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Recent News Stories

Every week, we'll be bringing you a roundup of the important news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here's this week's Working People Weekly List. Read more >>>

Each week, we take a look at the biggest friends and foes of labor. We celebrate the workers winning big and small battles, and we shame the companies or people trying to deny working people their rights. Read more >>>

AFL-CIO Now Blog -- Recent News Stories

For Monday's Eclipse, Working People Kept Us Safe, Informed
For Monday's Eclipse, Working People Kept Us Safe, Informed

Union Eclipse
AFL-CIO

In ways large and small, working people helped America learn about and enjoy Monday’s rare total solar eclipse safely and with minimal disruptions.

School teachers (members of the AFT and the National Education Association) used the solar eclipse as a teachable moment about science and history.

Electrical workers—members of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Utility Workers (UWUA) unions—balanced America’s electrical grid, as nearly half of the nation’s solar capacity fell into shadow, causing a rolling dip of nearly 9,000 megawatts. Yet, thanks to workers at coal, hydro, nuclear and natural gas power plants, the grid didn’t fluctuate at all.

Journalists and media professionals—members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—brought us the stories, and NASA scientists—members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)—helped us all learn more about the earth and our solar system.

All that the rest of us had to do was enjoy it, and we did.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/23/2017 - 12:43

The U.S. Should Not Reward Mauritania for Slavery Practices
The U.S. Should Not Reward Mauritania for Slavery Practices

Thousands of men, women and children in Mauritania live in slavery. Under the direct control of their masters, they are treated as property and receive no payment for their work. Meanwhile, Mauritania receives preferential access to U.S. markets under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade benefits program.

AGOA is designed to spark economic development in Sub-Saharan African countries by expanding duty-free benefits and opening U.S. markets to African goods. As part of the program, AGOA beneficiaries are required to improve the rule of law, human rights and respect for core labor standards, including the eradication of forced labor. This week, the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions, along with labor rights organizations worldwide, are calling on the U.S. Trade Representative to review Mauritania’s eligibility for AGOA trade benefits.

Mauritania outlawed slavery in 1981, the world’s last country to do so. Yet in 2017, the practice of slavery is still widespread in Mauritanian society. Slave status is inherited, so children born to a mother in slavery also are considered property and can be rented out, loaned, given as gifts in marriage or inherited. Men and children in slavery typically herd animals or work in agriculture, while women perform domestic work. They face verbal and physical abuse, and girls and women are subject to sexual abuse and rape.

The government of Mauritania routinely fails to conduct investigations into cases of slavery, rarely pursues prosecutions for those responsible for the practice. Anti-slavery activists and trade unionists are regularly harassed, intimidated and jailed. Survivors of slavery have little access to justice or victim support initiatives, and face ongoing discrimination in society and the workplace.

Mauritania is failing to eradicate slavery and forced labor and to promote core labor rights. The AGOA Implementation Subcommittee must review Mauritania’s eligibility for trade benefits with the United States.

Find out more about the situation in Mauritania by watching this Equal Times investigation with testimony from former slaves.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 08/23/2017 - 09:04

Working People Have 17 Recommendations for NAFTA. Here’s #2
Working People Have 17 Recommendations for NAFTA. Here’s #2

By now, you’ve probably heard of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). You might have heard that some businesspeople think it’s a great deal, while average working families—and those who stand with us—think it only works if you’re already at the top.

If you’ve been reading our blog regularly, then you know NAFTA is being renegotiated. That means working people like us have an opportunity to fix it. And we laid out the first step: open the negotiations so that average citizens, not just corporate lobbyists and CEOs, can participate. So far, it’s not clear the negotiators heard us—but you can help us keep up the pressure.  

Even if they do keep the doors closed on the talks, we have to address the rules of the deal. The first rules that need replacement are the labor rules. The labor rules determine whether the playing field is fair for all workers or whether global corporations can treat us like pawns, bidding down our wages and working conditions as they increase their profits at our expense.

Given our long experience of trying to use trade rules to protect rights and freedoms for working people, we know what works and what doesn’t. We won’t fall for vague promises about NAFTA being the best deal ever for working people. Instead, we will be looking for specific provisions.

