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Updated: 27 weeks 3 days ago

On Workers' Memorial Day, Ask Your Senator to Vote 'Yes' on the PRO Act

Wed, 2021-04-28 10:15
On Workers' Memorial Day, Ask Your Senator to Vote 'Yes' on the PRO Act

On Workers Memorial Day, we remember those who have suffered and died on the job. We have lost and continue to lose too many working people to COVID-19 and other workplace hazards. No one should die simply because we go to work.

Under the law, every employer is responsible for providing a safe workplace. But each year, thousands of people are killed and millions more get sick or are injured from preventable workplace hazards. And after this past year, it’s painfully clear that too many corporate interests just don’t care about worker safety, even during a global pandemic.

Throughout this crisis, unions and our allies stepped into action. We held state and local leaders accountable to enforce the law. We won protections for members, including personal protective equipment, ventilation and training.

Unions are, and will always be, working people coming together to demand safer working conditions. To honor those we’ve lost, we’ll keep fighting on their behalf. That’s why we built our PRO Act National Week of Action around Workers Memorial Day.

We need to ensure that future generations will always have a strong voice in the workplace. That every worker has the tools to demand safer working conditions. Worker safety and worker voice go hand in hand. And that’s why on this Workers Memorial Day, we are asking our senators to vote YES on the PRO Act.

Today, we remember. Today, we act.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 04/28/2021 - 10:15

Tags: PRO Act

The PRO Act: Worker Safety and Worker Voice

Wed, 2021-04-28 10:00
The PRO Act: Worker Safety and Worker Voice

Fifty years ago today, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) went into effect, promising every worker the right to a safe job. The law was won in 1970 because of the tireless efforts of the labor movement and allies, who drew major attention to work-related deaths, disease and injuries, organized for safer working conditions and demanded action from their government. Since then, unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality—winning protections that have made jobs safer and saved lives. But there is much to be done before the promise to keep all workers safe on the job, during the pandemic and beyond, can be fulfilled.

Worker safety and worker voice go hand in hand. And as we grow our movement, we must use those voices to advocate for a strong workplace safety agenda. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the weaknesses in the OSH Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Association’s capabilities to ensure workers are protected on the job and in structural failures that have prevented workers’ from organizing in our workplaces to demand safer working conditions.

The pandemic also highlighted the inextricable link between workplace safety and health and the safety and health of the community. Public health cannot begin to be addressed without attending to the needs and safety of workers on the job. The disproportionate impacts on people of color, widely represented in the essential workforce—health care, food supply, transit, grocery, corrections—has been devastating. Since the beginning of the pandemic, unions have won protections in states and held state and local leaders accountable. We demanded access to the ventilation, personal protective equipment and other measures to protect workers from inhaling the virus at work.

Today, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to renew the fight for safe jobs. We come together this year to call for action to protect workers from COVID-19 at work and stronger job safety and health protections and enforcement. We will organize to pass the PRO Act, so workers have a right to form a union and have a voice on the job. We will fight for the right of every worker to a safe job until that promise is fulfilled.

As we grieve those we have lost from COVID-19 and other workplace hazards, we must fight and continue to push forward. We must:

  • Pass the PRO Act to ensure workers have safe jobs and the right to freely form a union without employer interference or intimidation.
  • Pass the Protecting America’s Workers Act to provide OSHA protection to the millions of workers without it, stronger criminal and civil penalties for companies that seriously violate job safety laws and improved anti-retaliation protections.
  • Ensure that all workers have the necessary protections from COVID-19 at work.
  • Win new protections on workplace violence, silica exposure in mining, heat illness, exposure to asbestos and other toxic chemicals, and other hazards.
  • Defend hard-won safety and health protections and workers’ rights from attacks.
  • Increase the job safety budgets and improve job safety enforcement.
  • Increase efforts to protect the safety and health of Black, Latino and immigrant workers who are disproportionately affected and especially targeted for speaking up against unsafe working conditions.

Call your senators today at 866-832-1560 and urge them to pass the PRO Act.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 04/28/2021 - 10:00

Tags: PRO Act

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: 700-Plus Events During Nationwide PRO Act Week of Action

Wed, 2021-04-28 09:33
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: 700-Plus Events During Nationwide PRO Act Week of Action

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

This week, the AFL-CIO is leading the PRO Act Week of Action, part of the labor movement’s national campaign urging senators to pass this transformative legislation. The groundswell of support for the bill has been building since it passed the House in early March, with 572 events already occurring. Throughout this week, more than 700 events and actions in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico are scheduled.

Events range from socially distanced mobilizations and teach-ins to worksite leafleting, Senate call-in days and actions highlighting the critical role unions play in workplace safety on Workers Memorial Day, April 28. On Monday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, officers from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Harrisburg Region Central Labor Council gathered for a workers’ memorial event. State federation President Richard Bloomingdale (AFSCME) helped lead participants in calling for passage of the PRO Act and tossing a wreath into the Susquehanna River in memory of workers who have died on the job this past year.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 04/28/2021 - 09:33

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19, PRO Act

#PassTheProAct: In the States Roundup

Tue, 2021-04-27 11:56
#PassTheProAct: 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.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Earlier this month, Alaskans braved the elements to fight for the #PROAct.

We're not done yet! We still need @lisamurkowski and @SenDanSullivan to support Alaskan workers by #PassingThePROAct through the U.S. Senate! You know what to do, make the call today - 866-832-1560 #1u pic.twitter.com/eYZYsXLVAA

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) April 27, 2021

Arizona AFL-CIO:

At the most recent meeting of our Executive Council & General Board, the Arizona AFL-CIO approved a resolution in support of admitting the residential and commercial areas of Washington, DC as the 51st state. @DCLabor pic.twitter.com/CmJVzoQWRu

— Arizona AFL-CIO // #PassThePROAct (@ArizonaAFLCIO) April 22, 2021

California Labor Federation:

The anti-union funders behind this recall effort want to dismantle every single worker protection CA has put in place over the last 20 years. Minimum wage. Paid sick leave. Health & safety measures. Voting rights. All on the chopping block. That's the opposite of progress

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) April 26, 2021

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

https://t.co/JaL6Cp9YE3

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) April 27, 2021

Florida AFL-CIO:

Senate Bill 220 is an attack on the transparency of Florida's government and our right to stay informed.

