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 Calls on Trump to Resign or be Removed from Office 'At Once': "The AFL-CIO called on President Trump to resign or be removed from office 'at once, whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,' following the riots at the U.S. Capitol this week. The labor group’s general board released the statement Friday, saying it is not one America's labor movement makes lightly. 'The deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob looking to overturn the results of a free and fair election, encouraged and inspired by President Donald Trump, was one of the greatest attacks on our democracy in American history. And the fact that trespassers were allowed to roam the halls of Congress without consequence is one of the latest examples of why we must tear down the systems and abiders of white supremacy,' the AFL-CIO General Board said."
AFL-CIO Head Says Walsh Will Be 'Exceptional' Labor Secretary: "The president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, praised President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) for secretary of Labor, calling the mayor an 'exceptional' choice. 'Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools. As a longtime union member, Walsh knows that collective bargaining is essential to building back better by combating inequality, beating COVID-19 and expanding opportunities for immigrants, women and people of color,' Richard Trumka said in a statement Thursday."
Union Leaders Join in Blaming Trump for Insurrection, Coup Attempt: "Union leaders blamed GOP White House occupant Donald Trump for the violent insurrection which saw thousands of white nationalist domestic terrorists overrun the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Union leaders, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and particularly National Nurses United Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, declared Trump is liable for inciting the insurrection. She called for punishment but did not suggest how. 'The president has been encouraging sedition. No one is above the law,' said Castillo. 'He is responsible for the scenes we have seen today at the Capitol and he should be held accountable.' 'We are witnessing one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War. Today’s attempted coup has been years in the making as Donald Trump consistently spews venom, conspiracies, hate, and lies to his supporters,' Trumka said in a statement."
How Unions Helped Georgia Flip the Senate: "In the Georgia Senate runoff elections on January 5, Democrats Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael Warnock unseated Trump-supporting incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue by margins of less than 80,000 votes—abetted by what a UNITE HERE! leader calls an 'unprecedented ground game' by labor unions. 'In the last couple weeks, we were talking to 15,000 people a day,' says Gwen Mills, the secretary-treasurer of the 300,000-member hotel and food-service workers union. During the six-week runoff campaign, according to Mills, UNITE HERE! had more than 1,000 members knocking on people’s doors in the Atlanta and Columbus areas a total of 1.5 million times."
Flight Attendant Union Wants Pro-Trump Rioters Barred from Flights: "The country’s largest flight attendant unions on Wednesday expressed safety concerns over politically motivated disruptions on flights after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building, demanding that the results of the presidential election be overturned. 'The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard,' said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents some 50,000 cabin crew members at United, Alaska and more than a dozen other carriers. The riots at the Capitol 'create further concern about [participants’] departure from the D.C. area,' Nelson said. 'Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.'"
Alphabet Employees and Contractors Form a Labor Union: "Google is getting its first labor union. Approximately 230 workers out of the 130,000-plus employees and contractors at Alphabet joined forces on Monday to launch the tech giant's first labor union. Unlike labor unions such as the AFL-CIO, this one is 'not seeking ratification through a federal agency,' reports The Washington Post. Accordingly, the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU) will not have the power to collectively bargain with management. Instead, the union intends to jointly and 'actively push for real changes at the company,' including on such matters as discrimination, harassment, and various ethical questions about how the company runs its business."
Glass Ceilings Shattered at American Federation of Musicians Local 47: Stephanie O’Keefe Elected First Female President; Danita Ng-Poss Is New Secretary-Treasurer: "Stephanie O’Keefe has been elected president of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, becoming the first woman president in the union’s 123-year history. John Acosta, who served three two-year terms as president, did not seek re-election. In the local’s other elections, Danita Ng-Poss has been elected secretary-treasurer—the first person of Asian descent to serve as a titled officer of the union—and Rick Baptist has been re-elected to a fourth term as vice president."
Obituary: Byron W. Charlton: "How do you sum up a life? Byron W. Charlton, 81, of Lorton, VA., fondly known as 'Big Boy,' 'Chuck' and 'Uncle,' was born June 8, 1939, in Radford, Virginia, to the late Lawrence Charlton and Ollie Snell Charlton. Byron was an international affairs operative for the AFL-CIO at the height of the neo Cold War in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He worked in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. His stories from those times would chill your blood, and then leave you laughing. Byron also worked as the assistant to the executive director of the African American Labor Center at the AFL-CIO from 1984-1990. More than 30 years ago, Byron joined the staff of the AFL-CIO as a legislative representative. He worked on federal and postal worker legislation, and served as the chairman of the United Department of Defense Workers Coalition for the past 20 years. Byron loved his career so much when asked if he was going to retire he would respond by saying he intended to die at his desk."
The Life in 'The Simpsons' Is No Longer Attainable: "Lisa needs braces at the same time that Homer’s dental plan evaporates. Unable to afford Lisa’s orthodontia without that insurance, Homer leads a strike. Mr. Burns, the boss, eventually capitulates to the union’s demand for dental coverage, resulting in shiny new braces for Lisa and one fewer financial headache for her parents. What would Homer have done today without the support of his union?"