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Ethical Camping Essentials

Thu, 2018-08-09 14:12
Ethical Camping Essentials Labor 411

Ah, the great outdoors. The fresh air, the sounds of nature, the s’mores! That’s right. When you’re planning an outdoor vacation during the final weeks of summer, you’ll need a bunch of supplies, both fun and practical. Whether you’re protecting against the elements or putting together a decadent fireside treat, Labor 411 reminds you to shop for ethical American-made brands manufactured by companies that treat their workers fairly. Enjoy the outdoors, and together we’ll camp our way to a stronger America.

S’mores

  • Campfire marshmallows
  • Chocolate – Ghirardelli, Hershey, Cadbury
  • Honey Maid graham crackers

Grill 

  • Weber 

Hammocks

  • Algoma Net

Outdoor Clothing

  • AFL-CIO union-made gear
  • All American Clothing Co.
  • Carhartt

Coffee

  • 
Eight O’Clock coffee

  • Folgers

  • Maxwell House
  • Millstone coffee
  • USA Coffee Company

Hot Cocoa 

  • Ghirardelli
  • Swiss Miss


Coolers 

  • Rubbermaid

Sunscreen 

  • Bain de Soleil
  • Coppertone


This post originally appeared at Labor 411.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 08/09/2018 - 14:12

Tags: Union Made

Hard Work Pays Off In Missouri: In the States Roundup

Thu, 2018-08-09 13:37
Hard Work Pays Off In Missouri: In the States Roundup AFL-CIO

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

Alabama AFL-CIO:

The Alabama AFL-CIO held its endorsement convention on August 2-3, 2018 at the Embassy Suites, in Montgomery, Alabama.https://t.co/YJHKRJ3h7r

— Alabama AFL-CIO (@AlabamaAFLCIO) August 6, 2018

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Some are calling this the "Missouri Miracle." Nonsense. This victory was no miracle; it was hard work by dedicated Missouri union members with the help of our brothers and sisters from all over the U.S. including Arizona. https://t.co/CvZySyNTZH

— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) August 8, 2018

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

"The November election has been tailored to delight the business lobby, with the exception of one proposal that would upset its legislative apple cart. Working men and women beware." -Ark Times https://t.co/upuxIzj9KI
^JH #arklabor #NoOn1 #protectarfamilies @ARlaborradio

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) August 9, 2018

California Labor Federation:

"Don’t let the billionaires privatize and destroy public education in our state. Keep our public schools free, funded and public."@Dartaft on why we MUST vote @TonyThurmond for Supt. of Public Instruction

Support Locked-Out Boilermakers in Montana

Wed, 2018-08-08 12:49
Support Locked-Out Boilermakers in Montana Boilermakers

On Aug. 2, Imerys locked out members of the Boilermakers (IBB) and brought in replacements at its talc plant in Three Forks, Montana. The lockout comes after Imerys consistently has refused to back down from its anti-worker contract proposal. The proposed contract would eliminate retiree health insurance, seniority, overtime over eight hours, double-time pay for overtime and the current defined contribution 401(k) plan, and would freeze the defined pension plan.

The Three Forks plant is French-owned Imerys’ most profitable site, generating more than $1 million profit monthly. Despite this, the company wants to gut the workers’ contract. These working people fought back, and Imerys locked them out.

Here are six ways you can help the locked-out workers:

1. Join the picket line: Our union brothers and sisters and their friends and neighbors will be picketing every day at the Imerys talc plant at 2150 Bench Road in Three Forks.

2. Call and tell Imerys to end the lockout: The phone number is (406) 404-0422.

3. Give Imerys a one-star review on Facebook for its anti-worker attitude: Let Imerys know you support IBB by giving the company a low rating on the social media site for its poor labor practices.

4. Write a letter to the editor: Let the community know you support the workers by submitting a letter to the editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

5. Spread the word: Talk about the story on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #StandWithThreeForks.

6. Support IBB: A GoFundMe account has been set up to support the locked-out workers.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:49

Missouri's Working People Overwhelmingly Reject Right to Work

Wed, 2018-08-08 12:14
Missouri's Working People Overwhelmingly Reject Right to Work Missouri AFL-CIO

Last night was historic for working people in Missouri. Wealthy corporate interests tried to use their money to rig the system in favor of the 1%. But Missourians rejected the cynical power grab by an overwhelming 2-1 majority. Something big is happening with America’s working people—something that will bring change—and last night was just the latest evidence of this groundswell.

Missouri AFL-CIO President Mike Louis said:

Working people made our voices heard at the ballot box today and overturned “right to work.” It’s a truly historic moment. Thousands of hardworking men and women in Missouri talked to their neighbors, friends and co-workers. We owe them this victory. Together, we knocked on more than 800,000 doors, made more than 1 million phone calls and talked to working people on more than 1,000 different job sites across the state. Tonight we celebrate, but tomorrow we’re getting back to work. We’re going to take this energy and momentum and build more power for working people in Missouri.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

Missouri is the latest sign of a true groundswell, and working people are just getting started. The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country. The message sent by every single person who worked to defeat Prop. A is clear: When we see an opportunity to use our political voice to give workers a more level playing field, we will seize it with overwhelming passion and determination. Tonight is the latest act of working people changing a rigged system that for decades has been favoring corporations, the mega-wealthy and the privileged few.

The victory in Missouri follows a national wave of inspiring activism that is leading to life-changing collective bargaining agreements and electoral triumphs that remind America the path to power runs through the labor movement. From statehouses and city councils to the halls of Congress, working people are fighting back, and this November, we will elect our allies and retire our enemies. Working people across Missouri made this transformational moment possible, and we are following their lead to changing the world.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/08/2018 - 12:14

What You Need to Know About the Vote on Missouri's Prop. A Today

Tue, 2018-08-07 08:48
What You Need to Know About the Vote on Missouri's Prop. A Today Missouri AFL-CIO

While Missourians are headed to the polls today, working people are mobilizing across the Show-Me State in a massive final push to defeat Prop. A.

Both major newspapers in Missouri have come out in opposition to Prop. A. From The Kansas City Star's editorial:

A no vote on Tuesday would repeal the "right to work" law. A yes vote would make Missouri a "right to work" state, which would be a costly mistake....

Workplace policies that protect employees and boost middle-class incomes are what Missouri needs most.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Missouri voters should vote no and reject this blatant attempt to weaken labor bargaining rights.

Support for Prop A can only weaken workers’ bargaining rights for higher pay.

Prop A asks workers to give up too many collective bargaining rights in a Hail Mary attempt to improve Missouri’s business climate. Don’t buy proponents’ assertions. Vote no.

Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger explained further:

It suggests that Proposition A, which Missourians will vote on Aug. 7, will protect workers from out-of-control union bosses. The mailer is an attempt to confuse voters, and when it comes to Proposition A, it’s easy to get confused, because the initiative’s route to the ballot was circuitous.

It started in 2017 when the Missouri Legislature passed a law that would make Missouri a “right-to-work” state like most southern states and some Republican-leaning states in the Midwest—like Indiana and Oklahoma. Such laws make it illegal for companies to collect fair-share fees from nonunion members in companies in which a union has negotiated a contract through collective bargaining.

In other words, the law, if passed, would make it easier for Missourians to be free riders. Accept all the benefits of working for a union shop—such as higher pay and rules protecting seniority—without any of the cost.

These prominent newspapers join other voices speaking out against Prop. A. From SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris and Missouri native John Goodman to union members from every community and sector, the labor movement is flexing its full organizing power.

We have previously covered Prop. A and all the problems with pursuing this particular law. Most notably, Prop. A. is not what it seems, it will drive down wages for Missouri families, it won't create jobs and it will weaken unions. You also can learn more about "right to work" in general.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/07/2018 - 08:48

Vote 'No' on Prop. A: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2018-08-03 12:11
Vote 'No' on Prop. A: The Working People Weekly List AFL-CIO

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

He Will Vote No on Proposition A: "In our next election we will be able to vote no or yes to Proposition A, 'Right to Work.' I sure hope voters will give it a lot of thought in which way they are going to vote. In right-to-work states you don’t have to belong to the union where you work. But I’m sure that when the union negotiates a new contract, those nonunion members will get the same raise, the same new benefits as union members."

Messenger: Dishonest Campaign Tries to Pit Union Workers Against the Middle Class: "It suggests that Proposition A, which Missourians will vote on Aug. 7, will protect workers from out-of-control union bosses. The mailer is an attempt to confuse voters, and when it comes to Proposition A, it’s easy to get confused, because the initiative’s route to the ballot was circuitous."

We Are Stronger with Our Allies: 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."

Best Candidates for Working People, 2018: Tina Smith: "This November's elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today, we feature Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota."

One Week Left in Missouri: “In just one week, working people in Missouri will have the opportunity to reject 'right to work' at the ballot box."

Historic Victory at Telemundo: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with a breakthrough contract for Spanish-speaking performers at Telemundo and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Guaranteeing Our Fundamental Dignity: "Signing Medicare and Medicaid into law 53 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson cited an innate human tradition calling on us to build a more just society: 'It calls upon us never to be indifferent toward despair. It commands us never to turn away from helplessness. It directs us never to ignore or to spurn those who suffer untended in a land that is bursting with abundance.'"

Best Candidates for Working People, 2018: Mahlon Mitchell: "This November's elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today, we feature Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mahlon Mitchell."

Trumka Says that Trump's Tariffs Have Gone Too Far: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who has previously praised tariff measures implemented by President Trump, told CBS News that he believes protectionist actions 'should be taken with a rifle and not a shotgun.' 'There were far too many countries, and so it lessens the effectiveness of tariffs as a way to enforce trade agreements,' Trumka said about Mr. Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum.'"

AFL-CIO Leader Richard Trumka Offers Qualified Support for Trump's Trade Policies: "The head of the country’s largest federation of labor unions offered qualified praise Wednesday for President Donald Trump’s trade policies but questioned the administration’s approach to levying tariffs. 'I think he’s going in the right direction on trade,' said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO."

With Eye on Midterms, Unions Push to Win Back Trump's Blue-Collar Voters: "'It’s not true that in rural districts you have to be conservative, or in the middle of the road,' Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, told news reporters Wednesday at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. He said that in Pennsylvania’s suburban/rural 18th District, 'Conor Lamb spoke of our issues. He spoke of collective bargaining, he spoke of joining a union, he spoke of protecting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And he got elected in a district that was computer-designed so that no Democrat could ever win. A computer said no Democrat could ever win this district, and he did.'"

Nan Aron, Walt Auvil: Brett Kavanaugh Is a Company Man: "West Virginia has a tragic history of big business putting profit above worker rights and safety. West Virginians depend on our legal system to protect them against corporate negligence, incompetence and cutting corners. That is why President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is such a threat. West Virginia’s senators owe it to their constituents to reject Kavanaugh’s nomination."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/03/2018 - 12:11

Economy Gains 157,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Little Changed at 3.9%

Fri, 2018-08-03 10:41
Economy Gains 157,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Little Changed at 3.9%

The U.S. economy gained 157,000 jobs in July, and unemployment was little changed at 3.9%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since the labor market continues to recover at only a tempered pace, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee did the right thing to hold off on further rate hikes. It would be well-advised to continue on that cautious path.

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

Job growth is modest at 157,000 jobs in July but unemployment rate edges down to 3.9 percent. Broadest measure of labor slack U-6, including part-time wanting full-time work and discouraged workers falls to 7.5 percent. All below pre-Recession levels. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 3, 2018

Year over year, average hourly earnings rose 2.7%. With modest job growth, confirms it was a good idea for the @federalreserve to pause on raising interest rates this week. #JobsReport @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 3, 2018

Sign that there is still labor slack, despite modest job growth this month, prime age employment to population ratio rose from 79.3 to 79.5% in July. Good thing the @federalreserve held rates constant rather than continue to push rate hikes until they wreck job growth @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 3, 2018

The employment success of prime age Black women is from their return to the labor force, which has grown much faster than for other prime age workers. @AFLCIO @WSJ #JobsReport @SistahScholar @cbtu @HarinContractor @dchometownboy pic.twitter.com/VeblqFBzo6

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 3, 2018

A reason to believe we aren't seeing skills mismatch is the dramatic year over year drop in unemployment rates for construction & mining and production and transportation related occupations relative to higher skilled workers. #JobsReport @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/JAK7CI3Ojv

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 3, 2018

We won't see a full recovery in the labor market, or the economy, until we pick up state and local investment and public sector hiring. Big drop in local government employment (this is seasonally adjusted to acknowledge summer and school is out) is a bad sign. @AFSCME #JobsReport pic.twitter.com/ZX9HhsGrIB

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 3, 2018

Last month’s biggest job gains were in professional and business services (51,000), manufacturing (37,000), health care and social assistance (34,000), food services and drinking places (26,000), construction (19,000) and retail trade (7,000). Employment showed little or no change over the month in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities and government.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates declined for adult men (3.4%) and whites (3.4%), while the rates for teenagers (13.1%), blacks (6.6%), Hispanics (4.5%), adult women (3.7%) and Asians (3.1%) showed little or no change in July.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged in July and accounted for 22.7% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/03/2018 - 10:41

Trumka: 'Working People Are Taking Matters into Our Own Hands'

Fri, 2018-08-03 08:09
Trumka: 'Working People Are Taking Matters into Our Own Hands' .