Call your senator and tell them to vote NO on SB 220!https://t.co/JzBBUKLsdm

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) April 26, 2021

Georgia AFL-CIO:

On top of being saddled with significant student debt, young people are forced to fight for underpaid jobs with stagnant wages, meager benefits, and low job stability. It’s time for a change; it’s time to #PassTheProAct pic.twitter.com/X7o3pcNYq4

— Georgia AFL-CIO // Pass The #ProAct (@AFLCIOGeorgia) April 26, 2021

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

And another reason to pass the PRO Act. https://t.co/bdFOhUsY31

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) April 26, 2021

Iowa Federation of Labor:

The latest Iowa Daily Labor News! https://t.co/rQJLgTVh1B Thanks to @AFGENational @IBEW @OPEIU #afthealthcare #proact

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) April 27, 2021

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

It’s infuriating to come across this. Another set of workers who are struggling to earn a livable wage.

We support @USLPlayers! It’s time that @USLChampionship's professional soccer players earn a livable wage. Get it done! https://t.co/nHjCRhFoz8

— Kentucky AFL-CIO (@aflcioky) April 21, 2021

Maine AFL-CIO:

Congratulations brothers & sisters! https://t.co/FNIgq0liCP

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) April 22, 2021

Michigan AFL-CIO:

Michigan’s so-called “right-to-work” law interjects government between private sector employers and employees. Looking forward to you joining @darrincamilleri in co-sponsoring HB 4175 to repeal it. https://t.co/KfD90o1bb9

— Michigan AFL-CIO

Just the Facts: Freelance Journalists, Creative Professionals and the PRO Act

Tue, 2021-04-27 10:02
Just the Facts: Freelance Journalists, Creative Professionals and the PRO Act

President Joe Biden is ready to sign the PRO Act into law if it gets through the Senate to his desk. Our labor laws are outdated and no longer protect our right to form and join unions. The PRO Act is the most significant worker empowerment legislation since the Great Depression. Stronger unions mean higher wages, safer working conditions and dignity for all people who work. Passing the PRO Act will be our first step in getting there. 

The PRO Act will help all workers, including freelancers. Here are some common questions about how the PRO Act will affect freelancers and our answers.

I hear that the PRO Act would cause freelance journalists and creative professionals to lose work. Is this true?

No. Corporate interests are waging a misinformation campaign against the PRO Act. The only way the PRO Act could possibly affect freelance journalists or creative professionals is that it might allow them to join a union and engage in collective bargaining, but only if they choose to. Those not wanting to organize a union or engage in collective action would be unaffected. The PRO Act would not stop freelance journalists or creative professionals from continuing to do freelance work.

So what does the PRO Act’s ABC test do then?

The “ABC test” in the PRO Act is used to determine who qualifies for protection under federal law if and when they choose to engage in collective action, organize a union or bargain collectively.

So is the PRO Act the same as A.B. 5 in California?

No. A.B. 5 in California redefines who is an “employee” under a broad range of state employment laws. The PRO Act does not touch any of those laws. The PRO Act only affects the federal law that governs private sector unions.

Would the PRO Act force the company for which I do freelancing work to hire me as a W-2 employee?

No. The PRO Act does not affect any of the laws that typically determine whether someone is hired as a W-2 employee, most notably tax law, but also minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, etc.

Would the PRO Act outlaw independent contracting or gig work, or make freelancing work contracts illegal?

Absolutely not. Nothing in the PRO Act outlaws any kind of work arrangement.

Shouldn’t we just drop the ABC test from the PRO Act to avoid potential problems?

No. The ABC test is an absolutely essential part of the PRO Act. It is critical because employers often try to stop their workers from organizing a union by falsely claiming that the workers are independent contractors. The ABC test protects the rights of those workers to engage in collective action and organize a union.

Call your senators today at 866-832-1560 and urge them to pass the PRO Act.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 04/27/2021 - 10:02

Tags: PRO Act

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Alexandria Passes First Collective Bargaining Ordinance in Virginia

Tue, 2021-04-27 09:35
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Alexandria Passes First Collective Bargaining Ordinance in Virginia

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The city of Alexandria on Saturday, April 17, became the first jurisdiction in the commonwealth of Virginia to pass a collective bargaining ordinance. The Alexandria City Council unanimously passed a collective bargaining ordinance expanding the rights of city workers. The ordinance gives city employees the right to bargain about most workplace issues, including pay, benefits, grievances and other disputes.

“[This is] a big win for labor,” AFSCME District Council 20 Executive Director Robert Hollingsworth told “Union City Radio,” the Metropolitan Washington (D.C.) Council’s radio show. “On behalf of the thousands of AFSCME Council 20 public employees, we commend the mayor and city council for hearing our concerns. And we look forward to working with them on an ordinance that serves as the leading example for cities and counties across the commonwealth.”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 04/27/2021 - 09:35

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

13 Ways the PRO Act Helps Working People

Mon, 2021-04-26 10:00
13 Ways the PRO Act Helps Working People

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is a generational opportunity and the cornerstone of the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Agenda. It motivated working people this past election cycle to mobilize for a pro-worker trifecta in the U.S. House, Senate and White House. And working people won a mandate. The PRO Act was introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) and Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (Va.), and it is landmark worker empowerment, civil rights and economic stimulus legislation, and an essential part of any plan to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession.

Here are 13 ways that the PRO Act helps working people:

1. Strengthens employees' bargaining rights: The PRO Act adopts new procedures to make sure unions can reach a first contract. To achieve this, it requires: collective bargaining to begin within 10 days of a certified union’s request to do so; mediation if no contract is reached within 90 days; and mandatory arbitration of a two-year contract if no contract is reached through mediation.

