Labor News

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Poor People’s Campaign Marches on the Supreme Court

5 hours 49 minutes ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Poor People’s Campaign Marches on the Supreme Court

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.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, led 100 leaders of different faiths in a silent march from Capitol Hill to the Supreme Court to honor the lives of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Breonna Taylor, and to remind us all of the importance and urgency of voting. “My brothers and sisters, I would rather not be here to render judgment on what’s going on. But I do know there comes a time when the men and women of God have to call it,” Barber explained. “This isn’t about left or right, this is about sin and unrighteousness. It’s about time we use that word in Washington, D.C. It’s about time we call it what it is.” Faith leaders spoke on the steps of the Supreme Court about the injustice America is experiencing. Watch the full event here.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 10/01/2020 - 09:28

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Vote for Worker-Friendly Candidates: In the States Roundup

1 day 2 hours ago
Vote for Worker-Friendly Candidates: 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.

Alaska State AFL-CIO:

On Day 26 of Labor Month, we thank our nurses like Kimberly Kluckman, member of @AlaskaNurses and nurse at Providence, who are on the frontlines of #COVIDー19. Again, for their sake, let’s remember to mask up, wash our hands, and socially distance.#alaskaunionstrong #nursesrock pic.twitter.com/wtnu66oBYK

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) September 26, 2020

California Labor Federation:

We can smell the desperation through the app. Shameful. #NoOnProp22 https://t.co/PY2S3q1wY6

— California Labor Federation #NoOnProp22 (@CaliforniaLabor) September 28, 2020

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

.@AFSCMECT4 Exec. Dir. Jody Barr: "Once again, the state ends up hiring outside consultants rather than partnering with workers to find savings and plan for the future." https://t.co/D0RZlPcirI

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) September 28, 2020

Florida AFL-CIO:

Happening Now: The Florida AFL-CIO joins State Senator @JoseJavierJJR and Labor and community leaders to discuss Florida’s minimum wage, Amendment 2, and protecting the Citizens’ Initiative process.https://t.co/Inr9XfzJE1

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) September 29, 2020

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

Final Round: @KimforGeorgia @MatielynJones @AuforGA @SenGloriaButler and @SarahZBeeson! 🗳 #Labor2020 pic.twitter.com/L82zaUq3po

— Georgia AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOGeorgia) September 28, 2020

Illinois AFL-CIO:

Union workers now have a voice as Illinois looks to build more clean energy projects. Thanks for your work, @climatejobsil. #twill

— Illinois AFL-CIO (@ILAFLCIO) September 14, 2020

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

From silencing their voices to depressing their incomes to endangering their lives, the president has consistently abused working Americans.

https://t.co/SbBg6xiUWl

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) September 28, 2020

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Postal workers say they are ready for the mail-in voting surge https://t.co/MBkCQhdAeW

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) September 27, 2020

Maine AFL-CIO:

SOLIDARITY! #UnionStrong https://t.co/Y5K4TUjSGj

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) September 23, 2020

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO:

Take the pledge to commit to social, racial, and economic justice. #PoorPeoplesCampaign https://t.co/FVLjimLOtg

— Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO (@MDDCStateFed) September 15, 2020

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of the greatest Supreme Court Justices in our nation’s history. Justice Ginsburg spent her career fighting for working families. We all owe her a debt of gratitude. #ThankYouRBG #solidarity #1u pic.twitter.com/ORxrhtP6El

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO (@massaflcio) September 19, 2020

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Today's the day that Michiganders can officially vote! Get your ballot and everything you need to know at https://t.co/FCFnPA6zHA pic.twitter.com/0riLxiPoZb

— Michigan AFL-CIO 😷 (@MIAFLCIO) September 24, 2020

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

35 days remaining to cast your vote. Have you voted? Have you made a plan to vote? Visit https://t.co/zUaVrYcD3o to get started. #1u #Labor2020 #mnvotes pic.twitter.com/cl1lXVxSTk

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) September 29, 2020

Missouri AFL-CIO:

There is no doubt that @nicolergalloway will fight for us as Governor. We must elect her as our next Governor. She is from a union family and will fight for all workers. pic.twitter.com/ALjCPmdh9H

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) September 24, 2020

Montana State AFL-CIO:

About $800,000 are now missing from public schools. Elsie Arntzen says she doesn't "have a good answer for you when it comes to how to make the funds whole as a result of this." This is why we endorsed Melissa Romano. #mtpol https://t.co/9VBfnE8AcD

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) September 23, 2020

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

Vote-by-mail requested ballots begin arriving this week. Sign the envelope, put a stamp on it and mail ASAP. #1u pic.twitter.com/xl3mASobjG

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) September 28, 2020

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

Today and throughout the week, we're rolling out endorsement highlights for candidates that will need your vote this year! To see our full list of endorsements, visit the link below! Ballots will be mailed out Oct. 2nd or 3rd in Washoe, Oct. 7th in Clark.https://t.co/FWXPKUA4Dd pic.twitter.com/OYo0bRKSAr

— Nevada State AFL-CIO (@NVAFLCIO) September 27, 2020

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

Congratulations to Sen. Melanie Levesque on her endorsement from the New Hampshire AFL-CIO! We need her fighting for NH's working families and the residents of NH's 12th District. #nhpolitics pic.twitter.com/BkFjM1up5s

— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) September 28, 2020

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

https://t.co/gEri7j1Lwg

— New Jersey AFL-CIO (@NJAFLCIO) September 17, 2020

New York State AFL-CIO:

Want to help Get Out the Vote for Labor! Sign up for a phone bank to re-elect @MaxRose4NY and the rest of labor's endorsed slate. Email Lucia Gomez from the @CentralLaborNYC at lgomez@nycclc.org pic.twitter.com/6LKqn5JL4I

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) September 18, 2020

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

We are SO PROUD to endorse @ElectAlHeggins for NC House District 76! Learn more about her campaign at https://t.co/2Iq9x9rugH. #ncpol #ncga #1u pic.twitter.com/YA1b4XNU7L

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) September 17, 2020

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

https://t.co/s8ya1ss5w2 #ndpol #1u #labor2020 pic.twitter.com/ef1jthF6cT

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) September 17, 2020

Ohio AFL-CIO:

And some wonder why we endorse more @OHDems then @Ohiogop? One party is focused on all working families, the other on conspiracy theories. https://t.co/lop66m3sZW

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) September 29, 2020

Oregon AFL-CIO:

“This call by a top federal civil rights watchdog is a major milestone in the difficult history of so-called sheltered workshops and other 'subminimum-wage' employers. They pay tens of thousands of people with disabilities an average wage of $3.34 a hour.” https://t.co/lIYR5HOv8n

