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AFL-CIO Now

22 Things We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Image via Pointerb, Instagram

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, including (in no particular order):

  • Union members who have volunteered their services to strengthen their communities (read more here).
  • All the activists—including those in Congress—working for a road map to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.
  • Connecticut and the four localities (Portland, Ore.; New York City; Jersey City, N.J.; and SeaTac, Wash.) that now require paid sick days.
  • The five states and two localities that have raised the minimum wage this year (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Montgomery County, Md., [measure passed yesterday, county executive confirms he will sign into law], Prince George's County, Md., [pending county executive signature] and SeaTac, Wash. [where there may be a recount]).
  • The 10 states that have expanded access to the ballot (California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Virginia and West Virginia).
  • The domestic workers, home care providers, carwasheros and taxi workers who have defied the odds to come together to win rights and a voice on the job.
  • Walmart, fast food and retail workers who are standing together for living wages.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for “going nuclear” on the filibuster.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren…for being Sen. Elizabeth Warren (and, of course, for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she pushed to create).
  • The U.S. senators who passed ENDA and the Supreme Court justices who overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats for their Economic Agenda for Women and Families (now let’s pass it!).
  • Social Security, for keeping more than 22 million people a year out of poverty.
  • The organizations and media outlets that have exposed dark money and state legislative attacks on workers flowing from ALEC and the Koch brothers.
  • Companies that have signed the Bangladesh Fire Safety Accord (missing from the list are the big U.S. retailers like Walmart).
  • Companies like Costco that buck the trends, pay a living wage and support workers’ rights.
  • Building trades unions’ apprenticeship programs for preparing workers for solid, middle-class careers (read more here).
  • Nurses and teachers, who fight every day for patient safety and great schools for all our kids.
  • Manufacturing workers, who are creating reasons to bring jobs back to America.
  • Writers and dancers, who are bringing justice on the job to their professions.
  • Young workers and students, who are demanding a break from crushing student debt and an economy that will work for their generation.
  • Collective bargaining agreements and all the benefits of being a union member.
  • All the working people, unemployed workers and their families who are the reason for and center of our movement for social and economic justice.
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