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UNITE HERE Reaches Agreements With Trump International Hotels In Las Vegas And Washington DC

Today, UNITE HERE announced that they have reached an agreement for their first union contract with Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas and will begin openly organizing at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC.

Las Vegas, Nevada:

The Local Joint Executive Board Las Vegas, UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165, and the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas are pleased to announce a new first time union contract covering the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas’ Food and Beverage and Housekeeping employees from January 1, 2017 through May 31, 2021. This four-year contract will provide the employees with annual wage increases, a pension, family health care, and job security.

This agreement is the result of tremendous efforts of the parties’ leadership teams. Both the Culinary Union and the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas extend their congratulations to each other and each look forward to a mutually productive and peaceful labor-management partnership. 

The AFL-CIO praised the news this morning in a brief statement calling UNITE HERE an “Inspiration.”

“The UNITE HERE union workers at Trump International hotels are an inspiration to working people everywhere,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “In two different ways, they have proven we can take on the powerful and win, even when the boss is running for President of the United States.”

“UNITE HERE members are setting the standard and proving that collectively we hold the power to make the rules of this economy work for working people,” Trumka added. 

Washington, D.C.:

UNITE HERE Local 25 and Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. also announced today that they have reached an agreement to permit an orderly organizing campaign for employees at the recently-opened Trump International Hotel located at the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

“The agreement speaks volumes about the hotel’s commitment to its employees and the value they place on their relationship with our organization,” said John Boardman, President of UNITE HERE Local 25.  “It satisfies the Union’s goal to represent and ensure strong working conditions for hospitality workers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  We look forward to pursuing a mutually productive partnership with Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C.”

“UNITE HERE Local 25 is an important partner in Washington, D.C.,” said Eric Danziger, CEO of Trump Hotels “We share mutual goals with the Union, as we both desire to ensure outstanding jobs for the employees, while also enabling the hotel to operate successfully in a competitive environment, and to establish a reputation as one of the finest hotels in the world.”


Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE Local 25 represents over 6,500 hospitality workers in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 hospitality workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

AFL-CIO Releases Blueprint on Rewriting NAFTA to Benefit Working People

The AFL-CIO outlines six key provisions that need to be changed to help working families.

(Washington, DC) Today, the AFL-CIO is releasing a blueprint for how to rewrite NAFTA to benefit working families. This past election there was much needed discussion on the impact of corporate trade deals on our manufacturing sector and on working class communities. The outline below puts forward real solutions that should garner bipartisan support if lawmakers are truly serious about realigning our trade policies to help workers.

1naftaImproving NAFTA for Working People

Over the last year the country has shown that we want a different direction on trade. This movement has been largely driven by workers. As we approach the inauguration of a new president, it is important that workers’ perspective lead the debate. In the coming months, the AFL-CIO will highlight how NAFTA should be rewritten.

The AFL-CIO has long supported rewriting the rules of NAFTA to provide more equitable outcomes for working families. To date, the biggest beneficiaries of NAFTA have been multinational corporations, which have gained by destroying middle class jobs in the U.S. and Canada and replacing them with exploitive, sweatshop jobs in Mexico. It doesn’t have to be this way. With different rules, NAFTA could become a tool to raise wages and working conditions in all three North American countries, rather than to lower them.

Key Areas for Improvement

Eliminate the private justice system for foreign investors.

NAFTA established a private justice system for foreign investors, thereby prioritizing corporate rights over citizens’ rights, giving corporations even more influence over our economy than they already have. This private justice system, known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, allows foreign investors to challenge local, state and federal laws before private panels of corporate lawyers. Although these lawyers are not accountable to the public, they are empowered to decide cases and award vast sums of taxpayer money to foreign businesses. Under NAFTA, these panels have awarded millions of dollars to corporations when local and state governments exercise their jurisdictional power to deny things like municipal building permits for toxic waste processing facilities. ISDS gives foreign investors enormous leverage to sway public policies in their favor. Scrapping the entire system would help level the playing field for small domestic producers and their employees.

Improve the labor and environment side-treaties (the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation).  Add them to the original agreement, and ensure they are enforced.

