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.
Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Actors' Equity: "This is the first post in our new series that will take a deeper look at each of our affiliates. The series will run weekly until we've covered all 55 of our affiliates. First up is Actors' Equity (AEA)."
Government Reopens, But Federal Workers Won’t Forget: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he’s glad the shutdown is over, but he isn’t giving the president credit for it. According to Trumka, the president was forced to give in and capitulate to the people. 'President Trump didn’t want to end this shutdown—the collective action of working people demanded it,' stated Trumka. 'By marching, rallying and protesting together, we forced him to the table and ensured that the labor and dedication of our public servants will not be taken for granted.'"
House Approves Pay Raise for Federal Workers: "The House passed legislation to provide a pay increase for federal government workers on Wednesday, less than a week after the end of the partial government shutdown. Twenty-nine Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the measure, which cleared 259-161. The Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), would provide a 2.6% pay raise, matching what was approved for the military earlier this year."
While Everyone Was Focused on the Shutdown, the White House Rolled Back Worker Safety Rules: "During the president’s 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government, the White House quietly dissolved a 2016 regulation requiring certain employers to electronically submit reports of workplace injuries to the Department of Labor.... The process to amend the regulation was 'clearly rushed,' Peg Seminario, the safety and health director of AFL-CIO told Vox, 'because the Trump administration wanted to relieve employers of having to report their injury data.'"
Undocumented Worker Who Worked for Trump Golf Course to Attend State of the Union: "An undocumented worker who recently worked for Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., and left after she publicly disclosed her immigration status will attend President Trump’s State of the Union address next week. Victorina Morales, who was born in Guatemala, will be a guest of Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a New Jersey Democrat, when the president speaks to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. Watson Coleman’s office confirmed the decision Wednesday."
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Mornings with Maria: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses the fallout from the government shutdown."
AFL-CIO President Shuts Down Fox Host's Attack on Immigrant Workers: "What we want to do is make sure every worker in this country has the same rights so that they can't be exploited, because what happens right now with undocumented workers is, they're great when no one's around; when they try to organize and get a voice, then they start squeezing them."
NASA Is Reopened, But Thousands of Contractors Are Still Waiting on Paychecks: "While the federal employees who returned to work Monday received backpay for the 35 days the federal government was shut down, Americans like [Michele] Seeley who work as contractors for federal agencies don’t have the same protections. Millions of contractors lost a month of paychecks, and legislation to get them backpay hasn’t made it out of committee in either the Senate or the House."
The Lowest-Paid Shutdown Workers Aren’t Getting Back Pay: "Unlike the 800,000 career public servants who are slated to receive full back pay over the next week or so, the contractors who clean, guard, cook and shoulder other jobs at federal workplaces aren’t legally guaranteed a single penny. They’re also among the lowest-paid laborers in the government economy, generally earning between $450 and $650 weekly, union leaders say."
Unionists, Allies to Keep Pressure on After Trump Lockout Ends: "Organized labor is not resting on its laurels after the nation’s unions led the people power movement that beat down GOP President Donald Trump’s partial federal government lockout/shutdown. 'Trump didn’t want to end this shutdown—the collective action of working people demanded it,' the AFL-CIO said. 'By marching, rallying and protesting together, we forced him to the table and ensured the labor and dedication of our public servants will not be taken for granted.'"
So Much for the Labor Movement’s Funeral: "Something funny happened on the way to the labor movement’s funeral. 'Folks were writing our obituary. They thought this was going to be our death knell. They failed,' Lee Saunders, AFSCME’s president, crows. 'They overreached. Now we’ve got the momentum. We’re organizing like never before.'"
Improving Safety: What Working People Are Doing This Week: "Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week."