We put a special emphasis on how to increase diversity in manufacturing, and that will be a continuing effort for us."

The forum was organized by the Keystone Development Program (KDP), which was founded by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in 2005 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. KDP assists unions and their employers to form and sustain labor-management training programs and registered apprenticeships. The KDP promotes labor management cooperation and supports workforce development programs to better serve the community. KDP aligns resources for career pathways to family-sustaining jobs.

"Through our close relationship with Keystone Development Partnership, our Commonwealth has benefited from an innovative approach to apprenticeship and workforce development," said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale (AFSCME). "Pennsylvania has been successful in bringing multiple stakeholders together to address the future of work, ensuring that good, family-sustaining jobs are at the heart of the technological and advanced manufacturing workforce."

"It’s true that apprenticeship programs are one of the best kept secrets in the labor movement," said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga (USW). "These programs are an important linkage in our economy here in Ohio and across the country as they put thousands of Americans on a true pathway to the middle class."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 05/21/2018 - 12:28

The Future of Work: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2018-05-18 11:05
The Future of Work: The Working People Weekly List Infrastructure Week

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.

Young Workers on the Future of Work: Charleeka Thompson: "Earlier this month, the AFL-CIO conducted a discussion on the future of work. Among the panelists that day were a group of young workers. Let's have a bit more of an in-depth discussion in the coming weeks with those young workers. First up is United Steelworkers (USW) member Charleeka Thompson."

The Freedom to Join: "The U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision in the coming weeks whether or not to undermine the freedom of millions of teachers, nurses and other public workers to have strong unions. Today, the AFL-CIO has launched a new website, FreedomToJoin.org, that provides critical information about the Janus v. AFSCME case, counters misinformation, explains the value of union membership and draws attention to the wave of collective action in America."

Time to Build: 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 and central labor councils on Twitter."

Infrastructure Week Highlights the Need to Invest in the U.S.: "This week is Infrastructure Week, an annual event where an increasingly powerful coalition led by local, state and federal leaders, as well as both businesses and labor unions, demand massive and necessary investments to build America. This year’s Infrastructure Week comes at a time when 80% of voters say investing in America’s infrastructure is a top priority. America’s labor movement says the time to build is now."

The New Tax Law Will Make Outsourcing Worse: "We have already documented the many ways the Republican tax bill is bad for working people. In short, it's a massive giveaway to big corporations and the wealthy that throws away trillions of dollars we need to invest in America and create good jobs for working people. This week, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) organized an event to take a deeper look at how the new law will preserve and create incentives for corporations to move U.S. jobs overseas and shift corporate profits to tax havens abroad."

New Survey Shows Sexual Harassment a Pervasive Problem for Flight Attendants: "A new survey from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) reveals that more than two-thirds of flight attendants in the United States have experienced sexual harassment on the job."

Union Asks to Investigate Relationship Between the Government and Bondholders: "The U.S. labor union center AFL-CIO today asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate whether there was any privileged information exchange between the office of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and bondholders, prior to the presentation of the governor's fiscal plan, the past 12 of February."

AFL-CIO Launches ‘Take Back Ohio’ Campaign: "Union members, leaders and activists held a rally at the Local 1112 UAW union hall last night to kick-off organized labor’s efforts to elect 'worker-friendly candidates' in the 2018 elections. 'This rally represents the start of something big here in the Mahoning Valley,' said Mahoning-Trumbull AFL-CIO President Bill Padisak. 'Our membership is energized and ready to engage in the campaign to re-elect Sherrod Brown, make Richard Cordray our next governor, and elect candidates up and down the ticket that support working people.'"

What Makes Retail Workers Uniquely Vulnerable to Sexual Harassment: "Retail has a sexual harassment problem, according to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress. While media attention has largely focused on the prevalence of harassment in politics and media, the study demonstrates its pervasiveness across all industries, but particularly in ones with a high number of service-sector workers, says the authors of the analysis. From this data, it’s clear that sexual harassment is not just a problem in for politicians and actors."

Study: Despite Modest Income, Teachers Pay for Class Needs: "Every year Anna Graven dips into her modest teacher salary and spends her own money to buy bulletin boards, pencils, paper, highlighters and tissues for her high school students in Oklahoma City. So do almost all of her colleagues across the nation. Nearly all public school teachers report digging into their pockets to pay for school supplies, spending nearly $480 a year, far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers, according to a study by the National Center of Education Statistics released Tuesday."

CEO Pay and Performance Often Don’t Match Up: "The best-paid CEOs don’t necessarily run the best-performing companies. Corporate boards have tried for years to tie chief executive compensation to the results they deliver. The better the company and its shareholders do, the more the top boss should be paid, or so the pay-for-performance mantra goes. In reality, CEO pay and performance often don’t match up, and 2017 was no exception."

Rebuilding Schools, Bridges—and Lives: "When you see that the ASCE’s infrastructure report card gives the nation overall a D+, don’t hang your head. The U.S. can get that grade up. But it won’t happen with a plan like President Trump’s, which would cut Washington’s contribution to infrastructure projects from 80% to 20%, quadrupling the burden on cash-strapped cities and states. The true way forward is to do the opposite: Put the federal government back in the business of building America’s future."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:05

Young Workers on the Future of Work: Charleeka Thompson

Wed, 2018-05-16 16:37
Young Workers on the Future of Work: Charleeka Thompson Charleeka L. Thompson

Earlier this month, the AFL-CIO conducted a discussion on the future of work. Among the panelists that day were a group of young workers. Let's have a bit more of an in-depth discussion in the coming weeks with those young workers. First up is United Steelworkers (USW) member Charleeka Thompson.

