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Shatter the Silence: In the States Roundup

Wed, 08/14/2019 - 09:25
Shatter the Silence: In the States Roundup

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alaska AFL-CIO:

This is just wrong. It's unnecessary, immoral, disrespectful and frankly, inhumane. These attacks on our elders and seniors must stop. #akleg #akgov

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) August 2, 2019

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

NYC's $15 minimum wage hasn't brought the restaurant apocalypse — it's helped them thrive via @businessinsider

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) August 12, 2019

California Labor Federation:

In CA, we can #ShattertheSilence & protect workers from sexual harassment & discrimination w/ #AB51. Nothing in this bill runs afoul of federal law but it does give workers in CA an important tool to fight #ForcedArbitration @LorenaSGonzalez #YesonAB51

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) August 8, 2019

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

"Now we’ll not only be heard on our concerns about running short-staffed, we’ll have a seat at the table with management to do something about it." #UnionYES @AFTCT @AFLCIO

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) August 5, 2019

Idaho State AFL-CIO:

I just wrote a @theactionnet letter: Federal Workers Under Attack. Write one here:

— Idaho State AFL-CIO (@IdahoAFLCIO) August 6, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Trump campaigned in 2016 as a voice for forgotten workers, but he consistently sides with large corporations against workers, and his nomination of Scalia would amplify the sad and damaging war on unions. #1u

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) August 12, 2019

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Hundreds of Portillo's workers organize #1u

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) August 7, 2019

Maine AFL-CIO:

Graduation time at the 2019 Labor Summer Institute! #1U #UnionStrong

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) August 8, 2019

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

We stand in #solidarity with the @UNITEHERE26 Battery Wharf Hotel workers after their unanimous strike vote! #1job #1u

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO (@massaflcio) August 6, 2019

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

Striking VA OmniRide drivers reach agreement - Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO with photos!

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) August 6, 2019

Michigan AFL-CIO:


— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) August 8, 2019

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

U.S. Bank Stadium becomes first to achieve LEED Platinum status. And it’s #UnionBuilt by members of @MNBldgTrades unions.

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) August 10, 2019

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Unions provide workers with an opportunity to get their voices heard in policy debates that shape their lives. #UnionStrong

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) August 9, 2019

Montana AFL-CIO:

Montana's best interests lie with representatives who put workers first! #1u #UnionStrong

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) August 9, 2019

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

The Nebraska State AFL-CIO stands in unity with the people of El Paso and Dayton - Hate has no place in America - hateful rhetoric has no place in America.

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) August 5, 2019

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

Really! #Solidarity for these #CommonSense proposals from our brothers and sisters.

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) August 7, 2019

New York State AFL-CIO:

Podcast Episode 16: Hard Hats. Strong Women. Building the Future. #UnionStrong #CountMeIn @NEWStrongWomen @NYCBldgTrades #1u

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) August 7, 2019

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

.@MaryBeMcMillan to speak @UnionSportsmen's Inaugural NC State Conservation Dinner Nov. 6th in #Charlotte #1u

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) August 6, 2019


Say it loud and proud!

Raising wages actually helps the economy for all working people, passing a @GOP #TaxScam helps the economy only for billionaires and investor class. It’s time to #UnrigTheSystem and have it work for worker!

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) August 12, 2019

Oklahoma State AFL-CIO:

Check out our August Newsletter with information on Young Workers in the Labor Movement, Union Made Labor Day, our Convention, Saving Construction Apprenticeships, and more!

Check it out at h

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) August 5, 2019

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Cara, a recent graduate of Portland State University, explains why she's not shopping at @FredMeyerStores until they #FixTheGap between pay for male and female employees.

Learn more and take action by visiting!

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) August 7, 2019

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

We’re talking the #PROAct, it’s time to protect the workers’ right to organize, and enforce that right! @SenBobCasey @AFLCIO

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) August 7, 2019

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

An updated Union Directory listing union goods and services in RI can be found on our website. Here is the direct link --> Please use and share. #1U #AFLCIO #Union #UnionMade #UnionServices #Unions #UnionStrong

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) August 7, 2019

Texas AFL-CIO:

We are ready for Tuesday, Aug. 13th! Are you? The largest labor action in North Texas is prepared to show @americanair that workers deserve respect. #1u #1Job @unitehere @unitehere23

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) August 10, 2019

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Thanks so much to @AFLCIO ‘s Secretary Treasurer @lizshuler for joining us this morning! Thanks for your hard work representing workers everywhere. Check out some of her speech highlights below:

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) August 10, 2019

Washington State Labor Council:

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is proud to be part of this coalition and to support Opportunities For All!#ApproveR88

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) August 9, 2019

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

Laborfest information for Madison via @LaborSCFL #WIunion

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) August 12, 2019 Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/14/2019 - 10:25

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Bricklayers

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 07:07
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Bricklayers AFL-CIO

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

Name of Union: International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)

Mission: To help workers in the industry deal with unfair treatment, discrimination and other workplace issues in pursuit of balancing the power that an employer has over individual employees. To provide information, training and support for bricklayers and allied craftworkers.

Current Leadership of Union: James Boland serves as president of BAC. Boland became a BAC member in 1977 and worked on projects in the San Francisco Bay Area for a decade. In 1988, he became a business agent for BAC Local 3 before being elected president in 1992. A year later, he joined BAC's Executive Council. Boland joined the international union's headquarters staff as assistant to the vice president. Later that year, he became regional director for California and Nevada. He served as secretary-treasurer from 1999 to 2010. He became president in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015.

Timothy J. Driscoll serves as secretary-treasurer. Gerard Scarano and Carlos Aquin serve as executive vice presidents. The executive council also includes regional vice presidents, regional directors, craft vice presidents and at-large members.

Members Work As: Bricklayers, stone and marble masons, cement masons, plasterers, tile setters, terrazzo and mosaic workers, pointers, cleaners and caulkers.

Industries Represented: The organized masonry industry.

History: Watch this video about the history of the Bricklayers.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: The BAC Craft Awards recognize distinguished service that BAC members provide to our unions and communities. BAC runs an International Pension Fund, a Member Assistance Program and an International Health Fund to improve the quality of life for members. The Disaster Relief Fund helps members who are survivors of natural or other disasters. Through it's online store, BAC sells tools and branded clothing and other merchandise. BAC has several training and education resources. The BAC Journal provides information for working people in the masonry industry.

Learn MoreWebsiteFacebookTwitter, YouTube, Instagram.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/12/2019 - 08:07

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast—Special Episode: The Labor Movement Responds to the El Paso Massacre

Wed, 08/07/2019 - 08:51
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast—Special Episode: The Labor Movement Responds to the El Paso Massacre AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” podcast co-hosts Julie Greene and Tim Schlittner talk with Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay (Education Austin/AFT-NEA) in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. They discuss immigration, organizing and the need for solidarity in times of darkness. 

Listen to our previous episodes:

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

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/07/2019 - 09:51

Tags: Podcast

A Labor Icon: The Working People Weekly List

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 14:06
A Labor Icon: 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.

CWA's Morton Bahr Was a Labor Icon: "On Tuesday night, Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Emeritus Morton Bahr passed away. Bahr was an iconic leader in the American labor movement whose innovation and dedication will be felt for many years to come."

Drivers Win Dignity by Forming Union, Striking for Fairness: "Right in the heart of tourist season on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, visitors and residents alike now will be driven around the island by union bus drivers who just won their first contract."

Hotel Trades and Airbnb Square Off in Jersey City Over Ordinance Regulating Short-Term Rentals: "On June 26, the Hotel Trades Council celebrated the passage of a Jersey City ordinance that places regulations on Airbnb rentals. The ordinance safeguards the wages, benefits and jobs of hundreds of hotel workers in the Jersey City region. Moreover, it protects affordable housing and quality of life for tens of thousands of city residents."

Oregon AFL-CIO Cements Deal to Make Portland Baseball Stadium Union-Friendly: "The Oregon AFL-CIO and allies negotiated a historical deal with the Portland Diamond Project that will mean a stadium being built in order to attract Major League Baseball to the city will be union-friendly. In signing the labor harmony agreement, the Portland Diamond Project has voluntarily agreed to allow workers at the stadium to organize and form unions."

Solidarity Makes Us Strong: 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 Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers: "Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers."

