From #Metoo to a Global Convention on Sexual Harassment at Work

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By Kenneth Quinnell


From #Metoo to a Global Convention on Sexual Harassment at Work

World Fish/A. W. M. Anisuzzaman/Flickr.

Labor unions around the globe are participating in the International Labor Conference to demand a new global standard to end violence and sexual harassment in the workplace. This epidemic of unwanted touching, sexual comments, requests for sexual favors and sexual assault happens in palm fields in Honduras, garment factories in Cambodia and hotels in the United States. Violence in the workplace hurts both women and men, but women and workers with nonconforming gender identities experience the highest rates of violence.

Media accounts around the world have cast a spotlight on the systemic abuse made possible by global production systems built on cheap, flexible labor provided by women. Women workers have less power, and so are often unwilling or afraid to speak out about sexual assault, harassment or violence. Many women fear losing their jobs, or public shaming by co-workers or families. Social class, race, ethnicity, migrant status, age and ability can all tilt the power balance further away from working women and toward abusers.

Labor unions can help level the playing field for working women worldwide, because it is possible to stand strong when we stand united. Statistics tell us that women with a union are more likely to raise and address issues of harassment, sexual assault and violence. At the same time, collective bargaining agreements can protect women who report abuses from being fired or retaliated against, yet only 7% of the global workforce benefit from a formal union or worker association.

The most vulnerable workers are those who lack unions and who work in precarious arrangements with little or no oversight or accountability. We can help more workers address violence in the workplace by strengthening the freedom of workers to join or form unions and to bargain collectively. A binding standard needs to address the issues of all workers, including those in the informal economy like home-based workers to the most formal economy workers.

The International Labor Organization recently released research on violence and harassment at work in 80 countries in preparation for the upcoming conference. Twenty countries surveyed had no measures in place to protect victims who reported sexual harassment from retaliation, and 19 did not even have a legal definition of sexual harassment at work. A strong legal framework that defines sexual harassment and protects victims can help workers and employers identify and stop the violence.

Social media has allowed women to raise the visibility of sexual harassment and violence, even in industries with low union density and despite other challenges. The time is ripe for labor unions, governments and employers to build on the momentum of the #metoo, #yotambien, #quellavoltache and other campaigns to improve the safety of all workers in all workplaces.

The time is right for a new International Labor Organization (ILO) global standard aimed at ending violence and sexual harassment at work. Years of advocacy from unions and our allies have yielded a commitment to a two-year, tripartite negotiation process between unions, employers and governments. The result will be a new ILO standard, possibly a binding convention, directly focused on violence and sexual harassment in the world of work. Other human rights instruments address gender discrimination or violence in the workplace, yet this ILO standard will be unique because it brings both issues together with a sole focus on the world of work.

ILO standards are negotiated by governments, unions and employers and are widely useful. Governments use them to draft and implement labor and social policy laws. Employers use them to create a set of best practices that can be used anywhere around the world. Labor unions use them to advocate for better protections at work.

Unions support a convention, which is a binding legal instrument that can be ratified by members of the ILO, accompanied by a recommendation that provides more detailed guidance and best practices. A binding convention is necessary, because of the prevalence of sexual harassment across all sectors and workplaces. Unions are advocating for a standard that would cover all workers from domestic workers to autoworkers. A binding convention will make sure countries have the necessary tools to develop and implement laws, as well as develop systems of accountability so the improvements actually have an impact on workers in all workplaces.

Women and sexual and gender minority workers have suffered because of a lack of legal frameworks and a severe power imbalance for too long. No worker should endure violence because the risk of speaking out is too great. No one should endure humiliations and abuse to keep a job. This month, governments and employers have an opportunity to join with unions to start the process of creating a strong new convention and global standard. We can protect millions of workers, and build a future free of workplace sexual harassment and violence.

This post originally appeared at Open Democracy.

Kenneth Quinnell
Thu, 05/31/2018 – 16:26

Source: AFL-CIO

Say No to Subpar VA Service: In the States Roundup

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By Kenneth Quinnell Say No to Subpar VA Service: In the States Roundup

It’s time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states. Click on any of the links to follow the state federations on Twitter.

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Who is speaking out abut high CEO pay? The Arizona AFL-CIO’s Fred Yamashita.

— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) May 26, 2018

Arkansas AFL-CIO:

Hey! Hey! Here we go!!! #1u #arlabor #raisethewages #livingwage @aryoungworkers @ARlaborradio @arlaborwomen @DavidCouchAR

— Arkansas AFL-CIO (@ArkansasAFLCIO) April 17, 2018

California Labor Federation:

Standing together to end forced arbitration! #CALeg YES on #AB3080!! ✊👏 This bill will help end sexual harassment and other exploitation on the job. It’s time to #ShatterTheSilence! @rocunited

— California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) May 29, 2018

Colorado AFL-CIO:

Feminist liberation occurs at the intersection of reproductive access, racial justice, LGBTQ freedom, and economic dignity. We hope that @PPRM will make the just choice to drop the appeal and allow their workers to collectively bargain.

— Colorado AFL-CIO (@AFLCIOCO) May 24, 2018

Connecticut AFL-CIO:

.@APWUnational President Mark Dimondstein dispels the myth about the Postal Service’s financial challenges by exposing the absurd pre-funding requirement of future retiree health care costs, including for some workers not even born yet!

— Connecticut AFL-CIO (@ConnAFLCIO) May 15, 2018

Georgia AFL-CIO:

We are so proud to be a part of #TeamAbrams

— AFL-CIO Georgia (@AFLCIOGeorgia) May 23, 2018

Idaho AFL-CIO:

It was fantastic to see the sisters of @MachinistsUnion in airport on @iamfleetvoice organizing campaign. Check out

— Idaho State AFL-CIO (@IdahoAFLCIO) May 22, 2018

Illinois AFL-CIO:

Thanks to @AFGENational for raising this issue! VA hospitals consistently outperform private hospitals. So why do lawmakers want to demolish it?

Help us save your VA. Call your lawmakers today and tell them to vote NO on the VA Mission Act: 833-480-1637.

— Illinois AFL-CIO (@ILAFLCIO) May 21, 2018

Indiana State AFL-CIO:

Trump’s War on Labor Now Includes Teens; By shrinking the regulatory state, the administration is putting young, vulnerable workers at risk.

— Indiana AFL-CIO (@INAFLCIO) May 30, 2018

Iowa Federation of Labor:

2018 Midwest School for Women Workers

— Iowa AFL-CIO (@IowaAFLCIO) May 29, 2018

Kansas State AFL-CIO:

Impacting jobs close to home.

— Kansas AFL-CIO (@KansasAFLCIO) May 24, 2018

Kentucky State AFL-CIO:

“Trump’s Twitter Blocking Ruled Unconstitutional. What About Bevin’s?”

— Kentucky AFL-CIO (@aflcioky) May 25, 2018

Maine AFL-CIO:

Lobstermen like Julie can’t afford health insurance. She’s voting for Jared @golden4congress because he supports #MedicareForAll and will fight for working people like her @MachinistsUnion #mepolitics

— Maine AFL-CIO (@MEAFLCIO) May 29, 2018

Massachusetts AFL-CIO:

Proud to host our endorsed union candidates fighting together for working families. @PaulFeeneyMA Darrin Howell, Pete Capano, Mike Armano, @Merolli4MA @JimHawkins4Rep @Drinkwater4Sen @TeamTram @johnmahoneyply #1u

— Massachusetts AFLCIO (@massaflcio) May 25, 2018

Metro Washington (D.C.) Council AFL-CIO:

Saturday’s first-ever Laborpalooza MusicFest show and photos just posted!

— MetroDCLaborCouncil (@DCLabor) May 29, 2018

Michigan AFL-CIO:

Today the @MiCivilRights voted to affirm those protections for #LGBT workers. Nobody should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a positive step for equality in the workplace!🏳️‍🌈

— Michigan AFL-CIO (@MIAFLCIO) May 21, 2018

Minnesota AFL-CIO:

In the Long Run, Vetoed Tax Bill Would Have Ladled Out More Corporate Tax Breaks #mnleg via @NorthStarPolicy

— Minnesota AFL-CIO (@MNAFLCIO) May 27, 2018

Missouri AFL-CIO:

Backers of “right-to-work” legislation promise that it will make Missouri more competitive on the jobs front, perhaps even luring big new factories.

Don’t hold your breath. #VoteNoOnPropA on August 7th!

— Missouri AFL-CIO (@MOAFLCIO) May 25, 2018

Montana AFL-CIO:

A Dark Corporate Web – #mtpol

— Montana AFL-CIO (@MTaflcio) May 21, 2018

Nevada State AFL-CIO:

America’s workers mean business! Men + women around the U.S. are joining unions in record numbers to protect themselves, their careers, their families, their futures. Join us in our mission to keep America’s union workers working, healthy, and thriving.

— Nevada State AFL-CIO (@NVAFLCIO) May 29, 2018

New Mexico Federation of Labor:

#MotivationMonday #1u #UnionStrong .@AFLCIO

— NMFL (@LaborFed4NM) May 21, 2018

New York State AFL-CIO:

Profitable corporations like @AmericanAir should pay family-supporting wages so that their #AATeam employees don’t have to rely on public assistance to make ends meet. #faircontractatamericanair


North Carolina State AFL-CIO:

ADVISORY: #Charlotte Community to Demand Accountability for Worksite Death of Juventino Hernandez, 9:30a tomorrow #CLT #1u @704_SPCLC @JwJnational @theobserver @cbjnewsroom @lanoticia @wbtv_news @wsoctv @fox46news @cltgov

— NC State AFL-CIO (@NCStateAFLCIO) May 29, 2018

North Dakota AFL-CIO:

Congrats to the 2018 Labor-endorsed candidates in North Dakota! #ndpol #1u #labor2018

— North Dakota AFL-CIO (@NDAFLCIO) May 21, 2018


Since we didn’t get response from @GOP on @harleydavidson cutting US jobs after #TaxScam, we’ll give @RepSteveChabot @senrobportman @RepBobGibbs or any @ohiogop chance to explain this article? It’s why we need worker voices of @AftabPureval @Team_Harbaugh

— Ohio AFL-CIO (@ohioaflcio) May 28, 2018

Oklahoma AFL-CIO:

All gave some, some gave all. Today we remember.

— Oklahoma AFL-CIO (@OK_AFL_CIO) May 28, 2018

Oregon AFL-CIO:

Our latest podcast episode is out! We sat down with Transportation Fairness Portland and Burgerville Workers Union to talk about the latest from these two exciting campaigns. Now available on iTunes & Stitcher.

— Oregon AFL-CIO (@OregonAFLCIO) May 29, 2018

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO:

#ForcedArbitration allows the cover up of workplace abuses, strips workers of their rights, and gives coporations and employers an unfair advantage. And the #SCOTUS just ok’d that this week!

— PA AFL-CIO (@PaAFL_CIO) May 25, 2018

Rhode Island AFL-CIO:

Join R.I. Building Trades at McCoy Stadium on Wednesday, June 20. They have been supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State for over a decade. Find out how you can become a mentor to a boy or girl. Watch video for details. #1U

— Rhode Island AFL-CIO (@riaflcio) May 23, 2018

Texas AFL-CIO:

The #TxAFLCIO congratulates Carl Sherman on winning nomination in HD 109 by championing a #FairShot for working families. We look forward to victory in November and a better TX. #COPE #1u

— Texas AFL-CIO (@TexasAFLCIO) May 23, 2018

Virginia AFL-CIO:

Should political campaigns be unionized? This one is trying. via @vicenews

— Virginia AFL-CIO (@Virginia_AFLCIO) May 27, 2018

Washington State Labor Council:

Check out our list of endorsements…

— WA State AFL-CIO (@WAAFLCIO) May 21, 2018

West Virginia AFL-CIO:

For more information regarding Local 818’s #UnfairLaborPracticeStrike at Tecnocap follow us @DistrictLodge54

— IAMAW (@DistrictLodge54) May 18, 2018

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO:

#WIunion proud to support Mahlon Mitchell for Governor. Ready to restore worker rights and raise wages. #1u

— WI AFL-CIO (@wisaflcio) May 26, 2018

Kenneth Quinnell
Thu, 05/31/2018 – 13:27

Source: AFL-CIO

When It Comes to Janus, There Is Rhetoric and There Is Reality

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By Kenneth Quinnell

Freedom to Join

When It Comes to Janus, There Is Rhetoric and There Is Reality


Sometime in the next few weeks, the Supreme Court will decide a case called Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, that threatens to undermine the freedom of working people to join together and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. Corporate CEOs and their allies know that working people have a much stronger voice when we speak together, so they are pulling out all the stops to silence our voices.

