Labor News

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IATSE Members Rally in Texas for Extended Unemployment Insurance

2 weeks 1 day ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IATSE Members Rally in Texas for Extended Unemployment Insurance

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.

Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) locals in Texas are pushing to extend the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit to not only entertainment workers, but also to the 30 million families across a wide array of industries who continue to rely on these benefits to make ends meet during the pandemic. IATSE members rallied outside the state Capitol in Austin on Sept. 15 to demand passage of the HEROES Act, which remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/16/2020 - 09:43

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Labor and Faith Forge Partnership for Social, Racial and Economic Justice

2 weeks 2 days ago
Labor and Faith Forge Partnership for Social, Racial and Economic Justice

Today, The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and the AFL-CIO marked the 57th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, where four girls were killed after white supremacists bombed the church on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1963, with a virtual candlelight vigil and commitment to a 10-point pledge for social, racial and economic justice.

At this moment in history, labor and faith must come together, stand together and act to stop the injustices that plague the nation—institutional racism and racist violence, the immoral response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the deepening economic crisis driven by division and greed.

Barber and Trumka called on the labor and faith communities to come together in the spirit of the four girls killed in the bombing to rededicate and recommit to rebuilding our powerful and historic coalition for social, racial and economic justice.

Here is the 10-point pledge:

  1. We call on all of us here in the United States of America to reject death, whether by racism or economic injustice, and unite to fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone. And as we embrace life, we remember those Americans who gave their lives that we might be free—from the beaches of Normandy to the coal camps of West Virginia to the churches of Birmingham and Charleston.
  2. We call on every person, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation or gender identity, to demand that those whom we the people have granted authority—our elected leaders, our government officials and our law enforcement officers, from the president of the United States to the police officer on the beat—to uphold the Constitution and to honor the oaths you took on the Holy Bible to establish justice, provide for the common defense and the general welfare and, in this time of pandemic, to place the lives, health and safety of our people above the greed of the wealthy and the ambitions of the powerful.
  3. We call on the president of the United States to stop lying, to stop stoking hate and racism, and instead to turn his attention and the full power of the federal government he leads to address the physical and economic fear and pain so many now endure. We further call on him to come to the aid of the essential worker, the unemployed, the poor and the vulnerable, whether in nursing homes, in meatpacking houses or on the unemployment lines.
  4. We call on every person of conscience to reject our country going backward. We call on our nation and our elected leaders to embrace America’s promise, to have the courage to embrace the future that we can build together, not the divisive legacies of our past.
  5. We call on the U.S. Senate to address the intertwined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic pain and structural racism by taking up and passing the HEROES Act and the Justice in Policing Act.
  6. We call on both houses of Congress to go beyond the bills still sitting on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk and take bold action to give all of us, but especially the poor among us, all we need to live and thrive and bring a new day for our country, starting with a good job with rights and economic security for all who want to work.
  7. We call on the authorities who have the responsibility of protecting our democracy, and on every person who believes in America, to come together to stop every attempt at voter suppression, and we call on every citizen of our republic to make every sacrifice needed to vote.
  8. We call on every employer—every business, nonprofit and government body in America to give all workers the day off, or at least time off (with pay), to vote on Election Day.
  9. We call on every person who believes in civil rights and economic justice to take action to defend our right to vote and our democratic republic—to work with your church, your union and your civic organization to stand up for solidarity and to reject death. We can begin by joining in a digital gathering and training on Sept. 14 jointly hosted by the Moral Mondays movement and the AFL-CIO on the theme of “Voting Is Power Unleashed.”
  10. On Sept. 15, we call on every person in this nation to join us virtually at noon to declare that:

We the people, with deep conviction and determination, declare our commitment to defend our republic, won by the blood and sacrifice of those who came before us, by exercising our right to vote. We truly have nothing to fear but fear itself. We will move forward together and we will accept nothing but freedom. We will not take one step back, and we will bring a new day to our beloved country.

Sign the pledge today.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/15/2020 - 11:29
Kenneth Quinnell

No Friend of Working People: In the States Roundup

2 weeks 2 days ago
No Friend of Working People: In the States Roundup

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alaska State AFL-CIO:

Day 14 of Labor Month kicks off Education Week. Our union siblings @LIUNA Local 71 are working hard to ensure that the schools in the Anchorage School District are safe for students if and when they reopen.#alaskaunionstrong
Read Jordan Adams’ op-ed:

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) September 14, 2020

California Labor Federation:

"Don’t let corporate greed continue to rob students of a quality education and local residents of their public transportation, health, and safety." Say YES to putting our schools & communities first! Vote YES on Prop 15. Read more here: #YESon15 @fglass57

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) September 14, 2020

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

.@AFTCT Vice President John Brady: "If we had enacted the Defense Production Act in the beginning, we would have all the PPE we need now. We can put a man on the moon – we can make PPE." @AFTunion @jb5591 @AFLCIO

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) September 8, 2020

Florida AFL-CIO:

“We know from the states own data, every dollar paid out in benefits generates a $1.64 in local economic activity. This is also a boon for the economy,” said Dr. Rich Templin with the Florida AFL-CIO.

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) September 10, 2020

Georgia State AFL-CIO:

“We want to make sure that the (bus and train) operators are protected,” said Britt Dunams, president of @atu732. “They’re driving on a daily basis at a heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus or another disease.” #1u #gapol

— Georgia AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOGeorgia) September 12, 2020

Illinois AFL-CIO:

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

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

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Trump is no friend of working people.

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) September 11, 2020

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Request Your Ballot Day: Voters Shouldn't Have To Choose Between Their Health and Their Vote - Ms. Magazine

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) September 13, 2020

Maine AFL-CIO:

One of many reasons we are enthusiastically supporting @SaraGideon for US Senate!

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) September 9, 2020

Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO:

"What has also been laid bare is the failed response to this pandemic by the Hogan administration. Their actions have crystallized the importance of our union movement and should force people to ask, “which side are you on?”" - Patrick Moran#LaborDay2020

— Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO (@MDDCStateFed) September 7, 2020

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

The @massaflcio is proud to be with @RaiseUpMA at the Labor Day Workers Rally.

