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Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Members Work on Missouri Power Plant

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 14:12
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Union Members Work on Missouri Power Plant UA Local 562

Members of United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 562 continue to deliver quality work, despite the challenges of working during the pandemic.

The UA and its leaders recognized their members who are working at the Portage Des Sioux Power Plant in Missouri. “It is amazing to walk on the site and see our men and women doing such quality work. They really do make each jobsite better every day. [We’re] very proud of everyone for their hard work,” said Local 562 Business Representative William Doherty.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/30/2020 - 16:12

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Report: Retail Banks Must Take Urgent Steps to Protect Employees and Customers

Thu, 07/30/2020 - 10:20
Report: Retail Banks Must Take Urgent Steps to Protect Employees and Customers CBB

A new report released by the Committee for Better Banks (CBB) shows the urgent need for major financial institutions to protect the physical health of employees and customers and to protect customers' economic assets. CBB analyzed 12 of the nation's top banks, with combined total assets of $8.5 trillion and $155 billion in profits last year. The report ranked banks according to worker protections, lending policies, consumer protections and charitable contributions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nick Weiner, lead organizer for CBB, said:

Throughout the pandemic, CBB has heard from bank workers across the country about the lack of safety measures and financial protections both for employees and their customers. This led us to do a deep, comprehensive review of how U.S. banks have responded to COVID-19 and ensure that, as new cases are skyrocketing, bank executives know what they must improve. While banks’ poor grades did not surprise us, the inconsistencies across the banking industry around worker and customer protections is truly alarming and speaks to the urgent need to secure a place at the table for front-line workers. In 2008, taxpayers ended up footing the bill for bailing out Wall Street and big banks for malfeasance perpetrated on millions of homeowners, while working people lost their homes and were left struggling. With 30 percent of Americans missing their housing payments in June and experts warning of a looming housing apocalypse, we cannot afford to make that same mistake again.

Read the full report and sign the petition that calls on the banks to take the following steps:

  • Form a committee to develop industrywide policies in support of the health and financial well-being of front-line workers and consumers.
  • Provide front-line workers with increased protections, including hazard pay, paid sick leave, adequate personal protective equipment and job security.
  • Increase employment levels, improve training and transparency of policies to ensure communities, ensure customers and small businesses receive the real financial support they need, including increased flexibility for customers in need and waiving fees for customers, while maximizing support for small businesses.
Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/30/2020 - 12:20

Tags: COVID-19

Executive Paywatch: 1,000-to-1 Pay Ratio CEOs Furlough Workers

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 13:28
Executive Paywatch: 1,000-to-1 Pay Ratio CEOs Furlough Workers AFL-CIO

AFL-CIO's Executive Paywatch report, released today, shows that the imbalance between the pay of corporate CEOs and working people persists as a problem. In particular, the report shines light on the 20 companies with pay ratio disparities higher than 1,000-to-1 that furloughed workers in 2020.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) expanded on this new feature of the report:

With the COVID-19 shutdowns earlier this year, we saw many CEOs take salary cuts as a token of their solidarity with furloughed workers. While these CEO salary cuts made for good headlines, they are mostly window dressing. Base salary makes up less than 8% of total compensation for CEOs of S&P 500 companies. Most CEO pay is in equity awards. The real story in executive compensation was that companies ramped up their equity awards to senior executives at the beginning of this year. Meanwhile, millions of working people have been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 related shutdowns. This disparity represents a fundamental imbalance in our economy. Working people are being treated as disposable employees. Now these cast-off workers, as a result of COVID-19, are at risk of having their unemployment benefits cut.