AFL-CIO: What barriers do you think stand in the way of young people becoming fully participating members of the workforce?

Charleeka: Some barriers include self-doubt, regarding others having more experience. The lack of interest in becoming fully involved. The work-life balance is off. Many feel they are sacrificing life because the majority of their time is at work. 

AFL-CIO: What issues and challenges do young workers face that the rest of us might not recognize?

Charleeka: Many have questions about seniority and how the current benefits package will benefit them. Also making enough to pay off student loans. 

AFL-CIO: What inspired you to organize/form/join a union?

Charleeka: I was looking for a place to utilize my education. When I first was hired at my facility, I had all aspirations to grow within the company. I went to company management informing them about what area my degree was focused on. An impression was made that I would be contacted from time to time to help with some public affairs that the company participated in. I was then approached by a local union member. I did not know much about USW at the time. I signed a card, went to a meeting and was hooked. I have been active ever since. I can utilize my formal degree with the committees I'm involved with within the union. It's great!

AFL-CIO: What can the labor movement do to rally more workers to join unions?

Charleeka: Workers like to feel they are apart of something...a movement. Something that they can share with their families. The labor movement has to make it feel personal to a worker. The labor movement has to identify the issues workers are passionate about and rally for those issues.

AFL-CIO: What can young workers do to better prepare themselves for success in a changing economy?

Charleeka: Learn to save money before you play. Learn a trade. There has always been a push for young people to go to college. Well a lot do, but [they] still end up with an industrial factory job. Which is great. But if they had a trade, they may be able to start with higher wages and still work for a union facility. Learning a trade is many times cheaper than going to college and one will not have the dreaded student loans hanging over their head.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 05/16/2018 - 16:37

The Freedom to Join

Tue, 2018-05-15 13:23
The Freedom to Join

The U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision in the coming weeks whether or not to undermine the freedom of millions of teachers, nurses and other public workers to have strong unions. Today, the AFL-CIO has launched a new website, FreedomToJoin.org, that provides critical information about the Janus v. AFSCME case, counters misinformation, explains the value of union membership and draws attention to the wave of collective action in America.

Big-moneyed corporate interests have brought Janus v. AFSCME forward because they understand how working people in unions can negotiate a fair return on our work.

While its focused on public employees, Janus is part of a multipronged attack on our institutions and values we hold dear.

Right-wing corporations have tried to crush public unions for decades, and they’ve poured tens of millions of dollars into this case alone in an effort to slash pay and cut benefits for nurses, EMS workers, 911 dispatchers, security personnel and others who keep our communities clean and safe and provide other essential public services.

Yet even in the face of these attacks, all over the country workers are organizing and striking as we haven’t seen in years.

America is waking up to the benefits of unionism, and we’ll continue to organize and mobilize, no matter what the Supreme Court decides.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/15/2018 - 13:23

Time to Build: In the States Roundup

Tue, 2018-05-15 12:08
Time to Build: In the States Roundup Infrastructure Week

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 and central labor councils on Twitter.

Alaska AFL-CIO: 

Thanks to @RepAndyJ for his comments on the floor on this important bill. #akleg https://t.co/1VNFPBhZmX

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) May 13, 2018

Arizona AFL-CIO:

The Arizona AFL-CIO has endorsed the Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative. Here's how you can help:
• Get Outlaw Dirty Money petition packets from the Arizona AFL-CIO office, the Outlaw Dirty Money office, or your Local Union hall/office.
• Get... https://t.co/NYdUZilFYm

— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) May 14, 2018

California Labor Federation: 

NUHHCE nurses are taking action to help domestic violence survivors. Ask your Governor to do the same.
https://t.co/kQsRwhwG7b

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) May 12, 2018

Colorado AFL-CIO: 

The Colorado Civil Rights Division was established to protect Coloradans - not be used for political games. The current #CCRD reauthorization bill undermines the CCRD’s core mission #saveCCRD #coleg

— Colorado AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOCO) May 9, 2018

Connecticut AFL-CIO: 

MUST READ: "But the truth is, even Mark Janus himself benefits from union representation. Here are a few of the ways"

From 'I Work with Mark Janus. Here’s How He Benefits from a Strong Union.' https://t.co/T4mJDfZeCr #1u #JanusvAFSCME

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) May 14, 2018

Georgia State AFL-CIO: 

We joined together with over a dozen labor leaders and elected officials today to show our support for #teamabrams. @iupatdc77 @ufcw1996 @AFGENational @IBEW613ATLANTA @Teamsters728 . Election day is May 22nd! pic.twitter.com/1KYJ9NjI8T

— AFL-CIO Georgia (@AFLCIOGeorgia) May 7, 2018

Illinois AFL-CIO: 

#NoPrivatization #SaveTheVA

— Illinois AFL-CIO (@ILAFLCIO) May 9, 2018

Indiana State AFL-CIO: 

Infrastructure Week starts today! A foundation of infrastructure = good jobs & a strong economy. It’s Time To Build. https://t.co/WvBzJzfcPE pic.twitter.com/srL7RsMUE9

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

Iowa Federation of Labor: 

Working Families Celebration and Solidarity March https://t.co/PHyFBibCi4 pic.twitter.com/aepKQKQnPx

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) May 14, 2018

Kansas State AFL-CIO: 

"Still a lot of working age people sitting on the sidelines". https://t.co/y550r1VeqG

— Kansas AFL-CIO (@KansasAFLCIO) May 11, 2018

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

A decade of cuts has stretched public education and services to the limit, but the newly approved budget cuts continues the divestment in what we know will create thriving communities.