A fair North American deal will:

  • Ensure that all three countries protect fundamental labor rights as set for in the International Labor Organization’s eight core conventions.

  • Establish an independent monitoring and enforcement entity so that governments can’t use delay tactics to deny our rights.

  • Establish prompt enforcement tools.

  • Ensure that goods traded between the countries are made by workers being paid living wages.

  • Protect migrant workers from fraud and abuse.

  • Protect all workers from discrimination and trafficking.

  • Contain effective tools to continually lift our wages and working conditions, rather then putting a ceiling on what we can achieve.

  • Ensure that no communities are left behind—we must all prosper together or we won’t prosper at all.

Since the dawn of the modern trade era (roughly 1990), no trade deal has ever put working families first. But we know the rules we need to make it happen. But no one will fight for those rules if we don’t lead.

Are you ready to join us? Urge your representative to call for open, transparent NAFTA renegotiations.

 

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/22/2017 - 12:23

Federal Whistleblowers Should Be Praised, Not Punished
Federal Whistleblowers Should Be Praised, Not Punished

Protect whistleblowers
AFGE

Without federal whistleblowers, the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon might not have come to light. We might never have discovered the FBI’s failure to follow up on evidence about terrorist plots before the Sept. 11 attacks. And the waitlist scandal that resulted in veterans being denied timely access to medical care might have remained a secret.

As those three examples illustrate, federal workers serve as a vital watchdog against waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement occurring in our government agencies.

Every civil servant takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution—and that includes ensuring that our taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and to the benefit of the American people.

That’s why the current war on whistleblowers being waged by President Donald Trump and others in his administration is not only disgraceful, but downright dangerous to our democracy.

We have a right to know that Trump administration officials have ordered U.S. Department of Agriculture employees to stop using terms like "climate change" and "greenhouse gases"—since it could be a deliberate attempt to discredit scientific evidence that humans are contributing to our warming planet. But without USDA staff sharing those conversations with the press, we might still be in the dark.

We should know why the Department of the Interior has involuntary reassigned about 50 senior career employees to other jobs—including a scientist who was moved to an accounting office after speaking publicly about the danger that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities. But we wouldn’t know about it at all if that scientist didn’t step forward.

It’s in the public interest to know that Scott Pruitt, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is pushing to undo dozens of environmental regulations—largely without the input of the agency’s scientists and other career employees. Yet, we wouldn’t know the scope of this regulatory rollback if EPA employees didn’t come forward.

Federal employees have a right—and even an obligation—to speak out on issues that affect taxpayers and citizens. And by the same token, journalists are just doing their job when they reach out to federal workers for information on the activities of political appointees.

Obviously, there are instances where disclosures may be inappropriate, like when the information is classified or would jeopardize our national security. But those are the exception, not the rule.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks whistleblowers should be prosecuted—and he’s devoting lots of taxpayer dollars to go after them. He attempts to demonize these brave patriots by referring to them as "leakers." He even says that the number of disclosures is "undermining the ability of our government to protect this country."

That’s ridiculous. A free and open press is one of the fundamental tenents of our democracy. So is having a non-political civil service that’s beholden to taxpayers, not their political bosses.

Whistleblowers aren’t the problem. But the White House’s preoccupation with them certainly is.

This post originally appeared at Medium.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/22/2017 - 11:20

Right to Work Founder Was a Klan Fan
Right to Work Founder Was a Klan Fan

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka didn’t pull punches when he announced Aug. 15 that he and Thea Lee, former AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, were exiting President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council.  

"We cannot sit on a council for a president who tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism," Trumka said in a statement. "President Trump’s remarks [last Tuesday] repudiate his forced remarks [last Monday] about the KKK and neo-Nazis. We must resign on behalf of America’s working people, who reject all notions of legitimacy of these bigoted groups."

Today, the North Dakota AFL-CIO posted a statement on its website pledging that the federation "will always stand against such racist, hateful and vile beliefs. Nazism, fascism and white supremacy are abhorrent to everything labor stands for and they always have been."

The statement, written by North Dakota AFL-CIO President/Secretary-Treasurer Waylon Hedegaard, pointed out that "one of the Nazis’ first acts in Germany was to crush the labor unions. Knowing that organized labor was a real threat to Nazi control, the fascist government spent two years outlawing unions, jailing leaders who stood up for workers and setting up a state-run system of worker control. Using ruthless violence, intimidation and murder, the Nazis destroyed everything unions had fought for."

