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Worker Center Partnerships

The National Taxi Workers Alliance made history when its leader, Bhairavi Desai, accepted the organization's charter as a member union of the AFL-CIO on Oct. 20, 2011.

The union movement works to improve the lives of all people who work—not just those who have the benefits of union membership. In fact, the AFL-CIO has formed partnerships with worker centers and other groups of working people who do not have the legal right to collective bargaining. Some, like taxi workers, have been misclassified as independent contractors. Others, including domestic workers and day laborers, have been excluded from coverage by U.S. labor laws. All workers deserve fair treatment, respect and a voice at work, regardless of how they are classified by employers or regarded by labor law.

In 2006, the AFL-CIO began to formalize its relationship with the flourishing worker center movement—-domestically and internationally—in a number of ways. That year, the federation’s Executive Council authorized worker centers to formally affiliate with state labor federations, local labor councils and Working America. At the same time, the AFL-CIO entered into an historic partnership with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network under which the two organizations pledged to work together on state and local enforcement of rights, worker protections in areas including wage and hour laws, health and safety regulations, immigrants’ rights and employee misclassification, as well as immigration reform.

The AFL-CIO continues to work with worker centers, in both the United States and Mexico, on organizing campaigns, policy initiatives and legislative and other joint efforts. In September 2011, the National Taxi Workers’ Alliance (the first worker center to formally affiliate with a local AFL-CIO body) became the first nontraditional workers’ organization to become formally chartered by the national AFL-CIO in more than six decades. 

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8 Ways Working Families Are Stepping Up to Help Out in the Flint Water Crisis

Kenneth Quinnell
Photo courtesy Michigan AFL-CIO on Twitter

The story has been all over the news in recent months, but there is a major crisis with the water in Flint, Michigan. What is covered a lot less is that working people in unions, both in Michigan and beyond, have stepped up in a variety of ways to help the residents of Flint maintain their safety during the crisis. Here are some of the ways that working people have helped out so far.

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Need more information, or to connect a worker center with the AFL-CIO? Send an email to workercenters [at] aflcio.org.

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