AFL‑CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) spoke to reporters Wednesday at The Christian Science Monitor breakfast, highlighting the wave of collective action sweeping the country. “We’re living through the kind of defining moment that can leave its mark for a generation,” he said. “A moment that will determine what kind of economy we work in and what kind of society we live in.”

Working people aren’t backing down from the challenges we face; we’re surging to collective action. Working people are rising to the moment, and if you want to see the evidence, look to the streets. That was AFL‑CIO President Richard Trumka’s message to a gaggle of reporters. Here are a few highlights from his remarks:

  • The fact is working people are taking matters into our own hands. We’re looking inward to position ourselves to shape the future of work and the labor movement. We’re organizing. We’re mobilizing. And we’re winning.

  • Our job this election season is to secure that promise for even more working people by filling the halls of power with genuine champions of collective bargaining....We’re unleashing the largest and most strategic member-to-member political program in our history, sparking change by doing what organizers do best: talking to each other.

  • If you want to see that power on full display, just look at what’s going on in Missouri right now....Working people took matters into our own hands. We were tasked with getting 100,000 signatures to put [“right to work”] to a statewide vote. You know what we did? We organized and turned in more than 300,000 signatures. The election is Tuesday. And let me tell you something: We’re going to win.

Here are excerpts from some of the coverage of the Christian Science Monitor breakfast:

Bloomberg BNA:

Voters in Missouri will repeal right-to-work legislation when they vote in the state’s primary next week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka predicted Aug. 1.

“We’re going to win on August 7th because the people of Missouri and the rest of the country don’t want to go in that direction,” Trumka said at a media event in Washington.

People's World:

“Working people expect the Supreme Court to be the most-fair branch of our government. Does anybody believe that’s true any more?” he asked. And a Supreme Court tilt, Trumka warned, “does a tremendous disservice to the country.”

Trumka blasted the Kavanaugh nomination at an August 1 breakfast with reporters, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Other topics of his talk included the coming mid-term elections, NAFTA talks and what labor hopes to see from them and increased worker activism nationwide.

“The Supreme Court shouldn’t be a Republican Supreme Court or a Democratic Supreme Court,” he told People’s World afterwards.

USA Today:

International trade is a vital part of the U.S. economy, but powerful corporate interests and secret negotiations have led to trade rules that “stacked the deck” for large corporations at the expense of working people, Trumka told reporters at a breakfast roundtable sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor.

“It’s time to rewrite those laws,” Trumka said, adding that Trump “understands that’s what needs to be done.”

Tariffs are a legitimate tool against enforcing trade agreements, but should be used selectively “like rifles” against countries that are breaking the rules, not against Canada, Trumka said.

“I don't think that Canada has violated the rules,” he said.

Buffalo News:

Trumka spelled out why over the course of an hour-long breakfast with reporters on Wednesday. To hear Trumka tell it, Trump is too scattershot on trade – and on other issues, his administration is taking aim directly at American workers.

Sure, Trump made a lot of promises to working people during his 2016 campaign, but apart from his promise to rewrite America's trade deals, “nearly all of those promises are broken or unfulfilled," Trumka said.

That being said, Trumka gave the president high marks for at least trying to cut better trade deals for American workers.

Washington Examiner

"I am going to make a prediction: We are going to win," Trumka told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "It will be proof positive that we are not ceding an inch in the wake of the Janus decision." [...]

Unions, by contrast, have been organized and effective. After the state legislature passed the law last year, they got the 300,000 signatures they needed from voters supporting a public vote on rolling back the law.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/03/2018 - 08:09

We Are Stronger with Our Allies: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Thu, 2018-08-02 13:13
We Are Stronger with Our Allies: What Working People Are Doing This Week Domestic Workers Alliance

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.

A. Philip Randolph Institute:

#ICYMI @APRI_National Prez Clayola Brown was a guest on @MachinistsUnion #ActivateLive https://t.co/97LoT4oJO5

— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) July 20, 2018

Actors' Equity:

We are currently accepting nominations for the #PaulRobeson Award! But did you know that between Equity and @ActorsEquityFdn, we have over a dozen other awards? Visit our website to find out more! https://t.co/OeRhnaQMmK

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) July 30, 2018

AFGE:

We're sending a huge THANK YOU to the union members, lawmakers, and countless others who wore their #RedForFeds last week. This is what solidarity looks like! #1u pic.twitter.com/H9HHAVXFZ9

— AFGE (@AFGENational) July 30, 2018

AFSCME:

“The knowledge that the union is working for me allows me to concentrate on my history duties. Who could ask for more?” says Terry Kraus, the agency historian at the Federal Aviation Administration, and a winner of AFSCME’s Never Quit Service Award. https://t.co/KcfEJmIgGh

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) July 30, 2018

AFT:

ICYMI: @amprnet delegates voted to ratify affiliation with AFT. When we stand together, we win! #IamAFT #BastaYahttps://t.co/YDkHJT5ngI

— AFT (@AFTunion) July 31, 2018

Air Line Pilots Association:

ALPA Aeromedical and Human Performance Specialist Marque Malan is leading the first ever ALPA #Pilot Support Program training session. pic.twitter.com/Bs54ZuUE9n

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) July 30, 2018

Alliance for Retired Americans:

The economy is recovering -- even thriving -- but many older, educated workers are still struggling to make ends meet. https://t.co/a3zJAPOxMy pic.twitter.com/ixn4SEgPIu

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) July 30, 2018

Amalgamated Transit Union:

Bus drivers with @RideMCTS caught on camera driving with kindness https://t.co/NgOw3wGC8I #transit #publictransit #1u

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) July 30, 2018

American Federation of Musicians:

297 to 114 voted to reject sweeping cuts to the NEA budget! #SaveTheNEA #GrothmanAmendment pic.twitter.com/p1cOXJBuBS

— Amer. Fed. Musicians (@The_AFM) July 18, 2018

American Postal Workers Union:

“When you ignore or evade social justice issues, you are making a decision to allow the injustices continue.” – Sec-Treas Liz Powell #LaborMovement #1U #APWUnited #FightingForJustice #FightingTodayForABetterTomorrow #NoJusticeNoPeace https://t.co/8X9FJKBSE1

— APWU National (@APWUnational) July 31, 2018

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Living off tips alone is no living at all for too many women and people of color. @councilofdc @MayorBowser, will you uphold the will of the voters? #WeWant77 for #1FairWage for ALL workers in DC #BetterWagesBetterTips

