Labor News

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ohio AFL-CIO Mobilizing in Support of Workers First Agenda

15 hours 29 minutes ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ohio AFL-CIO Mobilizing in Support of Workers First Agenda

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 Ohio AFL-CIO has begun immediately mobilizing to make sure the Workers First Agenda is at the forefront of the first 100 days of the Biden administration as the state federation rolls out its legislative platform for 2021. It has coordinated with Sen. Sherrod Brown to do a series of virtual town halls with his staff in the state. These town halls give front-line workers a chance to provide direct input to Brown about what Ohio's working people, their families and their communities need to be successful. Workers in these forums have demanded immediate additional COVID relief that supports workers, investment in our communities through massive investment in infrastructure, and the right to organize through the immediate passage of the PRO Act. By the time these forums are finished, Brown’s office will have direct input from workers in all of our major industries, and from Ohio communities large and small, rural and urban, and everywhere in between.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/21/2021 - 09:56

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Pathway to Progress: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Scripto Strike

2 days 15 hours ago
Pathway to Progress: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Scripto Strike Georgia State University

History has long been portrayed as a series of "great men" taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our new series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. Today's topic is the 1964-65 Scripto Strike in Atlanta and Martin Luther King Jr.

When talking about Martin Luther King Jr., it's important to note that he was an activist for economic and labor rights, not just civil rights. King's death came while he was in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting sanitation workers and AFSCME members. His support for unions and collective bargaining rights was a key part of his agenda and that support went public in Atlanta during the Scripto Strike that began in 1964.

In the 1960s, Scripto was a leading pen and pencil manufacturer. The company had a plant in Atlanta since 1931 and were not only one of the largest employers in the city, but the company took pride in being the preferred employer for Black women, particularly in the area of town closest to the plant. Scripto President James V. Carmichael was surprised in 1962, when the International Chemical Workers Union started organizing at the plant. Carmichael believed that he and Scripto should be exempt from race-based complaints, as he took pride as a progressive on the topic, providing better policies for Black workers than the rest of the White Atlanta business community. Carmichael was too far removed from Black workers, though, to understand their needs and hopes and he underestimated their desire for a voice and some power in their economic lives.

The Chemical Workers Union sent the Rev. James Hampton, a Black organizer who was also a Baptist minister, to work with the Scripto employees. He tied the union organizing he was doing to the work that Martin Luther King Jr. was doing with civil rights. Hampton reached out to Black Baptist ministers in the area, recognizing that many of the Scripto workers were parishioners at their churches. King and most of the other Black ministers supported the organizing drive, speaking on behalf of the workers from the pulpit.

Support from the churches significantly boosted the union drive such that by August 1963, the Chemical Workers had collected enough union cards to petition the National Labor Relations Board for a union election. Scripto was confident it would win the election, so it agreed to a quick turnaround and an election date was set for late September. Management quickly made some minor changes, such as organizing an employee committee and removing segregation signs from bathrooms and drinking fountains. Events that spring and summer across the country had the Scripto workers primed for action, however, as they saw civil rights demonstrations having an effect in the South and beyond. 

Nearly 95% of the 1,005 eligible voters participated in the election on Sept. 27, 1963. The union side won, 519-428. Within a week, Scripto began to stall. It filed objections with the NLRB that the appeals to civil rights and race by organizers tainted the election and it should be invalidated. The NLRB repeatedly rejected Scripto's objections until June 9, 1964, when the NLRB in Washington, D.C., certified the Chemical Workers as the union representative for the plant's workers. Scripto stalled on contract negotiations as long as it could and organizers realized that a contract wouldn't come without a strike.

The day before Thanksgiving 1964, a mass of workers walked into the union office and demanded a strike. They worked tirelessly over the holiday and the picket lines were in place when the plant opened the day after Thanksgiving. The workers were unified. Even those who voted against the union largely supported the strike. The "no" vote for many was out of fear of management retaliation more than opposition to union goals and they rejected initial offers from Scripto as discriminatory. Approximately 85% of the plant's workforce were Black and most were classified as "unskilled workers." They were offered half the pay raise that the "skilled workers," who were mostly White, were to be given. The Chemical Workers membership wouldn't accept that deal.

The ministers of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference became involved in the strike because so many of their parishioners were Scripto employees. Led by SCLC director of affiliates C.T. Vivian, they brought their members' concerns about wages and working conditions at Scripto to King's attention. King and the other SCLC ministers, while philosophically sympathetic to the labor movement, they were Southerners and thus unions were outside their life experience. Once the cause of the Scripto workers was put on their radar, though, the potential for alliance was obvious to most, including King.

Vivian, King and others launched a nationwide boycott of Scripto products in support of the strike. As the strike moved on, management refused further pay increases and refused to withhold union dues from employee paychecks, despite giving some on salary increases. By Christmas, the union's resources were virtually exhausted and the company's leadership began to worry about two federal contracts they had and whether the company would be in compliance with an executive order on equal opportunity issued by President John F. Kennedy.

By that point, Carmichael had been replaced by Carl Singer as president and CEO of Scripto. Singer had just come off of a successful tenure as president of the Sealy Mattress Company in Chicago. Singer and King began a series of secret meetings and they worked out a broad framework to end the strike. The company negotiated in good faith and the strike came to an end on January 9, 1965, after six weeks. They soon agreed to a new contract and the Chemical Workers won most of what they asked for. Over time, the company moved towards a more favorable bargaining atmosphere and began to work more directly with the union by the 1970s until the plant shut down in 1977.

The unity established between the labor movement and the civil rights movement during the Scripto strike endured. The SCLC was heavily involved in the labor movement from that point forward and when asked if the Scripto strike would be King's only involvement in labor conflicts, he simply said, "There will be many more to follow." The Scripto strike taught King and others that solidarity and unity are key on the pathway to progress.

Source: Atlanta History Center

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/19/2021 - 10:05

Tags: MLK conference, Pathway to Progress

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: ATU Local Leads Fight for Investment in Baltimore Transit System

2 days 15 hours ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: ATU Local Leads Fight for Investment in Baltimore Transit System

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.

A coalition consisting of labor, elected officials and Johns Hopkins University was formed in central Maryland to fight for increased funding for the Baltimore region’s transit system. The group is pushing for $750 million in additional funding for the transit system, which it says is underfunded. President Mike McMillan of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1300 spoke out in an interview with Maryland Matters. He said that his members who work on the front lines have to field customer complaints about the transit system, even though they do not control the budget. “Once they get the tools and the buses that are needed to help them perform their job successfully, they will ensure that the public will stay safe and get to where they need to be,” McMillan said of the members of Local 1300.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/19/2021 - 09:53

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Masters, Mates & Pilots

6 days 10 hours ago
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Masters, Mates & Pilots

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is our newest member union, Masters, Mates & Pilots.

Name of Union: International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P)

MissionTo protect the rights and working conditions of members of the seagoing maritime community.

Current Leadership of UnionDonald Marcus serves as international president of MM&P and Donald Josberger as international secretary-treasurer. MM&P also has eight vice presidents: Thomas Larkin (Offshore, Atlantic Ports), Jeremy Hope (Offshore, Gulf Ports and Government Affairs), J. Lars Turner (Offshore, Pacific Ports), Tim Saffle (United Inland Group–Pacific Maritime Region), Randall Rockwood (Federal Employees Membership Group), George Quick (Pilots Membership Group), Tom Bell (United Inland Group–Great Lakes & Gulf) and Michael Riordan (Atlantic Maritime Group).

Number of Members5,500.

Members Work AsLicensed deck officers on U.S.-flag commercial vessels sailing offshore, on the inland waterways, on civilian-crewed ships in the government fleet and for the state ferry systems in Alaska and Washington; mariners who work on tug, ferry and harbor tour vessels in New York Harbor, throughout the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast; licensed and unlicensed mariners who work on dredges; state pilots; marine engineers; unlicensed seafarers; and maritime industry shore-side clerical and service workers.

Industries RepresentedThe U.S. maritime industry.

HistoryOn June 28, 1880, a boiler exploded on the side paddle-wheeler Seawanhaka in New York Harbor. Captain Charles P. Smith maneuvered the ship to shallow waters so passengers could escape safely. While his heroism would later be recognized, local politicians initially sought to make him the scapegoat for the fire. Other pilots and captains were so outraged, they formed the committee that would become the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: MM&P Political Contribution FundMM&P Federal Credit UnionMaritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS), The Wheelhouse Weekly newsletter and The Master, Mate & Pilot magazine.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/15/2021 - 15:08
Kenneth Quinnell

Get to Know the AFL-CIO's Affiliates

6 days 10 hours ago
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: NATCA Members Guide First Flights Carrying COVID-19 Vaccine

6 days 15 hours ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: NATCA Members Guide First Flights Carrying COVID-19 Vaccine

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.

National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) members in the Michigan cities of Lansing and Grand Rapids were proud last month to control the two aircraft containing the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to be distributed throughout the United States. The UPS-transported vaccines were moved by semitrucks, escorted by U.S. marshals, from the Pfizer manufacturing and storage facility in Portage, Michigan, on Dec. 13. They departed Lansing and headed to the UPS WorldPort at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. “All NATCA members at [Lansing airport] were honored to be a part of this country’s history and are looking forward to being able to provide quality service to all future shipments out of [Lansing],” said Zac Ploch, NATCA facility representative.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/15/2021 - 10:03

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IBEW Members Integral to Production and Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines

1 week 1 day ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IBEW Members Integral to Production and Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines

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.

Almost one year after the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in North America, vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna are on the verge of becoming widely available. And while members of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) are not the scientists creating those vaccines, they have been nearly as integral to the discovery, production and distribution process as any biochemist or virologist on the planet. “Without a doubt, the vaccine that will end this scourge has and will be brought to you by the skilled craft unions. They are every bit as important as the person working at the lab bench they built,” said Tim Dickson, executive director of the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association. For instance, IBEW members have built most, if not all, of the major pharmaceutical and biotech research facilities in the United States. Click here to read more.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 01/13/2021 - 11:01

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

We Are Angry: In the States Roundup

1 week 1 day ago
We Are Angry: 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 AFL-CIO:

Pres. @vincebeltrami's statement about attempted coup in our nation’s capital: "We. Are. Angry. Angry at an assault on our nation’s hallowed capital and our elected representatives . . .”
@lisamurkowski @SenDanSullivan @repdonyoung
Read full statement: https://t.co/3SlcsY7TJj pic.twitter.com/7UiQlLiRyf

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) January 8, 2021

California Labor Federation:

Late stage capitalism in action.

Here's your daily reminder to join your union. https://t.co/BlVyEwJJJS

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) January 11, 2021

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

Research shows that unionized health facilities have better patient outcomes and are more likely to correct workplace hazards. Union nursing homes have lower #COVID19 mortality rates, better access to PPE & stronger infection control measures. #JoinAUnion https://t.co/fIEaD9paHO

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

Florida AFL-CIO:

“Three weeks after President Trump moved to extend unemployment benefits, countless Floridians have still not gotten any payments — cutting off a crucial lifeline for workers who lost jobs to the pandemic.”https://t.co/NJVEomO1n7

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

Weekends became lit dropping. Afternoons became postcard writing. Evenings became phone banking. For months, union volunteers and community orgs worked tirelessly to #FlipTheSenate. Why? Because Georgia deserves better. Workers deserve better. We deserve better. And we did this! pic.twitter.com/zN3hD06Dsl

— Georgia AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOGeorgia) January 6, 2021

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Attempted Coup an Unconscionable Assault on Democracy https://t.co/9RVwbzq5Km

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) January 7, 2021

Maine AFL-CIO:

A new book chronicles the militancy of Maine paper makers against Wall Street Greed. https://t.co/XQUIwS3RpS #mepolitics #LaborHistory

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) January 8, 2021

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

The @massaflcio commends President-Elect @JoeBiden for his nomination of @marty_walsh to the position of Secretary of the Department of Labor.

Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/TlKETdHirW

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO // #VotersDecided (@massaflcio) January 8, 2021

Michigan AFL-CIO:

The General Board of the @AFLCIO is calling on Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office at once. Read the full statement 🧵👇 https://t.co/eBTNrJqCyn

— Michigan AFL-CIO 😷 (@MIAFLCIO) January 8, 2021

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

MNA Nurses Urge Lawmakers to Pass Emergency Leave Bill https://t.co/JdIliPAckJ #1u #mnleg @mnnurses

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Great turnout for the #ResignHawley action today in St. Louis. Senator Hawley Needs to resign following his incitement of insurrection at the Capitol riots. pic.twitter.com/PwGlyBHhpW

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

The 1.6.21 attack on our country is the consequence of a lie by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other and elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. #RemoveNow

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

2021 is a new year of challenges and opportunities as governmental bodies in Washington and across New Jersey get organized.https://t.co/iSDJ8cItx8

— New Jersey AFL-CIO (@NJAFLCIO) January 11, 2021

New York State AFL-CIO:

History repeats itself: Amid crisis, Cuomo hopes to fuel optimism in State of the State - NY Hero Act, tax increases to support vital services. “This will take bold leadership," Cilento said.
https://t.co/en1rIUpjXj via @TheBuffaloNews

— NYS AFL-CIO // #VotersDecided (@NYSAFLCIO) January 10, 2021

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

https://t.co/1xyctUmW58

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) January 8, 2021

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Today, @RichardTrumka laid out the @AFLCIO #WorkerFirstAgenda. See it here:https://t.co/oKotYQCmgB

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) January 12, 2021

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

2021 CLUW QUILT

The Greater OKC Chapter is now starting to collect shirts for their 2021 T-Shirt Quilt.