The Executive Paywatch website is the most comprehensive, searchable online database tracking CEO pay. Key highlights of this year's report:

  • In 2019, CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $14.8 million in total compensation.
  • The average S&P 500 company CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 264-to-1.
  • S&P 500 CEO pay has increased, on average, $3.4 million over the past 10 years. Meanwhile during the same period of time, the average U.S. production and nonsupervisory worker’s pay increased just $8,360. From 2018 to 2019, the average production and nonsupervisory worker received barely more than a $1,500 raise, bringing their total pay to $41,442.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch had the highest disclosed ratio of CEO-to-worker pay of any public company: 4,293-to-1. Abercrombie’s CEO received $8.4 million in total compensation compared to the company’s median worker who received less than $2,000 in compensation.

The data presented is particularly striking given that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression. Nearly 15% of workers were unemployed in April of this year compared to a high of 10% unemployment after the 2008 Wall Street financial crisis.

The report highlights the importance of passing the HEROES Act to address the negative effects of the pandemic on working people. Shuler said: “We are demanding that the Senate pass the HEROES Act and provide the relief that working families need. The HEROES Act will extend unemployment insurance while keeping companies that paid more than $1 million in executive pay from getting refunds of previously paid corporate income taxes.”

Visit the Executive Paywatch website and read the full report.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/29/2020 - 15:28

Tags: Paywatch

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Machinists Rally for BIW Strikers in Maine

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 12:12
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Machinists Rally for BIW Strikers in Maine IAM

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Members of Machinists (IAM) Local S6 in Maine are entering their sixth week on strike against shipbuilder Bath Iron Works (BIW), but they are staying strong. On Saturday, IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. and IAM General Vice President Brian Bryant addressed hundreds of Local S6 members and community allies at a rally, saying that Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, “is showing the nation what corporate greed looks like.” Martinez said, “This company is taking our Maine jobs and subcontracting them to outside contractors who take their paychecks back to Alabama, Mississippi and other places outside our state….I think we need to stand up and question [BIW President] Dirk Lesko on this $45 million tax break.” Some 4,300 members of IAM are on strike in the largest current strike in the United States. U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon and allied elected officials also spoke at the rally.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/29/2020 - 14:12

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Members of Rockford United Labor Help Build a ‘Strong Neighborhood House’

Tue, 07/28/2020 - 09:55
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Members of Rockford United Labor Help Build a ‘Strong Neighborhood House’ Rockford United Labor

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Members of Rockford United Labor, led by President Bill Corey (UBC), are working with contractors to build a new United Way “Strong Neighborhood House” in Rockford, Illinois. The Strong Neighborhood House is being built to create a safe place for residents of the area to interact with law enforcement, obtain human service resources they may not be directly connected to and to provide children with learning experiences that may not otherwise be readily available. Contractors are donating the supplies and union members are providing the labor.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/28/2020 - 11:55

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Manufacturing, Union Dues and More

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 10:28
Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Manufacturing, Union Dues and More Labor Radio-Podcast Weekly

The latest episode of the "Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly" features manufacturing, union dues and more.

On the latest Activate LIVE podcast, Owen Herrnstadt, chief of staff at the Machinists (IAM), takes a look at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's new manufacturing proposal: "We are tired of hearing about all the jobs that are being re-shored. When we know our members are out of work, when we know their jobs are still going to China, when we know their jobs are still going to Mexico and what we really need are real solutions that are going to put U.S. workers back to work and put our economy back together."

On the Firefighter Kingdom podcast, arson investigator Capt. Ramon Martinez: "Our specialty is fire. We don't go out and look for pulling people over for DUI’s. We don't look for domestic violence, but when we do show up on scene, it's, it's incredible because we have the knowledge of being a fireman and we're able to see the fire for what it is."

Labor Express Radio host Jerry Mead-Lucero highlights reports from the Work Week podcast on the West Coast, the Heartland Labor Forum in Kansas City and the Building Bridges radio show in New York City: "I've been mentioning on our recent programs how excited I am that Labor Express Radio is now a member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network, a network of now over 50, and it keeps growing labor movement orientated radio programs or podcasts from across the USA. I never knew that there were so many of us out there, and that is one of the network's goals; to make all of us more visible to all of you out there. So to celebrate this new partnership, I thought I would provide you a small sample of what the network has to offer, a sort of coast-to-coast tour."