The NAFTA labor and environment agreements were not designed to effectively raise standards for workers or to ensure clean air and water. Instead, they were hastily patched together to quiet NAFTA’s critics. These agreements should be scrapped and replaced with provisions that effectively and robustly protect international labor and environmental standards.  Violators should be subject to trade sanctions when necessary—so that we stop the race to the bottom that has resulted from NAFTA. Without stronger provisions environmental abuses and worker exploitation will continue unchecked.

NAFTA-protest-bad-for-workers-1024x768Address currency manipulation by creating binding rules subject to enforcement and possible sanctions.

Within months after NAFTA’s approval by Congress, Mexico devalued the peso, wiping out overnight potential gains from NAFTA’s tariff reductions. This devaluation made imports from Mexico far cheaper than they otherwise would have been and priced many U.S. exports out of reach of average Mexican consumers. Countries should not use currency policies to gain trade advantages—something China, Japan and others have done for many years. All U.S. trade agreements, including NAFTA, should be upgraded to create binding rules, subject to trade sanctions, to prevent such game-playing.

Upgrade NAFTA’s rules of origin particularly on autos and auto parts, to reinforce auto sector jobs in North America.

NAFTA’s rules require that automobiles be 62.5% “made in North America” to qualify for duty-free treatment under NAFTA. Even though 62.5% seems high compared to the TPP’s inadequate 45%, it still allows for nearly 40% of a car to be made in China, Thailand or elsewhere. The auto rule of origin should be upgraded to eliminate loopholes (through products “deemed originating” in North America) and to provide additional incentives to produce in North America. This, combined with improved labor standards will help create a more robust labor market and help North American workers gain from trade.

NAFTADelete the procurement chapter that undermines “Buy American” laws (Chapter 10).

NAFTA contains provisions that require the U.S. government to treat Canadian and Mexican goods and services as “American” for many purchasing decisions, including purchases by the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, Veterans Affairs and Transportation. This means that efforts to create jobs for America’s working families by investing in infrastructure or other projects, including after the great financial crisis of 2008, could be ineffective. This entire chapter should be deleted.

Upgrade the trade enforcement chapter (Chapter 19).

NAFTA allows for a final review of a domestic antidumping or countervailing duty case by a binational panel instead of by a competent domestic court. This rule, omitted from subsequent trade deals, has hampered trade enforcement, hurting U.S. firms and their employees. It should be improved or omitted.

Transportation Unions Ready for New Congress, Trump Administration

Transportation Trade Department LogoTransportation union leaders across all sectors gathered today for their post-election meeting to assess the landscape in Washington and lay the groundwork for a unified effort under a Trump Administration.

“Our discussion today was focused on boosting investment in transportation and protecting the rights of working people against a torrent of political attacks designed to weaken unions,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD). “We also vowed to defend against assaults on labor and safety protections in our laws, and work with those who want to change American trade policy so it aligns with the economic interests of American workers.”

The Executive Committee took aim at the wrongheaded decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the controversial application of Norwegian Air International (NAI) for a foreign air carrier permit.

“Transportation unions were clear today in their resolve to stop the first-ever job-killing ‘flag-of-convenience’ airline sanctioned by our government from destroying U.S. airline jobs. We will continue urging President Obama to intervene and reverse the NAI decision,” Wytkind said.

Transportation labor leaders also sent a clear message that they stand with United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones in his battle to save more jobs at Carrier. Jones, who’s championed the jobs and rights of his members for decades, called out the President-elect because the number of jobs saved at Carrier is 730, not the more than 1,000 the President-elect claimed.

“America is great because of our freedom to speak out and the right of working people to come together in strong unions to demand fairness and living wages on the job,” Wytkind said. “When our elected leaders stifle dissent and bully people like Chuck Jones for simply speaking out for the men and women he’s elected to lead, we not only rip at the fabric of our nation — we eviscerate rights for which people died.”

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The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) provides a bold voice for workers in every mode of transportation and is devoted to protecting middle-class jobs, expanding collective bargaining and ensuring modern, safe and secure transportation operations and infrastructure. For more information visit us at www.ttd.org.