But the reality about Janus is significantly different than the rhetoric of those behind it. Here are some key ways how:

Rhetoric: This is about stopping unions from funneling union members’ money to politicians the members disagree with.

Reality: Plaintiff Mark Janus has always enjoyed the legal protection that he’s seeking. Not one cent of his money can be used to support any candidate’s political campaign over his objection. Period.

Rhetoric: No one should have to join a union to get a job.

Reality: Working people are guaranteed the freedom to join together in union. However, unions are required to represent all employees in an organized workplace, whether they’re members or not.

Rhetoric: This is about workers’ freedom and workers’ choice.

Reality: This is about taking away freedoms at work in order to silence workers and further enrich corporate CEOs.

Rhetoric: A ruling in favor of Janus would be a death sentence for unions and mark the end of organized labor in the public sector.

Reality: No piece of legislation or judicial decision is going to thwart the aspirations of millions of working people standing together for a better life.

Rhetoric: This case is going to sabotage the unions’ ability to mobilize in 2018 and 2020.

Reality: Working people mobilize because the issue or candidate matters to us, not because of what the Supreme Court says. We mobilized and made a difference in so many races such as the elections of Rep. Conor Lamb (Pa.) and Gov. Phil Murphy (N.J.) because we had a stake in their outcome. We’ll continue making our voices heard this year and beyond.

Rhetoric: Workers fed up with their unions are the driving force behind this case.

Reality: Janus is just the most recent public face of a long-running assault on unions funded by a dark web of corporate money and propped up by the Koch brothers’ echo chamber.

Learn more about Janus at Freedom to Join.

Kenneth Quinnell
Thu, 05/31/2018 – 11:26

Source: AFL-CIO

Better Answers on Trade, America’s Economy

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By Kenneth Quinnell

Wall Street bull girl

Better Answers on Trade, America’s Economy

Anthony Quintano

In 2016, Donald Trump prevailed over 17 establishment opponents. He is a disrupter. In particular, he disrupted establishment trade policies that have failed millions of Americans.

Too many workers and communities have been left behind. Too much mistrust has grown regarding the way we’ve managed globalization. Wages have fallen far behind the growth trends of previous generations.

The neoliberal free-market free-trade trickle-down orthodoxy, which we have followed for decades, is exhausted—socially, politically, and economically.

We don’t really understand Trump’s tariffs, or bluster, or impulsive negotiating tactics, but we do understand that we need a change in direction.

We need new, effective public policies to deal with real problems that affect most people in America—inequality, climate change, health care, opioid addiction, student debt, and decaying infrastructure. We desperately need a manufacturing strategy that creates good new jobs, and stronger employment relationships that would raise family income.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “Unregulated free market orthodoxy cannot solve these problems—free market orthodoxy IS the problem.” Our big policy challenges are all market failures.

David Brooks told us that Trump is the wrong answer to the right questions. Trump’s disruption gives us the opportunity, right now, to find better answers the right questions. We should start by rehabilitating the role of public policy, restoring trust in public institutions and re-legitimizing the role of government in solving our problems.

China understands this. So do Japan, South Korea, Germany, and the Nordic countries. Also, they all recognize their legitimate national interests. They have various forms of mixed economies, including well-designed industrial policies to improve their living standards. We understood this when we industrialized our economy, and we understood it again in the decades after World War II.

China has a national strategy to become the leader in 10 industries of the future. South Korea built a formidable manufacturing economy and raised living standards dramatically. China, Japan, and Europe have modern high-speed rail. China is investing in billions for infrastructure to move goods to their key markets around the world. China targeted solar energy as a key industry of the future, and invested $126 billion there last year.

On the other hand, our economic and trade policies steadily moved our industrial base offshore and we tell ourselves “these jobs won’t come back.” We accept “D+” ratings on our neglected infrastructure, and can’t pass an infrastructure bill. Our approach is ill-suited to the 21st century global economy.

China invests billions in research and development, knowing their investment will be commercialized in their domestic economy. Our billions in publicly funded R&D will be commercialized offshore, producing good jobs in Malaysia, Vietnam, India, China, Mexico and Ireland.

Foreign students are subsidized to study at U.S. universities. Our own students pay prohibitive tuition costs, taking on debt and risk. Many graduates don’t find a job in their field of study.

We have done better on each of these measures in the past.

Inequality and climate change—the defining problems of our time—are the biggest market failures in human history. Solutions will require new public policies. NAFTA and subsequent trade policies take exactly the wrong approach. They are designed to merge our economy into the global economy, blur national borders and push aside public interests.

Economic and trade policies should balance investor interests with public interests. That’s what we expect any political system to do. That will be necessary, important and fundamentally different from the trickle-down economic policies and free-trade NAFTA approach.

Trump fumbles with this realization. He recognizes the urgency of “doing something.” His tariffs are certainly something, but Trump’s instinct is to tear down social cohesion, hit back at his rivals, fan conflict, and diminish our leadership in the world.

Our first conversation should be about restoring social cohesion, and recognizing that we all do better when we all do better. Our purpose is to raise living standards and improve well-being in our communities. In a mixed economy approach, we would create policy-driven strategies to address inequality, climate change, health care, education, investment in infrastructure, restoring our industrial base and making key social investments we have let wither for 30 years.

When Trump says it, it sounds ominous, but every country does expect public policies to express their legitimate national interests. What we don’t hear from Trump is that the purpose of an economy is to raise living standards. That is true of our domestic economy and equally important for the global economy. We can recognize legitimate national interests, raising living standards everywhere, without being nationalists or xenophobic.

Trump has disrupted economic orthodoxy. We no longer expect the invisible hand of free markets to solve serious social, environmental, and economic problems. But, Trump is transactional; he lacks a coherent vision. His answers look suspiciously beneficial for global corporations, the financial industry and very wealthy donors.

We have campaign seasons in 2018 and 2020 to consider different answers to Trump’s questions. Where should we be investing in people, infrastructure, innovation, industries, communities, and clean energy? In each case, we should ask, “Who gets the gains from productivity, innovation, investments, and globalization?”

Trump has put those questions into play. We haven’t had this good an opportunity for years.

This post originally appeared at The Stand.

