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NewsFeed - Labor
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As voting on the Auto Workers’ agreement with Ford came to a close last week, a union official publicly expressed his contempt for locals that had voted against the pact.
Management should move production to locals that voted yes, wrote Michael Robison, an assistant director in the union’s National Ford Department.
“Everyone of them Locals should lose there product now and in the future. $1 Billion dollar investment in KTP [Kentucky Truck Plant] really. Ship Lima Engine to Dearborn Engine. Ship Chicago Assy’s work to Flat Rock,” Robison wrote Friday on Facebook.
Colombia's workers, students, and rural, indigenous and Afro-descendant communities will join together in a national general strike tomorrow, Nov. 21. Unlike the strikes many of America's workers have participated in increasingly in the past five years, Colombians are not striking against any single employer or industry.
Since the Colombian labor movement convened the strike some seven weeks ago, this broad alliance of social justice organizations have come together to express their belief that the government of President Iván Duque is taking the country in the wrong direction: suggesting reforms that would reduce even further workers' access to decent work, labor rights and social security, increasing repression and violence against the most vulnerable Colombians and refusing to move forward with the peace process negotiated three years ago. Along with other human rights and social justice organizations based in the United States, the AFL-CIO and some affiliates are sharing with Congress a joint letter of support for this strike and the right to strike and protest as fundamental to building and sustaining democracy.
Unfortunately, some elected leaders, right-wing parties and Colombia's former president Álvaro Uribe and his supporters have described the strike as illegal and unpatriotic. Even worse, the government has conducted raids into the homes and offices of groups organizing the strike and militarized many likely sites of citizen mobilization. Given Colombia's history of violent repression of legal and peaceful protest, the international community has expressed deep concern about Colombia's capacity and will to protect and respect the rights of its citizens exercising those rights and commitment to the peace process.
We stand with Colombian workers, their unions and their communities in demanding respect for fundamental human rights before, during and after the national strike.
In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.
AFT in Action: "In the first of three episodes addressing workplace violence, our state federation president teams up with the head of the Connecticut AFL-CIO to introduce the topic to union members. Together, Jan Hochadel and Sal Luciano help lay the groundwork for the future discussions, which will focus on efforts to prevent assaults on health care professionals and public school educators.Their guest for this episode is Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health (ConnectiCOSH) Co-Chair Steve Schrag, who has for decades advocated for better workplace and community conditions. He provides important history and offers valuable context, as well as insightful answers to members' questions about previous and ongoing efforts to ensure that 'work doesn't hurt.'"
Building Bridges: The Making of a Democratic Economy, Part 2: "Ted Howard, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, and Marjorie Kelly, author of 'The Divine Right of Capital' and 'Owning Our Future,' have teamed up to co-author 'The Making of a Democratic Economy,' a clarion call for a movement ready to get serious about transforming our economic system."
Heartland Labor Forum: Medicare for All: "We’ll do a primer on Medicare for All. We’ll ask Dr. Anand Bhat how it would work, whether taxes will go up, if there are hidden costs and, if, as a number of candidates for president say, employer-paid health insurance is better, and if we have it, we shouldn’t give it up. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming."
LABOR LIVE@5: Joe Uehlein and the U-Liners: "First Tuesdays, 5 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Part of Union City Radio in D.C. Classic labor songs and U-Liner originals, plus Joe talks with Chris about the role of music in the movement and hope for the future."
Labor History Today: Precarious Work in the Movies: "Tom Zaniello talks with Sherry Linkon about his next book, an exploration of media accounts of precarious work, ranging from Edward R. Murrow's famous 1960 documentary 'Harvest of Shame' to the storytelling of modern video games. Kalmanovitz Associate Director Lane Windham on 'The Uprising of the 20,000' in 1909. October was LGBTQ History Month and for this week’s Cool Things from the Meany Archive, Chloe Danyo digs into the archive’s Pride At Work collection and comes up with a historic pamphlet on organizing for lesbian and gay rights in unions."
UCOMM Live: Trump Gets Booed, a Sign of Things to Come?: "AFGE's president is taking a leave of absence after accusations of sexual harassment. Should we cover stories like this? Some say yes, some no, we discuss. Trump is getting booed everywhere he goes, and unemployment is up in important swing states. Chance the Rapper is now the Chicago Teachers favorite after his appearance on SNL. The UAW's president is forced out after leaders listened to last week's show. Elizabeth Warren's education plan is a game changer and the Mets hire Carlos Beltran. Listen to UCOMM Live Thursday's at 4 on Facebook,Twitter and YouTube or anytime on UCOMMLive.com."
Union City Radio: Bus Driver Strike, Virginia Election Wins and More: "Weekdays at 7:15 a.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Flexing labor's muscle: Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan; 'Shut it down!' say striking bus drivers; Transdev cuts health insurance for strikers, walks away from table; labor gets out the vote on Election Day; AFSCME demands safe staffing in Maryland."
Union Strong: Keeping New York Moving: "TWU Local 100 is in a contract fight with the MTA. We cover everything from the Trash Train competition to the trash email that went public, all on the day of a massive rally taking place tonight in NYC."