Find out more: https://t.co/ZRw36gc9r5.... https://t.co/cvfe8rS62E

— Kentucky AFL-CIO (@aflcioky) May 15, 2018

Maine AFL-CIO: 

We are proud to endorse Jared Golden for US Congress @CynthiaPhinney @golden4congress #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/BCJ0gclCzW

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) May 9, 2018

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

#Laborfest longtime sponsor AIL sponsor’s George Farenthold represents at tonight’s screening @AFISilver pic.twitter.com/Y0rashXBZI

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) May 14, 2018

Michigan State AFL-CIO: 

The non-unionized plant's safety record is coming under scrutiny after two people were injured and more than 100 employees were evacuated when a fire and multiple explosions rocked the small mid-Michigan community on May 2. https://t.co/Os2SdJ3EIw

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) May 11, 2018

Minnesota AFL-CIO: 

VIDEO: @AFSCMEMN5 Contract Campaign Kickoff Rally https://t.co/PvNcZQhsPF (via @workdaymn #1u @AFSCME pic.twitter.com/XwtTNY3jOZ

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) May 12, 2018

Missouri AFL-CIO: 

To meet our current and future infrastructure needs, we need to increase investment by $2 trillion by 2025. #TimeToBuild #InfrastructureWeek pic.twitter.com/a6vxay56Kz

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) May 14, 2018

Nevada State AFL-CIO: 

Join the NV State AFL-CIO + Teamsters for a SuperWalk for one of our own! Come out Sat, May 19 to support Assembly Dist 12 candidate & fellow union member Susie Martinez. Susie's been on the picket lines with us, now it's time for us to stand with her. https://t.co/KljPAtCn2M pic.twitter.com/FJK8g3CXLs

— Nevada State AFL-CIO (@NVAFLCIO) May 14, 2018

New Hampshire AFL-CIO: 

Tell Your Representatives to Vote Against SB 193, and to Protect Public School Students and NH Tax Payers! https://t.co/JN2Ij1ZxZp

— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) May 8, 2018

New Jersey State AFL-CIO: 

Proud to stand with @GovMurphy who signed an EO combating worker misclassification in order to promote a level playing field for workers across the state. https://t.co/Y185jWwn4l pic.twitter.com/8PQfmLkQvA

— New Jersey AFL-CIO (@NJAFLCIO) May 3, 2018

New Mexico Federation of Labor: 

#CheckTheLabel https://t.co/YZo2oNVqHA @BCTGMLocal351 @AFLCIO

— NMFL (@LaborFed4NM) May 14, 2018

New York State AFL-CIO: 

Fix Our Broken Public Works Law https://t.co/Xqa8oTKmF4

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) May 14, 2018

North Carolina State AFL-CIO: 

Together, we're building a labor movement in North Carolina with the power to change our state. Join us! Text NC to 235246. Learn more at https://t.co/MDYNmjn1Ba. #1u #ncpol #organizethesouth pic.twitter.com/4YXIEuWndi

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) March 9, 2018

Ohio AFL-CIO: 

Last night in Lordstown we kicked off the #TakeBackOhio campaign with many of our members and @BettySutton @KathleenClyde @ZackSpaceOhio @JoeSchiavoni https://t.co/DOQwWiwbVF #labor2018

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) May 15, 2018

Oregon AFL-CIO: 

Oregon’s labor movement is marching in the 2018 Portland #Pride Parade! https://t.co/dnYJ7RO635

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) May 11, 2018

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO: 

Automation CANNOT replace the everyday heros and heroines around us. @transportworker @ATUComm @TTDAFLCIO https://t.co/onxH8Cqj3N

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) May 8, 2018

Rhode Island AFL-CIO: 

#FixOurSchoolsRI #Schools #FixOurSchools #1U #SchoolSafety https://t.co/dL2VCNkOc7

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) May 14, 2018

South Carolina AFL-CIO: 

Are your members all registered, have they moved, do they kids turning 18 by November. Make sure they are registered, can do it online at https://t.co/h5QggnAqt2. https://t.co/J5nTpa3R32

— SC AFL-CIO (@SCAFLCIO) May 7, 2018

Texas AFL-CIO: 

It is exactly these types of baseless assaults on teachers’ character that remind us just how critical a union voice is in protecting our educators. @TexasAFT @aft https://t.co/y38De3A0ZN

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

Virginia AFL-CIO: 

Virginia budget inches along as passions over Medicaid inspired ‘die-in’ https://t.co/sdwSuSk73Q

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) May 15, 2018

Washington State Labor Council: 

#UWstrike https://t.co/ef7P5djYMe

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

West Virginia AFL-CIO: 

“Long backed by union support, Hamilton was one of a handful of Republicans in the Legislature to oppose right-to-work legislation, as well as the repeal of prevailing wage laws” #wvpol #UnionStrong https://t.co/2zxp9YLmno

— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) May 10, 2018

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO: 

Dust Off your Fishing Poles, Time for "Take Kids Fishing" Day! https://t.co/hORrjozHAW #WIunion pic.twitter.com/eTz1wkXnZb

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) May 14, 2018 Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/15/2018 - 12:08

Infrastructure Week Highlights the Need to Invest in the US

Tue, 2018-05-15 11:27
Infrastructure Week Highlights the Need to Invest in the US Infrastructure Week

This week is Infrastructure Week, an annual event where an increasingly powerful coalition led by local, state and federal leaders, as well as both businesses and labor unions, demand massive and necessary investments to build America. This year’s Infrastructure Week comes at a time when 80% of voters say investing in America’s infrastructure is a top priority. America’s labor movement says the time to build is now.