On The Break Time Breakdown podcast, Mark and Jeremy talk union dues: "You're paying $120 a month to make $2,000. I said, 'Go to any nonunion company and get that $2,000 from him and have health insurance and have a pension.'"

On America’s Work Force Radio, Labor lawyer Joyce Goldstein, on the Trump National Labor Relations Board: "This board has overturned well over a dozen precedents. And in every single case—every single case—it's been in favor of an employer and against workers in their unions."

Plus, Labor History in 2: Chicago Stockyards Workers Kick Off Historic 1919 Strike.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/27/2020 - 12:28

Tags: Podcast

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Apprentices Help Conserve Marine Life in the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 07/27/2020 - 09:55
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Apprentices Help Conserve Marine Life in the Chesapeake Bay Union Sportsmen's Alliance

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Earlier this month, apprentices at the Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA) Local 592 training center in New Jersey finished constructing 60 reef balls that were loaded up and sent off to their new home in the Chesapeake Bay. The Coastal Conservation Association will place them there to provide an improved aquatic habitat for a wide range of marine life. The reef balls were built as part of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Work Boots on the Ground program, putting union members’ skills to work and fulfilling the mission of the program by uniting the labor movement through conservation.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/27/2020 - 11:55

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service, Union Sportsmen's Alliance

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Fire Fighters Rack Up Organizing Wins Across the South

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 08:18
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Fire Fighters Rack Up Organizing Wins Across the South IAFF

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union has organized four new bargaining units in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia over the past few weeks. These are significant organizing wins for the union and part of its strategy to increase membership within the IAFF across the South. The IAFF has been organizing firefighters in large- and medium-sized cities to help bring the power of collective bargaining to unrepresented workers. “We decided to organize not only to formalize our relationship with the fire board, but also to develop a health and wellness program,” said David Silva, president of the newly formed IAFF Local 5271 in Irmo, South Carolina. “Our members want to focus on cancer prevention and to protect their overall health.”

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/24/2020 - 10:18

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

On the Passing of the Rev. C.T. Vivian and the Hon. John Lewis

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 10:04
On the Passing of the Rev. C.T. Vivian and the Hon. John Lewis AFL-CIO

Over the weekend, the civil rights community suffered the loss of two giants in the movement—the Rev. C.T. Vivian (95) and Rep. John Lewis (80). As the nation grapples with protests and demands for racial equality, we remember their unwavering commitment to social, racial and economic justice. Both friends to labor and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., their lives were the embodiment of “good trouble, necessary trouble.”

AFL-CIO

John Lewis, a revered member of Congress serving in Georgia’s 5th District for more than three decades—and the longest-serving member of the Congressional Black Caucus—carried his passion for equal rights throughout his career. He began his fight for civil rights by using his young voice to dismantle the Jim Crow South. At age 23, Lewis was the youngest person to speak at the historic 1963 March on Washington. He also participated in lunch counter sit-ins, joined the Freedom Riders in their quest to register Black voters, and helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Most notably, Lewis was on the front lines of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, to demand African Americans’ constitutional right to vote.

C.T. Vivian was a minister, civil rights leader and key adviser to King, organizing critical civil rights campaigns that shaped our country. His work spans more than six decades beginning with sit-in demonstrations in Peoria, Illinois, in the 1940s—more than a dozen years before the momentous lunch counter protests made national news. Referred to by King as "the greatest preacher to ever live," Vivian was a national director of affiliates for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and an active participant in the Freedom Rides in Mississippi, which made headlines across the South.

President Obama honored both Vivian and Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, noting their lifelong work and commitment to the movement for equal rights.

The labor and civil rights communities mourn their deaths and take this moment to celebrate the incredible work they led. In remembrance of their legacies, we will continue to carry the torch for social justice and equality for all.

As we face a new wave of vicious attacks aimed at dismantling the voting rights for which these brothers so valiantly fought, we must be more resolved than ever to restore the Voting Rights Act, combat voter suppression and ensure every eligible voter in our nation is registered. As Lewis once said, “The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democracy." It is our duty to protect and defend this tool, and may the passing of these civil rights giants renew our commitment to the fight for fairness, equity and justice.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/23/2020 - 12:04

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council Fights for Workplace Safety Enforcement

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 08:35
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council Fights for Workplace Safety Enforcement Tennessee AFL-CIO

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Too many front-line workers across the country are working in fear for their health and safety. As the federal government fails to intervene by mandating safety and health guidelines, many states are not acting, either. Despite hundreds of complaints to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the state agency has no legally binding safety standards related to COVID-19, and therefore cannot issue citations when employers fail to protect their workers from infection. Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council President Billy Dycus (USW) told the Tennessean, “Probably one of the best things they could have done is [gotten] ahead of it when this started and started looking at implementing some workplace safety standards that would have given employers guidelines and allowed them to have some more enforceable rules.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/23/2020 - 10:35

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: San Diego’s Labor Movement Holds Food Distribution Event

Wed, 07/22/2020 - 09:27
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: San Diego’s Labor Movement Holds Food Distribution Event San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

On Saturday, members of the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council, led by Executive Secretary-Treasurer Keith Maddox (IAM), held a food relief drive-through at Palomar College. More than 400 families were served at the labor council’s North County food distribution event. The labor council said on social media it plans to hold a similar event at the same location in San Marcos, California, on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/22/2020 - 11:27

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IBEW Women’s Committee Raises Money for Dubuque Area Labor Harvest

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 09:15
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: IBEW Women’s Committee Raises Money for Dubuque Area Labor Harvest Iowa Starting Line

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

The Women’s Committee of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) 11th District, made up of IBEW women from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, has been raising money to help support workers in need during this time of crises by collecting bottles and cans and through private donations from its members. The committee was able to raise $2,325 for the Dubuque Area Labor Harvest, a food pantry affiliated with the Dubuque Federation of Labor, led by President Tom Townsend (IBEW), that is staffed and run by retired and active union members. The Dubuque Area Labor Harvest will use the money to support its Sunday breakfasts and monthly food giveaway programs. This past Saturday, the organization was able to give away 264 boxes of food to people who came to the food pantry, and delivered another 72 boxes to those who are shut in.

 

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/21/2020 - 11:15

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Keeping Kids Safe Never Stops

Mon, 07/20/2020 - 07:47
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Keeping Kids Safe Never Stops

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Colorado AFL-CIO President Josette Jaramillo (AFSCME) is a lead caseworker for the Department of Social Services in Pueblo County, Colorado. For Jaramillo, work never stopped when COVID-19 hit. The pandemic only makes it harder to protect the foster children she helps. “We really try hard to meet the kids where they’re at,” she said. “Caseworkers all around the country are on the front lines.” Learn more about how foster care children and social services have been affected during these dangerous times.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/20/2020 - 09:47

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Laborers Step Up to Provide Food Relief to Other Union Members

Thu, 07/16/2020 - 07:47
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Laborers Step Up to Provide Food Relief to Other Union Members LIUNA

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Members of Laborers (LIUNA) Local 773 delivered fresh produce and dairy products to their union brothers, sisters and friends in Madison County, Illinois. Local 773 set up shop in the bus lot at two local school districts, where members gave out 200 boxes of produce and 250 boxes of dairy products to union families in need. “Our strength comes from the willingness to stand together as a united front,” Local 773 Business Manager Jerry Womick told the Labor Tribune. “It is this commitment to each other that has allowed us to prosper through good times and preserve through bad.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/16/2020 - 09:47

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Museum Workers, Mimes, Nurses and More

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 13:22
Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly: Museum Workers, Mimes, Nurses and More Labor Radio-Podcast Weekly

The latest episode of the "Labor Radio–Podcast Weekly" features Museum Workers, mimes, nurses and more.