Willamette Wake-Up: Vincent Blanco: "Our KMUZ labor radio segment this month will feature an especially inspiring interview with Vincent Blanco Jr. of Oregon's American Federation of Teachers. Brother Blanco will be talking about workers in the Portland Community College system and their fight for union contracts, universal health care, some basics of union organizing and social justice, his union's response to the Janus decision and the PERS crisis and much more. This really is a great conversation, so please tune in on Friday, Nov. 22, at around 8:10 a.m. PST on KMUZ. The station is at 88.5, 100.7."
Your Rights at Work: Virginia Elections, Union Veterans Council, Union Plus and More: David Stephen, new political director at the Metropolitan Washington Council; Doris Crouse-Mays (Virginia AFL-CIO president): Labor helps flip Virginia to blue; labor's agenda in 2020; William Attig (executive director, Union Veterans Council): Veterans on the Rise mission on Veterans Day; Jill Cashen (vice president at Union Plus): expert legal help; David Schloss (Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis): Case closed. Thursdays 1-2 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM.
After six weeks on the picket line, General Motors workers ratified an agreement that left many major areas unchanged, but one provision stood out as a true gain: the time it took to “grow in” to the top wage would be cut from eight years down to four.
In October, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, an entrepreneur and right-wing politician, proclaimed that “in the midst of this turbulent Latin America, our country is a true oasis.”
Six days later, high school students in the capital city, Santiago, began a protest against the rising cost of public transit through mass fare evasions.
Reckoning With the Hidden Rules of Gender in the Tax Code: How Low Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy Impact Women’s Economic Opportunity and Security
CWA works with government-contracted employees to lift working standards and join together for a voice on the job.
CWA Complaint Leads to Raise and Back Pay for Customer Service Representatives from Federal Contractor
With assistance from CWA, 40 current and former employees will receive a raise and back pay from a FEMA National Flood Insurance Program subcontractor.
Members of the CWA-IBT Association, including home-based reservations representatives (HBRs) and office-based agents, spoke out against plans to close the Reno Reservation center in March 2020 and move all HBRs into offices over the next two years.
Thirteen CWA leaders participated in the 2019 Minority Leadership Institute last week.
On Veterans Day, CWA President Chris Shelton announced the CWA Veterans for Social Change program and a new National CWA Veterans Committee.
The latest information about what's happening at Hawaiian Airlines and Altice.
Members of CWA Local 7304 and allies held a CWA STRONG organizing blitz at New Flyer in Crookston, Minn.
Anne Krueger, a strong friend and ally to CWA, was temporarily freed after 12 days of incarceration.
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 Association:
Together, the City That Sings and Kentucky’s largest city form a thriving Liaison Area that boasts nearly 4,000 work weeks for members. Check out the 2018 Regional Theatre report to read more about the #Cincinnati / #Louisville Liaison Area - https://t.co/jxh5Xxv1C1 pic.twitter.com/xdMJz95h9A— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) November 14, 2019
In the final installment of our 5-part series on the #WhiteHouseSecretMemo, we reveal the administration’s secret plan, laid out in black and white, to wipe out federal employee unions. #1u https://t.co/d67I2zwIMh pic.twitter.com/85DJqg1GB9— AFGE (@AFGENational) November 13, 2019
AFSCME has long stood with immigrant workers and their families, especially Dreamers, whose future is being weighed by SCOTUS. A ruling against Dreamers would be nothing less than a betrayal of new Americans by their government. #HomeIsHere https://t.co/YpaFG9iTOX— AFSCME (@AFSCME) November 13, 2019
.@rweingarten: The contract is proof positive that by working together, we can help make the school an even better place for kids to learn and thrive. It treats educators as the professionals they are – and provides the resources to back it up. https://t.co/keE3HD8dqW— AFT (@AFTunion) November 14, 2019
Air Line Pilots Association:
We appreciate our Advocates for advancing the pilot profession! https://t.co/Vf7nD9QSM3— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) November 14, 2019
Alliance for Retired Americans:
Nearly 80% of Americans say prescription drug prices are unreasonable. Will Congress take action, or will they fall prey to wealthy pharmaceutical lobbying money? It's time for us to make sure lawmakers put #PeopleOverPharma! https://t.co/gwiYXpi1rz pic.twitter.com/dId0fnSQaD— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) November 13, 2019
Amalgamated Transit Union:
American Federation of Musicians:
"They’re making billions & claiming poverty. People value music in movies," said @ChrisABmusic, an orchestrator, negotiating committee member, & #UnionMusician. #BandTogether #1u ✊🏿✊🏻✊🏽📽️🎬🎼 https://t.co/xpfvCyhG13 via @WSJ— AFM (@The_AFM) October 8, 2019
American Postal Workers Union:
Interest Arbitration is re-starting. This morning Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks gives evidence on bargaining unit work in Level 18 offices, and responses to USPS management on "flexibility" and their proposal to expand two tier working. #APWUnited #GoodContractNOW pic.twitter.com/57cbd0ZK3d— APWU National (@APWUnational) November 14, 2019
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:
Our APALA staff showing up for our DACA + TPS siblings at the #HomeisHere March! Immigrants are our teachers, our nurses, our first responders, & other vital members of our communities. Losing DACA would hurt us all.— APALA (@APALAnational) November 12, 2019
DONATE to support DACA: https://t.co/Gng4Ebz0wM pic.twitter.com/iIIhn5SGxD
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:
