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Republicans Defeat the ‘Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs’ Amendment

Wed, 2017-11-08 15:59
Republicans Defeat the ‘Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs’ Amendment

When the House Ways and Means Committee debated the GOP tax bill yesterday, Republicans voted down the “Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs” amendment offered by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas).

The “Stop Outsourcing of American Jobs” amendment would require that multinational corporations looking to invest offshore pay the same tax rate as small businesses or domestic companies investing here in America. The amendment was defeated on a party-line vote, with 16 Democrats voting in favor and 23 Republicans voting against.

This is what Rep. Doggett had to say in support of his amendment:

“President Trump has made stopping the outsourcing of American jobs a central element of his promise to the American people. Unfortunately, like his promise to have Mexico pay for his unnecessary wall, it’s very much a broken promise. 

“It is flat wrong that the corner pharmacy should have to pay a rate that is substantially higher on its operations than Pfizer on its operations. My amendment ensures that both are treated the same way—that we tax profits earned abroad the same way that they are taxed here at home.

“All my amendment does is treat people who earn profits abroad the same way as those who earn profits at home. We’re not against profits; we’re not against maximizing profits; just pay your fair share. When you set up a system, as has been done in this bill, that creates one rate abroad that could be zero and at home it is 20 percent, guess where this money is going to flow? It will flow out of America, just like the jobs will flow out of America.

“If you believe in keeping our jobs at home, and believe we have lost too many already, don’t create a system that the only jobs that it will add are more tax lawyers and more CPAs to find ways to dodge taxes. They have dodged enough. They have dodged $100 billion a year.”

Under the Republican tax bill, a small business that creates jobs on Main Street USA would pay U.S. taxes on its profits at a rate of 20%, while a big corporation that outsources those same jobs to Ireland or Switzerland would pay NO U.S. TAXES on the profits it earns from outsourcing. The Doggett amendment would apply the same U.S. tax rate to profits from outsourced operations and domestic operations.

Reducing the U.S. tax rate on offshore profits to 0%—which is basically a subsidy to companies that outsource jobs—would cost $205 billion over 10 years. Even worse, the GOP tax bill would encourage foreign countries that want to attract offshore investment to lower their corporate tax rate or to create tax-free export processing zones. The more other countries lower their corporate tax rates to attract offshore investment, the bigger the tax subsidy for offshoring this bill will provide. The GOP tax bill creates a powerful incentive for big companies to outsource jobs, and it is an incentive that will grow over time.

Tim Schlittner Wed, 11/08/2017 - 14:59

Labor-Backed Candidates Win Big in Tuesday’s Elections

Wed, 2017-11-08 10:26
Labor-Backed Candidates Win Big in Tuesday’s Elections

It was a big night for labor’s agenda as pro-worker candidates won election from coast to coast Tuesday. 

NJ AFL-CIOUnion members and labor leaders prepare to get out the vote in New Jersey.

In Virginia, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam handily defeated Ed Gillespie as AFL-CIO-endorsed candidates won throughout the commonwealth. Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays hailed the victories: 

“Today, Virginia’s voters turned out in record numbers to stand with working people and reject the hateful, divisive rhetoric that has taken over the airwaves throughout the campaign. Virginia voters have spoken—we must work toward a commonwealth that puts working families first and prioritizes real issues that impact our lives each and every day. All students must have quality public education and job-training opportunities. All workers must be guaranteed fair wages, safe working conditions and the freedom to join in union. And all Virginians must have access to quality, affordable health care no matter where they live.

“We are proud to stand with you all and elect Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, Mark Herring and a host of delegates in districts from Blacksburg to Hampton and so many places in between. Voters came together to enact real change in our commonwealth by flipping control in at least 15 house districts despite our heavily gerrymandered lines."

In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, one of several key victories for labor in the state. New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech said union solidarity made it possible:

“The results of New Jersey’s critical gubernatorial election are in, and the election of Phil Murphy as governor and Sheila Oliver as lieutenant governor speaks to the unmatched mobilization efforts of organized labor and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s political program that is unparalleled by any other in our state or nation.

