News

Despite its setbacks, or perhaps because of them, organized labor has an energy level that AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says he hasn’t seen before in his 50 years with the movement.

On May 7, while recovering from an illness, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President Larry Hanley died suddenly.  In a brief statement, his family,

Most media outlets continue to portray the federal “shutdown” as a political fight between a president who once said he would be proud to provoke a standoff and congressional leaders who have called the bully’s bluff. And it is that. But the story of President Trump facing off against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just scrapes the surface of what is really going on.

Teachers overwhelmingly approved a new contract Tuesday and planned to return to the classroom after a six-day strike over funding and staffing in the nation’s second-largest school district.

Although all votes hadn’t been counted, preliminary figures showed that a “vast supermajority” of some 30,000 educators voted in favor of the tentative deal, “therefore ending the strike and heading back to schools tomorrow,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Eight hundred thousand workers. That is the number of government employees and contractors impacted by President Trump’s shutdown of the federal government. The average take home pay of impacted workers is around $500 per week, and any financial uncertainty is sure to cause stress and anxiety over how to make ends meet. Each day of this manufactured crisis, working families lose money for housing, healthcare and groceries — the essentials we need to get by.

Furloughed federal employees and out-of-work contractors greeted one another Thursday with a sarcastic nickname that, on the 20th day of a partial government shutdown, captured their feeling of powerlessness: “Hello, fellow pawns.”

They shouted it to one another over the brutal wind and bitter cold on Thursday in downtown Washington, where hundreds gathered to demand government leaders put an end to the shutdown and allow them to get back to work.

1. Janus dealt a heavy blow to labor—but public-sector unions didn’t crumble overnight.

In June, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in Janus v. AFSCME—and it was just as bad as everyone feared. In a 5-to-4 decision, the court found that public-sector unions violated the First Amendment by collecting so-called fair-share fees from workers who aren’t union members but benefit from collective bargaining regardless.

A federal employee union sued the Trump administration Monday over the government shutdown, claiming it is illegal for agencies to force employees to work without pay.

Labor leaders from all across the country met in Baltimore recently for the AFL-CIO Leadership Intensive. The Intensives aim is to expand skills, knowledge, and leadership in order to overcome key challenges. Some topics included aligning the Labor Movement with the struggle for the common good, strategic political action and community mobilization, and utilizing leadership styles. The intensive provided a forum to network and share experiences with 40 other labor leaders from around the country. 

Last week was a bad week for autoworkers and the future of our domestic industry. On Nov. 26, General Motors (GM) announced its decision to halt production at the Lordstown, Ohio, and Hamtramck, Mich., assembly plants, idling thousands of workers.