Stand with workers on #LaborDay2020. ✊🏽✊🏻✊🏿

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO (@massaflcio) September 7, 2020

Michigan State AFL-CIO:

New banner photo via @LeahRAbrams #SolidarityForever 👏🤝✊

— Michigan AFL-CIO 😷 (@MIAFLCIO) September 13, 2020

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

50 days until Election Day and only 4 days until we start voting. Get the details on Labor-endorsed candidates, requesting a mail-in ballot, and volunteering at #1u #Labor2020

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) September 14, 2020

Missouri AFL-CIO:

We're voting NO on Amendment 3 to defeat the politicians' radical gerrymandering scheme once and for all. Learn more:

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) September 13, 2020

Montana State AFL-CIO:

Today, the Big Sky Central Labor Council donated more than $3000 to Helena Food Share to support their vision of creating a hunger-free community. If you need help or would like to donate visit to learn more. #foodinsecurity #montana

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) September 8, 2020

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

Friendly reminder the #2020Census is incredibly important to each state's funding. Now more than ever, funding provided to states based off census data will be critical. Don't be left out, be counted.

— Nevada State AFL-CIO (@NVAFLCIO) September 5, 2020

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

Making Ukraine film studios great again. @IATSE

— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) September 10, 2020

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

— New Jersey AFL-CIO (@NJAFLCIO) September 14, 2020

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

When working people come together, the sky is the limit. Unions enable workers to negotiate in their workplace.

This Labor Day, we’re celebrating union solidarity and letting everyone around us know: #Workers First #VoteUnion

Will you join us?@AFLCIO @AFTNM @NMPFFA @afscme18

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) September 7, 2020

New York State AFL-CIO:

It’s the least we can do for the many heroes still struggling today. Learn more at

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) September 11, 2020

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

ICYMI: For Labor Day, Pledge to Elect People Who Will Fight for Our Rights and Freedoms by @marybemcmillan. #1u #ncpol

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) September 12, 2020

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

"Today, no matter how you are celebrating the holiday weekend, let your friends and family know: Unions make us stronger." ND AFL-CIO President Landis Larson #1u #ndpol

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) September 7, 2020


Those are some damn fine @AFLCIO #Union shirts in that photo. We stand with @TimRyan because he stand for the working class

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) September 12, 2020

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Brothers, Sisters, Friends, and Neighbors

Let's Celebrate America's Working Class - Especially those essential workers who have kept our country strong!

This Labor Day we honor those currently fighting for our country and honor those who have fallen.

Thank You All

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) September 7, 2020

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Urge @OregonGovBrown to make work safe now!
The State of Oregon must protect workers by creating strong rules to protect from exposure to COVID-19 and hold employers accountable when they don’t follow the rules.#ORpol #ORleg #1u #WorkSafe #UnionStrong

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) September 14, 2020

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

Two plants fined last week for safety failures: $29,000 in total penalties. Meanwhile, more than 1500 cases of #COVID19 among workers and at least 10 deaths.

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) September 14, 2020

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Providence Teachers Union asks federal agency to do health inspections of schools #1u

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) September 14, 2020

Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council:

No one should have to choose between risking their health at the polls and forfeiting their right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sign the petition and tell the Senate to ensure that any voter who wants to cast a mail-in ballot is able to do so!

— Tennessee AFL-CIO (@tnaflcio) September 14, 2020

Texas AFL-CIO:

SPONSOR: Seafarers International Union // Direct Action Gets The Goods! #1u

Thank you @SeafarersUnion for your support of the #TXAFLCIO Banding Together Virtual Concert!

Want to Sponsor?

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) September 14, 2020

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Great start to Labor Day weekend!

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) September 4, 2020

Washington State Labor Council:

Friday at The Stand...#1u #wildfires #COVID19 #TrumpKnew #FindTheRiver

— Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) September 11, 2020

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

Our essential workers deserve Hero Pay !! @UFCW400 @UFCW 👇 #wvpol

— West Virginia AFLCIO (@WestVirginiaAFL) September 4, 2020

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

I work for the US Postal Service. Fund our public service, don't privatize it.

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) September 13, 2020 Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/15/2020 - 10:45
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Vote. Your Life Depends On It

2 weeks 2 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Vote. Your Life Depends On It

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.

Americans should vote on November 3 because our lives are literally depending on it. A teacher, a nurse, a pharmacy technician and a letter carrier have all experienced the trauma of working and living in a country deeply impacted by COVID-19. These essential workers have lived through the mismanagement of the pandemic and the bad decisions that have cost more than 184,000 American lives and destroyed the economy. It’s time to hold our legislators accountable. Vote on November 3 or, even better, mail in your ballot and stay safe. Find out more at:

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/15/2020 - 09:20

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

AFL-CIO Honors the Life and Legacy of Father Jack O’Malley

2 weeks 2 days ago
AFL-CIO Honors the Life and Legacy of Father Jack O’Malley

Father John “Jack” O’Malley, a lifelong champion of labor and civil rights, passed away on Friday at the age of 83. He served as the chaplain of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council. Father O’Malley was an individual of deep religious faith who personified the Beatitudes and believed in taking the Gospel into the streets, said Joseph Delale of IUE-CWA Local 630, former AFL-CIO community service liaison with the Allegheny labor council. Father O’Malley provided spiritual guidance during numerous worker actions, including the Delano grape strike that began in California in the 1960s and spread to other cities, including Pittsburgh’s Strip District. At the time, he housed César Chávez and organizers for the United Farm Workers in his parish house.

In 2002, Father O’Malley joined the mining community of Acosta, Pennsylvania, as families were anxiously awaiting news of nine miners who were trapped underground in the Quecreek Mine. In the most trying circumstances, the families of the trapped miners kept their faith in God, he said at the time. “They are praying that time doesn’t run out,” Father O’Malley said. He spent a weekend comforting the families in their time of uncertainty. He slept in his car and on the ground, despite having back troubles. In the end, all nine miners were rescued alive.