AFL-CIO Decries Trump’s Cabinet Selections

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Cabinet Nominations

Richard_TrumkaAfter the election, we made clear that we would hold Donald Trump accountable to the promises he made to working people throughout the campaign.

His initial nominations fundamentally threaten these promises.  Taken together, the appointments push President-elect Trump away from the values and issues that working class voters said were most important to them. 

As a candidate, President-elect Trump railed against Wall Street greed and the failure of big banks to invest in America, yet his nominee for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is a billionaire who got rich by foreclosing on the homes of hard-working American families. Mnuchin will take us back to the risky, unregulated financial speculation that benefits his Wall Street friends, leaves consumers vulnerable and risks another financial crisis.

President-elect Trump promised to protect Social Security and Medicare, yet his nominee for HHS Secretary, Rep. Tom Price, wants to privatize and undermine these essential programs and take health care coverage away from millions of Americans.  

During the campaign, President-elect Trump complained that our kids aren’t learning, yet his nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has spent her career undermining our public education system at the expense of students and teachers alike. She is a billionaire lobbyist, who has used her family’s wealth to steer public funds to private schools.  

Finally, President-elect Trump talked about a ‘New Deal’ for communities of color, yet Senator Jeff Sessions, his nominee for Attorney General, has a history of racially charged comments and a record of crushing civil liberties, including the right to vote. He is the opposite of what the American people want in their chief legal officer.

These decisions by President-elect Trump are deeply inconsistent with the pledges he made in the campaign.  Donald Trump the candidate claimed he would rein in the power of Wall Street traders, protect Social Security and Medicare and ensure all kids have great schools.  But his cabinet choices send a dangerous signal about how President-elect Trump will conduct his presidency. We urge the president-elect to stop stacking his administration with billionaire insiders who do not share the core American values he campaigned on.

Norwegian Air International, The Walmart Of Airlines, Get US DOT Approval Despite Opposition

Approval of Norwegian Air International Permit is a betrayal of U.S. Aviation Workers

Washington, DC – Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) issues this statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s approval of a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International (NAI):

 “Today’s decision betrays America’s aviation workers by granting a rogue, flag-of-convenience airline a permit to serve the United States. Unless reversed, this decision threatens a generation of U.S. airline jobs and tells foreign airlines that scour the globe for cheap labor and lax employment laws that America is open for business.

“On behalf of the nation’s several million transportation workers, and especially the men and women who form the backbone of U.S. aviation, I appeal to the President to reverse this decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“NAI’s business model clearly and blatantly violates Article 17 bis of the 2010 U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement, which states that the ‘opportunities created by the Agreement are not intended to undermine labor standards or the labor-related rights and principles contained in the Parties’ respective laws.’ Clearly, a Norwegian-owned airline that is based in Ireland for the purpose of evading Norway’s labor and tax laws, and that will hire crews under Asian contracts, is in violation of these explicit labor protections, and should be denied entry into our marketplace. With this decision, the Obama Administration has failed to enforce the very labor protection it negotiated and sold as a breakthrough in aviation trade policy.

“It is because of NAI’s blatant disregard for our trade laws that unions in the U.S. and Europe, major airlines, and Republican and Democratic members of Congress have all taken a strong stance against the airline’s application. Given the disgust with our trade policies expressed loudly by American voters on November 8, it is especially galling that the Administration has ignored the wants of the American people in favor of a rogue, foreign airline. We urge Congress to take whatever action is needed to undo this decision and prevent NAI and similar business models from poisoning the trans-Atlantic aviation market.

“Today’s decision effectively ushers in a new era in aviation, one in which high-road air carriers will be forced to compete with sweatshop-like airlines. Unless this decision is reversed, U.S. aviation workers will become the latest victims of perverse trade policy.”


Read more about NAI: 

#DenyNAI: New Legislation To Stop Norwegian Air International From Undercutting Labor Laws

Labor Movement Rallies to Ground Norwegian Air International Operating Scheme

U.S. DOT Order on Norwegian Air Case, Unless Reversed, Threatens Thousands of U.S. Airline Jobs

Transportation Trade Unions Call For A Rejection Of Norwegian Air’s Air Carrier Permit

Labor Organizations Launch New Phone APP To Combat Wage Theft And Worker Abuses

As Donald Trump Prepares to take over Presidency, Immigrant Workers Prepare to Defend Themselves

jornalerNew York, N.Y. – On Monday November 21st, New York-based day labor worker centers, national labor unions, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) formally announced the launch of an innovative new tool to combat wage-theft and labor exploitation among immigrant workers.   

