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Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ironworker Blazes a Trail for Women of Color

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 16:12:21 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ironworker Blazes a Trail for Women of Color

Latinas Welding Guild

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.

Consuela Poland is a member of Ironworkers Local 22 in Indianapolis. Having been the only woman of color in her welding class seven years ago, she is now trying to encourage workers like her to join the trade. “Being new to the industry you don’t know what questions to ask, you don’t know who to talk to, no one teaches you that stuff,” she told The Indianapolis Star. “If they don’t feel confident enough to go buy their own supplies, then there’s a chance they won’t keep welding. There’s a chance they give up.” Poland founded the Latinas Welding Guild in 2017 to mentor and empower the Latina community and women in central Indiana through welding. Local 22 in Indiana represents more than 1,000 members in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Lafayette, and only 11 of those members are women.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/07/2020 - 12:12

Economy Gains 1.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 10.2%

Fri, 07 Aug 2020 15:30:12 +0000

Economy Gains 1.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 10.2%

The U.S. economy gained 1.8 million jobs in July, and the unemployment rate declined to 10.2%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Last month's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+592,000), government (301,000), retail trade (258,000), professional and business services (170,000), other services (149,000), health care (126,000), social assistance (66,000), transportation and warehousing (38,000), manufacturing (26,000), financial activities (21,000) and construction (20,000). Mining lost 7,000 jobs in July.

In July, the unemployment rates declined for teenagers (19.3%), Black Americans (14.6%), Hispanics (12.9%), Asians (12.0%), adult women (10.5%), adult men (9.4%) and White Americans (9.2%).

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in July.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:30

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: WSLC’s Foundation for Working Families Donates to Those in Need

Thu, 06 Aug 2020 20:33:28 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: WSLC’s Foundation for Working Families Donates to Those in Need

FFWF
FFWF

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 those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Foundation for Working Families (FFWF) is the charitable nonprofit formed by the affiliated unions of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) to assist working families in times of hardship or disaster. Since the pandemic started in March, the FFWF has been giving $300 grocery store gift cards to families suffering extraordinary economic difficulties. “The Foundation for Working Families is an important part of the WSLC and its affiliated unions’ work,” said WSLC President Larry Brown (IAM). “Helping families get through difficult times, like many are experiencing amid this pandemic, is what unions have always done. We lift each other up, particularly when some of us are struggling, so we can get through those hard times and ultimately share in the prosperity we have created together.” The foundation will soon deliver its one-thousandth gift card since the outbreak started, having given nearly $300,000 in donations to help families get through these difficult times. Click here to donate to FFWF.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 08/06/2020 - 16:33

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Teachers, School and Your Children

Wed, 05 Aug 2020 18:50:36 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Teachers, School and Your Children

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 those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Candace Pinn is a kindergarten teacher in New Rochelle, New York, and a member of the New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees-AFT. Whether schools open or not is one of the biggest questions right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about what might happen and how teachers are feeling during these dangerous times.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/05/2020 - 14:50

Activision Blizzard Game Workers Take Collective Action to Reduce Pay Inequities

Wed, 05 Aug 2020 13:50:45 +0000

Activision Blizzard Game Workers Take Collective Action to Reduce Pay Inequities

Employees of video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. are comparing their salaries after an internal company survey revealed that more than half of the company’s workers were unhappy with their pay. Activision Blizzard had promised pay increases after conducting a pay equity study, but many game workers have expressed frustration about the raises provided.

The high ratio of CEO-to-worker pay continues to be an issue of concern at Activision Blizzard. Last year, Activision Blizzard’s CEO Robert Kotick made more than $30 million in total compensation, or 319 times the company’s median employee pay. The company's disclosed CEO-to-worker pay ratio did not budge at all between 2018 and 2019.

Even Activision Blizzard’s shareholders are upset. Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services noted that “the CEO’s legacy employment agreement provides numerous overlapping pay opportunities, which raise concerns over potential excessive payouts in the future.” At this year’s shareholder meeting, 43% of votes were cast against the company’s executive pay.