Father O’Malley’s work linked the faith community and the labor movement together in solidarity. The Catholic Labor Network called him “one of the great labor priests.” He also played a leading role in establishing the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, encouraging the cross-denominational organization to embrace the labor movement to help workers. In 2014, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO honored him with the state federation’s Citizen of the Year Award. Father O’Malley once said, “We know that when people don’t have enough to eat and don’t have safety at the workplace—whether they’re a mine worker, a steelworker, a farmworker or a fast-food worker—it becomes a moral issue, and the church should be involved.” The AFL-CIO joins in honoring his lifetime of fighting for working people, and we send our condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/14/2020 - 15:32
Kenneth Quinnell

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Mine Workers

2 weeks 2 days ago
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Mine Workers

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

Name of Union: United Mine Workers (UMWA)

Mission: To provide workers with a voice on the job and financial security at home, to fight for safe workplaces, good wages and benefits, and to provide strong representation for working families.

Current Leadership of Union: Cecil E. Roberts serves as international president of UMWA. Roberts is a sixth-generation coal miner from Kanawha County, West Virginia. He began his career at Carbon Fuels' No. 31 mine in Winifred, West Virginia. In 1982, he was elected international vice president of UMWA and was re-elected subsequently before first being elected president in 1995. He is currently serving his fifth full term as president.

Levi Allen serves as international secretary-treasurer. UMWA also has nine vice presidents: Chuck Knisell, Steve Earle, Gary Trout, Larry Spencer, Michael Dalpiaz, Rick Altman, James Gibbs, Don Barnett and Donnie Samms.

Members Work As: Coal miners, manufacturing workers, clean coal technicians, health care workers, corrections officers and public employees.

Industries Represented: The mining industry, public employees, manufacturing, health care, the Navajo Nation and retirees throughout the United States and Canada.

History: Founded in 1890, UMWA has a rich history. Watch this video to learn more:

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: The United Mine Workers Journal, COMPAC, Mine Academy Safety Committee Training, UMWA Career Centers, the UMWA Store.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram, YouTube.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/14/2020 - 15:11
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Relief Efforts Continue for Louisiana’s Labor Movement as the State’s Working Families Recover from Hurricane Laura

2 weeks 3 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Relief Efforts Continue for Louisiana’s Labor Movement as the State’s Working Families Recover from Hurricane Laura

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 labor movement is continuing to lead recovery efforts in southwestern Louisiana, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Laura. The Louisiana AFL-CIO, led by President Louis Reine (SMART), and its affiliates have been collecting bottled water, food and other essential items to distribute to union members and families affected by the storm. Over Labor Day weekend, items continued to be distributed from the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 198 union hall in Lake Charles. The hall is being used as a staging area for the labor movement’s relief efforts.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/14/2020 - 09:09

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Allegheny-Fayette Labor Council Restores Veterans Memorial as Part of Weekend of Service

2 weeks 6 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Allegheny-Fayette Labor Council Restores Veterans Memorial as Part of Weekend of Service

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.

In place of the Pittsburgh area labor movement’s usual Labor Day parade and in-person celebrations, members of the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council led a weekend of action and community service in southwestern Pennsylvania. Some 20 volunteer union members helped restore the 28th Ward Veterans Memorial on Sunday. “This is more than just a monument, this is a place of honor,” labor council President Darrin Kelly (IAFF) told KDKA-TV. “Labor has many traditions, but its biggest tradition will always be its commitment to service to this great country….Projects like this give people hope.” Union members who are veterans took part in the restoration. The Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council also held a food distribution event this past Friday and a park beautification event on Saturday.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/11/2020 - 08:45

Tags: Community Service, COVID-19

Kenneth Quinnell

Get to Know the AFL-CIO's Affiliates

3 weeks ago
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: FLOC Petitions Reynolds American to Comply with CDC Guidelines on COVID-19

3 weeks ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: FLOC Petitions Reynolds American to Comply with CDC Guidelines on COVID-19

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 Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) is demanding tobacco company Reynolds American comply with the federal government’s health and safety recommendations to save farmworkers in North Carolina from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now is the time to stop allowing wealthy corporations like Reynolds American to continue making billions off of the labor of farmworkers while refusing to do anything to support our communities during a crisis,” said FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez. “All of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] recommendations require significant investments of money to comply with in agriculture, and these corporations have failed in their responsibility to save lives in the supply chains they created. Reynolds could meet with farmworkers and commit to funding additional housing and transportation to limit crowding and fund paid leave to incentivize compliance with CDC guidelines.” Sign the petition here.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/10/2020 - 10:31

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Happy Labor Day: What Working People Are Doing This Week

3 weeks 1 day ago
Happy Labor Day: 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:

We've released a new set of public resources for producers including info on testing for COVID-19 and a preproduction safety worksheet. We are updating regularly as new info becomes available and encourage producers to explore, share and use these tools.

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) September 8, 2020


Thank you @SenWarren for speaking with AFSCME member and leader Miren Algorri. We cannot thank essential workers with pink slips.

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) September 9, 2020

Air Line Pilots Association:

During this pandemic, the irreplaceable value of #union representation has never been more apparent for workers. -@ALPAPresident Capt. Joe DePete #UnionStrong

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) September 9, 2020

Alliance for Retired Americans:

We need to #SaveUSPS because millions of seniors rely on the Post Office for delivery of essential goods like Social Security checks and medicine.

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) September 9, 2020

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Int. President John Costa joined with ATU Canada, New Brunswick Locals 1182-Saint John and 1290-Moncton, elected officials and transit allies for a virtual zoom rally on the importance of public transit funding during the pandemic and in the future. #TogetherWeFightTogetherWeWin

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) September 9, 2020

American Federation of Musicians:

If your management won’t commit to paying you and wrings its hands at the challenges of this season, point them to FWSO, or any number of other institution working to keep music playing in their communities—and paychecks coming to musicians. #Unionmusic

— AFM (@The_AFM) September 8, 2020

American Federation of Teachers:

As AFT President @rweingarten wrote in her latest post: This is a #LaborDay like no other. Read more: #IamAFT #1u

— AFT (@AFTunion) September 7, 2020

American Postal Workers Union:

Patients who rely on the U.S. Postal Service for their prescription drugs may have experienced “significant” delays in their deliveries... (1/2)#SaveUSPS

— APWU National (@APWUnational) September 9, 2020

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

8% of the @USPS workforce is AAPI. 40% are women.

These are GOOD UNION jobs!

For these workers - a USPS job has meant a steady income with adequate benefits to provide support to their families and communities.

