A national movement for a higher minimum wage, increased dignity and a better quality of life looks like it's going to pay off for the New York fast-food workers who launched the whole thing. Momentum has grown in recent years for not only increasing the minimum wage, but for making the wage closer to one that workers can support their families on, and the state of New York is set to join the wave. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) directed the state's acting commissioner of labor to appoint a panel to consider the issue, and the panel has recommended that the state raise the wage for fast-food workers to $15 per hour in chains that have more than 30 outlets. The acting commissioner still must approve the changes, but he is widely expected to do so. When he does, 70% of New Yorkers who currently work for the minimum wage will see a raise.
The United States is the only advanced country in the world without a national paid family leave policy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently said the Empire State isn’t ready to join California, New Jersey and Rhode Island with a statewide paid leave policy. On Monday, a group of prominent women’s and workplace advocates—including AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler—and business leaders told Cuomo he is wrong.
Congress is considering new legislation that would Fast Track new trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), moving them through Congress more quickly by limiting the transparency, accountability and oversight necessary for such trade deals to serve America's working families rather than extreme corporate interests. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Fast Track legislation, and the AFL-CIO has launched a petition calling on Congress to oppose this undemocratic and anti-worker legislation.
A new campaign, launched by the New York State AFL-CIO, asks government leaders in Albany to stop thinking of corporations first and instead to focus on the needs of New Yorkers, to shift their policy proposals in the direction of 'Making NY work for hardworking New Yorkers." In addition to launching a new website and online video, the organization is asking the state's working families to sign a five-point pledge and take action to support the campaign.
Thousands of teachers, parents and allies rallied in Albany, N.Y., on Saturday in opposition to the use of high-stakes standardized tests that are being put in place before the state and teachers have time to fully implement the new curriculum to support those tests. More than 225 buses filled with people showed up to the rally, which was sponsored by New York State United Teachers, the New York State AFL-CIO, AFT, Citizen Action, the New York Immigration Coalition and New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.
Thousands of supporters of providing a quality public education to New York's students are participating in the One Voice United rally in Albany tomorrow, June 8. They will be joined by AFT President Randi Weingarten, New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento and New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi. Averill Park Teachers Association President Michelle Smead wrote her Top 10 list of reasons why education professionals should join them....
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.