In an op-ed, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said:

As unions, businesses, engineers and policy makers celebrate Infrastructure Week from May 14–21, we’re reflecting on the investments that add value to America. For every dollar a country spends on public infrastructure, it gets back nearly $3, according to a 2014 study from the International Monetary Fund.

Keep this in mind when you hear that the American Society of Civil Engineers, or ASCE, has called for $2 trillion to repair, renovate or replace water lines, public schools, bridges and mass transit systems. On top of that, another $2 trillion could make America the global leader in the infrastructure technologies of the future, such as high-speed rail and smart utilities.

That kind of serious infrastructure spending would create countless jobs in manufacturing. Enacting ironclad Buy America provisions would kick-start production in steel and other battered industries, putting millions of people to work and lifting wages. These broad economic benefits explain why year after year, the AFL-CIO joins with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to ask Congress to invest in America’s national infrastructure.

Laborers (LIUNA) General President Terry O'Sullivan also wrote about the importance of investing in our shared resources and shared future:

For too long there’s been too much talk, too little action and far too little investment in our country’s crumbling critical infrastructure. As a result our transportation systems are failing, our water resources are antiquated, our energy systems are out of date, and our nation’s ability to compete is hindered....

During Infrastructure Week, solutions will be highlighted, such as adjusting the federal gas tax and implementing a vehicle miles traveled fee to generate investment, as well as, state efforts to pump more investment into our transportation systems....

No one solution will be enough. What is a certain, though, is that it will take significant national investment to keep our bridges from continuing to deteriorate, better maintain our roads, and improve the reliability of our water.

Here are some of the most important areas where we need to invest in our infrastructure:

  • Bridges: As of the most recent data, 9.1% of bridges were structurally deficient and 14% were functionally obsolete. Motorists make 188 million trips a day on structurally deficient bridges. The repair backlog for bridges would cost $123 billion to get caught up.
  • Roads: Poor roads cost Americans $160 billion in lost time and wasted gas. Two in five urban interstate miles are congested, while one in five miles of pavement across the country is in poor condition.
  • Water: About 240,000 water mains break each year, leading to the waste of 2 trillion gallons of drinking water annually. It would take 200 years to replace needed pipes across the country at the current rate, a timeline well beyond the useful life of those pipes. Additionally, 2,170 dams in the United States are deficient, with dam failure a significant threat to lives and property.
  • Energy: Our power grid is at full capacity, and as demand grows, power outages become more likely. More than $177 billion is needed between now and 2025 to upgrade the grid. Data from the latest year available counted 3,571 electricity outages from aging infrastructure.

Learn more at Infrastructure Week or read about the AFL-CIO's commitment to investment in infrastructure.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/15/2018 - 11:27

The New Tax Law Will Make Outsourcing Worse

Mon, 2018-05-14 09:34
The New Tax Law Will Make Outsourcing Worse

We have already documented the many ways the Republican tax bill is bad for working people. In short, it's a massive giveaway to big corporations and the wealthy that throws away trillions of dollars we need to invest in America and create good jobs for working people.

This week, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) organized an event to take a deeper look at how the new law will preserve and create incentives for corporations to move U.S. jobs overseas and shift corporate profits to tax havens abroad.

Professor Kimberly Clausing of Reed College and Law Professor Rebecca Kysar of Brooklyn Law School outlined the following problems:

  • The GOP tax bill unnecessarily creates new incentives to move tangible assets offshore.

  • The new law largely preserves and even encourages the shifting of U.S. profits offshore and makes the United States the least desirable place to book income.

  • The new law’s “territorial tax system” (meaning ordinary offshore profits are not taxed) loses revenue, and the international provisions as a whole lose revenue.

  • Other provisions of the GOP tax law are confusing and befuddle top experts and practitioners, and may not be sustainable.

  • The overall legislation is regressive despite 35 years of increasing inequality.

  • The overall legislation contains vast new sources of complexity and uncertainty.

At the event, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said:

The majority's tax law actually encourages companies to export jobs.  It creates a lower rate for multinational corporations to invest abroad....People need to know about the tax law's outsourcing provision and the perverse incentives in the law that rig the benefits and the economy against middle-class families.

Legislation has been proposed to fix the outsourcing provisions of the tax bill. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have introduced the “No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act.” Separately, DeLauro has introduced the “Close Tax Loopholes That Outsource American Jobs Act.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 05/14/2018 - 09:34

New Survey Shows Sexual Harassment a Pervasive Problem for Flight Attendants

Fri, 2018-05-11 14:53
New Survey Shows Sexual Harassment a Pervasive Problem for Flight Attendants

A new survey from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) reveals that more than two-thirds of flight attendants in the United States have experienced sexual harassment on the job.

AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson discussed the scope of the problem:

While much of the coverage of the #MeToo movement has focused on high-profile cases in the entertainment industry and politics, this survey underscores why AFA has long been pushing to eradicate sexism and harassment within our own industry. The time when flight attendants were objectified in airline marketing and people joked about ‘coffee, tea, or me’ needs to be permanently grounded. #TimesUp for the industry to put an end to its sexist past.