Take Action to #SaveUSPS today -->

— Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (@APALAnational) September 9, 2020

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

.@AFAUnitedMEC is here loud and proud. Extend the Payroll Support Program and save the jobs of Flight Attendants and aviation workers! #ExtendPSP #ReliefNow

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) September 9, 2020

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

An extensive list of American plants that have shuttered, workers left with destroyed communities and livelihoods. WHO still believes President Trump's empty promise of bringing jobs back to America? Check out this info on American manufacturing by @MachinistsUnion #1u

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) September 9, 2020


On Labor Day, let's stand with our #Boilermaker brothers & sisters from Local 146, locked out of their jobs at CESSCO since June 28. Watch:

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) September 7, 2020


As A. Philip Randolph said: “Freedom is never given, it is won.” Get active in your Local!

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) September 6, 2020

California School Employees Association:

Op-Ed by @CSEA_Now President Ben Valdepeña: This #LaborDay, and every day, we must value all classified staff as “essential.” Via @latimesopinion

— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) September 7, 2020

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

#LaborDay 2020 is perilous: We must defeat anti-worker, anti-black, anti-democratic candidates, from the White House to city councils to state attorneys offices. So, enjoy the holiday brought to you by the labor movement and make a plan to vote. #1u #Vote

— CBTU (@CBTU72) September 7, 2020

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

Want to share why it is important to vote? Share a short video on social media and start and finish this sentence, “Women are the CLUW (clue) to Vote because…” Please make sure to tag us @CLUWNational (Twitter & Instagram) and @CLUWomen (Facebook).

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) September 6, 2020

Communications Workers of America:

If Congress doesn't act now, thousands of aviation workers will be out of a job on October 1. Union members are taking action.

Tell Congress to save aviation jobs #1u:

— CWA (@CWAUnion) September 9, 2020

Department for Professional Employees:

Organizations that claim to be advancing social justice or progressive need to walk the walk by recognizing their employees' unions. #1u

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) September 8, 2020

Electrical Workers:

America's clean-energy future will be union-built.

— IBEW (@IBEW) September 8, 2020

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

We got their attention! Please sign and share this petition in support of organizing farmworkers on Labor Day! Reynolds can save lives now! #boycottVUSE

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) September 7, 2020

International Labor Communications Association:

This is our kind of positive #FridayFeeling in advance of #LaborDay2020 #1u

— Labor Communications (@ILCAonline) September 4, 2020


Happy Labor Day from the folks who brought you the weekend. #labordayweekend #laborday2020

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) September 4, 2020

Jobs With Justice:

Trump's Postmaster Louis DeJoy implemented policies to cut shifts and reduce mail trips, which caused backlogs nationwide — and this was during a pandemic, when folks needed their packages more than ever 😷

To #SaveUSPS, DeJoy must be held accountable.

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) September 9, 2020

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

It’s finally September!🥳 We are less than 3 weeks away from National Voter Registration Day, are you #VoteReady?✍️@AFLCIO

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) September 8, 2020


DYK, the money & benefits you earn as a #LIUNA member, depends on #PrevailingWage laws that protect you & your community‘s standard of living? This November, ask candidates running for office....will you FIGHT with LIUNA for Prevailing Wages?


— LIUNA (@LIUNA) September 9, 2020


@ILAUnion @TheILAmobileApp Robert E. Gleason, Who Served As International ILA Secretary-Treasurer
For More Than Two Decades, Passes Away At Age 82

— Int'l LongshoreAssoc (@ILAUnion) September 5, 2020


President Trump’s promises to stand up for U.S. workers, protect our jobs from leaving the country and bring our jobs home from countries like Mexico and China have been broken.

— Machinists Union ✈️🚊🚀 (@MachinistsUnion) September 9, 2020

Metal Trades Department:

MTD Salutes Retiring HFIAW President McCourt; Lauds IBEW’s Appointment of Cooper as IVP | Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) September 9, 2020

Mine Workers:

72 years ago today, the first UMWA pension check was issued to Horace Ainscough of Rock Springs, WY.#UMWA #UnionStrong #AnniversaryPost

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) September 9, 2020

Musical Artists:

SOLIDARITY FOREVER features AGMA artists of @MetOpera. The score was written by Met AGMA Committee Chair Ned Hanlon, the Met’s Jeremy Little, & AGMA Eastern Counsel Sam Wheeler to encourage members to stay strong #unionstrong @AFLCIO @DPEaflcio FULL VID:

— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) September 8, 2020

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

On #LaborDay we honor the men and women who work hard to provide the services we depend on every day. Please enjoy this video honoring unions and the valuable role they play—especially our own Union—in improving the lives of each member and our country.

— NATCA (@NATCA) September 7, 2020

National Association of Letter Carriers:

While delivering a package to a customer, carrier Shandrika Moody was chased by a dog. She used a repellent spray on the dog & went inside her vehicle to inform her supervisor. When the carrier saw the dogs attack an elderly pedestrian, she rushed to help.

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) September 9, 2020

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

Honoring immigrant workers on Labor Day and demanding justice and dignity. Immigrants are essential. Period.

Via @LaColmenaNYC

— NDLON (@NDLON) September 8, 2020

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

This #LaborDay, watch this special online tribute to #HonorEssentialWorkers putting their lives on the line for this country.

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) September 7, 2020

National Federation of Federal Employees-IAM:

Wishing all of our selfless, dedicated, hardworking members, their families, and working people everywhere a safe #LaborDay.

— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) September 3, 2020

National Nurses United:

Join nurses from across the country this Friday evening as we each light a candle to honor the nurses who have fallen as a result of insufficient PPE and infection control policies during the #COVID19 crisis.#ProtectNurses


— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) September 8, 2020

NFL Players Association:

A word for the rookies: "My best advice is to find a true, veteran professional in the building & pick his brain on how he got to where he is now. Self-educate yourself on your finances, nutrition & recovery and just enjoy the moment." - @KJ_WRIGHT34

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 7, 2020

North America's Building Trades Unions:

“While we won’t gather together for #LaborDay celebrations this year, now more than ever we recognize what workers mean to our city, our state, and our NATION.”