Today in 1970, 75 ppl lost their lives after Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed into a hill just short of the Tri-State Airport in WV. The plane was carrying 37 members of the Marshall University football team, 9 members of coaching staff, 25 boosters, & 4 flight crew members. pic.twitter.com/p6DXytnGoi— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) November 14, 2019
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:
This BCTGM Local 68 retiree is committed to pushing the Senate to pass the #ButchLewisAct (S.2254) to #SaveOurPension - join Sister Moog and take action TODAY: https://t.co/ApE4dAf4eZ pic.twitter.com/DvFGd6HdJv— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) November 6, 2019
#Boilermaker craftsmen are #union taught for a reason, let's keep it that way. #SaveApprenticeshipWeek #BNAP #Boilermakers @NABTU— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) November 14, 2019
Murph Jamerson member of @Boilermakerslocal363 pic.twitter.com/nTtVgC5qXM
Registered Apprentices gain an average of $300,000 more over the life of their career than non-apprenticeship participants. #Brick apprentice Matt of BAC Local 7 CO agrees. #Union Apprenticeships Matter. #SaveApprenticeshipWeek#NationalApprenticeshipWeek #NAW19 #1u https://t.co/vsoUniwn73— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) November 13, 2019
California School Employees Association:
"After I joined, I was able to meet different people all over the world and different walks of life. I think it helped me really understand that we are so different, but we are all connected in some way or another." -Margaret Ortiz, Navy, Claremont Chapter 200 pic.twitter.com/WSFFZ5jerL— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) November 13, 2019
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:
Black vets epitomize the sacrifice and glory of African American patriotism: From the first war fought on U.S. soil to world wars fought on foreign soil to battles in Vietnam and being lynched in Jim Crow South. Today we salute CBTU veterans and all military families.#VeteransDay pic.twitter.com/f5WBXyqdTo— CBTU (@CBTU72) November 11, 2019
Coalition of Labor Union Women:
Communications Workers of America:
#NAMD2019 (@statemedicaid) Attendees:— CWA (@CWAUnion) November 12, 2019
Problems at MAXIMUS have impeded vulnerable Americans from accessing health services they desperately need.
Read the new report on @MAXIMUS_news' Medicaid management failures: https://t.co/TulGJucSvU pic.twitter.com/n51Nqg54OE
Department for Professional Employees:
Farm Labor Organizing Committee:
Heat and Frost Insulators:
Hands-on training and real world experience go a long way in developing a talented professional. They also happen to be pillars of the Insulators Union nationally recognized Registered Apprenticeship Program! @USDOL #SaveApprenticeshipWeek— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) November 14, 2019
International Labor Communications Association:
It's #NationalApprenticeshipWeek. But it's also National #SaveApprenticeshipWeek! Raise your voice to protect the construction industry from mediocre training and preserve the Registered Apprenticeship Program that is widely regarded as the gold standard for training. pic.twitter.com/jpssFZ3nkG— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) November 12, 2019
Jobs with Justice:
The future may seem uncertain for working people right now, but when we join together and have a voice in our workplaces and our economy, we can work to build a better future for working people. https://t.co/EOIBlUHwSP— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) November 14, 2019
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:
Meet Shelby Herrera, one of our 2019-2020 #Trabajadoras Fellows and a member of the Tarrant County LCLAA chapter. To learn more about our Fellows follow us on Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn. pic.twitter.com/63MyOHdfBF— LCLAA (@LCLAA) November 13, 2019
The skilled Building Trades registered #apprenticeship programs have been a path to the #middleclass for generations of Americans. #NAW19 #ApprenticeshipWorks #SaveApprenticeshipWeek— LIUNA (@LIUNA) November 13, 2019
Learn more about LIUNA's apprenticeship: https://t.co/0hGdbD4c6X pic.twitter.com/PPNjespl37
ICYMI: @TCUnionHQ Vice President Jack Dinsdale this week testified before a House subcommittee about a changing culture at @Amtrak, adding that the nation’s passenger rail corporation today includes workers living “in fear for their livelihood and careers” https://t.co/lZHelo9wrF— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) November 14, 2019
Metal Trades Department:
A dozen unions lean on Congress: Fix or oppose USMCA— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) November 8, 2019
— Leaders of 12 unions are urging House lawmakers not to vote on the USMCA until significant improvements are made on labor and enforcement. Without changes, the leaders warn they will oppose the pact. https://t.co/47cnaAUdlk
Happy Veterans Day to all who have served and are serving today. pic.twitter.com/Ev1wpzhPeh— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) November 11, 2019
National Air Traffic Controllers Association:
Retired member Pat Burke and Northern California TRACON (NCT) Legislative Rep Alton Pamintuan attended an event for California Congressman Doug LaMalfa. "We spoke to both Congressman LaMalfa and his Chief of Staff Mark Spannagel, at great length," said Pamintuan. pic.twitter.com/9QPD2kikFO— NATCA (@NATCA) November 14, 2019
National Association of Letter Carriers:
Did you miss the coverage of the 2019 NALC Heroes of the Year Awards? All speeches and awards are available on NALC's YouTube channel: @thepostalrecord!— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) November 14, 2019
Link: https://t.co/y0luOC8Bkt #NALC #Heroes #PostalProud pic.twitter.com/lkK5IQz9Mk
National Domestic Workers Alliance:
National Federation of Federal Employees:
“In addition to the physical safety of our members, I became concerned about their psychological well-being, too,” said Cassandra Buckhanan, president of NFFE Local 1956. https://t.co/LawlFKmJqW— NFFE (@NFFE_Union) November 8, 2019
National Nurses United:
Union #nurses at @UChicagoMed brave the cold today to participate in a strike vote.— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) November 14, 2019
We don't want to be on the picket line; we want to be with our patients.