2. Holds corporations accountable: By strengthening the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and allowing it to penalize employers who retaliate against working people in support of the union or collective bargaining. The problem is that our basic labor law, which is supposed to protect the rights of workers to form a union and bargain collectively, is broken. In recent decades, employers have been able to violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with impunity. An entire union-busting industry now works nonstop to block working people from exercising our rights. Today, in more than 40% of all union organizing elections, employers are charged with breaking the law. They lie. They threaten and coerce. They routinely fire union supporters. Workers are forced to attend mandatory meetings with one item on the agenda: union-bashing. These messages of fear and intimidation come from the very people who control our paychecks, how much time we can spend with our families and whether we will have a job tomorrow. And the penalties for employers that engage in this illegal behavior are inconsequential. The PRO Act is the answer because it would fix many of these problems.

3. Increases wages: When union membership is greater, our wages are better. Between 1948 and 1973, when New Deal era laws expanded and enforced collective bargaining, hourly wages rose by more than 90%. But over the next 40 years—from 1973 to 2013—hourly wages rose by just over 9% while productivity increased 74%. As it is, workers are not getting paid a fair share of what we produce. Another expansion of collective bargaining would lead to a similar increase in wages.

4. Increases workplace safety: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown once again that belonging to a union can literally be the difference between life and death on the job, especially for workers of color and women who are disproportionately essential workers and have been more likely to lose life, health and employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing the power of working people to collectively bargain increases wages and would help close wage gaps that have persisted for decades.

5. Addresses inequality: The latest research shows that the rapid growth of unions in the 20th century dramatically reduced inequality by extending the union advantage to more workers, particularly lower-income workers and Black workers, while at the same time raising standards for nonunion workers across entire industries. Growing today’s labor movement is the only policy that has the scale necessary to take us off our current trajectory of ever-growing inequality. Without it, broadly shared prosperity that extends to most working people has virtually no chance.

6. Expands civil rights: The PRO Act is more than labor law reform, it’s civil rights legislation. A union contract is the single best tool we have to close racial and gender wage gaps, and to ensure dignity and due process for workers, regardless of where we were born, who we are or what industry we work in. Removing barriers to organizing and bargaining is important for all workers, especially those who have been marginalized. Expanding collective bargaining will increase protections for women, people of color, immigrants and the LGBTQ community in areas where our laws are still falling short. We need the PRO Act to promote racial justice and eradicate all kinds of discrimination. More than 65% of union members are either women or people of color, and Black workers are the most likely of any demographic group to be union members (13.5%). The decline of unionization has played a significant role in the expansion of the racial wage gap over the past four decades, and an increase in unionization would help reverse this trend.

7. Protects collective action and removes barriers to worker voice: The PRO Act ensures that employers cannot: fire and permanently replace workers who are on strike; lock out, suspend or withhold work from employees to stop them from striking; tell employees that they are independent contractors when they are actually employees; force employees to attend anti-union messaging meetings; change work conditions, pay or benefits while negotiating a union contract; force employees to waive their right to collective and class legal action; or prohibit employees from using work computers for collective action. It also empowers employees to stand in solidarity with other workers through efforts like picketing, striking or boycotting; protects strikes of any duration, scope or frequency; requires employers to notify each new employee of their rights under the NLRA and to post those rights in the workplace; and allows unions to collect fees to cover the expenses of collective bargaining, regardless of state “right to work” laws.

8. Modernizes the union election and enforcement processes: The PRO Act requires employers to provide contact information for all relevant employees before the union elections take place and allows union elections to take place by mail, electronically, or at a convenient location; keeps employers from intervening in administrative hearings on union representation; ensures workers can form commonsense bargaining units; requires the NLRB to order the employer to bargain if the union wins the election, or if the employer interferes with the election and a majority of employees have already designated the union as their desired bargaining representative; pauses union elections when unfair labor practice charges are filed; requires the NLRB to seek a U.S. District Court injunction when employers may have unlawfully fired workers or otherwise interfered with their rights under the NLRA; and makes NLRB orders self-enforcing and appealable within 30 days. It also ensures new elections do not take place if: the union and employer are still bargaining; the employer voluntarily recognized the union; the union and successor employer are just starting to bargain; the time window for filing a petition has closed.

9. Ensures most workers are included under NLRA protections: The PRO Act amends the definition of employer so that entities that control material aspects of employees’ work are actually at the bargaining table. It also adopts a clear test to determine employee status so that workers are not misclassified as independent contractors and therefore unable to organize. It narrows the definition of supervisor so that employees who make routine, commonsense workplace decisions are not excluded from their unions. And it guarantees that workers are eligible for recovery regardless of immigration status.

10. Repeals "right to work" laws: The PRO Act would repeal right to work laws, which are divisive and racist laws created during the Jim Crow era that lead to lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces.

11. Helps fix the economy: The result of growing inequality and a shrinking middle class is an economy that does not work because the vast majority of people lack the incomes or the economic security to consume or invest. Economists are increasingly recognizing that inequality stunts economic growth. We need to grow the labor movement to rebalance the economy, which will be good for growth.

12. Helps fix our democracy: Another consequence of declining worker power and economic failure is that more and more people lose confidence in the system as a whole. To restore that confidence and strengthen our democracy, we need to make the economy work for working people.

13. Gives working people a real say in our future: The PRO Act would reduce inequality, ensuring that workers share in the benefits of future economic growth and the rising productivity that will be fueled by technology, and give workers a say in how technology is deployed in the workplace. The PRO Act also includes specific provisions to correct trends that may be troubling in the future such as employers washing their hands of responsibility toward the workers who make them profitable.

Call your senators today at 866-832-1560 and urge them to pass the PRO Act.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 04/26/2021 - 10:00

Tags: PRO Act

Stop Workplace Violence: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 2021-04-26 09:47
Stop Workplace Violence: 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 the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Bill to Protect Health Care Workers Against Violent Workplace Attacks Passes the House: "'The pandemic of workplace violence has actually been going on for decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated it,' said Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and executive director of National Nurses United."

AFL-CIO President Discusses the Energy Outlook Under the Biden Administration: "Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, joins the Yahoo Finance Live panel to discuss the 'Green Economy' under President Biden."