“Let’s be clear: what made the difference tonight was our unified labor voice, comprised of support from thousands of union volunteers, national, state and local affiliates, central labor councils and Building Trades councils. We had an opportunity to show strength and solidarity and we did. We joined together every Saturday for labor walks, made calls at evening phone banks and delivered thousands of mail pieces around the state. There is no question that our 1-million-member-strong state labor movement determined the outcome of this election.

“Working people needed a victory and organized labor delivered. The results of this election make clear that the New Jersey labor movement will lead the way forward for the rest of the nation, securing needed reforms that promote job creation, quality education, skills training, modernized infrastructure, affordable health care, equitable taxation, and a sustainable and secure retirement future for all New Jersey families."

Other highlights include: 

43 rank-and-file union members were elected to public office in New Jersey

Labor leader Teresa Mosqueda was elected to the Seattle City Council

Labor-endorsed candidates win election across North Carolina 

From protests to politics: Braxton Winston wins Charlotte City Council at-large bid

Maine OKs Medicaid expansion in first-of-its-kind referendum

New York Voters Reject a Constitutional Convention

 

Tim Schlittner Wed, 11/08/2017 - 09:26

UNITE HERE Women Reflect on International Assembly

Tue, 2017-11-07 11:50
UNITE HERE Women Reflect on International Assembly UNITE HERE

In October 2017, members of UNITE HERE Local 1 served as delegates to the 3rd International Trade Union Confederation World Women’s Conference/Women’s Organizing Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica.

UNITE HERE Local 1 was invited to share about the "Hands Off Pants On" campaign and recent legislative victory in Chicago. Local 1’s delegation included Tina Graham, Ofelia Martinez and Kasey Nalls, rank-and-file members who helped survey nearly 500 women working in Chicagoland hotels and casinos about sexual harassment, the results of which gave rise to the "Hands Off Pants On" campaign. The final day of the conference included a screening of the video featuring President Jorge Ramirez of the Chicago Federation of Labor and other male union leaders speaking out about sexual harassment. Also in attendance was award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, who interviewed the UNITE HERE Local 1 team for a new project about workplace sexual violence.

Get the inside scoop from the UNITE HERE Local 1 team members! Read their reflections about the ITUC Women’s Organizing Assembly:  

Tina Graham:

I felt proud to represent UNITE HERE Local 1 at the ITUC Women’s Organizing Assembly and share our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign with women from around the world. It was incredible to feel the love and support from them as we talked about what we accomplished here in Chicago. In fact, the first day of the conference was the day we officially won a new city law to protect hotel workers from sexual harassment and assault! Another highlight was when we were interviewed by the playwright, Eve Ensler. I shared about my experiences working as a room attendant in a Chicago hotel and about our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign to end sexual violence in the hospitality industry. I know our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign will change the lives of women in hospitality for the better. And now our work is helping push something bigger—a global movement to make work safe and fair for all working women. I’m so proud to be a part of it.

Ofelia Martinez:

At the Women’s Organizing Assembly of the ITUC, I learned how important it is for us to continue to organize and bring a message of hope and strength to working women around the world. Wherever we find sexual violence, we will assert our rights and will not keep quiet. The conference reminded me that when we unite, we are a force that can change the world.

Kasey Nalls:

My favorite part of the conference was meeting people from all over the world and learning how much we have in common [regarding] the struggles we go through as women. The strength and power of all the women as one in that room was phenomenal. I felt very proud that women union leaders from many different countries were interested in understanding our "Hands Off Pants On" campaign, the steps we took, and the different approaches that were used to bring awareness to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. It was amazing to talk with Eve Ensler during the conference. I am proud that my union sisters and I are a part of her new project about gender violence at work, where our stories will be brought to life. I am forever grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to take part in such an event.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:50

Tags: ITUC

A Giant Tax Cut for Corporations That Outsource Jobs

Tue, 2017-11-07 11:02
A Giant Tax Cut for Corporations That Outsource Jobs

The Republican tax bill would give a giant tax cut to big corporations that outsource jobs.

