Workers Working for A Safe and Prosperous Future

Joining union and environmental leaders from around the world, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) made clear that the labor movement is committed to combating climate change—but not at the expense of working people’s livelihoods and dignity. Speaking at the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, yesterday, he argued that “as a labor movement, it is our job to ignite the flames of justice, not contain them. And that’s exactly how we’ll be successful in the fight against climate change: by demanding justice for working people and ensuring no one is left behind.

  • A global effort to combat climate change is fundamental to a safe and prosperous future but, as President Trumka reiterated today to thousands of attendees at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, that effort will succeed only if working people have a seat at the decision making table.
  • Check out a few highlights from the event below, and read President Trumka’s full remarks here.

“Make no mistake, this is a tough issue for us. But, in the labor movement, we’re used to tough issues and hard choices. We’re prepared to do the right thing for our people and our planet. And we know that this fight can—and must—be about investing in a better, more inclusive, more just future....[a]bout creating good jobs and good lives for working families.”

  • “Climate strategies that leave coal miners’ pension funds bankrupt, power plant workers unemployed, construction workers making less than they do now...plans that devastate communities today, while offering vague promises about the future...they are more than unjust...they fundamentally undermine the power of the political coalition needed to address the climate crisis.”
  • “This is a remarkable time for collective action. Teachers from West Virginia to Arizona...workers in transportation, journalism, energy and more are coming together for a voice on the job. The popularity of unions recently hit a 15-year high. And we’re just getting started. We can bring this energy and momentum to the fight against climate change. Let’s join together. Let’s get the job done. And let’s do it the right way.

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Posted In: From AFL-CIO, 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