Why The PRO-Act Is Key To Racial Justice And Economic Democracy: "The initial results for RWDSU’s high profile organizing drive at an Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama demonstrate the extent that labor laws favor employers during unionization efforts.  The historic campaign also illustrates the struggles that working class people of color face in achieving economic justice in the fast growing fulfilment and logistics sector. And more presciently, the campaign highlights the need for better legal protections for such workers seeking to unionize, namely passage of The PRO-Act. In a video press conference on April 9, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum recognized the efforts of the Bessemer workers while pointing out, 'The results demonstrate the powerful impact of employer intimidation and interference. Amazon misled and tried to manipulate workers. They took full advantage of terrible labor laws.'"

Union Appeals Amazon Election in Alabama, Says Company Violated Laws: "In objections filed with the National Labor Relations Board, attorneys representing Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union allege that Amazon intimidated and threatened employees into voting against unionizing. The union cited meetings that the company held with workers and a mailbox installed outside of the warehouse. More than 70% of workers who cast ballots in the election voted against joining the RWDSU. 'Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union,' RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum has said. 'We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon’s behavior in corrupting this election.'"

King Backs PRO Act After Campaign by Labor, Advocacy Groups: "After a campaign by organized labor and advocacy groups, Sen. Angus King is supporting legislation that would expand the ability of workers to organize a union and pursue collective bargaining.  King’s communications director Matthew Felling confirmed in an email that the Maine independent, who caucuses with the Democrats, is co-sponsoring the Protecting the Right to Organize Act—also known as the PRO Act. The legislation passed the House in March with support from Maine U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden. Andy O’Brien, communications director of the Maine AFL-CIO, said the bill would essentially address policies, such as the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, that over the years have whittled away at workers’ ability to form a union and negotiate a first contract. 'It’s a really exciting time right now because you’ve got so many workers who are organizing and trying to form unions, but unfortunately laws allow for rampant union-busting, so this bill would be really the strongest pro-labor legislation since the New Deal if it passes' he said."

Manchin Throws Support Behind Union-Backed PRO Act: "Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday threw his support behind the PRO Act, union-backed legislation to promote labor organizing. The PRO Act would block 'right to work' laws, which allow people who benefit from union representation to opt out of membership and paying dues, and impose tougher restrictions on companies seeking to prevent unionization efforts. It passed in the House last month in a narrow, party-line vote of 225-206, with just five GOP members supporting it and one Democrat voting against."

SEC Chief Gary Gensler Picks Top Labor Union Official for Policy Role: "Gary Gensler, the new chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on Monday tapped a labor-union investment official as his policy director, raising expectations that the agency will embrace progressive policy goals. Gensler, who was sworn in on Saturday, picked Heather Slavkin Corzo for the top policy role in his office. The hire suggests Gensler will tackle issues such as stricter corporate disclosures related to climate-change risks and companies’ spending to influence politics. Corzo has worked as director of capital markets policy at the AFL-CIO and as head of U.S. policy at the Principles for Responsible Investment, a group of asset owners that incorporates environmental, social and governance considerations into their holdings."

The Technology 202: The Tech Industry is Fighting a Bill Making it Easier for Its Workers to Organize: "Liz Shuler, the AFL-CIO's secretary-treasurer, said in an interview she has 'no doubt' the union push would have been successful if the Pro Act were in place because it might have deterred Amazon from allegedly intimidating workers. 'Right now if Amazon breaks the law, it's like a slap on the wrist,' Shuler said. 'There's really no downside to breaking the law time and time again to intimidate people.… The Pro Act would reverse course on that.'"

Unionization After Amazon: "Amazon workers in the company’s Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse last week voted overwhelmingly not to join a union. This happened despite tales from inside Amazon warehouses across the country of grueling work conditions and little time for bathroom breaks. Labor and management nationwide have been watching this situation closely for what it might mean for the union effort in other states. One of those watchers is Connecticut AFL-CIO president Sal Luciano. He joined Connecticut Public Radio’s All Things Considered to share his thoughts on why this unionization effort failed and what that means for the future of unions."

Freight Trains in the U.S. Are a Disaster Waiting to Happen: "Freight trains in the U.S. are crashing more often, and people in the industry are worried about what comes next. VICE News' Motherboard looks into how the industry got here."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 04/26/2021 - 09:47

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor, Environmental Advocates Call for High-Paying Electric Vehicle Jobs

Mon, 2021-04-26 09:31
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor, Environmental Advocates Call for High-Paying Electric Vehicle Jobs

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Yesterday, ahead of the Leaders Summit on Climate, the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and BlueGreen Alliance, along with the UAW and United Steelworkers (USW), released a report highlighting the need to preserve high-paying union jobs in the U.S. auto industry as part of any equitable clean energy transition. The report reviews the economic impacts of the transition to electric vehicles as well as policy options for creating and preserving good union jobs.

“As the auto industry continues transitioning to electric vehicles, policymakers have a responsibility to ensure working families aren’t left behind,” said Brad Markell (UAW), executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council. “If we continue on the current path, the heart of American manufacturing will be left at risk. But if we take urgent action, we can combat the climate crisis, build a clean energy economy and ensure that America’s workers have access to good-paying union jobs for generations to come.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 04/26/2021 - 09:31

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Reacts to the Chauvin Verdict

Fri, 2021-04-23 09:45
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Reacts to the Chauvin Verdict

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

On Tuesday, a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. While many in the labor movement were quick to commend the verdict, we also know that the work of racial justice must continue.

“Derek Chauvin has been held accountable for murdering George Floyd. While we celebrate today’s verdict, we have so much work ahead of us in order to build a more just state and nation for everyone,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy (UNITE HERE). “Black Minnesotans continue to face police violence. George Floyd and Daunte Wright should still be alive today.”

AFL-CIO’s director of civil, human and women’s rights, Clayola Brown, said, “Neither a judge nor a jury can restore the lives of so many people of color who have been taken from us. What a jury can and must do is provide justice to all. That verdict was monumental for our country. We pray that George Floyd’s family finds some peace in this decision. The verdict confirms that if we fight, we can win. There is an appreciation that it’s not just us. The killing must stop, the violence must stop and justice must start.”

In the wake of Tuesday’s guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, AFGE is reaffirming its commitment to creating safer and more effective policing policies across the country. “It’s gratifying to see today that a central principle of American justice has been upheld. No one is above the law,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said on Tuesday. “It is my fervent hope that today’s verdict can be a catalyst for positive change, uniting us all in the pursuit of real, systemic criminal justice and policing reforms with broad support that can help us build a future where these killings stop happening.”

