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Service + Solidarity Spotlight: South Carolina’s Labor Movement Comes Together to Provide Food Relief to Families in Need

Charleston Labor Council

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.A

Members of the Charleston Central Labor Council, the South Carolina AFL-CIO, the Greater Charleston chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and their community allies teamed up last Thursday to provide food relief for some dozens of union families in the Charleston, South Carolina, area. Labor council President April Lott (AFGE) said, “Today, we were able to serve approximately 100 families with meat, milk, cheese, fruits and vegetables.” Last week’s food relief distribution was the third of six such events planned in Charleston, and it was staged at the Longshoremen (ILA) Local 1422 hall.

Kenneth Quinnell
Fri, 08/14/2020 - 10:41

Tags:
COVID-19,...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Washington State Labor Council Launches First-of-Its-Kind Naturalization Legal Aid Program

The Stand

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) is launching a program to offer legal aid to permanent residents seeking naturalization. The program will prioritize union members, helping members obtain the resources and legal aid needed to become citizens. In places like Yakima, permanent residents in the state who work in agriculture often are denied access to the political process, preventing them from using their voices to effectively advocate for safety and better work conditions.

“What we’ve seen in Yakima County is that you have ranchers that have the capital power to do things like union-busting, or lobby and spend money on trying to create policies that are anti-labor,” said Dulce Gutiérrez (OPEIU), an organizer with WSLC. “With a largely...

Working People Demand Action: In the States Roundup

AFL-CIO

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.

Alaska State AFL-CIO:

Call @lisamurkowski and @SenDanSullivan NOW and tell them to pass the #HEROESActNOW to invest in infrastructure which creates good jobs during this crisis. pic.twitter.com/LdSIMMjsS5
— Alaska AFL-CIO (@AKAFLCIO) August 7, 2020

Arizona AFL-CIO:

Mitch McConnell’s proposal offers:
- $0 for U.S. Postal Service
- $0 for state and local governments
- $0 for elections
- $0 for the uninsured/underinsured
- No safety standard to protect front-line workers from COVID-19
Pass the HEROES Act NOW! https://t.co/koS5ItFUff
— Arizona AFL-CIO (@ArizonaAFLCIO) August 5, 2020

California Labor Federation:

We're with you judge. We've all lost patience with these law-breaking, worker-exploiting, tax-cheating companies and their mansion-buying, tone-deaf...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: New Jersey Unions Distribute 2,000 Food Kits to Unemployed Workers During Heavy Rain

New Jersey AFL-CIO

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Driving rain and thunder couldn’t stop New Jersey’s working people from helping out Atlantic City families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO, in connection with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, distributed more than 2,000 food kits to laid-off union members and their families. Volunteers from the Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Operating Engineers (IUOE) and UNITE HERE helped Operation Feed Atlantic City go smoothly. The state federation plans to continue similar food distribution events as long as there is a need and President Charles Wowkanech (IUOE) attributes the success of the program to the generosity of the affiliates and members throughout...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Colorado Restaurant Workers Rally for Unemployment Insurance Extension and Distribute Groceries to Unemployed Workers

Chase Woodruff

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Colorado Restaurant Workers United, a joint project of Denver DSA and UNITE HERE Local 23, rallied outside of U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s downtown Denver office in support of the extension of federal unemployment benefits. In addition to delivering the message “We Feed You, Don’t Let Us Starve,” the participating organizations bagged and distributed groceries to unemployed working families. Participating along with Restaurant Workers United were Local 23, the Colorado AFL-CIO, the Denver Area Labor Federation, Denver DSA, SEIU Local 105 and Colorado Jobs With Justice.

Kenneth Quinnell
Tue, 08/11/2020 - 10:06

Tags:
COVID-19, Community Service...

Protect and Enhance Essential: 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:

What are the resources available, and what steps can each member take, to ensure their workplaces are safe and inclusive? View our full Workplace Inclusion Lab webinar or read the transcript in the Member Portal - https://t.co/4OWPWolFLg pic.twitter.com/89si8cdRiO
— Actors' Equity (@ActorsEquity) August 4, 2020

AFGE:

More than 1 million veterans — 13.2% of all veterans — work for state & local govts. The Senate’s failure to provide crucial aid will take away thousands of jobs from these front-line heroes maintaining our essential public services. #FundtheFrontLines #COVIDfrontlines #HEROESAct
— AFGE (@AFGENational) August 4, 2020

AFSCME:

“Our choice to come together in...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Nurses National Day of Action Advocates for Safety for Patients and Hospital Workers

NNU

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Thousands of nurses rallied across the country last week as part of the National Nurses United (NNU) day of action. The more than 200 actions at hospitals were focused on saving the lives of nurses, other health care workers and patients. The nurses demanded proper infection control practices, most importantly providing nurses optimal personal protective equipment and mandating safe patient care ratios. The registered nurses of NNU also called for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and for elected officials everywhere to address the underlying conditions that have exacerbated the effects of the pandemic, such as racial injustice, high unemployment and hunger, and the failure to value human lives over profit.

Kenneth Quinnell
Mon, 08/10/2020 - 13:22...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ironworker Blazes a Trail for Women of Color

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Consuela Poland is a member of Ironworkers Local 22 in Indianapolis. Having been the only woman of color in her welding class seven years ago, she is now trying to encourage workers like her to join the trade. “Being new to the industry you don’t know what questions to ask, you don’t know who to talk to, no one teaches you that stuff,” she told The Indianapolis Star. “If they don’t feel confident enough to go buy their own supplies, then there’s a chance they won’t keep welding. There’s a chance they give up.” Poland founded the Latinas Welding Guild in 2017 to mentor and empower the Latina community and women in central Indiana through welding. Local 22 in Indiana represents more than 1,000 members in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Lafayette, and only 11 of those members are women.

Kenneth Quinnell
...

Economy Gains 1.8 Million Jobs in June; Unemployment Declines to 10.2%

The U.S. economy gained 1.8 million jobs in July, and the unemployment rate declined to 10.2%, according to figures released Friday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The improvements reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that previously was curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the July job numbers, AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs tweeted:

Almost 1/3 the job gain reported by @BLS_gov for July was the 502,000 rebound in food and drink establishments, consistent with the combined rise from the household survey for those usually working part-time and continued fall in temporary layoff @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 7, 2020

With schools closing early, the seasonal adjustments to local and state education showed up as job gains, but the @BLS_gov reports state and local employment remain over 1 million lower than February. Strong reason for state and local government aid. @AFLCIO— William E. Spriggs (@WSpriggs) August 7, 2020

Retail trade continued to show some...

Service + Solidarity Spotlight: WSLC’s Foundation for Working Families Donates to Those in Need

FFWF

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of those stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Foundation for Working Families (FFWF) is the charitable nonprofit formed by the affiliated unions of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) to assist working families in times of hardship or disaster. Since the pandemic started in March, the FFWF has been giving $300 grocery store gift cards to families suffering extraordinary economic difficulties. “The Foundation for Working Families is an important part of the WSLC and its affiliated unions’ work,” said WSLC President Larry Brown (IAM). “Helping families get through difficult times, like many are experiencing amid this pandemic, is what unions have always done. We lift each other up, particularly when some of us are struggling, so we can get through those hard times and ultimately share in the prosperity we have...