Under the bill, a business that creates jobs on Main Street USA would pay U.S. taxes on its profits at a rate of 20%, while a big corporation that outsources those same jobs to Ireland or Switzerland would pay NO U.S. TAXES on the profits it earns from outsourcing.

Why is this so?

Currently, the United States taxes all profits of U.S. corporations, whether earned in the United States or in a foreign country, at the same rate of 35%. However, a corporation that earns profits in a foreign country does not have to pay U.S. taxes on those earnings until it repatriates them to the United States.

The GOP tax bill changes this system so a U.S. corporation that earns ordinary profits in a foreign country never pays any U.S. income taxes on those profits. By "ordinary," I mean earnings from active operations in foreign countries, not domestic profits earned in the United States that the company disguises as foreign profits through the use of accounting gimmicks.

Reducing the U.S. tax rate on offshore profits from 35% to 0%—basically a subsidy to companies that outsource jobs—would cost $205 billion over 10 years.

Even worse, the bill would encourage foreign countries that want to attract offshore investment to lower their corporate tax rates or to create tax-free export processing zones. The more that other countries lower their corporate tax rates to attract offshore investment, the bigger the tax subsidy for offshoring this bill will provide. This also would render the decision to lower the U.S. domestic corporate tax rate to 20% meaningless for "competitiveness" purposes.

The GOP tax bill creates a powerful incentive for big companies to outsource jobs, and it is an incentive that will grow over time. The bill also would put small businesses that cannot move jobs or profits outside the United States at a competitive disadvantage.

That's why the GOP tax bill is a job killer and a gift to outsourcers.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/07/2017 - 10:02

Tags: Tax Reform

The Faces and Stories of TPS Workers

Mon, 2017-11-06 15:03
The Faces and Stories of TPS Workers AFL-CIO

Hundreds of thousands of people have been living and working in our country legally for many years through the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.  Now they are at risk of having their status and work permits cruelly stripped away.

These are people we work with every day. Read their stories and watch them speak at last week's AFL-CIO national convention.

Marvin Monge: "I was born in El Salvador. I've been working in the United States for 20 years, and I am an organizer for the International Union of Bricklayers under TPS. I am a proud member of the Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, but I may lose my work authorization. I'm not going forward. I'm going backward. I could become undocumented again, and I don't know how to go back to the shadows. There are people out there who appreciate what our unions are doing."

Francis Garcia: "I was born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I've been working in the United States for 22 years as a guest room attendance under TPS, and I'm a proud member of UNITE HERE. Very proud! I have three kids who were born here in Arizona, and I'm a little bit nervous."

Marie Parfait: "I was born in Haiti. I've been working in the United States for 15 years as a dishwasher under TPS, and I'm a proud member of UNITE HERE, Local 355, Miami. I have five kids and 12 grandchildren. Without your help, I may lose authorization to work next year."

Ericka Lopez: "I was born in El Salvador. I've been working in the United States for 17 years. I worked in laundries, but now I am a union organizer under TPS, and I'm a proud member of UNITE HERE! When I listen to this government, I feel worried and scared for me and my family because I don't want to live in the shadows."  

Watch these working people tell their stories as part of AFL-CIO's convention program:

 

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 11/06/2017 - 14:03

The Republican Tax Bill is a Job Killer

Fri, 2017-11-03 13:09
The Republican Tax Bill is a Job Killer AFL-CIO

My name is Michael J. Smith. I am here to tell you why the tax bill is a JOB KILLER.

Up until March of 2016, I was employed at the Nabisco bakery in Chicago.

I had worked there nearly five years and am unemployed today because Nabisco/Mondelēz sent my job and the jobs of over 500 others at the bakery to Mexico.

That happened because our trade and tax laws make it easy and profitable for companies to outsource our jobs. During last year’s election, I heard a lot of politicians say it was time to change the rules to bring jobs home.

But now I see this tax bill and here’s what it says: It says that from now on, Mondelēz, a U.S. company, will pay no taxes in the United States on its profits from its Mexican plant where my job went. But it will pay taxes on the profits from its plants here in the U.S.—a 20% tax. What do you think will happen to my brothers and sisters still working in the U.S. under those rules?

