A More Compassionate America: The Working People Weekly List

A More Compassionate America: 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.

AFL-CIO Support for AMFA: “‘We applaud the AFL-CIO for standing by artists and music creators and lending the strength of its 12.5 million members to the fight for passage of the American Music Fairness Act,’ said Congressman Joe Crowley, Chairman of the musicFIRST Coalition. ‘This legislation will benefit artists across the country—including the tens of thousands who are members of SAG-AFTRA, the American Federation of Musicians and other AFL-CIO unions—by correcting a decades-long injustice fueled by corporate greed that has left artists uncompensated for the use of their songs on AM/FM radio.’”

Biden’s Rousing Speech Before the AFL-CIO Is Exactly the Message Democrats Need: “At a rousing speech before the AFL-CIO in Philadelphia on Tuesday, he sounded like he used to as vice president and on the campaign trail when he inhabited the persona of ‘Joe from Scranton.’ His delivery was punchier and at times angrier than usual. He mocked and knocked Republicans’ plutocratic economics. And he made a stronger-than-usual case that Republicans are blocking economic progress. He was rewarded with multiple ovations. Biden took his time reminding the audience what a mess the country was when he took office, including Americans waiting in line for an hour for a box of food. ‘That’s what we inherited,’ he said.”

President Biden Addresses Economy During Speech at Pennsylvania Convention Center In Philadelphia: “President Joe Biden is on his way back to Washington D.C. after visiting Philadelphia on Tuesday morning. He spoke at the AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in Center City at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Before the president took the stage, he was introduced as the most ‘pro-union president ever.’ Biden addressed the economy, saying his administration is working to make ‘buy American’ a reality, not just a slogan. The president also admitted gas prices are high, but he says he’s working to ‘Block Putin’s gas hike.’ Although, he didn’t say how.”

Labor’s 2022 Election Work to Be Driven from the Bottom Up: “Organized labor’s political campaign this year will be driven from the bottom up, emphasizing issues, as state federations and central labor councils make the key political decisions and then fit candidates into the issue matrix for endorsement decisions. So says Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, chair of the federation’s committee on relations with and responsibilities of the state feds and the CLCs. Weingarten and AFSCME President Lee Saunders are jointly working out that political plan, she told a small group of reporters at a June 13 Q&A during the AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia. Saunders chairs the federation’s Political Committee.”

Alabama Amazon Union Organizers Get Standing Ovation at AFL-CIO Convention: “Workers organizing for a union at Amazon’s Bessemer fulfillment center received a standing ovation this morning before the AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. In a five-minute segment before the convention, workers Isaiah Thomas, Clint Shiflett, Kenneth Carter and organizer Adam Obernauer appeared, talking about efforts to organize for the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU).”

Biden Courts Labor Ahead of Tough Midterms: “President Biden is heading to Philadelphia today to address the AFL-CIO convention—his latest show of solidarity with the labor movement as Democrats confront a tough midterm election forecast. He’s expected to talk about building an economy around working people, according to a White House official, with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Stacey Abrams in attendance.”

Axios Interview: Inside the Plans of the Country’s Top Union Leader: “The new leader of the AFL-CIO is zeroing in on the tech sector as one of organized labor’s top targets and plans to shift more of the powerful union’s resources to organizing and growing its members, she and her deputy told Axios in a joint interview.”

New AFL-CIO Leader Eyeing Tech Sector for Organizing: “Liz Shuler, the new leader of the nation’s largest federation of labor unions, the AFL-CIO, said in an interview published Sunday that she is eyeing the tech sector for organizing efforts amid shifts in the U.S. workforce. Shuler spoke to Axios along with Fred Redmond, AFL-CIO’s first Black secretary-treasurer, ahead of her confirmation as president at the group’s constitutional convention. She has been running the organization since longtime leader Richard Trumka’s death last summer. ‘It’s our moment to write the next chapter of the labor movement,’ she added. ‘We are looking to seize on this moment to show that the labor movement is wide open—that we are open to transformational change.’ Both leaders said targeting workers in the tech field was part of broader efforts to build more diversity within the labor movement.”

Shuler Wins AFL-CIO Presidency, First Woman Elected to Role: “AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler won election to a four-year term at the federation’s national convention Sunday, solidifying her spot at the helm of the U.S. labor movement. Delegates from the federation’s member unions selected Shuler, who was elevated to the job after Richard Trumka died unexpectedly last year. She ran unopposed. Shuler is now the first woman formally elected AFL-CIO president at a time when labor is becoming less male and White. But she also faces steep challenges, including a steady decline in union membership rates despite a surge in new organizing at major companies such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Delegates also elected Fred Redmond secretary-treasurer, the first Black person to hold the federation’s No. 2 spot.”

The Time Is Now to Build a More Compassionate America…: “America’s workers, especially poor and low-wage workers, are stretched thin. They have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and after risking their health and safety to work in frontline positions during the pandemic, they are now treated as expendable. They are struggling to make ends meet and don’t know whether they’ll be able to put enough food on the table, care for themselves and their families or retire with dignity.  Invidious and systemic racism and poverty continue to plague our country, pushing more and more people to the margins while the rich keep getting richer. There are 140 million poor and low wealth people in this country, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the inequities they face. Corporations have experienced record profits, but working people have been denied a living wage, paid leave, quality health care and other basic rights.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 06/21/2022 – 11:48

Updated: June 27, 2022 — 3:08 pm