While no verdict can bring back George Floyd, the jury’s finding in this case is a demonstration of accountability. Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) General President Kenneth Rigmaiden issued a statement on Tuesday: “We know there is so much more work to be done to end systemic racism in this country and the workplace. There can be no justice with rampant economic inequality, a more imprisoned, policed and militarized population than any major country, and one which since its inception has been built on the continued exploitation of Black and Brown workers. Our union stands in solidarity with those who’ve been in the streets demanding true justice and will continue to do so until it’s gotten.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/23/2021 - 09:45

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

Black Lives Matter: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Thu, 2021-04-22 11:50
Black Lives Matter: 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.

Actors' Equity:

The recent Town Hall offered insight into our safety protocols as vaccines are becoming more widely available and offered members the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts.

Members can watch the full event in the member portal - https://t.co/FtS4QVTMm0 pic.twitter.com/Na86oPYoiK

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) April 22, 2021

AFGE:

Our union supports this bill. Education and training are essential tools to get ahead in today's economy. We've got to make sure those tools are accessible and affordable for American workers. https://t.co/vJZcvwL1ZV

— AFGE (@AFGENational) April 22, 2021

AFSCME:

The majority of DC residents are Black or Brown. And they get no votes in Congress. Something seem wrong? That's because it is. If Congress is fully committed to racial justice, #DCStatehood must be a priority and it must happen soon ⏰

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) April 22, 2021

Alliance for Retired Americans:

The @USPS Board of Governors is currently dominated by corporate executives with no postal experience & no diversity. Call your Senators today and ask them to confirm nominees Anton Hajjar, Amber McReynolds and Ron Stroman at 833-924-0085. #SaveThePostOffice pic.twitter.com/mXeDrnv9yF

— Alliance for Retired Americans (@ActiveRetirees) April 22, 2021

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Make Every Day, Earth Day - Ride Public Transit #EarthDayEveryDay #1u #PublicTransit #Labour #Transit pic.twitter.com/9mA27dLsXU

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) April 22, 2021

American Federation of Teachers:

If passed, the THRIVE Act will invest a minimum of $1T per year over 10 years to create 15M jobs, achieve full employment, expand worker rights, protect wages, & more.

This Earth Day, call your Representative & tell them: Co-sponsor the THRIVE Act.https://t.co/ylWTZqkKuV pic.twitter.com/W6HvYt0flT

— AFT (@AFTunion) April 22, 2021

American Postal Workers Union:

Amber McReynolds: "In the midst of a global pandemic, millions of Americans across the country relied on the postal service to cast their ballots. Despite great challenges, the postal service helped deliver democracy during the 2020 election" pic.twitter.com/qVXOUmzLW3

— APWU National (@APWUnational) April 22, 2021

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Justice for George Floyd.

And Daunte Wright.
And Rayshard Brooks.
And Breonna Taylor.

And too many more. pic.twitter.com/le6MI46Gay

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) April 19, 2021

Boilermakers:

According to a recent New York Times article, "America needs a union revival if we’re to have any hope of reversing spiraling inequality."

It's that simple. Read more here: https://t.co/iavNQhZwN5#UnionStrong #1U

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) April 21, 2021

Bricklayers:

Hall of Fame Effort: How BAC helped renovate one of Canton, Ohio’s other iconic facilities: https://t.co/TwOJ7cyrc8 pic.twitter.com/iYvZnP7lIZ

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) April 21, 2021

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

Labor’s friend and a believer in decency, Walter Mondale has passed away. Condolences to the Mondale family. #Walter Mondale pic.twitter.com/BSLeTYHZ5K

— CBTU (@CBTU72) April 20, 2021

Communications Workers of America:

Solidarity with @USLPlayers!

It's time for @USLChampionship to bargain a fair agreement https://t.co/DKhxPOO8Hg

— CWA (@CWAUnion) April 21, 2021

Department for Professional Employees:

Black Lives Matter.

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) April 20, 2021

Electrical Workers:

#IBEW Pres.: "The @POTUS' announcement is consistent with his focus on creating millions of good-paying union jobs building a 21st century modern infrastructure and a clean-energy future." https://t.co/0o6f9EiT5Y

— IBEW (@IBEW) April 22, 2021

Fire Fighters:

#IAFF Members Plan Cross Country Ride Honoring 20th Anniversary of 9/11 https://t.co/MLWlm7brjH

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) April 22, 2021

Heat and Frost Insulators:

We are proud to be a 'green' industry and have been since 1903! #HappyEarthDay2021 pic.twitter.com/iD48llCmNV

— Insulators Union

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Minnesota AFL-CIO’s Statement on Derek Chauvin’s Conviction

Thu, 2021-04-22 09:32
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Minnesota AFL-CIO’s Statement on Derek Chauvin’s Conviction

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy (UNITE HERE) issued the following a jury finding former Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd:

“Derek Chauvin has been held accountable for murdering George Floyd. While we celebrate today’s verdict, we have so much work ahead of us in order to build a more just state and nation for everyone. Black Minnesotans continue to face police violence. George Floyd and Daunte Wright should still be alive today.

“As Minnesotans, we must continue working so that whether we’re Black or White, Latino or Asian, Indigenous or newcomer, our families are safe, our voices are heard, and our rights are respected.

“The Minnesota AFL-CIO is committed to building a more inclusive Labor Movement by listening to and elevating the voices of Minnesota’s Black union members as we work to reimagine public safety.

“The Minnesota AFL-CIO and affiliated unions will continue our work to bring racial and economic justice to all workers in our state. That means higher wages through more union jobs, fully funded schools in every zip code, reliable and affordable housing, more access to high quality affordable healthcare, and reimagining public safety in our communities. We must come together as a movement to do this work. We must stand united.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 04/22/2021 - 09:32

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Workplace Violence Prevention Act Will Save Lives, Shuler Says

Tue, 2021-04-20 09:43
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Workplace Violence Prevention Act Will Save Lives, Shuler Says

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

On Friday, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) celebrated the House passing the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195), which directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a federal workplace violence prevention standard to protect workers in health care and social services from injury and death:

“Working people’s lives are on the line. There is an epidemic of violence against health care and social service workers, and it must be stopped. Workplace violence is not ‘just part of the job.’ It is a worsening problem, but it is preventable.