Nelson noted that the problems associated with the harassment go beyond the harm caused to the flight attendants:

Flight attendants are first responders. Their authority when responding to emergencies is undermined when they are belittled and harassed. Likewise, harassment makes it more difficult for flight attendants to intervene when passengers are harassed by other passengers. Flight attendants must be confident that airline executives will back them up when they respond to and report harassment of crew and passengers.

Here are some of the key facts uncovered by the survey:

  • 68% of flight attendants have experienced sexual harassment during their flying careers.
  • 35% experienced verbal sexual harassment from passengers in the past year. 
  • Of those who have experienced verbal sexual harassment in the past year, 68% faced it three or more times, and one-third five or more times.
  • Flight attendants describe the verbal sexual harassment as comments that are “nasty, unwanted, lewd, crude, inappropriate, uncomfortable, sexual, suggestive and dirty.” They also report being subjected to passengers’ explicit sexual fantasies, propositions, request for sexual “favors” and pornographic videos and pictures.
  • 18% experienced physical sexual harassment from passengers in the past year. 
  • Of those who experienced physical sexual harassment in the past year, more than 40% of those suffered physical abuse three or more times.
  • Flight attendants said the physical sexual harassment included having their breasts, buttocks and crotch area “touched, felt, pulled, grabbed, groped, slapped, rubbed and fondled” both on top of and under their uniforms. Other abuse included passengers cornering or lunging at them followed by unwanted hugs, kisses and humping.
  • Only 7% of the flight attendants who experienced sexual harassment reported it to their employer. 
  • 68% of flight attendants say they haven't noticed any employer efforts over the past year to address sexual harassment at work. According to AFA-CWA, airlines Alaska, United and Spirit have led the industry in addressing this issue.
Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 05/11/2018 - 14:53

Union-Made in America Mother's Day: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2018-05-11 10:38
Union-Made in America Mother's Day: The Working People Weekly List

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.

Make Sure Mother's Day Is Union Made in America: "You have no excuse for waiting until the last minute to find a nice gift for Mother's Day that also carries the union label. Our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, can help you out."

America's Labor Movement Loses Champion Diann Woodard: "Diann Woodard, president of the School Administrators (AFSA) and a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, died on Sunday after a long illness. She had a long and distinguished career as a teacher and as a tireless advocate for quality public education for all children and for the rights of working people."

Teaching Solidarity on Teacher Appreciation Day: "A quality public education is the bedrock of democracy, which is a truism on this Teacher Appreciation Day more than ever, as educators across America instruct us all by example in the power of learning, activism, solidarity and public service. Throughout 2018, America’s working families have been inspired by the teachers rallying together against long odds for better schools. America’s labor unions offer our heartfelt thanks."

Labor’s Maria Elena Durazo on the Ballot for California State Senate: "Longtime labor activist and leader Maria Elena Durazo is a familiar and beloved name to hundreds of thousands of union members and working people. She is vice president for UNITE HERE International Union, which represents more than 270,000 hospitality workers in the U.S. and Canada. And for almost a decade, 2006-2015, she was the first woman elected secretary-treasurer of the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, representing the interests of more than 300 local unions. Her late husband, Miguel Contreras, had earlier served in that position. Currently she serves as co-chair of the National AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee and she is a vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee."

This Candidate Became the First Woman to Use Campaign Funds to Pay for a Babysitter: "The Federal Election Commission on Thursday gave a woman candidate running for Congress the green light to use portions of her campaign funds to pay for child care. Liuba Grechen Shirley, a New York mother of two young children running for Congress on Long Island, pays $22 an hour for a babysitter to take care of her toddlers for about 20 hours per week."

The Overlooked Faces of America's Working Class: "The American perception of the working class has traditionally been associated with the image of a white, male industrial worker. But that understanding ignores the reality that today, more often than not, a working class American is female, non-white and typically representative of service work. As The Takeaway continues its series of conversations about labels and American identity, we explore what it means to be working class in this country today and whether there is still the opportunity to move up and out of the working class that there once was."

No Deeds, No Aid to Rebuild Homes: Puerto Rico's Reconstruction Challenge: "Every time Miriam Medina looks at her roofless, weak, wobbly house, she’s reminded of all her failed attempts to receive aid to fix it. 'Due to Hurricane María,' Medina told NBC News, 'my house was completely lost.'"

‘We Are All Immigrants’: "Tefere Gebre came to the United States in 1984 as a teenager. He and four friends had left their home in war-torn Ethiopia and walked nearly 500 miles across the desert to a refugee camp in Sudan. He was eventually granted asylum as a political refugee and came to the United States by himself, without parents. He settled in Los Angeles, where he learned English and became an advocate for workers’ rights."

AFL-CIO: TPP Failed Workers and Deserved to Die: "The Trans-Pacific Partnership died because it ultimately failed America’s working families. Instead of addressing the economic devastation wreaked by wrong-headed trade deals, the TPP doubled down on a failed, corporate-driven ideology."

AFL-CIO Launches Study of State of Work and of Unions: "'A generation of bad policy choices have created an economy where many industries have grown up with no unions at all—and corporations and politicians have attempted to erode what it means to be an employee' and thus protected by labor law and the right to organize, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in opening the meeting."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 05/11/2018 - 10:38

Fighting for National Security: Worker Wins

Thu, 2018-05-10 11:13
Fighting for National Security: Worker Wins New Jersey State AFL-CIO

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with airport workers fighting for national security and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

Orlando TSA Workers Defeat Privatization Push: AFGE members who work in airport security at Orlando International Airport defeated attempts to privatize security at one of the busiest airports in the country. Despite Orlando being named the top airport in customer service satisfaction, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority previously voted to replace federally trained TSA officers with private screeners. Under pressure from AFGE members and an outraged public, GOAA reversed its earlier vote.