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) September 24, 2020

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

“We’re not here for a fight, but we’re not afraid of one either.” - @Darrinkellypgh @AlleghenyLabor @PGHGuild https://t.co/evG1ESBBvM

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) September 25, 2020

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Rhode Island minimum wage to rise $1 this weekhttps://t.co/yHCmuCa3d5 #1u #FightFor15

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) September 29, 2020

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Another day, another chance for the Senate to do what's right and provide working families real relief from COVID-19 by passing the HEROES Act. pic.twitter.com/qSPwkcBZmk

— Tennessee AFL-CIO (@tnaflcio) September 29, 2020

Texas AFL-CIO:

Banding Together! | Presented by The Texas AFL-CIO and Sponsors https://t.co/enTlgahjMM

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) September 23, 2020

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Today is #NationalVoterRegistrationDay Virginians joining in the fight must register by Oct 13th! 🗓 Head over to 🔗https://t.co/6HcnxZS4rR to register to vote or head into your local registrar’s office to fill out an application. Don’t delay, get registered TODAY! ✅ #vote pic.twitter.com/IwMtvsGBNl

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) September 22, 2020

Washington State Labor Council:

April Sims and Joe Mizrahi: "Workers need an advocate in Congress to advance our interests, not one who tries to stall, slow or weaken progress that would make lives better." #1u #Labor2020 #waelex https://t.co/I8OccMbFcs

— Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) September 15, 2020

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix https://t.co/hbYiwqVca2

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) September 26, 2020 Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/30/2020 - 12:47
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UWUA Helps America’s Veterans Transition to Good Jobs

1 day 5 hours ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UWUA Helps America’s Veterans Transition to Good Jobs

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.

The Utility Workers’ (UWUA’s) Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) announced last week it is the recipient of a $200,000 Lumina Foundation grant to help service members successfully transition into post-military careers. The union said this grant will help P4A replicate the success of its gas sector training-to-placement program that’s benefited more than 700 veterans since 2012. “The utility sector has a lot to offer veterans and service members, including a supportive team environment and a mission-driven ethos to serve communities,” said UWUA President James Slevin. “This important grant funding will help more individuals take full advantage of the skills they learned in the military and smoothly launch them into high-wage, family-supporting careers.” The funding will help some 100 service members and veterans—particularly men and women of color—to apply the skills and credentials they gained in the military toward continued education and employment as civilians.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/30/2020 - 09:53

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

A Model for the Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

2 days 2 hours ago
A Model for the Labor Movement: The Working People Weekly List

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.

Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement: "More than six months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and more workers across America are joining together in solidarity to create changes in our workplaces. Minneapolis is one city that has seen a wave of worker actions and organizing wins in the hospitality sector, and the labor movement’s successes there will undoubtedly inspire workers in other parts of the country who are looking to form a union."

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes: "Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile covers Dora Cervantes."

50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers: "As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to protect workers and fight for us. President Trump hasn't lived up to that noble rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute reports on 50 ways that the Trump administration has been bad for workers." 

SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE: "On a Thursday in March, when much of the country was being told to shelter in place due to the effects of COVID-19, members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 24 in Ohio were beginning to modify and transform Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) units to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks for health care workers. By Monday, SMART members at Wolf Metals had created four units, with more created since then, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among front-line health care workers."

Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections: "In a partisan 3-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes that will make it harder for investors to hold corporate CEOs accountable by filing shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. The AFL-CIO strongly opposed these rule changes as a threat to shareholder democracy."

California Labor Federation Wins New Protections for Workers: "Last Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a package of bills to expand worker protections. The new state laws will provide a workers’ compensation presumption for front-line workers who are afflicted with infectious diseases on the job and a requirement for employers to give timely notification of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. The California Labor Federation, under the leadership of Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski (IAM), took charge of the fight for these new policies."

CDC Continues to Choose Politics Over Science: "On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally acknowledged airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. But this long awaited recognition was promptly retracted from its website Monday morning with the message, 'Posted in error.'”

Solidarity and Cookies Lift Spirits at Operation Feed Atlantic City: "Nurses bring their healing touch with them wherever they go, and on Thursday members of Shore Nurses Union/NYSNA in New Jersey added a touch of sweetness to the Operation Feed Atlantic City food-distribution program with a donation of 500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that will help lift the spirits of laid-off union members and the Atlantic City community."

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Ernesto Galarza: "Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile features Ernesto Galarza."

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

IFPTE Backs Corporate Bankruptcy Reform: "Members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) are putting their weight behind the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020 (H.R. 7370), a bill to rebalance America’s corporate bankruptcy laws to protect workers."

UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California: "Following a comprehensive complaint filed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued its largest coronavirus-related citation in the state, fining food processing company Overhill Farms and its staffing agency more than $200,000 for serious health and safety violations."

New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with an important victory in the fight against COVID-19 for Las Vegas' workers and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/29/2020 - 12:22
Kenneth Quinnell

#ExtendPSP: What Working People Are Doing This Week

3 days ago
#ExtendPSP: 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.

Actors' Equity:

Justice has not been served - Not for Breonna Taylor, not for her family or for the community of Louisville. Her death was a tragedy and Wednesday’s decision acts as a reminder of the systemic racism that still plagues our country.

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) September 25, 2020

AFGE:

“We feel like our Com­man­der in Chief has waged war on his troops. The staff is burned out and liv­ing in fear.” https://t.co/3ty6yPqjPr

— AFGE (@AFGENational) September 25, 2020

AFSCME:

To ensure Election Day runs smoothly, AFSCME launched a new poll worker program during a tele-town hall last night. https://t.co/NGqzqBFRr0

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) September 25, 2020

Air Line Pilots Association:

Time is running out to save pilots’ jobs and livelihoods. Have you called your Members of Congress? Go to https://t.co/0OeHLQWLud to take action now! #ExtendPSP pic.twitter.com/9HoVXwXpOs

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) September 24, 2020

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Postmaster General DeJoy has one mission: destroy the Post Office. We need to remove him before he causes more damage. Sign our petition to #FireDeJoy NOW: https://t.co/S1SjIwQXcP pic.twitter.com/68pO2t1ix9

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) September 25, 2020

Amalgamated Transit Union:

This morning and tonight IP John Costa joined Local 1462-St. John’s, NL, President Paul Churchill & IVP Manny Sforza via zoom for two meetings to discuss a possible strike as management continues to offer zeroes to ATU heroes on the COVID frontlines. #TogetherWeFightTogetherWeWin pic.twitter.com/zwvBxYS9ph

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) September 25, 2020

American Federation of Musicians:

Thank you @Cher! Join with our brother and sister TV Musicians — tell the Networks (@ABC, @CBS, @NBC) it's time for a fair deal on streaming, healthcare, and wages. #RespectUs #FairDeal #TVmusicians https://t.co/A21HRdvP9f