“Of the workers providing critical care on the front lines, women are at the greatest risk, suffering two out of every three serious workplace violence injuries. Workplace violence is the third-leading cause of job death and causes more than 30,000 serious lost-time injuries each year. Nurses, medical assistants, emergency responders and social workers face some of the greatest threats, suffering more than 72% of all workplace assaults.

“Today’s House passage is a much-needed step to protect those who give so much to our communities. The Senate must step up and send this critical, lifesaving legislation to President Biden’s desk.”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 04/20/2021 - 09:43

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SMART Local 73 Turns Union Hall into Vaccine Clinic

Mon, 2021-04-19 09:20
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SMART Local 73 Turns Union Hall into Vaccine Clinic Dave Sylvester

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 73 is partnering with Proviso Township, Illinois, and Jewel-Osco to provide added capacity for COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts, with its union hall functioning as a vaccine injection site. More than 1,400 vaccines were administered on March 29 at the local hall in Hillside, just west of downtown Chicago, for residents of any of the 15 villages in Proviso Township. The union hall effectively functioned as a one-day pop-up vaccine clinic.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 04/19/2021 - 09:20

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

'This Fight Is Far from Over': The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2021-04-16 09:33
'This Fight Is Far from Over': 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 the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

'This Fight Is Far from Over': Amazon Union Vote Shows Exactly Why We Need the PRO Act: "'Americans want to organize unions,' said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 'And it should never be this hard to do so.' 'Working people deserve better than the way Amazon has conducted itself during this campaign,' said RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum in a statement. 'This campaign has proven that the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is to join together in a union. However, Amazon’s behavior during the election cannot be ignored and our union will seek remedy to each and every improper action Amazon took. We won’t rest until workers’ voices are heard fairly under the law.' Going forward, a clear way to ensure fair, democratic union elections is for the U.S. Senate to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The PRO Act, which passed the U.S. House in March, would add real teeth to existing federal labor laws. Nearly all of the union-busting tactics deployed by Amazon would be banned and enforced under the bill."

Rep. Andy Levin: Here's What Amazon Got Away with in Union Battle. Here's How to Change That: "Is Amazon the type of American workplace we want? Is this the future we want for our kids? Of course not. Update 1930s labor laws to strengthen unions. I organized a congressional delegation to Bessemer, Alabama, last month to show solidarity with the Amazon warehouse workers organizing a union and view their working conditions firsthand. Amazon's abusive employment practices have been widely reported, but it wasn’t until I talked to the people who clock in for 10 hours every shift that I truly understood how completely Amazon dehumanizes warehouse workers."

To Unionize Amazon, We Need to Pass the PRO Act: "The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, currently pending in the Senate, would make these tactics impossible by declaring captive audience meetings an unfair labor practice and removing employers’ ability to litigate the appropriateness of their workers’ bargaining units in the pivotal early stages. The PRO Act would make many more revisions to the NLRA, but these obstacles in particular make organizing an Amazon warehouse virtually impossible when factoring in the rapid turnover of the company’s workforce. Their usage by Amazon was certainly far more impactful upon the final vote than any single strategy that the Union pursued or neglected."

Equal Pay Is Key to the Economic Recovery for Women Workers: "The two major crises that have roiled the country over the past year—the coronavirus pandemic and a long overdue reckoning on the prevalence of racial injustice—have focused new scrutiny on an old problem: the need for better policies to protect women’s jobs and wages. Both crises have been exacerbated by policymakers’ repeated failure to address longstanding inequities and strengthen workplace protections that could bolster women’s economic standing, thus threatening the prospects for a full economic recovery. In this environment, it is fitting that the U.S. House of Representatives is preparing, again, to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that has languished for decades yet includes many much-needed policies to improve workers’ wages, from strengthening equal pay protections and enforcement to combatting discriminatory pay practices."

Bravery, Not Blowout: "RWDSU campaign at Amazon deserves better than uninformed criticism. On Friday, April 9 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) had lost its organizing campaign at Amazon in Bessemer, Alabama, one of the most closely watched union drives in decades, by a vote of 1798 to 738. The NLRB received 3215 ballots, and prior to the public count conducted by zoom, Amazon’s lawyers had challenged most of the almost 600 disputed ballots (which are put aside to be counted in case they might determine the outcome). The proverbial ink was barely dry on the result when organizing gurus published critiques, no doubt written weeks ago, full of heated rhetoric and organizing pearls of wisdom but light on facts—and lighter on an informed understanding of how the campaign had unfolded."

Jill Underly Defeats Deborah Kerr in State Superintendent Election: "'Today, Wisconsin voters continued the call for a better future for all by voting to elect union-endorsed candidate Dr. Jill Underly to lead our public schools out of the pandemic with a focus on equality and a strong, fully-funded public education system that supports every child, every day,' Wisconsin AFL-CIO Stephanie Bloomingdale said in the email."

WGAE, ITV Entertainment Reach Agreement for 'The Chase': "The Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) and ITV Entertainment have reached a deal for writers on ABC format The Chase, marking the end of a near two week-long strike. 'ITV Entertainment and the WGAE are pleased to have come to terms for writers on The Chase to be represented by the WGAE and for the show to be covered by the Minimum Basic Agreement,' WGAE and ITV Entertainment said in a joint statement. 'We are in agreement that fair and positive work practices are essential to our industry and that, especially during the ongoing battle of the pandemic, the priority is to keep production going and to ensure that people can do their work and build sustainable careers.'"

Amazon Bullied Workers into Voting Against a Union: Trumka: "AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says Amazon bullied workers at an Alabama warehouse into voting against joining a union. The vote is a setback for labor organizers and a significant victory for the world’s largest online retailer. Trumka appears on 'Balance of Power.'"

Biden Picks California’s Doug Parker to Lead Federal OSHA: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka pointed to Parker’s work at the Mine Safety and Health Administration during the Obama administration, where he was deputy assistant secretary for policy, and also his time as an attorney for the United Mine Workers of America. 'He has dedicated his life to advancing the cause of worker safety, because he understands this is a life-and-death struggle for working people in every industry and in every corner of the country,' Trumka said, adding that 'critical work must begin with a long-overdue emergency temporary standard to protect America’s workers from a still-raging pandemic.'"

