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‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: The Far Right Today

Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:47:56 +0000

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: The Far Right Today

Mudde Podcast
AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-host Tim Schlittner and guest host AFL-CIO International Director Cathy Feingold talk to Cas Mudde, a political scientist from the University of Georgia. Mudde has a new book, The Far Right Today, which takes a look at the resurgence of right-wing politicians and activists across the globe, much of it cloaked in populist, worker-friendly rhetoric.

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, 12/11/2019 - 10:47

Economy Gains 266,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Down Slightly to 3.5%

Tue, 10 Dec 2019 20:43:52 +0000

Economy Gains 266,000 Jobs in November; Unemployment Down Slightly to 3.5%

The U.S. economy gained 266,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 3.5%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Last month's biggest job gains were in manufacturing (54,000), health care (45,000), leisure and hospitality (45,000), professional and technical services (31,000), transportation and warehousing (16,000) and financial activities (13,000). Mining lost jobs (-7,000). Employment in other major industries—including retail trade, construction, wholesale trade, information and government—showed little change over the month. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.0%), blacks (5.5%), Hispanics (4.2%), adult men (3.2%), whites (3.2%), adult women (3.2%) and Asians (2.6%) showed little or no change in November.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined in November and accounted for 20.8% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 12/10/2019 - 15:43

5 Things You Can Do to Celebrate Our Birthday With Us

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:55:54 +0000

5 Things You Can Do to Celebrate Our Birthday With Us

When We're 64
AFL-CIO

You said it's our birthday! And it is. If you've always wondered what you'd do with the AFL-CIO when we're 64, now's your chance! On this day in 1955, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations came together after a long and winding road.

You said you wanted a labor revolution, and we all still want to change the world. And over those 64 years, together, we have achieved something to be proud of. Under the leadership of the fab five presidents, we've refused to let it be and championed critical fights for workplace safety, trade fairness, fair wages, secure retirement and equal pay!

A wise person once said "all you need is love," but we know that working people also need a way to express their voices on the job. From the beginning, that's been our goal, and here's how you can help us celebrate our 64th birthday!

1. Sign our petition supporting pro-worker legislation: You should let your mother (and everyone else) know about bills like the PRO Act, which would help level the playing field between mean Mr. Mustard and his friends on Wall Street!

2. Subscribe to our podcast: In my life, I haven't found a better way to dig deeper about the stories important to working people than to listen to State of the Unions, the podcast of the AFL-CIO!

3. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Money can't buy me love, but the good news is you won't need money to get the latest video content from the crew aboard our yellow submarine!

4. Follow us on social media: A great day in the life would include you following us on our social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to keep up with the latest news and information!

5. Sign up for text messages: While you're twisting and shouting, text WORK to 235246 to receive periodic text alerts from the AFL-CIO (message and data rates may apply) to know when your fellow working people need your solidarity!

We've accomplished a lot from yesterday to today and I've got a feeling the future is bright for working people. Whatever challenges we face, we can work it out as long as we work all together now!

(With apologies to the Beatles!)

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 12/05/2019 - 13:55

Solidarity Forever: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 20:15:01 +0000

Solidarity Forever: 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 Labor Communications Association:

Ironworkers:

Jobs With Justice:

Laborers:

LCLAA:

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 Nurses United:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Printing, Publishing and Media Workers:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

United Union of Roofers and Waterproofers:

SAG-AFTRA:

Seafarers:

Solidarity Center:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

Union Label and Service Trades Department:

Union Veterans Council:

UNITE HERE:

United Steelworkers:

United Students Against Sweatshops:

Utility Workers:

Working America:

Writers Guild of America, East:

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 12/02/2019 - 15:15

Red for Ed: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 20:07:19 +0000

Red for Ed: 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.

Red for Ed: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."

Trade Unions Demand Governments Address Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work: "This week marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and trade unions around the world are demanding governments ratify and implement International Labor Organization Convention 190 (C190), on ending violence and harassment in the world of work."

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Future Where People Will Have Jobs: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to Guy Ryder, the director-general of the International Labor Organization, about the international labor movement, the idea of 'decent labor' and the future of work."

Native American Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: Ojibwe Women Transform Working Life in Minneapolis: "History has long been portrayed as a series of 'great men' taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history 'from the bottom up,' studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we will take a look at a group of Ojibwe women who helped transform the world of work in Minneapolis-St. Paul throughout much of the 20th century."

Colombian Workers Launch General Strike: "Colombia's workers, students, and rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities [joined] together in a national general strike Nov. 21. Unlike the strikes many of America's workers have participated in increasingly in the past five years, Colombians are not striking against any single employer or industry."

Work Doesn't Hurt: 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."

