Maine AFL-CIO Is Using All the Digital Tools in Its Toolbox to Help Workers
With unprecedented numbers of Mainers out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s labor movement is deploying digital tools in innovative ways to help workers who are being impacted by COVID-19. The Maine State AFL-CIO is using a full range of online platforms to support those who are applying for unemployment insurance (UI) and pressure policymakers to fix the system.
Tammy Johnson Leads Wyoming’s Labor Movement, Fighting for Struggling Workers and the Unemployed
With the Wyoming legislature scheduled to begin an emergency session later this week, Wyoming State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Tammy Johnson (USW) is taking the lead fighting for workers in her home state. Policymakers are considering a bill that includes three major components: unemployment insurance (UI), workers’ compensation and rent relief. The UI provisions would hold employers harmless as the state provides additional money to cover the increase in UI claims, and the rent relief portion would provide additional eviction protections for tenants.
Labor Is Pioneering a New Kind of Relief Effort in the Twin Cities
Scores of workers across America have been laid off through no fault of their own and still, many of them are not eligible for federal benefits during these unprecedented times. In Minnesota’s Twin Cities, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (MRLF) is organizing to provide support to those workers who can’t get the support they need from our federal government.
Nevada’s Labor Movement Comes Together to Support Each Other
The backbone of Nevada’s gaming and hospitality industry, more than 98% of the 60,000 members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226-UNITE HERE and thousands of other union members have been laid off since the pandemic began. Now, Nevada’s labor movement is swiftly responding to the unprecedented scale of need among union members and their families.
Plant Workers in Kentucky Fight for Safer Workplaces
In late March, when workers at GE Appliances, a Haier company in Louisville, Kentucky, were mandated to work during the COVID-19 crisis, members of Communications Workers (IUE-CWA) Local 83761 sprung into action to make sure they were protected on the job. While the plant was shut down for one week, the union's president, Dino Driskell, reached out to the governor and other elected officials who agreed to send letters to Haier calling for stronger workplace safety measures. The local’s internal organizing team, led by Kindre Batliner, organized approximately 1,000 members for a “drive-by” rally on March 28, calling on Haier to keep the plant closed until stronger safety and health protocols were in place.
Helping Those in Need Is a ‘Labor of Love’ for Union Members in North Georgia
Wearing face masks and gloves and sharing a determination to help their brothers and sisters in need, dozens of members of the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council sorted and bagged emergency food to hand out to union families on Saturday, April 18. The “Labor of Love” food drive was a member-to-member relief effort in collaboration with the United Way of Greater Atlanta and in partnership with Margie’s House food bank and the city of Fairburn, Georgia, to help 300 union families who are now struggling to put food on their tables. It was one of a series of volunteer events that the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council has coordinated to support union members and the wider community during the pandemic.