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.
Trumka: Tariffs Are a Chance for American Workers to Fight Back: "Ali Velshi talks to Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, the largest organization of labor unions. Trumka says the president’s tariffs will not start a trade war, but instead give American workers a chance to fight back."
Trump Imposes Steel, Aluminum Tariffs with Few Exceptions: "'Wall Street’s hair is on fire over these tariffs because wealthy investors enrich themselves by closing mills and factories in the United States and moving them overseas,' AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. 'Using tariffs isn’t going to start a trade war. There’s been a war on working people for decades, and we have been getting our butts kicked. Just look at southwestern Pennsylvania if you want proof.'"
Enforcement: The Forgotten Piece of U.S. Trade Policy: "Through tariffs on imported steel and aluminum announced last week, President Trump may inadvertently begin to restore the balance we last saw in U.S. trade policy five decades ago. When John F. Kennedy signed the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, he heaped praise upon AFL-CIO President George Meany for labor’s support of the sweeping trade law. It would be one of the final instances in which a president and unions stood together on trade policy, and with good reason."
Women Deserve a Raise: "Today is International Women’s Day, and there is no better time to lift up the role unions play in achieving economic equality for women. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently released a brief, titled The Union Advantage for Women, which quantifies the benefits of union membership for working women, and the numbers don’t lie!"
Remembering Memphis: "February marked the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1968 sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, Tennessee, a unionization attempt by public-sector workers that drew support from civil and labor rights leaders across the nation. Martin Luther King Jr., in town to organize a march in support of those strikers, was assassinated on April 4 of that year. This post commemorates these anniversaries and the historic links between civil rights and workers' rights, especially at a time when the right of public-sector workers to unionize is being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. This post is excerpted from a forthcoming memoir, Climbing Up the Rough Side of the Mountain, by civil rights and labor activists Norman Hill and Velma Murphy Hill."
A Change Is Coming: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."
Trumka Celebrates Pope Francis' Fifth Anniversary: "Ahead of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' election, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the pontiff’s leadership and legacy, in an event at Seton Hall University. He was joined by Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark; Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey; and Mary Meehan, Ph.D., interim president of Seton Hall, each of whom delivered remarks to commemorate the Holy Father's leadership of the Roman Catholic Church."
Don’t Let Wall Street Profiteers Scare You: Trade Enforcement ≠ Trade War: "The steel and aluminum industries have been under attack by predatory trade practices. For too long, elected official have talked about the problem, but taken little action. Now that the president has announced he plans to support U.S. producers and their employees, Wall Street, multinational corporations and the elected officials who do their bidding around the world are freaking out. Should you be worried? Here is what you need to know."
The 15th Annual WILD Conference: Bridging the Divide for Workplace Safety: "The 15th annual Women in Leadership Development (WILD) Conference in New Jersey brought together more than 300 union sisters from all sectors of organized labor, demonstrating the strength of our sisterhood and labor unity. From March 2–3, 2018, participants joined in discussions critical to ensuring respect, dignity and safety at the workplace. Of course, WILD wouldn’t be complete without providing the latest insights into building leadership skills and applying those strategies and tools to strengthen our collective voice."
The Awesomeness of 'Black Panther': Union Made: "Wow, the 'Black Panther' movie was awesome, wasn't it? And while we could spend hours about how great an action movie it is or how beautiful it looks or the social implications of the themes and representation of African culture, let's take a few minutes to look behind the scenes at the work it took to bring a movie like 'Black Panther' to life, work done by union members."