Fantastic LTE from @CleBCTC business manager, Dave Wondolowski 👏

— The Building Trades (@NABTU) September 8, 2020

Office and Professional Employees:

As the economy worsens from the COVID-19 crisis, too many employers are responding by committing wage theft — stealing employees wages, minimum wage violations, etc. — even more. #1u

— OPEIU (@OPEIU) September 4, 2020

Painters and Allied Trades:

The power workers have extends far beyond the job site to every level of society, and we used that power to show solidarity with one of our own. @Jimmy_iupat

— IUPAT (@GoIUPAT) September 9, 2020

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

The construction industry has one of the highest suicide rates compared to other industries, but this doesn't have to be the case. CPWR's Hazard Alert provides ways to help prevent suicide in construction and find support. Remember, you are not alone.

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) September 8, 2020

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW:

Have you filled out the census yet? If not visit now. Looking for more information on it? Visit our website: #LaborDay2020 #LaborWeek2020 #NYCUnionMade #1U

— RWDSU (@RWDSU) September 9, 2020


We celebrate the life of Kevin Dobson, #sagaftramember since '66. An accomplished actor and Army vet, he also served his union on military and senior committees. We are grateful for his service and send our condolences to his family and friends.

— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) September 8, 2020

Solidarity Center:

Even in countries where #domesticviolence seems to have decreased, experts say cases aren't being reported. School closures mean teachers & social workers are unable to report abuse & evidence also shows its rising w/ restricted movement & financial woes.

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) September 9, 2020


A TCU/IAM report shows that Amtrak is likely to save less than $50 million after factoring in all costs attributable to the furloughs.

We must save this vital rail network for riders and workers.

— Transportation Communications Union/IAM (@TCUnionHQ) September 4, 2020

The NewsGuild-CWA:

Many Americans have little or no access to local news. And it's getting worse.
*45%* of newsroom jobs were cut from 2008-2017, and COVID-19 ravages them further. Here's how threats to local journalism are harming your community — and how you can help #SaveTheNews.

— NewsGuild-CWA (@newsguild) September 8, 2020

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Increasing workers’ rights will be an essential component of the Biden-Harris recovery plan. That includes enacting the PRO Act, which would dramatically level the playing field for workers to organize and collectively bargain without fear of retaliation.

— IATSE (@IATSE) September 8, 2020

Transport Workers Union:

.@twusamuelsen explains how the federal govt is abandoning essential #frontline transport workers in every sector amid this pandemic @realDonaldTrump @MTA @thehill @krystalball@esaagar

— TWU (@transportworker) September 9, 2020

Transportation Trades Department:

Amy Griffin, an @Amtrak employee and @transportworker member tells @TransportDems how she was exposed to #COVID19 while working. Now, despite working through the pandemic, she and her coworkers face furlough notices.

— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) September 9, 2020


A new documentary is giving viewers an inside look at how the UAW and Ford teamed up to fight COVID-19.

— UAW (@UAW) September 6, 2020

Union Label and Service Trades Department:

Opinion: Unions can help America build back better after COVID-19

— Union Label Dept. (@ULSTD_AFLCIO) September 8, 2020

Union Veterans Council:

Our Vets Are
Heroes, Not Losers
No Matter What Trump Says!#1u #VetsVote #NationalDisgrace

— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) September 4, 2020


During this pandemic the hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit.

Right to Work states like Florida are working from now to Nov. 3 to dump Trump and ensure we remain #UnionStrong.

— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) September 7, 2020

United Food and Commercial Workers:

Americans across the country can feed their families because of all the brave #Iowa meatpacking workers stepping up during this pandemic.

Thanks to @GreenfieldIowa for standing with these hardworking Iowans to call for the strong protections that our frontline workers need.

— UFCW (@UFCW) September 3, 2020

United Steelworkers:

USW Backs Biden-Harris Made-in-America Plan #USWVotes

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) September 9, 2020

United Students Against Sweatshops:

While @GonzagaU gave students a “choice” to return to campus, mandatory in-person classes forced many students to return. Student/worker safety is more important than your profits! @Gonzaga_Prez meet our demands. Sign & share: #ZagsHelpZags #COVIDonCampus

— USAS (@USAS) September 8, 2020

Roofers and Waterproofers:

Next week is the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls! Pause work to talk to employees about fall hazards, protective methods, and your company’s safety policies and goals. Learn more at #StandDown4Safety #roofersafety365

— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) September 8, 2020

Utility Workers:

Where there’s a natural or man-made disaster, utility workers are on the scene alongside firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, and other first responders amidst perilous conditions to mitigate these disasters.

Show your support:

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) September 9, 2020

Working America:

🗳️ Join Working America and @PowerThePolls in making sure our election runs smoothly! #PowerThePolls

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) September 1, 2020

Writers Guild of America, East:

Labor Day is the perfect day to talk to your coworkers about forming a union!

Get the facts! Read the report from CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies where union members and staff talk about the gains WGAE has won in 5 years of organized digital news.

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 7, 2020 Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/09/2020 - 09:43
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement Leads Recovery from Hurricane Laura

3 weeks 1 day ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement Leads Recovery from Hurricane Laura

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.

Early in the morning of Aug. 27, Category 4 Hurricane Laura roared through the border of Louisiana and Texas as one of the most powerful storms in history to hit the area. In the wake of significant damage to parts of Louisiana, Louis Reine (SMART), president of the Louisiana AFL-CIO, reported union members from across the Gulf Coast have stepped in to help. The state federation, along with the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 198 and Teamsters locals 270 and 968, hosted a milk giveaway on Saturday for those in need. A relief staging location has been established in Lake Charles, Louisiana, at Local 198.

“Even though Baton Rouge and New Orleans came out fairly well, Lake Charles still had some significant damage, and millions are still without power. Our Electrical Workers (IBEW) hall down there was completely destroyed. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a hurricane [primarily] occupy one state at once. We’re going to be looking to gather bottled water, cleaning supplies, food, rakes, trash bags and more, as well as setting up a gift card relief fund,” Reine said. “The people of Louisiana have proven they are always up to a challenge and will face this challenge as we have faced others in the past. We will come together to rebuild our state. The labor movement in Louisiana, along with its neighbors and friends, will be there to lend a hand as our brothers and sisters face these challenges.”

