The AFL-CIO and Guatemalan labor unions first filed a labor complaint under the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement in 2008. In the nearly five years since the complaint was filed, the situation for workers has not improved. They still struggle to organize their workplaces without retribution, they still fight to receive the pay promised for work performed and they continue to be targeted with violence, including murder, for standing up for the most basic of internationally recognized labor rights. The International Trade Union Confederation reports that 10 unionists were murdered there in 2011—the most recent year for which statistics are available. It is long past time for the government of Guatemala to change or for the U.S. government to proceed to arbitrate the case. Justice delayed is justice denied—and for far too long, justice has been denied for Guatemala's workers.
Why not give your valentine some union-made sweets this Feb. 14? It turns out, there are many union-made treats you can give out on Valentine's Day. The iconic Necco candy Sweethearts conversation hearts are made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM). Here are some more products compiled by our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor:
Putting the nation’s 11 million aspiring citizens on a path to citizenship is not—as many Republican House lawmakers have characterized—the “extreme” option for immigration reform, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told a House Judiciary Committee hearing today.
Putting them on a path to citizenship, that’s the best option.
The New York Times posted an editorial today highlighting the need for high-paying American jobs, a shift from austerity to investments in our infrastructure and economy and strengthening workers' rights to collectively bargain for a voice on the job. The Times is publishing a series of editorials "on what President Obama and Congress should tackle in the next four years.” Other editorials can be found here.
Public figures, working families and community allies are sharing their thoughts today about the benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on its 20th anniversary and the need for paid sick leave. Check out some highlights from the MomsRising blogger carnival by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), President Bill Clinton and several labor leaders:
When nurses are forced to carry a heavy patient load because of understaffing, the first to suffer are the patients. Several speakers at a Washington, D.C., City Hall press conference Monday said that legislation to establish a nurse-to-patient safe staffing ratio would protect patients’ safety and care.
Today, let’s celebrate 20 years of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Since 1993, the FMLA has been used more than 100 million times, helping 35 million people keep their jobs and health insurance while caring for a family health crisis or a new baby. That’s truly something to celebrate.
But this groundbreaking law didn’t just pop into our lives in 1993. A committed community of activists—women’s groups, union members, faith allies, family advocates and more—worked together for nine years to win it.
On Dec. 6, 2012, Republicans in the Michigan legislature passed bills that eventually led to Michigan becoming the 24th "right to work" for less state. With their majorities in both the House and the Senate and encouragement from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, this was a pretty straightforward accomplishment. However, it was done with a crowd of thousands of protesters surrounding the Capitol building and filling its corridors.