They are also accepting donated Local Union Masks to go into the 2021 Quilt.

Please send donations to:
Central Oklahoma Labor Federation
3400 South Wester Ave
OKC OK 73109

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) January 12, 2021

Oregon AFL-CIO:

It's no surprise to see school staff across the country doing whatever it takes to help students learn in these difficult times.@AFTunion @AFTOregon @OSEA6732 https://t.co/kxzzOkoIqo

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

It's not enough to call these workers heroes. #StayHome. #StaySafe. #WearAMask . Wash your hands. And, send your thoughts and prayers of Solidarity to those who need it most. @mcallguild https://t.co/YDqE7DifZE

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) January 11, 2021

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

#1u #FightFor15 #minimumwage https://t.co/CGS0iWR6cU

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) January 12, 2021

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

TAKE ACTION! As legislators get to work today at noon, working families are still under attack. Sen. @BrianKelsey's push to enshrine TN's harmful Right to Work law in the state constitution is still underway. Ask your lawmaker to vote "NO" on SJR 0002! https://t.co/GGsEnw2KNH

— Tennessee AFL-CIO (@tnaflcio) January 12, 2021

Texas AFL-CIO:

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay posted this statement on Tuesday’s opening of the 87th session of the Texas Legislature. #1u #txlege #FairShothttps://t.co/QdcbSMCujF

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) January 12, 2021

Washington State Labor Council:

The COVID-19 pandemic has made clearer than ever the inequities and unfairness rooted deep in our economy. #waleg #EssentialWorkers https://t.co/gjojF5MZby

— Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) January 8, 2021

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Parkersburg Labor Council AFL-CIO president Andrew Stump: “It’s not just about organizations, it’s about helping the children in our community." 👍👊 https://t.co/KWqhnDwRaz

— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) January 5, 2021

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

What can Biden do to reverse Trump's assault on labor rights? https://t.co/NxdEL2vMd2

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) January 12, 2021 Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 01/13/2021 - 09:07
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Sacramento Central Labor Council Brings Holiday Joy to Children with Disabilities

1 week 2 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Sacramento Central Labor Council Brings Holiday Joy to Children with Disabilities

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 Sacramento Central Labor Council delivered groceries to more than 200 union families in need during the holidays, and 450 kids also received a present from Santa. Santa visited the Ralph Richardson Center to deliver teddy bears and take pictures (all socially distanced) with students. Also, in a continuation of a six-year tradition, the council passed out teddy bears from a fire truck (with union member Santa) to children with special needs at Starr-King K–8 School in Sacramento.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/12/2021 - 08:40

Tags: Organizing, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

At Once: The Working People Weekly List

1 week 3 days ago
At Once: 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.

AFL-CIO Calls on Trump to Resign or be Removed from Office 'At Once': "The AFL-CIO called on President Trump to resign or be removed from office 'at once, whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,' following the riots at the U.S. Capitol this week. The labor group’s general board released the statement Friday, saying it is not one America's labor movement makes lightly. 'The deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob looking to overturn the results of a free and fair election, encouraged and inspired by President Donald Trump, was one of the greatest attacks on our democracy in American history. And the fact that trespassers were allowed to roam the halls of Congress without consequence is one of the latest examples of why we must tear down the systems and abiders of white supremacy,' the AFL-CIO General Board said."

AFL-CIO Head Says Walsh Will Be 'Exceptional' Labor Secretary: "The president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, praised President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) for secretary of Labor, calling the mayor an 'exceptional' choice. 'Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools. As a longtime union member, Walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential to building back better by combating inequality, beating COVID-19 and expanding opportunities for immigrants, women and people of color,' Richard Trumka said in a statement Thursday."

Union Leaders Join in Blaming Trump for Insurrection, Coup Attempt: "Union leaders blamed GOP White House occupant Donald Trump for the violent insurrection which saw thousands of white nationalist domestic terrorists overrun the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Union leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and particularly National Nurses United Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, declared Trump is liable for inciting the insurrection. She called for punishment but did not suggest how. 'The president has been encouraging sedition. No one is above the law,' said Castillo. 'He is responsible for the scenes we have seen today at the Capitol and he should be held accountable.' 'We are witnessing one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War. Today’s attempted coup has been years in the making as Donald Trump consistently spews venom, conspiracies, hate, and lies to his supporters,' Trumka said in a statement."

How Unions Helped Georgia Flip the Senate: "In the Georgia Senate runoff elections on January 5, Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael Warnock unseated Trump-supporting incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue by margins of less than 80,000 votes—abetted by what a UNITE HERE! leader calls an 'unprecedented ground game' by labor unions. 'In the last couple weeks, we were talking to 15,000 people a day,' says Gwen Mills, the secretary-treasurer of the 300,000-member hotel and food-service workers union. During the six-week runoff campaign, according to Mills, UNITE HERE! had more than 1,000 members knocking on people’s doors in the Atlanta and Columbus areas a total of 1.5 million times."

Flight Attendant Union Wants Pro-Trump Rioters Barred from Flights: "The country’s largest flight attendant unions on Wednesday expressed safety concerns over politically motivated disruptions on flights after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building, demanding that the results of the presidential election be overturned. 'The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard,' said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents some 50,000 cabin crew members at United, Alaska and more than a dozen other carriers. The riots at the Capitol 'create further concern about [participants’] departure from the D.C. area,' Nelson said. 'Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.'"

Alphabet Employees and Contractors Form a Labor Union: "Google is getting its first labor union. Approximately 230 workers out of the 130,000-plus employees and contractors at Alphabet joined forces on Monday to launch the tech giant's first labor union. Unlike labor unions such as the AFL-CIO, this one is 'not seeking ratification through a federal agency,' reports The Washington Post. Accordingly, the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) will not have the power to collectively bargain with management. Instead, the union intends to jointly and 'actively push for real changes at the company,' including on such matters as discrimination, harassment, and various ethical questions about how the company runs its business."

Glass Ceilings Shattered at American Federation of Musicians Local 47: Stephanie O’Keefe Elected First Female President; Danita Ng-Poss Is New Secretary-Treasurer: "Stephanie O’Keefe has been elected president of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, becoming the first woman president in the union’s 123-year history. John Acosta, who served three two-year terms as president, did not seek re-election. In the local’s other elections, Danita Ng-Poss has been elected secretary-treasurer—the first person of Asian descent to serve as a titled officer of the union—and Rick Baptist has been re-elected to a fourth term as vice president."

Obituary: Byron W. Charlton: "How do you sum up a life? Byron W. Charlton, 81, of Lorton, VA., fondly known as 'Big Boy,' 'Chuck' and 'Uncle,' was born June 8, 1939, in Radford, Virginia, to the late Lawrence Charlton and Ollie Snell Charlton. Byron was an international affairs operative for the AFL-CIO at the height of the neo Cold War in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He worked in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. His stories from those times would chill your blood, and then leave you laughing. Byron also worked as the assistant to the executive director of the African American Labor Center at the AFL-CIO from 1984-1990. More than 30 years ago, Byron joined the staff of the AFL-CIO as a legislative representative. He worked on federal and postal worker legislation, and served as the chairman of the United Department of Defense Workers Coalition for the past 20 years. Byron loved his career so much when asked if he was going to retire he would respond by saying he intended to die at his desk."

The Life in 'The Simpsons' Is No Longer Attainable: "Lisa needs braces at the same time that Homer’s dental plan evaporates. Unable to afford Lisa’s orthodontia without that insurance, Homer leads a strike. Mr. Burns, the boss, eventually capitulates to the union’s demand for dental coverage, resulting in shiny new braces for Lisa and one fewer financial headache for her parents. What would Homer have done today without the support of his union?"

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 01/11/2021 - 10:55
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Alaska Public Employees Pay Off Student School Meal Balances

1 week 3 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Alaska Public Employees Pay Off Student School Meal Balances

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.

With the pandemic hitting everyone economically, the members of the Alaska Public Employees Association/AFT elected to do what they could, paying off thousands of dollars of school meal balances.

“The Juneau Education Support Staff (JESS) Local 6096 Executive Board started thinking about how to use the money in April. We all wanted to help families and students in the community, and as the pandemic continued we started realizing how everyone needed to have some kindness come into their lives—they needed good news,” said Catherine Pusich, the board’s public relations officer.

The union paid off the balances for 564 students, totaling $7,446. Letters went out in the days before Christmas letting students and families know of the donation.

“We have been able to see firsthand how this pandemic has affected some of our more vulnerable students, and this donation from JESS will at least take one thing off the table that they will not have to worry about,” said Elizabeth White, a union member and meal cashier at Sayèik: Gastineau Community School. “We are pleased that they saw fit to use the money to take care of the families that are close to our hearts.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 01/11/2021 - 10:39

Tags: Organizing, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

Economy Loses 140,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Remains at 6.7%

1 week 3 days ago
Economy Loses 140,000 Jobs in December; Unemployment Remains at 6.7%

The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The losses reflect an increase in cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to respond to the pandemic.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) pointed out the important takeaway from the new numbers:

Beyond the headline: BLACK AND LATINA women accounted for all net job losses.

Women of color have faced an infuriatingly disproportionate economic fallout from COVID-19. #1u https://t.co/20KBgBkR4v

— Liz Shuler (@lizshuler) January 9, 2021

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

The @BLS_gov reported that 15.8 million persons reported they lost work during the previous four weeks because COVID affected their employer, an increase of 1 million over November. @AFLCIO #JobsDay

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

While temporary layoffs increased in December, the number reporting working less than full-time, but wanting full-time work fell by 471,000 according to the @BLS_gov @AFLCIO #JobsDay

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

In a reversal, in December the number of unemployed reporting being on temporary layoff increased by 277,000 while those reporting permanent layoff status decreased by 348,000 according to @BLS_gov @AFLCIO #JobsDay

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

After a string of months of recovery, @BLS_gov reports leisure and hospitality industries reported job losses in December: 327,000 decline for food service and drinking establishments. This is a big set back for those workers. @AFLCIO #JobsDay

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

The year-over-year change in hourly wages reported by the @BLS_gov for December reflects a change in composition of the workforce, with a much bigger drop in the low wage sectors leading the change. Look at how nominal wages in manufacturing are flat. @AFLCIO #JobsDay pic.twitter.com/Jh1QI1bNpT

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

The unemployment rate for adult Black women fell from 9.0 to 8.4%, because of a drop in labor force participation (the share employed fell from 55.0 to 54.5%); for adult Black men unemployment fell from 11.2 to 10.4% from job gains. @rolandsmartin

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

The share of the unemployed who are long-term unemployed (more than 27 weeks) continues to grow. This means a rising share of workers are finding it hard to escape. This will make getting the number to fall harder. And the need to extend unemployment benefit duration essential. pic.twitter.com/xdXozquqBH

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

President @JoeBiden will be greeted with a labor market that is again deteriorating, having given back its momentum, and now at a level around 2014. It'll have to be rescued again. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/ClD6VUwHII

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

The flat employment-to-population ratio over October-November and now December is making the recovery look like a square root sign. Clearly the delay from Mitch McConnell in passing @SpeakerPelosi May economic relief stagnated the labor market. Looking forward to @SenSchumer pic.twitter.com/KUsxLWXW0s

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

Mitch McConnell held up needed relief because he refused to address this dramatic loss of public sector jobs. A silver lining to the December jobs report is we now have Senate Majority leader @SenSchumer and in 12 days President @JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/bLN3WSVCju

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) January 8, 2021

Last month's biggest job losses were in leisure and hospitality (-498,000), private education (-63,000), government (-45,000) and other services (-22,000). Gains were seen in professional and business services (161,000), retail trade (121,000), construction (51,000), transportation and warehousing (47,000), health care (39,000), manufacturing (38,000) and wholesale trade (25,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, information and financial activities, showed little change in December.

In December, the unemployment rates increased for teenagers (16%) and Hispanics (9.3%). The jobless rates for Black Americans (9.9%), adult men (6.4%), adult women (6.3%), White Americans (6%) and Asian Americans (5.9%) showed little change.

The number of long-term unemployed workers (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose slightly in December and accounted for 37.1% of the total unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 01/11/2021 - 10:11
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Working People Deliver Crucial Wins in Georgia

1 week 6 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Working People Deliver Crucial Wins in Georgia

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.

During the 2020 presidential election, working people organized with the understanding that everyone has the power to make a difference. There is no voter outreach effort too small. By Nov. 3, we saw these efforts unfold in real time. The union difference is real. In the state of Georgia, the final margin between Biden and Trump was just 12,000 votes. This is less than the amount of voters that union members from the AFL-CIO were reaching out to each day of the 2020 presidential election cycle.

Now, in the Georgia runoff elections, union members made the difference once again. We sent out more than 400,000 postcards to union and nonunion households. We made nearly 750,000 phone calls. And we organized dozens, if not hundreds, of virtual and in-person events across the state. The presidential election was decided by a small margin in Georgia. And the Senate runoff elections were decided in just the same way. The real difference occurs when people decide to step up.

