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Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UAW Shares Stories of Members Facing Down COVID-19

Thu, 02 Jul 2020 16:39:03 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UAW Shares Stories of Members Facing Down COVID-19

UAW
UAW

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Whether they are an academic researcher looking for a drug to fight the deadly virus, an autoworker making a quick pivot to manufacture ventilators, masks or shields, a maintenance worker disinfecting the plant, or a health care worker making sure the sick can receive treatment, UAW members are courageously doing what they can to battle COVID-19. The union profiled some of its members on the front lines who are fighting every day to deal with the public health crisis.

David Gordon, an associate researcher at the University of California, San Francisco and member of UAW Local 5810, is racing to find a treatment for COVID-19. Robert Nadler is working 12-hour days to produce face shields as a die repairer and member of UAW Local 245 in Michigan. Sandy Welch, a member of UAW Local 95 and a medical transcriptionist in Wisconsin, continues to go to work at a medical clinic despite being at high risk for complications from the coronavirus because of preexisting conditions. These are just a few of the thousands of union members who are playing their part to keep our country safe and protect our communities. Read more of their inspiring stories here.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/02/2020 - 12:39

Economy Gains 4.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 11.1%

Wed, 01 Jul 2020 18:47:05 +0000

Economy Gains 4.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 11.1%

The U.S. economy gained 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1%, according to figures released Thursday 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 June job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said:

The growing number of workers who are facing more than five weeks looking for work signals a "typical" recession driven by weak demand. The spike in the short-time unemployed, those unemployed less than five weeks, was related to our health crisis. So, even after we get the health crisis in check, we face a recession the size of the Great Recession in terms of unemployed workers.

He also tweeted:

Last month's biggest job gains were in leisure and hospitality (+2.1 million), retail trade (740,000), education and health services (568,000), other services (357,000), manufacturing (356,000), professional and business services (306,000), construction (158,000), transportation and warehousing (99,000), wholesale trade (68,000), financial activities (32,000) and government employment (33,000). Mining lost 10,000 jobs in June.

In June, the unemployment rates declined for teenagers (23.2%), Blacks (15.4%), Hispanics (14.5%), Asians (13.8%), adult women (11.2%), adult men (10.2%) and Whites (10.1%).

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased in June.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/01/2020 - 14:47

Pass the HEROES Act: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Wed, 01 Jul 2020 18:40:15 +0000

Pass the HEROES Act: 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:

Air Line Pilots Association:

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Amalgamated Transit Union:

American Federation of Musicians:

American Federation of Teachers:

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:

Fire Fighters:

Heat and Frost Insulators:

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

Ironworkers:

Jobs With Justice:

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Laborers:

Longshoremen:

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:

NFL Players Association:

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Office and Professional Employees:

Painters and Allied Trades:

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Pride At Work:

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

SAG-AFTRA:

Seafarers:

Solidarity Center:

TCU/IAM:

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Transport Workers:

Transportation Trades Department:

UAW:

Union Label and Service Trades Department:

Union Veterans Council:

UNITE HERE:

United Food and Commercial Workers:

United Steelworkers:

United Union of Roofers and Waterproofers:

Utility Workers:

Working America:

Writers Guild of America, East:

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/01/2020 - 14:40

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Milwaukee Area Labor Council Hosts Rallies to Thank Front-Line Workers

Wed, 01 Jul 2020 12:52:33 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Milwaukee Area Labor Council Hosts Rallies to Thank Front-Line Workers

Milwaukee Area Labor Council
Milwaukee Area Labor Council

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

The Milwaukee Area Labor Council, under the leadership of President Pam Fendt (LIUNA), has been hosting weekly events on Wednesdays for union members to thank front-line workers. The labor council's “We Thank You Wednesday” event last week recognized city of Milwaukee workers. Members of the labor council gathered to show support for AFSCME Council 32 members who are city sanitation workers and to call for increased funding for state and local governments. Union members and allies met outside the city’s sanitation garage with signs and banners to thank the sanitation workers as they returned from their shifts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/01/2020 - 08:52

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Fights to Save Members' Lives, Help Those on the Front Lines

Tue, 30 Jun 2020 19:52:11 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Fights to Save Members' Lives, Help Those on the Front Lines

Marc Perrone
UFCW

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

In a press conference on Thursday, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced that 238 UFCW members have died from COVID-19 and nearly 29,000 workers have been infected or exposed to the coronavirus over the past 100 days. 