Kenneth Quinnell
Wed, 05/30/2018 – 11:56

Source: AFL-CIO

Kentucky: Labor ‘Batted’ .647 in the Primary

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By Kenneth Quinnell

Kentucky labor

Kentucky: Labor ‘Batted’ .647 in the Primary

Berry Craig

If candidate endorsements were like baseball batting averages, the Kentucky State AFL-CIO would be leading the big leagues and heading for the Hall of Fame.

Ten House candidates endorsed by the state COPE (Committee on Political Education) Committee won and five lost in Tuesday’s primary. We were one-for-two in the Senate. That’s .647, or .283 better than Boston Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts, tops in the majors this season so far.

“Unfortunately, union candidates Al Cunningham, Eldon Renaud and Richard Becker were not successful, but James DeWeese won his primary,” said Bill Londrigan, state AFL-CIO president.

Added Londrigan: “Perhaps the biggest upset was in House District 71—Rockcastle, Garrard and part of Madison counties—where organized labor partnered with the [Fraternal Order of Police] (FOP) and [Kentucky Education Association] (KEA) to defeat Republican Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell with Republican teacher Travis Brenda.”

Brenda’s surprise win made the national news. Click here to see MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow report Brenda’s victory over Shell, a Mitch McConnell favorite and a rising star in the GOP.

Brenda is a math teacher at Rockcastle County High School who had never run for office. He took Shell to task over his support for the GOP’s pension-gutting bill.

Shell is also one of the most anti-labor lawmakers in Frankfort. In the 2017 session, he voted for the GOP’s two big union-busting bills: “right to work” and prevailing wage repeal.

In answering a state AFL-CIO candidate questionnaire, Brenda pledged to support efforts to repeal right to work and reinstate prevailing wage. “I do not agree with the Legislative leadership in how they have promoted the agenda of the [Kentucky Chamber], Koch brothers, ALEC, etc.,” he wrote in the comments section.

Cunningham, Renaud and Becker lost to educators, leading Liles Taylor, state AFL-CIO political coordinator, to dub 2018 “the year of the teacher.”

Added Taylor: “I hate it that more of our candidates didn’t win, but if it means that teachers are that doggone powerful, then we’ve got some serious momentum going in the fall.”

The KEA and state AFL-CIO have long been allies. Both groups almost always endorse the same candidates.

Cunningham, of Benton, retired in 2016 as business representative for Painters and Allied Trades District 91. He lost to Linda Story Edwards, also of Benton, in a three-way race in the House District 6 Democratic primary.

On the stump, Edwards, a retired teacher, pledged that she’d work to repeal right to work and restore the prevailing wage.

Becker, an SEIU/NCFO organizer, lost to Dr. Lisa Willner, Jefferson County Board of Education vice chair and a part-time professor at Bellarmine University, in a three-way Louisville 35th District Democratic contest. Dr. Patti Minter, a history professor at Western Kentucky University, outlasted three other Democrats, including Renaud, in the 20th District primary. Renaud is a retired president of UAW Local 2164.

Willner and Minter are in labor’s corner.

Willner’s website says the candidate “strongly opposes ‘Right to Work for Less,’ and the cynical Republican war on working families” and pledges that she “will be a voice and stand up for working families whenever there are efforts to roll back worker protections.”

According to the website, “she strongly supports prevailing wage because it helps working families receive fair wages. Lisa will support legislation for prevailing wage. Lisa will work to reverse the right to work (for less) legislation that extremist Republicans jammed through in the 2017 session.”

Minter says she opposes “so-called ‘right to work,’ because it is the right to work for less money.”

Added Minter, one of nine Emerge Kentucky grads who won primary races: “I am on record in the Bowling Green Daily News stating that in my professional opinion—I am a legal historian who teaches at Western Kentucky University—the local county ‘right to work’ ordinances which passed in Warren County and other places violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). I would oppose any ‘right to work’ legislation as the representative of the 20th House District.”

Minter also supports the prevailing wage. “It should be reinstated in Kentucky,” she said.

In House District 50, DeWeese, a Bardstown resident and UPS ground agent with Louisville-based Teamsters Local 89, beat a fellow Democrat. DeWeese will face Rep. Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown, in a rematch from 2016.

Meanwhile, the teacher winning streak continued in the First Congressional District Democratic primary. Dr. Paul Walker, a Murray State University English professor, bested Alonzo Pennington, a singer-songwriter-hunting guide from Princeton.

Both candidates courted union support. Both are anti-“right to work” and pro-prevailing wage.

Anyway, Taylor also sees teachers and organized labor making common cause. Dozens of union members joined the historic protests by teachers and other public employees in Frankfort.

Londrigan and state AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Wiggins joined the throngs at the capital who rallied against the pension bill.

“The teachers said ‘thug’ meant ‘teachers helping union guys,” Wiggins told the crowd at a public education rally in Paducah last Saturday.

“We loved it,” added Wiggins, who is from Reidland, a Paducah suburb. “Every Thursday morning before the legislature went into session, I went down and held up signs with the teachers because they support us, too.”

This post originally appeared at the Kentucky State AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell
Wed, 05/30/2018 – 11:11

Source: AFL-CIO

Harley-Davidson Move Shows Failure of Trump Tax Cuts

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By Kenneth Quinnell


Harley-Davidson Move Shows Failure of Trump Tax Cuts

Wikimedia Commons

In February of last year, President Donald Trump met with executives and working people at Harley-Davidson, promising that his proposed changes to tax law, trade, tariffs and other policies would help the company grow and working people would be the beneficiaries. This promise was widely made by Trump and other Republican advocates of the tax bill that Trump signed in December. But, as time goes on, we see, more and more, that the law not only isn’t helping working people, it’s making things worse.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the tax law and the effects it has on working people (using Harley-Davidson as an example):

  • Harley-Davidson is laying off 800 workers at a Kansas City, Missouri, factory by the fall of 2019.

  • The company says it expects to add 450 full-time, casual and contractor positions, to their plant in York, Pennsylvania. A net loss of 350 jobs, but considering that some of the new jobs aren’t full-time, the loss is bigger.

  • The company just announced a dividend increase for shareholders and a stock buyback plan where it will purchase 15 million of its shares with a current value of just under $700 million.

  • In the first three months after Trump signed the tax bill, corporations have spent a record $178 billion in stock buybacks.

  • Harley-Davidson is a profitable company, making between $800 million and $1 billion in pre-tax profits.

  • The company will be opening a plant in Thailand. It says that the new plant isn’t related and that it isn’t outsourcing jobs, but advocates for working people reject that argument: “Part of my job is being moved to York, but the other part is going to Bangkok,” said Richard Pence, a machinist at the Kansas City plant.