But we'll do what it takes to fight for the #SafeStaffing patients need — and we will win! pic.twitter.com/9ReyL6EdWX
National Taxi Workers Alliance:
NYTWA ED Bhairavi Desai: "New Jersey is sending a message that the state's labor laws aren't dictated by corporations. It's time for New York to follow."— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) November 14, 2019
NFL Players Association:
.@Joe_MainMixon linked up with @StrikesForKids to host 20 youth from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati @BGCGC to bowling, unlimited arcade fun, pizza, and brand new bikes. pic.twitter.com/b5OZu2XmHx— NFLPA (@NFLPA) November 13, 2019
North America's Building Trades Unions:
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s almost that time 👀🔥— The Building Trades (@NABTU) November 8, 2019
To some, next week is #NationalApprenticeshipWeek… But for us? It’s National #SaveApprenticeshipWeek!
Let’s hear your take on what makes registered apprenticeship the BEST training system around 💪 pic.twitter.com/6g8qOlTpMU
Office and Professional Employees:
Q: Why are working people working longer hours with less to show for it?— OPEIU (@OPEIU) November 12, 2019
A: Because working people aren’t writing the rules.
This #NationalRunForOfficeDay, commit to building a future worth fighting for. #1u https://t.co/7KsW9i4Dgf
Painters and Allied Trades:
The Trump Administration enables their operatives to strike again. This is just another sign that he is completely inept in oversight - and that IRAPs have been a scam since the beginning. #SaveApprenticeshipWeek #IRAPs https://t.co/aDmNGCsIr9— GoIUPAT✊🏽 (@GoIUPAT) November 7, 2019
Plasterers and Cement Masons:
On this Veterans Day, the #OPCMIA salutes our many members and all others who served in our armed forces. They deserve more than our words — they deserve our deeds, including fully staffing and fully funding the VA. #VeteransDay #stafftheva #1u https://t.co/lQofBKMg95— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) November 11, 2019
Printing, Publishing and Media Union:
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:
Thank you @KYComer for spending time w dedicated public servants @FlyLouisville. PASS members at Federal Aviation Admin committed to their jobs & keeping flying public safe. So glad you could see these federal employees doing their important work! #aviationsafety #publicservice https://t.co/T4PrdoQgQQ— PASS (@PASSNational) November 12, 2019
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers:
BREAKING: Over 500 Workers at @GeneralMills Reach Tentative Agreement – Narrowly Avoiding A Strike— RWDSU (@RWDSU) November 8, 2019
"Our membership stood strong" said Tim Sarver, a General Mills worker of over 35 years.