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) announced that the federation is donating $20,000 to support the Louisiana AFL-CIO’s relief efforts following the hurricane and the loss of life and property that it caused in the state. “We are at our best when the labor movement comes together to support our sisters and brothers during challenging times,” Shuler said. “Hurricane Laura caused widespread property damage and resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 16 people. The Louisiana AFL-CIO is doing incredible work to support communities around the state that have been hit the hardest by this devastating storm. The AFL-CIO is proud to play our part to get workers back on their feet.”

In Iowa, the Hawkeye Area Labor Council has been continuing to support members of the Cedar Rapids community—hit hard last month by a devastating wind storm—through its nonprofit entity and has been coordinating with the United Way and Teamsters Local 238 around a relief effort housed at the Local 238 hall. As efforts there are winding down, union members loaded up leftover supplies, including water and food, onto pallets to send to hurricane stricken parts of Louisiana and Texas. The Texas AFL-CIO is collecting funds to distribute to our sisters, brothers and friends in Louisiana. Click here to donate to the labor movement’s relief effort.

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

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Roofers and Waterproofers

3 weeks 2 days ago
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Roofers and Waterproofers

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Roofers and Waterproofers.

Name of Union: United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

Mission: To provide a collective voice for the brothers, sisters and friends in the union, ensure members have the protection of a contract and dignity on the job and to provide members with training, brotherhood, sisterhood and friendship and an opportunity to make a difference.

Current Leadership of Union: Kinsey M. Robinson serves as international president and James A. Hadel serves as international secretary-treasurer. The organization also has 10 international vice presidents: Douglas Ziegler (First), Thomas Pedrick (Second), Paul F. Bickford (Third), Richard R. Mathis (Fourth), Daniel P. O'Donnell (Fifth), Robert Peterson (Sixth), Michael A. Vasey (Seventh), Michael Stiens (Eighth), Brent R. Beasley (Ninth) and Joseph Pozzi (Tenth). 

Number of Members: 22,000

Members Work As: Applying all types of roofing and waterproofing systems, including but not limited to: all low-sloped roofing systems (vegetative and solar photovoltaic roofs), structural waterproofing, steep-sloped roofing systems and air barrier applications.

Industries Represented: The construction industry across the United States.

History: On June 5, 1903, the American Federation of Labor chartered the International Slate and Tile Roofers Union of America and on Nov. 6, 1906, AFL chartered the International Brotherhood of Composition Roofers, Damp and Waterproof Workers. In 1919, the two unions met in Pittsburgh and merged to become the United Slate, Tile and Composition Roofers, Damp and Waterproof Workers Association. By World War II, the combined union grew to more than 7,000 members. The post-war construction boom led to membership doubling by 1950, with membership peaking in 1978. That year, they adopted the current name, the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. The union continues to focus on training, safety and cooperation in an effort to provide the safest and best-trained roofers and waterproofers in the industry.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: The Journeyman Waterproofer and Roofer Magazine, Personal and Professional Standards of Conduct, Women in Roofing, Political Action, Community Outreach, Apprenticeships, Safety and Health, Education and Training and Help Wanted.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram, Youtube.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/08/2020 - 11:00
Kenneth Quinnell

Shuler at March on Washington: We Must Do Better

3 weeks 2 days ago
Shuler at March on Washington: We Must Do Better

On Aug. 28, the 2020 Virtual March on Washington was held to honor the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." Among the distinguished speakers in the lineup of the 2020 march was AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW), who spoke to labor's commitment to continue the work of the 1963 march and to do better for our Black members, friends and neighbors. Watch Shuler's speech:

An excerpt:

Whether it’s in professional sports...or in our communities...we in the labor movement are feeling excruciating pain, anger and grief. We will do our part to end racism in our economy, our politics, our workplaces and our union halls. 

And on top of the widespread racism throughout our country’s institutions, COVID-19 is exposing the cracks that were already poisoning our system. A system that denies housing and health care and opportunity to far too many people of color. That’s why Black and Brown people are more likely to lose their jobs or get sick and die in this pandemic. 

We have to do better. Now...NOW is the time to do the work and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act that are sitting in the Senate.

As a White person, I know that I will never experience the same pain and trauma that Black people have been feeling over and over again.

All I can say is I understand what I can’t possibly understand. But I choose to stand. And to kneel. And raise a fist. And shed a tear. And say a prayer. And fight like hell to make real change. 

As one united labor movement, we stand with our Black members, friends and neighbors.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/08/2020 - 10:54
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SIU-Crewed New York Waterway Ferry Rescues Man in the Hudson River

3 weeks 2 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: SIU-Crewed New York Waterway Ferry Rescues Man in the Hudson River

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 crew aboard the New York Waterway ferry Empire State, members of the Seafarers (SIU), rescued a man from the Hudson River last Thursday morning, the third rescue in three years for Capt. David Dort and deckhands Gregorio Pages and Andrew Galarza. The crew was just leaving the Brookfield Place/Battery Park City Terminal en route to Hoboken, New Jersey, at 7:30 a.m., when they saw a man in the water near Pier 25. “We were just about to back out when I saw something in the water. The deckhands deployed as we moved up and they got him out,” Dort said. “This is why we do our drills.” In 33 years, New York Waterway crews have rescued nearly 300 people from the waters of New York Harbor, including 143 people rescued from U.S. Airways Flight 1549, the most successful marine rescue in aviation history.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/08/2020 - 10:45

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Bishop John Stowe's 2020 Labor Day Mass Homily

3 weeks 2 days ago
Bishop John Stowe's 2020 Labor Day Mass Homily

When Kentucky legislators proposed anti-union “right to work” legislation in 2017, Bishop John Stowe of the Lexington Diocese spoke out boldly in defense of Catholic social teaching on unions and worker justice. The following remarks were delivered by Bishop Stowe at the Catholic Labor Network’s first annual livestreamed Labor Day mass:

The beautiful account of creation found on the first pages of Scripture demonstrates God’s work and artistry. It reveals God’s generosity: God gives humanity dominion over all He has made. By giving us fertility and the command to multiply, God invites us to work as co-creators. Just as in the Eucharistic liturgy we offer up “what earth has given and human hands have made”; there is a partnership into which we have been invited by the All Powerful and All-Loving creator. When the work of our hands and minds, when our skills and training engage our intelligence and our sense of wonder and curiosity, when we truly partner with God to share in the ongoing work of creation-we can celebrate work, celebrate accomplishments, celebrate advances in technology and the increase of production of the fruits of the earth. We can see how work is indeed dignified, humanizing, and how it is a major factor in our sense of satisfaction with our lives.