— AFM (@The_AFM) September 25, 2020

American Federation of Teachers:

The $1.6 trillion student debt crisis is hitting Millennials & Gen Zers more than any other generation. It’s preventing young folks from:
🏠buying homes,
👪starting families,
💸growing the economy. https://t.co/mFwo6HxbhP #CancelStudentDebt

— AFT (@AFTunion) September 25, 2020

American Postal Workers Union:

Workers always knew, the policies that seriously delayed the mail were from the top of USPS -we sounded the alarm & hit the streets to halt them. Continue to stand for the People's Post Office now & after the election. #SaveUSPS #SaveThePostOffice https://t.co/uiVczQNddz

— APWU National (@APWUnational) September 25, 2020

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

📢🗞️APALA NEWS🗞️📢

The National Executive Board of APALA voted to adopt a resolution to stand in solidarity with the @Mvmnt4BlkLives and their demands for defunding the police and investing in Black communities #BLM pic.twitter.com/jgPG2khHab

— Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (@APALAnational) August 6, 2020

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

We have just 5 days left until the Payroll Support Program (PSP) expires. Make three calls every day. One to your Representative and two to your Senators.

SENATE: 888-848-4824
HOUSE: 888-907-9365#ExtendPSP #ReliefNow pic.twitter.com/0xZnuAeYZ0

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) September 25, 2020

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Check out what Intl. Dir. of Organization John Price & organizers are doing to keep themselves and workers safe during organizing efforts @Danone and four other non-union locations.👉 https://t.co/2B1DJLhXxH pic.twitter.com/sIigKJcpls

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) September 17, 2020

Boilermakers:

ATTN #Boilermakers: Our union partner @TSSAunion is hosting a global conversation on the importance of mental wellness in the trades, Thursday, Oct. 8. More details and event registration: https://t.co/dfiNy4lxRy pic.twitter.com/9iLdsulegU

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) September 25, 2020

Bricklayers:

BAC members: Together we can demand the politicians protect our jobs, our retirement, and our union. Register and Vote to make your voice heard: https://t.co/g4xJXuBqVx

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) September 25, 2020

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

This is not justice. To see #BreonnaTaylor's murderers walk free is not a surprise. But it does confirm — again — a racist system of policing and court rulings in favor of white violence against Black people. Breonna’s life will never be valued in this system. Vote, vote, vote. pic.twitter.com/evOLnyahEw

— CBTU (@CBTU72) September 23, 2020

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

In 3 minutes, watch the @UniteThePoor and @AFLCIO : A National Call for Moral Revival for massive and unique training of tens of thousands of poor and low-income people and their allies in voter participation and protection. https://t.co/iqz5fbMpuA

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) September 15, 2020

Communications Workers of America:

CWA Local 1171 passenger service agents took a bus from NY to DC yesterday to tell Congress to do their job! We must protect airline workers' jobs, public health & critical public services NOW!

Thank you to @RepChrisPappas & @RepMalinowski for standing with us! pic.twitter.com/n3YRRjagPP

— CWA (@CWAUnion) September 25, 2020

Department for Professional Employees:

Nonprofit professionals are joining unions to have a say in their workplaces, live their values, advance economic and racial justice, create sustainable careers, and to develop a more just and equitable economy for everyone. #1u https://t.co/LsXF53Csr1

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) September 25, 2020

Electrical Workers:

BREAKING: Most Americans support unions. https://t.co/uQi8AbSYQe

— IBEW (@IBEW) September 25, 2020

Fire Fighters:

The #IAFF Foundation Disaster Relief Fund provides immediate financial assistance to help displaced #firefighters and their families while they continue to serve their communities. Please consider giving a donation today.https://t.co/h48TCtl9tn

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) September 25, 2020

Heat and Frost Insulators:

Kevin couldn't believe how much his first paycheck was when we started working for the Insulators Union. He was able to use the skillset he learned from the Marines and apply that to his work and so can you! Learn more: https://t.co/wQ3owc5ZpW

— Insulators Union 🦎 (@InsulatorsUnion) September 23, 2020

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

Disgusting and a vivid example of the fact that these tech companies are terrified of their workers and society in general because of their destructive behavior over the years https://t.co/G15ySFbhrQ

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) September 25, 2020

Ironworkers:

Iron Workers Local 7 topped off the MassMutual office in Boston Seaport. https://t.co/vUKL3KdLDL

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) September 25, 2020

Jobs With Justice:

It's been half a YEAR since the last stimulus was passed

Does Congress know that millions have lost their jobs since then? Do you they know that thousands have lost their employer health coverage and have since gotten sick?

Or do they just not care?https://t.co/1nmo3Gwjtz

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) September 25, 2020

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Juan is an essential worker, a father, a union member, and a TPS holder who has been working through the pandemic despite the risks in order to take care of his family. Juan is among the hundreds of thousands of workers whose TPS protections will be stripped away. #TPSJusticepic.twitter.com/2jyf77uj8d

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) September 24, 2020

Laborers:

Elections MATTER. Elect candidates that will fight for good jobs! #LIUNAForBiden #YourVoiceYourVote

Make sure you're registered to vote! #LIUNAVotes2020 #RegisterToVote

CHECK HERE: https://t.co/36hxkkUPD5 pic.twitter.com/yS9Qpl3U6b

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) September 25, 2020

Longshoremen:

ILA Mourns the Passing of Justice Ginsburg@ILAUnion @TheILAmobileApp The ILA mourns the passing of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for Civil Rights; Women’s Rights &for all working Americans and their families. pic.twitter.com/21hDIguE2v

— Int'l LongshoreAssoc (@ILAUnion) September 19, 2020

Machinists:

The IAM engages in politics because we care about working family issues—job security, workplace safety, healthcare, retirement, and the right to join a union—just to name a few. https://t.co/FigFcQ0Tzz

— Machinists Union ✈️🚊🚀 (@MachinistsUnion) September 25, 2020

Metal Trades Department:

Hart Praised for Participation in Discussion on Union Perspective of the Defense Industrial Base | Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO https://t.co/DPXeweCZFB pic.twitter.com/TG1WIBqjYC

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) September 21, 2020

Mine Workers:

Congress has just one week, SEVEN days to act. Without an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP), tens of thousands of aviation workers will lose their jobs on October 1, and even more will be without a paycheck.