Literally, this tax bill wants to pay companies like Mondelēz to move jobs like mine out of the United States. I can't believe it.

So let me say to the people who wrote this tax bill—you must think I am nothing more than a chance to make some more money. And so is the next worker like me whose life will be destroyed if this bill passes, and corporations move more jobs and profits offshore in pursuit of the tax breaks in this bill for outsourcers.

My name is Michael J. Smith and I am not a mere statistic. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I pay taxes and I demand Congress not reward companies like the one that outsourced my job with billions of dollars in tax breaks.

Let me say this one more time—this tax bill is a JOB KILLER. Someone said it is CUT CUT CUT.  What it cuts is jobs.

We deserve better.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/03/2017 - 13:09

Tags: Tax Fairness

The Economy Gains 261,000 Jobs in October, and Unemployment Was Little Changed at 4.1%

Fri, 2017-11-03 12:30
The Economy Gains 261,000 Jobs in October, and Unemployment Was Little Changed at 4.1%

The U.S. economy gained 261,000 jobs in October, and unemployment was little changed at 4.1%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow and not raise interest rates.

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

#jobsreport wages fell, September to October, over the year only rose 2.4%, with 3.0% boost in productivity no reason for Fed to raise rate

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport a big part of the October increase was the 89,000 job bounce-back for food establishments closed by Harvey and Irma @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport on the good news side, part-time wanting full-time, long term unemployed numbers fall, job quitters up @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport Over the year, unemployment rates fall for all major occupation groups, especially construction and production workers @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/sIk6PbHBIN

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport labor force participation rates continues downward trend--no surprise that supply won't increase without wages @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/yruVxmWnBj

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

#jobsreport broadest measure of unemployment (including involuntary part-time, discouraged workers) falls to level near pre-2008 @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/VX3ZWhbiWP

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

#jobsreport uncertainty from attacks on Medicaid, payrolls at nursing care facility down 12.2K from last year, but edges up in Oct. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

Why 45's tax plan is bad: @AFSCME state and local employment edge up only 4,000, but with drops in state education and local non-education,

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

 

Why 45's tax plan is wrong: corporations with record profits and massive cash balances have not used them to raise pay so far @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/vnQFHT6aK0

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) November 3, 2017

Last month's biggest job gains were in food services and drinking places (89,000), professional and business services (50,000), manufacturing (24,000) and health care (22,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government, changed little in October.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (3.6%) and whites (3.5%) declined in October. The jobless rates for teenagers (13.7%), blacks (7.5%), Hispanics (4.8%), adult men (3.8%) and Asians (3.1%) showed little change.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in October, and accounted for 24.8% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:30

A Watershed Moment for Working People

Fri, 2017-11-03 10:50
A Watershed Moment for Working People

On Wednesday, congressional Democrats released the labor portion of their "Better Deal" initiative. In response to the plan, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka said:

This morning, I had the privilege of standing with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as they rolled out their plans to strengthen the freedom to join together in a union. We were joined by other labor leaders, including the presidents of AFSCME, AFT, CWA, UFCW and NEA, and by other leaders in the House and Senate who have championed workers’ rights.

This is the first time in recent memory that Democratic elected officials as a caucus have made strengthening workers’ freedom to join together and negotiate with their employers a centerpiece of their policy platform. These leaders forcefully made the case that for our economy to work and for communities to prosper, we need a strong and vibrant labor movement, and that it is in the country’s interest to strengthen workers’ freedom to join together and negotiate better wages, benefits, safety and retirement security.

This action follows on the decision by delegates to the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention to vote unanimously last week to press for a Workers' Bill of Rights, including rewriting the rules to make it more possible for workers to join together and form unions.

As working people face relentless attacks by corporate special interests trying to weaken workers’ bargaining power and rights, it is critically important for the labor movement and its allies to have a positive vision and agenda to rally around, fight for, and hold elected officials accountable to. Today’s announcement of A Better Deal is a great example of this sort of action.

Read Trumka's remarks from the release event.