The Ku Klux Klan hates unions, too, because in a union everybody is equal.

Trumka added: "It’s clear that President Trump’s manufacturing council was never an effective means for delivering real policy that lifts working families, and his remarks [last Tuesday] were the last straw. We joined this council with the intent to be a voice for working people and real hope that it would result in positive economic policy, but it has become yet another broken promise on the president’s record. From hollow councils to bad policy and embracing bigotry, the actions of this administration have consistently failed working people."

No legislation has failed working people more than "right to work" laws. Trump ran on a platform with a plank supporting "the right of states to enact right to work laws and calling for a national right to work law." On the campaign trail, Trump said he preferred right to work states to non-right to work states.

Naturally, the Republicans would prefer that the racist roots of right to work not be exposed.

"The drive for such laws was fueled by Texas businessperson and white supremacist Vance Muse, who despised the doctrine of human equality represented by unions," wrote Roger Bybee in The Progressive.

Muse, a Klan fan, was "the Karl Rove-meets-David Duke brains behind the whole right to work movement," wrote Mark Ames.

Under a right to work law, workers at a union shop can enjoy union-won wages and benefits without joining the union or paying the union a service fee to represent them. The idea is to weaken strong unions, destroy small unions and keep workers from organizing.

The Texas Legislature passed a right to work law in 1947 but changed the measure to its current form in 1993.

Muse, who also was rabidly anti-Semitic, saw right to work as a twofer: Right to work would help smash unions and help maintain segregation and white supremacy in Texas and elsewhere in the Jim Crow South. Without right to work, "white women and white men will be forced into organizations with black African apes whom they will have to call ‘brother’ or lose their jobs," he harangued.

In 1936, Muse started the reactionary, racist Christian American Association in opposition to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Muse allied the group with the KKK. FDR was running for re-election and Muse bitterly opposed him.

The year before, a Democratic Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act. Also known as the Wagner Act, the legislation gave workers legal protection to organize and bargain collectively.

"The appallingly racist views of Muse and his Christian American Association coincided with the mentality of corporate managers dedicated to holding down wages and maintaining the tight control over workers dating back to the days of slavery," Bybee wrote. "The CEOs of the 1930s recognized that Muse’s segregationist ‘right to work’ concept would break up unified worker efforts to claim the rights granted under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also recognized the racist origins of right to work.

"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work,'" he warned in 1961. "It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone….Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote."

Also in 1961, Dr. King told the AFL-CIO Convention, "Our needs are identical with labor's needs—decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. That is why Negroes support labor's demands and fight laws which curb labor.

"That is why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth."

This guest post from Berry Craig originally appeared at Kentucky State AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 08/22/2017 - 10:35

Missourians Get Nearly Triple the Needed Signatures for November Right to Work Repeal Referendum
Missourians Get Nearly Triple the Needed Signatures for November Right to Work Repeal Referendum

St. Louis RTW Rally
Greater St Louis Central Labor Council AFL-CIO

Extremists and outside interests representing big corporations rammed through a "right to work" bill against the will of the people of the state. The bill was signed into law by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in February. Today, Missourians spoke up loudly and, pending the certification process, a ballot referendum on right to work will appear on the November 2018 ballot.

In order to get on the ballot, supporters must gather some 107,510 signatures in six of eight congressional districts. Hundreds of Missourians showed up to cheer along campaign representatives, who delivered 163 boxes filled with 57,277 pages, containing 310,567 signatures, nearly three times the required amount. All of the state's 115 counties were represented, and the numbers were sufficient to qualify in all eight congressional districts.

Here is what Missouri's working people said about right to work and the referendum:

"Right to work is wrong. It's wrong for Missouri workers. It's wrong for Missouri families. It's time for Gov. Greitens and extreme politicians to stop doing the bidding of their dark money donors and begin fighting for Missouri families," said Lori Giannini, a 12-year grocery clerk at Schnucks from St. Charles County.

"This referendum will guarantee that Missouri employers and their employees can work together in the best interests of their businesses without government interference," said Dennis Palmer, a small business owner from Columbia.