This Labor Day finds us in the midst of a global pandemic. It invites us to consider not only the dignity of human work as a share in God’s creation, but calls us to deepened solidarity with those who have been labeled “essential workers” but too often treated as expendable when it comes to the profit margin. Those whose work in the vast field of health care and care of the elderly; in the various occupations that harvest, ship, stock, sell and prepare our food; in countless incarnations of the service industry; in the delivery of our mail (and ballots) and in a variety of government and human services; now even in the classroom and in so many venues where the threat of infection is real their compensation and benefits rarely reflect the nobility of their designation as essential.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, has referred to this moment in which we are not only facing ongoing infection and the climbing death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic but are also having to face the consequences of the systematic racism that has infected our society since the times of colonization, as an “apocalyptic time”: not only in the scary sense in which we popularly use that word, but in its more original and biblical sense- that of uncovering what has been hidden. The remnants of human enslavement and the great discrepancies in the treatment of workers, especially those of color and the poor, are made all the more obvious as some of us have the opportunity to work from the safety of our homes while others have no such option. The Gospels present Jesus, the Eternal Son of God who enters into our human existence, as one who is not afraid to get his hands dirty. Jesus is not afraid to enter into the messiness of the human condition, he is unafraid of breaking bread with those considered sinners, he does not hesitate to touch the suffering even when it would render him unclean in the eyes of many, he does not hesitate to perform the essential work of healing and liberation on the sabbath. Jesus sees all of this as his mission, the work he is sent to do- the essential “work of the Father,” as it is called in John’s Gospel.

Jesus prepared himself to do the work of building the Kingdom by first experiencing the human condition in a family, like all of us. He learned a trade, was known as the carpenter’s son, used his own hands to shape, carve and build the wood that earth has given. He gathered fishermen and a tax collector to share in his mission. He preached and he exemplified solidarity with the human family- beginning at his baptism, when he the sinless one, took his place in line with the sinful awaiting the chance to be washed clean and he remained in their company through his crucifixion between two criminals. The carpenter’s son is in our midst as we face this pandemic and continue to struggle for the rights of workers in solidarity.

Recent popes have helped us meditate upon the potential of dignified work as a path to holiness, a path which can very well include, but must also transcend, what the world considers “satisfaction”. We progress from the satisfactory to the noble when our work is more than about remuneration. From the children of Adam and Eve, who tilled the land and tended flocks, to our contemporaries at keyboards designing artificial intelligence- work has the capacity to transform our world, to build upon the marvelous gifts of creation- to again combine “what earth has given and human hands have made” to create an offering to be presented to the Father.

Modern Social Catholic Teaching began with the question of work. When Pope Leo XIII wrote the encyclical that would become the basis for our social doctrine, the industrial revolution was well underway. Means of production were advanced by the use of machinery, human labor fueled the engines of industry, but the connection between what a person produced and what society consumed was no longer so clear. When the laborer could not afford to purchase what his or her sweat produced, there was a disconnect. Despite all outward signs of progress, poverty was increasing among the working class who had to work longer hours in unsafe conditions.

Pope Leo was not at all content that Karl Marx and those who shared his atheistic materialist framework should be the only ones talking about the “alienation of labor”. The disciples of the carpenter from Galilee should have something meaningful to offer the masses whose labor was diminishing, rather than building up, their dignity. Leo wrote, and inscribed into Catholic teaching, a foundational premise that workers had the right to organize to advocate collectively for fair pay and safe working conditions. He argued for a sense of the common good and for maintaining the proper balance between capital and labor, with each recognizing the need for the other and cooperating for the common good.

When subsequent popes have addressed the pressing social needs of their times, the question of the dignity of work remained the touchstone. Saint John Paul II, who had worked in a factory while attending an underground seminary, insisted that work must be “subjective”, that is the worker should exercise autonomy and dominion, rather than allowing work to become “merchandise”, bought and sold at the lowest price.

Our Catholic tradition has beautiful and meaningful things to say about the dignity and nobility of work; but what about that work which no one wants to do or that has become demeaning? A substantial part of my diocese is in the coal country of Appalachia. The extractive industries, first of timber then of coal, dominated that local economy. They provided work. Countless workers in the mines could take pride in their role of fueling industry and as they frequently say down here, “keeping the lights on.” But there was another side to that story as big companies found it more expedient to pay nuisance fines than to maintain mine safety standards and when miners who put food on the table and educated their children from their hard work underground suffered from black lung and sacrificed much of the quality of their lives. It is no wonder that coal miners feel the heaviest part of the burden when important environmental regulations and economic factors have terminated their work- they are stuck within the polluted environment but have few if any options for alternative employment.

We should also consider the plight of those whose back-breaking labor brings food to our tables- and yes, even to our Eucharistic table. Exposure to chemicals and pesticides in addition to the work itself are creating a pattern of workers trapped in a cycle that allows them to feed themselves but makes life-threatening illness almost inevitable.

We know that the need for laborers draws people from places where the opportunities for work to support a family are quite limited, places where poverty and desperation create endless cycles of violence. Yet for decades we have failed to create just immigration policies for the vast majority of hard working immigrants and create legal pathways so that they can fully participate in the society they help to build and sustain. As we prayerfully offer our own labor for sanctification, we must also be mindful of those whose work and whose very selves are exploited in the most undignified ways through human trafficking.

In just a few moments, we will place the “fruit of the earth and work of human hands” on the altar. Let us be mindful of all of our work and unite it to the labor represented in these elements. When the bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, we celebrate the work of our redemption as we are nourished by the very one who invites us to share in his work as he has shared in solidarity with ours.

May our nourishment at this table strengthen and sustain us to be co-workers with the Creator and to work for the enhanced dignity of all whose labor is consumed in our society. May it strengthen us to discover what is being revealed in our times and respond in solidarity and justice.