Two years ago, day laborer centers in New York began a bottom-up effort to utilize new technologies to solve epidemic of minimum wage violations.   While wage theft, or the denial of earned wages, is rampant across many industries, day laborers are particularly susceptible for many reasons including misperceptions about their immigration status. The new App was designed by and for day laborers, and it can be used by all vulnerable immigrant workers.  

The Jornaler@ App, (pronounced Jornalera, the Spanish language word for “day laborer”) will allow users to safely combat instances of wage theft by reporting abusive employers and other violations. The information compiled by the App will be administered by day laborer worker centers, labor unions and other organizations that wish to participate.

“Immigrant worker centers are honored to work with our brothers and sisters within the AFL-CIO to forge the next chapter in worksite enforcement strategies” Pablo Alvarado, the Executive Director of NDLON.  “Particularly now, as xenophobes seek to divide workers and undermine government institutions, we must organize, innovate, and stand together to defend ourselves. This new App will encourage organizing and will send a powerful message to abusive employers that wage theft will not be tolerated.”

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the AFL-CIO’s historic partnership with NDLON, which sought to end the denial of wages to immigrant workers, and opened the door for worker centers to formally participate in the labor movement.

“The launch of this app is very important. This is an example of using technology as a tool for shared prosperity,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We want to make sure that every worker in this country knows that they are not alone. We continue to stand firm on the side of all working people and commit to protecting these day laborer corners the way we will protect our union halls, in the face of any attack”.

Developing the Jornaler@ APP was the result of collaboration initiated and conducted by social practice artist Sol Aramendi with workers, organizers, lawyers and artists at New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). As the idea began to grow, other worker centers from across New York began participating in the growing conversation. Groups such as El Centro de Inmigrante, La Colmena, the Don Bosco Workers in Port Chester, The Workplace Project in Hempstead, and Obreros Unidos from Yonkers.

Financial support from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades was instrumental in completing the development of the application and delivering it to the workers that will use Jornaler@ all over the country.

“The IUPAT is proud to have worked with our community partners and organizations to help build the framework of a new worker movement for the 21st century” said IUPAT General President Kenneth Rigmaiden. “Wage theft is a costly national epidemic, and this app will serve as a powerful tool to protect the workers who push this country forward every day.”

Jornaler@ is available for Android and iPhone. Search for “Jornalera” on Google Play or the AppStore.

Busted: Trump International Hotel Gets Smacked Down By NLRB For Union-Busting

Last night, news broke that the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Donald Trump, and Trump International Hotel, has been violating law by refusing to accept the results of the Culinary Union Local 226 (UNITE HERE) certification election and then refusing to negotiate with the union.

The NLRB decision ordered the immediate “cease and desist” from “interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees” in an attempt to break the union.

The NLRB also mandated that Trump International recognize the union and open bargaining immediately.

“The National Labor Relations Board has consistently told Donald Trump and his company that the union election wasn’t rigged and that he must sit down and negotiate with the Culinary Union,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Mr. Trump is breaking federal law and Trump Hotel Las Vegas is operating illegally. Mr. Trump should accept the federal government’s order to negotiate and treat his workers with respect.”

“The decision by the NLRB marks a major victory for the more than 500 workers at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas, whose right to organize and collectively bargain has been trampled by Donald Trump,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “The decision underlines what we already know: Donald Trump lacks respect for the hardworking men and women who have made his hotel successful. For months he has violated federal laws by refusing to recognize and negotiate with Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents the hotel workers.”

“Donald Trump is a hypocrite, whose true feelings towards working people are clear. The workers at Trump Hotel Las Vegas deserve a say in determining their wages, benefits and working conditions. Donald Trump must come to the table and negotiate with them. The labor movement will continue to stand by these hotel workers, and all working men and women, as we fight back against attacks on our rights,” Trumka added.