Protect Survivors: 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."

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

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

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

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 12/02/2019 - 15:07

Trade Unions Demand Governments Address Gender-based Violence in the World of Work

Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:47:30 +0000

Trade Unions Demand Governments Address Gender-based Violence in the World of Work

This week marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and trade unions around the world are demanding governments ratify and implement International Labor Organization Convention 190 (C190), on ending violence and harassment in the world of work.

Read the statement from the International Trade Union Confederation in English, Spanish or French.

C190 was adopted last June at the International Labor Organization. The AFL-CIO and trade unions around the world campaigned for more than a decade to win this important new global standard, and now are leading the fight to see its framework adopted by governments and employers.

Gender-based violence and harassment is a particular threat to women, LGBTQ workers and other marginalized groups. Homicide is one of the leading causes of death on the job among women in the United States, accounting for almost a quarter of workplace deaths among women, while it accounts for only 8% of workplace deaths among men. It is also a particular threat to workers in low-wage, precarious working arrangements, as poverty and marginalization can prevent workers from escaping or challenging dangerous conditions.

The C190 framework emphasizes that everyone has the fundamental right to be free from violence and harassment at work, and requires governments adopt an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to end it. C190 requires governments and employers address the root causes of gender-based violence at work, including discrimination and unequal power relationships. Violence is a tool that both reflects and reinforces a gendered power hierarchy at work and in society, and ending violence requires allowing women workers to take collective action to confront this hierarchy directly.

C190 also calls for investigating sectors and occupations that are more likely to experience violence and harassment. In the United States, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation to adopt specific violence protections for nurses, medical assistants, emergency responders and social workers. These workers are predominantly women, and they face extremely high rates of violence on the job. The law would require employers to develop an enforceable, comprehensive violence protection program in U.S. workplaces.

Learn more about the global C190 ratification campaign. Learn more about the law on workplace violence.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/27/2019 - 11:47

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Future Where People Will Have Jobs

Wed, 27 Nov 2019 16:06:30 +0000

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Future Where People Will Have Jobs

Guy Ryder podcast
AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to Guy Ryder, the director-general of the International Labor Organization, about the international labor movement, the idea of "decent labor" and the future of work.

Listen to our previous episodes:

  • A discussion with Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig about his work connecting the labor movement and the veterans community. 
  • A conversation with union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union. 
  • A chat with Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT, IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.
  • Talking to Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) about worker power, automation, trade and his decision to stay in the U.S. Senate. 
  • Checking in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interviewing Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California.
  • SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris discussing the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader. 

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

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/27/2019 - 11:06

Native American Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: Ojibwe Women Transform Working Life in Minneapolis

Tue, 26 Nov 2019 19:12:18 +0000

Native American Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: Ojibwe Women Transform Working Life in Minneapolis

Emily Peake
Hennepin County Library

History has long been portrayed as a series of "great men" taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we will take a look at a group of Ojibwe women who helped transform the world of work in Minneapolis-St. Paul throughout much of the 20th century.

In the early 1960s, activism among Native American populations was on the rise. The goal of federal "termination" policy was to integrate Native American tribe members into mainstream American culture with a heavy emphasis on assimilation. With little to no help coming from Washington, the struggle for Native American rights shifted to state and local fights. Those smaller fights would culminate in a wave of activism that stopped bad legislation, won legal protections and ended the termination policy. One of the key battlegrounds was Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The Ojibwe people lived in various places throughout the upper Midwest, but the combination of the termination policy, economic troubles and job opportunities opened up by American foreign policy led them to move in large numbers to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The twin cities were established in the Dakota homeland and tribal people from the prairies and northern lake country began moving into Minneapolis-St. Paul in large numbers, leading to the region housing one of the largest Indigenous populations in the U.S.

Ojibwe women generally arrived in the twin cities with families and friends although some came to search for employment on their own. Life in the city was drastically different than life on the reservation and there were intense pressures to reject their cultural ideas about work to fit in with the white population. In order to survive and prosper, they had to develop new ideas about labor, but they wanted to maintain their link to the values of the traditional Ojibwe economy.

Prior to moving to the city, many of the Ojibwe women, such as Gertrude Howard Buckanaga, worked in agriculture, such as blueberry picking or wild rice harvesting. In the early days, Howard Buckanaga and others would work in the city and travel home for the wild rice harvest. Ojibwe women, for the most part, only had high school degrees or a boarding school education. Neither prepared them for working in the city, but they found ways to transition skills they had used in agriculture to work in the city.