Call your Representative today! https://t.co/DFhJnSGI20

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) September 24, 2020

Musical Artists:

Rest in Peace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The world lost a wonderful human and the ultimate champion of justice and equality yesterday. May her memory be a blessing. #RBG (“The Daughter of the Regiment” photo taken by Scott Suchman/WNO) pic.twitter.com/i3PQwpGaDF

— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) September 19, 2020

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

.@NATCACharitable's 25 for 25 Pushup Challenge is active now to support @afspnational and NCF! Between now and Oct. 1, sign up for the challenge to do 25 pushups a day for 25 days in October, and raise money by getting sponsors to donate. https://t.co/4rO06BjR00 pic.twitter.com/93ztsrvoSP

— NATCA (@NATCA) September 25, 2020

National Association of Letter Carriers:

When he saw smoke coming from a multi-apartment house on his route, carrier David Schickler banged on the doors to alert residents. After all of the building's residents had been evacuated, firefighters arrived. It was later determined that the fire was due to an electrical short pic.twitter.com/PObDfDT7ME

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) September 25, 2020

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

OVER 100 PUBLIC HEALTH & WORKER SAFETY VOICES CALL ON GOVERNORS TO STOP DENYING PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE TO IMMIGRANTS

w/ @NationalCOSH @NYCOSH + #NDLON's Committee of #HealthAndSafety Trainers

MORE INFO: https://t.co/WhErjqSbc3#YNosotrosQue #OSHA #EssentialAndExcluded

— NDLON (@NDLON) September 17, 2020

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

This Nanny Appreciation Week, we’re grateful for Ingrid — a house cleaner and nanny who deserves protection, respect, and dignity for the essential work she provides. Ingrid needs a DC #DomesticWorkersBillofRights now. pic.twitter.com/1DKUlC9B2u

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) September 25, 2020

National Federation of Federal Employees-IAM:

Working with NFFE-IAM and a small group of federal unions, the proposed language corrects what could be interpreted as waiving the overall Maximum #TeleWork mandate. https://t.co/0v8ljURV7n

— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) September 22, 2020

National Nurses United:

🚨Happening this weekend! 🚨 Building left power after Corbyn and #Bernie

Join activists from across the UK and US for an exciting exchange on what can be learned and how we can maintain the energy and infrastructure built during these campaigns. #1uhttps://t.co/WN8bIx5ScN

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) September 25, 2020

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

Taxi medallion owners are still drowning under bad loans https://t.co/cCcIB1gm3r

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) September 22, 2020

NFL Players Association:

Over the next few weeks, we'll be introducing you to our newly elected Player Representatives. 𝘚𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘱 𝘥𝘰?
◽️ Provides a voice for their locker room
◾️ Educates teammates on NFLPA policies
◽️ Alerts NFLPA of any player needs pic.twitter.com/PAgJdfbIe4

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 25, 2020

North America's Building Trades Unions:

NEW: @ASCETweets released its “Failure to Act” report on infrastructure.

"The report notes: if investment in highways, bridges & transit continue at current levels, businesses & households will incur about $2 TRILLION in extra costs over 20 years.”https://t.co/DuKXhTfpyX

— The Building Trades (@NABTU) September 24, 2020

Office and Professional Employees:

If unionizing doesn’t do anything for employees, why is @Amazon so intent on preventing its employees from exercising their right to do it? #UnionBustingIsDisgusting #ShameOnAmazon https://t.co/57DbVXn5Dn

— OPEIU (@OPEIU) September 25, 2020

Painters and Allied Trades:

It’s been so long since the federal minimum wage was increased that the last time it was, Twitter was just being born and Instagram didn’t exist for another 3 years afterward.

— IUPAT (@GoIUPAT) September 24, 2020

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

Every single #OPCMIA member needs to make his or her voice heard in this election, the most important of our lifetimes. Make a plan to vote. And vote early if you can. Click here to learn all your options and decide when and how you will vote: https://t.co/EHQOp8Rbjs

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) September 24, 2020

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

PASS mourns passing of dedicated public servant @scotusrginsburg. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an advocate supporter of workers rights as well as federal workforce, of which she was a dedicated member. Our condolences to her family & the many Americans whose voice she uplifted

— PASS (@PASSNational) September 19, 2020

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW:

When managers promote you in name only, and start calling you a teammate, associate, or supervisor, that only means one thing...job misclassification. #1U pic.twitter.com/p9HBdRQmuL

— RWDSU (@RWDSU) September 25, 2020

Roofers and Waterproofers:

The Union Sportsmen's Journal has gone digital!
Get some great hunting, fishing, and shooting techniques. Plus, catch up on Union Sportsmen’s Alliance news, projects, events, current giveaways, and more by clicking this link…https://t.co/SwJA1B5h9x

— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) September 25, 2020

SAG-AFTRA:

In this conversation we’ll explore issues such as visibility vs. erasure & three-dimensional portrayals of Latino characters, and we’ll focus on practical solutions to counter the systemic biases that exist today in the industry. https://t.co/4AHYXVze2W #HispanicHeritageMonth pic.twitter.com/xg8vHw7TGN

— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) September 24, 2020

Solidarity Center:

#COVID19 shows the failure of global institutions & ntl legal systs to provide basic worker protection for Asia’s 56 million #migrantworkers who play a key role in the region’s economic development—& it also provides an opportunity to fix a broken system.https://t.co/iZOoWuDV59

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) September 25, 2020

The NewsGuild-CWA:

“The L.A. County Sheriff clearly violated the First Amendment by arresting Josie Huang,” said NewsGuild-CWA President Jon Schleuss. “Law enforcement in every corner of America must face consequences for violating our press freedoms.” https://t.co/ZnKPHSsr3G https://t.co/welwR31Bld

— NewsGuild-CWA (@newsguild) September 25, 2020

Theatrical Stage Employees:

They're not giving away stickers this election but don't let that stop you from showing you made your voice heard. Order your IATSE Votes! pin today. Shop here: https://t.co/p2SAXP1xss pic.twitter.com/sgw1d9tIEW

— IATSE (@IATSE) September 25, 2020

Transport Workers Union:

If Congress doesn't come through with funding, in less than one week, @Amtrak plans to cut 2,000 careers & slash service. Tell Congress to fund our national rail network and save essential workers' jobs! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 NOW!

— TWU (@transportworker) September 25, 2020

Transportation Trades Department:

It would be unacceptable, and a slap in the face to the people who are bearing the brunt of this crisis, if Congress fails to pass legislation that addresses the dire needs of our transportation systems and the workers who keep America moving. #1u https://t.co/IPm6JT1SNn

— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) September 25, 2020

UAW:

🇺🇸 🗳️ 💪 https://t.co/aEgaXBSGd7 https://t.co/auPvI41Xcu

— UAW (@UAW) September 25, 2020

Union Label and Service Trades Department:

WATCH: When our leaders played politics in a crisis and left our communities out to dry—America’s workers led. Keeping America running, taking care of... https://t.co/pGPhfGg108

— Union Label Dept. (@ULSTD_AFLCIO) September 22, 2020

Union Veterans Council:

Congress needs to put politics aside and get a deal done now to save the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of airline workers including tens of thousands of veterans . Pass a clean extension of the airline #PayrollSupportProgram today.

— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) September 25, 2020

UNITE HERE:

It’s taken decades of organizing, marching, and striking to win the good pay, benefits, and dignity on the job we’ve earned for ourselves and our families.

We’re ready to take back what’s ours. #TakeBack2020 pic.twitter.com/U8umoFIDA2

— UNITE HERE #TakeBack2020 (@unitehere) September 14, 2020

United Food and Commercial Workers:

BREAKING: 56,000 @StopandShop grocery workers just secured #HazardPay for bravely stepping up this past summer to keep families fed as #COVID19 continues.@UFCW will keep fighting until all America's brave frontline workers get #HazardPay they deserve. https://t.co/K7BlxHdY8B pic.twitter.com/fbl0L46whq

— UFCW (@UFCW) September 25, 2020

United Steelworkers:

Walmart cuts workers' hours but increases workload as sales rise amid pandemic https://t.co/vReNn4Lcwv #1u

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) September 25, 2020

United Students Against Sweatshops:

The labor movement is fighting back! From our campuses to the streets, workers are making demands and we’re winning! #WhenWeFightWeWin #1u #WorkerSafetyOverProfit #StudentSafetyOverProfit https://t.co/PssBhk6FB2

— USAS (@USAS) September 25, 2020

Utility Workers:

Election day is 48 days away - Check on your voter registration status and get info on how to vote safely, securely, and on time.https://t.co/NBziEijcBB pic.twitter.com/mVzWaSHfE7

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) September 25, 2020

Working America:

In the primaries last spring, Milwaukee officials reduced the number of polling places from 180 to five, citing a shortage of poll workers.

Voting should be easy and accessible. Here is just one way you can help: https://t.co/uL37tdUpZG

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) September 25, 2020

Writers Guild of America, East:

There are 40 day until Election Day!

In New York:

- You have 15 days left to register to vote. Register here: https://t.co/r1qiILth4Z

- EARLY VOTING begins Saturday, Oct 24.

- Get an absentee ballot to vote-by-mail here: https://t.co/yVvTCHEnhd#SpreadtheWord #Vote

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 24, 2020 Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/28/2020 - 14:22
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Western Kentucky Labor Movement and Faith Community Demand McConnell Support Workers and Racial Justice

3 days 3 hours ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Western Kentucky Labor Movement and Faith Community Demand McConnell Support Workers and Racial Justice

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.

J.W. Cleary remembered his friend and union brother, the late W.C. Young, a national labor and civil rights leader from Paducah, Kentucky. “W.C. always said, ‘I’ve got my union card in one hand and my NAACP card in my other hand,’” said Cleary, the Paducah-McCracken County NAACP branch president and a retired member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 550. “The unions and the NAACP have always walked hand in hand.” Cleary was one of several dozen union members who joined a 30-vehicle caravan sponsored by the Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival that converged on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in Paducah on Sept. 21 to protest his “meanness, mayhem and misery.” Benny Heady (UA) said, “McConnell is not for the working people. I came out today because we need a change. We need somebody in there who will do things to help the people as a whole.” Read the full story of how union members, civil rights activists and faith leaders are coming together in Kentucky to fight for workers and racial justice.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/28/2020 - 11:37

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes

6 days 1 hour ago
National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Dora Cervantes IAM

Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile covers Dora Cervantes.

In nearly 30 years in the labor movement, Cervantes has participated in nearly every aspect of the fight for the rights of working people, and she has a distinguished career that is still going stronger than ever. Cervantes joined the labor movement in 1989, when she became a reservations agent for Southwest Airlines in Houston. Before long, she was an active member of Machinists (IAM) Local 2198, serving as an organizer, shop steward, recording secretary and then vice president.

After a decade of dedicated service, she was chosen to serve as an apprentice organizer for Air Transport District 142 and then became a general chairperson for the district the following year. Tom Buffenbarger, then-IAM international president, later appointed her to serve on IAM's 2002 Blue Ribbon Commission. In the following years, she served as a special representative in the Transportation Department of the IAM Grand Lodge and then Grand Lodge representative.

In 2012, Cervantes was chosen to serve as assistant secretary to then-IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach Jr. The next year, she became the first Hispanic woman to serve as a general vice president for IAM. In 2015, she became IAM's 12th general secretary-treasurer, the first woman to direct the union's finances. She continues in this capacity today.

She also serves as a national board member for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, is an active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, is a member of United Against Human Trafficking and is a trustee for the National IAM Benefit Trust Fund and the IAM National 401(k) Plan.

Cervantes holds a bachelor of arts degree in labor studies from the National Labor College and helps teach the Spanish leadership series for the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center and the IAM-Aviation High School Partnership Program.

Cervantes spoke to IAM's ViewPoints program in 2015:

This post originally appeared on the AFL-CIO blog in 2018.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/25/2020 - 13:38
Kenneth Quinnell

Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement

1 week ago
Organizing Wins in Minneapolis Serve as a Model for the Labor Movement

More than six months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., and more workers across America are joining together in solidarity to create changes in our workplaces. Minneapolis is one city that has seen a wave of worker actions and organizing wins in the hospitality sector, and the labor movement’s successes there will undoubtedly inspire workers in other parts of the country who are looking to form a union

As the Minneapolis hospitality sector moved to reopen this past spring, many service workers began to harness their collective voice to protect their health and safety on the job. Workers at Tattersall Distilling (pictured above) were the first to announce their intention to unionize in June, citing concerns over coronavirus protections as well as pay and benefits. After a series of well-attended community rallies in support of their organizing attempt, Tattersall’s front-end and bottling workers voted to form a union with UNITE HERE Local 17. Employees at Stilheart Distillery, Lawless Distilling and Fair State Brewing followed shortly after, announcing earlier this month that they too had voted to form unions at their respective workplaces.

Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou (UFCW), president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (MRLF), pointed out that the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide grief over his death prompted many of these workers to fight against disparities in their workplaces. Despite words of condemnation about Floyd’s death from local restaurant and bar owners, workers in many establishments believed that not enough action was being taken to foster equality at work. “What I’m hearing from workers, it’s not just about health and safety. It’s about disparities in our workplaces as well,” Glaubitz Gabiou explained. “These bosses would pay lip service, but their words weren’t living up to their actions.”

The renewed effort to organize workers in the Minneapolis hospitality and entertainment sectors was started in part by a unique program to support laid-off workers. The MRLF-led community services program uses organizers to help workers in need access unemployment benefits and health insurance, while also engaging them in organizing conversations and developing potential organizing leads. The relief effort for laid-off workers in the hospitality and entertainment sectors is a partnership between the labor council and its affiliates, including Local 17.