— APALA (@APALAnational) July 31, 2018

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

ICYMI: This wk, we joined @AFGENational & other labor unions to stand up against 3 executive orders issued by the Administration that seek to cripple the AFGE’s ability to represent union members & roll-back workplace protections. #RedForFeds #1u #UnionStrong pic.twitter.com/ThGShy80NF

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) July 29, 2018

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

BCTGM Intl. Pres. @DavidBDurkee is on Capital Hill this week meeting with Congressional leaders about how to fix the pension funding crisis facing multiemployer plans. #ProtectOurPensions https://t.co/RgY3fnmMC6 pic.twitter.com/ugkfwoopgV

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) July 26, 2018

Boilermakers:

A decade ago members of Local 108 played a key role in the development of a new alloy welding rod designed specifically for use in the power generation industry. #ThrowbackThursday #BoilermakersUnion https://t.co/8J7K38U40N

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) July 26, 2018

Bricklayers:

We heard that today is #NationalAvocadoDay. Watch and learn how to cut, peel, and prep avocados for cooking or serving from @UFCW member Maia Dubar: https://t.co/m3WzxnTOZW #1u #UnionStrong

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) July 31, 2018

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

We are heartbroken by the news of the death of Ron Dellum, one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus and a legendary advocate for unions and black workers. ://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/07/30/report-former-oakland-mayor-congressman-ron-dellum-dies/ #1u

— CBTU (@CBTU72) July 30, 2018

Communications Workers of America:

During a Reversing Runaway Inequality training @CWA1298 members dug into the roots of income inequality & how to fight it. They then called their legislators to discuss important issues like demanding an end to tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas! #cwastrong pic.twitter.com/noW6SPJCNi

— CWA (@CWAUnion) July 29, 2018

Department for Professional Employees:

Here's another case that demonstrates why Judge Brett Kavanaugh is wrong for #SCOTUS. #StopKavanaugh #1u https://t.co/XPskQibZde

— DPE (@DPEaflcio) July 31, 2018

Electrical Workers:

(VIDEO) The #IBEW and @MilwaukeeTool partner to help Puerto Rico https://t.co/my7dAZ8BPC

— IBEW (@IBEW) July 30, 2018

Fire Fighters:

In solidarity, Rhode Island fire fighters join nurses on picket line #unionstrong https://t.co/nuGBlA368M

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) July 31, 2018

Heat and Frost Insulators:

The union insulation industry provides the highest-skilled instructors, so you are receiving quality training. By starting a career with us, you will get trained and placed in a 5-year apprenticeship where you can start your career! https://t.co/9j9gPG2Jjz

— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) July 31, 2018

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

IFPTE has been fighting for the rights of #professionals in the #Federal, #Public, #Private, and #NonProfit sectors of the United States and Canada for 100 years, and we aren't slowing down! We're not just strong, we're #UnionStrong pic.twitter.com/d101sKdbwT

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) July 18, 2018

International Labor Communications Association:

REMINDER: the deadline for the 2018 ILCA Labor Media Contest has been extended to Monday August 6th! You still have one week to submit. Don’t delay, enter today! https://t.co/0vYJIJliy2 pic.twitter.com/UopljDXbO8

— Labor Communications (@ILCAonline) July 30, 2018

Ironworkers:

"The jobs program would include increasing the number of registered apprenticeships in Georgia from the current 8,000 to 22,000 by the year 2022." https://t.co/TVcMg0tSht #ApprenticeshipWorks

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) July 27, 2018

Jobs With Justice:

There are a lot of great ways to pay for #paidleave. Stealing from the elderly is not one of them. https://t.co/sJxmGcqGRU

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) July 31, 2018

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

The latest The LCLAA Daily ! https://t.co/c4qodmRqhV Thanks to @RunGomez @TNGLocal10 @jim_mochuk #p2 #ctl

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) July 31, 2018

Laborers:

The POWER of union SOLIDARITY - "Unions out-raise" #RightToWork forces in Missouri #WeFightWeWin https://t.co/UyHrhOuqkM

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) July 31, 2018

Longshoremen:

ILA Children's Fund Golf Tournament 2018 https://t.co/7LVVyJ2xuM via @YouTube

— Int'l LongshoreAssoc (@ILAUnion) July 24, 2018

Machinists:

The fight to save jobs at Red River Army Depot continues! https://t.co/qsZldvxhEb via @ktbs

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) July 31, 2018

Metal Trades Department:

Unions are hoping for a quick decision as well, as some agencies with open collective bargaining agreements have started to enforce specific pieces of the EOs. The SSA and HUD have given union representatives deadlines for leaving federal property. https://t.co/sEfqhd2l8a

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) July 31, 2018

Mine Workers:

A great rally outside the OH Statehouse yesterday to #fightforourpensions! @Teamsters @BCTGM @steelworkers #savepensionssavelives #theyearnedit pic.twitter.com/gLvUaQHLXx

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) July 14, 2018

North America's Building Trades Unions:

"We already have a shortage of construction workers in Michigan, and I don't see how lowering worker wages will help."

It's an epidemic, y'all.https://t.co/KqJ5MOXVlH

— The Building Trades (@BldgTrdsUnions) July 31, 2018

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

As part of EAA #OSH18 AirVenture last week, passionate female aviators focused on steering women toward careers as pilots. Fewer than seven percent of pilots in the U.S. are women. https://t.co/8cV5V1tPos

— NATCA (@NATCA) July 31, 2018

National Association of Letter Carriers:

"Heroic letter carrier helps save 16-year-old human trafficking victim" https://t.co/BXOjEGEUlL #NALC #hero #lettercarriers

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) July 31, 2018

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

Our #MondayMotivation is inspired by Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (@CMTMosqueda), who spearheaded the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. Learn more about her work: https://t.co/hxeD8Gbg02 pic.twitter.com/XZc2pqFs8Q

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) July 30, 2018

National Federation of Federal Employees:

Here is the video of our president, Randy Erwin, speaking at the #RedForFeds rally in Washington, D.C. last week.https://t.co/80dKitJ1X5

— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) July 31, 2018

National Nurses United:

Nurses know that traumatic separation of children from their families will impact their health for a lifetime. NNU is in solidarity with hunger strikers demanding that families be reunited and released.

More info: https://t.co/MMLtUamwlt #Hungry4Justice #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/oGTZzkOZ9u

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) July 31, 2018

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

City Council has announced first-time legislation to CAP the for-hire-vehicles flooding our streets, cap for-hire-vehicle expenses and authorize a health fund for drivers in every sector. NYTWA members made this happen! OUR STATEMENT: https://t.co/G4X2Xi6JCL

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) July 27, 2018

News Guild-CWA, The:

Lots of reasons for this decline that may be out of people's control. But one thing that would help is getting rid of greedy, uncaring newspaper owners. We must protect the #Right2Report. https://t.co/BRrRdjnYT8

— NewsGuild (@news_guild) July 31, 2018

NFL Players Association:

Let's talk about suicide. #YourHealth

Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Tina Smith

Wed, 2018-08-01 11:00
Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Tina Smith Minnesota AFL-CIO

This November's elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today we feature Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota.