The longer they lived in urban areas, Ojibwe women began to attend community meetings, participate in activism and attend college to obtain higher degrees. The earliest work they found were office jobs, in the Indian Service or as teachers at government boarding schools. Those schools began training Ojibwe girls to be nurses, which led to other job opportunities. Outside that, employers often viewed Ojibwe women as only suited for domestic or factory work and discrimination against them was widespread. De facto segregation was the norm in Minneapolis-St. Paul at the time.

Low-paying jobs, discrimination and segregation put up significant road blocks and the Ojibwe women came in at the lowest rung of the economic ladder in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Social services were few and far between and often didn't serve Native Americans. This isolation forced Ojibwe women (and men) to create new patterns of participation in the workforce and other organizations and agencies to fill in where U.S. government services didn't.

One of the most important leaders to emerge from the community was Emily Peake. Peake's family included French, English and Ojibwe ancestry, and she moved to Minneapolis from the White Earth reservation. Peake signed up for the Works Projects Administration, leading her to jobs in the Minneapolis Public Library and making parachutes for Honeywell. After serving in the Women's Coast Guard, she moved back to Minneapolis and began working as a community organizer during the years of the federal termination policy. 

As the Indian population in the Twin Cities grew, Peake worked together with a group of Ojibwe and Dakota sisters and brothers to create the Upper Midwest Indian Center, for which she would serve time as the executive director. The center provided social service programs for Indian workers and their families and would operate solely off of money Peake and her colleagues raised until War on Poverty grants were made available. The community center idea would soon spread to other cities and these centers not only provided social services, but they interwove Indian values and spiritual beliefs. Other community institutions would be created by Indian activists in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

These efforts would not only lead to increased community and more employment, it set the ground for larger activism as well. The Ojibwe and other Indian women active in the Twin Cities are credited as creating the opening for which the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act would be passed. Other legislation followed. Ojibwe women took leadership positions throughout Minneapolis' community life, and they pursued meaningful jobs, cared for family and children, mentored other women, and continued to grow the services that were offered. The Minneapolis American Indian Center, for example, has served more than 14,000 American Indians since it opened in 1975.

Women held the majority of the sustained leadership roles in in the Ojibwe community of Minneapolis and their visionary body of work can still be seen today in schools, Indian centers, academic curricula, social services and legislation. Their work not only increased well-being for the Ojibwe and other Indians in Minneapolis, it was instrumental in leading to greater sovereignty for Indian people across the country.

Women like Peake, Howard Buckanaga, Rose Robinson, Frances Fairbanks, Ona Kingbird, Norby Blake, Pat Bellanger, Vikki Howard and others laid a foundation for the institutions and laws that increased the quality of life for many Indians, not only in politics, but in the economy as well. As Bellanger said, "'Ojibwe women have been strong throughout everything' and 'we have kept our ways,' acknowledging the significance of the women’s work like harvesting wild rice, which 'has always gone through the women.'"

Source: Brenda J. Child, Politically Purposeful Work: Ojibwe Women’s Labor and Leadership in Postwar Minneapolis

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 11/26/2019 - 14:12

Red for Ed: In the States Roundup

Fri, 22 Nov 2019 14:56:32 +0000

Red for Ed: 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.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Idaho AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

Maine AFL-CIO:

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

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council:

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 11/22/2019 - 09:56

Colombian Workers Launch General Strike

Wed, 20 Nov 2019 16:23:44 +0000

Colombian Workers Launch General Strike

Colombia protest
AFL-CIO

Colombia's workers, students, and rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities will join together in a national general strike tomorrow, Nov. 21. Unlike the strikes many of America's workers have participated in increasingly in the past five years, Colombians are not striking against any single employer or industry.

Since the Colombian labor movement convened the strike some seven weeks ago, this broad alliance of social justice organizations have come together to express their belief that the government of President Iván Duque is taking the country in the wrong direction: suggesting reforms that would reduce even further workers' access to decent work, labor rights and social security, increasing repression and violence against the most vulnerable Colombians and refusing to move forward with the peace process negotiated three years ago. Along with other human rights and social justice organizations based in the United States, the AFL-CIO and some affiliates are sharing with Congress a joint letter of support for this strike and the right to strike and protest as fundamental to building and sustaining democracy. 

Unfortunately, some elected leaders, right-wing parties and Colombia's former president Álvaro Uribe and his supporters have described the strike as illegal and unpatriotic. Even worse, the government has conducted raids into the homes and offices of groups organizing the strike and militarized many likely sites of citizen mobilization. Given Colombia's history of violent repression of legal and peaceful protest, the international community has expressed deep concern about Colombia's capacity and will to protect and respect the rights of its citizens exercising those rights and commitment to the peace process.

We stand with Colombian workers, their unions and their communities in demanding respect for fundamental human rights before, during and after the national strike.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:23

   
  

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