The AFL-CIO hosted a million-member tele-town hall this week, bringing together working people from across the country to talk about the power and growing energy of the labor movement.
A new poll from Gallup shows the approval for labor unions is at 62%, the highest in 15 years. More and more Americans are reaching for the rights and dignities that come with a union card. Working people are coming to realize that we’re strongest when we stand and fight together.
With collective action driving victories for workers from coast to coast, yesterday’s million-member tele-town hall reflected on this incredible moment and looked ahead to the new opportunities on the horizon. Here are a few highlights from the conversation:
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA): “Workers are writing a comeback story unlike any I’ve seen in my 50 years in the labor movement....And here’s the truth: We’re not even close to done. 2018 is the year of the worker. We’re building a fairer economy and a more just society. We’re building a political system that listens to the voices of working people, instead of the whispers of a few CEOs.”
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich: “The nation is at a turning point. We just can’t go on with almost all of the economic gains going to a handful at the top and most workers getting very little. Our economy can’t survive this. Our politics can’t survive it. Our society and our ideals of freedom and equal opportunity can’t survive this, which is why you are so important—why unions are critical for the future.”
Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda (OPEIU): “Who better than us, as workers in the labor movement, to stand up and fight for workers’ rights? There is no one better than us. There is no one more qualified. We are ready, and we can win.”
Charlotte City Council member Braxton Winston (IATSE): “We have a commandment in our first collectively bargained agreement, our U.S. Constitution. In our preamble, it says that we must form a more perfect union for the collective United States of America. That means, to ensure that this great experiment in self-governance is successful, we all have to have a seat at the table.”
As working people have proven over the past year, there is no better way to get that seat at the table than by organizing our collective voices as working people and speaking truth to power.