Dennis Loney Mon, 09/07/2020 - 17:36

Tags: Labor Day

Dennis Loney

Economy Gains 1.4 Million Jobs in August; Unemployment Declines to 8.4%

3 weeks 6 days ago
Economy Gains 1.4 Million Jobs in August; Unemployment Declines to 8.4%

The U.S. economy gained 1.4 million jobs in August, and the unemployment rate declined to 8.4%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Payroll employment was up 1.4 million in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4% in August in today's @BLS_gov report. This report shows that trends in labor force participation did not spike up from dropping the $600 in additional unemployment insurance. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


The @BLS_gov numbers for June and July were adjusted downward in this August release of the Employment Situation. June was down 10,000 and July 29,000 from before for a total of 39,000 less than previously reported. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


With hours down, average weekly pay looms large in the monthly Employment Situation report from @BLS_gov . Hours edged up in August, so weekly pay edged up from July from $1,012.92 to $1,019.66 after falling since May. This is not adjusting for inflation. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


The unemployment rate improved for all levels of educational attainment. For those who were high school dropouts, the rate is down to 12.6% below its peak of 21.2% in April. Notice that rate of 12.6% is lower than the THE Black unemployment rate of 13.0% @AFLCIO @rolandsmartin

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


Unemployment rates fell for all categories and types of workers in August. Significantly, it fell for women maintaining families, from 12.4 to 10.4%; and for part-time workers from 12.6 to 9.0%. These workers makeup a large share of the hardest hit industries.@AFLCIO @IWPResearch

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


And here is the second part of the bad news, the increase in the number of workers struggling with longer spells of unemployment. The increases in those unemployed longer than 15 weeks, especially the long term unemployed (over 26 weeks) at 1.6 million, is hard to clear. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


The increasing duration of unemployment creates a problem of scarring for those workers: it's harder to re-attach to the labor market. The long term unemployed suffer huge losses in their household balance sheet. Dropping the $600 in UI supplement looks cruel. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


For further context on the August #JobsReport, the US unemployment rate is far higher than for the major economies. The @OECD shows in July how US unemployment was much higher than for the EU or Japan. While the US labor market is improving, we have made some clear errors. AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020


And, again, on unemployment duration in the August #JobsReport the large ,number of workers unemployed 15-26 weeks (above Great Recession levels) and transitioning to 26 weeks or more (now on a path like the start of the Great Recession, are big issues ahead. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) September 4, 2020

Last month's biggest job gains were in government (344,000), retail trade (249,000), professional and business services (197,000), leisure and hospitality (174,000), education and health services (147,000), transportation and warehousing (78,000), other services (74,000), financial activities (36,000), manufacturing (29,000), and wholesale trade (14,000). Employment changed little in mining, construction and information in August.

In August, the unemployment rates declined for teenagers (16.1%), Black Americans (13.0%), Hispanics (10.5%), Asians (10.7%), adult women (8.4%), adult men (8.0%) and White Americans (7.3%).

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

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/04/2020 - 10:10
Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement Steps Up to Provide Disaster Relief Following Hurricane Laura

3 weeks 6 days ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement Steps Up to Provide Disaster Relief Following Hurricane Laura

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.

In response to the devastating destruction of Hurricane Laura, which hit the Gulf Coast the hardest last week, a relief staging location has been set up at United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 198 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Over the weekend, Local 198, Teamsters locals 270 and 988, and the Louisiana AFL-CIO hosted a milk giveaway (pictured above). Unfortunately, the Electrical Workers (IBEW) union hall in Lake Charles was destroyed. President Rick Levy (TSEU/CWA) of the Texas AFL-CIO is working on delivering generators to Louisiana AFL-CIO President Louis Reine (SMART). The Louisiana AFL-CIO is also organizing a gift card drive for those in need.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/04/2020 - 09:30

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Boilermakers Score Legislative Victory in New Jersey

4 weeks ago
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Boilermakers Score Legislative Victory in New Jersey

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 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) and Boilermakers Local 28 were successful in their efforts to enact a state law that will require New Jersey high-hazard facilities, including refineries and certain chemical plants, to employ a skilled and trained workforce. The measure, signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Aug. 13, will require 60% of the workforce to be graduates of approved apprenticeship programs, or equivalent, by 2024. The law also requires workers at high-hazard facilities to receive the state prevailing wage rate for their given occupation. “We have a lot of nonunion [workers] coming into the area that just aren’t trained,” said Local 28 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer James Chew. “Before, we’ve had issues of very shoddy maintenance done where people get hurt. With this bill, we’ve tried to nip it in the bud so our workers are safer, and we can put longevity into these plants so they don’t shut down for accidents.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/03/2020 - 09:40

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Kenneth Quinnell

Labor Radio Podcast Network Expands to More Than 60 Members in Four Countries

4 weeks 1 day ago
Labor Radio Podcast Network Expands to More Than 60 Members in Four Countries

Launched in April, the Labor Radio Podcast Network has recently expanded to more than 60 labor-related shows in four countries. The voices of the working class often get overlooked in the corporate-controlled media. The goal of the network is to help raise the voices of working people and organized labor to demand and achieve better treatment from workplaces and elected officials.

“The explosive growth in members of the Labor Radio Network in a few short months is testament to a movement that will continue to expand in the coming months and years,” said network founder and producer Chris Garlock, who is also communications director for the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO. Garlock hosts and produces several labor radio and podcast shows, including Union City Radio and Your Rights At Work on WPFW 89.3FM, the Labor History Today podcast and the new Labor Radio Podcast Weekly podcast. 

The Labor Radio Podcast Network is both a one-stop shop for audiences looking for labor content and a resource for labor broadcasters and podcast hosts. Resources include a weekly podcast (Labor Radio Podcast Weekly, available on most podcast platforms) summarizing shows produced by network members, marketing on social media, a website listing network shows and how audiences can find them, a database for contacting expert guests, access to a private listserv for network members, and a weekly video call to increase solidarity and support among members.

Visit the links below to hear the voices of working people.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/02/2020 - 13:19

Tags: Podcast

Kenneth Quinnell
1 hour 16 minutes ago
AFL-CIO Now Blog
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