Wednesday, July 18, 2018

AFL-CIO Blog

  1. Stay Cool with These Ethical Summer Essentials
    Stay Cool with These Ethical Summer Essentials
    Labor 411

    Summer’s officially here and it’s time to tame those rays. Whether you’re embracing the blaze on a summer hike, beating the heat by the pool or enjoying that good old fun in the sun somewhere else, Labor 411 has a list of essentials for all your summer adventures. And when you choose one or more items from the list below, you will be supporting ethical companies that treat their employees well and give them good pay and benefits.

    Drinks

    • Blumers Root Beer
    • Crystal Springs Water 
    • Dr. Pepper 
    • Gatorade 
    • Hawaiian Punch
    • Minute Maid Lemonade

    Beer

    • Bud Light 
    • Budweiser 
    • Dundee Summer Wheat Beer 
    • Henry Weinhards Summer Wheat Ale 
    • Sam Adams Whitewater IPA

    Hats 

    • Hatco 
    • Korber Hats 
    • Unionwear

    Ice Cream 

    • Breyers 
    • Creamland 
    • Good Humor 
    • Hiland 
    • Perry’s 
    • Tillamook

    Sunscreen 

    • Bain de Soleil
    • Coppertone

    This post originally appeared at Labor 411.

    Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:34
  2. Trumka on Crooked Conversations Podcast: 'Collective Action Is on the Rise'
    Trumka on Crooked Conversations Podcast: 'Collective Action Is on the Rise'
    AFL-CIO

    On this week's episode of Crooked Conversations, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sat down in Missouri for a live recorded conversation with Let America Vote President Jason Kander. The pair discussed the importance of unions, the rise of collective action and the future of the labor movement.

    See a few highlights below, and check out the full episode here.

    On Unions:

    Trumka: My son was about 4 years old at the time, and we were in the backyard. And he had one of those little motorized jeeps. He and his buddy were riding around in the back, and I was on the phone talking to somebody about the union, and he heard me say that. So he pulls up in the jeep and he said, "Dad, what's a union?"

    And I said to him—there was a little hill there—I said, "Both of you get out of the jeep." I said, "Rich, push that jeep up the hill." And he'd pushed it up a little bit, and he'd slide backward...and he finally gives up. And his buddy Chad was with him. And I said, "Chad, now you help him." And the two grunt a little bit, but they get the jeep to the top of the hill.

    And I said, "Son, that's what a union is." It allows people to come together to do things together that they can't do individually. That's a union.

    On Young Workers:

    Trumka: We organized 262,000 new members last year. And 75% of those members were under the age of 35. Young people are starting to get it more and more and more. They're coming along and saying, “Look, this economy isn't working for us.” So how do we change it? We change it by coming together with our fellow workers, getting the ability to bargain collectively, so we can get a fair share of the wealth that we produce.

    On Running for Office:

    Trumka: If you’re running for office out there, here’s my advice to you. Stick to kitchen table economics. What are you going to do to help people with their wages, with their health care, with their pension, with their school district, with their retirement?

    On Training Workers:

    Trumka: One of the best-kept secrets in the United States is that...the labor movement trains more people every year than anybody else other than the military.

    Kander: And often times, they’re training folks who just came out of the military as well.

    Trumka: We have a special program for that called Helmets to Hardhats. We bring people coming out of the military. We bring them into our apprenticeship program….They are the best skilled people out there. Our building trades people are second to none in the world. People from around the world come and ask us to train them.

    On Collective Action:

    Trumka: I'm more optimistic right now than I've been in a lot of years, because what we see is collective action is on the rise….People are starting to look for change, and they've decided—rightfully so—that the best way for them to get change is to join with their fellow workers and their neighbors and demand change.

    Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/16/2018 - 12:20
  3. The Power Is in Our Hands: The Working People Weekly List
    The Power Is in Our Hands: 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 this week’s Working People Weekly List.

    After Janus, Electrical Workers Show the Power Is in Our Hands: "The Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision was despicable, spitting in the face of decades of common-sense precedent. There’s no question about that. But Janus is not the end of our fight."

    Trump's Supreme Court Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh Is Deeply Troubling: "Working families deserve a Supreme Court justice who will respect the rights of working people and who will enforce decades of legal precedent that protect us in the workplace. On Monday night, President Donald Trump rejected working men and women by selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement."