AFL-CIO’s April 8 Day of Action for ProAct Floods Congress with Calls and Texts: "In an April 8 evening zoom call with female unionists, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler urged all the attendees to 'push this out…through social media.' 'It’s up to us on the ground' to communicate the message that all workers, union and non-union alike, would benefit from the measure giving workers 'the power to negotiate safer working conditions, better benefits and paid sick and family leave, which empowers co-equal caregiving,' among other gains, Shuler said. And the basic message, she added, is that 'the best way to raise wages for working women is a union card.'"

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/16/2021 - 09:33

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Mexico Federation of Labor Wins Paid Sick Leave

Fri, 2021-04-16 09:30
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Mexico Federation of Labor Wins Paid Sick Leave

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

After nearly a year of hard work, the New Mexico Federation of Labor rejoiced as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed House Bill 20, the Healthy Workplaces Act, into law. This bill institutes earned sick leave for all private sector employees across the state. By signing this legislation, the governor brings New Mexico in step with 15 other states already providing basic worker protections.

Set to become effective July 1, 2022, it will provide all private sector employees (including part-time, temporary and seasonal employees) with paid sick leave. The law provides for up to 64 paid hours per year for qualified leaves (employees earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked).

“Today, New Mexico’s workers, families and businesses now have the opportunity to establish a healthier workforce and therefore healthier workplaces. While the pandemic may have brought the critical need for sick leave into focus, the need has always been there. Today, earned paid sick leave becomes reality for tens of thousands of hardworking New Mexicans. Today is a win for working families,” said the New Mexico Federation of Labor in a statement.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 04/16/2021 - 09:30

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Pathway to Progress: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

Thu, 2021-04-15 17:05
Pathway to Progress: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 Planned Parenthood

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 new 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. Today's topic is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978.

In the late 1970s, conditions in the United States were ripe for positive change for working families. Jimmy Carter and a pro-union majority in Congress were pushed by active and organized civil rights and women's movements. Labor unions were ready to push for change.

In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled in General Electric v. Gilbert that employers could refuse benefits to pregnant women. The case was brought by the International Union of Electrical Radio and Machine Workers and after the court ruled against them, unions were inspired to fight harder. At the 1977 convention of the UAW a resolution declaring that "women's issues are also UAW issues" and pushing for stronger benefits related to affirmative action, child care and maternity. A special emphasis was placed on protecting the rights of pregnant workers. The UAW, AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Women's Law Project joined with other unions, civil rights organizations and women's right's groups in order to secure passage of Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which passed in 1978. 

After passage, it was important to get employers to actually respect the law's provisions. Unions had the built-in infrastructure to reach the on-the-ground worksites across the country. The first step was for unions to begin including the protections of the PDA into collective bargaining agreements. This included member and employer education, the remedying violations through grievance procedures and other measures. UAW negotiated with the Big Three automakers in order to secure these benefits and others. Once the Big Three were on board, the changes began to spread to other companies in the industry and beyond.

When the PDA passed, it essentially gave pregnant workers the same rights and benefits as workers with disabilities. Unions made sure that collective bargaining agreements reflected this. That meant that workers got access to paid sick leave and insurance and the option to lighter-duty work. These benefits were scarce at nonunion worksites, except that, no matter where one works, they could no longer be fired for pregnancy. Workers and nonunion workplaces attempted to get the measures of the PDA implemented, but often faced resistance from local management, who clung to stereotypes about women workers and pregnant women.

The UAW and other unions used internal communications, workshops and labor education programs to teach union leaders and shop stewards about the law and its ability to protect working women. Across the country, people were trained to take on the cause of their pregnant colleagues, stand up to management and pursue grievances or strikes to establish the rights included in the law.

The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), which formed in 1974, had included the PDA as one of its goals from inception. CLUW members came together to figure out how to convince male union leaders to support the law. This effort was instrumental in pushing back against challenges against the law both from within the labor movement and without.

In her summary of union efforts in support of the passage and implementation of the PDA, author Judith A. Scott said that the story of the passage of the PDA "is the story of how the empowerment of working women and collective action were crucial to improving workplace culture and practices for pregnant workers...and why those same factors are necessary today if we are to dramatically better the lives of working women. Through their unions, women workers can assert collective strength to win workplace improvements at the bargaining table and in the legislative arena through effective political campaigning."

Source: "Why a Union Voice Makes a Real Difference for Women Workers: Then and Now," by Judith A. Scott.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 04/15/2021 - 17:05

Tags: Pathway to Progress

An Insult to All Working People: In the States Roundup

Thu, 2021-04-15 14:20
An Insult to All Working People: 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.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Thanks to everyone who braved the cold yesterday and rallied for the PRO Act! We’re just getting started, and we won’t quit until our Senators support it! #1u #PassThePROAct pic.twitter.com/Knk1wPaVmG

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) April 9, 2021

Arizona AFL-CIO:

And after you’ve called Senator Kelly, call @SenatorSinema! #PassThePROAct https://t.co/8GlQfOio6w

— Arizona AFL-CIO // #PassThePROAct (@ArizonaAFLCIO) April 8, 2021

California Labor Federation:

Great victory for working people who fought tirelessly for this bill! Congratulations to all the @unitehere workers & locals who made this happen with tremendous leadership from @LorenaSGonzalez @SenMariaEDurazo & many other champions in the legislature! https://t.co/OHXvczkYyW

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) April 15, 2021

Colorado AFL-CIO:

A union contract is the single best tool we have to close racial and gender wage gaps in the workforce, and to ensure dignity and due process for workers, regardless of where we were born, who we are, or what industry we work in. #PassthePROAct pic.twitter.com/GMfkUkDAUV

— Colorado AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOCO) April 8, 2021

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Outrageous voter suppression laws in Georgia will limit the right to vote and silence citizens. But here in CT, we've never even won the freedoms that Georgia voters are seeing restricted. #Connecticut, don’t be Georgia. Pass #VotingRights reforms now! https://t.co/mieemGwyh2

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) April 12, 2021

Florida AFL-CIO:

Happening Now: Educators from across the Sunshine State are here in Tallahassee to speak out about Senate Bill 1014, an attack on frontline workers' constitutional rights. https://t.co/POVnthRpAe

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) April 14, 2021

Georgia AFL-CIO:

HUGE congratulations to @RepublicService workers in Cumming! Welcome to our family- we know @Teamsters 728 is going to take good care of y’all. #1u https://t.co/Jv70q6OSAn

— Georgia AFL-CIO // Pass The #ProAct (@AFLCIOGeorgia) April 14, 2021

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

We agree.

