Government Shutdown Impacts Union Members

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

2020’s growth in pay inequity between workers and CEOs confirms the “executive base salary reductions” touted during the COVID-19 crisis were just lip service, per this year’s AFL-CIO Executive Pay

Yesterday, ahead of the Leaders Summit on Climate, the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and BlueGreen Alliance, along with the UAW and United Steelworkers (USW), released a report highlighting the need to preserve high-paying union jobs in the U.S. auto industry as part of any equitable clean energy transition. The report reviews the economic impacts of the transition to electric vehicles as well as policy options for creating and preserving good union jobs.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—first passed in the 1930s—is supposed to provide workers protection from anti-union retaliation in the pursuit of organizing and collective bargaining. However, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that the NLRA is no longer up to the task of protecting workers from anti-union actions by our employers.

On Tuesday, a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. While many in the labor movement were quick to commend the verdict, we also know that the work of racial justice must continue.

José Acevedo served in the U.S. Army before teaching high school history in New York City. After being stationed in the Panama Canal Zone from 1974 to 1977, he spent the next 30-plus years teaching ninth and tenth grade and became a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

On Friday, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler celebrated the House passing the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195), which directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a federal workplace violence prevention standard to protect workers in health care and social services from injury and death:

Lisa Pedersen of Revere, Massachusetts, has been a United Steelworkers (USW) member for 34 years. As “the first girl in [her] area” when she started as a gas leak investigator and repair person for the National Grid, Pedersen is used to being a leader. She is now a “working leader” at the National Grid, and her union loyalty and leadership instincts have particularly shone during the past couple of years.

Today, the AFL-CIO and GBAO released a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The findings come days after voting closed in the organizing drive and demonstrate a significant rise in public support.

“This suite of target date CIT funds is a welcome addition to the lineup of financial products which carry the AFL-CIO name,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Defined benefit plans remain the bedrock of a secure retirement. However, the Labor Movement’s philosophy that all Americans are entitled to retire with dignity and financial security dictates that we must also ensure that defined contribution investors’ interests are protected. This product provides a cost-effective solution that brings this proposition to life.