Over the past month in Georgia, UNITE HERE mounted the largest door-to-door canvassing operation in its history. More than 1,000 union housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers and airport concessions workers canvassed every day. They knocked on 1.5 million doors as part of a historic, statewide effort to take back the Senate by electing Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

As the new senators-elect wrapped up their campaigns on Tuesday, Warnock made a special visit to Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 613’s union hall in Atlanta, where he thanked union members for going above and beyond to get out the vote. “Working families need somebody in Washington, D.C., who will be thinking about them,” Warnock said. “Somebody who understands health care is a human right, who knows workers are the ones who make America great and who will help us to pass the PRO Act.” The labor movement is confident that he and Ossoff are among the leaders we need to fight for economic opportunity and social justice.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 01/08/2021 - 11:11

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Victory in Georgia: What Working People Are Doing This Week

2 weeks ago
Victory in Georgia: 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:

Equity members now have an additional way to access the online harassment hotline. Lighthouse now offers an anonymous reporting app available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Read more in the member portal - https://t.co/apKzJubpzg pic.twitter.com/f5LNwNkayb

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) January 6, 2021

AFGE:

In her lame duck glory EEOC Chair Dhillon wants to bust unions on her way out. We are not going to let that happen! Write EEOC members and tell them to VOTE NO to a rule that disallows unions to represent employees in discrimination cases. #1u https://t.co/rnPxZn2io7

— AFGE (@AFGENational) January 5, 2021

AFSCME:

AFSCME members congratulate Sen.-elect Jon @Ossoff on your victory in the runoff election. We look forward to working with you to tackle this pandemic, getting our country back on track and delivering desperately needed aid to states, cities, towns and schools. #GASen pic.twitter.com/5ASMRqSaYg

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) January 6, 2021

Air Line Pilots Association:

ALPA Welcomes the Members of the #117thCongress. We look forward to working with all of our elected representatives to keep our skies safe and secure. pic.twitter.com/uwjmXc83eI

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) January 3, 2021

Alliance for Retired Americans:

LAST CHANCE TO SIGN:

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. That’s impossible to live on.The time is NOW! Congress must ACT to raise the minimum wage to at least $15/hr in the first 100 days! https://t.co/bziZI6UW75 #RaiseTheWage pic.twitter.com/IQSu8L4jeX

— Alliance for Retired Americans (@ActiveRetirees) January 5, 2021

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Public transportation and transit workers are critical to keeping our communities and economies moving. https://t.co/ueCDbZ9daG #Transit #PublicTransit pic.twitter.com/pu5WSAiCPn

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) January 6, 2021

American Federation of Musicians:

Miserly antics included using budget non-union musicians for the Met’s pay-per-view New Year’s Eve gala — without any mention of the skimping https://t.co/oPYeaDFE8H

— AFM (@The_AFM) January 4, 2021

American Federation of Teachers:

Congratulations to Georgia's first Black Senator, @ReverendWarnock! The legacy he embodies and his vision for the future of Georgia are exactly what brought him this historic victory. We cannot wait to work with him to improve the lives of working families. #AFTvotes pic.twitter.com/QXIWrtpVrv

— AFT (@AFTunion) January 6, 2021

American Postal Workers Union:

APWU members proudly delivered for America in 2020 and will do the same every year to come! #SaveThePostOffice pic.twitter.com/pHQUgciPQN

— APWU National (@APWUnational) December 31, 2020

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Since the beginning, the #FightFor15 has been led by immigrant + workers of color. Now, a new report from @yannetyannet @NELPnews shows a record-breaking 74 cities, counties, & states are set to raise their min wage in 2021. #Raises2021

Read the report: https://t.co/0Bu4HQv0yw

— Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (@APALAnational) January 6, 2021

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

"some fliers treat airline mask requirements as a seemingly asinine rule to evade...Passengers berate flight attendants about their noncompliant cabin mates."

“It all has to stop,” pleaded one flight attendant. https://t.co/nGjqqkIpKT

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) January 5, 2021

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

NOW PLAYING: The BCTGM's Official Podcast!
Listen to the first two episodes of the BCTGM Voices Project on Podbean!👉 https://t.co/NXs95ESjVD \\ #u #BCTGMVoices

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) January 4, 2021

Boilermakers:

It's National #TechnologyDay and #CCUS 🌎 plays a critical role in the future of our planet. #Boilermakers track and curate info on the latest global CCUS developments. Learn more: https://t.co/CReP9jOmfJ#BoilermakersUnion @GlobalCCS @ccsknowledge

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) January 6, 2021

Bricklayers:

Can you spot the safety hazards? 🔍 https://t.co/GgpJ7hnifx

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) January 5, 2021

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

Congrats, Sister. Now, make some good trouble for the people. @cbtu_stl https://t.co/nVUifuEQ6b

— CBTU (@CBTU72) January 3, 2021

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Want to brush up or learn how to use Zoom before our NEB on January 23?

Register for our Zoom class this Saturday on Jan. 9 @ 12 to 2 PM ET/ 9 to 11 AM PT here: https://t.co/O7NBAR45MP pic.twitter.com/aNfRguZH6e

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) January 4, 2021

Communications Workers of America:

Roughly $340 million each year... https://t.co/RlhzfscWcL

— CWA (@CWAUnion) January 5, 2021

Department for Professional Employees:

We are so excited for these professionals! Congrats @MOVE_TX_United! #1u https://t.co/GN9w1cwHJo

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) January 5, 2021

Electrical Workers:

While #IBEW members are not the scientists creating new COVID-19 vaccines, they have been nearly as integral to the discovery, production and distribution process as any biochemist or virologist on the planet.https://t.co/cwiuVmytGM

— IBEW (@IBEW) January 5, 2021

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

We are reiterating support for a moratorium on the approval of visas for farm labor contractors in the H2A “guestworker program” as a report by the EPI outlines that over 70% of these contractors have violated federal labor law. Check out our campaign: https://t.co/2RjSJA9NsG

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) January 6, 2021

Fire Fighters:

Massachusetts #firefighters will start getting Coronavirus vaccines next weekhttps://t.co/gBhOUw6H98

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) January 6, 2021

Heat and Frost Insulators:

Climate Jobs Illinois is making an effort to bring 300,000 union jobs, including mechanical insulation jobs, to the state of Illinois. Listen to Mechanical Insulators LMCT Director Pete Ielmini discuss the plan and its benefits on @AWFUnionPodcast: https://t.co/UM2Sw7XHzK

— Insulators Union 🦎 (@InsulatorsUnion) January 6, 2021

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

Google and their high priced "consultants" gathering shocking amounts of data about their own workers to bust their union? SHOCKING! https://t.co/5OHcjrSuB0

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) January 5, 2021

Ironworkers:

Iron Workers Local 29 turned its Northeast Portland union headquarters parking lot into a winter wonderland Dec. 19. https://t.co/JRoCXU9KsE #Christmas2020

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) January 1, 2021

Jobs With Justice:

Black workers in GA won the Senate last night. Recognize it — and don't ever forget it ✊🏿

Bc it's not enough to just celebrate Black folks when they do the electoral work for us. We must celebrate them everyday. And it's well past time we start WORKING FOR THEM 🗣️#GARunnoff 1/

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) January 6, 2021

Laborers:

#LIUNA in the news:
Starfish Pack program in Abbotsford and Aldergrove each get $5K boost https://t.co/W2CDu8VSAG

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) January 5, 2021

Machinists:

The Machinists are in Georgia - Today is the day! https://t.co/2XFKXu7Nnw

— Machinists Union ✈️🚊🚀 (@MachinistsUnion) January 6, 2021

Metal Trades Department:

Google workers have formed the company's first-ever union https://t.co/jcq0CNLBAO

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) January 5, 2021

Mine Workers:

Part II: Organizing for the Future

UMWA International President @CecilRoberts looks to the future and talks about the UMWA’s need to keep the jobs we have, expand in the jurisdictions we are now and the importance of organizing new workers.https://t.co/jFet0GubAC

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) January 4, 2021

Musical Artists:

The results of AGMA’s Constitutional Referendum are in and AGMA is very pleased to announce that the Board of Governors Revision of the Constitution has been overwhelmingly approved the AGMA membership. Read our full statement here: https://t.co/DrW0wyKQC2 pic.twitter.com/r7Jf8hKH25

— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) December 18, 2020

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

NATCA member Dave Chesley helped Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) pilot Lihan Bao after she hit a tree on her approach, seriously damaging the aircraft. “He could hear that my voice was shaking and tried to calm me down,” Lihan said.
https://t.co/Sh4DtnfZoa pic.twitter.com/bTWQg5r5b1

— NATCA (@NATCA) January 6, 2021

National Association of Letter Carriers:

When carrier Richard Valles learned that one of his business customers was having difficulty getting her packages to customers, he connected the customer to the USPS sales team. Impressed with USPS's shipping prices, the customer switched, resulting in $50,000 in new revenue. #1u pic.twitter.com/Y1YK7oA19h

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) January 6, 2021

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

Protect yourself and others by contributing to the Immigrant Worker Safety Net Fund, getting a a beautiful bandana designed by @ernestoyerena & @OBEYGIANT, and wearing this message: Solo el Pueblo Salva al Pueblo. https://t.co/7EjYxuYzHj #not1more pic.twitter.com/94lhXVZvsa

— NDLON (@NDLON) December 30, 2020

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

This year, we cared for communities through a crisis.

We organized to protect our lives and our health.

We got out the vote.

We built our movement and stayed connected.

Let’s keep up the momentum. pic.twitter.com/gk8gwecowG

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) December 21, 2020

National Nurses United:

Congrats to the union strong #RNs at @AdventistHealth Rideout Memorial Hospital & @SutterHealth Center of Psychiatry on their victories last week! 💪

We look forward to keeping patients and our communities safe amid the #Covid19 pandemic and beyond.https://t.co/WXMX73x0Ib

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) January 6, 2021

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

Happy New Year! In a year full of sorrow and isolation, your twitter love for our protests & actions gave us so much encouragement and joy. Your own protests helped build power for ours. Solidarity forever. To a 2021 with love, light and always justice. La lucha continua.

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) January 1, 2021

NFL Players Association:

A season unlike any other. Special thank you to our player leadership and the training + testing staffs who've all been dedicated to player safety. 👏 https://t.co/jxIhl70cjJ

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) January 5, 2021

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Looking to kick off the new year with a new career path? Learn more about what it takes to start your journey in the #BuildingTrades today!

🔗: https://t.co/0udfKyu5zZ pic.twitter.com/wxjc8BzWQ9

— The Building Trades (@NABTU) January 6, 2021

Painters and Allied Trades:

The PRO Act 218 cosponsors in the House, 41 cosponsors in the Senate, and the support of both President-elect Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris.

It’s time for each and every one of them to fight for and demand the labor law reform we need, beginning with the PRO Act.

— IUPAT (@GoIUPAT) January 6, 2021

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

“Doing something about infrastructure should be a no-brainer. This is one of relatively few policy areas for which there is strong public support from all Americans, regardless of political identity.” No excuses — let’s get it done! #InfrastructureNow https://t.co/46D5B6BRFa

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) January 6, 2021

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

Rest in Peace, Alfred Farrar, and thank you for your service to a flawed nation as a Tuskegee Airman during WWII and as an FAA employee for four decades. @FAANews @unionveterans #publicservice #federalemployees #aviation
https://t.co/6DhFRFXNN1

— PASS (@PASSNational) December 27, 2020

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union:

"A key component of the work that we do in advocating for working men & women is related to fighting for economic & social justice. Legalizing cannabis is a natural bridge for this work, & we appreciate that it’s one of @NYGovCuomo's priorities." #cannabisworkersunion #legalizeny https://t.co/16vzmm53hl

— RWDSU (@RWDSU) January 6, 2021

Roofers and Waterproofers:

Falls from scaffolds are preventable. Learn about employer requirements and find additional resources here: https://t.co/ogHAzn7kt8 #roofersafety365 pic.twitter.com/OyNiaBTUtj

— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) January 6, 2021

SAG-AFTRA:

On this #TechnologyDay, watch Lee Branstetter @louishyman @lizshuler @DTaylorUH @DavidWhiteNED & @CheriPreston discuss the impact of tech developments on income inequality from our 2020 Labor Innovation & Technology Summit https://t.co/9anUqzScXJ pic.twitter.com/sJ193fqgqf

— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) January 6, 2021

Solidarity Center:

Teachers in #Jordan are struggling to exercise their civil liberties following the govt's move to dissolve the Jordanian Teacher Association after they protested for better wages. Take action to support the teachers! @eduint @AFTIntlAffairs @LaborStartUSA https://t.co/mctHXB4fSl

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) January 6, 2021

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Happy birthday! Keep up the fight for good journalism and good journalism jobs. https://t.co/zZSob5Qoql

— NewsGuild-CWA (@newsguild) January 6, 2021

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Well, it looks like we picked a good week to launch our new weekly newsletter.