  • Greg Tate, a representative of United Steelworkers District 11, which represents about 30% of the plants workers, suggested that the tax bill may have freed up money to make the move: “They have the capital now to move Kansas City, to shut it down. All of that money really came from the tax cut plan, so it kind of had the opposite effect of what it was supposed to do.”

  • Machinists (IAM) President Robert Martinez Jr. sent a letter to Trump asking him to save the Kansas City plant: “For decades, hard-working Machinists union members have devoted their lives to making high-quality, American-made products for Harley. America’s working men and women deserve better than being thrown out onto the street. Our nation deserves better.” Trump did not budge.

Pence appeared on Chris Hayes’ show to discuss the layoffs:

Rick Pence, worker at closing Harley-Davidson plant: “When the tax cut finally rolled down to us, I got about $16, $17 more a week. But now Harley’s giving me one heck of a tax cut because I won’t have no income at all next year and my tax will be zero.” #inners

— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) May 23, 2018

Kenneth Quinnell
Wed, 05/30/2018 – 08:44

Source: AFL-CIO

Memorial Day Is About Respect and Remembrance

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By Kenneth Quinnell

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Is About Respect and Remembrance


The working men and women of the AFL-CIO join the Union Veterans Council to wish all a safe Memorial Day weekend. This is a time to respect and remember those who gave their lives for the bedrock freedoms of our nation.

Let’s resolve to honor their sacrifice by redoubling our efforts to secure and make real those freedoms for every worker in America, so working people can win new economic rules built on broadly shared prosperity.

As we start our Memorial Day weekend, it always seems I get a few questions about the holiday, what it means and how Americans can be respectful on this day. The answer is not that easy. Decoration day has morphed into just one more corporate holiday where you can get great deals on furniture, cars and those American flag swimming trunks. But for veterans, especially combat veterans, the weekend has another meaning.

When I signed up to serve in the U.S. Army Infantry, I did so knowing I was going to face the possibility of not coming home. That is what millions of Americans who signed up have done throughout our history. Nothing prepares us for the harsh reality of war. I was deployed multiple times to some of the worst locations in the global war on terror. I have seen great personal loss of friends and people who are closer to me that most of my own family. This is the reality for so many veterans and their families. Memorial Day is a sacred day whose full meaning I will never be able to put into words.

Union members have a historic bond with veterans. Many of our modern trade unions were founded by war veterans who returned home and then banded together for the collective power to win good lives. Over the generations, each wave of veterans has renewed that bond, and the same is true today.

The chances are good that each one of us knows, works with or otherwise has a connection to at least one person who has lost a friend or family member to war.

Case in point, if you are a member of a local, state or national union, chances are you know a post-9/11 veteran. Some one in four post-9/11 veterans work as public servants. One-third of all federal employees are veterans. It is likely that you work with someone who has either lost a friend or family member to war.

I recommend you do a few thing this weekend. First, be respectful. You may not know it, but someone you know may be going through a tough time. Second, reach out. If you know a veteran who served in combat or family member who lost someone, talk to them and let them know they have your support. And finally, celebrate the lives of our lost service members. If you are having a cookout or family reunion, take a minute to recognize why we memorialize this weekend.

We also can honor our veterans by fighting for full funding for the U.S. Veterans Affairs and supporting efforts to train and employ our veterans for good union jobs. Each day 20 veterans commit suicide. One of the leading causes is financial instability. Unions can help. On average, a veteran who is member of a union makes $12,000 more annually, giving them the financial freedom to transition back to their civilian life, providing hope of a bright future for those who have sacrificed for us.

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 05/25/2018 – 12:15

Source: AFL-CIO

Ending Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

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By Kenneth Quinnell Ending Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

No one should have to risk their safety or dignity to put food on the table. Yet every day, workers around the world are subjected to sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence. On Monday, May 28, workers, employers and governments will come together at the International Labor Organization to discuss a new global standard on violence and harassment in the world of work. This is the culmination of more than a decade of advocacy by the global labor movement. It’s an exciting opportunity to create a binding international agreement to end gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace.

The AFL-CIO, together with partners from around the world, will be on the ground pushing for a binding convention that empowers workers to take collective action to build safe, respectful workplaces. You can follow the action on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and check out our partners at the Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) and the International Trade Union Confederation (@ITUC).

Watch a short video here made by our sister organization, the Solidarity Center, here:

Why use the term gender-based violence and harassment?

In the United States, the law protects against sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment, and public conversations generally use these terms as well. Often, sex and gender are used interchangeably. However, there is an important distinction between the two: a person’s sex is tied to their inherent biological characteristics. Gender, on the other hand, is a social construct built around norms, expectations and stereotypes about what it means to be a man or a woman.

In the U.S., and indeed throughout much of the world, there is an entrenched, gendered power hierarchy that values men and a rigid definition of masculinity. The term gender-based violence and harassment reflects this inherent power imbalance. It recognizes the link between the gendered violence that occurs in society at large and the devaluation of women in the workplace. Both are tied to the way people are socialized, and particularly how men are socialized to feel entitled to women’s bodies and to expect deference and compliance. Every social actor has a role to play in breaking down these harmful stereotypes and creating equitable, respectful communities—and when it comes to addressing how this issue plays out in the workplace, unions have an unique and powerful role to play.

How do unions help stop gender-based violence and harassment?

Unions have a critical role to play in ending gender-based violence and harassment. At base, gender-based violence in the world of work—including unwanted touching, sexual comments, requests for sexual favors and even sexual assault—is not about sex, but about power. Unions are dedicated to shifting power relationships and creating more equitable and fair workplaces. Workers, particularly those who have been subjected to mistreatment, must be empowered to take collective action to enact solutions and demand justice.

Economic insecurity, particularly precarious and low-wage employment, makes workers more vulnerable to harassment. Women comprise the majority of part-time and temporary workers in the United States and most of the world, as well as the majority of low-paid workers and those making minimum wage. Many of these workers live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford even a brief break in employment, making them less likely to report abuse. Precarious work arrangements, like subcontracting or other contingent arrangements, decrease oversight and accountability. Confronting violence and harassment at work requires addressing the underlying conditions that drive abuse—including worker organizing to win living wages, job security and protection from retaliation.