With Tuesday Victories, New Jersey Labor Candidates Program Notches 971st Victory: The New Jersey State AFL-CIO's labor candidates program continues to rack up victories. On Tuesday, Jerell Blakeley, a United Steelworkers (USW) Local 397 member, was elected to the Trenton City Council; Ed Osborne with Laborers (LIUNA) Local 1153 was elected to the Newark City Council; and Anthony Vauss with Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 68 was elected mayor of Irvington. Another candidate, Marge Caldwell Wilson, a member of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1087, qualified for a runoff election for Trenton City Council.

Chicago Tribune Guild Reaches Historic Agreement with Tronc: Tronc, the company that operates the Chicago Tribune and numerous area publications, voluntarily recognized the Chicago Tribune Guild, which is an affiliate of The NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA), after more than 85% of eligible employees signed cards supporting unionization. Leaders from the TNG-CWA said that voluntary recognition from a company as large as Tronc was unprecedented in their experience.

Just Born Loses Appeal in BCTGM Pension Case: After a judge ruled last year that Just Born, the company that produces Marshmallow Peeps and various candies, couldn't unilaterally stop enrolling employees in their pension plan without penalty, the company appealed. In April, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Just Born. To date, the workers and their union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), have won all legal battles related to Just Born's pension actions.

Dodo Editors and Video Staff Become Latest Digital Media Workers to Join WGAE: Editorial and video staff at digital publication the Dodo, which writes about animals and related causes, have joined the Writers Guild of America, East. The Dodo follows Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, Vice, The Intercept, Think Progress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group in joining WGAE.

Health Care Workers at Shasta Regional Medical Center Join Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU): Some 400 nursing assistants, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, orderlies, housekeepers, admitting staff and other workers will be joining CHEU, an affiliate of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. The employees voted 90% in favor of the union and will now elect a team to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. Among the top issues the Shasta employees are pursing are safe staffing, a stronger voice in patient care delivery, improved health care and retirement benefits, and job protections.

Workers at Agency Trump Tried to Close Vote to Join AFGE: Employees at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board voted to join AFGE. President Donald Trump has targeted the agency for closure in two budget proposals. The union is pursing a grievance and arbitration process for employees and also will negotiate for a more comprehensive contract.

Charter School Teachers at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Sign Cards to Join United Teachers Los Angeles: A clear majority of teachers at three Alliance College-Ready Public Schools charters signed cards to join the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). More than 100 educators are joining UTLA and other charters in the alliance network are expected to follow.

Quality Assurance Employees at Nestle Purina Join BCTGM: Workers who do quality assurance at Nestlé Purina PetCare's plant in Edmond, Oklahoma, voted to be represented by BCTGM. David Woods, an international representative for the union, lauded the strength of the workers in the face of strong opposition from Nestlé Purina: "I am very proud of the quality assurance workers who had the courage to resist the companies’ anti-union propaganda and anti-union strategy throughout the 23-day period between filing for an union election and being able to and vote to become members of BCTGM Local 366G."

Working People at the Palms Continue Organizing Victories at Station Casinos: Workers at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas voted 84% in favor of unionizing. About 900 workers will be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, affiliates of UNITE HERE. The Palms is the fifth Station Casinos location to join together in union since 2015.

School Bus Drivers Win Contract in Yonkers: School bus drivers that work for First Mile Square in Yonkers, New York, have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract, with a vote of 282 in favor and 7 against, with Transport Workers (TWU) Local 100. The contract provides annual wage increases and was first agreed to after the union was poised to strike late last year.

Jobs to Move America to Be Repaid Legal Fees for Holding New Flyer Accountable: In a 2013 deal to sell buses to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, New Flyer made hiring and wage commitments. Jobs to Move America, a nonprofit that urges state and local governments to hire locally and pay livable wages, requested information from New Flyer about compliance with those commitments. The company attempted to block the release of those records, but a judge rejected those attempts and ruled that New Flyer has to pay Jobs to Move America for legal fees.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 05/10/2018 - 11:13

America's Labor Movement Loses Champion Diann Woodard

Wed, 2018-05-09 11:47
America's Labor Movement Loses Champion Diann Woodard AFSA

Diann Woodard, president of the School Administrators (AFSA) and a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, died on Sunday after a long illness. She had a long and distinguished career as a teacher and as a tireless advocate for quality public education for all children and for the rights of working people.

In addition to 36 years in the schools of Detroit as a teacher, counselor and administrator, Woodard quickly became active in her union, serving on the union's general executive board for 16 years before being elected president. In her time as president, she was instrumental in forging an alliance with the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, that was key to securing congressional funding for training principals.

AFSA Executive Vice President Ernest Logan lauded Woodard's advocacy for children and working people:

Diann’s passing is a great loss to America’s labor movement. She personified the word leader in the fight for union rights and working families, though elected officials and antagonists of public education who mistook her quiet grace for weakness soon found themselves in a much longer, tougher struggle than they anticipated.

She spent decades fighting on behalf of workers in every profession while standing up for the children whom she has dedicated her life to educating, in the hope of empowering them to think independently and pursue greater opportunities.