Sign up below, to stay in the know! 👀https://t.co/uPcTWGJ3wy

— IATSE (@IATSE) January 6, 2021

Transport Workers Union:

The TWU stands with the essential workers @UFCW who are losing their jobs to gig company greed. As predicted, Prop 22 is already killing good, middle class jobs. https://t.co/MNzJmn6NY9

— TWU (@transportworker) January 5, 2021

UAW:

"UAW members negotiated and ratified a path to seniority status in the 2019 National Negotiations and because of their contract, 650 members will gain seniority status and benefits this month." https://t.co/84tZNi3abn

— UAW (@UAW) January 4, 2021

Union Veterans Council:

This is what leadership looks like! https://t.co/WDwH3t5dtM

— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) January 6, 2021

UNITE HERE:

📢 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 📢

The Democrats’ “secret weapon” to help win the Senate:

UNITE HERE’s 1,000 union canvassers

A Thread 🧵⤵️ pic.twitter.com/TmXRBHSmay

— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) January 6, 2021

United Food and Commercial Workers:

NEW REPORT: 137 #COVID grocery outbreaks in past two months already infected nearly 1,000 grocery workers.

America's grocery workers on frontlines need action now to protect them and stop these deadly outbreaks.

Watch & Share: @UFCW President @Marc_Perrone on @NBCNightlyNews pic.twitter.com/TNG3P82XtN

— UFCW (@UFCW) January 2, 2021

United Steelworkers:

“After losing my father, so many of my coworkers & patients, some losing their lives, having #COVID19 myself, I needed to do my part. We need to grab this virus by the threshold & get vaccinated,“ Pres. Anklam, Lu 9899, Ascension St. Mary’s of MI. #USWCares pic.twitter.com/MQrfc1XVwn

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) January 6, 2021

United Students Against Sweatshops:

Our National Back to School Call is Sunday, Jan. 10th! Learn about what we have planned for the upcoming semester. Hope to see you there! Register at https://t.co/UWoWnuPDhb pic.twitter.com/YHLZQ2U2Wy

— USAS (@USAS) December 29, 2020

Utility Workers:

Tara Quiñones is a Construction Technician, 7-year member of @UWUA_132 in California, and a UWUA Women's Caucus member. Check out her full story here! https://t.co/QFhPub3aJX pic.twitter.com/ELEAbLZwuk

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) January 5, 2021

Working America:

"Of the companies that told some employees not to work, most — 51% — kept paying at least some of those workers. But only 42% of those businesses kept paying those workers’ health insurance premiums, according to the BLS data." https://t.co/Dc3wuCsq2r

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) January 1, 2021

Writers Guild of America, East:

"We’re comedy writers. There was only a limited amount of stuff that we could do, but this was our form of protest."
- Sacha Baron Cohen on "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

Listen to the full OnWriting interview with Sacha, Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham: https://t.co/DWShniN1Qc

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) January 4, 2021 Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/07/2021 - 11:11
Kenneth Quinnell

Working People Respond to Attempted Coup at Nation's Capitol

2 weeks ago
Working People Respond to Attempted Coup at Nation's Capitol

Yesterday saw an unprecedented attack on U.S. democratic institutions and working people across the country, and world, were shocked by what unfolded before us. Here are responses to Wednesday's events from across the labor movement.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA):

We are witnessing one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War. Today’s attempted coup has been years in the making as Donald Trump consistently spews venom, conspiracies, hate and lies to his supporters. They are carrying out his wishes, and far too many Republican lawmakers have enabled and even encouraged this violent threat to our republic. Emboldened by an Electoral College system that creates an avenue for insurrection instead of simply certifying the candidate with the most votes, this is an effort to violate the constitutional rights of every law-abiding American and the labor movement will not stand for it. Not today. Not ever.

AFL-CIO General Board:

The deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob looking to overturn the results of a free and fair election, encouraged and inspired by President Donald Trump, was one of the greatest attacks on our democracy in American history. And the fact that trespassers were allowed to roam the halls of Congress without consequence is one of the latest examples of why we must tear down the systems and abiders of white supremacy. Trump is an affront to every union member, and a clear and present danger to our nation and our republic. He should resign or be removed from office at once, whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This is not a statement America’s labor movement makes lightly. It is not driven by politics or ideology, but rather by the fundamental belief that the preservation of our democracy is essential—though never guaranteed. Hate and insurrection have no place in America.

Actors' Equity (AEA): 

What happened yesterday in Washington, D.C. was shocking and unacceptable. For hours, a nation watched white supremacy on display in an illegal attempt to overturn the will of the people and disenfranchise millions of voters in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona and around the nation. There must be consequences and there must be accountability, not just for those who recklessly stormed the Capitol and disrupted the transition, but for the politicians who have shamefully incited this behavior with a steady stream of disinformation and hate. Actors’ Equity was proud to endorse and support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 election. Never has their work been more important. We look forward to having a president who will uphold his oath of office.

President Lee Saunders, AFSCME:

Yesterday was one of the darkest days in American history. What we saw at the U.S. Capitol was insurrection, sedition and terror enabled by the president of the United States. The 1.4 million members of AFSCME, who dedicate their lives to strengthening their communities instead of trying to tear violently at the national fabric, roundly condemn these acts of vandalism against our democracy. In the end, our institutions were resilient, with Congress finishing its business at hand last night. In 13 days, at that same U.S. Capitol, we will celebrate democracy with the swearing-in of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who will do everything in their power to restore dignity to the presidency and to unify the nation.

International President John Costa, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU):

Today is a dark and devastating day in our country’s history. What was supposed to be a routine procedure to follow the Constitution and certify the democratically decided election turned into a violent siege on the U.S. Capitol and the foundations of our democracy. While our Nation was founded on freedom of speech and the right to have a voice, this was not an exercise of those rights. We condemn the actions of those turning to violence and mob rule. We will not stand for this unprecedented and heinous assault on our democratic principles.

National President Everett Kelley, AFGE:  

Today, in a shocking scene watched by Americans across the nation, the president of the United States encouraged a mob of anti-democracy protestors to breach the security perimeter of the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown, and endangering the safety of members of Congress, workers at the Capitol, innocent civilians who live nearby, and the law enforcement officials charged with keeping the peace. It is nothing short of a desperate attempt to use violence to cling onto power after a clear defeat at the ballot box. These rioters must comply with the wishes of law enforcement and leave the area immediately. But no matter what happens today, the people have spoken. Joe Biden will be our next president and Kamala Harris our next vice president. We will not surrender our democracy.

American Federation of Musicians (AFM):

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada condemns in the strongest terms the mob assault upon the U.S. Capitol Building, which was an attempt to subjugate our democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power after a lawful presidential election. The attack resulted in desecration, injury, bloodshed, and death in a place that is a symbol of hope and unity. For the sake of our democracy, we urge the immediate end to the incitement of politically motivated violence and we pray for the restoration of order. We implore members of Congress and all other elected officials to speak out against violence in all forms. We ask that all involved in this unconscionable attack be held accountable. We thank law enforcement for keeping our elected officials and their staff safe. We urge everyone, everywhere, to stand together for democracy and the rule of law and against political violence.

President Adam Krauthamer, AFM Local 802:

As musicians, our response to the violent riot this week at the U.S. Capitol building is direct and comes from our heart and soul. As Leonard Bernstein once said: ‘This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.’ Local 802 condemns the hateful speech and lies of outgoing president Donald Trump and we agree with our ally Senator Chuck Schumer that Trump must go now. We appreciate the brave law enforcement officers who stood their ground and we call for justice for those who broke the law. Finally, we celebrate the incoming leadership of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and we look forward to working with the new Democratic majority in Congress to help pass legislation that will benefit musicians and all working people.

President Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers (AFT):

Today, Donald Trump made clear why he shouldn’t be president. He enabled terrorists who stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened the lives of duly elected officials while the world watched in horror. This reprehensible failure of the executive to protect the legislative branch is unconscionable, and for the safety of this country, Trump cannot leave office soon enough. Today was not a protest, it was an insurrection; President Trump, his accomplices and allies are guilty of incitement and must be held accountable. That starts with Trump’s immediate removal from office. But American democracy is stronger than Donald Trump. In the throes of a deadly pandemic, a crushing recession, a long-overdue reckoning with racial injustice and an ongoing climate crisis, a record number of Americans cast their vote in last year’s presidential election for decency, competence and progress—for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Today, despite partisan and petulant attempts to undo the will of those voters, democracy prevailed. We will teach our children about this moment for centuries to come and will work to restore future generations’ faith in the fidelity of our peaceful transfer of power. Our country continues to face massive challenges, as evidenced by the violent display in Washington today. As we struggle to contain COVID-19, get families back to work and get students safely back to school, let us remember that Trump and many of his right-wing allies continue to focus on obstructing the very function of our government. When we need healing, they promote violence. When we need peace, they sow chaos. They politicize and misrepresent the truth to undermine the free, fair and functional society we aspire to live in, and in doing so, they undermine the very people government is meant to serve. Today was a tragic reminder of just how dangerous an unchecked despot and his followers truly can be. In this election, our democracy was tested by a grown man’s inability to lose, which threatened to jeopardize the great American experiment. A stronger leader would have used this moment as an opportunity to resurrect the tatters of his presidency, restore order and condemn violence. Trump has failed, but thankfully our system remains intact. Let us now begin to rebuild our more perfect union, built on the voices of the many.

American Postal Workers Union (APWU): 

On January 6 and 7, members of Congress carried out their Constitutional responsibility and certified the state-by-state election results of the 2020 presidential election. The path has now been cleared for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. Congress completed its duty despite the seditious and violent assaults on the U.S. Capitol, which sought to stop the certification, disenfranchise tens of millions of voters and overturn the results of the election. “The APWU joins the entire labor movement and all fair-minded people across the political spectrum in unequivocally condemning the Trump inspired violent attempted coup to stop Congress from validating the vote of the people,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “This siege was the result of the ‘big lie’ that the election was stolen. The President and those in Congress who have fomented this big lie and pressed these efforts to overthrow the results of this election are driving the country toward authoritarian rule and fascism. They are not fit to hold public office, must be held accountable and should immediately resign or be removed.” Dimondstein continued, “As workers, we know that none of the rights we enjoy have been simply handed to us. They have been won through generations of struggle. As imperfect and incomplete as our democracy may be, our challenge today is to reject these assaults on our rights and re-commit ourselves to the struggle to advance democracy and win social and economic justice for all.” The APWU welcomes the new administration and their pro-postal, pro-union commitments. The APWU also welcomes the two newly elected Senators from GA who prevailed in the GA January 5th “special election” and the improved opportunities for moving pro-worker, pro-postal legislation through the new Congress.

International President Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA: 

Air travel is safe because everyone follows a strict set of rules, based on the spirit that ‘we’re all in this together.’ The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard. It will not happen again. There’s a reason that there are strict penalties and fines for failing to comply with crewmember instructions. Enforcement keeps everyone safe. Our first priority in aviation safety and security is to keep any problems on the ground. Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today. Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the D.C. area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight. We in aviation have a serious role to play in national security. Airlines, in coordination with TSA, DHS, FAA, DOT and law enforcement must take all steps to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew by keeping all problems on the ground.

Boilermakers (IBB):

As the United States reels from the insurrection events that took place at the U.S. Capitol Building and grounds in an attempt to undermine America’s sacred democracy, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers does not in any way condone or endorse those activities or the people who committed the horrendous acts of trespassing, vandalism, violence, bloodshed and overall assault on democracy. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers condemns in the strongest possible terms those acts of desecration and violence and the individuals and groups who committed them. Further, the Boilermakers union calls for an immediate end to any attempts to motivate violence or otherwise disrupt the peaceful constitutional transfer of power, and calls upon Boilermaker members, the union’s partners, and all local, state, and national elected officials to work cooperatively to restore order for the sake of democracy in America. To that end, the Boilermakers union is joining with the North America’s Building Trades Union in their announcement this morning offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a person or persons responsible for the murder of United States Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick. Finally, regarding an image captured of a person who was wearing a jacket bearing the Boilermaker insignia and who appears to have been tampering with the tires of a vehicle during Wednesday’s events: The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers does not condone this person’s behavior and will not tolerate acts of criminality. The union will work diligently to identify this person and bring him to the authorities for justice to be served. 

President Tim Driscoll, Bricklayers (BAC): 

Yesterday, we witnessed an outrageous effort to eradicate the most fundamental tenet of our country’s representative democracy that Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.  That consent is determined through elections where citizens across our country exercise their voice in determining their representatives.  The citizens of our country exercised their most essential right in November of 2020 and collectively and decisively determined that Joe Biden would be the 46th President of our nation. The assault on the U.S. Capitol by rioters yesterday was an effort to extinguish the will of the voters of this country by undermining the lawful election process that has governed our country for more than two hundred years. Those rioters deserve to be and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but it would be shameful if that prosecution did not also extend to those most responsible for inciting these rioters through false and baseless claims. President Trump has surrendered whatever legitimacy he may have claimed to lead our nation and BAC joins the calls for his resignation and/or removal from office. However, those elected officials and enablers of the president that joined in disseminating conspiratorial falsehoods and challenging the certification of the Electoral College results have also forfeited their right to participate in the governing of our nation, and should resign and face prosecution where possible. The ultimate failure of these efforts to invalidate the 2020 election and subvert the U.S. Constitution should not be presumed. We must remain vigilant against those that would seek to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power that our democracy demands.  