Learn more about some of the work of the AFL-CIO, our affiliates and other working people on this issue:

Learn more about what the issue looks like around the world and what unions are doing to fight back! Our sister organization the Solidarity Center works with unions and labor right activists around the world. Dr. Jane Pillinger prepared a report for the ILO that includes examples of union actions on gender-based violence around the world.

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 05/25/2018 – 11:30

Source: AFL-CIO

Fighting for Better Pay and Workplace Safety: What Working People Are Doing This Week

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By Kenneth Quinnell Fighting for Better Pay and Workplace Safety: What Working People Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here’s a look at the broad range of activities we’re engaged in this week.

Actors’ Equity:

“There is a misconception that we are in the ensemble because we are the least talented. Often times it’s the exact opposite.” – @FrozenBroadway ensemble member Tracee Beazer Barrett (@TraBeaz81 ) on why #EveryoneOnStage matters.

— Actors’ Equity (@ActorsEquity) May 24, 2018


AFGE calls legislation an ‘extremely dangerous step’ toward privatization of the VA → #1u

— AFGE (@AFGENational) May 24, 2018


Workers at a big social services agency in Portland, Oregon, have voted to join together with AFSCME Council 75. Better pay and workplace safety are two priorities for these workers.

— AFSCME (@AFSCME) May 23, 2018


Check out @AFTUtah President Brad Asay’s commentary about how Utah unions stand united to protect working families. #JanusvsAFSCME #IamAFT

— AFT (@AFTunion) May 24, 2018

Alliance for Retired Americans:

Thanks for fighting for retirees @LisaBRochester! We appreciate your votes to protect #Medicare and #SocialSecurity #RetireeHero #RetireeVR17

— Alliance Retirees (@ActiveRetirees) May 24, 2018

Amalgamated Transit Union:

TriMet’s LIFT Contractor Accused of Labor and #HumanRights Violations #1u #transit #TriMet

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) May 18, 2018

American Federation of Musicians:

Nick Ballarini at Klyde Warren Park today courtesy of the Music Performance Trust Fund, @The_AFM and @KlydeWarrenPark

— AFM Local 72-147 (@dfwmusicians) May 23, 2018

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

AFA released a quick reference guide to secure safe uniforms, define the problem, and encourage airlines to take adequate steps to avoid the safety hazard. New uniforms are rolling out at major airlines next week and over the next few years. WATCH:

— AFA-CWA (@afa_cwa) May 24, 2018

Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers:

Carrier Wanted to Move to Mexico. Trump Stepped In. A Year Later, This Is What Happened to Indianapolis. via @PopMech

— BCTGM International (@BCTGM) May 24, 2018


Here’s a little history for you: In the early 1900s #Boilermakers developed secret hand signals and a secret code book to protect communication (especially telegrams) from anti-union spies. #ThrowbackThursday

— Boilermaker News (@boilermakernews) May 24, 2018


Great to have .@staceyabrams with us today at our South Regional meeting in #Atlanta. Together, we will build a better #Georgia! #TeamAbrams #GAgov #gapol #1u

— Bricklayers Union (@IUBAC) May 24, 2018

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists:

Brother Burrus epitomized the fire that black trade unionists carry to survive racism and serve working people. Our condolences go out to his family.

— CBTU (@CBTU72) May 21, 2018

Communications Workers of America:

14,000 working people at @ATT may strike soon if necessary for good jobs, affordable healthcare, and a secure retirement. #NoJobsNoDeal #1u

Stand with them in their fight. Sign the petition:

— CWA (@CWAUnion) May 23, 2018

Department for Professional Employees:

“We believe as a community that a teacher contract would help provide stability to the school, will help make sure teachers stay, and will also hold accountability to the administration to ensure principals stay as well.” #1u

— DPE (@DPEaflcio) May 24, 2018

Electrical Workers:

Michigan prevailing wage repeal halted … for now

— IBEW (@IBEW) May 24, 2018

Farm Labor Organizing Committee:

Maybe some good news for #DACA recipients, most likely bad news for the rest of immigrants and our country as a whole. More info on the latest in #Congress by @taragolshan “The Return of the DACA Fight in Congress, Explained”

— Farm Labor Organizing Committee (@SupportFLOC) May 24, 2018

Fire Fighters:

“Organized, the #firefighter is a champion, But-Unorganized he is in no condition to fight.” #IAFF100years #UnionStrong #labormovement

— IAFF (@IAFFNewsDesk) May 24, 2018

Heat and Frost Insulators:

Looking for a career where you don’t have to worry about your gender influencing your paycheck? We believe in fair compensation and are looking for women who would like a career in Mechanical Insulating. Watch now:

— Insulators Union (@InsulatorsUnion) May 24, 2018

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers:

@IFPTE stands with our brother and sisters in @MachinistsUnion in their organizing of Boeing South Carolina!

— IFPTE WEST (@IfpteWest) May 22, 2018

International Labor Communications Association:

Enter the 2018 ILCA Labor Media Contest today! #1u

— ILCA Communications (@ILCAonline) May 14, 2018


Louie, a beloved elephant born @ToledoZoo received extra special care from Dunbar’s rigging team when it was time for him to be transferred to a zoo in Omaha. Read more

— Ironworkers. (@TheIronworkers) May 22, 2018

Jobs With Justice:

Remember when Trump “saved” jobs at a @Carrier plant in Indiana? Well, hear from the working women and men at Carrier and find out what really happened. (Spoiler Alert: Trump didn’t do much)

— Jobs With Justice (@jwjnational) May 24, 2018

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement:

Applications are now open for The Maria Portalatin National Freedom Scholarship! Every year this scholarship awards 3 students $1,000 book stipend and a laptop computer. Application deadline is June 20, 2018.

— LCLAA (@LCLAA) May 22, 2018


DYK the current repair backlog for #bridges requires $123 billion? #FixOurBridges #TimeToBuild

— LIUNA (@LIUNA) May 24, 2018


SOLIDARITY REQUEST: The company is continuing its anti-union campaign. Sign the petition to stand with working people at Boeing South Carolina.

— Machinists Union (@MachinistsUnion) May 22, 2018

Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association:

Proud to support the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act! #ShipUSA @bvlworks @RepGaramendi @RogerWicker @Rep_Hunter @DonaldNorcross @RepLowenthal

— M.E.B.A. (@MEBAUNION) May 23, 2018

Maritime Trades Department:

Maritime Trades Department stands in solidarity with its brothers and sisters with BCTGM Nabisco Workers.

