30 Jan, 2016
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — From writers at online news site Gawker in Manhattan, to Uber drivers in Seattle, to Volkswagen workers in Tennessee, workers across the country stood up for their right to have a voice at work, explains the American Federation of Government Employees.
According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, Fighting for a Better Life: How Working People Across America Are Organizing to Raise Wages and Improve Work, it didn’t stop there. Unions made huge headway in places you might not expect. Forming a union means a safe workplace that is free from discrimination and wage theft; it means having a powerful voice for workers at a time when corporations are exploiting them worse than ever.
Here are three ways working people organized in new regions and sectors to make our country better:
Building Unions and Defying Stereotypes: The South is rising, thanks to labor
- What happens when workers are fed up with ‘Walmart Wages’? They join the United Auto Workers (UAW).
- Inspired by their brothers and sisters, Volkswagen members of UAW Local 42 in Chattanooga, TN, signed up a majority of their fellow workers. Then, they won an election for skilled trades workers in the plant.
New Sectors, New Unions: Working people in non-traditional sectors are forming unions
- Media outlets like The Huffington Post, Gawker, The Guardian US, ThinkProgress, Salon, and Vice Media, all had major organizing wins.
- Taxi and Uber drivers are organizing and mobilizing in cities across the country.
- Teaching and research assistants are working to restore their legal right to collective bargaining for thousands of workers at prestigious schools like Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and the New School University, thanks to support by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the UAW.
Despite Threats, Public-Sector Unions Grow: We know we are stronger when we stand together
- At AFGE, we’re so proud to stand with more than 300,000 government employees, the highest membership in our union’s history. As Congress steps up its attacks on workers’ pay, retirement security, and rights at work, employees are joining together and standing up for the middle class livelihood they’ve earned.
- With attacks on public-sector collective bargaining (here’s looking at you, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association), major state and local public-sector unions like AFSCME and AFT signed up hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses, social workers, service workers and other public employees already covered by union contracts.
- In 2015, more working Americans began to speak up together against an out-of-balance economy and policies that keep many from ever getting beyond making ends meet.
- In 2016, we know that we’re heard when we’re united. We can’t let them silence our voice this this year—and beyond!
To read the full report click here.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.