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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!

The developers of a train that would travel nearly half the speed of sound and get passengers from New York to Washington, D.C., in about an hour signed a memorandum of understanding to only use union labor on the project.

Under the agreement, all work on the project will be done by members of unions that form the building trades, including the IBEW. In return, the unions commit to active involvement in bringing the project to fruition said Kirk Brungard, executive director of the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades.

A decade ago or so, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that making the Bush tax cuts permanent — rather than letting them expire in 2010 — would increase the after-tax income of people earning $1 million or more up to 7 percent, an order of magnitude more than it would increase the size of the economy in the long term.

These days, it’s hard to keep straight all of Congress’ efforts to build plutocracy — the further consolidation of the power of the richest Americans at the expense of the rest of us. 

With the Senate passing a multi-trillion dollar job-killing giveaway of our tax dollars to the people and companies who need it least, you might have missed the bill moving through the Senate to deregulate Wall Street and consumer finance. 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced early this week that the AFL-CIO and American Airlines would cooperate in flying up to 60,000 pounds of donated goods from the Philadelphia International Airport to Puerto Rico, starting next week. The donations will be received by the Puerto Rico AFL-CIO and distributed by them to union and community members.

In the spirit of solidarity, IAM Local 1776 has generously volunteered their hall as the collection-point for donated goods. Deliveries should be sent to:

IAM Local Lodge 1776
251 Jansen Avenue
Essington, PA 19029

As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off, a new report from the Working for America Institute and Jobs With Justice Education Fund profiles a Washington state apprenticeship program as a successful example of a workforce intermediary partnership. These partnerships bring together unions and employers to recruit, train, and diversify the workforce for a given industry or a specific employer.

As a pillar of the Democratic Party, unions have wanted for years to see mainstream Democrats push for major reforms to the law that would rejuvenate the ranks of organized labor. At the press conference Wednesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded the proposals, but also emphasized that many Democrats have taken their union support for granted.

Some 275 volunteers – pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and other workers – took off from Newark International Airport on October 4 on a union-sponsored relief mission to hurricane-smashed Puerto Rico, the AFL-CIO announced. Some 50 unionized registered nurses, members of National Nurses United, flew in from San Francisco the day before to join the mission.

The unionists headed for the island commonwealth, whose 3.4 million residents lack power, food, drinkable water and other resources, two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.

In a powerful illustration of the ability of grassroots activists to challenge corporate power, United Students Against Sweatshops, the nation’s leading student organization focused on issues of worker rights and economic justice, has just scored a crucial victory over the world’s biggest sports apparel and footwear brand: Nike.

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