Members of Transport Workers (TWU) local unions from throughout the New York area, joined by Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) 153, rallied yesterday outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, headquarters of Qatar Airways. Qatar is moving operations to Kennedy Airport Terminal 8, operated by American Airlines, but, unlike other foreign carriers, is not using American ground service workers who are members of TWU Local 501.
Generation Y teachers—those in their mid-30s or younger—are eager to make a difference. But they quickly get burned out and are leaving the classroom at a rate 51 percent higher than more senior teachers. Not only does this turnover deprive schools of a new generation of educators, it costs school districts about $7 billion each year.
Contrary to recurring predictions of the demise the American labor movement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a Wayne State University audience in Detroit yesterday that the ”labor movement has a rich and vibrant future.”
While collective bargaining is under attack in many parts of the country, it remains one of the few effective ways to preserve the American middle class, the chairwoman of the National Labor Relations Board said.
We know it. Now yet another study proves it: Unions are essential for building a strong middle class–and rebuilding the middle class is key to restoring the U.S. economy.
“Unions Make the Middle Class,” released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, (CAP) points out that unions make the middle class by ensuring workers have a strong voice in both the workplace and in our democracy. The study found when unions are strong they are able to ensure that workers are paid fair wages, receive the training they need to advance to the middle class, and are considered in corporate decision-making processes.
Herbert Parson, Alvin Turner and Joe Warren, were part of the 1968 AFSCME sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed April 1968 while helping the workers fight for justice.
Greg Cendana, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), and Katrina Dizon, membership and social co-chairwoman for the APALA-DC Chapter, sent us this reflection on the meaning of workers’ rights.
In recent months, the attack on workers’ rights has heightened as right-wing corporate lobbyists and legislators have gone beyond public will to strip teachers, nurses, firefighters and others of their right to collectively bargain. We also aren’t fooled that these same people are launching full on attacks on immigrant, women, student and LGBTQ communities. With no clear path to put our economy back on track and unemployment looming at a constant high, the political environment has pushed many to point their fingers at some of the most vulnerable people.
In a defeat for working people, the amendment to strip an anti-union measure from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) re-authorization bill failed on a vote of 220–206. The White House had warned that President Obama would veto the FAA bill if House Republicans prevailed and their move to overturn fair and democratic election rules for air and rail workers remains in the final version.
Some 700 members of UAW Local 2069 will return to work next month at Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley plant in Virginia after being laid off for three years. Under a new contract ratified over the weekend, some 100 workers will return May 2; more than 250 are scheduled to report back May 9, and more than 350 will return May 16.