After 45 years of driving a cab in New York City, Beresford Simmons says the emergence of the National Taxi Workers Alliance in the past few years is helping his family and those of other drivers reach the middle class.
Artists are finding it harder and harder to get paid...is it time for them to strap on a hard hat and form unions? Salon writer Scott Timberg asks this question in his new article, Can Unions Save the Creative Class? This article is part of a Salon series brought to you by the AFL-CIO.
“That was the turning point for a lot of actors," said actor Susan Sarandon to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the national commercial actors strike 12 years ago. "It wasn’t until we felt threatened that we realized the importance of our union.”
In a casual moment in a midtown Manhattan hotel Friday evening, Sarandon, a longtime member of SAG-AFTRA, and Trumka spoke at length before she introduced him to a gathering held by Local 1 of the American Federation of School Administrators.
A banner for Atlas Media Corp. fluttered in a light breeze above 36th Street in Manhattan. In this morning's sunlight on the sidewalk below, nearly 100 nonfiction TV writers and producers, members of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), waved signs and chanted, demanding health care benefits and better treatment.
Then they staged a footrace, complete with numbered bibs and a finish line held on one end by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, that was dubbed a “Race to the Top” to end the “race to the bottom” at Atlas—a company named for the right-wing polemical novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
The National Taxi Workers Alliance made history when its leader, Bhairavi Desai, accepted the organization’s charter as a member of the AFL-CIO during an event today on “The Future of Work.” Highlighting the changing shape of the union movement, the event opened with remarks by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. Desai then took part in a panel discussion which included representatives of other labor organizations that represent workers who are either traditionally excluded from coverage by labor law, or for whom the changing shape of the economy means the protections they have on paper mean little.
Tune in TODAY from 3-5 p.m. EDT, for a live webcast of the special AFL-CIO forum on The Future of Work and New Ways to Build Power. You can click here for the webcast and follow on twitter with the hashtag #thefutureofwork.
This is a guest blog from Charles Lenchner and Elana Levin, co-founders of Organizing 2.0. Levin also serves as director of communications for the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).
Organizing 2.0 is an annual training conference in New York City for union movement organizers and social justice activists. It’s set for Feb. 13 at the City University of New York (CUNY) Murphy Institute.