Labor Puts Candidates on Notice: ‘Let’s Be Honest About the Democratic Party’s Record’: "The president of the AFL-CIO labor federation spoke at a closed meeting with representatives from the entire field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates ahead of Wednesday’s debate in Detroit. His message was straightforward: 'It’s time to do better.' Richard Trumka told attendees that while President Donald Trump is enacting bad policies for workers, Democratic leaders need to reckon with their own role in creating an unfair economy. He said 'both parties' are to blame for a system that caters to the rich."

AFL-CIO’s Trumka Looks for Workers’ Candidate: Campaign Update: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he’ll be watching the Democratic debates to see which presidential candidate can best help working people. 'We ARE this country, yet more and more, the economic and political rules have been rigged against us,' Trumka, who heads the largest federation of U.S. unions, said in a statement. 'We’ll be listening for a candidate who will use the presidency to make our country work for working people. We’re not settling for anything less.'"

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Before Debate: "We’re everywhere. We make this country run. We ARE this country, yet more and more, the economic and political rules have been rigged against us. Today, here in Michigan, an autoworker woke up with a pain in her stomach, terrified that she’ll be the next to lose her job to NAFTA. A single mother heard pundits talk about our great economy and wondered when that greatness would reach her paycheck. An immigrant worker was exploited and threatened with deportation for daring to speak up for safety on the job. A nurse watched another patient walk away from medical care they couldn’t afford. A coal miner worried about the urgent threat of climate change AND the urgent threat to his hard-earned pension. Today, in small towns and big cities, in factories and in offices, co-workers joined together, trying to make things better, fighting to organize a union, only to find their voices silenced by unrestrained corporate greed and century-old labor laws."

MLB to Portland Group Expects to Meet with MLB Commissioner in Next Two Months: "Portland Diamond Project announced Monday it will allow employees who work at Portland's future ballpark to organize and join a union, and provided an update on the group's effort to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland.During Monday's press conference, PDP also signed a labor peace agreement with the Oregon AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions. 'Oregon's unions are proud to be a part of the efforts to bring baseball to the Rose City,' Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain said. Chamberlain added that the future ballpark will be the only unionized sports arena in the state. 'This agreement is just the beginning of PDP's efforts to generate economic opportunities for Portlanders and people across the region,' PDP founder and president Craig Cheek said. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the labor agreement 'a significant milestone' in bringing a Major League Baseball team to Portland. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury called it 'a strong first step.'"

Trumka Inspires at the WSLC Convention: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka brought hundreds of delegates to their feet Thursday at the 2019 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, with an inspirational call to action amid dark times in our nation. 'I started in the labor movement 50 years ago,' Trumka said. 'And I’ve never been more confident in the power of working people. Something is happening in America right now. You can see it, you can hear it, and God, you can feel it.' 'But even on our brightest day, it’s impossible to ignore the daily atrocities committed in the land that we love,' he added. 'Americans are being scapegoated, minimized, dehumanized, and told to go back to the country where they came from….Some say America has lost her way, but I think it’s even worse than that. The forces of greed in our nation, both elected and not, are pulling America apart deliberately and strategically in order to line their own pockets. Today they are laughing all the way to the bank. Donald Trump is a symptom of the problem. He capitalized on anxiety, fear, and divisions that have been sowed by the ruling class since the dawn of time….The cure for that cancer has always been the same one—solidarity, working-class solidarity.'"

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/06/2019 - 15:06

Global Champion for Working People, Barbara Shailor, Passes Away

Tue, 08/06/2019 - 08:49
Global Champion for Working People, Barbara Shailor, Passes Away Solidarity Center

Working people across the world lost an important champion last week when Barbara Shailor passed away. Shailor spent her life dedicated to helping improve the lives of working people, particularly women, both in the United States and around the world.

Shailor had a long and distinguished career fighting on behalf of working people across the world. She was committed to social justice, had a rigorous intellect and great style. 

Her career began when she first got a job as a flight attendant. After years of pioneering labor/community coalitions to address political issues such as energy and workers' rights, she rose up the ranks to become international director of the Machinists (IAM). She was chosen in 1995 by then-AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to reorganize and refocus the federation's international work. She served in the role of international affairs director for the AFL-CIO and oversaw the work of the Solidarity Center, refocusing its mission for modern times. After leaving the federation, she served as the U.S. State Department's special representative for international labor affairs until 2014.

In all of her roles, Shailor focused on the concerns and rights of women workers. She worked hard to promote women leaders and to develop younger women activists. The impact she had on the lives of millions of women around the globe cannot be measured.

Shailor is survived by her husband, Robert Borosage; their children, Alexander and his wife Stephanie,  Gregory and his wife Kimberly, and Frances; and two grandchildren, Jackson and Ben. She will be missed by friends around the world and the millions of working people whose lives are better because of her hard work and dedication.

About Shailor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) said:

From her work in the movement to end the Vietnam War to Democratic Party politics and presidential campaigns to high-level legislative and organizing work at the International Association of Machinists (IAM) that brought together unions and citizen organizations like Jobs with Justice to her sophisticated leadership in international affairs at the IAM and later the AFL-CIO itself, Barbara exemplified the heart and skills that we need now more than ever in pursuing social justice. Along with John Sweeney, she led the AFL-CIO to create the Solidarity Center to build worker power around the world. As the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative for International Labor Affairs, she brought her considerable abilities to labor diplomacy, making clear the role workers and unions play in both economic justice and democracy.

And AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW) said:

Barbara was a master at bringing global interests together, within the labor movement, but also across allied organizations, corporations and governments. I marveled at seeing her in action at the ILO annual conference in Geneva, where she brought a fierce and persuasive voice for working people to countless negotiations. She could travel seamlessly between different worlds—whether it was meeting with a high level diplomat or world leader, or an agricultural worker from a developing nation, Barbara brought her intellect, empathy and savvy diplomacy to every interaction—and working people are better off because of her heroic work.

Shailor's loss will be felt not only by those who knew her personally, but by anyone fighting on behalf of working people in the United States.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/06/2019 - 09:49

Tags: Solidarity Center

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Longshoremen

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 08:45
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Longshoremen AFL-CIO

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

Name of Union: International Longshoremen's Association (ILA)

Mission: To promote the best interests of our members and their families; to organize unorganized workers; to bargain collectively and to negotiate; to improve the wages, hours of work, job security, work and living conditions; to secure and promote laws for the benefit of all workers; to expand educational opportunities of our members and their families; and to promote health, welfare, pension, recreational and civic programs in the interests of our members and their families.

Current Leadership of Union: Harold J. Daggett serves as international president of ILA. Daggett began his career with ILA as a mechanic with Local 1804-1 in 1967. He is a third generation ILA member who worked with Sea-Land Services for more than a decade until he was appointed as secretary-treasurer and business agent for his local. He was re-elected to that position six times, while also serving as secretary-treasurer of the New York–New Jersey District Council. In 1991, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the ILA Atlantic Coast District, a position to which he was re-elected twice. In 1998, he was elected president of ILA Local 1804-1. He began serving as an ILA executive officer in 1999, the first eight years as assistant general organizer and then four years as executive vice president. He was first elected international president of the ILA in 2011 and has been re-elected in 2015 and 2019.

The other officers of ILA include: Stephen K. Knott (secretary-treasurer), Dennis A. Daggett (executive vice president), Wilbert Rowell (general vice president), John D. Baker (general organizer), James H. Paylor Jr. (assistant general organizer), Alan A. Robb (assistant general organizer), Benny Holland Jr. (executive vice president emeritus), Michael J. Vigneron (president, Atlantic Coast District), James Stolpinski (secretary-treasurer, Atlantic Coast District) and William Bernard Dudley (general vice president, Atlantic Coast District).

Current Number of Members: 65,000

Members Work As: Longshoremen

Industries Represented: Maritime workers on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Great Lakes, major U.S. rivers, Puerto Rico and eastern Canada.

History: The roots of the ILA can be traced back to colonial America, as ships from the Old World needed workers to unload supplies. The earliest longshoremen in the United States lived a meager existence with horrible working conditions and low wages. Exploitation was widespread and workers were unhappy. In 1864, the first modern longshoremen's union was formed in New York, the Longshoremen's Union Protective Association (LUPA).

