With the federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25 an hour and an increase facing stiff opposition from congressional Republicans, coalitions of union, community, faith and other groups are mobilizing to win increases in state and local minimum wage levels. Here’s a look at some recent wins and campaigns where AFL-CIO state federations and central labor councils are playing big roles.
The U.S. House on Tuesday night finally passed the major Hurricane Sandy relief bill to help hundreds of thousands of East Coast families and communities recover and rebuild from the massive November storm. But House Speaker John Boehner’s (R) nearly monthlong delay in holding the vote continues to stall the much-needed help as the out-of-session Senate will not be able to vote on the bill until next week.
New York City may be putting the safety of public and private school students who ride the city’s “Yellow” bus fleet at risk. In sending out a request for competitive bids on certain routes—the current contracts expire June 30—the Department of Education is dropping a long-standing requirement that proven, experienced and trained drivers and bus monitors retain their jobs.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., not only provides vital health care services to residents of New York City’s most populous borough—regardless of income or insurance status—but also sheltered and cared for patients from other hospitals and nursing homes that were forced to shut down as Hurricane Sandy tore through the area.
Yesterday, hundreds of workers and community and faith allies rallied in Albany, urging lawmakers to turn back moves to downsize and privatize SUNY Downstate.
The hundreds of thousands of East Coast residents—especially in New York and New Jersey—who continue to feel the sting of Hurricane Sandy more than two months after the storm, now are "feeling the sting of a House Republican slap to the face after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) backed out of a promise to vote on an emergency aid package for hurricane victims," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called Boehner’s decision to cancel the vote “a cruel knife in the back.”
While the election and other stories have taken Superstorm Sandy out of the headlines, millions of Americans who were in the storm's path are still in need of assistance. Don't let the the short attention span of the news cycle delay necessary aid to those whose lives have been permanently altered.
If you live in an area of New York state that was hit by Hurricane Sandy last week and need information about voting tomorrow—if your regular polling place will be open, if it’s been moved, what hours it will be open—visit the New York State AFL-CIO’s special voting update website.
You will find links to your county’s Board of Elections and other agencies, plus information on last-minute get out the vote volunteer opportunities.