Read more: https://t.co/nDCwr41bm5 pic.twitter.com/MOs7sWHKiL
Roofers and Waterproofers:
Not sure what fall protection equipment to use for your residential construction project? This website can help! It’s organized by equipment type and phase of construction to make searching easy. https://t.co/g7sPv0njwj #roofersafety365 pic.twitter.com/oQ229GzX1h— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) November 14, 2019
Urgent regional cooperation needed to tackle rising piracy attacks in Gulf of Guinea https://t.co/qdGxmagUSQ— Seafarers Union (@SeafarersUnion) November 12, 2019
Today at 10am, Congress will finally hold power to account....— Transportation Communications Union/IAM (@TCUnionHQ) November 13, 2019
TCU Nat. Vice President Jack Dinsdale will be testifying about Amtrak's union-busting campaign. Tune in live!https://t.co/pVP3DxgvRT
CC: @TTDAFLCIO @AmtrakCouncil @transportworker @MachinistsUnion
Theatrical Stage Employees:
We represent over 140,000 skilled craftspeople, united by our commitment to winning better workplaces, being the best at our crafts, and improving the lives of entertainment workers and their families. pic.twitter.com/kwvfRN2P8z— IATSE (@IATSE) November 12, 2019
Congress directed the @USDOT and @FAANews to implement a minimum 10-hour rest period for flight attendants over a year ago. TWU is proud to stand with @iamtransport and @APFAunity to demand these rules go into effect immediately https://t.co/TXuxBRRqyG— TWU (@transportworker) November 13, 2019
Transportation Trades Department:
.@RepStephenLynch to #Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson: we expect those who work for Amtrak be treated with respect. We have high expectations for Amtrak and you aren't meeting those expectations. @TransportDems pic.twitter.com/YhQsZhZS6I— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) November 13, 2019
Lula’s freedom today is a victory for democratic principles and the right to legal due process as affirmed by Brazil’s Supreme Court.— UAW (@UAW) November 8, 2019
We thank the thousands of UAW members who sent personal notes to Lula during his unjust detainment. A luta continua! https://t.co/S7hOLgYxmO
Union Veterans Council:
OPERATION VETERANS OUTREACH WASHINGTON DC https://t.co/xRIeILjKJP— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) November 13, 2019
Airline catering workers shouldn’t have to choose between paying their bills or getting medical— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) November 6, 2019
Tell @AmericanAir: One Job Should Be Enough! #AirportStrikeAlert | #1job | #1u | #unitehere |@unitehere
Sign here: https://t.co/wx5Fgga8DT
United Food and Commercial Workers:
Grocery companies claim self-checkout machines free up workers to be able to focus more on customers.— UFCW (@UFCW) November 13, 2019
The reality is this: They're reducing work schedules, understaffing stores, and putting customers to work. #1u #futureofwork https://t.co/ApAjE9W85U
United Students Against Sweatshops:
Local Spotlight! We want to spotlight a training on Anti-Oppression and a Collective Liberation hosted by USAS Local uscscale “We believe that oppression does not allow anyone to be a full human being whether they… https://t.co/9KT9Ywp0Wb— USAS (@USAS) November 12, 2019
While impeachment hearings seem to be on everyone's mind right now, Working America Exec Director @MattMorrisonWA reminds us that it's not going to be the voting issue for many undecided working class voters in 2020 battleground states. #ImpeachingHearings https://t.co/3hpB9jTBNh— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) November 14, 2019
Writers Guild of America, East:
"More than 400 film and TV writers including John Oliver, Samantha Bee and Amy Schumer have signed a petition urging @NYGovCuomo to sign the Television Diversity Tax Credit Bill." #RepresentationMatters https://t.co/B4adIx6Tu3— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) November 12, 2019
Last week, T-Mobile announced three new “un-carrier moves,” but the announcements don’t hold up to close scrutiny.
On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene Collier and Tim Schlittner talk with Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig about his work connecting the labor movement and the veterans community.
Listen to our previous episodes:
- A conversation with union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union.
- A chat with Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT, IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.
- Talking to Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) about worker power, automation, trade and his decision to stay in the U.S. Senate.
- Checking in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interviewing Veena Dubal, an associate law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, whose work helped pave the way for passage of A.B. 5, the landmark pro-worker legislation in California.
- SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris discussing the future of work, sexual harassment and her journey from young actor to labor leader.
- North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Chief of Staff Mike Monroe exploring the Department of Labor proposal that would undermine world-class apprenticeships in the construction industry.
Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is National Nurses United.
Name of Union: National Nurses United (NNU)
Mission: To win workplace and health care justice here in the United States and globally by building the nation’s most powerful union of direct-care registered nurses and by fostering a social movement of nurses allied with the patient public. To achieve these goals, NNU aims to unionize all direct-care registered nurses (RNs) in the United States; promote effective collective bargaining representation to all NNU affiliates to advance the economic and professional interests of all direct-care RNs; organize that collective power to compel the health care industry, governments and employers to be accountable to patients and not solely profits; expand the voice of direct-care RNs and patients in public policy, including the enactment of safe nurse-to-patient ratios and patient advocacy rights in Congress and every state; protect and advance the practice of nursing so that RNs can fully exercise their professional judgment to provide safe, effective, therapeutic care; and campaign to win health care as a human right through a Medicare for All system.
Current Leadership of Union: Bonnie Castillo, RN, serves as executive director of NNU, as well as executive director of NNU’s largest founding affiliate, California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC). Before being named executive director, Castillo held multiple leadership roles over two decades within the two organizations, including director of the Health and Safety program, director of the Registered Nurse Response Network, an NNU-sponsored program that sends RN volunteers to provide medical assistance after disasters and catastrophes, and director of government relations for CNA/NNOC—among other positions. An intensive care unit nurse for many years, Castillo played a key role in helping unionize her own hospital and naturally transitioned into organizing and representing registered nurses on a larger scale.
NNU is also ultimately governed by an elected, 19-member RN executive council headed by a Council of Presidents consisting of nurses Deborah Burger, Zenei Cortez and Jean Ross.
Number of Members: 150,000
Members Work As: Primarily direct-care registered nurses, but some affiliates also represent ancillary hospital workers.
Industries Represented: Public and private medical institutions, including some Veterans Health Administration facilities.
History: With more than 150,000 members across the country, NNU stands as the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history.
National Nurses United was founded in December 2009 to create an organization to build a powerful, national movement of direct-care registered nurses. NNU unified three of the most active progressive nursing organizations. The vision resulting from the founding convention focused on advancing the interests of direct-care nurses and patients, and winning health care justice for all.
