“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we commemorate Martin Luther King Day, we honor a one of our nation’s most influential and inspiring leaders. Not only did Dr. King carry the banner of civil rights, he also stood with working people fighting to make their voices heard on the job.
In nominating Andrew Puzder, Donald Trump is going back on his campaign commitment to stand up for average working families. The problem is not that Puzder is a CEO, it’s that he has cut corners and shortchanged workers at every turn in order to fatten his profits.
CLICK HERE to send an e-mail to your U.S. Senators, expressing your opposition to Puzder as Labor Secretary.
Virtually everything working people have gained to improve health and retirement security since the New Deal is now at risk, including Medicare, Medicaid, workplace health plans, the coverage gains of the Affordable Care Act, and Social Security.
Republicans in Congress are rushing to approve so-called “health reform” plans with breathtaking speed that would effectively end these major forms of coverage as we know them without providing replacement coverage to the 30 million Americans who will become uninsured as a result of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
A few days ago, The Hill newspaper reported that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Republicans are prioritizing the dismantling of health care for millions of Americans – and that includes Medicare. They think they have a mandate to destroy Medicare, despite the fact that poll after poll shows Americans oppose cuts to their earned Medicare benefits.
This week, tens of thousands of people across the country will be joining a call-in day to Congress to demand their representative oppose cuts to Medicare.
States and municipalities across the country are taking direct action to raise wages. With the cost of living rising and a federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009, workers are finding it harder than ever to make ends meet. Many workers balance two or three jobs and still struggle with poverty, while the largest businesses continue to reap billions of dollars in profit.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO, in partnership with its affiliates and allies, worked tirelessly this year to illuminate the Christie administration’s mismanagement of the pension system and the consequences that could befall our state if meaningful action is not taken.
CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed.
The labor movement will be tested in the coming years, but our path forward is clear. We all understand the importance of solidarity, but what is equally important is an understanding and mutual respect for one another. Politicians will seek to divide us, but we can fight back by educating ourselves about the issues affecting each of our unions and resolving to stand together.
CLICK HERE to read the full issue.
Whether the issue is trade, prevailing wage, immigration, pensions, charter schools, or minimum wage, the only way forward will be to stand together, not only for the things that matter to our individual unions, but for the things that matter to all our brothers and sisters throughout the labor movement.
It’s hard to believe that in 2016, we are still fighting to ensure that women get equal pay for equal work. It’s time to put this issue behind us and get with the times, and we urge our legislators to continue pushing for the override of the governor’s veto of the pay equity bill, A-1444.
Though the vote on pay equity was postponed, the Assembly did vote in favor of two pro-worker bills yesterday. Below is a summary of those actions:
With the holidays fast approaching, we wanted to send well wishes to our union family and thank you for all you do to keep the labor movement strong. We are grateful for your hard work and dedication to advancing our shared goals. We believe that through our collective strength and solidarity we can surmount whatever challenges come our way.
The fight to fund pensions saw a victory today with the Governor doing the right thing by signing the quarterly pension payments bill into law despite vetoing it twice before. The law requires pension payments on a quarterly basis, allowing for increased investment returns and minimizing the risk of reduced payments at the end of the fiscal year. We recognize the diligent efforts of affiliates and elected officials who were essential to bringing this law to fruition.
In addition, many bills of concern to working families moved through committee today during a busy day at the Statehouse. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO lobbied and took positions on several bills. Below is a summary of legislation and corresponding committee actions: