Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.
Working People Are Watching, Mr. President: "To Washington, D.C., insiders, this month’s budget negotiations are just the latest partisan exercise in a series of manufactured crises that too often result in short-term solutions. But for those who live and work outside of the Beltway bubble, much more is at stake."
Paul Booth, Antiwar Organizer and Union Stalwart, Dies at 74: "Paul Booth, a leading architect of the first major march on Washington against the Vietnam War in 1965 and later an influential union organizer and a vigorous opponent of anti-labor legislation, died on Wednesday in Washington. He was 74."
Steelworkers Union President ‘Disappointed’ and ‘Frustrated’ with Trump: "In an interview with CNN, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said that American workers are in some ways worse off now than they were just a year ago. 'We're terribly disappointed and hugely frustrated,' Gerard told CNN. 'There's been no action that has done anything to protect and defend American jobs.... In some cases we're worse off now than we were then.'"
AFL-CIO Unions Gear Up for Major Push in 2018 Election Cycle: "The determination of the nation’s labor movement to come out on the winning side of this year’s election battles was strongly reflected here at discussions during last weekend’s AFL-CIO Martin Luther King conference. Unionists mapping plans here see 2018 as an election year during which they can join with allies to win races in all levels of government and halt in its tracks the anti-labor offensive of the Trump administration and the GOP."
Women Get Tips on Running for Elective Office: "Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, said she believes more female union members could become effective political candidates if they're encouraged to run. Polls conducted in 2017 by Gallup and Pew Research Center show public support for labor unions has rebounded in recent years, with about 60 percent saying they approve of them or view them favorably. Fewer than 50 percent of respondents voiced support for labor unions in the early 2010s."
Trumka: Key Battle Ahead is the 2018 Elections: "Saying when an economy 'doesn’t support the majority of its citizens, it needs to be fixed,' AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the 2018 elections are key. And in fixing the economy—by sweeping anti-worker elected officials out of office—workers and their allies will also counter the right wing’s attacks on public sector workers, many if not most of whom are minorities, including African Americans, he added."
In the Air: Renounce a Sexist Past: "Flight Attendants, about 80% women, are ongoing victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Not that long ago, the industry marketed the objectification of 'stewardesses,' a job only available to young, single, perfectly polished women who until 1993 were required to step on a weight scale. Our union was formed to give women a voice and to beat back discrimination and misogyny faced on the job."
Outgoing NLRB Chair Miscimarra Leads Attack on Working People's Rights: "On Dec. 16, 2017, National Labor Relations Board Chair Philip Miscimarra’s term came to an end. In the final days before the end of his term, a series of 3-2 decisions were handed down that were unprecedented in several respects, not the least among them was the extent that the decisions will harm working people."
When CEOs Say 'Do No Harm' in NAFTA, They Mean 'Don’t Harm Me': "We keep hearing CEOs of global companies and giant agribusiness conglomerates say 'do no harm' in the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, but from the perspective of working families who haven’t had a raise in the past 20 years, this advice doesn’t make any sense."
Let’s Rebuild the Middle Class by Rebuilding Our Infrastructure: "The middle class has been on a steady slide for decades. Signs of this slide are all around us: anemic wage growth, historic income inequality, chronic unemployment and underemployment and, not coincidentally, the steady erosion of workers’ freedom to join unions and bargain for fair wages and benefits. At the same time, American households are facing rising costs that far outpace their stagnant wages. The result is that tens of millions of Americans are stuck in middling jobs that cannot support a family, while a select few enjoy the benefits of rampant inequality."
NJ State AFL-CIO Praises Gov. Murphy on Equal Pay Order: "Marking one of his first actions in office, Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order promoting equal pay for equal work for women. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO released the following statement following the announcement."
In Houston, Working Families Seek to Reclaim King's Dream: "This past weekend in Houston, the AFL-CIO hosted its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference, with a theme of 'Reclaiming Our Dream: Strategize, Organize, Mobilize.' Hundreds of working family advocates came together to shift the rules and build power so that working communities can thrive and families can enjoy the fruits of their labor."
From Christmas Trees to Casinos: Worker Wins: "Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with a victory for Christmas tree workers in North Carolina and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life."
King and Meany Brought Civil Rights and Labor Together for a Legacy That Continues Today: "Beginning in 1960, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and then-President George Meany of the AFL-CIO began a relationship that would help bring the labor and civil rights movements together with a combined focus on social and economic justice."
Celebrating the Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Many chapters in the story of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. are well-known to Americans. The I Have a Dream speech. The Nobel Peace Prize. The Mountaintop speech. His Letter from a Birmingham Jail. His commitment to nonviolence. All the incredible accomplishments of a visionary."