Feed items

Washington Teachers’ Union President Elizabeth Davis Passes

Chris Garlock/Union City

The Washington, D.C., metro area labor movement lost one of its most outspoken leaders Sunday night when Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President Elizabeth Davis died in a car crash.

Davis had been “at the forefront of public education advocacy and reform, leading the WTU’s transformation into a social justice, solution-driven organization dedicated to advancing and promoting quality education for all children,” WTU said in a release Monday morning. Davis worked hard at “improving teaching and learning conditions and aggressively amplifying the voice of teachers in the dialogue around issues of teaching and learning,” the union added. “We are confident that her legacy will continue to shape the WTU as well as education across the district.”

“Elizabeth Davis fought every single day, not just for her members, but for all the city’s students and parents,” said Metro Washington Council (MWC) President Dyana Forester. “As a D.C. parent myself, and also as a lifelong city resident and labor activist, Sister Davis was a constant inspiration to...

Solidarity Works: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

A. Philip Randolph Institute:
Ok Florida family, lets try to support minority owned business when we can. These young ladies are in Tallahassee, FLMeet the Leo Sisters, Owners of Plant-Based Eatery Bourne Brilliant #AfroTech https://t.co/TLreFMHopY— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) March 25, 2021

Actors' Equity:
Equity members now have an additional way to access the online harassment hotline. Lighthouse now offers an anonymous reporting app available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. Read more in the member portal - https://t.co/apKzJubpzg pic.twitter.com/lXhuGO3h5Q— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) April 6, 2021

Thank you for joining! https://t.co/3XFOoZFWCK— AFGE (@AFGENational) April 1, 2021...

'We Have to Move Now': The Working People Weekly List

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.

‘We Have to Move Now’: Biden Details His $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: “Mr. Biden was introduced by a union worker who deals with the electrical grid. Mike Fiore, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 29 and an employee of Duquesne Light, said the plan would mean a lot to workers who are ready to retool plants and revitalize the middle class. ‘The [plan] is directed at communities like mine. It is about opening up opportunities, revitalizing local businesses and saving jobs,’ Mr. Fiore said. ‘For decades, Pennsylvania was a global leader in manufacturing and good union jobs. It can be that way again.’”

ATI Workers Go on Strike After Negotiations Break Down: “Roughly 1,300 workers at Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) union went on strike at 7 a.m. Tuesday after negotiators failed to reach a contract...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Orange County Labor Federation Holds Expungement Clinic

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 these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Orange County Labor Federation (OCLF), AFL-CIO partnered with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 324 and hosted an expungement clinic March 18 and March 20 in Buena Park, California. This partnership allowed our labor movement to help members remove nonviolent crimes from their records. About 65 members were assisted over the two days. The OCLF is planning to make this an ongoing program to continue assisting our members in removing barriers to employment and housing, giving them a better chance at stability and dignity. AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre (UFCW) visited and assisted at the clinic.

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 04/06/2021 - 09:58

COVID-19, Community Service

Economy Gains 916,000 Jobs in March; Unemployment Down to 6.0%

The U.S. economy gained 916,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.0%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In response to the March job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

Despite the good news on the unemployment rate falling, the share of the unemployed who are long term unemployed continued to climb. Unemployment benefit provisions in the ARP that expire on Labor Day will end while this problem still looms. @AFLCIO pic.twitter.com/mfcQIiPSq1— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 2, 2021

This pattern is the great challenge @POTUS and his team face with their Jobs bill. The slow recovery of Black employment IS NOT because of skills or industry composition. Putting in place an extremely beefed up @USDOL #OFCCP to have presence at each construction site for starters https://t.co/sqVKVb3lf1— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) April 2, 2021

Economists who watch the stock market are quick to point out how news stories translate to market reactions. Labor economists...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Chicago Opens Vaccination Site for Front-Line Union Members

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 these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

President Bob Reiter (IUOE) of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Tuesday the creation of the country’s first vaccine site specifically for union essential workers. They are hosting the clinic at the Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 399 union hall; the clinic is a partnership between the labor council and the city. Some 1,200 union members may be vaccinated per week, with the plan to expand to 6,000 per week as vaccine supplies increase. To be eligible, you must live or work in Chicago, hold a current union card or be a union retiree, and qualify under the city’s current eligibility criteria.

“Two-thirds of our members are Black and Brown workers, and we must do everything we can to get this vaccine into arms as quickly as possible,” Reiter said. “...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UMWA Goes on Strike at Alabama’s Warrior Met Coal

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 these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Unless the parties can reach a last-minute agreement, the Mine Workers (UMWA) union is launching its largest strike since the 1990s. UMWA President Cecil Roberts lambasted the company in a press release announcing the strike at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama. “[I]nstead of rewarding the sacrifices and work of the miners, Warrior Met is seeking even further sacrifices from them, while demonstrating perhaps some of the worst labor-management relations we’ve seen in this industry since the days of the company town and company store,” he said. The union explained that workers at Warrior have made significant concessions since 2016 to help bring the company out of bankruptcy.

Roberts said: “We have always been ready to reach a fair agreement that recognizes the sacrifices our members and their families made...

Profiles in Courage: Celebrating AAPI Labor Activists

In the wake of the rise of hate crimes and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, we take an important pause to voice our support of our brothers, sisters and friends in the AAPI community. The AAPI community has played an important and active role in the growth, expansion and unique diversity of this country and has given the labor movement many of its true heroes. This community is our community, and we are proud to celebrate these seven labor activists—all of whom have advanced the cause of worker justice. 

Ai-jen Poo: Ai-jen Poo started organizing domestic workers in 1996 and helped found Domestic Workers United (DWU). In 2010, DWU was key in the passage of New York's Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights, the first law in the country to guarantee domestic workers labor protections. The next year, DWU helped organize the first national meeting of domestic worker organizations, leading to the formation of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). Poo has been NDWA's director since 2010. Her other efforts on behalf of working people include Caring...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Alaska State AFL-CIO Demands Answers on Copper River Seafoods Investigation

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 these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Alaska AFL-CIO has called out Copper River Seafoods for workplace safety violations. Throughout the pandemic, the company has failed to effectively screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms, implement social distancing, provide barriers for employees when they could not social distance, and prevent sick and symptomatic workers from entering the facility. Officials also have revealed that even employees who had tested positive were working, despite being required to quarantine for at least 10 days.

The state federation is fighting to hold this employer accountable. Alaska AFL-CIO President Joelle Hall (UFCW) wrote in a recently published op-ed, “Recent media reports have uncovered that [state] Commissioner of Labor Tamika Ledbetter blocked nearly $450,000 in proposed fines...

Women's History Month Profiles: School Administrators

This year, for Women's History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making women's history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country.

The School Administrators (AFSA) profiled several of its members this month. Check them out:

Donis Coronel
Rosemarie Sinclair
Lauran Waters-Cherry

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 03/30/2021 - 12:23