Proud and Powerful

From the AFL-CIO

As 50,000 Culinary Workers members in Las Vegas fight for fair pay and good benefits and as the first group of workers at Boeing Co. in South Carolina choose to join the Machinists (IAM), America’s working people celebrate worker activism and the start of Pride Month. June is an opportunity for all of us to consider the close bonds between the labor movement and the LGBTQ community.

Working families in all our diversity are ready to stand united for dignity, fair pay, good benefits and strong communities.

America’s labor movement and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community cannot be separated, and we are particularly united today because the attacks on both LGBTQ equality and worker freedoms come from the same dark web of corporate interests.

LGBTQ workers have relied on union contracts to secure protections not yet provided by law, and many of the advances of LGBTQ rights have been explicitly related to workplace equality.

Some of the first instances of codified benefits for same-sex couples were won by working people with union contracts. In 1983, workers in Ohio won health care benefits for same-sex couples. The next year, public workers in Berkeley, California, won the same benefit.

Today, labor groups like Pride At Work are championing the freedoms of LGBTQ workers by fighting against discrimination and educating the public about using union contracts to protect all workers.

The AFL‑CIO supports all working people as we continue to grow a powerful movement to write new economic rules so all workers can win fair pay and good benefits, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work