President Elise Bryant, Coalition of Labor Union Women: 

Today, when armed protesters, bent on violence, came to the Capitol where were the troops? What happened to the tear gas and the rubber bullets? The attempted coup, inflamed by a loser, soon to be ex-president, is the America that Donald Trump hopes will keep him in office. Well, he’s wrong and so are his co-conspirators! America's might is not in her weapons, but in the hearts of her people who know right from wrong. A crime has been committed and those who engaged or enabled it shall be investigated, charged, and will pay for their crimes. We, the people, have spoken—it’s time for a new president and today’s lawlessness is proof positive it is time for a change!

President Chris Shelton, Communications Workers of America (CWA):

Yesterday, the world watched as armed insurrectionists, with the encouragement of the president of the United States, launched an attack on the Capitol in an attempt to undermine our democracy and prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election. Two images from their failed attempt to violently invalidate the votes of millions of Americans make their motives absolutely clear: the sight of the confederate flag being paraded through the halls of the Senate and a message scrawled on a door, “Murder the media.” White supremacy is a poison that has been with us since the beginning of our country, and the confederate flag is its symbol, meant to subjugate and terrorize Black, brown, Asian and Pacific Islander and Indigenous people. That was the goal of this mob and the president who asked them to assemble on his behalf. Freedom of the press is the first target of fascists everywhere, as they seek to silence opposition and suppress any information that contradicts the alternate reality that their narcissistic leader creates to support his racist fantasy world. This freedom is enshrined in our Constitution because a healthy democracy is not possible without a free press. There is no doubt that each day that Donald Trump continues to hold the powers of the presidency presents a grave threat to the safety of millions of American and to the stability of our country. He organized an insurrection while ignoring a pandemic. Legislators and members of the Cabinet have taken an oath to defend our Constitution and they must act to remove him from office immediately before he does greater harm to our country and democracy. But we must not fool ourselves. The end of Trump’s presidency does not mean an end to white supremacy in our government. After forcing Congress to flee and vandalizing the Capitol for hours, the insurrectionists were free to walk out the door and head home. After they returned to the Capitol, half of the Republican members of the House of Representatives, who are guilty of aiding and abetting this insurrection, voted to overturn the will of the American people. Far too many politicians enabled Donald Trump to build and sustain power. Corporate CEOs and board members, driven only by the size of their fortunes, continue to extract wealth from our labor and cynically exploit racism for their own gain. Along with the free press, free, democratic labor unions like ours are targets of fascists who fear the power of workers united in common cause. We must remain committed to the fight to strengthen our democracy and resist white supremacy and fascism. We must continue the process we began last spring to deepen our efforts to dismantle racism, including racism within our union. Together we will build power for all working people.

President Jennifer Dorning, Department for Professional Employees:

Yesterday is going to be remembered as one of the darkest days in recent American history. The outgoing president’s divisive language and continued attempts to undermine the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election resulted in an attempted coup. Throughout the Capitol, professionals ranging from congressional staffers to engineers in the office of the Architect of the Capitol work to keep our government running. While news professionals covering Congress roam the halls and chamber galleries to provide critical information to the American public. The Trump supporters’ storming of the Capitol threatened these professionals' lives, along with many others. DPE condemns the acts of yesterday. Violence and hate have no place in our democracy.

International President Lonnie R. Stephenson, Electrical Workers (IBEW):

Today’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by violent extremists represents a direct assault on our democratic system. Blame for this horrific event lies directly on the shoulders of President Trump and his enablers in Congress, who have deliberately spread disinformation about the validity of the 2020 election, threatened our constitutional system by disregarding the will of America’s voters and promoted an atmosphere of violence that led to what happened today. For too long, Trump’s extremist rhetoric, venomous attacks and deranged conspiracy theories have undermined America’s faith in democracy, divided Americans against each other and poisoned political debate in this nation. It’s clear that one more day of Trump in office represents a direct threat to the health of our republic and we demand his immediate resignation. If Trump does not resign, we call on Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him. We also condemn the efforts of some Republican lawmakers to overturn the will of the American people by refusing to certify the results of the Electoral College. This represents an unprecedented effort to invalidate a democratic election. Any member of Congress who attempts to thwart the will of the American people as expressed in a democratically held presidential election has no place in the people’s house.

Fire Fighters (IAFF):

The attack on the United States Capitol yesterday by a mob brought to a frenzy by the demagoguery and irresponsible actions of the sitting president of the United States was an attack on the institutional foundations of our nation. The right to free speech and assembly is a fundamental right in a nation built on law and order, however an angry mob determined to stop the process of a free and fair election should be called out for what it is—insurrection. There is no place for seditious actions such as those we witnessed yesterday. The illegal frenzy cost some of our fellow Americans their lives. Those who participated must answer to the laws of our nation for the lives their actions took and the damage they caused to our democracy.

General President Gregory T. Revard, Heat and Frost Insulators (HFIU):

The events that transpired yesterday in our nation’s capital are reprehensible, but also criminal. The use of violence and attempts to halt our democratic process and the peaceful transition of power that has successfully occurred for more than 200 years is a direct result of the actions and directives of President Trump and his various supporters in Congress. Under no circumstance is violence ever the answer. The destruction that happened at the U.S. Capitol is deplorable and nothing short of a domestic terrorist act. Above all else, lives were lost yesterday, which is the greatest tragedy. There were actually two attacks that took place yesterday. One was the siege of the Capitol Building conducted by extremist Trump supporters. The second was the attack waged by certain elected members of Congress who questioned our democracy and attempted to quash the vote to certify the Electoral College results, based on nothing more than falsehoods and baseless conspiracy theories. As a veteran who proudly served in the United States Navy, the ideals of our nation and democracy is what I fought to protect. With a new administration taking over the leadership of our country in a few days, the hope that better days are ahead under more qualified leaders can be the only bright spot in what appears to be some of the darkest days in our nation’s history.

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE): 

IFPTE categorically condemns the violent act of insurrection by President Trump and thousands of his supporters. The blame falls clearly with President Trump himself, and his enablers in Congress, who have instigated and encouraged today’s seditious actions. The people who stormed and took control of our historic Capitol destroyed property, took over offices, and took over chambers of Congress itself, while staff and members were escorted to secure areas to protect their lives. IFPTE further understands that one person was shot and has tragically succumbed to her injuries. Make no mistake about it, this is a transparent effort to overturn a presidential election. It is a culmination of many attempts to undermine our Democracy and prevent our Democratically elected President-Elect from assuming office on January 20th. These people are not "protestors," they are domestic terrorists and should be treated as such in the eyes of the law. The United States does not bow to domestic terrorism. IFPTE calls on Vice President Pence to exercise the 25th Amendment and move to immediately have President Trump removed from office.

General President Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers (LIUNA):

The disgusting violence during the Congressional Electoral College vote debate today, marks a repulsive moment in the history of the United States of America. Our country is better than this. What happened today is a direct result of the irresponsible and reprehensible lies and misinformation fomented by President Trump and his allies. After losing roughly 60 legal challenges, including in the Supreme Court, the continued deceit spread by him and his enablers is deplorable and un-American. Their attempts to undermine a fair and legal election are tantamount to treason. He and his lackeys have attacked our democracy, inciting violence and insurrection. LIUNA also condemns the Republican Members of Congress who have refused to certify the legitimate electoral college results. With their actions, they have declared themselves enemies of our great Republic and democracy. LIUNA will never forget who they are. I am convinced more than ever that in spite of the division, strife, and the violence which we saw today, our nation, our democracy, and our institutions will never be broken and will continue on as long as we stand together and work together. We must come together and move past this terrible and tragic moment. We as a country are bigger and better than our disagreements. There are many more individuals of courage and sense than the cowards who attacked us today. The American people and the strong, proud and united brothers and sisters of LIUNA understand the meaning of dedication, commitment and solidarity. Let us recommit ourselves to working together for the common good, a stronger democracy and the economic well-being of the working-class of this country.

President Fred Rolando, Letter Carriers (NALC): 

Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, just steps from our headquarters, was a disgraceful betrayal of our democracy, our elected officials and the law enforcement personnel who protect them. That it was incited by the outgoing president of the United States makes it all the more appalling. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Letter carriers, like our fellow American citizens, are diverse, opinionated and passionate about their values and politics, which NALC appreciates and celebrates. But a line has been crossed that can never be excused, accepted or repeated. Yesterday, should have been a peaceful and happy day. One on which members of Congress represented their constituents and the will of their states’ voters by formally certifying presidential election results. It should have been a day when dissenting Americans gathered peacefully to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest. Instead, a mob, triggered by a president who refuses to accept the results of our recent election, attempted to thwart the hallmark of our democracy for more than two centuries–the peaceful transfer of power. That is unforgivable. Although it is deeply saddening that four people lost their lives, we can take some solace in the fact that the attack on our democracy utterly failed. After order was restored, a joint session of Congress reconvened and certified the results of the 2020 Election by accepting the votes of the Electoral College. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamal Harris will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. We believe President-elect Biden’s record of working with leaders in both parties to make progress and build unity will help us overcome the poisonous partisanship that has plagued our country for so long. I hope every member of our union will join me in doing our part to heal the deep divisions that led to yesterday’s tragedy.

International President Robert Martinez Jr., Machinists (IAM):

Violence is never the answer. The rioters in Washington, DC will not stop our sacred traditions of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. The Machinists Union and the labor movement will not stand for it.

President Cecil Roberts, Mine Workers (UMWA):

The violence that swept up Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. yesterday was sickening to all true Americans. There is nothing wrong with peaceful protest. Every American has the right to protest and to make our voice heard. I and millions of others who served in our nation’s armed forces fought our country’s wars to secure that right. But no one, no matter how high their office, has the right to incite violence. No one, no matter how deep their grievance, has the right to destroy property. No one, no matter what their political views, has the right to threaten members of Congress and their staffs who are performing their constitutional duty on behalf of all of us. We saw all of that yesterday, and worse. People are dead. Police officers are injured. And for what? Nothing was changed. Congress discharged its duty and America’s democratic principles prevailed. All we are left with are the images of a violent mob attacking the very foundation of our Republic. Once they did that, they stopped being protesters and became criminals. America is better than that.

Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN, National Nurses United (NNU):

Nurses agree with the statement by President-elect Biden that "our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we have seen in modern times’ and his labelling of the violent assault on the Capitol today as insurrection.” As nurses, we are deeply disturbed by the scenes of violence and threats to our elected leaders, the dedicated people who work in the Capitol, and anyone else subjected to this unconscionable attack on our most fundamental symbols of democracy. This was a violent attempt to stop Congress from confirming the people’s choice for president and vice president. As such, it’s an attack on democracy itself, instigated by the president of the United States. The actions we have seen unfold today are the inevitable result of what President Trump has inspired and incited for years, from encouraging attacks on protesters at his rallies and on officials ordering safety measures in response to the pandemic, to embracing armed white supremacists, to the constant demonization, in the starkest of terms, of his political opponents. All of that has escalated in the weeks leading to the election, and especially after the November vote when the president has denounced the legitimacy of a democratic election, promoted outlandish conspiracy theories, and urged his armed supporters to act to "save this country.” The president has been encouraging sedition. No one is above the law. He is responsible for the scenes we have seen today at the Capitol and he should be held accountable. We, as a nation, must come together to begin to heal, to refocus first and foremost on containing this terrible pandemic, and on being able to respect political differences and rebuild a democracy that has been so endangered.

President Sean McGarvey, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU):

Today’s despicable events are unprecedented, and, as we have all seen, are extremely dangerous. North America’s Building Trades Unions call on President Trump to immediately step down and transfer power per the Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. If he refuses, the Cabinet must immediately invoke the 25th amendment to remove the president. Any less action by the Cabinet, and America should consider them all co-conspirators. We also call on Senators Cruz and Hawley to immediately resign along with the twelve other U.S. Senators and the 140 House members objecting to the Electoral College certification. They all must step down immediately. We call on a bipartisan commission to investigate and identify all planners, funders, and coordinators of this attempted coup and refer them to prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, and further for them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If these actions are not taken immediately, in anticipation of what is already one of the worst domestic episodes in our country’s history, things could get much worse over the next 14 days very quickly. Thus, we urge all law-abiding Americans to stand up and demand the same to protect our precious democracy from tyrants and thugs.

General President James T. Callahan, Operating Engineers (IUOE):

The attack on our Capitol by a mob of rioters, supported and cheered on by some who swore an oath to protect and defend our democracy, is an affront to all who have served and sacrificed for our nation. These were not the actions of patriots, rather they were dangerous and disgraceful acts of political extremists. Leading this insurrection were President Trump and his allies. For weeks, Trump has trafficked in lies and conspiracy theories to deny the legitimate outcome of the election. The truth is he lost both the Electoral College and popular vote in a free and fair election. His reprehensible actions culminating in yesterday’s tragic events should disqualify him from holding public office one day longer. Despite the terror and damage inflicted upon “the people’s house,” the foundations of our democracy remain solid. Undaunted, House and Senate lawmakers finished their work and certified the presidential electoral vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The Operating Engineers look forward to working with the Biden Administration and beginning the critical work of rebuilding our infrastructure, safely bringing an end to the COVID-19 crisis and remaking our economy to lift all working families into the American middle class. We can and we will build back better.

Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT): 

We are saddened by today's flagrant attack on our democracy. The attempted coup has been instigated by too many Republican politicians, namely Donald Trump. Any politician who incited or promoted what happened today is no friend of workers. We stand with our sisters and brothers in the labor movement ready to defend our democratic institutions.

Office and Professional Employees:

Yesterday was one of the darkest, most shameful days in our nation's history. Incited by the rhetoric of Donald Trump, domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened the lives of our nation's lawmakers, their staffs and the men and women who serve what President-Elect Joe Biden called "the citadel of liberty." This insurrection was directly incited by President Trump and his allies and they must be held accountable. This president has violated his oath to the nation to defend and protect our constitution. He must immediately be removed from office. Despite his reckless and dangerous actions, our democracy—though tested and strained—has held. Last night, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill and certified the presidential electoral vote for Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris. It's now time to move forward to this new administration and begin the difficult work of rebuilding our democracy, leading us safely through the COVID-19 crisis and rebuilding our economy for all working families by putting Americans back to work.

Executive Director Jerame Davis, Pride At Work:

What we’re witnessing at the Capitol today is nothing less than an attack on our country and on our people brought to life by a president who refuses to accept that millions turned out to elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. Let there be no doubt, this is what terrorism looks like: an angry mob violently invading our Capitol and threatening our elected leaders, even the very Republican leaders—who egged them on. We are here today due to the cheering of some Republicans and the silence of others. This president and his Republican allies fed lie after lie to their supporters about this election in order to undermine the will of the people and desperately attempt to hold onto power they clearly do not deserve. They will not prevail.

President Stuart Appelbaum, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU):

The events that occurred in our nation’s capital yesterday should have horrified all people living in our country. The very act of storming the U.S. Capitol in the name of overturning this election directly undermines our democracy. At the same time, we are dismayed by the wholly inadequate response from law enforcement officials. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a historic movement for racial justice grow in this country. Unfortunately, the response from the President, law enforcement, and the national guard at many Black Lives Matter rallies throughout our cities could not have been more different. It pains us to watch the security at the Capitol put up little to no resistance as they both let in and escorted out the people attempting this coup against our nation. We have to be clear—the probable reason that this coup attempt was not dealt with in the same way as the Black Lives Matter rallies was because the people attempting it were white and not seen as threatening. We must call this out and take a stand against the deep racism that allows a situation like this to take place. It cannot be lost on us that Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to “take action” and “stand by” for January 6th as he continues to spread conspiracies and lies about the results of this election. In the labor movement, we’re used to employers using these same kinds of tactics to undermine workers’ rights and keep working people disempowered. As a union, we know how to overcome division and bring people from many different backgrounds together with a common goal for justice. Although Trump lost this election, we can’t expect this way of thinking to disappear once he is removed from office. We need to join together across race, gender, and class lines to push back against Trumpian logic and this rise of the far right. Our democracy depends on it.

SAG-AFTRA:

SAG-AFTRA condemns in the strongest terms yesterday’s attack on America’s foundational principles. Rioters, emboldened and encouraged by a sitting president and his enablers who have peddled baseless conspiracy theories, stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to subvert democracy. As a union and a democratic organization, we are appalled by this attack on the values we hold most sacred. The disgraceful scenes coming out of the nation’s capital have undermined America’s institutions and its standing in the world. Displays of the Confederate flag and other symbols of white supremacy and hate were meant to subjugate and terrorize people of color and those of certain faiths. This poison attacks the diverse membership of our union and the labor movement. Yesterday’s attack was an inevitable result of sustained misinformation campaigns that attempt to discredit journalists while weaving a counter-narrative based on falsehoods. Our members include broadcast journalists, who have been increasingly targeted by extremists who feel threatened by the facts. The number of attacks on journalists has spiked in the last year, and members of yesterday's mob attacked broadcast journalists and destroyed cameras and other equipment, and left graffiti on a Capitol door reading “Murder the Media,” leaving no question where they stand. The reckless rhetoric by some leaders—including many members of Congress who continued to perpetuate lies even after the attack—is damaging the fabric of our nation and costing lives. SAG-AFTRA is nonpartisan, representing members of all political views, but we cannot be silent as an angry, violent group attempts to rob the American people of their right to self-governance. We denounce this attempted insurrection and all who support it. 

International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART):

We have just witnessed a sad day in American history. Leave no doubt, these violent, anti-democratic actions were incited by the current president and his cohorts—both elected and unelected—who have misled their supporters for far too long. SMART, along with our sisters and brothers across the labor movement, rejects all threats to a peaceful transition of power and stands ready to defend our nation’s democratic institutions.

International President Matthew D. Loeb, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE):

When Pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. today, we watched one of the most egregious assaults on our Democracy in American History. This is unacceptable in America, and we can never allow it to happen again. Make no mistake, the people who incited this radical terrorist attack, including those within our own government, are culpable in their propagation of criminal acts and must be held accountable. And lest we forget the politicians who, by malice or ignorance, enabled this behavior by acting as Donald Trump’s personal lapdogs over the last four years. To those who stood back and stood by while propagandists attempted to poison our republic: Your remarkable and embarrassing display of spinelessness will not be forgotten. But right now it is of the utmost possible urgency to do the right thing and ensure a peaceful transition of power in this unprecedented moment. The American people deserve better, because they voted for it. Real American Leadership will be restored when Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20th. The will of the people is sacred and no transgressor will deny it.

Transport Workers Union (TWU):

The TWU strongly condemns the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Working people in the Capitol were put senselessly at risk, for doing the essential work of our democracy. We stand with trade union movement in the fight for a stronger, more peaceful democracy.

Secretary-Treasurer Greg Regan, Transportation Trades Department:

It is the tragic, but natural conclusion to four years of leadership by a president who put his own financial, legal, and personal wellbeing squarely before the needs of the nation at every turn. A president who peddled in conspiracy theories and lies, rather than a respect for the power of his office and the citizens it serves.

Union Veterans Council: 

The Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO denounces today’s attempted coup in Washington D.C and at the U.S. Capitol building. This assault on our democracy and on the safety of U.S. citizens was fueled by the venomous rhetoric of President Donald Trump and his continued refusal to acknowledge his loss in November’s election, and enabled by many Republican lawmakers who have followed the president’s every whim. As service members, we fought for the safety of our democracy and the sanctity of our constitution, and we will not stand to see violent extremists and political enablers attack both. The Union Veterans Council calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice under the full force of U.S. law.

President D. Taylor and Secretary-Treasurer Gwen Mills, UNITE HERE:

THIS is what Democracy looks like. It’s Joyce. Hannah. Melissa. Ron. And 1000 other UNITE HERE canvassers and so many more, who in the face of loss and white nationalist terrorists, nevertheless... persisted. Knocking on millions of doors. Sharing their stories. Of grief. Of survival. Of hope. Inspiring thousands of people to vote their conscience. To vote for change. And in so doing, we are taking back our country. Building on the work of our allies, we took back the Senate by winning two seats in Georgia in the heart of the South—just as we took back the presidency through our hard work in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida. Today, let’s not forget this labor and what we have achieved together to create a more perfect union. Today, we celebrate the power of our solidarity and what we have done together to keep the spirit of democracy alive.

General President Mark McManus, United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA): 

Today’s vote to certify the Electoral College results is one of many steps in the sacred and peaceful transition of power in this country. The right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Constitution, but today’s display of lawlessness and violence is dangerous and a threat to our democracy. Make no mistake about it: the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol today have no interest in the rule of law. We are grateful to law enforcement and the first responders who have worked tirelessly, and continue to do so, to protect Members of Congress, their staffs, and our fellow American citizens. In any election, the very heart of our democracy is at stake—regardless of your political affiliation or preference. Loyal opposition and advocating for your beliefs, peacefully and within the law, should and must be the norm. For over 131 years, the United Association has followed this norm even as we have disagreed with a wide range of politicians, and we will continue to do so. Quite frankly, we are better than this as a country and as a society at large. Every UA member can do his or her part to respect all opinions, look out for our collective families, and try to be a positive force in this country we all love.

President Rory Gamble, UAW: 

This is a very sad day for our nation and our democracy. This is not how this great nation, nor responsible citizens handle elections or our differences. We are a better people than this storming mob and I am optimistic that despite today’s events, we will regain our footing and we will move forward for the greater good of all of us. As a nation, we are learning in a profound way that we all have a personal responsibility to safeguard this democracy. We cannot take our system of government for granted and we must be vigilant to ensure that our democracy maintains its historical position as the gold standard for freedom and liberty. Today’s actions must not be allowed to alter that. This is truly a singular point in our history. The violence at the Capitol today is a deliberate and despicable attempt by extremists to disrupt our great republic. It will not succeed. We, as a nation, are stronger than this one shameful incident. There is room in this great democracy, as in our own union, for disagreement. It is one of the great strengths of our democratic system. We are better than that and today above all, we must remember that there is more that unites us than divides us. There is absolutely no room for this type of mob rule in a functioning democratic system. This is a day none of us should or will ever forget. But please let us remember that there is much work to be done—and we must take the personal responsibility to do it together. We are the United States and unite we must. I urge us all to work together to move forward and heal our nation.

United Steelworkers (USW): 

President Donald Trump spent the last four years stoking the flames of division, feeding a constant stream of deliberate misinformation to his base and openly attacking the basic tenets of American democracy. His focus has been his own self-interest and not on the preservation of our nation or his constitutional duties as the president. Yesterday, his inflammatory rhetoric finally culminated in a group of his misguided supporters storming the U.S. Capitol, and putting the lives of government leaders and workers at risk. Tragically, four people are now dead as a result of this unpatriotic attack, and America is left to pick up the pieces in the wake of domestic terrorism he has spurred. The USW is repulsed by this episode and this president, but we are determined to do everything we can to protect our republic and ensure President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s peaceful transition to the White House on Jan. 20. As a free and independent labor movement, we can never stand by and watch a demagogue tear down our institutions and rights as Americans. The nation is not Donald Trump’s private playground. The people have spoken, as they do every four years, and it is time to move forward rebuilding our country on a firm foundation of equality, justice and peace.

Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE):

Incited by the outgoing President, an angry mob of far-right extremists invaded our nation’s Capitol this week with the express purpose of preventing Congress from certifying the results of the Presidential election. Many WGAE members have written about the dangers of hateful rhetoric and of vilifying people because of their race or gender, religion or political philosophy.  Our members’ warnings proved true with this violent insurrection. We condemn this organized, pre-meditated attempt to thwart the will of the American electorate. We condemn those who participated directly and those who stoked the ugly flames of bigotry and delusion through their speeches, tweets and statements to the press. As a union, we understand political passion and dissent. We understand mobilization and protest. That is not what happened in D.C. this week. It was a racist, authoritarian coup attempt, wrapped in the flags of the outgoing President and of the Confederate states whose mission was to preserve enslavement. If the nation is to move forward, we must be unequivocal in our opposition to the anti-democratic, far-right demagoguery and the violence that inevitably follows. We look forward to working with elected officials who are committed to the rights of working people and to amplifying the voices of the oppressed. There is much work to do. Let us recommit to it.

President Vince Beltrami (IBEW), Alaska AFL-CIO:

We. Are. Angry. Angry at an assault on our nation’s hallowed capital and our elected representatives—Angry at a president who blatantly incited insurrection perpetrated by domestic terrorists—Angry that so many Americans have been sucked into the disgusting cloud of lies spewed daily for four years by this president—Angry that the US Senate and a large minority in the House of Representatives have been not only complicit but have given false credence to this wannabe dictator and his assault on our sacred Constitution. And yet this president has simultaneously and incredulously somehow convinced many Americans that he and they are standing up FOR the Constitution. The hypocrisy is staggering. Never has our country had as ill-suited a person sit in the most powerful seat in the land. For any successes his supporters may claim, and there are a few we might even agree with, the rest of his behavior has done nothing but embolden fringe elements from all corners of this vast country, resulting in yesterday’s clear act of sedition against the United States of America. This president has sown more division and hatred between Americans than any other president in the two and a half centuries of our republic’s existence. Yesterday, our country saw the icing on the cake, the indelible stain, the outright assault, and what should be the final straw; a direct assault on our greatest governmental institution by the “Commander-in-Chief” himself. The country cannot endure 14 more days with this extremely unhinged narcissist in charge of anything. It is the duty of our Alaska Congressional Delegation to say enough is enough. While we don’t generally agree with Vice-President Mike Pence on much of anything, he appears recently to have displayed a modicum of honor and should immediately assume all duties of the president until the pending inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, through whatever means necessary: impeachment, via the 25th Amendment, or any other legal and possible means to remove Donald J. Trump from the White House as soon as humanly possible. This invocation of insurrection is as anti-American as anything ever perpetrated against our country. It cannot stand. It cannot go unpunished. This is a clarion call to uphold, protect, and save our great country. We must heed this call and heed it quickly. We ignore it at great peril. Congressman Young, Senator Murkowski, and Senator Sullivan, it is time for you to lead. Alaska, and indeed the entire United States, is counting on you. 