In 1877, an Irish tugboat worker from Chicago, Dan Keefe, formed the first local of the Association of Lumber Handlers, which would later become the ILA. Divisions among workers were exploited by big business in order to crush early unions such as LUPA. In 1892, delegates convened in Detroit where they officially became the National Longshoremen's Association of the United States. A few years later, it was changed to the "International" Longshoremen's Association to reflect the growing Canadian membership. Shortly after, ILA affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.

By 1900, ILA had grown to 50,000 members, most working the Great Lakes. Five years later, membership had doubled, with most of the new members coming from outside the Great Lakes region. The United States was the last country with large foreign commerce that hadn't passed any laws to protect the safety of longshoremen. During the Great Depression, unemployed Americans flooded the longshoremen job market with cheap labor. Company unions grew in power and in size. After the passage of labor-friendly laws like the Norris–LaGuardia Act and the National Labor Relations Act, the ILA began to reorganize and reclaim many lost members and ports. After that, membership soared to above prewar levels.

In the 1950s, New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey conducted an investigation of the ILA over concerns about corruption and ties to organized crime. The ILA immediately worked to clean house and get rid of corrupt or criminal elements, but in 1953, the ILA was suspended by the AFL and the International Brotherhood of Longshoremen (IBL) was created to replace it. Even though the accusations against the ILA were later proved to be groundless, the turmoil nearly destroyed the ILA.

In order to address these problems, organizer Thomas "Teddy" Gleason was sent from port to port nationwide to overcome the rising negative opinions about the ILA. After the ILA won an important election to determine representation at the Port of New York, opposing forces ramped up their campaign against the union. Gleason ramped up his organizing efforts in response and the ILA won a slim victory in yet another election for representation in New York. After a third representation election in 1956, which the ILA again won, the IBL dissolved in 1959 and the ILA joined the AFL-CIO.

Gleason was unanimously elected president of the ILA in 1963. He moved the headquarters to its current location, began settling the union's troubled financial affairs and negotiated the longest-lasting ILA contract in history at that point. Gleason served as president for 24 years and his foresight saved countless jobs and increased job security and workplace safety. 

Today the ILA continues to grow and flourish, despite opposition from big business interests and competing labor organizations. Now, the ILA lives up to the vision of a modern union that leaders of the past saw for the organization and stands ready to face new challenges and technology that will affect working people's lives.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: The ILA Quarterly Safety Bulletin provides those working in the industry with safety guidelines and helpful information. The OSH Circular provides additional safety information. The Tracking Damages video describes the effects of improper handling of damaged shipping containers. The Civil, Human and Women's Rights Awards recognize the efforts of ILA members and allies who fight for a more inclusive workplace.

Learn MoreWebsiteFacebookTwitter, Instagram

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 08/05/2019 - 09:45

Economy Gains 164,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Steady at 3.7%

Fri, 08/02/2019 - 09:35
Economy Gains 164,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Steady at 3.7%

The U.S. economy gained 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation in both union and nonunion sectors showed modest growth for the year ending June 2019. Meanwhile, productivity is rising faster than wages in too many industries.

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

The tepid 3.2% in wage growth in perspective: For a higher wage sector like manufacturing, wages were up 2.5%, but in lower wage sectors where the minimum wage increases have mattered, retail trade was up 5.3% and leisure and hospitality up 3.7% @AFLCIO #JobsReport

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


With continued revisions in previously release preliminary employment numbers, so far this year has averaged 164,000 jobs a month; compared to 223,000 jobs a month in 2018.  The @federalreserve rate cut should not be a mid-course correction; but, a time to change course. @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Changing job demographics.  Latinx unemployment has been rising consistently since April from 4.2 to 4.5% in July.  But, with higher labor force participation and rising employment-to-population ratio from 63.2 to 63.4% @UnidosUS_Econ @Marietmora @AFLCIO @LULAC

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Black and white labor force participation continues to show convergence, with slight up tic in Black labor force participation in July for Blacks from 61.9 to 62.7, now virtually equal to white's 62.9% rate. @AFLCIO #JobsReport @rolandsmartin @CBTU72 @APRI_National

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


July continued to show that trying to explain the labor market using a skills argument is difficult.  Unemployment rates fell for less than high school and high school only workers, but rose for better educated workers with some college or a degree. @AFLCIO #JobsReport

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Not good.  Since last July, unemployment among younger veterans has risen, while unemployment rates for older veterans and for non-veterans has gone down. @AFLCIO #JobsReport

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


To be clear. This July report is not good news for the President of Hate.  Unemployment is up from last July for blue collar jobs of construction, production workers and transportation jobs.  It was also up for current younger veterans. @AFLCIO #JobsReport

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Legislation to ensure workers have regular schedules is important because 5.2% of the workforce hold multiple jobs.  For women, a large share are either putting together two part-time or one full-time and a part-time job to make it. #JobsReport @IWPResearch @AFLCIO @CLUWNational

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


On the good news front, slow but steady small increases continue in motor vehicle and parts manufacturing jobs, up 7,200 in July from June and 11,900 from last July. @AFLCIO @UAW

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Given the heavy debt-overhang in many retail sector companies, continued job weakness is a concern.  July, retail shed 3,600 jobs since June and 59,900 since last July. (Though food and beverage stores show modest gains @UFCW ) @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


After finally recovering to near its 2008 peak in September 2018 a decade later, state government employment continues to show weakness; unchanged in June and down 23,000 since last July. @AFSCME @AFLCIO Low public investment is not good for our economy.

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Local government employment continues its recovery, and after gaining 14,000 jobs in July, is about equal to its June 2008 peak (11 years later).  But this is late for our class rooms that have had too few teachers-per-student. @AFTunion @AFLCIO

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


It's time to rebuild labor economics.  Our two largest broad industry categories are: 1) Education and Health Services and 2) Business and Professional Services. (1) is 77.3% female, the other (2) 45.6% female.  The two industries are over 1/3 of private employment. @CLUWNational

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019


Continued weakness for women in the labor market.  Once again in July, women who were unemployed in June were more likely to drop out than find employment (763,000 to 711,000).  Except June, this has been the case most this year. @CLUWNational @IWPResearch

— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 2, 2019

Last month's biggest job gains were in professional and technical services (31,000), health care (30,000), social assistance (20,000), financial activities (18,000) and manufacturing (16,000). Mining saw a loss of jobs (5,000). Employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government changed little over the month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates rose for Asians (2.8%) and Hispanics (4.5%). The unemployment rates for teenagers (12.8%), blacks (6.0%), adult men (3.4%), whites (3.3%) and adult women (3.4%) showed little or no change in July.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed in July and accounted for 19.2% of the unemployed.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/02/2019 - 10:35

Tags: Jobs Report

CWA's Morton Bahr Was a Labor Icon

Thu, 08/01/2019 - 09:53
CWA's Morton Bahr Was a Labor Icon CWA

On Tuesday night, Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Emeritus Morton Bahr passed away. Bahr was an iconic leader in the American labor movement whose innovation and dedication will be felt for many years to come.

In 1951, Bahr took a job as a telegraph operator at Mackay Radio and Telegraph in New York. Not long after, he had organized his fellow workers into an independent union that later affiliated with CWA. He worked his way up to a leadership position, becoming district director and then vice president of the union's largest district, where he led CWA's first organizing campaign in the public sector.

Bahr's tireless efforts on behalf of working people led to his election as president of CWA in 1985, becoming only the third president in the union's history. He would win re-election to the position and remained president for 20 years. During this time, he also became an AFL-CIO vice president and Executive Council member.

The year before he was elected, the AT&T Bell System was broken up and the shakeup meant the telecommunications industry was in turmoil. Bahr created new bargaining and campaign strategies to help workers survive the turbulent times. One major strategy was to expand beyond telecommunications to include high technology, media, the airline industry, electronics, manufacturing, public service and more.

Bahr became an expert on the nexus of technology and the workforce, and he championed groundbreaking education and training programs that would help transform the labor movement. His dedication to worker education will endure, as a scholarship in his name continues to help working people enhance career opportunities through distance learning.

While serving on the AFL-CIO Executive Council, Bahr was active on the International Affairs Committee, the Industrial Union Council and the committees on Capital Stewardship, Community Partnerships, Political Education, Public Affairs, Women Workers, Political Funding and more. He also served on the boards of the National Labor College and Union Privilege, as well as secretary-treasurer for the Economic Policy Institute.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) mourned the loss:

Morty was a brother, a friend and a first-class leader. All workers are better off for his service and solidarity. The best way to honor his legacy is to confront the challenges of our time, from inequality to technology, with poise, purpose and passion.

