Frank Snyder, Labor 2008 state director for Pennsylvania, reports on rallies in Pittsburgh and Allentown. These actions are part of the union movement’s nationwide protests against high gas prices and Sen. John McCain’s support for Big Oil. In Riverside, Calif., some 40 union volunteers gathered outside a McCain fundraiser this week in an event organized by the Central Labor Council of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. And in Dayton, Ohio, union members protested high gas prices on Wednesday.
This week, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is focusing on gas prices and their effect on working families.
When the graduates walk across the stage tomorrow to receive their degrees from the National Labor College (NLC), Pamela Fero, a member of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association from Lauderhill, Fla., will be proudly among them.
Fero is this year’s recipient of the Alliance for Retired Americans’ Bert and Annabel Seidman Prize for her research paper, “Winning the Game: What Unions Can Do to Help Women Plan For Retirement.”
The award will be presented tomorrow at NLC’s 10th annual commencement. This weekend, the college will celebrate a decade of providing education for union members. Some 76 students will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees and another 14 will be awarded master’s degrees through the NLC’s partnership programs with the University of Baltimore and the American University. Former presidential candidate John Edwards will deliver the commencement address.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.
The union, with more than 100,000 members, announced its endorsement this morning.
BCTGM President Frank Hurt says Obama would be a strong leader, willing and able to address the needs of working families and the economic crisis they face:
With an extraordinary ability to inspire his fellow citizens and a comprehensive plan to rebuild our weakened economy, create good jobs, solve the heath care crisis and ensure retirement security for all Americans, we are confident that, as President, Barack Obama will restore hope, opportunity and prosperity for hard-pressed working families.
Yesterday, the AFL-CIO endorsed Obama and launched a new website, Meet Barack Obama, to educate and mobilize union members. This fall, the AFL-CIO is carrying out an unprecedented grassroots mobilization to elect a working family-friendly Congress and president.
More than a half year after the AFL-CIO urged Congress to provide extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to jobless workers who exhaust theirs without finding new work, Congress passed a UI extension.
The U.S. Senate late yesterday passed a supplemental funding bill for the war in Iraq that includes an additional 13 weeks of UI benefits for the estimated 300,000 jobless workers a month who don’t find a new job before running out of benefits. The bill also provides new GI bill education benefits for Iraq-era military veterans.
Over the past week, union members in key states around the country have gone door to door to talk with their fellow union members about the economy and the election.
These volunteers are getting the word out about the Employee Free Choice Act, an essential bill that would protect workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain. Good union jobs are a necessary part of an economy that works for everyone.
Unfortunately, Sen. John McCain was one of a minority of senators who blocked a vote on the bill last year, and he hasn’t proposed solutions that address the economic crisis facing working families.
The door-to-door walks are a key part of the AFL-CIO Labor 2008 political program, an unprecedented grassroots effort to educate, energize and mobilize millions of union members to elect a working family-friendly Congress and president. AFGE Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox explains the importance of member-to-member walks in this video.
||Austin Natee, right, president of the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia, and Secretary General Edwin Cisco.
The AFL-CIO honored the rubber workers’ union, the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (FAWUL), with its 2007 George Meany–Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award for courage, innovation and leadership.
Winning the award gives hope to the Liberian workers, says FAWUL President Austin Natee:
From here to Africa is 5,000 miles. For you to care about workers on a farm so many miles away is amazing. We will take the message back to the workers that we are not alone in this struggle.
The 4,000 workers at Liberia’s largest rubber plantation—for the first time in 82 years—are now running their own union. To gain an independent voice, the workers staged several strikes, which succeeded in getting the government of Liberia to require new elections at the Firestone Plantation. Yes, that’s its real name. During the strikes, workers were intimidated and beaten. Several were killed.