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Solidarity with Autoworkers: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:50:14 +0000

Solidarity with Autoworkers: What Working People Are Doing This Week

What Working People Are Doing This Week
AFL-CIO

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

Actors' Equity:

AFGE:

AFSCME:

AFT:

Air Line Pilots Association:

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Musicians:

American Postal Workers Union:

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Boilermakers:

Bricklayers:

California School Employees Association:

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Communications Workers of America:

Department for Professional Employees:

Electrical Workers:

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

Fire Fighters:

Heat and Frost Insulators:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

Ironworkers:

Jobs With Justice:

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Laborers:

Machinists:

Metal Trades Department:

Mine Workers:

Musical Artists:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

National Association of Letter Carriers:

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

National Federation of Federal Employees:

National Nurses United:

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

SAG-AFTRA:

School Administrators:

Solidarity Center:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

Union Veterans Council:

UNITE HERE:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

United Steelworkers:

United Students Against Sweatshops:

United Union of Roofers and Waterproofers:

Utility Workers:

Working America:

Writers Guild of America, East:

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:50

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal

Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:40:59 +0000

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner check in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interview Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California. 

Listen to our previous episodes:

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

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:40

U.S. Labor Movement Supports Mexico's Working People

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 14:03:29 +0000

U.S. Labor Movement Supports Mexico's Working People

RLT
AFL-CIO

At a meeting Saturday in Chicago, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) assured Mexican-American political, labor, community and religious leaders that the U.S. labor movement will work to ensure that any new trade agreement raises the standards of living for all working people across North America.

“Any NAFTA agreement that leaves Mexican workers poor and vulnerable and American workers jobless is dead on arrival," Trumka said. And the U.S. and Mexican labor movement are in agreement that any new trade agreement must work for people not corporations.”

Mexican Sen. Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, who leads Los Mineros, one of Mexico's few independent unions, attended the meeting along with Mexican Congresswoman María Libier González-Anaya. Both agreed with Trumka that any new trade agreement must protect workers on both sides of the border.

Gómez Urrutia
AFL-CIO

Gómez Urrutia explained that while the recently passed Mexican labor law reform was an important step forward, there is still much work to do to protect independent unions, and workers' freedom to bargain for a fair contract.

“When NAFTA was passed 25 years ago, Mexico had the highest wages in Latin America," Gómez Urrutia said. "Today we have the lowest salary. This trade agreement created a model to exploit working people, through sham contracts written by corporations. Today in Mexico corporations set their own unions and enforce their own contracts."

Gómez Urrutia
AFL-CIO

The meeting took place a week after Trumka met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the presidential palace in Mexico City, where they had a frank conversation about the fundamental changes that must be at the heart of any North American trade deal. 

“I am absolutely convinced that President López Obrador wants the new labor law to work," Trumka said. "If in fact the new labor law doesn’t work and we can’t get rid of those 700,000 contracts, then I am afraid that our brothers and sisters in Mexico will be forced to live in poverty for decades to come. This is a great opportunity to enforce that law."

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

While in Mexico, Trumka also met with the nation’s labor minister and leaders from independent unions, including Gómez Urrutia. He witnessed firsthand the obstacles Mexican working people face in freely negotiating a collective bargaining agreement:

My trip only served to confirm the disastrous impact of NAFTA. Forty percent of our brothers and sisters in Mexico are living in poverty. There are still hundreds of thousands of protectionist contracts. For years the Mexican government has kept wages artificially low for Mexican workers, and the tool that they used to do that are these sham contracts. 

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO’s senior strategic adviser for state and local bodies and federations, Ramon Becerra, and AFL-CIO International Director Cathy Feingold played active roles in organizing the meeting and engaging with political and community leaders from Mexican-American clubs, federations and worker centers, and labor and immigration activists.

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

In addition to trade, immigration was a top issue discussed during the meeting. González-Anaya highlighted the important role of labor unions in protecting immigrant rights. 

