The American Labor Movement Stands Strong

From the AFL-CIO

The Supreme Court heard the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 case this week. It was brought by the rich and powerful who are trying to take away your freedom to join in union.

The American labor movement is a family that will not be pushed around or denied. Working people pave the streets, drive the buses, educate our children, and are the first to respond in times of emergency. Working families know best what is needed to build a better life for ourselves and our loved ones.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the historic 1968 strike in Memphis for better benefits, pay and safety on the job, marked by the poignant words “I Am a Man.”

Just like the AFSCME workers in Memphis 50 years ago, we will not back down from the struggle for justice. This past weekend, working people came together in cities across the country to support the freedom of all people to join in union. Workers are fighting back against the attacks that further rig the economic playing field and jeopardize our freedom to join and win together.

I know that together, we can stand firm to unrig the system and build a better life for working families. Sharing this graphic is a great way to show your solidarity in the fight for workers right now.

Share the image to support the right of all workers to join together in union for a better life.

***

Posted In: From AFL-CIO, Union Matters

Union Matters

Federal Minimum Wage Reaches Disappointing Milestone

By Kathleen Mackey
USW Intern

A disgraceful milestone occurred last Sunday, June 16.

That date officially marked the longest period that the United States has gone without increasing federal the minimum wage.

That means Congress has denied raises for a decade to 1.8 million American workers, that is, those workers who earn $7.25 an hour or less. These 1.8 million Americans have watched in frustration as Congress not only denied them wages increases, but used their tax dollars to raise Congressional pay. They continued to watch in disappointment as the Trump administration failed to keep its promise that the 2017 tax cut law would increase every worker’s pay by $4,000 per year.

More than 12 years ago, in May 2007, Congress passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. It took effect two years later. Congress has failed to act since then, so it has, in effect, now imposed a decade-long wage freeze on the nation’s lowest income workers.

To combat this unjust situation, minimum wage workers could rally and call their lawmakers to demand action, but they’re typically working more than one job just to get by, so few have the energy or patience.

The Economic Policy Institute points out in a recent report on the federal minimum wage that as the cost of living rose over the past 10 years, Congress’ inaction cut the take-home pay of working families.  

At the current dismal rate, full-time workers receiving minimum wage earn $15,080 a year. It was virtually impossible to scrape by on $15,080 a decade ago, let alone support a family. But with the cost of living having risen 18% over that time, the situation now is far worse for the working poor. The current federal minimum wage is not a living wage. And no full-time worker should live in poverty.

While ignoring the needs of low-income workers, members of Congress, who taxpayers pay at least $174,000 a year, are scheduled to receive an automatic $4,500 cost-of-living raise this year. Congress increased its own pay from $169,300 to $174,000 in 2009, in the middle of the Great Recession when low income people across the country were out of work and losing their homes. While Congress has frozen its own pay since then, that’s little consolation to minimum wage workers who take home less than a tenth of Congressional salaries.

More ...

A Friendly Reminder

A Friendly Reminder