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.
America is Hungry for Unions: "America's workers are recognizing something fundamental: there is promise and power in coming together. Gallup just reported that two in three Americans approve of labor unions, the highest mark since 1965. Among adults under 34 and people of color, that approval is even higher: three in four support unions. This report should come as no surprise—unions have always been the most effective way for workers to speak in a collective voice. America is hungry for unions, and this Labor Day, the Senate must heed our call and pass policies that protect our rights on the job."
How Female Construction Workers Fight Workplace Discrimination: "The three women shared their stories over Zoom during a Lean In Circle for Tradeswomen, one of 76 launched nationwide and in Canada this year by the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and Lean In, the women’s advocacy group started by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. About 700 tradeswomen are participating the program, designed to help them navigate persistent bias and harassment on construction sites, from unwanted sexual advances to being assigned lesser duties like traffic control or fire watch."
Building Trades Leader: Any Politician Who Doesn’t Back the PRO Act Shouldn’t Get Labor’s Support: "On September 1, Jimmy Williams Jr. officially became the president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT). At 43, he is the youngest president in not only IUPAT’s history, but also within the building trades unions and any major affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Williams has big plans for his tenure: to diversify his union, grow and strengthen the labor movement and, of course, pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—the most sweeping labor legislation since the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)."
AFL-CIO President Tells Striking Mondelez Workers in Henrico That It Is 'Fed Up with the Way You Have Been Treated': "American union workers are fed up with skyrocketing inequality and runaway corporate greed, and they are standing up for their rights, the new president of the AFL-CIO federation said. Liz Shuler told about two dozen striking workers at Mondelez International Inc.’s bakery plant in eastern Henrico County on Wednesday afternoon that their sacrifice is important for all workers. 'The entire labor movement is the symbolism here that they’re standing up for,' said Shuler, who became the first woman to lead the AFL-CIO when she took over last month following the death of longtime president Richard Trumka."
Passage of the PRO Act is Best for Workers: "As a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) who has worked under collective bargaining agreements for more than four decades, I know first-hand the importance of labor unions that helped build our nation’s middle class. I started at the General Electric Aircraft Engine Plant in Albuquerque, and I know workplace safety, fair wages, and a collective voice in the workplace are just a few of the reasons workers join a labor union. Such workers’ rights are so important nowadays as we know we need to expand our American middle class. While unions have had successes, there’s more work to be done for those wanting to join. Participating in union organizing campaigns all across the country, including in the West, I’ve seen the horrible lengths companies will go to in order to keep total control of their workforce. It is unacceptable and American workers deserve better. The way to empower American workers is by passing the PRO Act. It would hold employers accountable and institute civil penalties for violations of the law, including back pay and damages."
Businesses Want Congress to Support Safe, Quality Jobs—So Do Nearly All Americans: "There’s nothing new about lawmakers in Washington using the business community as a shield for taking unpopular positions. As business leaders, we’ve gotten used to politicians putting words in our mouths on everything from tax policy to health care and beyond. Now, some members of Congress are once again pointing to businesses to justify their opposition to the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—legislation which would promote safe, quality, well-paying jobs for workers across the economy. When asked about the PRO Act earlier this year, Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) explained: 'The way I make decisions on behalf of Arizona and for our constituents is by listening to the business leaders.'"
Restaged in Front of the AFL-CIO’s National Headquarters, ‘Working’ the Musical Labors To Be a Vehicle for Activism: "'Working' is a just-kind-of-okay musical that has found its just-kind-of-ideal stage: on Black Lives Matter Plaza—in front of the national headquarters of the AFL-CIO. Holding its opening-night performance on Labor Day made for a sweet bit of resonance, too. Performed by nine polished actors in the late-summer Washington air, the 1977 show, based on Studs Terkel’s 1974 book of verbatim interviews with working people of all classes and colors, is a cabaret of everyday exertion. No opera house phantom or hip-hop Founding Father populates this piece; the characters are all ordinary folks—nannies, firefighters, receptionists, truckers—singing about their daily routines and sacrifices."
Labor Day 2021: AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler Joins The Joe Madison Show: "Liz Shuler, the first woman president of AFL-CIO, joins Joe Madison to discuss the state of labor in 2021 and how workers are persevering through the COVID-19 crisis in the United States."
President Shuler Joins NY Union Strong Podcast: "On Labor Day as we celebrate working people and all they do; we also take note that at no other time in recent memory has it been so vitally important to be able to have a voice in the workplace. Newly elected AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler joins us on the Union Strong podcast to talk about Labor’s priorities and what’s behind the growing support of labor unions."