In his address, Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter (IUOE) said, “At this time of history when Chicago is building on its legacy of being an immigrant city and fighting back against those who seek to divide us on economics and issues of race and ethnicity, when we should be coming together to lift up our core values and fight for economic and social justice.”

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO

Trumka reminded attendees that we are a labor movement of immigrants and that our unions must provide sanctuary and our contracts must offer protections where our laws do not. 

“Immigrants can find hope and a home in the labor movement,” he said. “Our nation is being poisoned by hateful rhetoric and divisive tactics that come from the highest level of our government. We are not going to rest until every aspiring American can live here and work here safely as a citizen of the United States.”

 

Mexico meeting
AFL-CIO
Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/17/2019 - 10:03

Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Mon, 16 Sep 2019 18:50:12 +0000

Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

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

Follow the links below to find podcasts. They also can be found wherever you listen to podcasts:

Arise! Labor Edition: Richard Trumka on Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future.

Building Bridges: "Putting the movement back into the union movement with Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, who denounced President Trump’s government shutdown for endangering airline security and forcing workers to labor without pay and told her fellow labor leaders, 'to end this shutdown with a general strike!' She became America’s most powerful flight attendant and a rising star of the labor movement. And Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, president of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), New York's largest nurses union, which has become known for its support of Medicare for All. It has taken its service-oriented union work and further extended it for community needs. And Bianca Cunningham, a staff writer and organizer at Labor Notes Magazine, who got her start in the labor movement as a Verizon retail worker. She was a leader in the 2014 drive that won a union at seven stores, breaking into wireless retail for the first time in the company's history. These workers went on to win their first union contract when they joined landline workers in the 2016 Verizon strike."

Heartland Labor Forum: "It’s 38 days and counting that the Blackjewel coal miners of Harlan County, Kentucky, are occupying the tracks saying, 'No Pay, We Stay!' We’ll get their story. Then, it’s almost 40 years since President Ronald Reagan fired over 11,000 striking professional air traffic controllers. What are the lessons of the [Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization] strike for today?"

UCOMM Live: This week: "SharpieGate, the Weatherman and our new app, Drug Hub. Plus we have an interview with the AFL-CIO's Liz Shuler. She talks to us at the New York City Labor Day Parade. We remember 9/11 with IBEW Local 3's Business Manager Chris Erikson. Lenny is back to talk about the opioid crisis and some of the great work he did this past week volunteering in Philly. We look at how the [National Labor Relations Board] has lost its way under Trump, his obsession with a weather map, and the 10,000 jobs that were lost because of his trade war."

Union City Radio: For the week of Sept. 9-13.

Your Rights At Work: "Brian Prechtl, co-chair of the Baltimore Symphony Musicians Players’ Committee, with a BSO lockout update; 1199 SEIU's Yahnae Barner on the NLRB ruling that Universal Health Services Inc. at George Washington University Hospital engaged in unfair labor practices; POGO's Becca Jones on the effect of SharpieGate on federal workers, 'Case Closed' with David Schloss and Press Associates Inc.'s Mark Gruenberg with the latest labor news."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/16/2019 - 14:50

Nearly 50,000 UAW Members at GM Go on Strike

Mon, 16 Sep 2019 16:17:14 +0000

Nearly 50,000 UAW Members at GM Go on Strike

UAW Strike
AFL-CIO

As of midnight Sunday, UAW members at General Motors have gone on strike. The 2015 collective bargaining agreement between UAW and GM expired Saturday after GM offered an inadequate new contract. Nearly 50,000 workers are now on strike. They are demanding fair wages, affordable health care, a share of profits, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temporary workers.

UAW President Gary Jones said: “We told UAW GM members that we would stand up for them and their future.”

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes explained: “We stood up for General Motors when they needed us most. Now we are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families and the communities where we work and live."

Ted Krumm of UAW Local 652, who is the national bargaining committee chair, further expanded upon the need for the strike: 

We have been clear at the table about what GM members have indicated we will accept. We are standing up for what is right. We as local unions will sacrifice to stand up for what we deserve. Our members have spoken; we have taken action; and this is a decision we did not make lightly. We are committed to a strong contract at GM that recognizes our UAW members, who make some of the greatest products in the world and make GM so profitable.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) showed the federation's support for members of the UAW:

As our UAW brothers and sisters prepare to walk the picket line, the 12.5 million working people of the AFL-CIO are ready to march alongside them. Calling a strike is a deeply difficult decision and always a measure of last resort. This is a fight to win dignity for the 46,000 auto workers who have delivered their bosses record-breaking profits for years. We will have their backs every day until they win the respect and security that they deserve.

Other labor leaders, organizations and allies quickly showed their support for UAW members:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numerous presidential candidates also weighed in with their support for the UAW members:

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:17

Never Forget: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:15:01 +0000

Never Forget: The Working People Weekly List

Working People Weekly List
AFL-CIO

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11: "The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 18 years ago today, affected all Americans, but they had a particular impact upon first responders. Thousands of lives were lost that day and more died in the aftermath because of illnesses related to the attacks. The members and leaders of the various unions affected by the 9/11 attacks are memorializing the anniversary in various ways."

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

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

Pathway to Progress: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: "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 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."

Economy Gains 130,000 Jobs in August; Unemployment Steady at 3.7%: "The U.S. economy gained 130,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics."

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

State of the Unions’ Podcast: Humble Courage and 90210: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk to SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris about the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader."

Say No to IRAPs: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."

Stand Up and Be Recognized: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with actors and actresses winning new contracts and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/13/2019 - 13:15

Union Power on the Rise: In the States Roundup

Fri, 13 Sep 2019 15:40:25 +0000

Union Power on the Rise: In the States Roundup

In the States Roundup
AFL-CIO

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

Alabama AFL-CIO:

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Idaho AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

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

Michigan AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana AFL-CIO:

Nebraska AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council:

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/13/2019 - 11:40

Labor Unions Are for Safety and Creativity

Fri, 13 Sep 2019 13:41:38 +0000

Labor Unions Are for Safety and Creativity

I do not go around asking people if they believe in God. But I frequently ask people if they believe in labor unions. I am genuinely curious about how people around me think about collective bargaining in workplaces. How do people who work for a living, or who have at some point worked for a living (meaning most of us) think about people being courageous, together, for the sake of the integrity of their work or the safety of their work or the dignity of their lives at work? Several men working for the fire department recently said, loud enough for people coming out of the grocery store to hear, “Oh, yes ma’am, we sure do need our union.” In a hotel elevator this summer, a man, carrying a poster noting his retirement as an airline pilot, said he is clear that people working in the industry, at all levels, need labor unions. He said it was a basic matter of safety.

This is one very obvious reason why everyone who walks around in the world needs labor unions. If you drive in a car, you want the people who put your car together to have the ability to stop production if they notice something is awry. If you ride around on one of those rent-by-the-day scooters, you want the people who put the scooter together to have been able to take the time to test whether or not the scooter is safe to scoot. (Same for the people who put together the helmet you should be wearing if you are scooting. Just saying.) People who work for the fire department need equipment that allows them to put out the fire safely and quickly if, by chance, you have overestimated your oven’s ability to be “self-cleaning.” (A real, and embarrassing, example.) Look up the cover of “The Berenstain Bears: Jobs Around Town” and tell me a job that Jan and Stan Berenstain feature that does not need a labor union? The man on the girder being lifted by a crane needs the person pulling the lever to be able to call in sick if necessary. The woman selling hot dogs does not want to sell Sister Bear a dog with, well...actual dog under the relish. The bear walking across the bridge with what appears to be a giant pumpkin relies on the fact that the bears who built the bridge had time off to eat lunches and sleep. And the bear with the pink shirt, up in the corner, painting on a canvas? They need a labor union, too.

