Tag Archives: afl-cio

AFL-CIO Commits to Mobilizing Women in 2016

Women make up more than half of the US electorate and vote at higher rates than men. From now until November, the AFL-CIO will be talking to women voters about the issues that impact them the most to ensure that women remain at the forefront of the conversation.

Today, the AFL-CIO Executive Council reinforced its commitment to advancing the rights of all working women and men—union or non-union—with the adoption of the Economic Agenda for Working Women and Our Families. The labor movement will continue to fight for equal pay, family friendly policies, high-quality education, and the right to negotiate better working conditions.

According to the AFL-CIO, “This year we are going to elect pro-worker, pro-woman, and pro-family candidates. Hillary Clinton’s historic nomination for president shattered the glass ceiling, and we stand behind her.”

To read the full Economic Agenda for Working Women and Our Families click here: www.aflcio.org/working-women-economic-agenda

AFL Enters Battle for Bargaining

AFL-CIO strongly objects to a New Jersey takeover proposal of Atlantic City that eliminates all collective bargaining agreements. With battle lines drawn that would affect thousands of workers and more than 100 union contracts, the national AFL-CIO has joined the fight.

“Attempts to undermine collective bargaining under the pretext of solving financial challenges are nothing new. We’ve seen it in states and cities across the country,” say AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech in a joint statement. “We know that the best way to solve problems is to collaborate with workers who are on the front lines, like firefighters, police, teachers, and city employees. Governor Christie’s current proposal—which seeks to limit collective bargaining—is unacceptable. The state Senate and the General Assembly should work together to find the right compromise that supports the principle of collective bargaining and protects the rights of working people.”

The legislation passed by New Jersey Senate and supported by Christie includes a provision eliminating collective bargaining agreements. However, New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto has said that he will not support a bill that allows the state to tear up collective bargaining contracts.

Does Governor Christie believe legal contracts are no longer binding? Written agreements have been honored for hundreds of years around the world. The scenario of “maybe we’ll honor a contract maybe we won’t” would set a dangerous precedent, not only in New Jersey, but across the country.

AFL-CIO Applauds New Lifesaving Silica Dust Rules

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded the Obama administration for issuing OSHA’s new workplace silica standards. “Millions of workers can literally breathe easier knowing they will not have to sacrifice their lungs and their lives by working in deadly silica dust,” he says. Silica dust is a killer that causes silicosis, lung cancer, and other disabling diseases. The 50-year-old OSHA silica standards are too weak to protect workers, especially those in vulnerable occupations, like construction, foundries, and ship building. The new rules mandate common-sense measures to control dust: monitoring exposures through ventilation and water systems, to train workers in safety, and conduct medical exams. Visit https://www.osha.gov/silica/ for more information and a video.

AFL-CIO President Demands End to Deportations

At a worker center in Pasadena, California, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined the Los Angeles Labor Federation of Labor President, Pasadena City Mayor, and California State Labor Commissioner to oppose the ongoing deportations of immigrants, saying it undermines family unity and weakens rights for all workers. He said, “The future of immigrant workers is not in detention centers. It’s in worker centers like this one.”

“America’s deportation crisis is a bipartisan failure. I could not come here today without saying how disappointed I am with the Obama Administration’s recent decision to send women and children back to dangerous Central American nations.” He continued, “I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for President Obama, yet the plague of immigration raids in America is nothing less than a travesty—a human travesty.” Trumka and others demanded safe haven for workers to who speak out and called on the Supreme Court to give Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) the green light.


Social Security Turns 80

The US Social Security program turned 80 years old August 14. In honor of the occasion AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka remarked, “For those working for a better life, Social Security is an important family income and disability protection program and the cornerstone of our retirement security. The program has worked efficiently for 80 years, even though opponents have tried to dismantle, cut, privatize, or undermine the program since the day it was signed into law. They have created crises when none existed and demanded ‘reforms’ that make no sense. But Americans understand that Social Security is a solution not a problem, and now is the time to strengthen and expand it for all generations of working families.”

Trade Deals Need to Work for Workers, not CEOs


Even though Congress pulled some last-minute political maneuvering to get Fast Track passed last month—we beat all the odds and changed the game. Despite arm-twisting from corporations and the 1%, Congress nearly defeated Fast Track thanks to pressure that millions of working Americans put on their legislators.