Woodard grew up as part of a union (UAW) family before later becoming active in the Organization of School Administrators and Supervisors, AFSA Local 28. She served three consecutive terms as president of the local before becoming president of AFSA in 2009. For the AFL-CIO, Woodard served as vice chair of the Committee on Women Workers and fought for a greater role for women and minorities in the labor movement.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

For over nearly four decades Diann Woodard fought to give Michigan’s children a better future, while fighting for justice and rights for teachers and school administrators. Today, America’s labor movement has lost a champion, and an exemplary leader and educator. And I've lost a friend. From her days growing up in a UAW household in Detroit to her lifelong service to our country as a teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal and labor leader, Diann Woodard always put workers, students and families first. On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I send my deepest condolences to Diann's family, including her sisters and brothers at AFSA. She will be sorely missed.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:47

Teaching Solidarity on Teacher Appreciation Day

Tue, 2018-05-08 14:27
Teaching Solidarity on Teacher Appreciation Day AFL-CIO

A quality public education is the bedrock of democracy, which is a truism on this Teacher Appreciation Day more than ever, as educators across America instruct us all by example in the power of learning, activism, solidarity and public service.

Throughout 2018, America’s working families have been inspired by the teachers rallying together against long odds for better schools. America’s labor unions offer our heartfelt thanks.

Every single one of us can recall an inspirational teacher, someone who saw and valued a spark in us. Today is when we, as a nation, pause to appreciate our teachers.

Yet this year is different because teachers have collectively ignited a spark across America, by gathering and rallying together against the politics of austerity and for meaningful investments in quality public education for every student.

America needs solidarity today, as a cure for our rampant economic inequality and to inspire us to invest in a shared future of broad prosperity.

Educators in Arizona, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and elsewhere have demanded and won new tax dollars for the common good and demonstrated the positive power of solidarity.

For inspiring us all to see what’s possible, today, we say, “Thank you!”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/08/2018 - 14:27

Make Sure Mother's Day Is Union Made in America

Tue, 2018-05-08 10:28
Make Sure Mother's Day Is Union Made in America AFL-CIO

You have no excuse for waiting until the last minute to find a nice gift for Mother's Day that also carries the union label. Our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, can help you out.

If you want to go the traditional route with some top-of-the-line chocolates, you have many options:

  • Ghirardelli
  • Hershey's
  • Russell Stover
  • See’s Candies

If mom deserves a little pampering, try these health and beauty products:

  • Dove Beauty Bar and skin care 
  • Caress skin care
  • L’Oréal Paris
  • Revlon

If you plan to celebrate the evening with one of mom's favorite beverages:

  • André 
  • Arbor Mist
  • C.K. Mondavi
  • Charles Krug
  • Cook’s California Champagne
  • J. Roget
  • Gallo Estate 
  • Peter Vella
  • Sheffield Cellars
  • Turning Leaf
  • Wycliff

If you'd rather go the floral route, try getting your flowers from:

  • Albertsons
  • Costco
  • Gelson’s
  • Pavilions
  • Ralphs
  • Safeway
  • Vons

Also, Union Plus members receive a 25% discount on flowers from Teleflora.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:28

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Labor Heroes: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2018-05-04 13:21
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Labor Heroes: The Working People Weekly List

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.

 

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.”

The Future of Work in a Digital Age: “In Washington, D.C., yesterday, leaders and advocates for working people came together to discuss the future of work. The occasion was the first meeting of the AFL-CIO Commission on the Future of Work and Unions. The commission was created by a resolution at the federation’s 2017 convention and is designed to rethink ways of building bargaining power and providing economic security for millions of Americans.”

10 Things Working People Should Know About the Caravan Arriving in California: “As Central American families who have made the perilous journey through Mexico arrive at the U.S. border, here are 10 key things working people should know.”

Led by Labor: Earned Sick Days Become Law: “Organized labor marked a major victory today as New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a statewide earned sick days policy into law. The result is that more than 1 million workers in New Jersey will no longer have to choose between their health and their paycheck.”

Letter Carriers’ ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Drive Is May 12: “For the 26th year in a row, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will be conducting its ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive. Every year on the second Saturday in May, postal carriers, in addition to their regular workload, collect food from people in more than 10,000 cities across the country. Each year, it is the largest one-day food drive in the world.”

Celebrating Workers on May Day: 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.”

Overdue for Overtime: “When President Donald Trump abandoned the Department of Labor’s new overtime protections, he cost working people over $1 billion in annual wages. Now we’re standing up for a fair return on our work and fighting for the Restoring Overtime Pay Act, which would extend overtime pay protection to millions of working people.”

Another Organizing Victory in the South: IBEW at Atlanta Gas Light: “Last week, working people scored another notable victory in the South, when 700 working people at Atlanta Gas Light voted to join the Electrical Workers (IBEW). Here is what organizers on the ground said about the victory.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:21

The Future of Work in a Digital Age

Fri, 2018-05-04 12:53
The Future of Work in a Digital Age

In Washington, D.C., yesterday, leaders and advocates for working people came together to discuss the future of work. The occasion was the first meeting of the AFL-CIO Commission on the Future of Work and Unions. The commission was created by a resolution at the federation's 2017 convention and is designed to rethink ways of building bargaining power and providing economic security for millions of Americans.

In launching the discussion, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

We can’t afford to sit back. No matter how far we’ve come, we can’t act like there isn’t more change ahead. It’s tempting to hang on to yesterday’s victories. We’ve certainly been guilty of resting on our laurels from time to time. But that only weakens our ability to shape what’s coming next. More than ever, it’s time to look squarely forward.

