A Historic Moment: The Working People Weekly List

A Historic Moment: The Working People Weekly List

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.

‘Historic Moment’: House Passes Bill Allowing Congressional Workers to Unionize: “‘Workers everywhere must have the free & fair opportunity to join together and form a union if they so choose—congressional staff included,’ said Liz Shuler.”

The Largest Labor Federation in the Country Calls on Biden to Cancel Student Debt: ‘We Cannot Ask Working People to Make Further Sacrifices’: “‘Organized labor was built on the foundation of creating a pathway to the middle class for everyone, but skyrocketing student loan debt has become an insurmountable obstacle to achieving this goal,’ Shuler wrote on Twitter.”

Meet DC’s Most Influential: “Liz Shuler didn’t choose her moment of maximum influence. It chose her after the death of AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka in August from a heart attack. Two weeks later, she was elected the first female president in the history of the nation’s largest labor organization, tasked with keeping it moving during the uncertainty of the pandemic, a wave of strikes throughout the country, and a grieving staff. But Shuler was ready due to a lifetime of preparation that began when she was 11 and had her first job babysitting—which provided her initial lesson in the power of collective bargaining. ‘One day, I discovered that the parents were paying different rates for different sitters,’ she recalls. ‘I found out from my friend that her hourly pay was lower than mine, and it seemed pretty unfair. So we came together to ask for equal pay.’”

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Introduces Bill to Protect Health Care Professionals from Workplace Violence: “As the nation celebrates National Nurses Week, U.S. Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, introduced legislation to protect health care and social services employees from workplace violence. ‘This groundbreaking legislation will hold health care and social service employers accountable for the safety of their workers,’ said Bonnie Castillo, RN, and executive director of NNU. ‘It’s time for employers to stop putting people’s lives in danger. Everyone deserves to be safe in their workplace, and that includes hospitals, clinics, and social service settings that are so crucial now more than ever given the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the leadership of Sen. Baldwin and Rep. Courtney for spearheading this important legislation.’ ‘Health care and social service workers, especially women, are at greatest risk of violence on the job,’ said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. ‘These workers are on the front lines, serving as caretakers to our families, friends and those in need. This bill is about protecting the lives of these brave heroes, and every single member of Congress should support this critical, life-saving legislation.’”

Emboldened Labor Movement Seeks to Expand on Successes: “‘That was a historic moment. The White House visit in itself shows that every worker who is in a union and every worker who is thinking of organizing their workplace has an ally in the highest office in the country,’ said Fred Redmond, secretary-treasurer and executive vice president of the AFL-CIO. ‘As we’re continuing to recover from this pandemic, what we’re finding is an entire workforce that is waking up to the realization that they deserve better,’ Redmond said. ‘They were essential one minute and expendable the next minute.’”

Are Corporations Using Inflationary Times to Raise Prices and Up Their Profits?: “Inflation is high and so are corporate profits. NPR’s A Martínez talks to Josh Bivens of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, about whether corporations are benefiting from rising prices.”

30th Food Drive Will Help Feed Needy Families in All 50 States: “The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its annual national food drive on Saturday, May 14. NALC’s food drive, which was first held in 1983, helps feed millions of Americans. The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country’s largest one-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need. Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable food items next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on Saturday, May 14. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and distribute them to local food banks, pantries, shelters and churches. The Letter Carriers’ food drive is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Hunger affects 1 in 8 Americans, including millions of children, senior citizens and veterans.”

Ørsted and NABTU Sign ‘Historic’ Project Labor Agreement for U.S. Offshore Wind: “‘The signing of this unprecedented agreement is historic for America’s workers and our energy future. NABTU’s highly trained men and women professionals have the best craft skills in the world. This partnership will not only expand tens of thousands of career opportunities for them to flourish in the energy transition but also lift up even more people into the middle-class,’ said Sean McGarvey, president of NABTU. ‘The project labor agreement signed today is proof that labor and employers working together can create an equitable clean energy transition with opportunity for everyone. When we make good on our values—workers’ rights, gender and racial justice, economic equality, and safe and healthy workplaces—then we all win,’ commented Liz Shuler, President of AFL-CIO.”

Black Unemployment Rate Falls to Pandemic-Era Low in April: “When broken down by gender, the unemployment rate for Black men rose to 6.1% in April from 5.6% the month prior, even as nearly every other demographic group’s unemployment rate fell or held steady. However, the labor force participation rate for Black men jumped a percentage point in April to 68.9%. That shows more Black men entered the labor market but faced challenges in hiring. ‘This shows how the unemployment rate can be misleading on whether the labor market is tight. Workers who face hiring frictions are sensitive to actual hiring to get into the search,’ William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO, said in a tweet.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Mon, 05/16/2022 – 15:03

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Updated: May 20, 2022 — 8:33 am