— MaritimeTrades (@Maritime_Trades) May 16, 2018

Metal Trades Department:

“These brave men and women didn’t risk life and limb to receive inferior care outside of the only health care system tailored to their unique needs.” How the VA MISSION Act is setting the stage for privatization of veterans care →

— Metal Trades Dept. (@metaltradesafl) May 24, 2018

Mine Workers:

Thanks to @Bob_Casey for his hard work to preserve health care benefits retired miners earned in blood. #TheyEarnedIt

— United Mine Workers (@MineWorkers) May 22, 2018

Musical Artists:

Long the domain of men, choreography gets a female boost at @BalletWest1 National Choreographic Fest

— AGMA (@AGMusicalArtist) May 15, 2018

National Air Traffic Controllers Association:

Thank you to everyone who helped #NCF have a successful #NATCAinWashington! Because of your generosity NCF raised a record amount of OVER $14,000 during NiW! Also, members helped us stuff 300 homeless kits to deliver to the local shelter. #NATCA #GivingBack

— NATCACharitable (@NATCACharitable) May 24, 2018

National Day Laborer Organizing Network:

The trump agenda.

— NDLON (@NDLON) May 24, 2018

National Domestic Workers Alliance:

Adelaide, an immigrant #domesticworker, was in DC w/ her daughter yesterday to protest Trump’s latest proposal to punish immigrant families “I shouldn’t have to choose between being able to take my daughter to the doctor or getting papers to stay in the country” #ProtectFamilies

— Domestic Workers (@domesticworkers) May 24, 2018

National Nurses United:

DC nurses cheer contract, celebrate back pay due to them #nursepower #1U

— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) May 23, 2018

National Taxi Workers Alliance:

The Ruling That Could Change New York’s Uber Landscape

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) May 24, 2018

The NewsGuild-CWA:

“Gannett should cease this act of nonsense and begin treating its Indianapolis journalists with the respect they deserve.”

— Indianapolis Newspaper Guild (@indynewsguild) May 19, 2018

NFL Players Association:

— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 23, 2018

North America’s Building Trades Unions:

Thanks to @SenatorAument for focusing on this important issue. Well done @Boilermakers13 BM Williams and @IBEW3RDDISTRICT International Rep. Anderson making the trades’ voice heard 🗣

— The Building Trades (@BldgTrdsUnions) May 24, 2018

Painters and Allied Trades:

Congratulations @staceyabrams! @GoIUPAT puts feet on the street where it matters most! #GroundGame 💯

— GoIUPAT✊🏽 (@GoIUPAT) May 23, 2018

Plasterers and Cement Masons:

#OPCMIA Local leaders: We need you! We are creating an web page saluting and supporting our proud veteran members. Please obtain photos and brief biographies of your members who served in the U.S. or Canadian militaries — and email them to

— OPCMIA International (@opcmiaintl) May 24, 2018

Pride At Work:

Hear ED Jerame Davis talk about the importance of constituency groups and the Pride at Work convention with the @MachinistsUnion

Register for our convention today to get the Early Bird rate!

— Pride at Work (@PrideatWork) May 23, 2018

Printing, Publishing and Media Workers:

In a scathing 30-page dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the ruling “egregiously wrong” and added that “Congressional correction … is urgently in order.” Sign if you agree with RBG 👉🏾

— CWA Printing Sector (@CWAPrintingSect) May 23, 2018

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists:

@PASSNational is proud to join our union brothers & sisters @AFLCIO working to protect the nation’s veterans & the dedicated public servants @AFGENational who provide their care at the VA. #NoMissionAct Call 833-480-1637; urge Senators to vote No. #1u #unionsolidarity

— PASS (@PASSNational) May 23, 2018

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers:

RWDSU is in the house for the New York Democratic Convention at @HofstraU. We’re right at home, the @Local338 office is nearby in Mineola, NY, & all cafeteria and maintainable workers at Hofstra are @Local_1102 members!

— RWDSU (@RWDSU) May 23, 2018


SAG-AFTRA Military Personnel & Families Support Committee is proud to support #GIFF2018 in DC. Vice-Chair Gene DeFrancis, committee member Marc Baron, and #sagaftramember @GarySinise attended the @gifilm congressional reception on Capitol Hill.

— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) May 24, 2018

School Administrators:

#BetsyDeVos faces questions over school shootings, makes no mention of guns or announcement of date for school safety commission deliverables

— AFSA Leadership (@AFSAUnion) May 22, 2018


Congress has a responsibility to save the Merchant Marine

— Seafarers Union (@SeafarersUnion) May 23, 2018

Solidarity Center:

Workers from #SriLanka Textile, Garment and Clothing Workers Union rallied in support of @ilo rule on #genderbasedviolence at work! Workers, employers & govt gathering now for #ILC2018 to discuss a draft convention!
@ituc @AFLCIOGlobal @IndustriALL_GU @GLJhub @rosenbaumj

— Solidarity Center (@SolidarityCntr) May 24, 2018

Theatrical Stage Employees:

Our @FoodBanksCanada #EveryPlatefull Challenge team page is up and running! #EveryPlateFull runs from May28th-Jun8th. Join, Help, Donate! #YYC #Calgary #IATSE #IATSECares #FeedYYC @IATSE @IATSECanada @CalgaryFoodBank

— Iatse 212 Calgary (@Iatselocal212) May 24, 2018

Transport Workers:

Congratulations to TWU’S Mike Mayes, who was selected to serve on the @TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee

— TWU (@transportworker) May 24, 2018

Transportation Trades Department:

There is an increased risk for American travelers when U.S. planes are maintained and repaired by foreign companies. Read the full @RidgeGlobal report here: @TransportWorker

— Transp. Trades Dept. (@TTDAFLCIO) May 24, 2018


In this week’s #LaborVoices, outgoing UAW President Dennis Williams reflects on the past four years and the importance of collective bargaining.