Here are some of the key reasons why Smith is one of the best candidates for working people in 2018:

  • While working with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Smith has helped bring down the state's unemployment rate to one of the lowest in the country. Their policies also helped close the racial economic gap.
  • She strongly supports expanding paid family and medical leave.
  • Smith has introduced legislation to develop local partnerships that train and provide skills for people seeking jobs or career advancement.
  • She has helped develop programs that give young people career paths outside the traditional four-year college.
  • While serving as lieutenant governor, she has helped expand MinnesotaCare to provide access to quality, affordable health care throughout the state.
  • Smith is working with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) to reduce the burden of student debt so graduates who join the workforce don't come out of the gate already in a hole.
  • She supports programs that train veterans and help them find the work opportunities they deserve for serving our country.
  • Smith supports a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and opposes the Trump administration’s efforts to separate families and deport political refugees.
  • Continuing her past efforts, she will work to strengthen the freedom of working people to organize and bargain to improve our working conditions, pay and benefits.
  • Smith serves on a bipartisan committee to protect the pensions of tens of thousands of retired Minnesotans. She believes that working people who have paid into our retirement plans our whole lives shouldn't have to worry about supporting ourselves in retirement.
  • She supports trade measures that support working people and she pressed the administration to combat illegal foreign steel imports that harm Americans.
  • As an advocate for public education, she has helped establish all-day kindergarten in Minnesota’s public schools, improving access to education and allowing parents to save on child care expenses.

The Minnesota AFL-CIO supported Smith's original appointment to the Senate and has endorsed her election to the seat. The state federation's message of support said:

For the last seven years, Tina Smith has been Governor Dayton’s partner in building a better Minnesota. Be it raising the minimum wage, strengthening our state’s infrastructure, or expanding working people’s freedom to join together in union, Lt. Governor Smith has been there to help get key legislation across the finish line. She’s has been a leader on reducing healthcare costs and combating Minnesota’s opioid crisis; expertise that she will carry to the Senate.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/01/2018 - 11:00

One Week Left in Missouri

Tue, 2018-07-31 14:08
One Week Left in Missouri AFL-CIO

In just one week, working people in Missouri will have the opportunity to reject “right to work” at the ballot box.

Driving an all-hands-on-deck effort to defeat Prop. A, working people are tirelessly knocking on doors, making phone calls and doing everything in our power to win hearts and minds and turn out the vote.

Right to work is a direct attack on working families and our unions. So when politicians in Missouri rammed through this legislation last year, the labor movement immediately sprang into action to place a veto referendum on the ballot.

With one week left in this campaign, we’re keeping up the momentum in the fight to defend workers’ values and stand up to corporate greed.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. In states with right to work, wages are lower, schools are worse off and workplaces are more dangerous.

Working people in Missouri are fired up about this vote and more committed than ever to defeating the out-of-state corporate interests driving this wrongheaded law.

Working people are united in the effort to protect our freedoms and rights on the job. This is a defining fight for our movement, so do your part and join with your brothers and sisters in Missouri!

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:08

Historic Victory at Telemundo: Worker Wins

Tue, 2018-07-31 13:34
Historic Victory at Telemundo: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with a breakthrough contract for Spanish-speaking performers at Telemundo and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

Spanish-Language Performers at Telemundo Win Historic First Contract: Spanish-language performers for Telemundo Television Studios tentatively agreed to their first contract after 15 months of negotiations. Pablo Azar, a performer and negotiating committee chair, said, "We applaud Telemundo for working together with us to achieve this agreement. I am so proud to be part of the team that helped establish our first union contract with its health benefits, residuals, and other protections. This agreement reaffirms that a strong union contract goes hand in hand with successful programming."

Fast Company Voluntarily Recognizes Employee Union: Working people at Fast Company had their organizing efforts rewarded when the magazine's management voluntarily recognized Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), as the representative for the newly formed unit. WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson said: "We welcome the editorial and photo staff at Fast Company to the movement for collective bargaining in digital media, and we look forward to building a productive relationship with the employer. Unionizing and negotiating will give these hardworking employees a meaningful voice in the decisions that affect their work lives."

New Contract at The Intercept Contains Historic Diversity Provision: Editorial staff at The Intercept, a digital investigative journalism news site, unanimously ratified their first contract since joining WGAE. The new contract contains a historic diversity provision that requires any job that is open to the public will include at least two candidates from groups traditionally underrepresented in journalism (women, people of color, those identifying as LGBTQ). The contract also includes real gains in pay, paid leave and transparency and fairness in hiring and promotion.

New Yorker Editorial Staff Overwhelmingly Vote to Join The NewsGuild: Six weeks after they launched an organizing drive, editorial employees at The New Yorker overwhelmingly voted to join the The NewsGuild-CWA. In response to more than 90% of staff voting for the union, management at Condé Nast voluntarily recognized the union. The New Yorker becomes the first unionized editorial staff at Condé Nast.

University of Michigan Lecturers Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract: Members of the Lecturers' Employee Organization, an affiliate of the AFT, voted 98% in favor of a new contract that will raise wages, improve health care and boost job security for 1,700 lecturers at the university. LEO President Ian Robinson said: "Our members said they wanted a new kind of contract that would change how lecturers are paid and create the conditions for quality education for our students. The agreement approved in this week’s voting is transformative. It recognizes fundamental changes in the nature of academic labor."

NLRB Rejects Station Casinos' Legal Challenges to Organizing Victory: Station Casinos, the third largest employer in Nevada, has been delaying the recognition of an overwhelming vote to join the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, but the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that the union elections, won by a vote of nearly 80%, is valid and Station has to negotiate in good faith with the unions. Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, said: "We are disappointed that Station Casinos chose to litigate their baseless legal challenges instead of honoring the federal election results as they have always promised to do so. We urge Station Casinos to recognize their workers’ voices and votes at Green Valley Ranch and the Palms, and begin contract negotiations in good faith immediately."

Seattle Mayor Signs Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Bill: Seattle became the first city to establish a Domestic Workers Standards Board when Mayor Jenny Durkan signs the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, which was sponsored by City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. Mariana Viturro, deputy director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said: "As one of the most innovative and forward-thinking legislations of its kind, the Seattle Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights shows what is possible when the workers who are most vulnerable and often invisible become the center of our solutions. This victory paves the path for expanding rights for all domestic workers, including at the federal level."