In the coming months, as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—the biggest trade deal in the history of US trade deals—moves forward, Congress will have to vote on it. Working Americans need to stand together to make sure the TPP doesn’t sell out working people here and abroad, give foreign corporations special privileges to sue US taxpayers to recover lost profits, nor undermine efforts to stop climate change.

“We need to carry this momentum forward and tell our lawmakers to focus on policies to raise wages, so millions of working families don’t have to worry about putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads. And one way to do that is to ensure that the final TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is,” says AFL-CIO Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist Celeste Drake.

Tell US Trade Representative Michael Froman and President Barack Obama to make trade deals work for working people and not CEOs by signing the petition at: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/trade-deals-must-work-for-working-people.

NJ AFL-CIO Gathers Women for Empowerment Conferen

In March, more than 200 union women gathered in East Brunswick, New Jersey, for the 12th annual AFL-CIO Women in Leadership Development (WILD) conference. Conference founder Laurel Brennan, secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO spoke on the theme of economic empowerment. “Women still earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man, a statistic that unfortunately hasn’t improved in the past decade,” says Brennan. “This conference enables our union sisters to focus their collective power and energy on public policy injustices that affect women and families, such as gender pay inequality. The best pay equalizer is still a union contract.”

The biggest event of its kind, WILD brought women from across the country together. Participants attended workshops on obstacles to economic prosperity for women and ways to overcome them.

Napoleón Gómez, Mexican Labor Leader, Addresses AFL-CIO Council

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka welcomed Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president of the Mexican mine and metalworkers’ union Los Mineros, to Atlanta at the end of February. Gómez addressed the AFL-CIO Executive Council saying, “As long as Mexican workers don’t have rights, workers in America are under threat.”

In his remarks, Gómez argued that low wages and repression of workers in Mexico hurt US workers by reducing exports to Mexico and creating unfair incentives to relocate plants from the US. “Workers in the US and Mexico have to fight together, even harder, for justice and against inequality,” he argues. He called for the halt of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and demanded real labor reforms for both countries. While the Los Mineros union has doubled the real wages of its members in the past decade, most Mexican workers face repression when they try to join democratic unions.

In 2011, Gómez received the AFL-CIO’s Meany–Kirkland Human Rights Award but was unable to attend the ceremony because of criminal charges filed against him by the Mexican government, which have since been defeated. “This is a great victory for democratic unionism and international solidarity,” says Trumka of the long-awaited visit by the respected labor leader.

Bill Would Give Jobs to Aliens Over Qualified US Workers

The Immigration Innovation Act of 2015, or I-Squared, introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and five co-sponsors would flood the computer-related workforce with hundreds of thousands of temporary guest workers every year. This is even though studies have repeatedly shown that there is no shortage of US workers to fill computer-related jobs. Temporary guest workers are an excuse for employers to send jobs overseas and a source of cheap labor. Hatch is putting US workers out of jobs in order to benefit corporate interests.

“I-Squared does nothing to fix our broken immigration system and, in fact, would make it far worse. We must demand comprehensive immigration reform that protects US citizens and creates a path to citizenship,” says Paul Almeida, president of the Department for Professional Employees (DPE), AFL-CIO.

For many years, the DPE has written about false claims made by employers about a shortage of workers in the computer-related workforce. The DPE issued a fact sheet on the H-1B and L-1 visa program in 2013 and the study, Gaming the System, Guest Worker Visa Programs and Professional and Technical Workers in the US (2012). Together, they debunk the myth perpetrated by employers that there is a shortage of available workers.

According to the DPE, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent a letter to all senators urging them to refrain from co-sponsoring the legislation. “At a time when we face unprecedented levels of inequality and decades of wage stagnation, it is irresponsible to expand access to employment-based temporary work that will continue to hold down wages, increase worker vulnerability, and reduce social mobility for deserving workers,” he points out.

After the I-Squared bill was introduced in the 2013-2014 session of Congress, Almeida sent a letter to Sen. Klobuchar detailing what was wrong with the legislation. He is meeting with Congressional staff to urge rejection of the I-Squared bill.

Other Interesting News

Instrument Carry-on Rule for Flights Pleases Musicians 

DOT Harmonizes Rules for Musical Instruments on Flights 

Musicians Get Approval to Carry on Instruments When Flying 

DOT Final Rule on Musical Instruments in the Cabin 

DOT Updates Rules for Musical Instruments on Planes 

U.S. DoT Issues Final Rule – Air Travel with Musical Instruments 

Hey, Rockstars, You Can Now Legally Bring Your Instrument as a Carry On