Over the past decade, NNU and its affiliates have achieved significant success. In addition to those states represented by its founding affiliates, NNU members now include thousands of registered nurses in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, Missouri, North Dakota and Arizona—many from states traditionally considered hostile to union organizing. NNU has organized tens of thousands of non-union nurses, making it one of the most successful organizing unions in America. NNU RN members also focus on negotiating strong collective bargaining agreements that set the highest workplace, practice and economic standards for their states as well as the entire country. In the legislative arena, NNU has sponsored major federal legislation, including national safe RN-to-patient staffing ratios, a bill to improve and expand Medicare for All in the United States, and stronger protections against workplace violence.
Current Campaigns: NNU currently has numerous active campaigns, including: unionizing nurses all across the country, RN-to-patent ratios, preventing workplace violence, Medicare for All, health and safety and environmental justice.
Community Efforts: NNU nurses believe that allying with our patients and the public is key to winning our goal of health care justice. To that end, many of our campaigns include working in coalition with local communities. On a national and global scale, an NNU project, the Registered Nurse Response Network, sends registered nurse volunteers to disaster-stricken areas to provide assistance and emergency care. Nurses have helped victims of floods, earthquakes and fires within the continental United States, as well as Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Haiti, the Philippines and Guatemala.
This Veterans Day, I’m particularly proud to honor those veterans who are stepping up to participate in our new CWA Veterans for Social Change program to build power and promote the values that make our country strong.
If you stand on the corner of Pima Mine Road near ASARCO’s Mission Mine at sunset, you might feel a chilly breeze sweep across the desert. You’ll also smell a grill and hear the chants of ASARCO miners on strike as scabs cross their picket line for the evening shift change.
While the labor movement was busy helping to elect pro-worker candidates in important elections in Kentucky and Virginia this week, union members themselves were on the ballot, and they were elected to local offices across the country at an impressive rate. This result was especially pronounced in the battleground states in the Great Lakes region, where an energized union candidates program helped carry union members to victory.
In Pennsylvania, organized labor helped elect its endorsed candidate to the Superior Court in the Commonwealth and elected hundreds of union members to local offices. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, himself a victorious union member candidate for auditor in Carroll Township in York County, recognized the significance of the program. “There is no better way to ensure that working people are represented than through the election of card-carrying union members,” Snyder said. “It's not enough to elect supporters of workers' rights, we must elect champions of workers' rights. Today, we did just that."
More than a dozen union members were elected or re-elected to local office in the Cleveland area on Tuesday night, bringing the number of members within the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor holding public office to over 40. Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO pointed out how supporting union member candidates can immediately have an impact on public policy. “No one understands the needs and interests of working people better than our members themselves,” she said. “When our members are empowered and have the resources to win local elections, it brings a whole new perspective to the halls of government.”
The Greater Northwest Ohio AFL-CIO helped to elect members to City Council seats in Toledo and Maumee, among other local offices. Across the state, the Ohio AFL-CIO supported 51 union member candidates in the election and 32 won their races. “The whole purpose is to support candidates who believe in collective bargaining, who believe the economy is not some mystical thing but rules put in place by those we elect,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “Those rules can create living wage jobs, project labor agreements, collective bargaining laws and a fight for fair trade.”
Somehow it was left out of the contract highlights the United Auto Workers prepared for members: the tentative new agreement with Ford will allow the company to use new technologies to take time-and-motion studies to a whole new level.
The new language falls under the heading of “production standards” and states that the union and company will choose “pilot locations” to use new technology tools such as “digital video recording and walk path mapping devices” as well as “motion tracking systems and additional productivity implementing tools.”
The site of struggle to defend unions and public education has moved quickly from Chicago to Little Rock.
The 1,800-member Little Rock Education Association began preparing for a potential strike after the Arkansas State Board of Education ended recognition of the union. Their demands: return collective bargaining rights to LREA, give full local control of the school district back to the people of Little Rock, and provide education support professionals with raises that were being negotiated at the time that the union was decertified.
The Professional Staff Congress, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, reached a tentative agreement in October on a new contract with the City University of New York (CUNY). The agreement covers 30,000 workers at the university, including part- and full-time faculty, professional staff, lab technicians, graduate employees, and more. Below we publish a piece arguing for a no vote on the agreement. See the argument for a yes vote here.
The Professional Staff Congress, American Federation of Teachers Local 2334, reached a tentative agreement in October on a new contract with the City University of New York (CUNY). Below we publish a piece arguing for a yes vote on the agreement. See the argument for a no vote here.
Today the United Auto Workers announced that it has dropped its legal effort to save three General Motors plants from closure. It’s sad evidence that even a union contract doesn’t guarantee job security for auto workers.
After a large number of plant closings in the 1980s, the UAW bargained contract language that prohibited automakers from closing plants during the life of the agreement.
So the companies began to “idle” plants instead.
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.