Even after he retired in 2005, Bahr couldn't give up the labor movement. He became a volunteer organizer dedicated to bringing collective bargaining rights to every Verizon Wireless worker in the country.

Bahr laid out why he was so devoted to education and lifelong learning for workers:

A commitment to lifelong learning requires a change in lifestyle and values. Instead of going out for a beer with your co-workers at the end of the shift, you might have to go to the library. Education has to become a major part of your life, almost on a par with work and family. While the sacrifice can be great, the rewards are much greater. Taking advantage of educational opportunities will likely lead to a higher income, greater employment security and higher levels of job satisfaction. But the lifelong learner is also more active, better rounded and, there is growing evidence, a healthier individual.

Bahr will be sorely missed.


Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 08/01/2019 - 10:53

Drivers Win Dignity by Forming Union, Striking for Fairness

Wed, 07/31/2019 - 09:36
Drivers Win Dignity by Forming Union, Striking for Fairness ATU

Right in the heart of tourist season on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, visitors and residents alike now will be driven around the island by union bus drivers who just won their first contract.

Bus drivers represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1548 on Martha’s Vineyard approved their first contract, which raises drivers’ pay by $3 per hour. The new contract with Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority also recognizes seniority among the drivers, provides for double pay for holidays and gives protection to the drivers during layoffs.  

After a courageous 28-day strike, members of ATU Local 1548 voted to approve the new contract 32–1.  “This is a historical day for VTA drivers and a great day for the island. We can now better provide for our families, our jobs are more secure, and we can get back to safely transporting our riders, friends and allies, whose support on the picket lines and year-round was critical in achieving this fair contract,” driver Richard Townes said after the vote.

The agreement follows years of conflict between VTA drivers, the VTA administrator and Transit Connection Inc., the private contractor that operates the island bus lines. The bus drivers were motivated to form a union by concerns about bus safety, a severe driver shortage, wage stagnation, a dangerous reliance on overtime, and abusive management tactics by both TCI and VTA supervisors. TCI fought the union election and refused to recognize the union. The National Labor Relations Board and, eventually, the federal court of appeals ordered TCI to recognize and negotiate with the ATU. 

“After several years without a contract, the Vineyard Transit Authority strike has produced an inspiring victory for Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven A. Tolman (TCU/IAM). “There was a great show of leadership from the ATU International as well as a groundswell of support from labor leaders from many unions—they came together united in support for the VTA drivers’ struggle for justice.”

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/31/2019 - 10:36

Hotel Trades and Airbnb Square Off in Jersey City Over Ordinance Regulating Short-Term Rentals

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 12:33
Hotel Trades and Airbnb Square Off in Jersey City Over Ordinance Regulating Short-Term Rentals Hotel Trades

On June 26, the Hotel Trades Council celebrated the passage of a Jersey City ordinance that places regulations on Airbnb rentals. The ordinance safeguards the wages, benefits and jobs of hundreds of hotel workers in the Jersey City region. Moreover, it protects affordable housing and quality of life for tens of thousands of city residents.

Unfortunately, Airbnb has aggressively opposed this crucial ordinance, churning out misinformation and attacking elected officials who support it. The company also explicitly has attacked HTC and union members at council meetings and in press forums.

Not long after the ordinance passed, Airbnb submitted a referendum petition to repeal it. According to HTC, the referendum petition may result in the ordinance being submitted to voters on this November’s ballot. 

If this happens, HTC will rely on its membership and allies to engage in a robust campaign to win the referendum election. 

“The New Jersey State AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of HTC,” said Charles Wowkanech (IUOE), president of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “We support regulating Airbnb rentals in Jersey City, and if this ordinance appears on the ballot in November, we will exert maximum effort and use our wealth of resources to ensure our members vote in its favor.”

Short-term rentals such as those on platforms like Airbnb currently are entirely unregulated in Jersey City. HTC says these rentals pose harm to their members in two big ways: 1) by steadily reducing the city’s housing stock and therefore increasing the cost of housing, and 2) by unfairly competing with the region’s hotel industry and applying downward economic pressure on hotel workers’ ability to maintain decent wages and benefits.

The ordinance in question does not ban Airbnb rentals, but rather imposes regulations that limit the type and length of rentals that are allowed in the city. The ordinance also requires Airbnb hosts to register and obtain permits from the city.   

“It’s unfortunate that Airbnb, a $33 billion corporation, is choosing to spend its vast resources to force the city to repeal a law that would protect Jersey City’s housing stock,” said Rich Maroko, HTC recording secretary. “Hotel workers are ready to do the organizing necessary to win this referendum election, and we are thrilled to have the support of our allies at the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.”

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/30/2019 - 13:33

Oregon AFL-CIO Cements Deal to Make Portland Baseball Stadium Union-Friendly

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 09:38
Oregon AFL-CIO Cements Deal to Make Portland Baseball Stadium Union-Friendly Oregon AFL-CIO

The Oregon AFL-CIO and allies negotiated a historical deal with the Portland Diamond Project that will mean a stadium being built in order to attract Major League Baseball to the city will be union-friendly. In signing the labor harmony agreement, the Portland Diamond Project has voluntarily agreed to allow workers at the stadium to organize and form unions.

This is the first labor harmony agreement (also known as a labor peace agreement) for a sports arena in Oregon. The agreement sets rules for union organizing between the employer and the unions that could represent working people at the venue in the future. The agreement covers workers in concessions, sales, property service, security, hospitality, stage and theatrical presentations, entertainment and audiovisual services. Future discussions will address ballpark construction jobs.

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain (IAFF) was excited by the agreement:

By signing this agreement, the Portland Diamond Project has shown us they value and respect the rights of working people and care for the prosperity of the community. Oregon’s unions are proud to be a part of the efforts to bring baseball to the Rose City and to be a part of the only unionized sports arena in the state of Oregon. By giving workers the unfettered opportunity for union representation, we are securing a bright economic future for the women and men who will make baseball happen in Portland. When working people stand together in unions, we get a fair return on our hard work.

Labor unions included in the agreement along with the Oregon AFL-CIO include: Oregon AFSCME Council 75; Machinists (IAM) Local Lodge 63; UNITE HERE Local 8; Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 5; Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 28; United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555; Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) Local 290; Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48; Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 701; Public Service and Industrial Employees (LIUNA) Local 737; International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 16; Boilermakers (IBB) Local 104; and SAG-AFTRA Portland.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/30/2019 - 10:38

Solidarity Makes us Strong: In the States Roundup

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 11:13
Solidarity Makes us Strong: In the States Roundup AFL-CIO

It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Alabama AFL-CIO:

It's time #GOP to reel in the reins on this EO government #eohellno

— Alabama AFL-CIO (@AlabamaAFLCIO) July 17, 2019

Alaska AFL-CIO:

Let’s keep working together so we can keep building Alaska! We hope to see a full House on Monday for this very important vote. #akleg #akgov

— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) July 27, 2019

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

The Arkansas Labor Management Conference is coming up soon! It will be held at the Hotel Hot Springs on August 7th, 8th, and 9th. Check out our Facebook event for more details and registration information. #arlmc #labor #arklabor #1u #unionstrong.

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) July 26, 2019

California Labor Federation:

What if the problem isn’t that poor people have bad morals – that they’re lazy and impulsive and irresponsible – or that they lack the skills and smarts to fit in with our shiny 21st-century economy? What if the problem is that poverty is profitable?

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) July 29, 2019

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

"Public service workers are among Connecticut’s greatest assets. From teachers to sanitation workers to first responders, they care for our children, plow our roads, build our bridges and work to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe." @CtPensions #1u

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) July 29, 2019

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Campaign workers unite! ✊🏼

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) July 26, 2019

Iowa Federation of Labor:

Eugene Scalia’s Nomination Is a Threat to Working People by @IowaAFLCIO

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) July 27, 2019

Maine AFL-CIO:

Our statement from Maine AFL-CIO President Cynthia Phinney regarding the “white supremacist picnic” being held today. #mepolitics

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) July 27, 2019

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Solidarity makes us strong! #1u

— Massachusetts AFL-CIO (@massaflcio) July 26, 2019

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

@unitehere⁩ demo today in Baltimore

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) July 28, 2019

Michigan AFL-CIO:

"When you see those contract negotiations, that ceremonial handshake, remember the almost 2,000 workers on a cold December day in Flint who made a decision to sit down, to stay sitting until they were recognized" #Solidarity #1u

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) July 24, 2019

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

The YouTubers Union Is Not Messing Around All working people deserve a collective voice. #1u

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) July 28, 2019

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Quiet Trump Administration Rule Change Could Allow Federal Union-Busting Spree.

