Marching Forward: The Working People Weekly List

Marching Forward: 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.

Marching Forward: An Exclusive Interview with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler: “What workers really want is a seat at the table about decisions that affect their daily lives—through unions in the AFL-CIO or independent of it. Agreeing to that, rather than labor law-breaking to stop union organizing, is good for business, too, Shuler stated. It produces more-willing workers who stay longer, produce higher-quality products and boost profits. All this with a vision in mind: To lead/march unions forward into new work sectors, new directions and new bottom-up decision-making in politics, union leadership and organizing.”

As Apprenticeships Take Off, Unions are in the Driver’s Seat: “When the White House held a summit last month touting its efforts to rebuild the workforce through the American Rescue Plan, Melissa Wells was a featured speaker. An experienced labor leader, she’d recently joined North America’s Building Trades Unions, an umbrella labor organization for the construction industry, to head up its strategic efforts around workforce development and career pathways. She was given a particular focus on bringing a more diverse group of Americans into the building trades. NABTU, Wells told the audience, is ‘very intentional about how we can create a more diverse workforce.’ And the linchpin in that work is union-led apprenticeships. North America’s Building Trades Unions coordinates and supports much of the training work that local unions do on the ground. Fifteen years ago, it designed a multi-craft pre-apprenticeship program designed to get more people across the country into the apprenticeship pipeline.”

Progressive National Convention Joins with AFL-CIO to Advance Racial and Economic Justice: “Martin Luther King Jr. also saw the connection between racism and economic oppression, AFL-CIO Treasurer Fred Redmond said during the town hall session. ‘Dr. King knew all too well that you could not have racial justice without economic justice. That’s why Dr. King worked so hard to bring the civil rights movement and the labor movement together,’ he said. ‘Dr. King knew that social and racial equality depend on economic security. And that remains true today.’ PNBC and the AFL-CIO must collaborate now to resist surging voter suppression efforts and other existential threats, Redmond said. The denomination, to which King belonged, and the labor giant joined to promote the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1964.”

SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP Reach Tentative Agreement On Exclusivity Contract Provisions: “SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have reached a tentative agreement covering exclusivity terms—standard provisions in TV contracts that can hold actors off the market and unable to work for long periods of time. The tentative agreement is subject to approval by the SAG-AFTRA National Board, which will meet on Saturday, Aug. 20.”

Atlanta’s Overlooked Labor Union History May Show the Future of Changing Times: “Labor organizing is tough in a right-to-work state where unions have long been presented as ‘scary,’ said Charlie Fleming, director of the Georgia AFL-CIO, a federation of unions. But, he said, local union membership is rising with demographic changes, a young generation aware it’s ‘gotten the shaft,’ and the society-shaking effects of COVID-19. ‘I think it’s changing and I think it’s going the other way. The pendulum has switched,’ said Fleming, who’s been a machinist for Northwest Airlines at Hartsfield-Jackson for over 30 years. ‘I’m excited as a labor leader.’”

Organizing a Top Topic at Steelworkers Convention: “Organizing—who, where and what industries—dominated the discussion and delegates’ decisions at the Steelworkers convention in Las Vegas. The five-day gathering of 2,000 delegates, plus observers and others, heard union President Tom Conway set that agenda and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris laud it. The nuts-and-bolts details were in resolutions the delegates approved, according to postings on USW’s website. ‘People want more power. They want more of a voice. They want more opportunity,’ Conway led off in his keynote address.”

26th Annual Labor Candidates School Provides Union Member Political Candidates with the Skills to Win: “Over the weekend, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO hosted its 26th annual Labor Candidates School featuring a graduating class of 24 union members running for office as first-time candidates. Additionally, many alumnae opted to join the school for a refresher course, as the Labor Candidates School provides training in the most up-to-date campaign techniques, which continue to evolve at a rapid pace.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Mon, 08/22/2022 – 15:50

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Updated: August 27, 2022 — 12:58 am