More than 1,500 people rallied Tuesday on Capitol Hill in support of working families and to tell Congress not to make any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They also told Congress to close tax loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest 2% and to prevent the sequester from going into effect and harming the country. Throughout the rally, working families spoke with a unified voice calling for "jobs, not cuts."
Christian Torres worked as a cook in the Pomona College dining hall for more than six years. Torres and 16 of his co-workers were fired from Pomona College for not re-verifying their work eligibility after the college asked for documents, which were requested while he was leading an effort to organize to form a union. Torres and his brother came to the United States while still teenagers to join their mother and father who were already in the U.S. He supports the movement to create a common-sense immigration process. Although Torres was fired from Pomona, he continues to support his co-workers in their struggle for better working conditions at the college.
While John Boehner and his allies in the U.S. House of Representatives play politics with aid to families whose lives were shattered by Superstorm Sandy, numerous unions have stepped up to provide money and supplies to those in need. Here are a few examples of how unions are helping families recover from the storm's devastation.
As part of a Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Boots on the Ground project, volunteers from Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 30 helped put the finishing touches on a new facility that will host youth educational programs at the Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center.
New members were elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council this morning. Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), will fill the seat of former President Mark Ayers, and Laura Reyes, secretary-treasurer for AFSCME, will fill the seat of retiring AFSCME President Gerry McEntee. AFSCME President Lee Saunders was named chair of the Executive Council Political Committee.
Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 35, working with other area unions, the Greater Boston Labor Council and community groups, helped expose the exploitation of a group of Philadelphia workers hired by a subcontractor to renovate the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel. Earlier this week, the workers were awarded $31,000 in back pay.