    Thousands Rally for Private Pension Fix: "'An attack on one worker is an attack on all workers, and seeing working people come together to fight for what’s right, to have the American people rally with us to protect the benefits we’ve earned is a beautiful thing,' Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga told the crowd that filled the lawn in front of the Statehouse and wound around both sides of the building. 'Nothing is more sacred than the promise of a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work,' he said."

    Could Missouri's Right-to-Work Vote Be a 'Turnaround' for Labor? Unions Hope So: "'Everyone is wanting to write the labor movement’s obituary,' AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said at a Kansas City rally Tuesday. 'Are we going to let that happen?' The crowd of about 250 union members and volunteers returned a resounding, 'No.' They were gathered for rally at a local pipe-fitters union hall before setting out for a canvassing effort. Shuler flew in from Washington, D.C., to visit what she called the 'ground zero' in the fight over labor."

    AFL-CIO Chief Warns Red to Blue Candidates That Being a Democrat Isn’t Enough: "House Democratic candidates in town this week for training at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington got a visit from AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka for some tips on how they can win back working-class voters. 'I don’t have to tell you that you can’t count on the D next to your name to gain our support,' Trumka told Democratic leadership and a room full of candidates on Red to Blue, the DCCC’s program for its strongest candidates."

    Belabored Podcast #155: The Future of Collective Action: "But it’s worth remembering that for every devastating Supreme Court decision, anti-union executive order or rollback to public benefits, glimmers of hope are present on the front lines. In the belly of the political beast in D.C., grassroots organizers gathered at the AFL-CIO headquarters to discuss collective action under Trump, beyond the beltway. Activists representing teachers, housekeepers, graduate students and airline workers talked about union power in the wake of the Janus decision and keeping hope alive for the next generation of young labor leaders."

    If You Live in Missouri, Vote 'No' on Proposition A: "On Aug. 7, Missouri voters will have the chance to vote against Prop. A, a divisive attack on working people funded by big corporations and their wealthy allies. The misleading measure is a direct attack on the rights of the working people of Missouri."

    Are We in a Trade War?: "TV pundits keep repeating that we’re in a 'trade war.' What does that even mean?"

    U.S. Trade Deals Mean Justice for Some, Not Justice for All: "2017 was another banner year of justice for sale, reveals the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s annual review of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases. What does the report say? It reveals lots of new ways global investors are undermining democracy in private tribunals."

    Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/16/2018 - 11:22
  4. If You Live in Missouri, Vote 'No' on Proposition A
    If You Live in Missouri, Vote 'No' on Proposition A
    Missouri AFL-CIO

    On Aug. 7, Missouri voters will have the chance to vote against Proposition A, a divisive attack on working people funded by big corporations and their wealthy allies. The misleading measure is a direct attack on the rights of the working people of Missouri.

    Here are the key reasons why Proposition A is wrong for Missouri:

    • Proposition A will drive down wages for Missouri families: If it passes, Proposition A will drive down wages for all Missourians. New research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that “right to work” laws like Proposition A are associated with lower wages and a weaker middle class. EPI found that wages were 3.1% lower in states with right to work laws like Proposition A. EPI’s Heidi Shierholz said, “If Missouri goes in the direction of right to work, we will see that the wages of workers, including those that are not in unions, will decline. Most middle-class workers spend their wages on things like food and clothes at local retailers.” The wage decline will harm businesses where middle-class workers shop.

    • Proposition A is not what it seems. Don’t trust it: While supporters of Proposition A claim it will benefit working people, the reality is that it will take away choices from Missourians. The Supreme Court already has ruled that workers don’t have to join a union if they choose not to. The court also has ruled that working people have the freedom to organize and join together to bargain for a better return on our work. These things are at stake with Proposition A.

    • Proposition A will not create jobs: Missouri has the same unemployment rate, 3.8%, as neighboring states with similar economic conditions. Right to work hasn’t increased jobs. In addition to lowering wages and failing to create jobs, laws like Proposition A leave working people less likely to have benefits such as employer-sponsored health care.

    • Proposition A will weaken unions: While proponents of Proposition A claim to be interested in helping working people, the reality is that right to work laws such as Proposition A are designed specifically to weaken unions so that working people have less of a voice in the workplace.

    Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/16/2018 - 11:17
  5. After Janus, Electrical Workers Show the Power is in Our Hands
    After Janus, Electrical Workers Show the Power is in Our Hands
    IBEW 1245

    The Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision was despicable, spitting in the face of decades of common-sense precedent. There’s no question about that.

    But Janus is not the end of our fight.

    Through every punch thrown at working people in our history—every wage-slashing boss, every union-busting law, every strike-breaking massacre—we have rallied together, stronger for our shared struggle.

    Our future is and always has been in our own hands. We have never looked to Washington to strengthen or validate our movement.

    So while pundits rush to blather in front of a camera, we’re doing the painstaking business of organizing—building the labor movement, person by person.

    A few locals in particular are offering up powerful models for success.

    Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245, faced with a likely union-busting decision from the Supreme Court, knew that inaction wasn’t an option. Management and other anti-worker interests would be eager to launch an aggressive, well-funded anti-union campaign, undermining the local’s collective voice wherever they could.

    The local’s members haven’t surrendered to a future decided by those forces. Instead, they’ve been rallying together and strengthening their union one conversation at a time.

    At the direction of Business Manager Tom Dalzell, the local established and trained volunteer organizing committees (VOCs) at each of their 34 public sector worksites.

    “Our fundamental principle was that our members, if offered the opportunity, would jump at the chance to lead their co-workers and set ambitious goals,” said IBEW Local 1245 veteran organizer Fred Ross.

    Aimed at overhauling the local’s internal organizing program, the project in fact started rather simply. Local leaders sat down with new committee members and listened to their stories—the distinct but universally motivating experiences that were driving each of them to give their time and energy to organizing.

    They talked about the difference that unionism had made in their lives. Some had come up in union households, witnessing firsthand the economic opportunities gained through a union card. Others were the first in their families to join a union, gaining rights and dignities on the job that their parents could have only dreamed of.

    Such powerful stories made powerful organizers. Members have indeed jumped at the chance to play a leadership role. What’s more, they are meeting and outpacing their lofty organizing goals.

    A year since IBEW Local 1245’s VOCs formed, 25 of their public sector worksites have secured voluntary dues commitments from at least 80% of members—including 15 that have rallied together 100% of their membership. Meanwhile, the VOCs have grown to 214 members strong.

    “Our public sector VOC leaders took ownership of this fight-back campaign to defend and strengthen our union,” Ross said.

    “VOCs are the heartbeat of our campaigns,” added Eileen Purcell, the local’s lead organizer for the campaign. “Our goal has been to build leadership and capacity—before, during and after the Supreme Court decision. These leaders have been and continue to be our most powerful organizing tool.”

    Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/10/2018 - 14:56
  6. Are We in a Trade War?
    Are We in a Trade War?

    TV pundits keep repeating that we’re in a “trade war.” What does that even mean?

    For starters, if you want to learn more about tariffs and trade, we will hold an informational call on Thursday to discuss newly imposed tariffs, progress on the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations and steps the labor movement is taking to find trade policy solutions that benefit working people. (Click here to RSVP.)

    Now, let’s tone down the rhetoric just a bit. Real wars, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, are deadly, dangerous, scary affairs. No one should confuse tariffs with real wars.

    In terms of economics, the closest thing we have to a “war” is the relentless attack on workers that has been taking place for several decades as economic elites (including corporate CEOsbad actor employers and the 1% who don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes) have worked to rig global economic rules to benefit themselves at the expense of ordinary working people.  

    The attack on workers has been waged on many fronts, from so-called “right to work” laws that deny our freedom, to regressive tax laws such as the recent Republican tax bill giving big tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs, to attacks on overtime pay and workplace safety, to defunding schools and meals for our children. The attack on workers also comes in the area of trade policy, and includes unfair, predatory actions by China. Trade attacks on workers are aided and abetted by greedy corporations that outsource jobs and abuse workers, and by U.S. officials of both political parties who have failed to stand up for us.

    So why are so many people saying we’re in a trade war? First, to scare us. Maintaining the status quo is exactly what the powerful want to keep workers and wages down. Second, because the U.S. is finally starting to do something about harmful trade practices that hurt working people. It has been so long since the U.S. has ambitiously used trade remedies to defend our economy that Wall Street fat cats are calling it a trade war.