"Extreme politicians and dark money interests may not like it but the facts are the facts. Workers in right to work states make $681 dollars less per month than workers in non-right to work states and the chances of being killed on the job is 49% higher in right to work states," said Quiema Spencer, a master pipe fitter from Kansas City.

"We've come together and put in countless hours gathering signatures from voters at festivals, community events, door-to-door canvasses, parades—you name it," said Bobby Dicken, an electrician from Butler County. "These folks who've signed the petition want their voices to be heard—they want voters—not politicians—to make the final decision on whether so-called right to work becomes law in Missouri."

Other supporters posted on Twitter:

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/18/2017 - 15:05

Why I Quit: The Working People Weekly List
Why I Quit: The Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

Richard Trumka: Why I Quit Trump’s Business Council: "On Tuesday, President Trump stood in the lobby of his tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and again made excuses for bigotry and terrorism, effectively repudiating the remarks his staff wrote a day earlier in response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. I stood in that same lobby in January, fresh off a meeting with the new president-elect. Although I had endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, I was hopeful we could work together to bring some of his pro-worker campaign promises to fruition."

AFL-CIO Chief Denounces Trump's 'Spirited Defense of Racism and Bigotry': "Five members of President Trump's manufacturing council have resigned since Monday, after Mr. Trump's controversial response to the Charlottesville protests. The president of AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, is the latest to leave the council. He said in a statement: 'I cannot sit on a council for a president that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism.' Trumka joins CBS This Morning to discuss why the labor movement had to 'follow its conscience' and why Mr. Trump's comments were unacceptable."

Top Labor Leader Resigns from Trump’s Jobs Council After Trump Blames ‘Both Sides’ for Charlottesville Violence: "Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the largest group of labor unions in the country, quit President Trump’s manufacturing council Tuesday evening, with the labor leader saying he refused to accept any tolerance of 'bigotry and domestic terrorism.'"

At The Top-Secret NAFTA Re-Negotiation Table – 85% Corporate Voices, 5% Labor: “The AFL-CIO’s Celeste Drake is at the NAFTA renegotiation table for working people. She says working people need a complete rewriting of NAFTA rules to eliminate the corporate domination. ... ‘I want to emphasize it’s not a tweak here, you know, add a comma there, delete a sentence and then we’re done. And the labor issues are critically important.’”

AFL-CIO Urges Trump not to Abandon 'Dreamers': AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called on President Donald Trump to defend the DACA program, which benefits thousands of young Mexican immigrants known as "Dreamers." The program could be canceled if the government does not respond to a potential lawsuit.

AFL-CIO Demands Transparency in NAFTA Talks: "'We are setting the bar high. We will only accept a deal that is renegotiated the right way. That means having a transparent process in which working families have a seat at the table, and ensuring that our freedom to stand together is protected and that all of us can receive a fair return on our hard work,' AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement Monday."

Union Leaders Condemn Alt-Right-Caused Deaths in Charlottesville: "Union leaders, from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on down, strongly condemned the hate groups whose adherent, deliberately driving his car into a crowd of anti-hate counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., killed one woman and injured dozens."

Corporate Intimidation Threatens Worker Freedom: "Anyone surprised by the outcome of last week’s union election at the Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., hasn’t been paying attention. To get a sense of how ugly the tenor of the Nissan union vote got, one need only have tuned to WYAB talk radio in central Mississippi, where one caller warned that pro-union Nissan workers would 'go right back to' 'picking cotton and plowing fields or digging ditches.'"

Lori Pelletier: ‘Either You Respect Collective Bargaining or You Don't'"Lori J. Pelletier, the president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, raised eyebrows by organizing a picket line outside the state Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser last year to protest a Democratic governor and legislature for opting to lay off unionized state workers instead of raising taxes on the rich."

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 08/18/2017 - 14:10

Trumka Leaves Presidential Business Council
Trumka Leaves Presidential Business Council

Richard Trumka
Wikimedia Commons

This week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka resigned from President Donald Trump's Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. The move came after Trump responded to the racist terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. In resigning from the Initiative, Trumka said:

His response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville was the last straw. We in the labor community refuse to normalize bigotry and hatred. And we cannot in good conscience extend a hand of cooperation to those who condone it.