Strong unions must be at the center of the debate. Shaping the future of work...making the economy fairer for everyone...is our domain.

Here are some of the key tweets from yesterday's discussion:

Full house with hundreds of leaders coming together to consider the role of unions in the future of work #IdeasAtWork pic.twitter.com/y0zy8A3WK5

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

BREAKING: Future of Work LIVE @AFTunion @ufcw @ironworkers @MachinistsUnion @wearealpa @afgenational #ideasatwork https://t.co/bE8aE1Yqxu

— Richard L. Trumka (@RichardTrumka) May 3, 2018

The @AFLCIO Commission on the Future of Work will hold its first meeting today and it's open to the public! You can watch the live stream here: https://t.co/FedVpgjcRb #1u #FutureofWork #IdeasAtWork

— Amaya Smith (@amayajsmith) May 3, 2018

“Strong unions have to be at the center of the debate” - @AFLCIO President @RichardTrumka at the opening of the AFL-CIO’s The Future of Work event. #IdeasAtWork #1u pic.twitter.com/QzLKKPiiUT

— DPE (@DPEaflcio) May 3, 2018

“Aspiration has trumped fear and we must create a sense that strong unions equal strong communities.” @rweingarten #IdeasAtWork pic.twitter.com/lz4hjhaJVt

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

“If there’s no humans, is there a Human Resources department?” @Marc_Perrone #IdeasatWork pic.twitter.com/tUNwz43rfg

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

Technology has saved lives in construction. @TheIronworkers President Eric Dean pic.twitter.com/ZfJ04EUHyh

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

“Change is inevitable. We are not going to stop that machine.” President Tim Canoll @WeAreALPA #IdeasatWork pic.twitter.com/00uVB2Y3vJ

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

Labor movement wants to ensure advances in technology are human-centered. #ideasatwork @lizshuler pic.twitter.com/HTklmS7Oga

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

Key message from @AFLCIO Comm'n on #FutureOfWork: The goal of Labor is not to stop innovation. It is to treat workers with dignity & justice. @RichardTrumka @RWeingarten @AFTUnion @jschmittwdc @EconomicPolicy @marc_perrone @UFCW @CMURobotics #FredRolando @NALC_National pic.twitter.com/MUPvAl7DUA

— Prof Spencer Overton (@SpencerOverton) May 3, 2018

Even as certain jobs may go away, whole new sectors will grow around changing technology. @mchui #ideasatwork @McKinsey_MGI pic.twitter.com/k2HYkCayPv

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

.@aft @WeAreGAGE activist Karen Rice, @IUBAC Glen Kelly and @AFLCIONextUp talking about young workers and the #FutureofWork on @AFLCIO #IdeasAtWork panel. Worker voice and empowerment are key to changing nature of work! pic.twitter.com/Y6fLlYTHhb

— Liz Shuler (@lizshuler) May 3, 2018

"The human touch cannot be replaced."
Younger folks at @APWUnational are getting active to support each other. #IdeasAtWork pic.twitter.com/plwfpMoNo2

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018

This is just the beginning. We can harness tech to make jobs safer and lives better. @RichardTrumka wrapping up #IdeasAtWork pic.twitter.com/S73e7zZh49

— AFL-CIO (@AFLCIO) May 3, 2018 Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:53

Tags: Future of Work

Cardinal Sends Letter to Mondelēz CEO Demanding Economic Justice for Nabisco Workers

Fri, 2018-05-04 12:33
Cardinal Sends Letter to Mondelēz CEO Demanding Economic Justice for Nabisco Workers BCTGM

Following a request for support of Nabisco-Mondelēz workers that was sent to the Vatican’s Peace and Justice Office by the general secretary of the International Union of Food Workers (IUF), faith leaders from across North America are escalating the call for fairness.

On April 27, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark, N.J., sent a letter to Mondelēz CEO Dirk Van de Put expressing his dismay that the core of the dispute is the company’s uncompromising position to abandon its commitment to the workers’ pension plan, and he urged the CEO to reconsider that destructive position.

Tobin wrote:

I am asking you to consider all alternatives before your company takes any action that would have a destructive social or economic impact on your former or current employees’ standard of living and retirement security.

As Archbishop of Newark, I am committed to working with the parties to secure a mutually acceptable outcome to this dispute. This issue has also been recently addressed on a global level with communication to the Vatican’s Peace and Justice Office. I know that a meaningful discussion by the principals can lead to a successful outcome.

The cardinal added that the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. has been engaged for more than a year in supporting Nabisco-Mondelēz workers and their families as the dispute and the threat of moving jobs across the U.S.-Mexico border continues.

The cardinal asked Van de Put to meet with Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) International President David Durkee to begin productive discussions. Furthermore, he offered to serve as intermediary to facilitate this meeting:

In the interest of resolving this issue in a manner that enhances the job and retirement security of your employees, I am calling on you to engage directly and personally with the President of the BCTGM International Union through a dialogue that creates a constructive path which positions both parties for success and future cooperative efforts resulting in a new collective bargaining agreement that is fair to both parties.

The BCTGM awaits a response from Van de Put as more than 130 leaders from across the U.S. prepare to deliver an open letter urging economic justice for Nabisco workers during the May 16 Mondelēz shareholders meeting in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Read the full letter.

This post originally appeared at Protect American Jobs.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:33