    While tariffs are not dangerous per se (in fact, they can be a very effective tool to address harmful trade practices and create jobs), they must be applied carefully, thoughtfully and strategically. If done right, tariffs can persuade trading partners to change their harmful practices. In that case, the tariffs will disappear quickly. On the other hand, if the tariffs are applied haphazardly, they may backfire, causing more economic disruption than necessary. As with anything it does, the government should be smart in how it applies tariffs. And it should have a plan that minimizes negative side effects for the U.S. economy and prioritizes benefits for working families—no matter in what industry those families work.

    Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/10/2018 - 12:08
  7. Trump's Supreme Court Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh Is Deeply Troubling
    Trump's Supreme Court Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh Is Deeply Troubling
    AFL-CIO

    Working families deserve a Supreme Court justice who will respect the rights of working people and who will enforce decades of legal precedent that protect us in the workplace. On Monday night, President Donald Trump rejected working men and women by selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.

    After a thorough review of Kavanaugh’s record, we are deeply troubled by his selection. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said:

    The current Supreme Court has shown that it will side with greedy corporations over working people whenever given the chance, and this nominee will only skew that further. Recent decisions by the court, often the result of 5-4 votes, have a dramatic impact on the lives of working families and reinforce the importance of the selection of a new justice. We simply cannot have another lifetime-appointed justice unleashed who, as Justice Elena Kagan wrote in her dissent in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, acts as a “black-robed ruler overriding citizens’ choices.”

    Working people expect the Supreme Court to be the fairest and most independent branch of government in America. Any senator who believes Supreme Court justices should protect the rights of all Americans should reject this nomination and demand a nominee who will protect the rights of working people and uphold our constitutional values of liberty, equality and justice for all. Across the country, working people are organizing and taking collective action as we haven’t seen in years, and we won’t stand for any politician who supports justices who put our rights at risk.

    The more we look at what Kavanaugh has done, the more it seems his nomination to the Supreme Court should be rejected. Kavanaugh routinely rules against working people and their families:

    • In American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO v. Gates, a partial dissent argued that Kavanaugh’s majority opinion would allow the secretary of defense to abolish collective bargaining at the Department of Defense.

    • In Agri Processor Co. Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, he argued that a company didn’t have to bargain with an employee union because the employees were ineligible to vote in the union’s election because they were undocumented immigrants.

    • In SeaWorld of Florida LLC v. Perez, he argued that a safety citation issued against SeaWorld after a killer whale killed a trainer was too paternalistic.

    • In Venetian Casino Resort LLC v. NLRB, he sided with a casino after an NLRB decision that the hotel engaged in unfair labor practices by requesting that police officers issue criminal citations against legal protesters.

    Kavanaugh regularly sides with employers in denying working people relief against discrimination in the workplace:

    • In Miller v. Clinton, he argued that the U.S. State Department could fire an employee because he turned 65.

    • In Howard v. Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, he argued that a black woman couldn’t pursue a race discrimination suit after being fired as the deputy budget director at the U.S. House of Representatives, claiming that the firing was protected under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution.

    Kavanaugh rejects the right of employees to receive employer-provided health care:

    • In Seven-Sky v. Holder, he argued in a dissent that a president could declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional and not enforce it, despite it being passed by Congress.

    Kavanaugh promotes overturning U.S. Supreme Court precedent:

    • He appears eager to overturn the well-established U.S. Supreme Court precedent of Chevron USA Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council Inc., which held that unelected judges must defer to executive agencies’ construction of a statute when Congress has given an agency primary responsibility for interpreting its mandates, so long as the agency does not act contrary to Congress’ clear intent.

    • In United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission, Kavanaugh argued that the court shouldn’t defer to executive agencies when it comes to what he thinks are “major rules.”

    Kavanaugh regularly sides with the privileged, including corporations, over the less powerful:

    • He wrote two dissents contending that a large corporation, in these cases Exxon Mobil Corp., should not be held responsible for its overseas misconduct. After Indonesian villagers alleged they were tortured and killed by soldiers working for Exxon, Kavanaugh argued that allowing the villagers to sue Exxon would interfere with the U.S. government’s ability to conduct foreign relations.

    • In United States v. Anthem, he sided with the merger of insurance companies Anthem and Cigna, which would have reduced competition for consumers in 14 states. The majority criticized Kavanaugh’s application of “the law as he wishes it were, not as it currently is.” 