In introducing the plan, AFSCME President Lee Saunders said:

Unions are more important than ever to a thriving middle class, to shared prosperity, to an economy that works for everyone, not just a few. I'm proud, I'm pleased to be working with Senate Democrats toward those goals.

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

This is a 'which side are you on' moment. You think about what Leader Pelosi said before. Look at what some people, the GOP leadership in the Congress, are doing this week, they are trying to get tax giveaways to the rich who have already rigged the economy against working people all throughout the economy. And here we stand very proudly with the Democratic leadership, who's actually saying we care about the individuals.

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said:

I am so proud this morning to be up here speaking about the rights of working people—to organize for educators and for the parents of the students that we serve. Unions have always provided that pathway to the middle class, and we're needed more than ever now that we are deep into an era where the economy is more and more rigged in favor of the wealthy and the powerful. We know as unions succeed, families and communities succeed.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) said:

We all worry about the decline of the middle class. And the Number One reason for the decline of the middle class is the assault on unions and on labor that's occurred over the last 30 years. Labor unions created the middle class. Before the labor unions, there were a few rich people and a lot of poor people, but not that big a middle class. And the whole big beautiful middle class that America prides itself on was done by the sweat of the predecessors of these folks who organized people and fought—it didn't come easy—for better wages and better benefits and better retirement.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) said:

And I am literally here as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner and the daughter of a teacher and a newspaper worker, and the first woman elected to the Senate from my state. That wouldnt've have happened except for unions. So I really view these union members, in my life, as my role models and my example. And I think that's what we should expect from the federal government and from our president.

Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) said:

Employers who threaten or retaliate against workers who want to exercise their right to form a union or join a union should be held accountable.

Rep. Bobby Scott (Va.) said:

I stand with my colleagues from the House and the Senate in support of a better deal for working people that includes restoring the freedom of workers to negotiate for their fair share.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) said:

The productivity gains of the American worker have not gone to the American worker. Instead they've gone to the privileged few, to the wealthy and to the well-off, to millionaires and billionaires, to special interest corporations. It should always be the case if you work hard and play by the rules, you can provide a comfortable living for your family. But for far too many Americans, that basic contract has been broken.

Key parts of the plan include:

  • A "federal law that provides public workers with the same rights and freedom to engage in collective bargaining as their private-sector counterparts," designed to prevent the piecemeal erosion of collective bargaining rights that have taken off in Republican-run states since 2011.
  • A ban on state "right to work" laws altogether, as "they have been found to reduce union membership by up to 10% and have resulted in lower wages and decreased access to employer-provided health care and pensions."
  • Making it easier to strike with a "ban [on] the permanent replacement of striking workers."
  • Providing remedies to workers (regardless of their immigration status) for violations, and providing strong penalties against CEOs and companies that interfere with workers' freedom to join together and negotiate.
  • Expanded coverage so more workers have the freedom to join together.

Watch the full press conference releasing the plan:

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:50

The Top Reasons Why the Republican Tax Bill is Bad for Working People

Thu, 2017-11-02 15:09
The Top Reasons Why the Republican Tax Bill is Bad for Working People Gage Skidmore

Working people have forced the House GOP to stall the release of a bad and unpopular plan to slash taxes for the rich by cutting services and tax breaks for working families. America’s labor movement will fight every attempt by Donald Trump to give preference to millionaires and billionaires and hand working people the tab. Here are the top ways the Republican tax bill will hurt working people:

1. This bill is a job killer. The GOP tax bill would give companies a huge tax break for outsourcing. U.S. taxes on offshore profits would be eliminated, giving big corporations even more incentive to move jobs offshore.

2. Republicans are proposing to (partially) pay for tax cuts with drastic cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and education. The GOP budget includes $5 trillion in budget cuts, including $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and an end to Medicare’s guarantee of health coverage.

3. But the GOP tax bill still won't be paid for, so we can expect Republicans to demand more budget cuts that hurt working people in the future. The Republican budget allows for $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that are not paid for in the first decade, and these tax cuts are structured to cost even more in future decades. First the Wall Street millionaires throw themselves a party, then they stick the rest of us with the tab.

