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The State of Working America: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 09:53
The State of Working America: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

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: Riding for Deliveroo, with Callum Cant: An inside look at the gig economy. Plus: updates from the GM strike, a teachers’ strike looming in Chicago and more.

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report: Striking Auto Workers need and deserve to win big!

Community Radio and Workers' Rights Movements: "This show looks at the role of radio in workers’ movements. These workers’ movements interrogate the relationship between a community and its systems of communication. From the mines in Bolivia to tomato fields in Florida, radio has served as a place for workers to organize and mobilize, build up spirits and solidarity. Some stations are worker-owned, supported by union dues or cooperative membership. Some begin as programming on local stations and grow to become their own stations or a network of programs. These case studies are an incomprehensive smattering of examples of how working people have utilized the airwaves to fight for rights in the workplace—to create accountability and build autonomy."

Heartland Labor Forum: "We’ll ask what Trump is up to with his apprenticeship proposal and find out from a union leader who knows what a real apprenticeship looks like. Then we ask if the U.S. Constitution can stand up to a presidency that’s out of control and unaccountable to Congress or the courts. Join us when we talk to longtime activist legal scholar Burt Neuborne with a new book called When at Times the Mob is Swayed: A Citizens Guide to Defending our Republic. Thursday at 6 p.m., rebroadcast Friday at 5 a.m. on KKFI 90.1 FM.

Labor History Today: Sex Workers Outreach Project Makes History in Minneapolis: On this week’s show: Dr. Jayne Swift on the historic city ordinance just passed this August that has the potential to change the face of the adult entertainment industry in Minneapolis. Plus, Steve Striffler on Solidarity: Latin America and the U.S. Left in the Era of Human Rights. Interviews by Patrick Dixon.

Resistance Radio: "An online complement to the recent Interference Archive exhibit showcasing the power of radio in the service of social movements and underrepresented communities. We’re sharing stories of the people, stations and organizations from around the world who have battled the system to bring their diverse programming onto the airwaves."

The State of Working America: The Economic Policy Institute has launched a new podcast, which "will give a voice to workers, and place their struggles in a larger policy context." The 30-minute podcasts address a wide range of issues, including: wage stagnation, inequality, worker power, racism, trade and education. New episodes on Tuesdays. 

UCOMM Live: Trump's Plan to Destroy Federal Unions: "On this week's show, we have a leaked memo on Trump's plan to destroy federal unions as he orders agencies to follow his anti-union executive order. In 2016 West Virginia repealed their prevailing wage law and the results are in for how bad that turned out. We explain Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro's plan to strengthen collective bargaining and AT&T is under attack from a vulture capitalist.

Union City Radio: This week’s topics: What’s in that bacon? Sherrod Brown on automation; bus driver runs for Bowie City Council; Sherrod Brown on progressive populism; Kroger member wins back pay, gets job back after year-long suspension

Workers Beat: Airs on KNON radio in Dallas at 9 a.m. Saturdays. The most recent episode features Summer Lollie as guest. "Summer works for the Texas AFL-CIO but has assignments in the Dallas area. She attended the Sky Chef picket on October 9 and is familiar with the entire contract fight concerning food caterers for American Airlines. She has also been out on the General Motors picket lines."

Your Rights At Work: On this week's show: Maria Naranjo, district chair of SEIU 32BJ; Al Neal, sportswriter for People's World; Sam Weinstein, Utility Workers (UWUA) retiree active in British labor movement; Mark Gruenberg, editor for Press Associates Union News Service; and David Schloss, partner in the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 10/18/2019 - 11:53

Tags: Podcast

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Out of the Woods

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 08:38
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Out of the Woods AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene Collier and Tim Schlittner talk to Maine Senate President Troy Jackson (IUPAT, IAM) about his path to power and the experiences that have shaped his life and career.

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 10/16/2019 - 10:38

Tags: Podcast

National Hispanic Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: The San Antonio Pecan Strike

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 07:53
National Hispanic Heritage Month Pathway to Progress: The San Antonio Pecan Strike UTSA

History has long been portrayed as a series of "great men" taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our new series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, today's topic is the San Antonio pecan shellers strike.

In the 1930s, pecans grown in Texas accounted for half of all of the nation's production. San Antonio was the center of the industry in Texas, as half the state's commercial crop grew within 250 miles of the city. The dominant company was the Southern Pecan Shelling Co., which produced as much as one-third of the nation's entire crop, depending on the year.

Working people in the industry faced low wages (averaging between $2 to $3 a week) and terrible working conditions. Shelling factories suffered from inadequate ventilation, poor illumination and a lack of indoor running water or toilets. The pecans produced a fine brown dust that contributed to diseases like tuberculosis. San Antonio had one of the highest rates of TB in the country as a result.

Owners had little or no regard for workers. One owner said: “The Mexicans don’t want much money. Compared to those shanties they live in, the pecan shelleries are fine. They are glad to have a warm place to sit in the winter. They can be warm while they’re shelling pecans, they can talk to their friends while they’re working.... If they get hungry they can eat pecans.”

Pecan shellers soon joined the International Pecan Shellers Union No. 172, a chapter of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America, which belonged to the newly formed Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). On Jan. 31, 1938, the workforce of shellers, mostly Hispanic women, walked off the job. The 12,000 workers engaged in a three-month strike. The strike began after the Southern Pecan demanded pay cuts for the workers. Shellers, who had previously earned 6 or 7 cents a pound, saw their wages cut to 5 or 6 cents a pound. Crackers went from 50 cents per 100 pounds to 40 cents. 

The strike was originally led by Emma Tenayuca, who was active in various efforts to combat discrimination against Mexican Americans. She joined the women's auxiliary of the League of United Latin American Citizens in high school and was first arrested for protesting when she was 16. After high school, she worked several jobs, but her true calling was organizing. She began to organize with the Workers Alliance before later helping the pecan shellers.