Working people are better able to negotiate a fair return on our work when we have information on rates of play in our workplace. Comparing salaries also can help prevent unlawful pay discrimination based on race or gender. Although 60% of surveyed tech workers reported pressure from their employer to keep salary information secret, sharing pay data is a legally protected right under U.S. labor law.

Game workers create the content that makes video game companies like Activision Blizzard so profitable. The action by game workers at Activision Blizzard is a powerful reminder that working people can reduce pay inequities by coming together collectively. That’s why last year I wrote an open letter pledging our solidarity as a labor movement with game worker organizing efforts.

As Activision Blizzard’s game workers have shown, pay transparency can be the first step to negotiating pay fairness in the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are a computer programmer or a factory worker; all working people deserve fair pay and a voice at work.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/05/2020 - 09:50

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: South Florida AFL-CIO Rallies for Unemployment Insurance

Tue, 04 Aug 2020 14:42:17 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: South Florida AFL-CIO Rallies for Unemployment Insurance

South Florida AFL-CIO
South Florida AFL-CIO

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 those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The South Florida AFL-CIO, led by President Jeffrey Mitchell (TWU), partnered with Rise Up Florida! to protest and rally on Friday at Trump National Doral Miami golf resort. Union members and our allies called on President Trump and U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to pass the HEROES Act and extend enhanced unemployment insurance. The central labor council purchased two giant rats, one for Rubio and one for Scott, and a Trump inflatable to be part of the event. “Without that money, we cannot continue with our life,” Roy James, a member of UNITE HERE who lost his job at the Miami International Airport in March, told NBC 6 South Florida. “Even with $1,000, I cannot pay my bills because even my rent is $1,500.” After the rally at Trump’s resort, a caravan of union members traveled to the senators’ Miami offices.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/04/2020 - 10:42

Protect Employees and Customers: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:57:52 +0000

Protect Employees and Customers: 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.

 

Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU: “In a union election victory 17 years in the making, child care providers across California voted overwhelmingly to be represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU). The organizing campaign was a joint effort of United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 and SEIU locals 99 and 521, with 97% of represented workers who voted choosing to join CCPU."

#HeroesActNow: 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.”

Union Members Work on Missouri Power Plant: “Members of United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 562 continue to deliver quality work, despite the challenges of working during the pandemic.”

Report: Retail Banks Must Take Urgent Steps to Protect Employees and Customers: “A new report released by the Committee for Better Banks (CBB) shows the urgent need for major financial institutions to protect the physical health of employees and customers and to protect customers’ economic assets. CBB analyzed 12 of the nation’s top banks, with combined total assets of $8.5 trillion and $155 billion in profits last year. The report ranked banks according to worker protections, lending policies, consumer protections and charitable contributions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Executive Paywatch: 1,000-to-1 Pay Ratio CEOs Furlough Workers: “AFL-CIO’s Executive Paywatch report, released today, shows that the imbalance between the pay of corporate CEOs and working people persists as a problem. In particular, the report shines light on the 20 companies with pay ratio disparities higher than 1,000-to-1 that furloughed workers in 2020.”

Machinists Rally for BIW Strikers in Maine: “Members of Machinists (IAM) Local S6 in Maine are entering their sixth week on strike against shipbuilder Bath Iron Works (BIW), but they are staying strong.”

Members of Rockford United Labor Help Build a ‘Strong Neighborhood House’: “Members of Rockford United Labor, led by President Bill Corey (UBC), are working with contractors to build a new United Way ‘Strong Neighborhood House’ in Rockford, Illinois.”

Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Manufacturing, Union Dues and More: “The latest episode of the ‘Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly’ features manufacturing, union dues and more.”

Apprentices Help Conserve Marine Life in the Chesapeake Bay: “Earlier this month, apprentices at the Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA) Local 592 training center in New Jersey finished constructing 60 reef balls that were loaded up and sent off to their new home in the Chesapeake Bay.”