If you’re a union member that wants to learn more about running tor office, join us in on May 18! https://t.co/1juNvUWoBB https://t.co/kCGwVZm1IS pic.twitter.com/Y1BCnkzNcK

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) April 12, 2021

Iowa Federation of Labor:

AFL-CIO News Updates: PrO Act; Minnesota; New Poll; UAW; NNU and AGMA https://t.co/EmaI3zuKsu

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) April 15, 2021

Maine AFL-CIO:

The most insulting part of this hearing was when Rep. Shelley Rudnicki claimed that young workers don't deserve to be paid even the minimum wage for their labor. Just disgraceful. #mepolitics https://t.co/UnjPBoVVen

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) April 13, 2021

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

"Our municipal employees have been essential to the state's COVID-19 response. We were disappointed to see @MassGovernor @CharlieBakerMA's amendment to exclude them from paid sick leave benefits." -@RonMariano & @KarenSpilka #mapoli https://t.co/mJppCIK64w

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO // Pass the #PROAct (@massaflcio) April 8, 2021

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Statement on the Police Killing of Daunte Wright https://t.co/EgXPMKn7cf #1u #mnleg #BlackLivesMatter #DaunteWright @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/sS4M4yy6XK

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) April 13, 2021

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Missouri gets a C-. This is unacceptable. The #AmericanJobsPlan would create union jobs while boosting our state's infrastructure. The Plan has support from the majority of Americans. It is time to get it done. https://t.co/Wph2YMqHFK

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) April 12, 2021

Montana AFL-CIO:

If Governor Gianforte supports Montana's workers, good paying jobs and high quality work, he will veto HB201! #mtpol #mtleg #mtgov #mtnews pic.twitter.com/QLayu7QJgW

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) April 12, 2021

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

#SB386 would give thousands of workers the #RightToReturn to their jobs when business resumes.

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Nebraska AFL-CIO Rallies with Meatpacking Workers in Lincoln

Thu, 2021-04-15 09:25
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Nebraska AFL-CIO Rallies with Meatpacking Workers in Lincoln

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

On April 8, Nebraska State AFL-CIO President/Secretary-Treasurer Martin spoke at a rally in Lincoln, Nebraska, with members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 293 who are in the middle of contract negotiations with Smithfield Foods. Smithfield has refused to negotiate for COVID-19 protections and is opposing any state legislation. Martin talked about how passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act is vitally important in guaranteeing workers the right to negotiate for better working conditions without fear or intimidation by our employers. Some 50 people showed up in the rain to show their support for the workers.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 04/15/2021 - 09:25

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Build Back Better with Unions: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Wed, 2021-04-14 15:34
Build Back Better with Unions: 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.

A. Philip Randolph Institute:

pic.twitter.com/R9qYeNlPUt

— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) April 8, 2021

Actors' Equity:

Learn more about Equity's terms for the use of archive recordings and remote work, effective through December 31, 2021 -https://t.co/MUB60Meckj pic.twitter.com/qh8HLJYBJo

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) April 14, 2021

AFGE:

Thousands of COVID-19 cases that were previously denied will be reviewed by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. As a result, more families are more likely to receive the benefits they deserve.

Our union stands ready to help! https://t.co/nBAFpFxkRh

— AFGE (@AFGENational) April 13, 2021

AFSCME:

After years of leading the fight for civil rights from outside the Department of Justice, @vanitaguptaCR and @KristenClarkeJD are now poised to lead and reshape it. Read more on why senators must #ConfirmGupta and #ConfirmClarke. https://t.co/ywZLx8bDgk

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) April 13, 2021

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Wealthy pharmaceutical corporations are starting to feel the heat on drug pricing.

Congress must keep the pressure on by doing things like requiring Medicare to negotiate lower prices. https://t.co/jju7QIiE3h #LowerDrugPricesNow #LetMedicareNegotiate

— Alliance for Retired Americans (@ActiveRetirees) April 14, 2021

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Transit workers have been #frontlineheroes keeping their communities and economies moving during the pandemic. https://t.co/OEzjYksvyg via @NBCNewsTHINK #1u #Transit

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) April 14, 2021

American Federation of Teachers:

ICYMI: You can watch last night's conversation with @EPAMichaelRegan, @JaneFonda, and @VarshPrakash on climate change, green jobs, and more at the link below.

Want to do more? Text THRIVE to 69238 to join our text list & take action! #TimeToTHRIVE https://t.co/HKmF30z9M4

— AFT (@AFTunion) April 14, 2021

American Postal Workers Union:

"American Rescue Plan lays the foundation for robust cash support for American workers and families..the country lacks the infrastructure to get the cash to people quickly & cheaply. If we are serious about building back better then now is the time." https://t.co/K4yLAc3OXA

— APWU National (@APWUnational) April 13, 2021

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Join us on April 21 for The #JusticeForJeyasre Vigil to honor the life of Indian garment worker & union member Jeyasre Kathiravel, who organized in her workplace against gender based violence before her untimely death. @GLJhub @ilrf @asia_floorwage https://t.co/rOVvwLog2S pic.twitter.com/l4GSH2jDNB

— Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (@APALAnational) April 13, 2021

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Working mothers have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have faced job and economic losses, and been forced to choose between caring for a family member or keeping their job. The impact will last for years unless Congress takes action. #HFANow #paidsickdays

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) April 13, 2021

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

We cannot rely on a Democratic majority alone to make this happen! That is why we are flooding the Senate phone lines to demand they protect our right to organize.

Call your Senators NOW and tell them to PASS THE #PROAct!