The Minnesota AFL-CIO has also been involved in these campaigns, sharing its expertise and working behind the scenes to help drive turnout in support of workers’ actions. “Worker safety is community safety,” said state federation Organizing Director Todd Dahlstrom (SEIU).

UNITE HERE Local 17 has taken the lead on these organizing wins, and the local and state labor bodies have been working closely with the union’s officers and members. Local 17’s secretary-treasurer, Sheigh Freeberg, said that working in partnership with the MRLF and the Minnesota AFL-CIO has allowed his union to extend its resources. “It’s been really helpful to brainstorm with them on safety provisions and keep each other updated,” Freeberg said. “What we’ve been able to accomplish can be attributed to them, too.”

Last weekend, workers at Spyhouse Coffee went on a one-day unfair labor practice strike over their safety concerns. Organizers on the ground report that progress is already underway at their cafes across the city. Further organizing leads are being pursued, and with such outstanding progress across Minneapolis, there are likely to be more victories for workers in the days and weeks ahead.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 14:29
Kenneth Quinnell

50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers

1 week ago
50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to protect workers and fight for us. President trump hasn't lived up to that noble rhetoric. The Economic Policy Institute reports on 50 ways that the Trump administration has been bad for workers. 

The authors of the study said:

The Trump administration’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic marks the administration’s most glaring failure of leadership. However, the administration’s response to the pandemic is in no way distinct from its approach to governing since President Trump’s first day on the job. The administration has systematically promoted the interests of corporate executives and shareholders over those of working people and failed to protect workers’ safety, wages and rights.

Read the full report to find out all 50 of the ways Trump has been bad for working people.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 13:23

Tags: President Donald Trump

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE

1 week ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SMART Members at Wolf Metals Integral to Creating Units That Sanitize PPE

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.

On a Thursday in March, when much of the country was being told to shelter in place due to the effects of COVID-19, members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 24 in Ohio were beginning to modify and transform Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS) units to disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks for health care workers. By Monday, SMART members at Wolf Metals had created four units, with more created since then, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 among front-line health care workers. Local 24 Business Manager Rodney French credited the local union’s partnership with Wolf Metals and noted, “This is the kind of work sheet metal workers were built to do as we stand on the leading edge of the response to this deadly pandemic.” He added, “No matter what the consequences, the men and women of this organization will stand ready to serve our local communities through thick and thin.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 09:05

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections

1 week ago
Trump Administration Moves to Suppress the Proxy Voting Rights of Working People’s Retirement Plans in Corporate Elections

In a partisan 3-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes that will make it harder for investors to hold corporate CEOs accountable by filing shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. The AFL-CIO strongly opposed these rule changes as a threat to shareholder democracy.

"Corporate CEOs are rejoicing in reaction to Trump’s SEC vote to restrict the ability of investors to file shareholder proposals,” explained AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). “As a result, working people’s retirement plans will be disenfranchised from having a voice for corporate accountability. This will not stand!”

Today’s SEC vote is not the only effort by the Trump administration to undermine the voting rights of working people’s retirement plans. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration proposed new regulations to suppress proxy voting by retirement plans in corporate elections.

Proxy voting is the right to vote at shareholder meetings. It includes voting on important issues such as the election of directors, executive compensation and shareholder proposals on environmental, social and governance issues. For more than three decades, the Labor Department has recognized that the right to vote is a valuable asset.

If adopted, the Labor Department’s new proposed rule making will require that retirement plans first conduct an expensive economic analysis before casting any proxy vote. In effect, the proposed rule’s cost-benefit analysis requirement will act as a deterrent to proxy voting by retirement plans—a form of voter suppression.

Even more radically, the proposed rule encourages retirement plans to always vote with corporate management or to refrain from voting altogether. Such a rule will effectively urge retirement plans to violate their fiduciary duty to cast votes in the best interests of retirement plan participants and beneficiaries.

The AFL-CIO strongly believes the retirement savings of working people are our deferred wages and should be voted in our long-term interests. As the corporate scandals of the Enron and WorldCom era showed, the corporate governance of a company is arguably just as important as a company’s financial performance.

Comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule on Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights are due on Oct. 5.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/24/2020 - 08:42
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: California Labor Federation Wins New Protections for Workers

1 week 1 day ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: California Labor Federation Wins New Protections for Workers

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.

Last Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a package of bills to expand worker protections. The new state laws will provide a workers’ compensation presumption for front-line workers who are afflicted with infectious diseases on the job and a requirement for employers to give timely notification of COVID-19 cases in the workplace. The California Labor Federation, under the leadership of Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski (IAM), took charge of the fight for these new policies. “Since the pandemic began, the California labor movement has strongly advocated for the most robust worker protection policies in the country. Today’s signing of a package of bills to bolster worker protections as the COVID-19 crisis continues shows our commitment as a state to policies that put the health and safety of workers first,” Pulaski said. “While more work must be done in 2021 to strengthen protections to ensure essential workers putting their lives at risk return home safely to their families after each shift, today the governor gave a much-needed boost to all workers across the state.”

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/23/2020 - 09:50

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

CDC Continues to Choose Politics Over Science

1 week 2 days ago
CDC Continues to Choose Politics Over Science

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finally acknowledged airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. But this long awaited recognition was promptly retracted from its website Monday morning with the message, “Posted in error.”

The initial, quiet posting on Friday was not an error; they were facts, based on evidence that reflects our current state of knowledge and supported by scientists and occupational safety and health professionals throughout the world. Early in the pandemic, evidence suggested SARS-CoV-2 spread distances through the air, and the current science is now overwhelming. 

In basic terms, “airborne” transmission means that small virus particles we emit when we cough, speak or breathe can travel distances through the air, linger in the air and make others sick, compared to person-to-person contact and “droplet” transmission, which refers to the large, heavy particles that fall down after they are exhaled. Airborne viruses can spread rapidly throughout groups and are much more contagious than those limited to droplet transmission. Environments that put workers at greater risk of airborne viruses include: 

  • Indoor environments.
  • Poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Crowded conditions.
  • Settings with individuals known to be infected (e.g., health care).

Viruses like the one causing COVID-19 can be transmitted through contact, droplet and airborne routes, which have very important implications for protecting workers on the job. Cleaning measures are useful to protect against “contact” and some simple personal protective equipment like face shields and gowns are useful to protect against “droplet” splashes, but the airborne aspect requires stronger workplace protections, including: 

  • Reducing the number of people in a setting.
  • Spacing people far apart.
  • Reducing the time that people spend in the same spaces.
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation.
  • Reorganizing the workplace, break times and schedules.
  • Using certified respirators that filter small aerosolized particles for workers in high-risk settings.