This is one of the trickiest concepts for some people to grasp. Labor unions are about our safety as people living together in a town or city, and they are also about creativity. As a writer and a teacher, I need the committed, active support of other writers and teachers in order to write and to teach in my own unique, best, way. While I was a graduate student, collective bargaining allowed me to write what turned out to be a damn good dissertation (and eventually a book) without worrying that my adviser would punish me for writing something very different than what he had published. I needed the courage in common that was collective bargaining to formulate my own particular and singular way of thinking. Actors, photographers, journalists, sculptors—all have expressed a similar sense that labor unions allow for individual freedom in their craft. If you want to hear what music sounds like without labor unions, turn on your canned radio station and hear the same pop song every two hours, interspersed with a few others deemed by someone in marketing to meet the least common denominator of music. Alternatively, find the alternative station in the genre that helps you through your own workday, and consider periodically the teamwork behind the scenes that allowed those musicians to defy what some person in the number-crunching department determined would be passable as music.

There are no doubt some people in this world who manage to be remarkably creative without labor unions and the collective bargaining that comes with courage. I am frankly worn out from trying. I need a union as much as people putting out fires and people putting airplanes together. My labor is also important, and so I will keep asking people about their unions and their ideas about unions. And I will keep trying to find the best, most creative and unique ways to explain why I need a team.

Amy Laura Hall has taught ethics at Duke University since 1999. Her most recent book is Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich. This post originally appeared at the North Carolina State AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/13/2019 - 09:41

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11

Wed, 11 Sep 2019 16:47:42 +0000

Working People Remember Those Lost Because of 9/11

9/11
IAFF

The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, 18 years ago today, affected all Americans, but they had a particular impact upon first responders. Thousands of lives were lost that day and more died in the aftermath because of illnesses related to the attacks. The members and leaders of the various unions affected by the 9/11 attacks are memorializing the anniversary in various ways. Here is what they are saying:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New York City Police Department has a memorial website in honor of the law enforcement officers who lost their lives in connection with 9/11.

Also watch these videos, which provide more context and pay further tribute.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/11/2019 - 12:47

Celebrating Labor Day: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Tue, 10 Sep 2019 19:13:26 +0000

Celebrating Labor Day: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

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

Follow the links below to find podcasts. They also can be found wherever you listen to podcasts:

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report: "Reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa, Trump and Netanyahu form unholy alliance to silence Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib’s support of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement in support of Palestinian people, with Ali Albunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the Battle for Justice in Palestine."

Heartland Labor Forum: "We’re going to cover some labor news⁠—most of it local that you hear little about anywhere else. Then we preview Kansas’ first Troublemakers School training worker activists in how to be effective hell raisers. You may even find out which Kansas City icon corporation just fired all its union janitors. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming at kkfi.org."

State of the Unions (AFL-CIO): "What does Beverly Hills have to do with unions? Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk to SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris about the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader."

UCOMM Live (NYC Area): "On this week's show we are going to be discussing union leaders getting younger and UCOMM's Office gets defaced. We have opened on investigation, was it the Alt-Right, Barstool Sports or just some drunken hipsters? Plus Trump attacks labor, a letter carrier is killed in the latest mass shooting, and we look at how unions celebrated Labor Day. This week's show is our first at the new time of 4 p.m."

Union Strong (NYS AFL-CIO) Podcast Episode 18: NYC Labor Day Parade 2019: "The president of the NYC Central Labor Council is our guest to talk about the oldest and largest worker parade in the country. And we hear from the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Liz Shuler who is this year’s grand marshal."

'Workers Rising' 2019 Labor Day Special (Union City Radio, Washington, D.C.): "Includes Labor Radio/Podcast Network Roundtable with Gene Lantz (Workers Beat, Dallas, Texas); Chris LaGrange (UCOMM podcast, New York City); Rick Smith (Rick Smith Show, Pennsylvania); and Judy Ancel (Heartland Labor Forum, Kansas City)."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/10/2019 - 15:13

   
  

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