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) July 25, 2019

Nebraska State AFL-CIO:

The Nebraska State AFL-CIO Convention Call has been sent to all Affiliates. We are looking forward to a great convention in September!

— NE State AFL-CIO (@NEAFLCIO) July 24, 2019

New Hampshire AFL-CIO:

The 2019 New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast will be held at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover Street in Manchester, NH on Monday, September 2nd at 9am. For more info, check out our FB event at

— NewHampshire AFL-CIO (@NHAFLCIO) July 23, 2019

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

Remember to be safe in the heat.@NABTU @TheIronworkers @steelworkers

— NMFL (@NMFLaflcio) July 19, 2019

New York State AFL-CIO:

👎The new IRAP system will give private organizations, such as employers and trade associations, free rein to create new watered-down standards and certify subpar apprenticeship programs. #SaveUnionApprenticeships

Learn more at
saveconstructionapprenticeship dot org

— NYSAFLCIO (@NYSAFLCIO) July 24, 2019

North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

"UNHAPPY birthday, $7.25! UNHAPPY birthday, to you! Boo!" 🎵✊ #LaborSchool #RaiseTheWage #1u

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) July 24, 2019

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Friends of the Building Trades: Email the Department of Labor and tell them IRAPS have no place in the construction industry! @nd_trades #registeredapprenticeship #buildyourfuture #ndbuildingtrades

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) July 25, 2019


Those @AFLCIO #UnionThugs are at it again!

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) July 27, 2019

Oklahoma AFL-CIO:

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) July 25, 2019

Oregon AFL-CIO:

We're recording our July podcast today with the President and Vice President of AFSCME Local 328! #UnionStrong

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) July 26, 2019

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

1.75 MILLION Pennsylvania workers make less than $15/hour. Your vote today makes a difference! #RaiseTheWage #FightFor15 @RaisetheWagePA

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) July 18, 2019

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

‘Times Are Changing:’ More Women Breaking Into Construction Industry #1U @unionsri #CLUW #UnionJobs #BuildingTrades #Constructions #Unions #UnionsForAll

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) July 19, 2019

Texas AFL-CIO:

With our 🇲🇽 Brothers of the Miners Union and 🇺🇸sisters and brothers from @steelworkers at the @texasaflcio 60th Constitutional Convention #BuildingBridges

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) July 28, 2019

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Advocates all around VA are pushing for mandatory paid sick leave - read what President Doris Crouse-Mays had to say about it in this article-- #paidsickleave #joinaunion #unionstrong

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) July 29, 2019

Washington State Labor Council:

Here’s a great roundup of Friday’s WSLC Convention action, courtesy of The Entire Staff of The Stand. #WSLC2019

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) July 27, 2019

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

27,000 Wisconsin households could lose food stamps under Trump administration proposal,

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) July 26, 2019 Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:13

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Professional and Technical Engineers

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 07:17
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Professional and Technical Engineers AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the Professional and Technical Engineers.

Name of Union: International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers

Mission: Committed to achieving a real voice in the workplace for professional and technical workers through organizing, thereby increasing union density among professionals and building our collective strength. Using the legislative process, we strive to raise the standards by which professional and technical employees live and work by joining together in solidarity.

Current Leadership of Union: Paul Shearon serves as international president of IFPTE. After a distinguished career with the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA/IFPTE Local 2001), he was elected to serve as the international’s secretary-treasurer, a position he held from 2006–2015. In 2018, he was unanimously elected as international president.

IFPTE’s executive council is composed of the international president, secretary-treasurer and 14 vice presidents elected by the members to represent their respective areas. Gerald Newsome is IFPTE’s executive vice president and Atlantic area vice president. IFPTE’s other vice presidents are Mazen Alsabe (Northeastern), Ronda Cockrell (SPEEA), Joel Funfar (SPEEA), Laurence Griffin (Western), Gay Henson (Eastern Federal), Misty Hughes-Newman (Canadian), John Mader (Western), Sean McBride (Atlantic), Ryan Rule (SPEEA), Lee Stone (Western Federal), Scott Travers (Canadian), Gustavo Vallejo (Western) and Tina Zellmer (Midwestern).

Current Number of Members: 80,000

Members Work As: Engineers, scientists, technicians, auditors, drafters/designers, judges, lawyers, researchers, toll collectors and more.

Industries Represented: Federal, public and private sectors in the United States, and public, private and nonprofit sectors in Canada.

History: The story of IFPTE officially began on July 1, 1918, when the American Federation of Labor granted a charter to the International Federation of Draftsmen’s Unions (IFDU). The union was formed from 10 federal unions representing engineers, draftsmen and technicians, and was the first labor organization dedicated to the welfare of technical engineering employees.

At its second convention in 1919, IFDU extended its jurisdiction to include other crafts and changed its name to the International Federation of Technical Engineers, Architects and Draftsmen’s Unions (IFTEA&DU). The union continued to grow for almost two decades as municipal, county and state government employees sought affiliation.

In 1950, delegates to the 28th convention voted to change the union’s name to the American Federation of Technical Engineers (AFTE). 

After almost a half-century of exclusively representing professionals in the U.S., the union became international in 1953 with the affiliation of locals in Ontario. Today, IFPTE has four local unions and over 10,000 members throughout Canada.

In 1972, delegates to the 40th convention voted to change the union’s name to the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE).

IFPTE celebrated its 100th anniversary last year in Atlantic City, N.J. It is one of the fastest-growing labor organizations in North America.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: IFPTE is currently organizing aerospace employees at Boeing in Southern California, planners at Southern California Edison, legal professionals in Ontario, health care professionals and is working to increase national focus on nonprofits.

Learn More: Website, Facebook, Twitter.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/29/2019 - 08:17

Paving the Way for Worker Justice: The Working People Weekly List

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 07:00
Paving the Way for Worker Justice: 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.

New Collective Bargaining Law Paves the Way to Worker Justice at Delaware DMV: "After Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill to expand collective bargaining rights for public employees in June, workers have begun organizing at state agencies. Employees of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles voted last week to join Laborers (LIUNA) Local 1029, establishing a union there for the first time."

Maine Union Members Answer the Call on Path to Power: "Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1253 member Tina Riley never had any desire to get involved in politics until she was recruited to run for the Maine Legislature in 2015."

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: UNITE HERE President D. Taylor: "On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” Julie and Tim talk to UNITE HERE President D. Taylor about the activism of airline catering workers and the current moment for union organizing."

The Future Is at Stake: 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."

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

Fighting for Fair Treatment Amid Record Profits: Tenae Stover's Story: "My name is Tenae Stover. I am a native Washingtonian, and I have been working at Reagan National Airport for LSG Sky Chefs for the past three years. I’m a leader with my union UNITE HERE in our national fight for respect and dignity and for one job to be enough to live for airline catering workers across the United States."

The Video Game Industry Can't Go On Like This: "At about this time next year, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what the next generation of video games will look like. New consoles will likely be shown off, bold new streaming initiatives will begin to launch, and we’ll see all the wonderful kinds of games they will bring us. All these new things will come, and we’ll close the book on a generation that saw the industry that makes games come under greater scrutiny than ever before, as studios shuttered, developers burned out and toxic work culture fostered environments hostile to marginalized people."

BuzzFeed Staffers Establish NewsGuild as Union Bargaining Agent: "A bitter five-month battle between BuzzFeed management and its workers’ union ended Tuesday when a third-party definitively established the NewsGuild of New York as the official bargaining agent for about 80 U.S. news-side employees. Now comes the really hard part: Hammering out a first contract covering everything from wages and severance to diversity and retirement and health plans. 'We stayed strong in the face of fierce resistance from BuzzFeed management,' said Rachel Sanders, deputy culture editor and member of the union’s organizing committee. 'Now that we’re finally recognized, I’m excited to bargain for a contract that will not only make this a stronger newsroom and company, but raise the bar for how workers are treated across our industry.'"