In addition to elements that are critical for workers no matter the transmission:

  • Early identification and reporting to local health authorities of COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
  • Notification of COVID-19 cases to employees and non-punitive leave protections.
  • Adequate training programs.

The CDC is ignoring airborne transmission because they don’t want to admit there is evidence that:

  1. Soundly supports strong, comprehensive and enforceable safety protections that go beyond sanitation recommendations, generic masks and the “six-foot rule.”
  2. Soundly supports the critical need for certified respiratory protection that filters out small, aerosolized particles for many high-risk workers.

The labor movement has been advocating for these strong workplace safety protections throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue calling on the Donald Trump administration to issue a strong, comprehensive OSHA emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 to require and enforce those safety protections, and to use the Defense Production Act to produce more certified respirators needed to protect workers in high-risk settings since there is a continuing shortage. The Trump administration's CDC has once again let working people down, caving to Big Business pressure instead of issuing clear information on transmission that would save lives and improve livelihoods. More than six months into the pandemic, workers still do not have the protections we need and the Trump administration is still playing political games with workers’ lives.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/22/2020 - 11:39

Tags: COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Solidarity and Cookies Lift Spirits at Operation Feed Atlantic City

1 week 2 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Solidarity and Cookies Lift Spirits at Operation Feed Atlantic City

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.

Nurses bring their healing touch with them wherever they go, and on Thursday members of Shore Nurses Union/NYSNA in New Jersey added a touch of sweetness to the Operation Feed Atlantic City food-distribution program with a donation of 500 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that will help lift the spirits of laid-off union members and the Atlantic City community. Operation Atlantic City, hosted by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and now in its eighteenth week, is one of the largest labor-sponsored food relief efforts in the United States. “We’re proud that our unions are part of the largest continuous food-distribution program in the state since the pandemic started,” said state federation President Charles Wowkanech (IUOE). “We're here because the need is still great. We still have thousands of people out of work, struggling to keep the roof over their heads and food on the table.”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/22/2020 - 09:41

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Ernesto Galarza

1 week 3 days ago
National Hispanic Heritage Month Profiles: Ernesto Galarza

Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to our movement. Today's profile features Ernesto Galarza.

Ernesto Galarza was born in Jalcocotán, Nayarit, Mexico, in 1905 and immigrated to California with his family after the Mexican Revolution began. As a youth, he assisted his family during harvest season, gathering his first experience as a farmworker. Because he had learned English in school, other Mexican migrant workers asked him to speak to management about polluted drinking water, providing him with his first experience in organizing and activism.

Galarza attended Occidental College on a scholarship and worked summers as a farm laborer and cannery worker. After graduation, he attended Stanford University and earned a master's degree in history and political science. He continued his graduate studies while on a fellowship at Columbia University, where several of his research reports were published. 

Because of his experiences and education, he began to focus his efforts on improving the living conditions of working-class Latinos. This led to him being hired by the Pan American Union (later the Organization of American States) as a research associate. When the union created a Division of Labor and Social Information, Galarza was chosen to lead it. 

In the late 1940s, he was recruited by the National Farm Labor Union, which later became the United Farm Workers, to be director of research and education. Over the next several years, he helped direct numerous strikes and fought back against "right to work" laws. He became a leading figure in exposing abuse of Mexican American workers in government. 

In the ensuing years, Galarza became a leading writer on the plight of Mexican and Mexican American workers and the abuse of farmworkers. During his career, he wrote more than 100 publications and was a professor at the University of Notre Dame, San Jose State University, University of California, San Diego, and University of California, Santa Cruz. 

As an activist, scholar and organizer, it is hard to overstate the impact Galarza had on working-class Mexican American families and our broader culture.

This post originally appeared on the AFL-CIO blog in 2018.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/21/2020 - 13:41
Kenneth Quinnell

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: United Steelworkers

1 week 3 days ago
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: United Steelworkers

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the United Steelworkers.

Name of Union: The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW)

Mission: The values upon which the USW was founded in 1942 still guide the organization today. These include: 

  • Uniting in one organization, regardless of creed, color or nationality, all workmen and working women eligible for membership.
  • Increasing the wages and improving the conditions of employment of members by legislation, joint agreements or other legitimate means.
  • Securing equitable statutory old-age pension, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance laws.
  • Enforcing existing just laws and to secure the repeal of those which are unjust.
  • Securing, by legislative enactment, laws protecting the limbs, lives and health of members, protecting their right to organize and other legislation as will be beneficial.

Current Leadership of Union: Thomas M. Conway has served as the international president of the USW since July 15, 2019. Prior to that, he served as the international vice president (administration) since 2005. Born to a New Jersey union household, Conway began his union career in 1978 after serving in the U.S. Air Force.

John E. Shinn serves as international secretary-treasurer, David McCall as international vice president (administration), Fred Redmond as international vice president (human affairs), and Ken Neumann as national director for Canada. Roxanne Brown and Leeann Foster also serve as USW international vice presidents.

Number of Members: 850,000.

Members Work As: USW members work in the steel, aluminum, iron ore, cement, glass, rubber, paper and paper products, oil, chemical and manufacturing industries, as well as in mining and other metals. They work as health care workers, professors, bank workers,  grocery workers, security guards, electricians, pharmaceutical workers, public servants and much more.

Industries Represented: Atomic, chemical, education, energy and utilities, glass, molders, pottery, plastics, health care, pharmacies and pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, metals, mining, oil and petroleum, paper and forestry, public employees, rubber and tires, transportation and more.

HistoryWatch this video or read more at the USW website.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: Solidarity Works PodcastUSW @ Work and Other PublicationsFair Trade and various ways to engage in activism with USW.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/21/2020 - 12:54
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IFPTE Backs Corporate Bankruptcy Reform

1 week 3 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IFPTE Backs Corporate Bankruptcy Reform

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.

Members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) are putting their weight behind the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020 (H.R. 7370), a bill to rebalance America’s corporate bankruptcy laws to protect workers. In a letter to representatives, IFPTE International President Paul Shearon (pictured above) and IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Biggs wrote: “The bill aims to reduce worker and retiree losses by making it more difficult to reject collective bargaining obligations during a bankruptcy; providing better protections against reducing or eliminating retiree benefits; mandating that court approval of bankruptcy sales is contingent on maintaining existing jobs and retiree pension and health benefits; and, further [defining] that the priority of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process is to maintain as many jobs as possible….For too long employers have utilized the bankruptcy courts as a means of abrogating their pension, retiree health benefits and earned wages of their employees. This must come to an end.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/21/2020 - 10:41

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California

1 week 6 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Prompts Largest Citation Over Coronavirus-Related Health and Safety Violations in California

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.