Kenneth Quinnell Thu, 08/17/2017 - 16:00

Working People in the States Reject Hate and Terror
Working People in the States Reject Hate and Terror

White House vigil
Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the deaths of Heather Heyer and two Virginia state troopers, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, and the injuring of more than 30 others, organizations representing working families in numerous states have spoken out rejecting the violence and the ideas that precipitated the violence.

Here are the statements of AFL-CIO state federations:

Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays:

Allow me to be clear–the working people of Virginia do not and will not stand for discrimination and hate in our communities.

Yesterday's disgraceful display of beliefs from the alt-right was simply that–a disgrace to the citizens of the Commonwealth and all that we stand for. Virginia’s working families have fought long and hard to overcome the discriminatory policies of our past and to create an environment of inclusion and fairness in workplaces across the Commonwealth. We will continue to devote every ounce of our abilities to ensure that the rights and safety of all Virginians are preserved.

Furthermore, our thoughts and prayers extend to each of the peaceful counter-protesters who were injured or killed in the resulting violence from yesterday’s rally. We also extend our deepest condolences to the Virginia State Police and the families of Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. No working person expects this shift to be his last, but these brave men and thousands of other first responders put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe.

Colorado AFL-CIO:

The Colorado AFL-CIO stands with union members and working people across the country against hate and bigotry. We will continue to stand up with our black brothers and sisters and reject the fascist violence that occurred in Charlottesville.

White supremacy is a tool used by those who want to divide and conquer people who would otherwise work together to secure their freedom and their fair share, which is why the labor movement is committed to addressing racism and bigotry within our own ranks and in our larger society.

Georgia AFL-CIO:

Over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., the nation and the world witnessed the hateful views and terrorist acts committed by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. This racism and bigotry has no place in America. In this country, we have always fought, in solidarity, for equality and justice and against these and other diabolical prejudices.

This is the time for leadership. Our leaders, both in D.C. and under the Gold Dome, must acknowledge this for what it is: domestic terrorism rooted in bigotry.

The hearts and prayers of Georgia’s labor movement are with all the victims, but especially the families of those who lost their lives: Heather Heyer and state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. We pray for everyone’s safety. The labor movement condemns this domestic terrorism and remains committed to eradicating the despicable causes of hatred and intolerance.

Green Mountain Labor Council:

The recent events in Charlottesville call upon us all to speak out boldly against white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism in all forms. Racism, anti-Semitism, hatred, and fear should have no home in America.

We grieve for the lives lost and pray for those critically injured because of the domestic terrorism committed in Charlottesville. The Green Mountain Labor Council promises to organize in our workplaces and communities to fight racism, fascism and bigotry.

Trump’s failure to call out neo-Nazi’s and other bigots is not surprising. Some of the supremacists even chanted “Heil Trump.” Trump’s campaign of hate against non-whites, threats to punch opponents in the face, and his plan to deport immigrants and build walls embolden the forces which were unleashed on Charlottesville. Trump is simply unfit to be president....

The Iowa Federation of Labor shared the words of Progress Iowa:

This weekend we watched in horror as white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Va., waving Nazi symbols, chanting hateful Nazi slogans, and committing violent acts of terrorism. Their hatred and their violence should be condemned, and has no place in our country. But those words aren’t enough.

It’s not enough when Governor Reynolds and Senators Grassley and Ernst make statements of condemnation (David Young and Rod Blum have done so as well). They should condemn President Trump for continually fanning the flames of hatred, from his lead role in the birther movement, to statements he made during the campaignrefusing to denounce former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and even having advisers with ties to hate groups.

Reynolds, Grassley, Ernst, Young, Blum, and King should condemn the president they helped put in office for his role in emboldening white supremacists. It’s politically easy to condemn Nazis—it would show true political courage if they called out the president of their own party. And they should use their elected office to bring about real, meaningful change. Here are just a few of the many ways they could move forward, and policies we should all call on them to enact....

Read the rest of the statement.

The Kentucky State AFL-CIO shared the words of the Rev. John Ballenger:

As we gather to worship, a word about the past couple of days in Charlottesville.