— UAW (@UAW) May 23, 2018

Union Label and Service Trades Department:

Check out this video from NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on Harley-Davidson’s Greed after the #TaxScam

— Union Label Dept. (@ULSTD_AFLCIO) May 24, 2018

Union Veterans Council:

This is a purposefully directed attack against middle-class veterans and their families and will amount to one of the largest cuts (6.45% annually) to benefits the veterans community has received. @votevets @commondefense @vets4bernie @AFGENational

— UnionVeteransCouncil (@unionveterans) May 12, 2018


Never let anyone define patriotism who excludes protest or the right to take collective action. This “policy” seems more about keeping predominantly black workers in their place than “protecting integrity.”@unitehere stands strong with the @NFLPA and its members. #1u ✊🏽

— UNITE HERE (@unitehere) May 24, 2018

United Food and Commercial Workers:

“I love the fact that UFCW offers education programs like Free College. I was worried it was going to be complicated, but it was so easy to sign up for Free College. I’ll have 30 years at the plant come January and I’m in the paralegal program now.” Apply:

— UFCW (@UFCW) May 24, 2018

United Steelworkers:

New UnionHall trainings just announced! For locals who’ve applied for websites, sign up for a training, here:

— United Steelworkers (@steelworkers) May 24, 2018

United Students Against Sweatshops:

“I support @AFSCMELocal3299 workers because black, brown, indigenous and migrant labor is being exploited here on my campus. @UofCalifornia is acting like a corporation & selling out the workers who make campus run.”
– Diego, 3rd Year @UCBerkeley Urban Ecology & Edu. #WeRunUC

— USAS (@USAS) May 8, 2018

Utility Workers:

@The_UWUA is proud to partner with @BayStateWind. We see this initiative as a model for the future of offshore wind energy development in this country.

— UWUA National (@The_UWUA) May 19, 2018

Working America:

“As union membership in America has declined, economic inequality has risen. New research confirms the obvious: It ain’t a coincidence. Unions are the tools that built America’s ‘golden age.'” #1u

— Working America (@WorkingAmerica) May 24, 2018

Writers Guild of America, East:

Today is a great day to watch the Emmy and Writers Guild Award-winning documentary “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson,” written by Geoffrey C. Ward and directed by Ken Burns.

— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) May 24, 2018

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 05/25/2018 – 11:00

Source: AFL-CIO

He Finally Won His Freedom: The Working People Weekly List

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By Kenneth Quinnell

Han Sang-gyun

He Finally Won His Freedom: The Working People Weekly List


Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

Wrongfully Detained Korean Union Leader Han Sang-gyun Wins Release: “In December 2015, President Han Sang-gyun of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions was imprisoned for defending trade union rights and fighting back against corporate corruption and the repressive government of former President Park Geun-hye of South Korea. This week, Han finally won his freedom.”

We Must Stop the Worldwide Problem of Gender-Based Violence in the Workplace: “Sexual harassment and gender-based violence are not just problems we see in the United States. In fact, gender-based violence is one of the most common human rights violations in the world. While it can affect any worker, women are most likely the targets because of systemic, unequal power relations.”

We All Do Better with an Immigration System that Works for All Working People: “Yesterday, the AFL-CIO hosted the ‘We All Do Better’ conference, which focused on an important discussion on advancing an immigration agenda for all working people. Attacks against working people come in many forms, but we must stand against the idea that some of us are more worthy of freedom and worker protections than others.”

Executive Paywatch 2018: The Gap Between CEO and Worker Compensation Continues to Grow: “CEO pay for major companies in the United States rose nearly 6% in the past year, as income inequality and the outsourcing of good-paying American jobs have increased. According to the new AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch, the average CEO of an S&P 500 Index company made $13.94 million in 2017—361 times more money than the average U.S. rank-and-file worker. The Executive Paywatch website, the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay, showed that in 2017, the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned about $38,613 per year. When adjusted for inflation, the average wage has remained stagnant for more than 50 years.”

Apprenticeship Accelerator Forum Highlights Programs to Attract and Train Needed Manufacturing Workforce: “The 2018 Manufacturing Apprenticeship Accelerator Forum took place in Cleveland on Thursday. The forum included presentations from a number of participating organizations, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Chicago Women in Trades and the National Urban League, along with a number of private employers and workforce training providers.”

Harley-Davidson Workers Stunned by Plant Closure After Tax Cut: “Tim Primeaux has worked at the Harley-Davidson plant in Kansas City, Missouri, for 17 years. He was sure he was going to retire from the company. That all changed when Harley-Davidson told its 800 employees in January that the plant will be closing next year. Operations will be shifted to the motorcycle manufacturer’s facility in York, Pennsylvania.”

Supreme Court Ruling for Janus Would Be Judicial Activism at Its Worst: “Should courts have the power to impose wage cuts, shrink the economy and require private organizations to deliver costly services for nothing? Most people would probably say no. Yet this is what could happen when the U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, expected sometime in June. At issue in Janus — a case that originated in Illinois — are state laws that require public sector workers represented by unions to share in the cost of collective bargaining over their wages, benefits and working conditions through the payment of what are called ‘fair share’ fees.”

At This Company, the CEO Makes 6,000 Times a Typical Worker’s Pay: “‘If you compare that in 1980, it was 42 times the average worker and 107 times in 1990,’ said AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler in a conference call, adding that CEO pay ‘is out of whack.'”

Why Do Americans Stay When Their Town Has No Future?: “America was built on the idea of picking yourself up and striking out for more promising territory. Ohio itself was settled partly by early New Englanders who quit their rocky farms for more tillable land to the west. Some of these population shifts helped reshape the country: the 1930s migration from the Dust Bowl to California; the Great Migration of blacks to the North and West, which occurred in phases between 1910 and 1960; the Hillbilly Highway migration of Appalachian whites to the industrial Midwest in the 1940s and ’50s.”

New Report Highlights Massive Pay Gap Between CEOs and Typical Workers: “The AFL-CIO’s annual Executive PayWatch database, released Tuesday, compiled that data and shows that in many cases, the pay for top executives is hundreds — or even thousands — of times that of the median worker at their companies. ‘This year’s report provides further proof of America’s income inequality crisis,’ AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said in a statement. ‘Too many working people are struggling to get by, to afford the basics, to save for college, to retire with dignity while CEOs are paying themselves more and more.'”

Randi Weingarten on Janus: ‘It Will Be a Bumpy Ride’ for Unions: “Education Week sat down with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten recently for a conversation about the recent wave of teacher activism and how the unions are preparing for the Janus decision. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.”

Supreme Court Rules That Companies Can Require Workers to Accept Individual Arbitration: “The cases involve non-unionized workers, but labor leaders said it was representative of how the court sides with business over workers. ‘Five justices on the Supreme Court decided that it is acceptable for working people to have our legal rights taken away by corporations in order to keep our jobs,’ AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.”

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 05/25/2018 – 10:29

Source: AFL-CIO