News

The SC  AFL-CIO 2017 Legislative Conference is planned for Columbia March 21st and 22nd and all workers are encouraged to attend.  

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka gave a major address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 4, 2017. He assessed opportunities around trade and infrastructure that could create jobs, as well as possible threats to workers' rights. President Trumka spoke about the labor movement's strategy to create a unifying agenda for working families, and the importance it places on ensuring that all workers have the right to bargain collectively for better wages and working conditions.

 

Labor leaders from around the state came to Columbia March 21-22 for the annual Legislative Conference held by the SC AFL-CIO.  

More than a thousand protestors participated in the post-inaugural Women's Day of Action Rally which was combined with the Progressive Network's Stand Up Rally in Columbia(1-21-17).  

The list of speakers included Leonard Riley with the ILA Local 1422 out of Charleston.  The Longshoremen were well-represented at the event.  Some of the union members included representatives of SMART, CWA, IATSE, ARA, NNU and NWU.  

One of the breakout sessions following an organizing summit was focused on labor.

Donald J. Trump made coal miners a central metaphor of his presidential campaign, promising to “put our miners back to work” and look after their interests in a way that the Obama administration did not. Now, three months into his presidency, comes a test of that promise.

Unless Congress intervenes by late April, government-funded health benefits will abruptly lapse for more than 20,000 retired miners, concentrated in Trump states that include Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Many of the miners have serious health problems arising from their years in the mines.

Undocumented workers are refusing to cooperate with U.S. Department of Labor investigations due to deportation fears, in some cases even declining to accept back wages owed to them and running away from staff who show up at their workplace, according to agency employees and internal emails.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called President Trump's first proposed budget "dangerous and destructive" Thursday. The leader of the nation's largest labor federation said Trump's budget plan, which would shift $54 billion from various agencies to boost defense spending, would undercut the president's claims that he wants to help working families.

RoseAnn DeMoro, president of National Nurses United, says President Trump has abandoned his campaign promises and that the "false promise of health savings accounts, which, without any effective constraints on corporate healthcare price gouging, primarily benefit the banking industry and higher income people, not those who can not afford to buy insurance now."

Read the full article on The Hill.

Donald Trump thinks the only way to make America great again is to bring back millions of manufacturing jobs, but what he and his supporters don’t get is that there’s nothing inherently great about a job in a factory. The “greatness” of a factory job had almost nothing to do with the job itself and almost everything to do with the fact that workers had some power to bargain with the bosses to get better pay, better benefits and better working conditions.

The ink wasn’t dry on Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal as secretary of labor nominee, but union leaders were celebrating. AFSCME President Lee Saunders said Puzder had “nothing but contempt for everything the Labor Department stands for.” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said “the power of collective action” had taken Puzder down. Thomas Perez, the former secretary of labor now running to lead the Democratic National Committee, hopped on a conference call with reporters to celebrate.

President Trump came into office on a wave of promises to look out for regular, working Americans, make the rich pay their fair share and “Make America Great Again.” That was what old time con men would call "the set up". But you can only call what has happened next "the sting".