4. The GOP tax bill would increase taxes on many middle-class families, and most of its tax breaks would go to the top 1%. According to independent analysis of the previous version of the GOP tax plan, 30% of households making between $50,000 and $150,000 would pay more in taxes, while the richest 1% would walk away with 80% of the tax breaks. Republicans have made some adjustments to their tax bill, but it still is heavily weighted toward the top.

5. The GOP tax bill would punish states that make the kind of investments that create good jobs. Republicans are proposing to repeal the deduction for state and local income taxes, making it harder for states to raise enough money to invest in high-quality education, infrastructure and good jobs, and would lower property values.

6. The GOP tax bill would tax long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities. Eliminating the tax deduction for medical expenses would force many middle-class Americans who are chronically ill to pay thousands more in taxes each year and spend down their resources to qualify for Medicaid, and would prevent millions of Americans from deducting out-of-pocket medical or dental expenses from their taxes.

7. The GOP tax bill would kill construction jobs. Limiting the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000 would discourage construction of new houses.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 11/02/2017 - 15:09

Tags: Tax Fairness

The Purpose for Which I Rise: What I Saw at the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention

Mon, 2017-10-30 11:29
The Purpose for Which I Rise: What I Saw at the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention AFL-CIO

Michael Gillis is a field communication specialist for the AFL-CIO. This is his recap of the AFL-CIO 2017 Convention in St. Louis last week.

I saw an election that renewed a leadership team that inspired me in profound ways. I saw a man whose confidence and calm drive I can emulate in my endeavors. I saw a woman whose competence and resolve emboldens me to pursue justice for myself and the least of my brothers and sisters. I saw another man whose back story makes me embarrassed to have ever filed a complaint about my own privileged life. I have been reintroduced to leadership that I can follow into the battles ahead.

I met a newspaper reporter who proudly announced to me that she was a member of two labor unions—one for her job reporting the news and another for her role as an adjunct professor at a local university. Her reporting was impeccable, and her pride as a union member reminded me why we fight.

I saw a labor leader denounce his own white privilege to make the case that the labor movement needed to do more to defend people of color. I saw another selflessly face down authority to stand up for a crowd of people demonstrating against clear injustices. I saw hundreds of people following her lead.

I saw a look in the eye of a veteran that told me that he’s made sacrifices that I cannot begin to fathom. I saw businessmen and women tell their story of their vision and achievement, all done through a foundational belief in the American worker.

I saw a woman whose professionalism and commitment to public health drove her to stand up for children whose lives are threatened by reckless and greed-driven policy making. I heard her announce her allegiance to the labor movement and explain how that gave her the courage to do what she did.

I saw a man rise to credit the labor movement for giving him the courage to come out as a gay man late in life. I saw a colleague power through a disease that has ravaged her body to add her voice toward our purpose. And I saw another literally sing the blues.

I saw countless people rise to share the stories from their own experiences. I saw them cry. I saw them laugh. I saw them resolve to make the world a better place.

All of this took place in St. Louis, the Gateway to the West. The labor movement is passing through a moment in time when threats and opportunity are abundant. And we are passing through an arch that bends toward social and economic justice.

For what purpose do I rise? I rise because I know I stand on the shoulders of many who went before me. I rise because I walk in the midst of contemporary heroes. I rise because I need to join the fight. And I need to win.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:29

Tags: 2017 Convention

Trumka, Shuler and Gebre Re-Elected; Four New Members Join AFL-CIO Executive Council

Mon, 2017-10-30 10:14
Trumka, Shuler and Gebre Re-Elected; Four New Members Join AFL-CIO Executive Council

At the AFL-CIO 2017 Convention last week, federation officers—President Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre—and the Executive Council—made up of 55 vice presidents—were elected, with four new members joining the council.

Four new members joined the AFL-CIO Executive Council. Click on the links to learn more about the new members.

George E. McCubbin III, AFGE District 12: “I’m honored to be joining the AFL-CIO Executive Council and look forward to working with my fellow union leaders to organize more workers and better engage with all union families.”