The union announced it would take action on three key priorities to protect and help workers during the pandemic:

  1. Reinstating hazard pay and establishing a $15-per-hour minimum wage for all front-line workers.
  2. Establishing a public mask mandate in all 50 states.
  3. Creating a new national public registry to track COVID-19 infections in front-line workers and require companies with more than 1,000 employees to submit monthly reports on their worker deaths, infections and exposures.

International President Marc Perrone said, “With our country now 100 days into the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s front-line workers still face many of the same dangers they faced on day one. In grocery stores, meatpacking plants and health care facilities, our country’s front-line workers are still getting sick and dying. It’s high time for America’s CEOs and elected leaders to pull their heads out of the sand and take the strong action needed to protect these brave workers and the communities they serve.”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 06/30/2020 - 15:52

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Paramedic Says, ‘The Anger Is Blinding’

Mon, 29 Jun 2020 15:19:57 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Paramedic Says, ‘The Anger Is Blinding’

Anthony Almojera
Anthony Almojera

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

The Washington Post interviewed Anthony Almojera, a paramedic for the New York City Fire Department and vice president of AFSCME Local 3621, DC 37. He illustrated how the words of gratitude for workers like him are not matched by their meager paychecks:

“Do you know how much EMTs make in New York City? We start at $35,000. We top out at $48,000 after five years. That’s nothing. That’s a middle finger. It’s about 40% less than fire, police and corrections—and those guys deserve what they get. But we have three times the call volume of fire. There are EMTs on my team who’ve been pulling double shifts in a pandemic and performing life support for 16 hours, and then they go home and they have to drive Uber to pay their rent. I’m more than 15 years on the job, and I still work two side gigs. One of my guys does part time at a grocery store.

“Heroes, right? The anger is blinding.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 06/29/2020 - 11:19

Respect at Work: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 26 Jun 2020 13:40:29 +0000

Respect at Work: 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.

The President Must Stop Scapegoating Immigrants: "This week, under the guise of protecting workers, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending immigration and a number of work visa programs through the end of the year.  We know what this is really about. We’ve seen it many times before. The president is trying to distract from his failure to lead us through this pandemic by returning to one of his favorite themes⁠—scapegoating immigrants."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Needing Journalists Now More Than Ever: "Michael Hutton is a sports reporter for the Post-Tribune in Gary, Indiana, and a member of The NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA) Local 34071. For Hutton and his co-workers, everything is now a COVID-19 story."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: During COVID-19 Pandemic, Oregon Workers Are Helping Workers: "Working people in Portland, Oregon, have stepped up to fill community needs by hosting the Workers Helping Workers food drive and distribution program."

Respect at Work Has to Become the New Normal: ILO Convention 190 and Rebuilding for a Fairer Economy: "The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into stark relief the direct correlation between the exploitative labor model that fuels our global economy and the systemic racism and discrimination that leads to attacks on Black people’s bodies and lives. It is a system rooted in discrimination and oppression, one that strategically devalues and dehumanizes Black and Brown workers, particularly women."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Working People Across the Nation Join Workers First Caravan for Racial + Economic Justice: "Thousands of workers across the country joined together on June 17 in a national day of action. We called for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and for Congress to take actions to address structural racism."

Has the Supreme Court Shielded Us from Trump Administration Health Care Rules?: "The Supreme Court last week handed down a landmark decision barring employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity⁠—a significant step forward in the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the workplace and in broader society. While this case is an important advance in civil rights, it may also undermine the Trump administration’s new health regulations designed to eliminate existing civil rights protections."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Member Uses Seat on City Council to Lead Fight to Ban Tear Gas: "Braxton Winston knows what it’s like to be tear-gassed by the police while exercising his First Amendment rights to nonviolently protest police brutality. A member of the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and a City Council member in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 2017, he has led the fight to ban the use of tear gas in his city."