Labor Groups Rally Against Medical Debt Lawsuits: "Labor leaders spoke from a stage on a hot July afternoon Saturday in Baltimore near the hospital. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka spoke at the event, as well as Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and National Nurses United Executive Director Bonnie Castillo. They called on Johns Hopkins to cancel all medical debt lawsuits filed against low-income patients. They say the hospital has filed more than 2,400 lawsuits in Maryland courts seeking payment of alleged medical debt from former patients since 2009."

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/29/2019 - 08:00

New Collective Bargaining Law Paves the Way to Worker Justice at Delaware DMV

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 13:58
New Collective Bargaining Law Paves the Way to Worker Justice at Delaware DMV Delaware AFL-CIO

After Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill to expand collective bargaining rights for public employees in June, workers have begun organizing at state agencies. Employees of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles voted last week to join Laborers (LIUNA) Local 1029, establishing a union there for the first time.  

Gurvis Miner, business manager for Local 1029, said the organizing win was hard earned and well worth it.  

“Employees at the DMV now have a voice on the job, and I commend the state Legislature and Gov. Carney for changing the law to expand our rights and making this all possible,” he said. 

The new bargaining unit includes 340 workers at the DMV.  

SB 8, the bill that provided these employees their new collective bargaining rights, was made possible through the diligent advocacy efforts of the Delaware State AFL-CIO and others. The law expanded collective bargaining rights for about 2,000 workers across the state. 

“We congratulate LIUNA Local 1029 and all of the DMV workers, and we welcome these brothers and sisters to our growing labor movement in Delaware,” said Delaware State AFL-CIO President Jim Maravelias (LIUNA).

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 07/25/2019 - 14:58

Maine Union Members Answer the Call on Path to Power

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 13:55
Maine Union Members Answer the Call on Path to Power AFL-CIO

Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1253 member Tina Riley never had any desire to get involved in politics until she was recruited to run for the Maine Legislature in 2015.

She knew it would be a challenging race. The district was traditionally a union stronghold, but it had been trending conservative in recent years due to a decline in union membership caused by union busting, layoffs and mill closures. But with strong union support and preparation, Riley said, she had the tools she needed to run her first successful campaign in 2016, narrowly winning by 57 votes.

Riley was instrumental this session in requiring the use of registered apprenticeship programs on larger renewable energy projects as a way to build good jobs in the energy sector and blocking attempts to weaken electrical licensing standards.

“The state employees union and the teachers union are quite visible to the Legislature. They’re focused on the kinds of jobs in which their members are engaged. Most people are less aware of how trade unions operate,” Riley said. “Sometimes legislators would speak disparagingly of short-term construction jobs. They needed to hear that thousands of construction workers depend on those jobs to feed their families—and they did hear it. And it changed their thinking at times.”

Riley herself came into the union through an IBEW apprenticeship nearly 30 years ago and has worked as a maintenance mill electrician as well as run her own contracting firm with her husband, who is a union worker at the Rumford Mill. 

For union members considering a run for office, she encourages them to take the Maine AFL-CIO Worker Candidate Training as well as meet with party leaders and local legislators to learn about the job.

“I think it’s essential that we, as a legislature, be extremely cost-conscious, but foremost, we need to consider the overall well-being of the people we serve,” Riley said. “Good jobs, with good pay and dignified treatment by our employers, is a critical piece of that overall well-being, and it is always the union voice that brings that perspective to the table.”

When Rep. Scott Cuddy, an IBEW 1253 member, talks about the need for more labor voices in the Maine Legislature, he gets pretty passionate. 

“You can serve in the Legislature,” he advises union members. “Every union member that I’ve met who has shown any interest in politics could absolutely do a great job in the Legislature. And I really hope they do, because there needs to be more of us.” 

Cuddy knew he wouldn’t have an easy path to the Statehouse when he made the decision to run. After losing his initial race in 2016, he persisted and won his seat in the 2018 election. He had just started a night job installing lighting on the Bar Harbor Airport runway, but he was able to campaign during the day and take candidate training offered by the Maine AFL-CIO. 

“It was actually the best job I could have had in terms of getting the time to knock on doors,” he said. “So by the time I was done with that, I was so happy when the election rolled along.”

Cuddy says union members bring a unique perspective to government in that they have a sense of class consciousness and understanding of the employer-employee relationship. He says that many union members are uniquely suited to legislating because they understand how to negotiate, so they can prevent bills from getting watered down in the political process. 

Cuddy emphasizes that union members also can have a positive influence on their colleagues. He noted that while some legislators may not want to listen to a union staffer, they are more willing to hear from other legislators on important labor bills. 

“A lot of decisions get made in the caucus room,” Cuddy said. “People stand up, they make their pitch, and when you have union members in the room who can talk about the importance of collective bargaining rights, it carries a lot of weight.”

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/24/2019 - 14:55

‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: UNITE HERE President D. Taylor

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 12:42
‘State of the Unions’ Podcast: UNITE HERE President D. Taylor AFL-CIO

On the latest episode of “State of the Unions,” Julie and Tim talk to UNITE HERE President D. Taylor about the activism of airline catering workers and the current moment for union organizing.

Listen to our previous episodes:

State of the Unions” is available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, SpotifyStitcher and anywhere else you can find podcasts.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/24/2019 - 13:42

The Future Is at Stake: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Mon, 07/22/2019 - 13:05
The Future Is at Stake: What Working People Are Doing This Week AFL-CIO

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:

#APRINEC19 We are thrilled that Actor Danny Glover @mrdannyglover will be our keynote luncheon speaker on Thursday, August 8 at @APRI_National ‘s 50th Annual NEC conference in Bloomington, MN near Minneapolis). Registration and hotel info

— APRI National (DC) (@APRI_National) July 18, 2019

Actors' Equity:

Have you ever wondered what makes the New England Area Theatre (NEAT) Agreement unique? Learn more about it in the Member Portal -

— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) July 22, 2019


“The future of our planet is at stake."@AFGENational says as White House guts EPA worker contract. #1u

— AFGE (@AFGENational) July 22, 2019


You won’t see L.A. County Fire Department helicopter mechanic and AFSCME #NeverQuit Service Award winner Joe Martinez in the spotlight. Instead, with lives on the line, Martinez works behind the scenes repairing helicopters so their crews can save lives.

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) July 20, 2019


At AFT’s Summer Educator Academy, these educators are working on reading comprehension instruction. #AFTPD #AFTSEA19

— AFT (@AFTunion) July 22, 2019

Air Line Pilots Association:

ALPA won’t jeopardize lives to save a buck. It’s simple: #TwoPilots help #KeepFlyingSafe. Tell Congress to keep two pilots in the cockpit:

— ALPA (@WeAreALPA) July 18, 2019

Alliance for Retired Americans:

No one should be forced to ration, stockpile, or skip doses of lifesaving medicine. The system is broken. Sign our petition to demand that lawmakers take action to #LowerDrugPrices NOW!

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) July 22, 2019

Amalgamated Transit Union:

As temperatures soaring to the 100’s our members will face dangerously hot and humid conditions on the job, here are tips to stay safe for ATU. #transit #publictransit #UnionStrong #1u

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) July 19, 2019

American Federation of Musicians:

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate and vote on the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397), also known as the Butch Lewis Act, on WEDNESDAY!
Contact Congress to #ProtectOurPensions.

— AFM (@The_AFM) July 22, 2019

American Postal Workers Union:

Pres Dimonstein: There are so many things we can do to improve the Postal Service with creativity, but to have that creativity, we need the funds to give space to make that happen.

— APWU National (@APWUnational) July 15, 2019

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance:

Working people deserve income security and should be able to organize their co-workers to demand living wages and healthy working conditions. We need legislation to protect our right to organize.

Sign the petition: Demand that Congress pass the #PROAct

— APALA (@APALAnational) July 22, 2019

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

ICYMI: PSA Flight Attendants voted to ratify a new contract this week covering over 1,300 PSA Flight Attendants. In addition to immediate pay raises, the new contract includes increased vacation, improved work rules and increased scheduling flexibility.

