UMWA Plans March on Washington
Lexington, Kentucky–Over 5,000 miners rallied here last Tuesday to protest health benefit cuts threatened to happen before the end of the year. Responding to the call of their union, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), miners came from seven states to gather at the convention center. Some arrived with walkers, canes, wheel chairs, and oxygen tanks, giving tangible evidence of the toll on human health inflicted by the mining industry.
After nearly 10 months of trying to reach a fair contract with “Verigreedy,” 39,000 CWA and IBEW working families went on strike as of 6 a.m., Wednesday April 13. Elected officials across Verizon territory are rallying with striking Verizon workers, and CWA members were joined by AFL-CIO activists and other supporters as the strike continued.
The AFL-CIO has endorsed the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) boycott of the snack food items of Mondelez International (“Mondelez,” “Mondelez/Nabisco”) that are made in Mexico.
The boycott is being conducted because Mondelez is shifting work from U.S. production facilities, most recently in Chicago, IL, to a facility in Salinas Victoria, Mexico.
The AFL-CIO has announced its endorsement of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union’s boycott of Mexican made Nabisco products as a result of the company’s decision to move hundreds of Chicago jobs to a plant in Mexico.
On March 23, the BCTGM — which represents nearly 4,000 members at Mondelez International, maker of Nabisco snack products — escalated its efforts to promote its “Check the Label” campaign. The action is in response to the layoff of the first 277 workers at the Southside Nabisco Chicago Bakery.
When the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Friedrichs v. the California Teacher Association, ended in a 4-4 tie, public-sector unions breathed a collective sigh of relief. Since its initial filing in 2013, labor activists feared the case could deal a crippling blow to public-sector unions throughout the country.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the Republican health care plan on which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced plans for the House of Representatives to vote later today, stating in a letter:
This legislation is a betrayal of working people who will pay the price for it through medical care they can no longer afford, greater financial insecurity, fewer jobs and lives that end too soon. Though it masquerades as health policy, this legislation is really a massive redistribution of wealth away from working families to give even more to the wealthy few.
The consequences of corporate greed are disastrous. Just ask the 600 former Mondelēz/Nabisco working people and members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union in Chicago, who were laid off one year ago today as the company shifted production to Mexico.
Today, more than 100 institutional investors with a combined $3 trillion in assets under management sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in support of a CEO-to-worker pay ratio disclosure. The signatories of the investor statement on pay ratio disclosure include a variety of pension plans, asset managers, foundations, faith-based funds and state treasurers.
One of the lessons of history is that it must be retaught so our children won’t repeat it. When I left Union Plus last year, I decided to enter into an “encore” career and published a graphic novel to teach kids about labor history. But most importantly, how to become an activist when you’re a teenager. That was just the beginning—AFT got involved and decided that we needed to go big on this. Through #ShareMyLesson, we wrote a lesson plan that guides kids through worker history but also gets them engaged in issues during this very important political time.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:
“Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn’t vote for a budget that slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. President Trump’s proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The $54 billion cut to programs that benefit working families is dangerous and destructive. Huge cuts to the departments of Labor, Education and Transportation will make workplaces less safe, put more children at risk and make improving our failing infrastructure much more difficult. The administration can and should do better.”