New York Insurance Board Rules That Uber Drivers Are Employees: Despite Uber's attempts to misclassify its employees, the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ruled that drivers for Uber and similar companies are employees and are eligible for unemployment insurance. Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA), said: "This decision gives drivers a safety net, and one that Uber has to pay for, challenging Uber's business model of low pay and lower retention. Uber treats drivers as if they are expendable, and up until now, it's never had to come at a risk or cost to the company."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/31/2018 - 13:34

Tags: Organizing

Guaranteeing Our Fundamental Dignity

Mon, 2018-07-30 14:10
Guaranteeing Our Fundamental Dignity SSA

Signing Medicare and Medicaid into law 53 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson cited an innate human tradition calling on us to build a more just society: “It calls upon us never to be indifferent toward despair. It commands us never to turn away from helplessness. It directs us never to ignore or to spurn those who suffer untended in a land that is bursting with abundance.”

In the half century since Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law, countless Americans have been guaranteed the health care and fundamental dignity that we deserve.

Yet, corporate-backed members of Congress are pushing to gut these transformational programs, proposing to:

  • Cut Medicare by $537 billion to create a privatized system of health insurance plans.

  • Cut Medicaid by $1.5 trillion, imposing new benefit caps.

These proposals are only more outrageous in the wake of a $1.5 trillion corporate tax giveaway. Working people aren’t going to stand for such blatant mistreatment from politicians. That’s why we’re mobilizing across the country and preparing to make our voices heard on Election Day.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:10

Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Mahlon Mitchell

Mon, 2018-07-30 09:48
Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Mahlon Mitchell Mahlon Mitchell for Governor

This November's elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today, we feature Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mahlon Mitchell.

Here are some of the key reasons Mitchell is one of the best candidates for working people in 2018:

  • When Gov. Scott Walker stripped Wisconsin public employees of their rights, Mitchell led firefighters in a march on the state Capitol, even though they were exempted from the bill that took away the rights of other working people.
  • Mitchell wants to restore the prevailing wage for state construction projects so that Wisconsinites have access to jobs that pay a fair wage.
  • He wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, so that Wisconsin's working people can make ends meet and not have to work two or three jobs to support their family.
  • Mitchell wants to invest in Wisconsin's infrastructure. Not only is he going to fix Wisconsin's roads, which are ranked second worst in the nation, he's going to support investment in smart rail.
  • As part of his education plan, Mitchell wants to adequately fund public schools and reverse massive cuts to state universities and technical colleges. He wants to reduce class sizes and make sure that teachers have the resources they need.
  • He will increase funding for apprenticeship programs so that students can prepare for highly skilled jobs that are in high demand.
  • Mitchell has long been a champion of working people. He not only serves as the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, he is a member of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Executive Board.

These are just some of the reasons why Mahlon Mitchell is one of the best candidates for working people in 2018. To learn more, visit his website.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/30/2018 - 09:48

Tags: Elections 2018

#RedForFeds: The Working People Weekly List

Fri, 2018-07-27 11:15
#RedForFeds: The Working People Weekly List AFL-CIO

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

#RedForFeds: “Today, in communities across the country, working people joined together in solidarity with the federal workers who make our country run. In the face of ruthless attacks on these public servants’ fundamental economic rights, AFGE is leading the fight to defend our unions.”

Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Gretchen Whitmer: “This November’s elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today we feature Michigan gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer.”

USW to House: Properly Used Tariffs Protect Working People: “My name is Roy Houseman, and I am here on behalf of the United Steelworkers union, which is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers not just in steel and aluminum but in many other industries too.”

A War on the Working Class: In the States Roundup: “It’s time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states.”

Holding Wall Street Accountable: “Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a key piece of legislation passed to combat the dangerous corporate behavior that sparked the global financial crisis. A decade after the Great Recession, working people are fighting corporate assaults on these commonsense reforms. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today, ‘The labor movement fought hard to win these protections for working people....We need more people whose financial decisions are protected and fewer hedge fund managers who gamble with our lives.’”

Federal Unions Push Back Against ‘Chaos’: “Before the hearing started, a crowd of red-clad demonstrators—as part of the #RedForFeds campaign to elicit support for unionized government employees—gathered outside the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse to protest the executive orders. The employees carried signs reading ‘proud union member,’ ‘proud public employees’ and myriad anti-Trump posters. They represented a variety of labor unions, including the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union and many others.”

AFL-CIO: Trump’s Executive Order Will Create ‘Corruption and Cronyism’: “The AFL-CIO’s Executive Council today forcefully criticized President Donald Trump’s executive orders on government unions, saying they would ‘politicize the career civil service, opening it up to corruption and cronyism.’ The remarks are the most forceful rebuke yet from AFL-CIO leadership and come the same day a federal judge will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit from the American Federation of Government Employees. The executive order at the center of the lawsuit, signed in May, curtails the amount of paid time federal workers can spend filing grievances, while two others hasten the firing process for underperforming employees and shorten the window during which collective bargaining negotiations can take place.”

Collective Action Is Key to Keeping Labor Strong: “When the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions last month with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, some pundits were quick to sound the death knell for organized labor. Those pundits haven’t been paying attention, a panel at the AFL-CIO showed earlier this month. The event brought together workers from different sectors, all of whom have made organizing inroads over recent months to improve the conditions in their workplace.”

Goodman Joins Fight to Stop ‘Right to Work’ Law in Missouri: “The union-backed fight against making Missouri a ‘right to work’ state has enlisted some star power to get its message out. Actor John Goodman is featured in a 30-second radio ad saying a proposed law to be decided by Missouri voters in the Aug. 7 primary election will hurt the middle class.”

‘Why We Threw Mark Janus a Going-Away Party—But Didn’t Invite Him’: “The AFSCME v. Janus Supreme Court decision is not just the work of its plaintiff, Mark Janus. It’s the product of a well-financed and powerful anti-union machine, bankrolled and politically backed by the likes of the Koch family, billionaire Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, the American Legislative Exchange Council and many, many others.”

AFL-CIO President: ‘Workers Are United to Defeat Kavanaugh’: “AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the nation’s labor movement has come to a conclusion about President Donald Trump’s latest U.S. Supreme Court nominee: ‘Workers are united to defeat Kavanaugh,’ he declares. His statement was part of a much longer July 12 speech behind closed doors to Democratic U.S. House candidates. While Trumka did not cite specific cases and rulings, the federation previously compiled a string of anti-worker decisions and statements by federal appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh in his dozen years on the bench.”