Working People Join Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice: "On Wednesday, working people across the United States joined the Workers First Caravan for Racial + Economic Justice. In observation of social distancing guidelines for public safety, working people took to their cars and joined caravans across the country. America faces crises on three critical fronts: a public health pandemic, an economic free fall and long-standing structural racism. To address these crises, we must focus on America’s Five Economic Essentials, which cannot be addressed without also taking on racial injustice directly."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New York State's Labor Movement Stands United for Racial Justice: "The horrific and senseless death of George Floyd has left Americans reeling during an already uncertain time. Leaders of the labor movement are speaking out and fighting for equality, justice and civil rights."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Members of UNITE HERE Local 17 Say ‘No’ to Facism, White Supremacy in Their Union: "Members of UNITE HERE Local 17 in Minnesota adopted a resolution last week that excludes members of facist or white supremacist organizations from their union."

Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Fighting for Equality and Justice: "The latest episode of the 'Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly' features the fight for equality and justice, a new version of 'Solidarity Forever' and more."

Pride Month Profiles: Aimee Stephens, Gerald Lynn Bostock and Donald Zarda: "For Pride Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various LGBTQ Americans who have worked and continue to work at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Our first profile this year is the three plaintiffs in the 2020 Supreme Court cases that led to the landmark decision protecting the workplace rights of LGBTQ Americans: Aimee Stephens, Gerald Lynn Bostock and Donald Zarda."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ohio University Workers Rally to Save Jobs: "In Athens, Ohio, Southeast Ohio Area Labor Federation President John Johnson (AFSCME) coordinated a protest last week with dozens of members of AFSCME Local 1699 at Ohio University, demanding that pending layoffs of 140 workers be stopped and that all furloughed workers be brought back."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 06/26/2020 - 09:40

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Flight Attendants Are Essential Workers

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 20:07:00 +0000

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Flight Attendants Are Essential Workers

During the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd, working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities. In our new Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Not only are flight attendants first responders in the air, they also face the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. These women and men provide an essential service. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) is raising awareness through the collecting and sharing of "mask selfies." If you are a flight attendant, send your mask selfie to crewlife@afacwa.org and check out this slideshow highlighting the importance of these front-line workers.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 06/25/2020 - 16:07

Workers First: In the States Roundup

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 19:03:24 +0000

Workers First: 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:

California Labor Federation:

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Florida AFL-CIO:

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

Idaho State AFL-CIO:

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Kansas AFL-CIO:

Maine AFL-CIO:

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Montana State AFL-CIO:

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

New York State AFL-CIO:

North Carolina State 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:

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 06/25/2020 - 15:03

The President Must Stop Scapegoating Immigrants

Thu, 25 Jun 2020 13:32:29 +0000

The President Must Stop Scapegoating Immigrants

This week, under the guise of protecting workers, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending immigration and a number of work visa programs through the end of the year.  We know what this is really about. We’ve seen it many times before. The president is trying to distract from his failure to lead us through this pandemic by returning to one of his favorite themes⁠—scapegoating immigrants.

America’s unions have a clear list of steps the administration could take if it really wants to protect workers amidst this crisis and promote a just recovery. Suspending immigration isn’t one of them.  

Working people have had enough of the divide and distract tactics⁠—we are rising up to demand real measures to enact our Five Economic Essentials and promote an inclusive pro-worker agenda for our country.  

Unions have long called for reforms to our work visa programs to protect workers’ rights and prevent employers from pitting workers against each other to drive down standards. Those changes are needed now more than ever, but they require a thoughtful approach, not a blunt instrument like a ban.  

The proclamation does little more than pause visa programs that harm America's workers and migrant workers alike. That is no substitute for real reform. These programs were broken before the onset of the pandemic and, absent congressional action, will remain broken when the economy fully reopens.

As we have for more than a decade, the labor movement will continue our push to restructure work visa programs so they can only ever be used in cases of real need and so that all workers in affected industries are assured full rights, fair pay and equal treatment.  

Working people know the difference between callous campaign stunts and real solutions. We will not be misled by proclamations that only serve to rob America of what truly makes us great: our diversity.

Union members and our families come from every country in the world, and our labor movement has trade union partners around the globe. These connections are a source of strength and vitality for our country, our workforce and our movement. Each new travel and asylum ban imposed by this administration undermines our values, our competitiveness and our standing in the world—but it will never undermine our solidarity.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 06/25/2020 - 09:32

   
  

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