Donald Trump likes to brag about his skills as a negotiator—but yesterday, he had to be ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to stop breaking the law, respect his workers’ fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively, and come to the table,” said Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President. “It’s appalling, but it’s not surprising. This is a man who personally signed a contract with a union-busting firm to try to stop UNITE HERE and the Culinary Workers’ Union from organizing in the first place, and engaged in a months-long intimidation campaign to bully his workers against voting to form a union.”

I was proud to visit workers on the picket line at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, and even prouder when they overcame Donald Trump’s intimidation campaign and were officially certified as a union earlier this year. I believe that when unions are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong. And I will always stand with workers in protecting their rights to organize, bargain collectively, be safe on the job and retire with dignity, and if I am elected President, workers will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House,” added Clinton. 

Throughout this entire election, workers and unions, have been speaking out against Donald Trump and his anti-worker policies. (You can see a few examples from our coverage of the Democratic National Convention.)  Working people spoke out against Trump’s support of so-called Right to Work laws, refusing to pay workers and contractors, and his refusal to negotiate with the unions inside his own companies.

Donald Trump claims to have the support on “many, many union members” and even went on to say, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.” When in fact, polling data shows that only 36% of union members support Trump.

In September, the NH Labor News posted an article highlighting Trump’s financial support of the union-busting Governor Scott Walker.  “Because of the leaked documents, we now know that Donald Trump was one of the donors who helped Scott Walker stay in office,” wrote Liz Iacobucci.

This most recent decision by the NLRB confirms that Donald Trump does not care about workers. He does not care about workers rights to organize and collectively bargain.  He does not even care about what the law requires.

Donald Trump is only out for himself. He is the epitome of corporate greed and highlights exactly what is wrong with our country right now.

Hopefully the rest of America will see Trump for the lying fraud that he truly is and will vote for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. Then I will look forward to Wednesday when Trump will disappear and be relegated to the history books.


Personal Note:

We applaud the Culinary Union on this tremendous victory over Donald Trump and the Trump International Hotel.  The Culinary Union and UNITE HERE symbolize exactly why we must stand together to fight back against corporate greed and how unions fight for every worker.  We, as union members, should rejoice in this decision and be ready to join our fellow union members on the streets when greedy executives like Donald Trump attack working people.  

Labor Council for Latin American Advancement Hosts National Event for Latina Equal Pay Day

latina-pay-day[Washington, D.C.] – Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the national leading organization for Latino working families, is raising awareness about the staggering pay gap that Latinas face in the workplace, along with nearly one hundred women’s rights groups, Latino advocacy organizations, members of the labor movement and workers’ rights advocates. Newly updated U.S. Census data shows that Latinas are paid just 54 cents to the dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic male workers. The Latina equal pay gap directly harms hard-working Latinas, and affects their family members and the entire Latino community. The coalition assembled for this day of action is collectively seeking to raise awareness and demand change to close the Latina gender pay gap. 

LCLAA created its Trabajadoras (Latina Workers) Campaign in 2012 to lift up Latina workers and increase awareness around unlawful workplace conditions and the impact of the wage gap. Since that time it has published a substantive report on these issues, created educational tools and worked with its membership to organize and empower Latinas in the community. 

“The fight for Latina equal pay and improved working conditions are issues that LCLAA has consistently focused on since launching the Trabajadoras Campaign,” said Mónica Ramírez, Director of Gender Equality and Trabajadoras’ Empowerment for LCLAA. “We are determined to significantly increase awareness about the wage gap and to continue to advocate for fairness and equity for Latina workers. LCLAA is proud to have led these efforts and we are grateful that so many organizations, advocates and community members are joining together for this cause.” 

As an anchor organization for the National Latina Pay Day of Action, LCLAA helped to lead the entire campaign, including launching a new website which contains a supporter pledge and other action tools, along with spearheading the development of a comprehensive toolkit on the Latina wage gap. The day of action includes a national Twitter storm at 2:00pm EST and a Twitter Town Hall at 4:00pm. LCLAA will also hold a phone bank from 4:30 to 6:30pm and a community forum on equal pay this evening from 6:30-8:00pm at South Florida AFL-CIO 4349 NW 36th Street Miami Springs, Florida. Among the speakers are AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and UFCW Secretary-Treasurer Esther Lopez. The goal of this event is to make this issue a national priority and mobilize women and their allies in the fight for Latina Equal Pay. 