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) July 20, 2019


ICYMI: The 2nd quarter edition of the #Boilermaker Reporter is available. Read 👓 it in hard copy or online:

— Boilermakers Union (@boilermakernews) July 22, 2019


The @USDOL wants your feedback on the proposed IRAPs rule. IRAPs could destroy our long-standing and successful #apprenticeship & training programs. Give them the feedback they need to hear: #RApprentices4America #SkilledTrade #construction #1u

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) July 22, 2019

Broadcast Employees and Technicians:


— NABET-CWA (@NABETCWA) July 8, 2019

California School Employees Association:

— CSEA (@CSEA_Now) July 22, 2019

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

— CBTU (@CBTU72) July 22, 2019

Coalition of Labor Union Women:

.@domesticworkers have been leading the fight for worker dignity in states & cities for more than a decade. Now they’re going national. We’re proud to endorse @SenKamalaHarris and @RepJayapal’s soon to be introduced National #DomesticWorkersBillofRights.

— CLUW National (@CLUWNational) July 15, 2019

Communications Workers of America:

A @verizon Wireless worker has filed an EEOC complaint for racial discrimination after management permitted racial slurs and jokes and accommodated customers who refused to be served by a black man.

— CWA (@CWAUnion) July 21, 2019

Department for Professional Employees:

"As we continue to expand and adapt in response to evolving threats to press freedom around the world, we want to ensure that our internal structures can do the same” - @CPJ_union. #1u

— Department for Professional Employees (@DPEaflcio) July 21, 2019

Electrical Workers:

Say hello to the #IBEW 's newest local.

— IBEW (@IBEW) July 22, 2019

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

Thank you compadres! We echo @UFWupdates! #Solidarity

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) July 19, 2019

Fire Fighters:

The Senate will vote on #Renew911VCF on Tuesday, July 23. The IAFF is urging lawmakers to reject the Lee and Paul amendments, which would delay relief for 9/11 responders and threaten passage of the underlying bill.

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) July 22, 2019

Heat and Frost Insulators:

The @UnionSportsmen is proud to award the John Heinz NWR and lead volunteer, Brother John Stahl of Insulators Local 14, with its 2019 Volunteer Project of the Year award for its value and impact on the community.
Watch the USA video here:

— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) July 22, 2019

International Labor Communications Association:

A preview of the lead story in our Friday newsletter 👀

— Labor Communications (@ILCAonline) July 11, 2019


Deep South recently ranked 9th in the International Cranes & Specialized Transport’s IC 50 Index, which ranks the largest crane companies worldwide! So proud of our partner contractor and great employer of the ironworkers! #MondayMotivation

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) July 22, 2019

Jobs with Justice:

Conditions for working people inside Whole Foods deteriorated following Amazon's takeover.

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) July 22, 2019


Help #LIUNA save #union apprenticeships! Send an email NOW to the DOL, telling them to protect LIUNA apprenticeships!

— Midwest Laborers (@LIUNAmidwest) July 19, 2019


Be part of the movement for change! Stay tuned as we continue to announce insightful topics of discussion that will take place during LCLAA’s 2019 National Conference on August 15-17. #LCLAA19

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) July 19, 2019


@ILAUnion @TheILAApp Supports @ILWU Canada in Vancouver Dispute.

— Int'l LongshoreAssoc (@ILAUnion) May 29, 2019


So proud. #Apollo50

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) July 20, 2019

Metal Trades Department:

Event explores skilled trade construction jobs for women #WomeninConstruction

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) July 16, 2019

Mine Workers:

We commend Ms. Ritter for her amazing op-ed in the Register-Herald yesterday.

Her willingness to fight for workers' rights during a time when some state politicians are not looking out for their own constituents is praiseworthy. #1u

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) July 19, 2019

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi is live now on EAA Radio at #OSH19. Tune in now to listen:

— NATCA (@NATCA) July 22, 2019

National Association of Letter Carriers:

A customer's accumulated mail drove our member Clinton Wood to act! Clinton knew that his elderly customer was weak & has a bad hip. He also knew that the man's granddaughter was the local postmaster, so he immediately contacted her. They called 911 & paramedics arrived. #heroes

— Letter Carriers (@NALC_National) July 22, 2019

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

Domestic worker rights are immigrant rights
Domestic worker rights are women’s rights
Domestic worker rights are LGBTQ rights
Domestic worker rights are Black and Brown people’s rights
Domestic worker rights are workers’ rights
Here’s why👇🏾

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) July 22, 2019

National Nurses United:

Absolutely outrageous. There’s no place in #healthcare for this kind of immoral, unjust denial of care.

For your family and the countless others with stories like this one, we're in the fight to GUARANTEE health care for all.#MedicareForAll

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) July 22, 2019

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

32BJ members and VP Shirley Aldebol joined us at City Hall today to say: “Keep the cap.” Thank you to our ⁦@32BJSEIU⁩ family for standing with us! ✊✊✊

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) July 18, 2019

News Guild:

Alden Global Capital is one of the offenders. In addition to destroying jobs and playing fast and loose with employee pensions, #AldenExposed is destroying newspapers and depriving communities of news about local govt, schools and neighborhoods.

— NewsGuild (@news_guild) July 19, 2019

NFL Players Association:

The grind starts now. 😤
We rounded up a few vets to drop some knowledge on training camp. What ONE WORD describes how you feel going into camp?

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) July 22, 2019

North America's Building Trades Unions:

Registered Apprenticeships provide men AND women with successful careers in a rewarding line of work!

“I went from living hand-to-mouth and being uncertain about my future to earning wages I NEVER dreamed of.” @IBEW @necanet#SaveUnionApprenticeships

— The Building Trades (@NABTU) July 22, 2019

Office and Professional Employees:

No amount of corporate spin can erase the voices of @Amazon workers, who say the company’s warehouses resemble sweatshops. #1u

— OPEIU (@OPEIU) July 22, 2019

Painters and Allied Trades:

Our General Convention in August is dedicated to celebrating the work that our union brothers and sisters have accomplished - from the front lines of the labor movement. Can't be there? Make sure you're signed up to our text message blasts to follow along! #WeAreUnion

— GoIUPAT✊🏽 (@GoIUPAT) July 22, 2019

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

The #OPCMIA International Training Fund produces the best plasterers and cement masons in North America. Learn more about how our Apprenticeship program and mid-career training set the standard for craftsmanship. The OPCMIA ITF means quality all the way!

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) July 19, 2019

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

As world commemorates #Apollo50th , PASS recognizes federal workers @NASA & across government who made it possible: astronauts, engineers, mission control, scientists, celebrated #HiddenFigures, support staff & so many more. #Publicservice is a noble calling & look what they did!

— PASS (@PASSNational) July 19, 2019

Professional and Technical Engineers:

#Union members taking about the benefits of organizing from 1st hand experience! What a beautiful thing.

— IFPTE (@IFPTE) July 16, 2019

Roofers and Waterproofers:

Do you know somebody who has a great #career thanks to an #apprenticeship with the Roofers & Waterproofers? Show your support for union registered apprenticeships--it takes less than a minute--and ask all your friends and family to do the same.

— Roofers Union (@roofersunion) July 22, 2019


— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) July 21, 2019

School Administrators:

ASASP and PG BOE Reach Deal on Salaries in Record Time

— AFSA Leadership (@AFSAUnion) June 17, 2019


The Jones Act Is About Protecting America - The Resurgent

— Seafarers Union (@SeafarersUnion) July 17, 2019

Solidarity Center:

One in every 20 employees in #HongKong is a #migrantworker. Yet for migrant #domesticworkers , whose working visas require them to live at their employers’ homes, becoming pregnant means they can be fired & become homeless overnight. @IDWFED @ndwa

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) July 22, 2019


Thank you @GetGephardt & @KUTV2News for telling the truth about Union Pacific and their unsafe practices being dictated by Wall Street.

Our Carmen members are dedicated to their work, and to keeping trains and our communities safe. #RailSafety

— Transportation Communications Union/IAM (@TCUnionHQ) July 19, 2019

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Education Department Director Pat White announced that Steward Training Materials are now available to Locals upon request.

The materials include a toolkit, glossary, case studies, and helpful suggestions for new Stewards. #IATSEGEB2019

— IATSE (@IATSE) July 22, 2019

Transport Workers:

Mechanical maintenance of U.S. flagged passenger aircraft is a potential disaster awaiting air travelers. The airline industry's lust for profit could have catastrophic consequences. Profits are not more important than the American people.

— TWU (@transportworker) July 22, 2019

Transportation Trades Department:

We're proud to be here today with our operating engineer brothers and sisters at the IUOE legislative conference! #Solidarity

— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) July 22, 2019


Museum workers are turning to unions to ensure higher wages, fair benefits, and a seat at the table to improve their workplaces.

