News

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just a public health crisis — it’s a labor crisis as well.

“Fund our Facilities” is a coalition of elected leaders, labor organizations, and community groups focused on securing funding for improvements to school buildings. For $170 million, environmental hazards across the School District of Philadelphia’s more than 200 buildings can be remediated to the point that every school will be safe, healthy, and clean. This dollar figure addresses the following needs:
Join Fund Our Facilities Coalition member Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, students, parents, union leaders and members on Wednesday, December 18 at 10 a.m. for the SOS Toxic Schools Rally in Harrisburg! Whether in Philly or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, none of us should worry about getting mesothelioma or another illness because of the time we spent in a public school. The rally takes place from 10-11, followed by lobbying at the Capitol. We're calling on state lawmakers to pass our Emergency Grant Repair Program so we can get the toxins out of our schools!

Philadelphia City Council has played a leading role in the fight to support our city's working people. In the last 5 years, Council has responded positively to grassroots campaigns, passing forward-thinking legislation to guarantee working Philadelphians paid sick leave, and protecting Philadelphia's workers from wage theft. Organized labor was proud to join each of those campaigns, and proud of our City Council for setting those higher standards.

The notion of bringing home 80 cents for every dollar pocketed by a man on a national basis is unsettling enough. But it's even more startling when those lost wages are added up.

Overall, it amounts to $10,000 in lost wages a year, says Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families. That chunk of cash could pay for 14 more months of child care, 74 more weeks of groceries and an additional 10 months of rent for the average woman.

Fifty years ago this week, Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee, to march with the city’s striking black sanitation workers. Wages were bad, and conditions were so unsafe that workers were seriously injured or even killed while using the trash compactors of their trucks. The city of Memphis, their employer, refused to do better; city officials refused to act to improve their wages or safety.

As America prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination today, there is one name you may not hear: Bayard Rustin. A close confidante and mentor of King, Rustin was a key leader of the civil rights movement and chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He proved to be a transformative figure in the fight for racial justice, even introducing King to the Gandhian principles of nonviolence that would come to define the struggle. He also happened to be gay. 

Rep.-elect Conor Lamb made national waves with his improbable win in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He faced down $10 million in outside money funneled to his opponent by corporate and right-wing interests. He fought through a barrage of incessant, hyperpartisan attacks blanketing the airwaves. He was abandoned by his own party’s national infrastructure in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in nearly 15 years. And he still came out on top.

In their quest for even bigger profit margins, the rich and powerful have always tried to divide and suppress working people. Whether they’re seeking to quash worker protections, lower wages, cut benefits or weasel out of pension obligations, they know their biggest roadblock to unchecked power has always been a strong union.

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump are running scared. After the Republican candidate who ran with the ardent backing of the Republican Speaker of the House and the Republican president lost a special election for a Pennsylvania congressional seat in a district that was so Republican-friendly that Donald Trump won it by 20 points and the former GOP congressman regularly ran without opposition, the men who define the Republican Party as it now exists had to explain their loss.

Rep.-elect Conor Lamb made national waves with an improbable win last week in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He faced down $10 million in outside money funneled to his opponent by corporate and right-wing interests. He fought through a barrage of incessant, hyperpartisan attacks blanketing the airwaves. He was abandoned by his own party’s national infrastructure in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in nearly 15 years. And he still came out on top.