Local officials were not happy about the strike. Police Chief Owen Kilday believed that the strike was part of a Communist plot to gain control of the west side of San Antonio. Tenayuca was arrested as soon as the strike started. Kilday said of her: “The Tenayuca woman is a paid agitator sent here to stir up trouble among the ignorant Mexican workers.” She was neither, her family had deep roots in San Antonio and her strike efforts were unpaid.

Other leaders feared that Mexican American laborers would become aware of their own power and would become more active. Protesters picketed over 400 local factories, but Kilday cracked down, eventually making more than 700 arrests. Gov. James Allred urged the Texas Industrial Commission to investigate the strike and the industry's reaction and found that police interference with lawful assembly was unjustified.

In the end, both sides agreed to arbitration and the initial settlement was for a 7- to 8-cent wage. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed soon after that would establish a minimum wage of 25 cents an hour. The CIO was afraid that the big jump in wages would lead to massive layoffs, and they joined with employers to lobby Congress to give the pecan industry an exemption.The exemption was denied, however, and over the next three years, 10,000 shellers were replaced by machines. While the pecan strikers ultimately failed to sustain the industry, their efforts were pivotal in expanding both labor rights and justice for Hispanic working people, in Texas and beyond.

Learn more about Tenayuca and the pecan strike.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 10/15/2019 - 09:53

Imagine a President Uniting People

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 09:43
Imagine a President Uniting People AFL-CIO

Imagine a president lifting 40 million citizens out of the poverty he had struggled under. Imagine a president making it easier for people who had been excluded from their nation’s wealth to get decent jobs, basic public services, a college education or technical training. Imagine a president uplifting his country on the world stage as a model for shared prosperity and an economy that works for working people regardless of their race. Imagine that president leaving office after two terms with an approval rating over 80%. Where do you imagine that president should be nine years after leaving office?

Imagine it or not, the president described above is in jail, unjustly convicted to prevent him from running again in 2018—even though he led in all the polls. His name is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) traveled to Curitiba, Brazil, this week, joining the global labor movement to demand Lula’s release and present the country’s former president the 2019 George Meany–Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award. The AFL-CIO announced the award in March to recognize Lula’s lifelong work. In Brazil this week, the AFL-CIO extended its solidarity and support to Lula, the whole Brazilian labor movement, and the country’s vibrant social and political activists and groups who continue fighting for a better life and social justice.

Trumka said:

The AFL-CIO and its unions will work to engage American workers and their families who remember what it’s like to have a president who works for the people. The struggle to free Lula and defend democracy in Brazil is not just for Brazilians, but for all of us.

Lula Livre! Free Lula!

Lula said: 

They are talking about lightening my sentence or letting me finish it under house arrest, but I insist that I will stay right in this jail until I prove my innocence. I will not trade my dignity to get released. And I will keep fighting for all Brazilians and our democracy. We will prove that the judges and prosecutors and media lied to put me here and steal our democracy. We will take it back.

Lula is a political prisoner because of all the good he did to make development more equitable in Brazil, improving workers' rights, and the inclusion and access to social and human rights, in general. The AFL-CIO, its unions and the International Trade Union Confederation and the global labor movement are calling for Lula’s immediate release because of his life’s work for democracy and social justice and because of the many illegalities committed in the process that has put him in prison.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 10/11/2019 - 11:43

Brazilian and U.S. Workers Confronting Common Threat Build Solidarity in the Global Labor Movement

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 11:26
Brazilian and U.S. Workers Confronting Common Threat Build Solidarity in the Global Labor Movement AFL-CIO

This week, the AFL-CIO joins much of the global labor movement in Brazil to participate in the 13th Congress of Brazil's largest labor organization, the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT). Fred Redmond, AFL-CIO vice president and United Steelworkers vice president for human affairs, is leading the AFL-CIO delegation.

Addressing the entire congress, Redmond pointed out the many challenges workers face in both Brazil and the United States, calling for unity and solidarity to move forward. In particular, he denounced the anti-worker laws and policies being driven by right-wing presidents in Brazil and the United States to weaken unions and collective bargaining.

Redmond also lamented that the current presidents in both countries have risen to power and exercise it by increasing fear and hatred, especially racial prejudice, rather than by leading.

Finally, he rallied the hundreds of delegates to the global labor movement's call for the immediate release of Brazil's former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, unjustly imprisoned for the last year and a half. Redmond closed by announcing to the crowd the upcoming visit of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) to present the 2019 George Meany–Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award to Lula in prison. The decision to give the award to Lula was announced in March.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:26

A Seat at the Table: Worker Wins

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 09:55
A Seat at the Table: Worker Wins OPEIU Local 40

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with nurses banding together to make patients' lives better and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

UChicago Medicine Ingalls Registered Nurses Organize: Registered nurses at UChicago Medicine Ingalls voted 72% in favor of joining National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU). The hospital is in Harvey, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Cathy Vaughn, an RN in the special care nursery, said: "Nurses at Ingalls are so excited to have won a seat at the table! We are ready to begin advocating to improve standards for our patients. This victory means that decisions about patient care are made at the bedside, not in the boardroom."

El Paso Nurses Organize with NNOC/NNU: Registered nurses at the Providence East Campus in El Paso, Texas, vote to join NNOC/NNU, in an election certified by the National Labor Relations Board. Nearly 500 nurses will now be represented by NNOC/NNU. RN Lena Gonzalez said: “This victory is positive on so many levels. We won because nurses from throughout the hospital are ready to stand united as strong patient advocates. We know we can accomplish much more together as union members than any one individual ever could.” 

Google Contract Workers in Pittsburgh Vote to Join USW: Contract workers for Google in Pittsburgh voted to join the United Steelworkers. This is one of the first victories for the union, which is seeking to organize at Google and other tech companies. The Google workers say that the company does not provide sick days, pays substandard wages that aren't connected to inflation and that workers are forced to take vacation days during national holidays.