California Labor Federation: 

We call on California Republican members of Congress, especially [GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy], to immediately and forcefully condemn this attempted coup by white supremacist terrorists acting at Trump’s behest. Trust and believe we will not forget those who stayed silent during this civil unrest.

President Charlie Flemming (IAM) and Secretary Treasurer Yvonne Brooks (AFSCME), Georgia AFL-CIO:

The Georgia AFL-CIO, the state’s largest federation of Georgia’s working people, wholeheartedly condemns the unconscionable attempted insurrections on the Georgia and U.S Capitol buildings. Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration and elation as Americans across the country woke up to the news that Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were projected to win their historical Senate runoff election races. By midday, we witnessed in horror as President Donald Trump, fresh off the heels from spreading months of lies about the presidential election, sparked and encouraged an insurrection that laid siege to the very center of our democracy. And here in Georgia, we watched as one of the brightest days in our state’s history turned into catastrophe as an armed pro-Trump mob of white supremacist militias swarmed our state Capitol, leading to the evacuation of Brad Raffensberger and his staff members. This is not what America’s labor movement stands for and we will not stand for this. President Trump has abused his office and is a clear and present danger to American citizens. We call on Congress to hold every person involved in this unconscionable attack accountable, from the Atlanta Police Department, to the Capitol Police, to Republican congressional leaders.

President John R. Durso and Executive Director Roger Clayman, Long Island Federation of Labor: 

Make no mistake about it, what we witnessed last week at the U.S. Capitol was an insurrection. It was orchestrated by the President and enabled by elected Republicans who have refused to stand up to him. It was a disgrace and a very dark day in American history. Representative Lee Zeldin and a group of right-wing fellow travelers in Congress pushed objections to the presidential election that never had any basis in fact or evidence. That act, in and of itself, is despicable. Attempting to undermine elections without evidence undermines the foundation of democracy. As a trade union movement, we understand the historical significance of democracy as the cornerstone of our rights. The laws protecting working people are far from perfect, and we work tirelessly to change them and make our voices heard – without violence. This president and his cronies are no friends of working families and no friends of America. The violence in the sacred halls of government cannot be disentangled from the seditious actions of Rep. Zeldin and other Republican right wingers. 

President Ron Herrera (IBT), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor:

Yesterday, an attempted coup breached America’s most sacred building to undermine our most sacred institution, our electoral process.  This violent attack by a mob on our democracy put the safety of not only our representatives, but of working people such as janitors, maintenance workers, and staff members at risk. While we may be outraged and even shocked, we are certainly not surprised. Years of violent rhetoric and a massive misinformation campaign has created an environment of hate and distrust, culminating in yesterday’s disgraceful events at our nation’s capital. But these are only symptoms of issues of much larger systemic problems. The chaos of our democracy started in our workplaces and in our communities, hurting working families and pitting working people against each other. Now this chaos has spread to our nation’s capital and our screens for the entire world to see. It is undeniable and impossible to ignore. We see today the broken windows and splintered doors left behind. But as always, who is left to pick up the pieces? Who shows up the next morning to clean the mess? It is our essential workers—our frontline heroes, the majority of which are workers of color—who come in and bring order and calmness after tragedy. These workers are what’s best in us and we should take note: all that is broken can be fixed with intention and determination. This may be a dark moment in our history, but it is our next steps that will define us. Let us work together to heal the wounds of yesterday and pick up the shattered pieces of today. We must walk in solidarity towards healing so that we may persevere united as Americans; just as we have done so many times before. If the Labor Movement has shown us anything, it is that no matter your background or walk of life, we can build a more just society for all.

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

President Ron Bieber (UAW) also called out Michigan's Republican members of Congress Lisa McClain, Tim Walberg and Jack Bergman, who have suggested they will vote later this week to throw out Michigan's 5.56 million votes for president in an illegal, unconstitutional attempt to hand the presidential election to the loser, Donald Trump. What these Republicans are trying to do is not only blatantly illegal and undemocratic—it's un-American. They obviously know that these conspiracy theories are false and ridiculous, which is why they all voted to seat themselves just yesterday. It's time for them to drop their objections to the same ballots they were elected on, stop trying to steal the election, and move forward.

President Vincent Alvarez (IBEW), New York City Central Labor Council:

This week, working families across our city and nation were witness to one of the darkest days in our history, as a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn a free and fair election and prevent a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power. Freedom of speech is one of our most fundamental principles, and every American has the right to protest and to make their voices heard. But that's not what this was. Wednesday's events, instigated by Donald Trump and his enablers, constituted an unprecedented attack on our democracy from within our own borders. Not only were our members of Congress and their staffs threatened, so was the safety of the thousands of hard working men and women who keep our Capitol running. All Americans must come together to not only condemn these attacks, but to hold accountable those within our own government who poured fuel on the fire by spreading lies and inciting their followers to politically motivated violence.

President Mike Pilcher (IAFF), Northern Nevada Central Labor Council:

President Trump's Stop the Steal rally yesterday, his indirect call for insurrection, and the resulting coup attempt and violence are inexcusable. What we’re seeing is an attack on our country, on our people, brought on by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other and elect Joe Biden by overwhelming margins. American blood staining the United States Capital represents an unconscionable assault on our democracy, our people and our principles. We must stand together, as one union, to counter the dark forces of corruption and selfish individualism. We demand bold action immediately to hold those complicit in inciting today’s attack accountable and to make this country a true democracy, where the will of the people determines the actions of our leaders and results in a government of the people, by the people and for the people—the working class people. Organized Labor will stand united, stay together and continue our collective efforts against organized greed.

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol and on our democracy at the hands of law-breaking thugs will forever be remembered as one of America’s darkest days and those responsible must be held accountable. This tragic event was years in the making, as so many of us in the house of Labor had warned against, by the coddling and enabling of a lying, corrupt, and dangerous president. Let this serve as a catastrophic lesson as to what can happen when those elected to public office traffic in conspiracy theories, misinformation, and lies, to benefit their own narrow political fortunes or twisted personal agendas, at the expense of what’s best for the country. We must never forget this tragedy and what led to it and now must come together to restore trust and faith in our democratic institutions.  We also call on Congress to get to the bottom of what appeared to be an unacceptable lack of building security and how this happened.

President Graham Trainor (UAW), Oregon AFL-CIO: 

We witnessed one of the greatest assaults on democracy in the history of our great nation today. Oregon’s unions condemn this violent attack. Make no mistake: this act did not happen casually nor without instruction. For years, President Donald Trump has spewed conspiracies, hate and outright lies to his supporters and today’s attack in our nation’s capital is the result of his words and actions. Our country is in the grip of a deadly pandemic. We need our government to be able to function without fear of the violence we saw today in Washington D.C. and last month in Salem. There is too much important work to do to deliver much needed relief to working people. This kind of obstructionist violence cannot continue.

President Kevin Gundlach (AFSCME), South Central Federation of labor:

The South Central Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO condemns the insurrectionists who attacked our U.S. Capitol and all those who work and serve within it. Let’s make this clear. The responsibility lies equally on those who committed these atrocious acts, as well Trump and his Republican allies in Congress, who continued to stoke the conspiratorial lies and incited this mob. This was not an expression of democracy.  This was an attack against it. We stand with our sisters and brother of the AFL-CIO, all of labor, and all honorable Americans to protect our democracy from such seditious and treasonous acts.

President Rick Levy, Texas AFL-CIO:

The Texas labor movement condemns yesterday’s outright assault on our democracy, a seditious insurrection aided and abetted by officials who are sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Donald Trump, who will be gone from the White House soon, did not act alone. He was shamelessly and cynically enabled by the likes of Ted Cruz, Ken Paxton, Greg Abbott and several Texas Republicans in Congress. The overrunning of the Capitol is a natural result when politicians fan the flames of racism with lies and bogus conspiracies—not just over the last four weeks, but over the last four years. The coming days will shed light on how one of the most sacred halls in our country was breached, tearing at the heart of our nation’s peaceful transfer of power. We look forward to seeing everyone who had a hand in this historically awful moment held accountable, whether by criminal or political processes. For now, we make one thing clear: The Texas labor movement will fight like hell for our members and to protect our democracy.

Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation:

On Wednesday, we witnessed one of the worst attacks on our Democracy since the Civil War. On a day we should have been celebrating the against-all-odds election of a pro-worker majority to the U.S. Senate, right-wing vigilantes, armed with bats, guns, and pipe bombs, forced their way into the U.S. Capitol in a planned attempt to block the will of the people by preventing certification of Joe Biden as president. Incited by Donald J. Trump, these treasonous opponents of racial equality and democracy desecrated the national capitol with the Confederate flag, then, with few exceptions, were allowed to walk out without arrest.  This attempted coup was an attack on all of us—our Constitution, our democracy, and our country. It is the consequence of a repetition of lies and conspiracy theories by a president who refuses to accept that millions of us turned out to stand with and for each other to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by overwhelming margins. The violence was stoked by the baseless allegations of election fraud conjured by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and far too many others in the last two months. The lessons of history were ignored, as Republican officials put short-term political gain ahead of their constitutional responsibilities. Standing amidst the glass of shattered windows in the US Capitol Wednesday night, Gulf Coast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Brian Babin, Rep. Troy Nehls, Rep. Pete Sessions, and Rep. Randy Weber joined a majority of the Texas GOP Congressional delegation in voting to undo the results of a fair and free election. In so doing, these men abdicated their responsibility to the American people and violated their oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. We must never forget. Ted Cruz and other Republicans who set the stage for Wednesday’s insurrection by attacking the legitimacy of the November election are no longer fit for office. They should resign immediately and face consequences. We call on the members of the Gulf Coast Congressional delegation to act immediately to remove Donald Trump from office. We call upon them to investigate and sanction those Congress members who broke their oath of office by attempting to overturn the election, including removal from office. Further, we demand the Texas House of Representatives immediately begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Ken Paxton and any other state official who supported the attack on the Capitol Building and sought to overturn the results of the November election. Democracy is the voice for all. The labor movement will not let anyone take it away from us.

President Larry Brown (IAM) and Secretary-Treasurer April Sims (AFSCME), Washington State Labor Council: 

Today, we are all seeing a sitting president incite a mob to prevent the peaceful transition of power. We know that today’s events are traumatizing for so many of us, especially as we watch the stark contrast between the treatment of the pro-Trump rioters attempting a coup, and the treatment of Black Lives Matter protestors demanding justice for all Americans. We cannot ignore that Republicans, including Washington’s own Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, have encouraged and enabled this desperate attempt to hold onto power to distract from their failure to help working families get critical pandemic relief in the midst of crisis.

President Stephanie Bloomingdale (AFT), Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic...” That’s the oath of office Senator Ron Johnson took. And that’s the oath he has repeatedly violated. His efforts to spread universally debunked conspiracy theories about the election being stolen and his willingness to join with other Republican members of Congress in obstructing today’s formal, constitutionally mandated tally of the Electoral College vote represent a shocking breach of trust. Whether Senator Johnson and the others who participated in this political malpractice are motivated by a delusional belief in Donald Trump’s claims of electoral fraud or simply cynical political calculation, they share responsibility for the shocking events in the U.S. Capitol today. Their complicity in this direct assault on our democratic system is as clear as if they joined the rioters smashing windows, ransacking the Capitol and violating our nation’s most sacred civic space. These actions are part of a troubling and toxic loyalty to a political party rather than to the people they were elected to serve. Sadly, at both the state and federal level, too many of Wisconsin’s elected Republicans have consistently placed their personal interests and preservation of partisan power ahead of the needs of the people of our state. The threat to our democracy that this brand of hyper-partisanship represents was foreseen by our first president. In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned attachment to party over the common good, “agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, and foments occasionally riot and insurrection.” It’s time for Senator Johnson and other Wisconsin Republicans to free themselves from the grip of the legitimately defeated 45th president and reflect on the wisdom of our first.

Economic Policy Institute:

Yesterday, at the incitement of President Trump, a large crowd of mostly white domestic terrorists attempted to overtake the U.S. Capitol in a violent coup attempt—while threatening the safety of members of Congress, Hill staff, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, janitors, and other working people who show up to work every day to make our legislative branch function. This is a terrifying, but not surprising, way to end President Trump’s term, which has been bolstered by white supremacists who have sought to overturn the election results based on a massive misinformation campaign. Trump should be removed from office for his seditious actions, either by invoking the 25th amendment or through impeachment. Law enforcement officers who failed to protect the American people yesterday should also be held accountable. Police were seen taking selfies with protestors and letting them through a barricaded area. The majority of the terrorists who breached the U.S. Capitol were allowed to return home without consequence, despite their violent acts. This is in stark contrast to the actions taken by law enforcement officers this summer, who used tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful Black Lives Matters protestors—who were fighting against systematic racism. “We need to stand up to racism,” said EPI President Thea Lee. “We urge President-elect Biden and the next Congress to prioritize racial equity as they develop a policy platform to help working people recover from the economic and public health aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The next Senate should pass D.C. statehood, which will give Washington, D.C., residents the power to call in the National Guard and not have to rely on the president for their safety. The residents of D.C. deserve to be protected with the full power and respect of a state government and the right to elect leaders to advocate for them in Congress.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 01/07/2021 - 09:38
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Georgia Votes!

