Transforming the Economy: The Working People Weekly List

Transforming the Economy: 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.

Minor Leaguers Form Union, 17 Days After Organizing Began: “More than 5,500 minor league baseball players formed a union on [Sept. 14], completing a lightning-fast organization campaign that launched just 17 days earlier in an effort to boost annual salaries as low as $10,400. ‘In a multibillion-dollar industry, there is no excuse to pay these players below the poverty line,’ AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler said in a statement. ‘By joining together to use their collective voice at the bargaining table, the minor leaguers will be able to advocate for a union contract that will ensure a future with the good pay and benefits they deserve.’”

Minor League Baseball Union Creates Massive Change Nearly Unthinkable 3 Years Ago: “‘Today’s overwhelmingly victorious card-check from minor leaguers to be represented by the Major League Baseball Players Association is a historic win that will benefit the players both on and off the field for generations to come,’ Shuler said. ‘Minor leaguers have gone more than a century without union representation. In a multibillion-dollar industry, there is no excuse to pay these players below the poverty line. Now, by joining together to use their collective voice at the bargaining table, the minor leaguers will be able to advocate for a union contract that will ensure a future with the good pay and benefits they deserve.’”

The Man Who Keeps Baseball’s Union Moving: “Shortly after finishing his oatmeal and fruit plate, he was completing details to unionize more than 5,000 minor league players, offering power to a group that has traditionally been treated as disposable labor. In Washington, soon after, Clark announced his union would be joining the AFL-CIO. Strategically, the hope is that aligning with the nation’s largest labor federation and its 12.5 million members will allow growth both in terms of influence and power. Throughout his athletic life, fighting for his career came naturally to Clark. As soon as his production diminished, he knew he would be replaced. Today, in different ways, the battles continue.”

Labor Activists on How Workers Are Shaping the Future of Work: “‘The future of the labor movement is bright. People are coming together organizing in numbers we haven’t seen in a generation. Numbers last week, 71% of the public supports unions. The time is now to rise up, make your voice heard, and come together collectively to make change and do that through a union.’” —AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler

Baseball Players Union Joins AFL-CIO in Show of Solidarity with Other Workers: “The Major League Baseball Players Association plans to join the AFL-CIO labor federation, putting one of professional sports’ top unions in a formal alliance with other labor groups. Tony Clark, the former switch-hitting first baseman who is now the union’s director, announced the new affiliation in downtown Washington on Wednesday. He was joined by Liz Shuler, president of the AFL-CIO, which includes 57 other unions representing more than 12 million workers. ‘The point here is we’re all workers, and we all have the same struggles,’ Shuler said. ‘Whether you’re working on the pitch or on a baseball field or on a construction site, we’re all concerned about safe workplaces.’”

Workers and Unions with First Female President of AFL-CIO: “We continue our Woman Thought Leader Series with Liz Shuler, the first female president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). She discusses the rights of labor workers, the organization’s fight for equal pay among women and men, the current presidential administration’s stance on labor unions, and much more.”

Liz Shuler: Once ‘Essential,’ then Expendable, American Workers Are Transforming the Economy: “Last year alone $6.5 trillion flowed from the bottom 90% of wage earners to the top 1%. That means the janitor who cleans our child’s school, the nurse who cares for our sick father and the grocery clerk who always greets us with a smile are struggling, while the wealthiest among us literally skyrocket into space with bottomless bank accounts. Upward mobility seems out of reach for most Americans. Young people are backsliding with low wages, out-of-control housing prices and crushing health care costs. But our story—the American workers’ story—will not be written by billionaires. This Labor Day, working people are writing a new chapter infused with hope for a brighter future. We’re no longer tolerating being called ‘essential” one minute and treated as expendable the next. Whether on a manufacturing shop floor, in a high-rise office, in a corner cafe or Amazon warehouse, workers are transforming our economy.”

AFL-CIO Official Says Unions Are Gaining Strength: “As Americans honor the labor movement and the contributions of workers this Labor Day weekend, AFL-CO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond says unions are gaining strength and numbers through an unprecedented nationwide grassroots movement. Redmond was in Detroit on Friday to meet with local union officials and to prepare for the kickoff of the AFL-CIO’s new Permission to Dream program later this month. Redmond, who has an extensive work history in the steel industry, said what he observes right now is unlike anything he has seen previously in the labor movement. ‘I never remember a moment like this,’ said Redmond. ‘What is happening is very organic and at a grassroots level. Workers are independently standing up and we embrace that, but we are also here to assist them and guide them through the process.’”

Kenneth Quinnell
Wed, 09/21/2022 – 10:15

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Updated: September 26, 2022 — 5:50 am