— UAW (@UAW) July 22, 2019


Congrats to the members of @ufcw1189 who work at the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis on ratifying a new contract that raises wages and improves benefits! "I’m proud of my co-op and this contract,” says negotiation committee member Nathan Coombes:

— UFCW (@UFCW) July 22, 2019

Union Veterans Council:

If you have 5 mins today use it to give your member of congress a call.
A livable wage is a much better way to support these vets than a yellow sticker or saying "Thank you for your service" #Raisethewage #1u

— Union Veterans Council (@unionveterans) July 18, 2019


"Hotels felt pressure from their unions — which represent thousands of immigrants — as well as from customers angered by recent scenes of overcrowding and other squalid conditions at detention facilities."#MondayMotivation #NoHotelsForICE #1u

— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) July 22, 2019

United Steelworkers:

DID YOU KNOW - Workplace violence is a serious and growing problem for workers in America. Stand up for #SafeJobsNow here:

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) July 22, 2019

United Students Against Sweatshops:

Get hype - we're less than a month away from the 2019 USAS Summer Conference! Register at!

— USAS (@USAS) July 12, 2019

Utility Workers:

Did you know lineworkers are first responders who are on the ground working to restore power immediately after a storm or major incident? Here's some of our members performing this important work. #ThankALineworker

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) July 10, 2019

Working America:

While airlines rake in billions in profits, food service workers for @Delta, @AmericanAir and @united struggle with poverty wages and are often forced to choose between paying bills or insurance premiums. Join us in supporting @unitehere members at DCA this Tuesday at 5pm

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) July 22, 2019

Writers Guild of America, East:

Tailored for senior citizens in the entertainment community, this @TheActorsFund seminar helps participants better understand the #AffordableHousing landscape in NYC. Learn about eligibility requirements & how to get organized to apply. RSVP now!

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) July 22, 2019 Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/22/2019 - 14:05

Fighting for Fair Treatment Amid Record Profits: Tenae Stover's Story

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 10:35
Fighting for Fair Treatment Amid Record Profits: Tenae Stover's Story AFL-CIO

My name is Tenae Stover. I am a native Washingtonian, and I have been working at Reagan National Airport for LSG Sky Chefs for the past three years. I’m a leader with my union UNITE HERE in our national fight for respect and dignity and for one job to be enough to live for airline catering workers across the United States.

Our jobs are hard, and we deserve more than Sky Chefs and American Airlines want to give us. We have been in negotiations since October of 2018, but Sky Chefs continues to reject our asks—a national $15 wage floor and affordable health care. Workers at more than 30 airports around the country, including National, took votes over the past month to authorize a strike when we are released by the government. At National, the vote passed by 100%. 

Sky Chefs is our employer, but it is a subcontractor of the airlines, merely the middleman. American Airlines ultimately has the power and influence over our wages and benefits. It’s the one who determines what food we prepare, how we prepare it and how much its willing to pay for our hours of difficult labor.

Sky Chefs is a 365-day business—it is open every single day of the year and never closes. My co-workers and I spend most of our time there, including holidays, which we are rarely able to spend with family members. Every day, we prepare meals and beverages for thousands of passengers traveling through National, many traveling on American Airlines. 

We all work on our feet for eight or more hours a day. Our health insurance is not good at all. My individual insurance costs me about $60 per week—some $250 per month—and others pay hundreds more for family plans. Even though some of my co-workers are older, right now they don’t have a pension they can benefit from and must continue to work these long hours just to survive. On top of all this, we only make around $13 per hour. One co-worker of mine who has been working there for 30 years makes the same low hourly rate as I do.

Two years ago, I was evicted from my home because Sky Chefs wasn’t paying me enough. At the time, I was making just over $9. I couldn’t afford to pay my rent, transportation, food and clothing with Sky Chefs as my only source of income. I was forced to move in with a family member, even though I want to be independent. Still to this day, Sky Chefs does not pay me enough and I cannot live on my own.

But I know that the way to stand up and fight back is through my union. I’m a proud member of UNITE HERE and proud to be a leader in this campaign, which is not only a fight for workers at National, but a nationwide fight for tens of thousands of workers. I decided I wanted to fight for myself as well as all the other workers in this industry. After getting more involved with my union, I can see that whether we’re workers for Sky Chefs in Washington, D.C., or at other American Airlines hub airports, in Marriott hotels in other cities, or even at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in my own hometown, we’re all fighting against corporations and their greedy, unfair labor practices that put our livelihoods and families at risk. I want to pave the way for the generations to come by setting the standard for a better living for all. 

Today, the economy is doing well and the airline industry continues to earn record profits, and yet airline catering workers like me continue to be forgotten. That’s why we fight back against these companies to win what we rightfully deserve. We’re simply tired of being overworked and underpaid. We are fighting for $15 and for affordable health care. I am proud that my union UNITE HERE is fighting for fair treatment and respect for all airline catering workers. This fight we’re in, and the strike authorization votes we’ve taken, show we have power. Without us, the workers, neither Sky Chefs nor the airlines would profit, and they know that. We’ll do whatever it takes within the law, even if that means a strike when we’re released, to get what we are fighting for.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/19/2019 - 11:35

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Electrical Workers

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:54
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Electrical Workers AFL-CIO

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

Name of Union: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Mission: The IBEW is committed to organizing electrical workers across North America and promoting on-the-job excellence, good wages and benefits, a safe workplace, and a voice on the job.

Current Leadership of Union: Lonnie R. Stephenson serves as international president of IBEW. Born and raised in Rock Island, Illinois, Stephenson began as an apprentice inside wireman in 1975 and became a member of Local 145. He rose through the ranks and was elected business manager in 1996. He was appointed international representative for the sixth district in 2002 and appointed as international vice president in 2010, winning election to the position the following year. Stephenson was appointed international president in 2015 and elected to a full five-year term at the 2016 IBEW International Convention. 

Kenneth W. Cooper serves as international secretary-treasurer, and the IBEW has 11 international vice presidents: Thomas Reid, Michael P. Monahan, Michael Welsh, Brian G. Malloy, Brian Thompson, David J. Ruhmkorff, Steven M. Speer, Jerry Bellah, John J. O'Rourke, Brent E. Hall and Curtis E. Henke.

The IBEW is governed by its International Executive Council, which has nine members: Christopher Erikson, Joseph P. Calabro, Myles J. Calvey, James Burgham, William W. Riley, Frank J. Furco III, Dean Wine, Patrick Lavin and Ross Galbraith. 

Current Number of Members: 775,000 active and retired

Members Work In/Industries Represented: Utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government.

History: In the late 1800s, electricity began to be installed around the country and small unions of electrical workers started and stopped, with the 1883 Western Union Telegraph strike being the first known attempt to organize the industry's workers. While that first strike was unsuccessful, it left a strong desire for organization among electrical workers. 

At the 1890 St. Louis Exposition, electrical workers from around the country came together to wire buildings and erect exhibits. They gathered after each workday and shared stories about the hardships and danger of the industry. The logical answer was to form a union and in 1890, the Electrical Wiremen and Lineman's Union became AFL Federal Labor Union 5221, with Henry Miller of St. Louis elected as the first president. At the first convention of the National Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1891, 10 delegates attended, representing 286 members.

In 1892, the first women became members of the union; and four years later, Mary Hoznik became the first woman hired as a paid union organizer. By 1897, the union had grown to 17,000 members and by 1905, that had risen to 24,000. In 1899, it expanded into Canada, becoming the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. In 1920, the IBEW relocated to Washington, D.C., to be closer to the center of government. In 1925, the IBEW gained representation on the AFL-CIO executive council.

In 2016, the IBEW celebrated 125 years of solidarity. The union now has more than 800 locals throughout the United States and Canada, with members in Puerto Rico, Panama, Guam and Saipan, as well.

Current Campaigns/Community Efforts: connects workers looking to get into the union electrical trade with IBEW locals and jobs in their area. The Electrical Worker is the official publication of IBEW. The Code of Excellence promotes on the job excellence, safety and labor-management partnerships at IBEW workplaces across North America. The IBEW Store sells branded products for electrical workers. The IBEW Museum chronicles the history of the union and electrical workers in the United States and Canada, while the Henry Miller Museum, housed in the same St. Louis brick house where the union’s first convention was held, commemorates the founding of the IBEW.

Learn More: WebsiteFacebookTwitter, YouTube

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:54


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