Following a comprehensive complaint filed by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has issued its largest coronavirus-related citation in the state, fining food processing company Overhill Farms and its staffing agency more than $200,000 for serious health and safety violations. “It should not be so dangerous to go to work every day. I commend the leadership of the workers at Overhill for speaking up in the face of atrocious safety violations at the plant and for creating an innovative safety committee at Overhill. Without their leadership, even more workers would be sick,” said John Grant, president of Local 770. “Now the state of California has weighed in with meaningful citations that show just how dangerous the working conditions were.” One worker at Overhill died from COVID-19 in April, and more than 1,100 members of Local 770 have tested positive for the virus. Cal/OSHA specifically cited Overhill because its employees have been unable to maintain physical distance at several points at the jobsite.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/18/2020 - 09:36

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins

1 week 6 days ago
New COVID-19 Protections In Las Vegas: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with an important victory in the fight against COVID-19 for Las Vegas' workers and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life. 

Las Vegas Unions Negotiate New COVID-19 Protections: Workers at MGM Resorts and Caesars hotels and casinos in Las Vegas represented by Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 successfully negotiated new protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new agreement will provide more than 36,000 workers with extended health benefits, paid time off for quarantines and other protections. “Behind every worker is a family, and we are proud to have partnered with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment during this difficult time to ensure workers are protected during this pandemic and are not left behind when the economy recovers. These new historic agreements mean workers will have their family health benefits in place until next year, even if they are currently laid off, and that workers will be able to return to their jobs as business recovers with full seniority rights,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union.

Feminist Majority Foundation Staff Join NPEU: Staff at Feminist Majority Foundation voted to join Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU) and have asked management for voluntary recognition. Said NPEU President Kayla Blado: “We are excited to welcome Feminist Majority Union to NPEU and the labor movement. Women’s rights are union rights, and with their union, FMF staff will be able to more effectively advocate for feminism and the rights of women. We look forward to FMF management promptly recognizing its staff union.”

New American Leaders Staff Join NPEU: Staff at New American Leaders (NAL) voted to be represented by NPEU and have made a formal request to management for voluntary recognition. NAL Workers United and NPEU said in a statement: "We believe that unionizing is integral in the fight to eradicate the oppressive structures of white supremacy, systemic racism, and capitalism. We see unionizing as a way to live our progressive values internally; a union will help us use democratic principles to root out white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism and classism within the workplace, which will only strengthen our ability to serve our communities better and with more authenticity."

Meow Wolf Staff Ask Management to Recognize Union: Meow Wolf employees have asked management to voluntarily recognize their unionization and intent to be represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Meow Wolf Writer Bill Rogers said: "Once we're recognized, we will work with the company to negotiate a contract that represents the well-being of all workers in Meow Wolf. We believe this will set Meow Wolf apart from its peers in the immersive entertainment industry. Meow Wolf has been a beacon for working artists all around the world. That ideal drew many of us to Santa Fe [New Mexico] in the first place. We want to help the company achieve that yet again."

SAG-AFTRA Members Ratify Television Animation Contract Overwhelmingly: More than 87% of members voted to approve the 2020 SAG-AFTRA TV Animation Contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The new contract includes wage increases, improved residuals for streaming services and other gains. SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said: "This is a strong, future-focused agreement with significant gains for our members. It applies scale wages to more productions, lowers budget thresholds for half-hour HBSVOD programs and delivers additional money for the use of interstitial programs in new media.”

Philadelphia Museum of Art Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Join AFSCME: With 89% voting in favor of unionization, workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be represented by AFSCME District Council 47. The victory establishes the first wall-to-wall union at a major museum in the United States. The yearlong campaign was delayed by COVID-19 and management's "attempts to discourage unionization."

Largest Strike in U.S. Ends as IAM Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract: After nearly 10 weeks, the strike by Machinists (IAM) Local S6 members who work at Bath Iron Works is over, with 87% of the membership approving the new contract. The contract includes protections against expanded subcontracting and preserves seniority rights. IAM Local S6 President Chris Wiers said: “This strike was a testament to the culmination of Local S6 leadership, our negotiating committee and the incredible power of solidarity shown by our membership. Now that we successfully protected our contract language with respect to subcontracting and seniority, we need to get back to work and continue to prove to the U.S. Navy that ‘S6 built is best built.’”

Management Voluntarily Recognizes Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Staff Union: Staff at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law voted to join NPEU, and management voluntarily recognized the union after a majority was confirmed through card-check. The LC United organizing committee statement said: “Every day, the Lawyers’ Committee staff works hard to protect the civil rights of our country’s most vulnerable populations. We are excited to be recognized and work with management to ensure better workplace protections and conditions for our deserving and dedicated staff.”

Staff at Educational Site Chalkbeat Join WGAE: Reporters, story editors and other staff at educational website Chalkbeat voted to join the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Management voluntarily recognized the union. In a statement, the staff said: "We are thrilled to take this step in concert with Chalkbeat management, which swiftly recognized our union. We believe that every child deserves an excellent education and that sustaining vital newsrooms is crucial to that mission. As Chalkbeat continues to grow, it is imperative that those closest to the journalism we produce have a greater role in the decisions that affect us. Our decision to unionize and negotiate a contract reflects our desire to help strengthen this news organization."

USW Members at Former Briggs & Stratton Ratify Contract: Members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 2-232 ratified a new contract with the successful bidder for the company Briggs & Stratton. The engine maker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and an affiliate of investment firm KPS Capital Partners submitted the successful bid to buy the company, subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. “The USW supports the KPS bid, and we look forward to a long and productive partnership with the company here. The company has a solid track record of success in running manufacturing facilities like this, and this contract will put the company and the workers on that same track,” said Michael Bolton, director of USW District 2.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/18/2020 - 08:40

Tags: Organizing

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Jersey State AFL-CIO Celebrates Legislative Victory on Workers’ Compensation

2 weeks ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Jersey State AFL-CIO Celebrates Legislative Victory on Workers’ Compensation 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 these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO, led by President Charles Wowkanech (IUOE), issued a statement Monday commending Gov. Phil Murphy for signing into law a bill that shifts the burden of proof from the employee to the employer in workers’ compensation claims for essential workers who interact with the general public and contract COVID-19 during the declared state of emergency. “Front-line essential workers who were required to come in and work during the stay-at-home order and continue to perform services that put themselves and their families at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 at their jobs deserve the benefits of workers’ compensation and peace of mind this law provides,” Wowkanech said. The presumption of infection at the workplace is rebuttable by the employer or the insurance company if evidence exists that the worker contracted the virus outside the course of their employment. The state federation said that essential employees’ claims of workers’ compensation are routinely rejected by employers because the employees can’t prove they contracted COVID-19 at their place of work.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/17/2020 - 11:36

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell
Checked
1 hour 26 minutes ago
AFL-CIO Now Blog
Subscribe to Labor News feed