2 weeks 2 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Georgia Votes!

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.

“It’s finally here. Today is Election Day for Georgia’s Senate runoff campaign—where millions of us will decide the fate of the U.S. Senate and the future of our country,” said Georgia State AFL-CIO President Charlie Flemming (IAM).

“Election Day is always an exciting time, and for me it’s a testament to the incredible hard work every single union member, whether here on the ground in Georgia or across the nation, has put into these two runoff Senate races. In such a short period of time, in such unprecedented conditions, we have phone banked hundreds of thousands of voters. And thanks to major efforts from our affiliates and partner organizations, we have safely knocked on millions—yes, millions—of doors. We have hosted dozens of caravans, rallies and literature drop events. And we have welcomed both the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff into our event spaces on multiple occasions. Early voting ended with a record 3 million votes. And as the rest of the votes come in today (polls close at 7 p.m.), I could not be prouder to serve Georgia’s working people.”

Across the country, thousands of union members participated in the AFL-CIO’s Georgia Postcard Campaign. Launched Dec. 1, the program targeted both union and nonunion voters who needed an extra push to make sure they vote early, by mail or on Election Day, Jan. 5.

We’d like to extend a special thank you to everyone who went above and beyond in this effort. In a matter of three weeks, over the peak holidays, the AFL-CIO state and local central bodies, affiliates, constituency groups, allies and the Committee on Working Women ordered postcards in droves. The numbers speak for themselves: In total, 400,209 postcards were ordered, shipped, distributed, handwritten and then sent back out to voters. The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement sent more than 5,600 postcards, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists sent 4,500, and all of the labor movement’s allies and constituency groups stepped up in a big way.

For months, AFL-CIO members from coast to coast hosted virtual phone banks to reach hundreds of thousands of union and nonunion voters in Georgia. Altogether, thanks to efforts from our affiliated unions, state federations and local labor bodies, the AFL-CIO’s virtual phone banks made over 618,456 calls. Virtual events, such as the Texas AFL-CIO’s “Solidary Phone Bank for Georgia en Español,” Pride At Work’s collaborative phone bank with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and countless other events, made a real difference in this election.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 01/05/2021 - 09:43
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Rest in Peace, Byron Charlton

2 weeks 3 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Rest in Peace, Byron Charlton

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 AFL-CIO is mourning the death of our dear former colleague Byron Charlton (TNG-CWA). Most recently, Byron worked as a legislative representative, but his commitment to and history with the labor movement was deep. Byron was a trade unionist to his core. From his days as a steelworker in Radford, Virginia, to his central role in organizing the Newport News Shipyard to his advocacy for the labor movement’s agenda on Capitol Hill, particularly around federal employee issues, Byron’s service to our movement spanned half a century. Byron also made his mark on the world stage, including a stint as assistant to the executive director of the African American Labor Center. Simply put, if you knew the AFL-CIO, you knew Byron. He was a warm and thoughtful colleague, someone who would pop into your office just to see how you were doing. He was a conscience of the federation on racial justice: outspoken, determined and fully devoted to bettering the lives of all working people. Byron died due to complications of COVID-19. As he rests, let us honor his memory by fighting to end this pandemic once and for all.

Read Byron's full obituary at Serenity Funeral Home, where you can also find details on his service and how to express your sympathy for his family. Those left to mourn are his adoring wife of 36 years, Carolyn Charlton; a daughter, Dr. Angela Charlton of Ashburn, Virginia; a grandson, Khiorie Stewart of Fredericksburg, Virginia; a brother, Lawrence Charlton of Palm Bay, Florida; sisters-in-law Margie Charlton of Roanoke, Virginia, and Janet Charlton of Johnson City, Tennessee; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends across the United States and around the world.

His joyful presence will be deeply missed.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:27

Tags: Organizing, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

Georgia's Working People Deserve Better: In the States Roundup

2 weeks 3 days ago
Georgia's Working People Deserve Better: 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.

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Arizona's Electoral College! Proud to have Arizona's Labor Movement represented so prominently! https://t.co/c5MIM7kSW1

— Arizona AFL-CIO // #VotersDecided (@ArizonaAFLCIO) December 14, 2020

California Labor Federation:

NEW: We've launched a website to help workers affected by the pandemic obtain assistance ranging from UI to health care and food. https://t.co/jIb8e0P5V3 is a resource for both laid-off members & all workers who are struggling with the economic and health impacts of #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/dHkwS32t7S

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) December 17, 2020

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Nobody should be evicted in the middle of a pandemic @GovofCo please extend Colorado’s eviction moratorium and keep our neighbors housed through the new year. #KeepColoradansHoused.

— Colorado AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOCO) December 30, 2020

Florida AFL-CIO:

It’s been almost a year since the COVID-19 economic crisis began, and Florida’s unemployment system is still failing out of work Floridians.https://t.co/8ozp6l96mA

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) December 28, 2020

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

"I don't believe Loeffer or Perdue represent the people. They've made millions during the pandemic. They're just looking out for themselves."

Robert, an @iupatdc77 member, knows Georgia's working people deserve better — and @ReverendWarnock and @ossoff will get us there. https://t.co/XlBts0Zqyg

— Georgia AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOGeorgia) January 4, 2021

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

RESPECT ALL WORKERShttps://t.co/0e8a9IzNbl

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) January 4, 2021

Iowa Federation of Labor:

USPS letter carrier brings 25 days of packages, mail and 'good vibes' https://t.co/y6h24ZBQki by @Fox29WFLX

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) January 4, 2021

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Happy New Year! Help secure a pro-worker majority in the Senate by making calls to Georgia. To get involved and receive instructions, email MA AFL-CIO Senior Organizer Brian Dunn at bdunn@massaflcio.org. pic.twitter.com/Ic7lwFKVMl

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO // #VotersDecided (@massaflcio) January 1, 2021

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

Beautiful remembrance. There’s a brick from the Italian Hall on display at our Union Square building in downtown Lansing. Their memory inspires us to fight for a better future for working folks. https://t.co/rN9RZqz1oA

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

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

In 2021, unions will press legislature for action for working people https://t.co/2ga7VdLBC7 #1u #mnleg

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) January 4, 2021

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Great news for workers. This is what happens when working people vote together. We raise wages for all! We were proud to help lead this effort to increase the minimum wage in Missouri. https://t.co/yeHGHjBf2P

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) December 30, 2020

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

Congratulations #AWU on your success in standing up for your brothers and sisters. https://t.co/dif7hUHHv7

— New Jersey AFL-CIO (@NJAFLCIO) January 4, 2021

New York State AFL-CIO:

The repowering of Danskammer is critical to the future reliability of our energy infrastructure, and in turn essential to our members’ short- and long-term ability to build, serve, and fuel the state’s economy. @NYSDPS pic.twitter.com/zed63hHfnK

— NYS AFL-CIO // #VotersDecided (@NYSAFLCIO) January 4, 2021

Ohio AFL-CIO:

Honored to play our small part in electing @CharmMcGuffey. Huge victory in #Ohio and Hamilton County. https://t.co/2G2LnVRu4f

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) January 4, 2021

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Join Oregon’s Unions, legislators and workers from across the state at the 2021 Oregon Labor Legislative Conference on January 22, 2021: Register for this exciting virtual event today: https://t.co/P3r7H8Wdrz

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) January 3, 2021

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

The best announcement on the first Monday of 2021! ✊ https://t.co/cs2r6bRlOf

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) January 4, 2021

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

#1u #FrontLineWorkers #EssentialWorkers #Nurses @RISEIUCouncil @WeAreUNAP @RaisetheBarRI pic.twitter.com/WztdFmd2tC

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) January 4, 2021

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

Ignoring the will of the people is a dangerous game that threatens the very foundations of American democracy. You are not fit to serve our great state, Sen. @MarshaBlackburn and Senator-Elect @BillHagertyTN and are an embarrassment to Tennesseans. https://t.co/lVwG1DTz2D

— Tennessee AFL-CIO (@tnaflcio) January 3, 2021

Texas AFL-CIO:

2020 Texas AFL-CIO Year In Review:

Even a bad year has some points of light, but end of 2020 will be fond farewell. In no particular order here is our list of some of the top Texas labor stories of 2020. #1u #UnionStrong @AFLCIO

https://t.co/TPMDke5fuR

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) December 29, 2020

Vermont State Labor Council:

State of Working Vermont and Workers Struggles 2020 - Public Assets Institute about how Vermonters are doing: the State of Working Vermont 2020. Dan DiMaggio of Labor Notes for 2020 in review: Workers Struggle Under the Weight of the Pandemic. https://t.co/bzAsCYJRKu

— Green Mountain CLC (@VermontAFLCIO) January 2, 2021

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Can you live equitably these days with $2 an hour? Of course they deserve a minimum wage—all Virginians deserve an increase...⤵️ a throw back to our viral tweet in 2019... still relevant #fightfor15 #justsaying https://t.co/kURjgqbojZ pic.twitter.com/TaUPENNARS

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) December 29, 2020

Washington State Labor Council:

WSLC's April Sims writes: "The multiple threats of a global pandemic, economic free fall, climate disaster and racial injustice have illuminated our society as it really functions, and shown us the power of a united labor movement." #1u #UnionStrong https://t.co/TvB2uBoCOi

— Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) December 15, 2020 Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 01/04/2021 - 10:14
Kenneth Quinnell

Top 10 AFL-CIO Blog Posts of 2020

1 month ago
Top 10 AFL-CIO Blog Posts of 2020

By any measure, 2020 has been one of the most historic years in recent memory. Working people across the country stepped up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, continued to organize their workplaces and came together to help elect a labor-friendly president and vice president in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We covered these stories and many others throughout the year and here are the top 10 most-read stories by you, our readers.

1. In Memoriam: Union Members Lost in COVID-19 Pandemic: "As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the United States, our sisters, brothers and friends in the labor movement are among the first casualties. It is important for us to work together during this crisis to prevent further deaths. It is important to thank those who are doing the work to keep us safe and fed. It is important to remember those who we lost because of the coronavirus."

2. Working People Respond to the Killing of George Floyd with Nationwide Protests: "Racism plays an insidious role in the daily lives of all working people of color. This is a labor issue because it is a workplace issue. It is a community issue, and unions are the community. We must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality."

3. Biden Taps Working People Champions to Transition Teams: "President-elect Joe Biden made sure that the voices of working people will be heard in the transition to his administration. He appointed more than two dozen leaders from the labor movement to the various agency review teams that will help make sure the Biden administration is ready to go on day one."

4. Shame on Corporations Using COVID-19 Pandemic to Attack Workers: "Some greedy corporations are using this time to attack these working people, attempting to use a crisis to roll back the rights of the very people who are dying while keeping America running."

5. Government Must Act to Stop Spread of Economic and Financial Consequences of Coronavirus: "We need government to act to stop financial and economic contagion until the worst of the coronavirus passes and, most importantly, until everyone has a better sense of the exact nature of the threat—that is, until the uncertainty diminishes. Working people must demand that government act, or we and our families will pay the price for others’ lack of action, as we so often have in the past."

6. The Trump Budget: The Other Shoe Drops: "They keep running the same play because it keeps working. Since 2001, the wealthiest 1% of all taxpayers have gotten $2 trillion in tax cuts, and federal tax revenues have been reduced by $5.1 trillion. This is money that should have been used to make life better for working people⁠—for example, by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, funding quality public education for every child and guaranteeing retirement security for our seniors⁠—rather than building up the fortunes of the 1%."

7. 50 Reasons the Trump Administration Is Bad for Workers: "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."

8. The Response to COVID-19: What Working People Are Doing This Week: "'When things like these episodes break out, we’re on the front lines.' – Leo Laffitte, a custodian for 18 years at the Hartford Public Library, a member of AFSCME Local 1716..."

9. The New Front-Line Workers: The Working People Weekly List: "Much of the American workplace has shut down, sending millions of employees home to wait out the coronavirus pandemic. Among those still on the job are grocery-store clerks, prison guards and delivery drivers. 'Who would have ever thought that we would be on the front lines?' said Joyce Babineau, a 67-year-old supermarket supervisor in Dartmouth, Mass., a coastal village 60 miles south of Boston."

10. Breakthrough for Organized Labor and Clean Energy: "Her goal was to go beyond good intentions and rhetoric. So Liz Shuler, as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, the second-highest position in the labor movement and, as it happens, highest-ranking woman in the federation’s history, went to Scandinavia in 2019. She leveraged AFL-CIO’s relationships with their sister union federations to talk directly with top management at some of the largest renewable energy companies in the world."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 12/18/2020 - 13:19
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: The Season of Giving: IBEW Local 103 Holds Annual Christmas Toy Drive

1 month ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: The Season of Giving: IBEW Local 103 Holds Annual Christmas Toy Drive

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 Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 in Boston came together over the weekend to hold their annual toy drive for kids and families in need. The union credited Mayor Martin Walsh (LIUNA) and all of the donors and volunteers who made the event possible. “Thank you so much, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, the IBEW Local 103 volunteers and everyone that donated to our annual Christmas toy drive! I’m so proud of Local 103,” said local Business Manager/Financial Secretary Louis Antonellis.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 12/18/2020 - 08:41

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell
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