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Labor Movement to Rs: Let’s Talk – About Workers’ Rights

Labor Movement to Rs: Let’s Talk – About Workers’ Rights

Clayton Sinyai | Sep 13 2013 – 5:05pm | 0 comments

 

As I discussed yesterday, the AFL-CIO’s Constitutional Convention in LA this week began with a lot of buzz about proposals that progressive groups that were not labor organizations might be invited to affiliate with the AFL-CIO.  A number of union leaders expressed both practical and principled objections to such a tie-up. Practical, because there were times when their interests diverged – as when the Sierra Club and the construction unions clashed over the XL pipeline. Principled, because some felt workers needed a voice entirely of their own, and that would be lost in such a conglomerate. Plenty of progressive think tanks, coalitions, and pressure groups already existed, and they could always create new ones if the current ones were inadequate.  The labor movement, they contended, should remain a movement of workers, for workers, and by workers. Read more

AFL = American Federation of Liberal Organizations?

AFL = American Federation of Liberal Organizations?

Clayton Sinyai | Sep 12 2013 – 5:57pm | 3 comments

 

Along with the outreach to alt-labor groups I discussed yesterday, the AFL-CIO Convention delegates have been weighing ways to form tighter associations with progressive groups like the NAACP, La Raza, the Sierra Club, the National Organization of Women, and others. In politics, these organizations frequently find themselves confronting the same movement conservatives. Some labor leaders even floated proposals to invite such organizations to affiliate with the AFL-CIO, even though they were not labor organizations. The construction unions, among others, expressed skepticism, and the resolution delegates in fact passed was fairly modest.  AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department President Sean McGarvey explained, “Giving people a seat where they have governance, and they don’t represent workers, that was a bridge too far for lots of folks.” Read more

The AFL-CIO and “Alt-Labor”

The AFL-CIO and “Alt-Labor”

Clayton Sinyai | Sep 11 2013 – 5:44pm | 0 comments

 

This week witnesses thousands of trade unionists and labor activists assembling in Los Angeles for the 27th Constitutional Convention of the AFL-CIO.  With union membership continuing to decline, the federation has been seeking new approaches to advocate for American workers.

The labor movement’s reach peaked in the early 1950s, when some one-third of US workers belonged to a trade union. This pinnacle was achieved under labor relations system created by the Wagner Act in 1935: workers voted in government-supervised election campaigns to decide whether they wanted collective bargaining and if so, which union would represent them. Labor and management would then negotiate a contract; the workers, now union members, would enjoy improved wages and benefits and pay dues to support their union in return. Read more

Father Tony Doesn’t Forget He Is Son of Union Members

Father Tony Doesn’t Forget He Is Son of Union Members

04/10/2011 Berry Craig

Father Tony Shonis includes the  the local central labor council on his pastoral rounds wherever the church sends him. Says Shonis:

“I come from a union family. Both of my parents retired with a pension from the union. My father was in the Bakery and Confectionery [Tobacco] Workers [and Grain Millers] union and my mother was in the old ILGWU [International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, now UNITEHERE!]. From them, I learned what the union means to a working family and how civic minded union members are.”

A Pennsylvania native, Shonis is associate pastor at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Henderson, Ky., an old Ohio River town in the western end of the Bluegrass State. The Tri-County Labor Council meets in Henderson. Read more

Why Immigration Is a Top Priority for US Labor

HomeWhy Immigration Is a Top Priority for US Labor

Submitted by Sarah on Wed, 03/06/2013 – 2:54pm.
Maria Elena Durazo speaks during the Action Summit on Worker Safety and Health at East Los Angeles College, April 26, 2012. (Photo: Susan Goldman / US Department of Labor)
Maria Elena Durazo speaks during the Action Summit on Worker Safety and Health at East Los Angeles College, April 26, 2012. (Photo: Susan Goldman / US Department of Labor)

Monday, 04 March 2013

By Amy DeanTruthout | Interview

Immigrants’ rights are workers’ rights. These days, that idea is a principle held dear by the US labor movement. But that wasn’t always the case.

As recently as the mid-1990s, many unions took protectionist stances against allowing new immigrants to come to this country. It was only after these unions saw the abuses that became prevalent under an employer-driven system for verifying immigration status that the labor movement embraced a new position. The movement recognized that for working people to thrive, all employees had to have full rights in the workplace. Read more