Vonda McDaniel, Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee: “Vonda McDaniel serves as president of the Nashville Central Labor Council. A native Nashvillian, she grew up in the First Baptist Church at Capitol Hill where her family remains active members. The church was an early center of organizing during the civil rights movement, and the legacy and memory of that movement helped shape her belief from early on that ordinary people can make extraordinary change. Vonda has been a member of the United Steelworkers Local 1055 since 1992. For 10 years, she served the members of that local by administering member benefits and helping members navigate benefits and services.”

Gwen Mills, UNITE HERE: “Gwen Mills was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, and earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and public policy at Cornell University. She joined UNITE HERE in 2000 and organized a broad-based community and political alliance for Yale University strikes, contract campaigns and organizing drives. In 2008, she led members from locals across the country to southern Virginia in an innovative registration, engagement and turnout program focused on African American voters. As the Connecticut political director until 2015, Gwen’s team focused on electing rank-and-file members to municipal office, resulting in the election of New Haven’s first female African American mayor, first female African American City Council president (a union member) and first Democratic governor in 20 years. Gwen served as the political director of UNITE HERE from 2015-2017 and was elected secretary-treasurer in 2017.”

Charles Wowkanech, New Jersey State AFL-CIO: “I am humbled and honored to immediately begin serving as a national AFL-CIO vice president, and I look forward to the opportunity to build a national labor movement that is stronger and more durable than ever before. I fulfill this role not only with pride and the greatest sense of responsibility to working families across this nation, but also with a deep gratitude for the union members of New Jersey, whose work and solidarity has made this possible.”

The full list of Executive Council members elected at the AFL-CIO 2017 Convention:

  • Stuart Appelbaum, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW
  • James Boland, Bricklayers
  • James Callahan, Operating Engineers
  • Capt. Timothy Canoll, Air Line Pilots Association
  • Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA
  • J. David Cox, AFGE
  • Harold Daggett, Longshoremen
  • Eric Dean, Ironworkers
  • RoseAnn DeMoro, National Nurses United
  • Bhairavi Desai, National Taxi Workers Alliance
  • Mark Dimondstein, American Postal Workers Union
  • David Durkee, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers
  • Cindy Estrada, UAW
  • Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers
  • Lawrence J. Hanley, Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Lorretta Johnson, AFT
  • Newton B. Jones, Boilermakers
  • Gregory J. Junemann, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
  • D. Michael Langford, Utility Workers
  • Richard Lanigan, Office and Professional Employees
  • Matthew Loeb, Theatrical Stage Employees
  • Robert Martinez, Machinists
  • Elissa McBride, AFSCME
  • George E. McCubbin III, AFGE District 12
  • Vonda McDaniel, Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee
  • Sean McGarvey, North America's Building Trades Unions
  • Mark McManus, Plumbers and Pipe Fitters
  • Gwen Mills, UNITE HERE
  • Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
  • Terry O'Sullivan, Laborers
  • Lori Pelletier, Connecticut AFL-CIO
  • Marc Perrone, United Food and Commercial Workers
  • Jorge Ramirez, Chicago Federation of Labor
  • Fred Redmond, United Steelworkers
  • Kenneth Rigmaiden, Painters and Allied Trades
  • Paul Rinaldi, National Air Traffic Controllers Association
  • Clyde Rivers, California School Employees Association
  • Cecil Roberts, Mine Workers
  • Fredric V. Rolando, National Association of Letter Carriers
  • Michael Sacco, Seafarers
  • John Samuelsen, Transport Workers
  • Lee A. Saunders, AFSCME
  • Robert A. Scardelletti, TCU/IAM
  • Harold Schaitberger, Fire Fighters
  • Joseph Sellers Jr., International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers
  • Christopher Shelton, Communications Workers of America
  • Bruce R. Smith, Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers
  • DeMaurice Smith, NFL Players Association
  • Lonnie R. Stephenson, Electrical Workers
  • D. Taylor, UNITE HERE
  • Baldemar Velasquez, Farm Labor Organizing Committee
  • Randi Weingarten, AFT
  • Dennis D. Williams, UAW
  • Diann Woodard, School Administrators
  • Charles Wowkanech, New Jersey State AFL-CIO
Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:14

Tags: 2017 Convention