While most attention in the Boston tragedy is rightfully focused on the victims of last Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon, the damage done by the terrorist attacks didn't end with the explosions or the subsequent shootout that led to additional deaths. Much of the city shut down during the manhunt for the terror suspects; and while most salaried employees could take the day off without losing pay, low-wage workers did not have that luxury. Other workers were forced to work long hours or brave dangerous conditions to get their jobs done.
Activists rallied in front of the Beacon Street Dunkin' Donuts in Boston to build support for a bill in the state legislature that would require employers to give earned sick leave hours to their employees. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Dan Wolf and state Rep. Kay Khan and would ensure that workers get one hour of sick time for each 30 hours they work, up to a maximum of at least 40 hours a year, depending on the size of the company (smaller companies have some exemptions).
Union members and working people are mobilizing all over the country in labor walks, phone banks and leafletting, getting the word out about what's at stake this election. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler has been meeting with working people and joining labor walks from coast to coast this past week.
On Wednesday, Shuler helped kick off the first local chapter of Young Emerging Labor Leaders (WA YELL) in Spokane, Wash.
Shuler thanked the young workers’ group for their activism on the Verizon and T-Mobile campaigns and encouraged the group to stay energized for Nov. 6. Shuler reminded the group that good jobs and college loans are on the line this November.
Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is a “genuine American hero, a pioneer for consumers’ rights, a champion for workers’ rights…who will stand with Massachusetts working families every time, and especially when we need her the most,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told more than 700 union members Saturday before they marched off into neighborhoods to talk to voters.
Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman and Massachusetts Building and Construction Trades Council President Frank Callahan say a recent newspaper article mischaracterizes their efforts in support of the 246-apartment construction project in Vicksburg Square that will provide homes for working families, create jobs and pump tens of millions into the local economy.