Gabi DiDonna of the United Museum Workers union, on the Belabored podcast: "We really just felt like our voices weren't being heard and worse, sort of actually being told to be quiet.”

WorkWeek Radio talks with playwright and actor Michael Sullivan about the new San Francisco Mime Troupe production "Tales of Resistance": “Normally, we tour all over the world doing shows, but now that’s too difficult. So we decided instead it was like, well, what can we do? And so I was like, well, why don't we do radio plays?”

On The Valley Labor Report, a nurse talks about unionizing her hospital and the process of bargaining the first contract: “We don't need hospital employers to help us ‘poor little nurses,’ help us learn how to vote.”

On The SAG-AFTRA Podcast, actors Michelle Hurd and Jason George continue the discussion of race and media in a time of social transformation and cultural reform: “Back in the day, I didn't see myself, you know, a little beige curly-haired girl on television, and I needed to make sure that I put myself on TV so that other kids that look like me would see themselves represented.”

On We Do The Work, an interview—and songs—from singer George Mann.

Plus: Labor History in 2, and sneak previews of The Gig and Labor History Today.

Check out all the shows on Labor Radio/Podcast Network.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/15/2020 - 15:22

Tags: Podcast

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Railroad Signalmen Remain on the Front Lines Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 07:47
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Railroad Signalmen Remain on the Front Lines Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

BRS

Despite the pandemic, members of the Railroad Signalmen (BRS) continue to show up to work each day to ensure the safety of the railroad for trains and the traveling public. BRS President Jerry Boles has provided an update to members on the union’s response to the health crisis. In a recent newsletter from BRS, he called the CARES Act “a step in the right direction,” but said that the federal government must do more to help railroad workers. Boles highlighted the need to fund the Railroad Retirement Board so that it can continue to operate fully. The union, he said, is advocating for parity for all railroad unemployment benefits. “It is my belief that infrastructure is the best way to recover, and BRS will continue to be at the table whenever it is discussed,” Boles said.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/15/2020 - 09:47

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

CBTU Holds ‘Black Lives Matter to Labor’ Event

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:53
CBTU Holds ‘Black Lives Matter to Labor’ Event CBTU

On a hot and drizzly summer morning, dozens of union members and civil rights activists turned out for the Black Lives Matter to Labor event by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in Rochester, New York. The rally showcased the unity of the local labor movement as members of the Rochester-Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation and many others gathered as a community to speak out against racial injustice.

Shelly Clements (NYSUT/AFT-NEA), second vice president of the CBTU Rochester chapter, told those in attendance that the removal of Confederate statues and other symbolic changes are not enough. “Protest is vital, but we’ve got to have action,” she said. “It’s time to take the steps to be on the right side of history. It’s time to dismantle the oppression in our workplaces, our health care systems, our housing systems, our environment, our voting laws and our education system.”

Local elected officials and endorsed candidates also spoke at the rally. Among them was Demond Meeks, an organizer for 1199SEIU, who recently won a primary election for the New York State Assembly, with strong support from the labor council.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:53

Tags: CBTU

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine AFL-CIO Calls on Senate to Extend $600 Lifeline to Unemployed Workers

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 08:50
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Maine AFL-CIO Calls on Senate to Extend $600 Lifeline to Unemployed Workers

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

The Maine AFL-CIO, led by President Cynthia Phinney (IBEW), is publicly pushing its senators to support renewing the federal $600 weekly unemployment payment for those who are out of work as a result of the pandemic. This weekly payment was included in the CARES Act and is set to expire at the end of July. “With double-digit unemployment, it is appalling and morally repugnant that the U.S. Senate would even consider cutting this critical lifeline to Maine families,” Andy O’Brien (UFCW), the state federation’s communications director, told the Beacon. The Maine Department of Labor announced last week that it will extend the maximum length of time workers can remain on unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.

 

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:50

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement in Tucson Demands Freedom for Mexican Labor Attorney

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:50
Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Labor Movement in Tucson Demands Freedom for Mexican Labor Attorney

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Susana Prieto Terrazas, a Mexican attorney and activist who organizes workers in the maquiladora factories along the southern border, was arrested by Mexican authorities last month on trumped-up charges. On June 10, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) called her arrest “an outrage” and demanded her immediate and unconditional release from prison.

Members of the Pima Area Labor Federation and Jobs With Justice took direct action. They delivered a joint letter to the Mexican Consulate in Tucson, Arizona, along with a letter from the UAW and a copy of Trumka’s statement. The members met with Consul Enrique Alfonso Gómez Montiel, who assured them he would send the letters and statement to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Prior to the meeting, the members had a constructive conversation with the consul's staff explaining the details of the situation and the desire of America’s labor movement to see the release of Prieto Terrazas.

It was announced after the meeting at the consulate on July 1 that a judge had ordered her release from prison just hours after the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade went into effect. However, the criminal charges against Prieto Terrazas still remain. The Pima Area Labor Federation, under the leadership of Chair Trish Muir (IBT), posted an update on Facebook: “We will continue to push for her to be absolved of these erroneous claims, and stand with workers everywhere.”

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/13/2020 - 13:50

Tags: COVID-19, Community Service

Save the News: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 08:51
Save the News: 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 the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Firefighters in Omaha Donate Bikes to Kids: "Members of the Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association-IAFF Local 385 in Nebraska donated dozens of bikes and helmets to local children."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UNITE HERE Raises $2.5 Million to Support Members Impacted by COVID-19: "UNITE HERE announced on Monday that it had raised $2.5 million for the union’s Education and Support Fund to provide direct relief to its members and their families who have been impacted by COVID-19."

Safety and Security: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins features important victories for safety and security during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Rally to Save the News Held in Chicago: "The Chicago Federation of Labor helped host a 'Save the News' rally in downtown Chicago. Union members were joined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, as well as other community leaders."

Protect Working Families: 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."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: School Leaders Issue Guide to Reopen Schools Safely: "School supervisory personnel who were among the first to call for closing schools at the start of the pandemic have released a new, comprehensive guide for reopening schools safely. 'School leaders want to reopen their schools, on time and in person,' said Ernest Logan, president of the School Administrators (AFSA), which represents principals, assistant principals, supervisors, and school directors and managers."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: 'Airline Workers Are Doing Everything That We Can to Make the Flights Safe': "What does the future hold for air travel? Safety must be the first and highest priority for both workers and passengers, according to Transport Workers Union (TWU) President John Samuelsen. 'It is safe to fly, but also, passengers on planes have a level of responsibility,' he said in a recent video from HuffPost."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UAW Shares Stories of Members Facing Down COVID-19: "Whether they are an academic researcher looking for a drug to fight the deadly virus, an autoworker making a quick pivot to manufacture ventilators, masks or shields, a maintenance worker disinfecting the plant, or a health care worker making sure the sick can receive treatment, UAW members are courageously doing what they can to battle COVID-19."

Economy Gains 4.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 11.1%: "The U.S. economy gained 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 11.1%, according to figures released Thursday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Pass the HEROES Act: 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."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Milwaukee Area Labor Council Hosts Rallies to Thank Front-Line Workers: "The Milwaukee Area Labor Council, under the leadership of President Pam Fendt (LIUNA), has been hosting weekly events on Wednesdays for union members to thank front-line workers."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UFCW Fights to Save Members' Lives, Help Those on the Front Lines: "In a press conference on Thursday, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced that 238 UFCW members have died from COVID-19 and nearly 29,000 workers have been infected or exposed to the coronavirus over the past 100 days."

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Paramedic Says, ‘The Anger Is Blinding’: "The Washington Post interviewed Anthony Almojera, a paramedic for the New York City Fire Department and vice president of AFSCME Local 3621, DC 37. He illustrated how the words of gratitude for workers like him are not matched by their meager paychecks."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/13/2020 - 10:51

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