Fire Fighters Rack Up Organizing Wins Across the South: “The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union has organized four new bargaining units in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia over the past few weeks. These are significant organizing wins for the union and part of its strategy to increase membership within the IAFF across the South.”

On the Passing of the Rev. C.T. Vivian and the Hon. John Lewis: “Over the weekend, the civil rights community suffered the loss of two giants in the movement—the Rev. C.T. Vivian (95) and Rep. John Lewis (80). As the nation grapples with protests and demands for racial equality, we remember their unwavering commitment to social, racial and economic justice. Both friends to labor and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., their lives were the embodiment of ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.’”

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council Fights for Workplace Safety Enforcement: “Too many front-line workers across the country are working in fear for their health and safety. As the federal government fails to intervene by mandating safety and health guidelines, many states are not acting, either.”

San Diego’s Labor Movement Holds Food Distribution Event: “On Saturday, members of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, led by Executive Secretary-Treasurer Keith Maddox (IAM), held a food relief drive-through at Palomar College.”

IBEW Women’s Committee Raises Money for Dubuque Area Labor Harvest: “The Women’s Committee of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) 11th District, made up of IBEW women from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, has been raising money to help support workers in need during this time of crises by collecting bottles and cans and through private donations from its members.”

An Unstoppable Force for Change: 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.”

Keeping Kids Safe Never Stops: “Colorado AFL-CIO President Josette Jaramillo (AFSCME) is a lead caseworker for the Department of Social Services in Pueblo County, Colorado. For Jaramillo, work never stopped when COVID-19 hit.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/03/2020 - 11:57

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Members in Arizona Donate Supplies, Masks to Navajo and Hopi Nations

Mon, 03 Aug 2020 14:50:08 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Members in Arizona Donate Supplies, Masks to Navajo and Hopi Nations

Arizona food delivery
Arizona AFL-CIO

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 those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Arizona AFL-CIO, under the leadership of Executive Director Fred Yamashita (UFCW), took part in a donation delivery of nonperishable food, supplies and “Union Yes” face masks to the Navajo and Hopi nations. 

Along with the AFL-CIO, Electrical Workers (IBEW) locals, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 99 and Teamsters Local 104, the state federation dropped off more than $10,000 worth of donations and over 2,000 masks. Safeway also donated several thousand bottles of drinking water. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez thanked all those in attendance, calling them “friends of the Navajo Nation.” 

The state federation is facilitating another drop-off of supplies and donations in the coming weeks, including a $15,000 donation from the AFL-CIO and a $10,000 donation from Local 99. 

Native American tribes have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in Arizona and many other parts of the United States.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/03/2020 - 10:50

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU

Fri, 31 Jul 2020 16:33:36 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Historic Child Care Organizing Victory in California a Win for AFSCME, SEIU

CCPU
CCPU

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 those stories every day. Here's today's story.

In a union election victory 17 years in the making, child care providers across California voted overwhelmingly to be represented by Child Care Providers United (CCPU). The organizing campaign was a joint effort of United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 and SEIU locals 99 and 521, with 97% of represented workers who voted choosing to join CCPU. “This has been a long time coming,” UDW Assistant Executive Director and AFSCME Vice President Johanna Hester said Monday. “This win gives 40,000 family child care providers in California the opportunity to bargain for higher pay, better training and increased access to care for every child who needs it.” With AFSCME’s and SEIU’s strong support, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the Building a Better Early Care and Education System Act (A.B. 378) in September, paving the way for this historic victory, one of the largest union organizing wins in America so far this century.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/31/2020 - 12:33

#HeroesActNow: In the States Roundup

Fri, 31 Jul 2020 13:29:17 +0000

#HeroesActNow: 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 State AFL-CIO:

Arizona AFL-CIO:

California Labor Federation:

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana State AFL-CIO:

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Texas AFL-CIO:

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Washington State Labor Council:

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/31/2020 - 09:29

   
  

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