Kaiser Permanente Workers Avoid Strike After Reaching Tentative Agreement: Working people at Kaiser Permanente have won a new collective bargaining agreement after 85,000 employees from 11 unions threatened a nationwide strike. The new four-year deal comes after five months of bargaining. The tentative agreement, which must be approved by the members of the various unions, provides annual pay increases and new job training and educational opportunities for workers.

Fred Meyer Workers in Portland Win New Contract After Boycott: Portland employees at Fred Meyer stores have reached a tentative agreement with management. The workers, represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, still have to ratify the contract. In a statement, the union said: “Our boycott against Fred Meyer was highly effective, due to your hard work in building relationships with your communities, who stood strong and proud with us.”

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Members Agree to One-Year Contract: In advance of the concert season, members of the Musicians Association of Metropolitan Baltimore (Local 40-543 of the American Federation of Musicians) and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra reached an agreement on a one-year contract. Orchestra members had engaged in a 14-week work stoppage, during which time the musicians were locked out and did not receive paychecks. Local 40-543 Secretary-Treasurer Mary C. Plaine said: “Baltimore Symphony Musicians and Local 40-543 are grateful to all of our AFM sisters and brothers who through their verbal and financial support helped us reach this agreement. It is good to know we can count on our colleagues as we continue our fight to preserve and grow the artistic legacy of the BSO.”

After a Year of Negotiations, Auburn Community Hospital Workers Win Contract: Ending almost a year of negotiations, health care workers at Auburn Community Hospital, represented by AFSCME Local 3124, voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract that solidifies health insurance and increases wages, among other benefits. Maureen Coleman, president of AFSCME Local 3124, said: “Since negotiations began last fall, it’s been our priority to protect our health coverage by including it in our collective bargaining agreement. This will require ACH to negotiate the impact of any future changes to its employees’ health plan with us.”

Fiesta Henderson Hotel and Casino Workers Join Culinary Union: Workers at Fiesta Henderson Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas voted to be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, affiliates of UNITE HERE. This is the seventh casino owned by Station Casinos Las Vegas to unionize since 2016. Culinary Workers Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline said: “We call on Station Casinos to immediately to negotiate and settle a fair contract for the workers at Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Sunset Station, Palms, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station and Boulder Station.”

Writers and Assistant Producers at WBBM Newsradio Agree to New Contract: News writers and assistant producers at WBBM in Chicago, WCBS in New York and KNX in Los Angeles have reached an agreement with Entercom Communications, which owns the CBS-affiliated stations. Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, which represents the workers, said: “This contract was won with incredible solidarity across three geographically separate stations. Together, we were able to secure a contract that makes significant financial gains and guarantees important workplace protections.”

Southern California Grocery Store Workers Avert Strike After Reaching Agreement: Some 47,000 grocery store workers at Vons, Pavilions and Ralphs averted a strike after the parent companies (Albertons and Kroger Co.) of the three chains reached an agreement. The workers, represented by UFCW, had previously authorized the strike. UFCW Local 135, in San Diego, responded to the announcement: “We are proud to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached with both companies. We know the road to get here has been a long one for you and your co-workers. Your dedication to standing up for good jobs⁠—engaging tens of thousands of customers with over 200 community rallies and store actions⁠—has been the driving force behind getting a deal that you can be proud to have stood up for. Because you are part of a union family, you have a voice, and a vote. Let’s make it count.” The membership has since ratified the contracts.

Employees at McLaren Macomb Hospital Join OPEIU: More than 300 employyes at McLaren Macomb hospital in Mount Clemens, Michigan, have voted to join OPEIU. The vote to associate with Local 40 was successful by 172-113. The workers covered include clerical associates, couriers, critical care techs, dispatchers, lab assistants, patient access reps, patient sitters, pharmacy techs and several other classifications. Local 40 President Jeff Morawski said: “This is the proudest day in the history of Local 40. The workers’ voices were heard loud and clear, and I am excited and proud to welcome them to Local 40. When workers win an election to form a union, everyone wins.”

CWA Members Reach Deal with AT&T Southeast: More than 20,000 employees at AT&T in nine states have reached a "handshake deal" on a new collective bargaining agreement. CWA District 3 Vice President Richard Honeycutt said: “CWA members’ spirit and solidarity over the last four days showed the company that we would not back down until they bargained with us in good faith. This was a historic strike that showed the power that working people have when they join together.”

Harvard Graduate Students Reach Tentative Agreement with University: After meetings throughout the summer, the Harvard Graduate Students Union (an affiliate of UAW), reached tentative agreements on three contracts. But the graduate students say there is still work to be done. Bargaining committee member Cole M. Meisenhelder said: “On many remaining issues, the administration has told us ‘we have nothing else to say.’ As long as the administration refuses to negotiate over the health plan or denies student workers a neutral process for cases of discrimination or harassment, we will not be able to come to tentative agreements on these issues. This includes the creation of funds totaling more than half a million dollars to assist bargaining unit members in covering the costs of dental and dependent health care, as well as child care. As the negotiations are ongoing, we look forward to continuing to work on these important issues at the bargaining table.”

Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Vote Overwhelmingly to Join AFA-CWA: Flight attendants that work for Cathay Pacific Airlines voted by 97% to be represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson said: “We are so proud to welcome our sisters and brothers at Cathay Pacific who chose to join with AFA Flight Attendants around the world. Their Cathay Cabin Crew counterparts in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Canada all have contracts with higher pay, benefits and job security. It's past time for these hardworking U.S.-based Flight Attendants to have a contract that lifts up good American jobs. Cathay Pacific Cabin Crew will surely enrich AFA’s history that includes decades of Flight Attendants working together to raise the bar for our entire profession.”

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 10/10/2019 - 11:55

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Laborers

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 08:08
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Laborers

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

Name of Union: Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA)

Mission: To help working men and women unite for a stronger voice in the economies and governments of the United States and Canada. As an affiliate of the AFL-CIO and North America’s Building Trades Unions, LIUNA works predominantly to help construction craft laborers improve their lives through collective bargaining, organizing, training programs, safer job sites and the enforcement of workers’ rights.

Current Leadership of Union: Terry O’Sullivan became the general president of LIUNA in 2000 and has since been elected to three terms. He first joined the union in 1974. He served in several previous positions, including vice president and Mid-Atlantic regional manager; assistant to the general president; chief of staff; Tri-Funds administrator; assistant director of the Construction, Maintenance and Service Trades Department; and administrator of the West Virginia Laborers’ Training Center. O’Sullivan is a San Francisco native. Armand E. Sabitoni serves as general secretary-treasurer and as New England regional manager. In addition to O’Sullivan and Sabitoni, LIUNA is governed by a 14-member general executive board.

Number of Members: 500,000

Work Members Do: Construction of highways, bridges, tunnels, transit systems, buildings, industrial plants and manufacturing facilities; construction and maintenance of energy infrastructure, including renewable energy projects, pipelines, and natural gas and nuclear plants; environmental remediation of lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials; weatherization and landscaping. In addition, the union represents 70,000 public service employees who provide health care services, maintain parks and, through the affiliated National Postal Mail Handlers Union, process mail.

Industries Represented: Construction and public service. These working men and women are employed by various agencies, including the Postal Service, the Indian Health Service, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service. 

History: The first recognized union for laborers was formed in Philadelphia in 1836. In 1903, American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers called for a convention to establish an international union of construction laborers and the International Hod Carriers and Building Laborers' Union was founded. (A hod is a tray connected to a pole handle that is used to shoulder loads of construction materials, such mortar or brick.)

At its first convention, the union represented more than 8,000 laborers in 17 different cities, most of whom were immigrants seeking a better life. In 1912, the union changed its name to the International Hod Carrier's Building and Common Laborers of America. By the end of the decade, the union had nearly 550 locals and more than 96,000 members. As the union grew, it became a stronger voice for immigrant and African-American workers. In the 1920s, the union chartered its first public sector local.

Pensions were a key issue for laborers before World War II. Most members worked for multiple contractors during their careers, making it impossible to earn pensions. The union established portable multi-employer plans, which have helped secure retirement for millions of working people.

During World War II, the union suspended all dues and pledged full support for the National Defense Program. By 1941, membership neared 300,000. After the war, a massive construction boom helped membership exceed 430,000.

In 1965, the union changed its name to the Laborers' International Union of North America, or LIUNA for short. The union’s successful fights for healthcare and expanding pension coverage became vital organizing tools.

In the ensuing decades, the union expanded it's focus on member benefits, political organizing and training. Many locals began to offer additional services, from health clinics to drug and alcohol rehabilitation resources. Its political organizing strength became sought after by candidates for state, local and federal office. Its training programs grew to invest tens of millions of dollars each year to help new members develop careers and enable existing members to find additional opportunities. In this era, the union adopted its stylized LIUNA Feel the Power mark and recognizable orange brand.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: The union strives to harness the power of its half-million members by encouraging the aggressive use of mobilization, organizing and communications tools at each of its 400 local unions. The LIUNA Action Network mobilizes members to take a stand on important issues. See how every new member is equipped to be an integral and active part of the union with a Member Orientation Guide. Through the LIUNA Training and Education Fund, members have access to free world-class skills training, enabling them to expand their work opportunities. Through various organizing efforts, the union fights to help non-union workers improve their lives by uniting with the union and by defending the rights of all workers, whether immigrant or native born. LIUNA also supports constituency groups for women, African Americans and Latinos. To see the amazing work LIUNA members do, visit Great Projects. Check out LECET's labor-contractor initiative, which helps connect skilled workers with the contractors who need them. To learn how the union strives to make job sites safer and workers healthier, visit the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund and its publication Lifelines

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookYouTubeInstagram, Twitter

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 10/07/2019 - 10:08

Economy Gains 136,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Declines to 3.5%

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 11:58
Economy Gains 136,000 Jobs in September; Unemployment Declines to 3.5%

The U.S. economy gained 136,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.5%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

In response to the September job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs said: "It is surprising the rate of job creation has slowed, and the rate of labor force participation has stayed almost constant but this lower job growth is sufficient to keep the share of people with jobs rising slightly, and unemployment falling. It clearly reflects the slowing growth rate of the American workforce as the Baby Boom ages." He also tweeted:

The unemployment rate for white men and Latinos are virtually equal at 2.9 and 3.0% though because Latinos have a much higher labor force participation rate, a higher share of Latinos are working 77.6 compared to 69.7% for whites @Marietmora @UnidosUS_Econ @AFLCIO #JobsReport

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019

The broadest measure of labor market slack fell to 6.9% in September.  With weak wage growth and moderate job growth, the labor market is still tightening.  But the Census report on record levels of inequality are showing employment a weak antidote to address that trend. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019

The "reference week" for the @BLS_gov September jobs report was just before the @UAW strike of GM, but employment in motor vehicle manufacturing slipped 4,000.  So, little evidence of a speed up to increase inventory ahead of the strike. #JobsReport @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019

The lack of broad income growth leaves retail floundering despite low unemployment.  @BLS_gov reports over 11,000 jobs lost in September in retail.  This is another sign of how this recovery is weakened by growing inequality. #JobsReport @UFCW @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) October 4, 2019

Last month's biggest job gains were in health care (39,000), professional and business services (34,000), government (22,000), and transportation and warehousing (16,000). Employment declined in retail trade (-11,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality, showed little change over the month. 

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for teenagers (12.5%), blacks (5.5%), Hispanics (3.9%), adult men (3.2%), whites (3.4%), adult women (3.1%) and Asians (2.5%) showed little or no change in September.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose in September and accounted for 22.7% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 10/04/2019 - 13:58

Live from the Picket Line: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 08:47
Live from the Picket Line: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup

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.

Follow the links below to find podcasts. They also can be found wherever you listen to podcasts:

Heartland Labor ForumWhat would happen to a school teacher who thinks she has the answer to the world’s problems and starts teaching in parks and on street corners, and people stop to listen and like what they hear? This week on the Heartland Labor Forum we present a radio play about such a teacher. Tune in to find out how the powers that be react and what the teacher’s message might be. Thursday at 6 PM, rebroadcast Friday at 5 AM on KKFI 90.1 FM or streaming at

Labor History TodayAFL-CIO president Richard Trumka talks with Labor History Today’s Joe McCartin about the current state–and the future–of the American labor movement. Plus, Mark Potashnick on Jim Pohle, the founder of the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers, class action law suits, and the app-based revolution in food delivery services.

Tales from the Reuther LibraryIn a two-episode series titled “Immigrant Girl, Radical Woman: A Memoir of Wobbly Organizer Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins," artist Robbin Légère Henderson discusses her exhibition of original scratchboard drawings featured in the illustrated and annotated autobiography of Henderson’s grandmother, Matilda Rabinowitz Robbins, a Socialist, IWW organizer, feminist, writer, mother, and social worker.

UCOMM LiveUnderstanding Impeachment Process: Trump is trying to cut funding for school lunches, leaving half a million kids hungry at school. Nerds who work for a Google contractors have organized with the Steelworkers union, we take a look at what their issues are. Chicago teachers are preparing to strike after the city refused to give them a fair contract that helps their lowest-paid employees. Trump is trying to take away collective bargaining rights for graduate students, we look at why these students need the right to join a union. Police have been some of Trump's strongest supporters, even as other public employees have been attacked by him. LaGrange tries to explain why this is going on. Plus the House has opened an impeachment inquiry into Trump, we explain what impeachment means and what the process is for getting rid of him. The Met's may be out of the playoffs, but 12 teams are continuing on, UCOMM makes our picks on who will make it the World Series.

Union City RadioAirs weekdays at 7:15 AM on WPFW 89.3 FM. Topics: Workers take to the streets; Strike averted at Kaiser; Fresh momentum; BSO musicians reach tentative contract agreement; and DC Labor supports DC statehood.

Union Strong: Scabby the rat is a powerful tool for organized labor and that’s exactly why the rat is now at the center of a legal battle. The National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel is after Scabby and his inflatable friends attempting to either restrict or outright ban the use of them at protests. On this podcast we discuss the impact Scabby has and speak to an attorney at the forefront of the NLRB case.

Willamette Wake UpThe September Salem labor radio segment will run this Friday, at around 8:10 AM (PST), on Salem's KMUZ community radio station. The station broadcasts at 88.5, 100.7 and at This week we're talking to local community leader and activist Elisa Andrade on paid family medical leave in Oregon and what comes next in the efforts of Family Forward Oregon for equity. Our last show featured Sam Hughes from UFCW Local 555 talking about grocery chain union contract negotiations and Fred Meyers. We ran that at just the right moment. If you don't have the basics down about what's going on at the grocery stores and the possibility of a strike, listen to our last show here.

Your Rights At WorkCarl Goldman (AFSCME, ret) and UAW 229 shop steward Guy White, reporting live from the UAW picket line in White Marsh, Maryland. “Case Closed” with David Schloss, injury attorney and partner in the law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. Mark Gruenberg, PAI News, on the passage of the Pro Act by a key House panel.
Airs Thursdays 1-2 PM (EDT) on WPFW 89.3 FM.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 10/04/2019 - 10:47

Tags: Podcast

Hey, New York Times, Women Wear Hard Hats, Too!

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 07:28
Hey, New York Times, Women Wear Hard Hats, Too! Ironworkers

In a tribute to the hard hat, which was invented 100 years ago, The New York Times curiously equates the safety gear with masculinity. But women wear hard hats, too, and always have.

The Times article leads off with: "The hard hat was designed 100 years ago as protective gear for miners and other laborers, but it has grown to become a symbol of status and masculinity."

We know better, though, and present to you many photos through the years of strong union women wearing this iconic headgear. 

AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO NABTU NABTU Ironworkers NABTU NABTU NABTU Ironworkers Ironworkers Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 10/03/2019 - 09:28

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Dignity of Work

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 08:53
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: Dignity of Work AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk to Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) about worker power, automation, trade and his decision to stay in the U.S. Senate. 

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 10/02/2019 - 10:53

Tags: Podcast

Time to Be Loud: The Working People Weekly List

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 10:35
Time to Be Loud: 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.

Now’s the Time to Be Loud. Register to Vote: "We're not staying quiet anymore."

New Trump Overtime Rules Will Cost Workers $1.4 Billion in First Year Alone: "The Trump administration’s Labor Department issued new overtime rules this week that take away $1.4 billion of workers’ pay every year compared to the Obama administration rules they replace. The amount of this pay cut for working people will increase enormously over time."

A Pregnant Target: "Those bundles of joy cost bundles of money, so Victoria Whipple, a quality control worker at Kumho Tire in Macon, Georgia, had been working overtime to get ready for her new arrival."

Walking the Picket Lines: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: International Union of Police Associations: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the International Union of Police Associations."

Solidarity with Autoworkers: 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."

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal: "On the latest episode of 'State of the Unions,' podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner check in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interview 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."

U.S. Labor Movement Supports Mexico's Working People: "At a meeting Saturday in Chicago, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) assured Mexican-American political, labor, community and religious leaders that the U.S. labor movement will work to ensure that any new trade agreement raises the standards of living for all working people across North America."

Pittston, Solidarity and Labor's Future: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup: "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."

Nearly 50,000 UAW Members at GM Go on Strike: "As of midnight Sunday, UAW members at General Motors have gone on strike. The 2015 collective bargaining agreement between UAW and GM expired Saturday after GM offered an inadequate new contract. Nearly 50,000 workers are now on strike. They are demanding fair wages, affordable health care, a share of profits, job security and a defined path to permanent seniority for temporary workers."

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 10/01/2019 - 12:35

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Painters and Allied Trades

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 09:24
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Painters and Allied Trades AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Painters and Allied Trades.

Name of Union: International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)

Mission: To shape members' communities through an abiding commitment to service, by fighting passionately for workers’ rights that benefit all working families and through effective and aggressive political mobilization.

Current Leadership of Union: Kenneth E. Rigmaiden serves as general president. Rigmaiden graduated from California State University in San Jose in 1977 and immediately enrolled in the floor covering apprenticeship training program of IUPAT Local 1288. He completed the training and fulfilled the state of California's apprenticeship standards in 1980.

He quickly became involved in the local and, over the next six years, served as an executive board member, trustee, vice president and then president of the union. He also taught floor covering installation to apprentices. 

In 1986, Rigmaiden was elected as the local's business representative and later served in the same role for IUPAT Local 12, which he helped form through the combination of several other locals in his area. He rose to become a general representative and then an assistant to the general president of the international union. In 2002, he was elevated to the position of executive general vice president; and in 2013, he was unanimously elected general president.

George Galis serves as general secretary-treasurer and IUPAT has five general vice presidents—William D. Candelori Jr., Robert Kucheran, Harry Zell, Mark Van Zevern and James A. Williams Jr.—and two general presidents with emeritus status, James A. Williams and A.L. "Mike" Monroe.

Number of Members: 160,000

Members Work As: Industrial and commercial painters, drywall finishers, glaziers and glass workers, sign and display installers, floor covering installers and many more.

Industries Represented: The construction industry, public sector, trade shows and others.

History: The union that would become IUPAT was organized originally as the Brotherhood of Painters and Decorators of America in 1887. Within a year, the union had grown to more than 100 locals and 7,000 members. By the turn of the century, the Brotherhood was publishing "The Painter and Decorator" to provide news on the industry.

In 1921, the union opened its first real home, a four-story office building, in Lafayette, Indiana. Most of the offices of the union remained in that location until 1967, when its headquarters was moved to Washington, D.C. Over the years, IUPAT members have worked on many notable projects, with a highlight being a facelift of the White House before the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. In 1970, expanding membership led to a new name, the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades.

The growing female membership of the union led General President Michael Monroe to rebrand as the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. In 2010, IUPAT moved its international headquarters to a new home in Hanover, Maryland. The new HQ building is part of a campus that includes a residence hall and an international training center.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: IUPAT encourages its members and all workers to engage through its educational "We Are Union: From the Front Lines" series on all digital platforms to understand the challenges facing the labor movement today and what we are all doing to address them. The Labor-Management Cooperation Initiative helps bring together workers and contractors to provide a unified voice to industry leaders. IUPAT Job Corps helps working people find quality jobs in the finishing trades. The IUPAT Pension Fund helps working people in the finishing trades prepare for retirement. The CORE Program helps community members learn from the industry what issues and concerns are most important. Channel 1 videos help people keep up with the latest news from the industry.

Learn More: Website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/30/2019 - 11:24

Pathway to Progress: Sept. 11

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 13:15
Pathway to Progress: Sept. 11 IAFF

History has long been portrayed as a series of "great men" taking great action to shape the world we live in. In recent decades, however, social historians have focused more on looking at history "from the bottom up," studying the vital role that working people played in our heritage. Working people built, and continue to build, the United States. In our new series, Pathway to Progress, we'll take a look at various people, places and events where working people played a key role in the progress our country has made, including those who are making history right now. Today's topic is the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Sometimes, progress comes from focused activism that pressures policymakers and other actors to create change. Other times, progress comes from the ways people live their lives and do their jobs. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are a perfect example of this idea, as union members responded to chaos and horror with courage and grace, many giving their lives in service of the country they loved.

Without even getting into the history of the building and staffing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon, union members were part of every aspect of that day. Of the nearly 3,000 who directly died because of the attacks, some 600 were union members, as were most of the people who have died of 9/11-related illnesses and injuries since then. Nearly 2,100 people have died since the attacks, and the number of those who have died since Sept. 11, 2001, is expected to pass the number who died in the attacks by 2021.

People's first thought is of the 90,000 first responders, union members who did as we always do and rushed into the chaos to help people. Since then, 55,000 of them have registered with the World Trade Center Health Program and that number is expected to continue growing. Many others worked on the recovery, cleanup and rebuilding efforts and hundreds of thousands of working people lived in the areas affected by the environmental hazards caused by the attacks.

In addition to the firefighters, law enforcement personnel and emergency medical teams that responded on 9/11, you also had the union members working in the building, from restaurant workers to communications workers stationed at television transmitters atop the building. Transport workers moved people to and from the affected areas. 

In addition to the unions that responded on 9/11, many others joined the rescue and cleanup crews. Members from multiple unions worked to reconnect New York and Wall Street to the world and rebuild the Pentagon's communication system from the ground up. Members of the Motion Picture Studio Mechanics Union/IATSE put up lighting at Ground Zero to assist in rescue operations. Members of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local One, set up Yankee Stadium as the venue for the memorial service for first responders who died at the World Trade Center. Laborers cleaned up the debris and wreckage on-site. Comedian Jon Stewart, a member of several entertainment unions, used his platform to fight for federal assistance for workers, particularly first responders, who became ill as a result of 9/11. One World Trade Center, built on the site of the old World Trade Center, that provides a memorial for those lost, was built with union labor.

And that's just the beginning of the very diverse group of unions that participated in the recovery and rebuilding after 9/11. All in all, 49 unions participated in those efforts. Not only did these workers help their fellow Americans, they also demonstrated strength, resiliency and patriotism in the fact of unspeakable tragedy. And they showed us that the pathway to progress is built through solidarity.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/27/2019 - 15:15

Critical Mass: Elected Union Members Tip Scales Toward Justice in Collective Bargaining Win in Bay State

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 10:45
Critical Mass: Elected Union Members Tip Scales Toward Justice in Collective Bargaining Win in Bay State Massachusetts AFL-CIO

The Massachusetts Legislature last week overrode Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of a key collective bargaining bill and passed the strongest response to the Janus vs. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court decision to date. The new law will allow unions to charge non-member employees for representation in arbitration cases and other disputes and is one of the most comprehensive state legislative responses to the court’s Janus decision, which unfairly prohibited those fees.

“Today the state legislature made a strong statement that unions are in the public interest and will remain a strong force for economic fairness in Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman (IAM) after the bill became law. “The overwhelming bipartisan votes to override Governor Baker’s veto by the House and Senate this week demonstrate that unions are not a partisan issue in Massachusetts.”

Rep. Peter Capano (IUE-CWA), who was elected last fall with full union support, was instrumental in getting the bill passed in the Legislature. “We are helping workers raise themselves back up, and that’s why I’m proud to be part of this legislature here,” Capano said in his rousing inaugural floor speech as a union member legislator. “The labor movement is on the rise, and we are here today to help them do that.”

Tolman also thanked the leadership in the Legislature and all the legislators who overwhelmingly passed this important legislation. “On behalf of the members of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, I thank Speaker [Robert] DeLeo and Senate President [Karen] Spilka for their leadership, and all members of the legislature who stood with us,” he said.

Check out Capano's speech online.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 09/27/2019 - 12:45

A Pregnant Target

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 09:50
A Pregnant Target USW

Those bundles of joy cost bundles of money, so Victoria Whipple, a quality control worker at Kumho Tire in Macon, Georgia, had been working overtime to get ready for her new arrival.

She also got involved in union organizing at the plant, and management decided to teach her a lesson. It didn’t matter that Victoria had seven kids ranging in age from 10 to 1. Or that she was eight months pregnant. Those things just made her a more appealing target.

On Sept. 6, the day Kumho Tire workers wrapped up an election in which they voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW), managers pulled Victoria off the plant floor and suspended her indefinitely without pay, solely because she was supporting the union. In a heartbeat, her income was gone.

“It kind of stressed me out because of the bills,” she explained.

What happened to Victoria happens all the time. Employers face no real financial penalties for breaking federal labor law by retaliating against workers during a union organizing campaign. So they feel free to suspend, fire or threaten anyone they want. Workers are fired in one of every three organizing efforts nationwide, and the recent election at Kumho Tire was held only because the company harassed workers before the initial vote two years ago.

Legislation now before Congress—the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—would curtail this rampant abuse.

The PRO Act would fine employers up to $50,000 for retaliating against workers during organizing campaigns. It would require the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to go to court to seek reinstatement of workers who are fired or face serious financial harm because of retaliation, and it would give workers the right to file lawsuits and seek damages on their own.

It’s important that members of Congress understand exactly what’s at stake: Families like Victoria’s that might be only a couple of missed paychecks away from financial ruin.

They can’t afford to be pawns in a company’s sordid union-busting campaign.

Victoria began working at Kumho Tire a year and a half ago, after being laid off from her dispatching job at a distribution center. Her husband, Tavaris Taylor, recently started an over-the-road trucking job. They didn’t have much of a financial cushion for emergencies, and the suspension put their backs against the wall.

Instead of focusing on her family in the final weeks of her pregnancy, Victoria had to worry about money. It wasn’t healthy for her or her unborn child. And it wasn’t right.

When Victoria’s eldest child asked why she wasn’t going to work anymore, she just said she needed some time off. It would be wrong to burden a 10-year-old with the truth.

Victoria began borrowing gas money from her mom. She cut back her spending. She prioritized the bills and paid only those—rent, electricity and so on—that she considered absolutely essential.

She kept going to her doctor appointments, hoping the company’s insurance still covered her or that Medicaid would kick in if it didn’t. Victoria qualifies for Medicaid even though she works full time. The need for better pay is just one reason Kumho Tire workers voted to join the USW.

But Victoria’s main concern was giving workers a bigger voice in the workplace. She went to a union meeting and thought: “Maybe representation would help.”

That’s how she became a union supporter—and got crossways with a company that couldn’t care less about its workers, their families or federal labor law.

Victoria didn’t know how long her suspension would last or if management’s next step would be to fire her. That would be Kumho Tire’s kind of baby gift.

Then, out of the blue last week, a manager called Victoria and told her to return to work.  On Friday, her first day back after two weeks without pay, managers had the brass to ask her if she understood why she had been suspended.

Yeah, she understood all right.

Companies will do almost anything these days—even suspend a pregnant woman and escort her from the premises—to keep out unions and hold down workers. That’s especially true of Kumho Tire. Its egregious union-busting activities derailed workers’ attempt to join the USW two years ago.

Back then, Kumho Tire threatened union supporters’ jobs, interrogated employees about their union allegiance, threatened to shut down the plant if the union was voted in and made workers think they were being spied on. The conduct was so extraordinarily bad that an NLRB administrative law judge ordered Kumho Tire to assemble the workers and read a statement outlining the many ways in which it had violated their rights and federal labor law.

The NLRB also ordered this month’s election, in which workers voted 141 to 137 to join the USW. Thirteen challenged ballots will be addressed at an upcoming hearing.

The mistreatment of Victoria shows that Kumho Tire hasn’t changed its ways over the past two years. Unfortunately, employers have no incentive right now to follow the law.

The PRO Act would help to level the playing field. Besides fining companies for retaliation and giving workers the right to sue, the legislation would prohibit employers from holding mandatory anti-union presentations like the “town hall” meetings Kumho Tire forced Victoria and her co-workers to attend. Employers conduct the meetings to bully employees into voting against a union.

The legislation also would provide new protections once workers voted for representation. For example, if a company dragged its feet during bargaining for a first contract, a regular ploy to lower worker morale, mediation and arbitration could be used to speed the process along. And the PRO Act would prohibit employers from hiring permanent replacements for striking workers.

Members of Congress need to understand something. Workers aren’t looking to pick fights with their employers. They just want to do their jobs well, work in safe environments and earn enough money to care for their families. And some companies work productively with unions, including the USW, to improve working conditions and product quality.

But employers like Kumho Tire too often exploit their employees and resist any effort that workers make to improve their lot. When that happens, workers like Victoria will stand their ground. Now more than ever, they need the protections of the PRO Act backing them up.

Thomas Conway is the international president of the United Steelworkers. This post originally appeared at the USW.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 09/26/2019 - 11:50

Now’s the Time to Be Loud. Register to Vote.

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 08:27
Now’s the Time to Be Loud. Register to Vote.

We're not staying quiet anymore.

Working people hit the streets last week, marching for climate justice and picketing alongside nearly 50,000 striking General Motors workers.

It was far from a one-off demonstration of our power. Those actions followed in the footsteps of activists, strikers, organizers and countless others who, all this year, have refused to accept a rigged, broken system.

Worker solidarity is at a boiling point. Hundreds of thousands of working people are joining the labor movement, and millions more say they're ready to follow suit if given the chance. 

Americans are driving a moment of collective action unlike anything we've seen in decades. From the workplace to the picket line to our communities, we're making our voices heard and fighting for the justice that we're owed.

It's a fight to peel back corporations' stranglehold on our economy and eradicate the inequities that still define our society. This is a struggle for massive changes in the way we work and live, putting our lives and future back into our own hands.

That sort of structural change requires new economic and political rules. And to win those new rules, we have to win some elections.

We've made plenty of noise in the streets. Now, it's time to make sure that noise is heard loud and clear at the ballot box.

The work of electing genuine advocates to office—from the White House to city councils—starts now. Our success in 2020 won’t be secured through ad buys or corporate fundraisers. Ultimately, it will be decided by the size and makeup of the electorate.

Who will be registered to vote, and who will turn out to cast a ballot? That’s the game. The other side is already playing, and we need to get moving.

In states across the country—including battlegrounds like Ohio, Wisconsin and Georgia—right-wing forces have changed registration rules, restricted access to polling places and even purged hundreds of thousands of people from the voter rolls.

They want us to be quiet. They want us to stay home. Because if we aren’t silenced, they know we will decide this election.

We can’t afford to sit this out. So, I have three asks for you this National Voter Registration Day.

First, check your voter registration status. You can do it right now. Go to your secretary of state’s website to see whether you’re registered to vote. And if you’re not, change that today.

Second, register your people. Talk to your family and your neighbors. Your friends. Your co-workers. Talk to young people and newly eligible voters. Talk to people who haven’t voted in years. Ask them if they’re registered to vote. If they don’t know, help them check. And if they aren’t, help them register.

Third, remember those conversations and make sure all of those people in your life turn out to vote. 

That’s the game plan. If we follow through with it, we can make sure that the votes cast next November represent who we are. We can make sure that our elected officials represent our communities. And we can make sure the policies they enact represent our best interests.

It’s on us to mobilize our communities. Nobody’s going to do it for us, and plenty of deep pockets are doing just the opposite.

We have the power to overcome that opposition and be heard. We do it every day. Let’s do it some more.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 09/24/2019 - 10:27

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: International Union of Police Associations

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 12:10
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: International Union of Police Associations AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the International Union of Police Associations.

Name of Union: International Union of Police Associations (IUPA)

Mission: To improve the lives of law enforcement, to promote legislation that protects and affects public safety officers and to represent the needs of law enforcement officers and support personnel.

Current Leadership of Union: Sam A. Cabral serves as international president of IUPA. He began his law enforcement career in Defiance, Ohio, in 1965 and retired in 1991. In 1988, he was elected as international vice president of IUPA. He was elected international secretary-treasurer two years later and was first elected president of IUPA in 1995.

Michael V. Crivello serves as international vice president, and Hugh J. Cameron serves as international secretary-treasurer.

Members Work As: Rank and file law enforcement officers, EMS workers, corrections officers and law enforcement support personnel in the United States.

Industries Represented: Law enforcement and related support fields.

History: The history of IUPA began in 1954 with the founding of the National Conference of Police Associations (NCPA), which came together in response to the evolving demands of the law enforcement profession and the need to strengthen collective bargaining efforts. In 1966, the NCPA changed its bylaws to allow the first Canadian associations to join and the organization changed its name to the International Conference of Police Associations. Soon after, the organization officially became a union and changed the name once more to the International Union of Police Associations.

In 1979, IUPA was granted a charter as a national union under the AFL-CIO. In recent decades, IUPA has continued to expand rapidly, including the affiliation of law enforcement and corrections officers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: IUPA helps members and their families with higher education costs through the IUPA Free College Benefit and the Edward J. Kiernan scholarship. The Run for the Badge 5K raises money for the National Law Enforcement Museum. The Law Enforcement Officers Relief Fund (LEORF) holds a golf tournament to raise money for the fund. LEORF also sponsors an annual conference that provides training and education for attorneys and local leaders who represent union members through collective bargaining and other civil/criminal matters. IUPA publishes the Police Union News to keep members and the public informed about law enforcement-related news.

Learn More: Website, Facebook, YouTube.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 09/23/2019 - 14:10

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 08:40
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: A Huge Deal

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner check in with AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Executive Director Brad Markell about the UAW strike at General Motors and interview 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. 

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 09/18/2019 - 10:40

Tags: Podcast


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