Remarks by Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, at the 38th Annual Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unions, Atlanta, Ga., on May 22, 2009.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Four thousand six hundred union workers at Yale University here won a major victory last month. At a joint press conference with Local 35 service and maintenance workers and Local 34 clerical and technical workers, the university announced an early contract agreement including job security and expansion of union representation. President Richard Levin admitted the university’s poor labor relations policy was hurting the institution and had to change.
An autoworker we know is facing the possible slashing of his General Motors pension, earned in decades of work. Even with the full pension and his Social Security check, this 79-year-old retiree can barely cover his basic monthly bills.
May Day is a great time to think about labor unity.
I don’t know if Steven Greenhouse, of the New York Times, writes his own headlines. Doubt it.
The president’s declaration that the auto companies’ problems are “not the fault of the workers” is correct.
President Barack Obama said March 30 that the government will withhold additional long-term federal loans for General Motors and Chrysler unless the company, its creditors and the unions make more concessions. He also raised the possibility of “controlled bankruptcy” for one or both of the two companies.
March 8 International Women's Day was born of the struggles of women in the textile mills in our country at the turn of the last century. They fought and died for better wages and working conditions, an end to child labor, and the right to vote.
Human Events, the right-wing magazine that Anne Coulter describes as the place where she really feels at home, sent out alerts all over the Internet March 6 claiming that Vice President Joe Biden was meeting “in secret” with leaders of the AFL-CIO in Miami during their recent executive council meeting there. The alleged topic of these “secret” meetings was how they were going to “ram through” the “Card Check Forced Unionism Bill.”
Although the labor movement is cheering passage of the president’s stimulus bill, leaders of unions and organizations allied with them are pointing out that the bill, itself, is far from perfect and that much more will have to be done over a period of time to rescue the tanking economy.