    The Washington Post once described Kavanaugh as “nothing more than a partisan shock trooper in a black robe waging an ideological battle against government regulation.” It’s deeply troubling that the president thinks such a description is the best fit for the Supreme Court.

    Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/10/2018 - 10:41
  8. U.S. Trade Deals Mean Justice for Some, Not Justice for All
    U.S. Trade Deals Mean Justice for Some, Not Justice for All
    ClipArtBest.com

    2017 was another banner year of justice for sale, reveals the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s annual review of investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases. What’s the report say? It reveals lots of new ways global investors are undermining democracy in private tribunals.

    What’s ISDS? It’s a private justice system. ISDS means any investor—usually a corporation, but sometimes an individual, who buys property in a foreign country, from a hectare of land to stocks and bonds—can use this private justice system to sue host countries over laws, regulations and court decisions that may affect the investor’s current or future profits.

    ISDS means justice for some, rather than justice for all. Those with the means to become international wheeler-dealers can access ISDS. The rest of us have to rely on public courts—the same ones that investors say are “inadequate” to handle their needs. That’s not fair, and that’s not right.

    In 2017, 65 new known cases were filed, for a total of 855 known ISDS cases. Some cases are secret, so we’ll never really know how many cases have been filed.

    The U.S. is the most frequently claimed “home state” of investors using the system, which tells us that U.S. trade and investment treaties (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement) are pretty effective at promoting outsourcing to our trading partners (or else there wouldn’t be anything to sue over).

    Spain is the third most sued country, and Canada is the sixth most sued, which tells us that ISDS isn’t really about “deficient” justice systems in poor countries—it’s about empowering economic elites to challenge democracies. Of all ISDS cases that have been decided on the merits, the investor wins 61% of the time, winning $504 million on average.

    Two of last year’s cases approved the right of Chinese state-owned companies to use ISDS, despite claims by host countries that the Chinese government was actually calling the shots. In two other cases, investors were allowed to pursue their cases even though their original investments were illegal under the laws of Uzbekistan and Peru, the host countries. And in an extremely rare appellate case, one tribunal said it was OK for another tribunal to order a country not to enforce the rulings of its own domestic courts. Since one of the arguments made by those who favor ISDS is that the tribunals can only order monetary damages—rather than tell governments what their laws can be—this result is shameful. And maybe it is just the kick in the pants that governments need to abandon ISDS altogether.

    In the NAFTA renegotiations, the U.S. has proposed to nearly (but not quite) eliminate the unfair ISDS system, but Canada and Mexico are saying no. The U.S. proposal would allow countries to opt out of the system entirely, and even if they do opt in, it would place restrictions on the kinds of cases investors could bring. The AFL-CIO supports this U.S. proposal and asks Canada and Mexico, “What are you waiting for?”

    Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/09/2018 - 10:41
  9. #FamiliesBelongTogether: The Working People Weekly List
    #FamiliesBelongTogether: 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 this week’s Working People Weekly List.

    Elise Bryant Speaks at Labor Rally #FamiliesBelongTogether: “On Saturday, June 30, over 600 different #FamiliesBelongTogether events occurred throughout the United States in a mass day of action against family separation at the border and Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy. CLUW members participated in cities around the country and in the nation’s capital where President Elise Bryant spoke at a labor rally before the main #FamiliesBelongTogether event. The labor rally was organized by the Labor Coalition for Community Action (LCCA), composed of the constituency groups of the AFL-CIO, and held in front of the AFL-CIO headquarters.”

    Unions Have Been Down Before; History Shows How They Can Come Back: “The Janus decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday was another blow to the labor movement. It creates a financial incentive for public sector union members to leave the union while continuing their job. Ever since the beginning of the 1980s clampdown on the U.S. left, signaled by President Ronald Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers to end their strike, the labor movement has been besieged by what billionaire Warren Buffett described in The New York Times as a class war started by his class. It’s not the first time this has happened in U.S. history.”

    Eyes of the Labor Movement Are on Missouri as Workers Fight to Defeat Phony RTW: “AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka kicked off the Federation’s Labor 2018 campaign at Laborers Local 42 in St. Louis on June 24, rallying hundreds of union members from 30 different unions for a day of action to defeat Proposition A (‘Right to Work’) by going door-to-door urging voters to protect their pay by voting ‘no’ on Prop A. ‘Prop A will lower wages,’ Trumka said. ‘Prop A will destroy jobs. Prop A will increase poverty. Prop A will make pay even less equal for working women. Prop A is designed and intended to undermine our collective voice on every issue that is important to working people, and we’re not having any of it!’”

    Randi Weingarten Has “Hope in the Darkness.” And Also Some Fear: “Our nation’s teachers unions have had a whiplash of a year, from the statewide teachers strikes that have swept the country to last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case that could severely hurt their membership. America’s most powerful teachers union leader says there is much, much more to come. For the past decade, Randi Weingarten has led the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers. She has been a prominent voice in battles over public education, organized labor and national politics. In the dark aftermath of last week’s Janus ruling, which will almost certainly drain members and money from public unions nationwide, she spoke to us about how working-class interests can possibly try to survive and thrive in the age of Trump.”

    American Workers Stand Ready to Demand Change After Janus Blow: “Obviously, we’re disappointed with the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. A narrow five-justice majority, emboldened by a stolen seat, overturned four decades of common-sense precedent. It’s the latest misguided action by the most corporate-friendly court in our history. On paper, the plaintiff was one man in Illinois. But in reality, a dark web of corporations and wealthy donors dead set on destroying unions and silencing workers were behind this case. Janus is part of a multipronged attack, spearheaded by corporate billionaires, to chip away at the progress working people have made for ourselves and our communities.”

    That Which Is Justly Ours: “Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 83 years ago yesterday, the National Labor Relations Act marked a critical step forward for working people’s right to join together in unions and bargain collectively. As Roosevelt said at the time, ‘By preventing practices which tend to destroy the independence of labor, it seeks, for every worker with its scope, that freedom of choice and action which is justly his.’”

    Don’t Mourn, Organize: In the States Roundup: “It’s time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states.”

    Don’t Mess with Working People in Texas: Worker Wins: “Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with union growth in Texas and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.”

    Make It a Union-Made Fourth of July: “The Fourth of July is here, and it’s time to celebrate America’s birthday. Our flag has been waving high since 1776, but do you know what the colors mean? The red represents the blood shed by those who fought for our nation’s independence. The white represents purity and innocence, and the blue symbolizes the bravery of those who stared danger in the face to fight for freedom. As you enjoy the holiday with family and friends, Labor 411 has all the holiday food and drink favorites made by companies that treat their workers with dignity and respect. Let’s all celebrate good jobs that help strengthen the middle class as we party our way to a stronger America!”

    Pride Month Profiles: Josette Jaramillo: “Throughout Pride Month, the AFL-CIO will be taking a look at some of the pioneers whose work sits at the intersection of the labor movement and the movement for LGBTQ equality. Our next profile is Josette Jaramillo.”

    Pride Month Profiles: Marsha P. Johnson: “Throughout Pride Month, the AFL-CIO will be taking a look at some of the pioneers whose work sits at the intersection of the labor movement and the movement for LGBTQ equality. Our next profile is Marsha P. Johnson.”

    Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:21
  10. That Which Is Justly Ours
    That Which Is Justly Ours
    Public domain

    Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 83 years ago yesterday, the National Labor Relations Act marked a critical step forward for working people’s right to join together in unions and bargain collectively. As Roosevelt said at the time, “By preventing practices which tend to destroy the independence of labor, it seeks, for every worker with its scope, that freedom of choice and action which is justly his.”

    More than 80 years after our leaders proudly advanced the rights of working people, corporate interests are still ruthlessly fighting to deny us that which is justly ours. Just as the labor movement helped secure passage of the NLRA, today we are demanding an even better deal that fully guarantees our fundamental economic rights and freedoms.

    To that end, Democrats in the House and Senate recently introduced the Workers’ Freedom to Negotiate Act, which would enact several key provisions expanding collective bargaining rights, such as:

    • Strengthening penalties against abusive and predatory corporations that violate workers’ rights.

    • Combating misclassification of workers as supervisors and independent contractors.

    • Strengthening our right to strike for the wages, benefits and working conditions we deserve.

    • Creating a mandatory mediation and arbitration process to ensure that corporations and newly organized unions reach a first contract.

    • Banning state laws that undermine our freedom to join together and negotiate.

    • Protecting the integrity and fairness of union elections from employer propaganda.

    Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/06/2018 - 11:02