“Latina workers, trabajadoras, earn an average 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. As frequent leaders in their communities and breadwinners for their families, Latinas deserve more,” said Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer. “The AFL-CIO stands with trabajadoras in their effort to break down the barriers to pay equity. We will not thrive unless Latina workers do, too.” 

In anticipation of this day of action, LCLAA jointly released a new fact sheet on equal pay for Latina workers with the National Women’s Law Center. The factsheet highlights in further detail statistics that point to the Latina equal pay gap, focusing on issues such the impact of education on the pay gap and the reality of immigrant workers. 

“Latina workers are among the most oppressed workers in our nation, especially immigrant women,” said Hector Sanchez, Executive Director of LCLAA. “The lack of equal treatment for Latina workers is unacceptable and we must continue to actively fight for change. We are pleased with the level of participation in this year’s Latina Equal Pay Day efforts. Our actions will not stop here. We will continue to fight the challenges ahead as we seek equal pay for Latina workers.”

Additional campaign partners include:

AFL-CIO, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, Equal Pay Today!, National Women’s Law Center, MALDEF, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, American Association of University Women, American Federation of Teachers, Be Visible, Casa de Esperanza, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Equal Rights Advocates, Farmworker Justice, Hispanic Federation, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers , Labor Project for Working Families, Latina Circle, Latino Decisions, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Latinos United for Secure Retirement, League of United Latin American Citizens, Lideres Campesinas, Make it Work, Make it Work Action!, MANA, Moms Rising, Mamás con Poder, National Association of Hispanic Publications, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Council of La Raza, National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts, National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives, National Education Association, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Partnership for Women and Families, Presente, ROC, SAG-AFTRA, SER- Jobs for Progress National Inc., UFCW, United State of Women, United Steel Workers Local 675,Voto Latino, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), National Partnership for Women & Families, IAMAW, Friends of Farmworkers, Inc., The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, A Better Balance, Institute for Science and Human Values, UltraViolet, Center for Popular Democracy, National Council of Jewish Women, Catalyst, Atlanta Women for Equality, ACLU, American Women, State Innovation Exchange, PowHer New York, Women Employed, CA Women’s Law Center, Legal Voice, Progressive Congress, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, NC Justice Center, Working America, Rural Coalition, UAW Women’s Department, People’s Action/People’s Action Institute, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Raise Up Washington, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Metro-Detroit CLUW Chapter, Young People For, Caring Across Generations, National LGBTQ Task Force, Toledo Federation of Teachers, 9to5, National Association of Working Women, Transport Workers Union, Women’s Law Project, Feminist Majority, AFSCME, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Mi Familia Vota, People For the American Way, Dialogue on Diversity, AFSCME 3299, United Farmworkers of America, Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations, The Women’s Funding Network, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement , ERA Coalition, National Organization for Women, The Florida Latina Advocacy Network, South Florida AFL-CIO, South Florida LCLAA, Miami Workers Center and UTD-AFT.

More information about the campaign is available at LatinaEqualPay.org. 


The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latinos in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latinos in an effort to impact workers’ rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership. Visit LCLAA on the web at www.lclaa.org, on Facebook and Twitter.

AFL-CIO Begins Final Phase of 2016 Campaign

Ground game and digital blitz to target millions of union households and allies

(Washington, DC) – In the final days before the election, the AFL-CIO will drive a powerful grassroots program and launch a digital ad blitz to union households and allies. The final stretch of the campaign is underlined by speaking with millions of voters at the doors and on the phones, delivering millions of mailers and a six-figure digital ad buy in battleground states.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka began the countdown to election day with a new video message that makes the closing argument for Hillary Clinton.

“The case for Hillary Clinton stands on its own,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We are not choosing the Apprentice. We’re electing the leader of the United States of America. Hillary has the ideas, experience and drive to transform our economy into an engine for shared prosperity.”