Pres. of the Alaska AFL-CIO @vincebeltrami responded: “Unfortunately, I am not surprised at all by AG Clarkson's attempt to derail the Recall Dunleavy effort. I've said it before and I'll say it again; both Governor Mike Dunleavy and AG Clarkson have got to go.” #akleg #akgov— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) November 5, 2019
California Labor Federation:
Gig companies like @Instacart have been cheating workers out of wages since their inception. Enough is enough. We stand in strong #Solidarity with Instacart workers & shoppers demanding better wages, tips and pay transparency! #AB5 https://t.co/2hIfWmAvEx @GigWorkersRise— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) November 4, 2019
Operating Engineers Local 478's Kyle Zimmer: "Deaths on the job site from opioid overdoses are quickly approaching the totals of the other [job site] death categories alone. That is totally, 100%, unacceptable" @NABTU https://t.co/SUt2Z7YJPu— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) October 30, 2019
Across the country fracking has proven dangerous to our environment, clean water and worker safety on the job.— Florida AFL-CIO (@FLAFLCIO) November 5, 2019
SB 200 is a step in the right direction for Florida. Florida AFL-CIO supports a full ban on this dangerous practice.https://t.co/Dg6VmnNx5T
Indiana State AFL-CIO:
Iowa Federation of Labor:
Abby Finkenauer Lifts Up Labor Issues At First Fish Fry | Iowa Starting Line https://t.co/v2V3cVcqyk— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) November 4, 2019
Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:
UFCW, AFSCME, and and IBEW canvassers for Derrick Mallard in Bowie City Council race this morning pic.twitter.com/GDy8msTKYG— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) November 2, 2019
While working people appreciate the ability to step across the aisle and get things done, pushing through this flawed piece of legislation to create that facade would be a giant mistake. No new NAFTA until it's fixed! #1u https://t.co/D3SDZ0TM7O— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) October 29, 2019
New Hampshire AFL-CIO:
Advocates Call For Federal Infrastructure Spending At New Exeter Wastewater Plant https://t.co/SpA4n4OMfM— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) November 5, 2019
New Mexico Federation of Labor:
#UnionStrong is true. Many times over the last couple years we have given life to that strength!— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) October 31, 2019
We Are #1u
Great work to @CTULocal1 and @SEIU73 throughout the strike and continuing to fight for the students and community in Chicago!@AFLCIO @AFTunion https://t.co/LXYY1gJacz
New York State AFL-CIO:
#UnionStrong Podcast Ep 22: Keeping New York Moving - @TWULocal100 is in a contract fight with the MTA. We cover everything from the Trash Train competition to the trash email that went public, all on the day of a massive rally taking place tonight in NYC.https://t.co/2rma0JElLm— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) October 30, 2019
Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:
Number of the day: 98.6% - Funded ratio of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System as of June 30, 2019, indicating the plan had virtually all the funding it needed to pay all future retirement payments earned as of that day.— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) November 5, 2019
Today, Philly has made an incredible step in demanding dignity for ALL workers. So proud of these brothers and sisters, and President Eiding's incredible leadership! https://t.co/1en4wine5q— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) October 31, 2019
Rhode Island AFL-CIO:
Our @steelworkers brothers and sisters on the🐍strike line in Amarillo need our help! Please make a donation to the solidarity fund to help buy strike supplies. Click to donate: https://t.co/pK3BYn6Ay1 https://t.co/xkqkk1PHdf— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) November 4, 2019
#UnionPower all across the state of Virginia.8 Saturdays straight and all the days in b/twn have been filled w/ knocking 🚪s & 📞banking over 230,000 union members across the Commonwealth to ensure working ppl are getting the representation they deserve! #GOTV #VOTE #NOV5 #1u pic.twitter.com/3GspsznVwA— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) November 2, 2019
Washington State Labor Council:
West Virginia AFL-CIO:
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:
In a partisan 3-2 vote, the Trump administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed to curtail the rights of investors to file proposals for a vote at company annual meetings. If adopted, these changes will hinder shareholder proposals by union members and their pension plans to hold corporate management accountable.
"We strongly oppose the SEC's shareholder proposal rule changes that will limit the ability of working people and their pension plans to have a voice in the companies that we invest in," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA). The proposed changes include dramatic increases in stock ownership requirements and vote resubmission requirements.
Corporate CEOs of the Business Roundtable and the Chamber of Commerce have long wished for these changes to the shareholder proposal rule. In a 2017 letter to the SEC, the AFL-CIO showed how these proposed rule changes will undermine efforts to increase corporate responsibility for environmental, social and governance issues.
"The right to petition corporate management by filing shareholder proposals is an integral part of shareholder democracy in the United States,” Trumka explained. “The SEC should protect the rights of working people as the real main street investors, not the interests of overpaid and unaccountable corporate CEOs."
For more information about the efforts of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, nominated by President Trump, to disenfranchise investors and reduce shareholder democracy by curtailing the shareholder proposal rule, please visit the Investor Rights Forum.
Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.
UAW Members at GM Ratify New Agreement: "The longest and largest automotive strike in decades came to an end this week as UAW members employed by General Motors Co. ratified the tentative agreement between the union and the automaker. Nearly 50,000 UAW members went on strike Sept. 16 seeking fair wages, affordable quality health care, profit sharing, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temps. With the victory of the UAW members, working people across the country lauded the strikers and thanked them for standing up against corporate greed."