I trust you’re all aware of the events there. The kind of hatred and evil incarnate there cannot go unchallenged by those who follow God in the way of Jesus. Neither can any false equivalence between white supremacists and counter-protesters.

They are not the same.

We can no more afford to be surprised at what festers despicably in our culture, nor can our world afford for us to be silent about it—at what was made manifest in Charlottesville, yes, but also at the loud rhetoric of fear-mongering and violence, religious and ethnic blaming and shaming, attitudes of exclusiveness and superiority, an ongoing barrage of unchecked lies, the perversions of theology, scripture and God, and also the systemic racism embedded in our own ways of life—the countless ways we’ve begun trying to name how many of us benefit from privilege and how many of us suffer the consequences all of which can so easily be manipulatively effective and beneficial for the few, unquestionably making room for the worst of who we can be to be more comfortably made public.

In the name of God, we reject it all. in the name of Jesus, we commit to his alternative way of love, grace, welcome, justice, and peace, and in the name of the Spirit, we pray hope for the journey before us.

Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven A. Tolman:

With you, I have watched with heartbreak the hateful and violent actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville this week and the subsequent offensive and troubling reaction from President Trump. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO joins AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka in condemning last Saturday’s act of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. We mourn with the families and friends of Heather Heyer and state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. We call on President Trump to unequivocally reject white supremacy and racism.

As a labor movement, as a Commonwealth and as a nation we have a moral obligation to stand up for the right of all people to live without fear and to stand against racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry in all forms. Hatred thrives on silence.

Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy:

Minnesota’s working people echo AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s condemnation of Saturday’s act of domestic terrorism in Charlottesville. Our hearts go out to the families of Heather Heyer and state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates in their time of loss. White supremacists like Nazis, the KKK, and other so-called “alt-right” groups have long used bigotry, violence, and fear to divide working people. Minnesota’s labor movement resolutely rejects these poisonous ideologies that have no place in our country. We call on President Trump to apologize for the comments he made on Tuesday and strongly reject the white supremacists who support him. Working people in Minnesota and across the country renew our commitment to justice and eradicating the despicable causes of hatred and intolerance.

Missouri AFL-CIO:

President Trump's actions have not met up with the promises he made to working people during the campaign. His embrace of white-nationalist, neo-Nazis and the alt-right is un-American and we will not be a part of the president's PR sham.

It is simple. Saturday's attack was an act of domestic terrorism. The labor movement has always led the fight for equality and ending racism. This time is no different. White supremacists and neo-Nazis are racist and we will not stand with a president that does not unequivocally condemn these racists.

The true values of our country and the labor movement are values of equality and solidarity. This racism and bigotry is evil and does not represent the true values of this country.

Nebraska State AFL-CIO President/Secretary-Treasurer Susan L. Martin:

The Nebraska State AFL-CIO is speaking out against the horrific events that happened in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend. We cannot and will not condone the vicious, hateful actions of white supremacists, neo-Nazis groups and bigots. This type of racism is immoral and has no place in America or anywhere. We, as a labor movement, value equality and solidarity and have fought long and hard to overcome these prejudices. Now is a moment for all Americans who believe in freedom and justice, to stand up and speak out. I urge you to participate in a vigil or community event in support of the true values of our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific event and my hope is that we continue to have the important conversations with each other against this intolerance.

New Jersey State AFL-CIO:

As the nation begins to heal from the vicious act of terror committed in Charlottesville, we will keep in our hearts the memory of those who were injured or lost their lives. Those who stood up against the hatred and bigotry of white supremacists and intolerance of any kind, demonstrate the true values of this nation. Those who carry the banner of hate, bear the responsibility of this tragedy, and must be unequivocally condemned. We have come too far as a nation to turn back.

North Carolina State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan:

The North Carolina State AFL-CIO condemns white supremacy. It is a tool used by those who want to divide and conquer people who would otherwise work together to secure their freedom and their fair share, which is why the labor movement is committed to addressing racism and bigotry within our own ranks and in our larger society. All of us including President Trump have a moral obligation to speak out against not only racist, fascist violence but also the racist, fascist ideology behind such violence—an ideology which thrives on silence and inaction, particularly that of white people like me. We cannot expect our black and brown brothers and sisters to both bear the burden of white supremacy and do the work of dism

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