In addition, the AFL-CIO will roll out digital ads on ten prominent media sites in the battleground states of Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Weekly, Tampa Bay Times, Jacksonville FOX-WFOX, Jacksonville First Coast News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch, Toledo Blade, Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will see the ads which redirect to a new landing page. You can view the ads here: http://bit.ly/2fgcrrG.

Starting Monday, union members and allies can help build a symbolic wall around the White House to keep Donald Trump out at www.StopTrump.org.

In Philadelphia, radio ads on African American stations will build on the AFL-CIO’s Black voter program and encourage turnout in the community.

Nearly half a million mailers and 1.4 million slate cards listing pro-worker candidates will reach union households in key states by Election Day. All three AFL-CIO officers will continue their rigorous travel schedule across the country to engage with union members in battleground states including Florida, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Social Security COLA Falls Short for Seniors

social securty 1Small cost-of-living increase triggers huge Medicare Part B premium hike for many retirees

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. is calling on Congress to pass emergency legislation to prevent massive increases in Medicare Part B premiums for millions of retirees next year.

The government today announced a 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for federal retirees and Social Security recipients. The COLA is based on the year-over-year change in the prices for goods and services purchased by hourly and clerical workers.

This small COLA has inadvertently triggered a massive increase in Medicare Part B premiums for the 30 percent of beneficiaries who do not currently receive Social Security benefits.

Premiums for Medicare Part B are expected to increase 23 percent next year, from $121 a month to $149 a month. A so-called “hold harmless” provision prevents Medicare Part B premiums from increasing by more than the dollar increase in an individual’s Social Security payment. But for the 16 million retirees who don’t receive Social Security, including 1.6 million federal retirees under the Civil Service Retirement System, the full increase must be paid unless Congress acts.

“Congress must act now to prevent a massive increase in Medicare Part B premiums for this group of retirees,” Cox said. “Although most seniors would be protected, this group will have to pay more solely because of the uniqueness of their pension system.”

Congress last year extended the hold harmless provision to cover all Medicare Part B beneficiaries when there is no cost-of-living adjustment. However, this provision does not apply when there is a small COLA, as there will be in 2017.

Even without the increase in Medicare Part B premiums, retirees will have to tighten their belts to account for next year’s miniscule cost-of-living adjustment. Retirees already are facing a 6.2% increase in their health insurance premiums next year.

“Prices for many items that seniors must purchase are rising faster than the overall inflation rate,” Cox said. “Forcing this group of retirees to shoulder such a huge cost burden will have a devastating impact on their already modest living standards.”

The Alliance for Retired Americans have been pushing to increase Social Security benefits and change the way cost of living is calculated.

“The Alliance for Retired Americans is deeply disappointed by the announcement today that there will be a miniscule 0.3% benefit increase for millions of Social Security beneficiaries in 2017,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “For the average retiree, that means just a $5.00 per month increase, not enough to keep up with the cost of their prescription medications. This follows a 0% COLA in 2016. Most retirees are going to continue to have a hard time paying for basic necessities.”

“That’s why Congress must expand earned Social Security benefits and change the formula used to calculate future COLAs to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E).  The CPI-E would base the calculation on what seniors actually spend their money on. That list includes items such as health care and housing, which account for most retirees’ spending,” Fiesta added. 

The AFL-CIO was “disappointed” with this COLA announcement.

“A weak increase that amounts to a mere $5.00 more a month for the average retired worker is a disappointment for the millions who rely on Social Security to stay afloat during retirement,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “Protecting our seniors against inflation is one of the many obligations we have to retired Americans. The 2017 adjustment falls short of that goal because it fails to reflect seniors’ extraordinary expenses.”

 “The 2017 COLA not only fails to keep pace with seniors’ high health care and prescription drug costs, it also means millions of retirees, including many retired public employees, will be hit hard because the law fails to protect them against large Medicare Part B premium increases when inflation is low. State Medicaid budgets that cover Medicare premiums for low-income seniors similarly will be affected. We urge Congress to step in and limit the coming financial blow to thousands of vulnerable retirees and state budgets,” Trumka added.

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