Brett Kavanaugh Thinks Undocumented Workers Aren’t Really Employees Under The Law: “After President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court earlier this month, Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz was disturbed to read about one of the judge’s more controversial rulings. The case involved a defunct kosher meatpacking company Yanklowitz knew well, New York-based Agriprocessors. The company’s treatment of undocumented workers created a scandal within the Orthodox Jewish community a decade ago, when Yanklowitz was a rabbinical student concerned with social justice.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/27/2018 - 11:15

#RedForFeds

Wed, 2018-07-25 11:44
#RedForFeds AFL-CIO

Today, in communities across the country, working people joined together in solidarity with the federal workers who make our country run. In the face of ruthless attacks on these public servants’ fundamental economic rights, AFGE is leading the fight to defend our unions.

It’s no secret that right-wing, corporate-backed forces have long plotted to undermine the work of key government agencies. Now, they are launching a direct attack on those agencies’ employees, attempting to dismantle our union rights and basic freedoms on the job.

Today, lawyers from AFGE are taking that fight to court, and working people are taking it into the street. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us—and we simply will not stand for it.

At the rally in Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

Because here’s the truth: Throughout the entire history of our movement, we’ve never had anything handed to us. I see all the red here today and I am reminded that our movement was built on the blood of those who came before us.

We’ve fought for every victory. We stopped child labor. We brought you the weekend. We made health care more affordable and accessible. And we made the federal government a place where you can work hard, raise a family and get ahead.

Brothers and sisters, that’s why they’re coming after AFGE. You are the embodiment of what the labor movement can and should be. And they don’t like it. You organize in a right-to-work environment every day of every year. And guess what? You’re still growing. So now President Trump wants to change the rules of the game. Well, I have a message for him: Not on our watch!

Earlier, the AFL-CIO Executive Council issued a statement condemning the executive orders:

By restricting the use of official time, curtailing collective bargaining and eviscerating the due process rights of federal employees, the EOs virtually eliminate the right of federal employees to form unions and negotiate for fair treatment at work....

Federal employees swear an oath to serve this country and go to work every day to ensure our food is safe to eat, to care for veterans who were injured while serving our country, to prevent illegal weapons and drugs from crossing our borders, and to help communities recover from hurricanes and other disasters.  

The EOs would politicize the career civil service, opening it up to corruption and cronyism. They would do nothing to improve the operations of government agencies. In fact, by depriving workers of their rights to address and resolve workplace issues, they would do the opposite. Issues like sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation against whistleblowers, workplace health and safety, enforcing reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities and so much more would be more difficult to resolve. The EOs will lead to more mismanagement, not less, create inefficiencies and hinder the ability of dedicated federal employees to deliver services to the American public in an efficient and effective manner.

The AFL-CIO will work to have these EOs declared illegal or rolled back by Congress. They represent an outrageous attack against our work, our citizens and our democracy.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/25/2018 - 11:44

Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Gretchen Whitmer

Wed, 2018-07-25 11:30
Best Candidates for Working People 2018: Gretchen Whitmer Gretchen Whitmer for Governor

This November's elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today we feature Michigan gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer.

Here are some of the key reasons why Whitmer is one of the best candidates for working people in 2018:

  • She has a record of standing up for Michigan's working people. She helped pass the Healthy Michigan law to expand Medicaid to cover 680,000 more Michiganders, including children, seniors and working-class families. She also fought back against Gov. Rick Snyder when he attacked workers and proposed education cuts.

  • When Snyder locked the people out of the state capitol so Republicans could pass "right to work" legislation, Whitmer not only joined working people in protest, she led the protests from her office.

  • She is an independent political voice and is willing to work with Republicans when it benefits working people. She worked with Republicans on expanding Medicaid through Healthy Michigan. She also negotiated a higher minimum wage and cost-of-living adjustments for Michigan's most vulnerable working people.

  • Whitmer released a detailed plan to reinvest in Michigan's infrastructure and create thousands of jobs. The plan focuses on important tasks such as fixing crumbling roads, ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water, and expanding broadband access to the entire state.

  • Her policies would build a Michigan economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Whitmer will do this by investing more in skills and job training programs that help working people get quality jobs.

  • As part of a robust plan to support veterans, she wants to focus on making sure that Michigan's returning service members can transition to good-paying jobs, fast-tracking certification programs and reducing barriers to opening small businesses.

  • The Michigan AFL-CIO endorses Whitmer "because she’s a strong progressive leader who’s always had the backs of working families, and she’s the only candidate in this race with a real plan to fix the damn roads and create more good-paying jobs for Michigan."

These are just some of the reasons why Gretchen Whitmer is one of the best candidates for working people in 2018. To learn more, visit her website.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/25/2018 - 11:30

Tags: Elections 2018

USW to House: Properly-Used Tariffs Protect Working People

Tue, 2018-07-24 15:21
USW to House: Properly-Used Tariffs Protect Working People AFL-CIO

The following testimony was provided to the House Ways and Means Committee:

My name is Roy Houseman and I am here on behalf of the United Steelworkers union, which is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers not just in steel and aluminum but in many other industries too.

United Steelworkers sees first hand that the steel and aluminum 232’s are providing essential relief from global overcapacity, ensuring the domestic industry will be able to supply the necessary materials for our national security and critical infrastructure needs. The domestic, privately-owned industry in the world’s largest free market can remain competitive if we guide a course against an onslaught of what is all-too-often government-planned and financed, non-market driven expansion of steel and aluminum production.  

The steel and aluminum tariffs are working as intended. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, 1.4 (1,401,000) million more tons of domestic steel have been produced so far this year than the year prior. In aluminum, our members and other workers are on track to aid in a domestic aluminum production increase of 60% by the end of year. While the increase in domestic operating capacity cannot all be attributed to just the tariffs, they are having the intended effect.

More personally, it is good to hear from local union leaders like James Sanderson at Steelworkers local union 7898 in Georgetown, South Carolina. After a three-year idle, their wire rod facility has restarted putting 125 workers back to work and producing up to 750,000 tons of steel per year. As orders rise, the company says another 195 people will be hired at the mill.

The same goes for Dan Simmons at USW Local Union 1899 in Granite City, Illinois. After more than two years, their facility is in the process of restarting both of their basic oxygen furnaces with 800 union members getting recalled and bringing close to 3 million tons of additional slab capacity for the domestic market.

These are local leaders striving to do the best for their communities and membership. They want to ensure we produce the steel and aluminum products this country needs to supply our defense and critical infrastructure needs while being commercially competitive. I highlight these sites because, the union also helped draft and secure their Trade Adjustment Assistance petitions not that long ago when they were idled, submitting them into a bureaucratic process that often takes months but can even go years to work through. So we can sympathize with businesses as they work through the exclusion process but we are quite frankly tired of being told that unilateral action to protect American industry from global overcapacity is a bridge too far.

And, as a TAA recipient myself, I know the pain and uncertainty that they have experienced.

From day one, the union has said that where there is insufficient domestic capacity or undeveloped market potential exclusions will be necessary. The last review of exclusion requests the union has seen indicates that close to 200 requests have been granted and just under 400 requests have been denied by the Department of Commerce. Our member companies have filed objections to product lines they know they have the capacity and capability to produce. Additional business opportunities are being pursued by our member companies and we welcome the opportunity to compete for that work.

And where products to meet our nation’s needs are truly unavailable, we do not object to waivers. Our members not only produce steel, but they are also users of that steel in fabrication and other downstream facilities.

The Department of Commerce still faces tens of thousands of exclusion requests and we support continued efforts to increase staffing and resources at the Department of Commerce to process these requests.

However, I do not work at the Commerce Department and USW urges the committee to bring in administration witnesses to give detailed updates on the exclusion process and use the oversight role this committee has over trade. USW does believe many of the issues related to 232 implementation can be remedied through providing additional resources.

The USW disagrees with the administration’s policies in a number of areas, but undermining the domestic steel and aluminum industry and our security interests by allowing a flood of excess capacity and foreign imports wash away our member’s jobs and devastate communities is not a solution. We will be the first to agree that the process must improve, but the union also cautions against efforts to undermine 232 tariff relief. We have been, and will continue to be a willing partner in seeking a solution to global overcapacity in steel and aluminum while ensuring a timely and fair exclusion process.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/24/2018 - 15:21

A War on the Working Class: In the States Roundup

Mon, 2018-07-23 12:40
A War on the Working Class: In the States Roundup AFL-CIO

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

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Who are the "union busting" firms hired by employers to fight against us? Thanks to the Trump administration it's going to be even harder to find out. https://t.co/T86AnClEBC

— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) July 19, 2018

California Labor Federation:

"There's a war on the working class. It's called exploitation. The only way that there's all this wealth, is that there's people not getting paid what they're worth." - @BootsRiley @fightfor15. ALL workers deserve fair wages and better working conditions. #1U #Unionstrong https://t.co/2a9kjf47N1

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) July 21, 2018

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Urge PPRM to to respect the choice of its care providers, to immediately withdraw the appeal to the NLRB, and to recognize and negotiate with the union its employees have chosen and voted for! https://t.co/Z06KWBhkGV

— Colorado AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOCO) July 19, 2018

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

.@UnionLori: Union members are standing up and making a difference this year. Hundreds of members across the country are running for office because it's clear, especially after Kavanaugh's nomination, that we need more working people holding elected office. #StopKavanaugh @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/C5hlul1fQ3

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) July 13, 2018

Florida AFL-CIO:

Florida needs a Governor that puts worker interests first.

“Across Florida, working families are squeezed between flat paychecks and the rising cost of housing, gas and other necessities." https://t.co/g0hLS1vB06

Visit https://t.co/D9SwGWAXlV for more info.

— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) July 18, 2018

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Could Missouri's right-to-work vote be a 'turnaround' for labor? Unions hope so. https://t.co/12BBSIPnBV

— AFL-CIO Georgia (@AFLCIOGeorgia) July 11, 2018

Idaho State AFL-CIO:

#Unions help level a very uneven playing field, not just for their members, but for everyone who works for a living. https://t.co/YGyfF0Nxt2

— Idaho State AFL-CIO (@IdahoAFLCIO) July 9, 2018

Illinois AFL-CIO:

More misrepresentations and falsehoods from the anti-worker and anti-union @BruceRauner and @illinoispolicy https://t.co/d54V8I3t5p

— Illinois AFL-CIO (@ILAFLCIO) July 14, 2018

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

How Minor League Baseball players can begin unionizing; Minor League players unionizing isn’t impossible, but it won’t be easy, either.

https://t.co/4nATO1ZMlv

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) July 21, 2018

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Wage theft, not racial slur should have doomed Papa John's founder https://t.co/vIdorISUMv

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) July 23, 2018

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

“UPS contract falls short on wages, Louisville union official says” https://t.co/tYKrsu1o7s

— Kentucky AFL-CIO (@aflcioky) July 12, 2018

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

What's your favorite neighborhood in Lynn to door knock? Saturday 7/28 is bound to be full of great conversations with union members at the doors. Join us in support of Pete Capano for State Rep! https://t.co/YWCJH326Xo #1u #solidarity #mapoli @NSlaborcouncil

— Massachusetts AFLCIO (@massaflcio) July 19, 2018

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

Gino Renne (UFCW 1994 MCGEO), Ginny Diamond (NoVA Labor), Sonte DuCote (CSA Executive Director), and Kathleen McKirchy (former CSA Executive Director) are honored before the start of tonight’s Labor Night ⁦⁦@Nationalspic.twitter.com/IPglZRrP3X

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) July 21, 2018

Michigan AFL-CIO:

We endorsed Gretchen Whitmer because she has a record of fighting for the freedoms or working men and women. As our governor she will protect the things our families need and build a Michigan that works for everyone.https://t.co/C2jj2i83pl

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) July 18, 2018

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

Mark #Janus quits state job for conservative think tank gig after landmark ruling https://t.co/7IT69Suu8n This was never about him, this was about taking away our freedom to join together. #1u

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) July 21, 2018

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Is this the direction we want Missouri to go in? #RepealRTW #VoteNoOnPropA pic.twitter.com/Hcqgp39mE3

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) July 22, 2018

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

Hard and important work can be glam, too.

Holding Wall Street Accountable

Fri, 2018-07-20 11:55
Holding Wall Street Accountable Getty Images

Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a key piece of legislation passed to combat the dangerous corporate behavior that sparked the global financial crisis. A decade after the Great Recession, working people are fighting corporate assaults on these commonsense reforms. As AFL‑CIO President Richard Trumka said today, “The labor movement fought hard to win these protections for working people....We need more people whose financial decisions are protected and fewer hedge fund managers who gamble with our lives.”

At the AFL‑CIO Convention last year, working people recognized that Wall Street’s excessive wealth and power is corrupting our economy and our democracy. We resolved to fight back together, working to secure sound regulations that will reign in Wall Street excess, including:

  • Protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which protects consumers from tricks and traps in consumer financial products like mortgages and credit cards.

  • Closing the tax loophole for private equity and hedge fund managers that allows these millionaires and billionaires to pay rates lower than middle-class professionals.

  • Closing the CEO performance pay loophole that encourages lavish executive pay packages at taxpayer expense.

  • Levying a tiny tax on Wall Street trades to generate revenue for investments in jobs, education and infrastructure.

  • Ending “too big to fail” banks by restoring a 21st century version of the Glass–Steagall Act’s division between commercial/consumer-oriented banks and investment banks.

  • Taking on Wall Street firms like private equity funds and big banks when they behave in ways that harm working people.

  • And fighting to expose corporate political spending and lobbying that undermines our democracy.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:55