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Flexing Labor’s Muscle: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-host Tim Schlittner talks to union member and Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.) about strikes, trade, health care, LGBTQ equality and the freedom to form a union."
LGBT History Month Pathway to Progress: The Founding of Pride At Work: "History has long been portrayed as a series of 'great men' taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of LGBT History Month, we will take a look at the founding of Pride At Work."
Egregious Worker Rights Violations Cause Thailand to Lose Trade Benefits: "On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced it will withdraw preferential tariffs for many imports from Thailand due to egregious, ongoing worker rights violations in the country. As highlighted in submissions by the AFL-CIO going back to 2013, the government of Thailand actively retaliates against workers and allows the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, including forced labor, to proliferate throughout its economy."
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Air Traffic Controllers Association: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Air Traffic Controllers Association."
Union Apprenticeship Works: 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."
Building Pathways: 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."
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association."
In addition to the AFL-CIO's own "State of the Unions," there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States.
Belabored Podcast #186: 'A Boss Is a Boss': Two organizers discuss recent efforts to unionize nonprofit workers. Plus: an interview with Chicago teacher Kenzo Shibata about the first day on the picket line. With Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen.
Building Bridges: 'Analyzing Bernie Sanders’ Workplace Democracy Plan': "Shaun Richman is an In These Times contributing writer and the program director of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at SUNY Empire State College. Senator Bernie Sanders has announced his Workplace Democracy Plan to build worker power on the job by protecting unionizing and strikes by workers. In many ways it goes back to the intent of New Deal Legislation, which has been seriously weakened over the years by right wing legislation and court decisions. But it also builds on them calling for new private and public sector workers rights and forms of union representation that transcend the National Labor Relations Board framework of enterprise based contract bargaining."
CTU Speaks! 'Five Days Later!': Five days into the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) strike, Jim sits down with Cook County Commissioner, CTU member and former middle school teacher Brandon Johnson. Brandon puts the strike in historical context and helps us understand it as a potential pivot point for the city, while also underscoring the ways that CTU has been impactful for labor and education across the country.
Heartland Labor Forum: 'Disappearing the Poor and the New Servant Economy of Wealth Jobs': "The Trump administration wants to redefine who is poor. Experts say they want to disappear the poor. Then, Mark Muro of Brookings Institute will talk to us about wealth work. That’s the growing number of jobs in what’s called the 'new servant economy.' Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming."
Labor History Today: 'Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman': "On this week’s show: Robbin Légère Henderson talks about her grandmother, Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins, on the Tales from the Reuther Library podcast. Henderson shares stories from Robbins’ autobiography, Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman: A Memoir from the Early Twentieth Century, explaining how the optimism of a 13-year-old immigrant from the Ukraine was soon undone by the realities of working in garment sweatshops on the East Coast, leading to Matilda Robbins’ brief but influential role as a labor organizer for the International Workers of the World from 1912 to 1917. She was one of only two women organizers for the IWW during its early years, along with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Plus a clip from 'Mother Jones in Heaven,' a one-woman musical by Si Kahn, starring Vivian Nesbitt as 'Mother' Jones, with musical accompaniment by John Dillon, recently performed at The Robin Theatre in Lansing, Michigan."
Union City Radio: Airs weekdays at 7:15 a.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM. Bus drivers strike in Lorton, Virginia; hotel workers settle in Baltimore; STRIKE! The game of worker rebellion; Washington, D.C., residents urged to testify at City Council health committee hearing; D.C. janitors approve contract.
Union Strong: "TWU Local 100 is in a contract fight with the MTA. We cover everything from the Trash Train competition to the trash email that went public, all on the day of a massive rally taking place tonight in NYC."
Willamette Wake Up: Features an interview with Graham Trainor, the new president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. We cover racism and sexism, some features of labor's program in Oregon, the recent Oregon AFL-CIO convention, and some of labor's challenges and opportunities. KMUZ is at 100.7 or 88.5 in the Keizer-Salem-Turner area, or at https://kmuz.org regardless of where you are. Our labor segment will run at around 8:10 a.m. on Friday morning.
Working History: Making the Woman Worker: "On SLSA's latest Working History podcast, 'Making the Woman Worker,' Eileen Boris discusses her new book, Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019, the history of the International Labor Organization's labor protections for women, domestic and home workers in the global north and global south, and ongoing fights to recognize precarious labor from the care economy to the gig economy."
Your Rights At Work: Health care in southeast D.C. with Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Chris Hawthorne, District of Columbia Nurses Association nurse Roberta Lenoir and organizer Djawa Hall with SEIU 1199. Plus latest labor news updates. Thursdays 1-2 p.m. on WPFW 89.3 FM.
Today Chicago teachers returned to school triumphant, after an 11-day walkout that became a showdown between their union and the proclaimed progressive new Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
If you’re looking for an example of the power of the strike, look no further. The strikers accomplished what months of bargaining could not.
The mayor and her appointed school board had made all but no movement in the 10 months of bargaining that led up to the strike. (Lightfoot has only been mayor for five months, but she kept the previous bargaining team from former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.)