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If You’re Surprised By America’s Wage Stagnation, Then You’re Not Paying Attention

By Larry Willis, President of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the economy and how well it’s doing. The unemployment rate has steadily fallen for years now, and jobs are being created.

But wages? Not so much.

The latest jobs report shows that while the unemployment rate remains low, wages aren’t keeping up with inflation. Instead, they are falling flat.

Some economists and policymakers seem baffled — but TTD and our affiliated unions aren’t.

Yes, there are a number of reasons for this trend. But, as we reflect ahead of Labor Day, it is clear that anti-union policies, like so-called “right to work” laws, and failure to invest in our crumbling infrastructure are contributing factors that need to be called out and addressed.

Unions act as a check against corporate power, making union representation one of the most reliable ways for working people to improve their quality of life and secure a living wage. In fact, data shows a direct correlation between high union density and higher wages and better benefits. And while union members are more likely to have a pension, employer-paid health insurance, and earn an average of 13.2 percent more than their non-union counterparts, the union difference doesn’t just affect those covered by collective bargaining agreements. Strong union contracts influence competition, driving up wages, benefits, and standards of living for non-union workers too.

So what happens when working people don’t have access to unions? Take a look around – we’re seeing it right now. While millions of Americans struggle just to get by, the average CEO makes nearly $14 million annually – 200 times what an average employee earns. This is not a coincidence. It is the result of ruthless, decades-long attacks on the rights of working people to demand better for themselves and their families.

As for all those jobs being created, it is time we ask ourselves what kind of jobs they are. Based on an analysis from MIT’s living wage calculator, it takes a typical family of four (two adults, two children) more than $58,000 annually to have their basic needs met. A minimum-wage, non-union job just won’t cut it.

This country needs more good jobs — the kind that allow people to own a car, buy a house, and put their kids through college. Attacks on the rights of working people to negotiate together for better wages and benefits are not the only reasons these jobs are lacking. Failure by political leaders to invest in our nation’s transportation system hasn’t just left us with infrastructure that’s crumbling and dangerous — this inaction has also resulted in missed opportunities to create as many as 900,000 long-term, good paying jobs, annually.

Thanks to high union density in transportation and infrastructure industries, people working in these sectors — including frontline workers who build, operate, and maintain our transportation system — earn higher pay, better benefits, and more job security than their low-wage counterparts. In fact, at $38,480, the median annual wage paid by occupations in infrastructure is nearly $4,000 higher than the national median wage.

When Congress considers transportation and infrastructure spending, TTD and our affiliated unions will fight for policies that ensure these investments will continue to create the type of jobs we know our country needs. We cannot support an infrastructure plan that threatens long-standing labor standards or undermines the collective bargaining rights of working people.

There are ways to turn things around and make our economy work for everyone. But doing so requires taking a stand against the rich and powerful — something working people cannot do alone. America needs a commitment from political leaders on both sides of the aisle, not only to invest boldly in infrastructure, but to end attacks on the rights of working families, and understand that strong unions aren’t part of the problem — they are part of the solution.

Federal Union Calls for Pay Parity in Response to Trump’s Minimal Pay Increase

AFGE says the 1.9% increase ‘isn’t enough,’ and that federal workers deserve pay parity

WASHINGTON – In response to the Office of Management and Budget’s announced 1.9 percent pay increase for federal workers in 2018, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement:

“After seven years of pay freezes and minuscule increases that have left federal workers worse off than they were to start the decade, it’s good to see a modest boost in pay. But it isn’t enough.

“Federal working people make 6.5 percent less today than they did in 2010, and that is unjust. They need and deserve more. And while the 1.9 percent increase does not make up for years of earning less, it will certainly help employees put food on the table, pay their bills, reduce their debts, and cover everyday costs facing working-class America.

“In the years after the Great Recession, no other group sacrificed more for the American public than federal employees. They have given up more than $182 billion in wages and benefits – totaling $91,000 per career civil servant. That’s why we at AFGE call on the Administration to offer pay parity equal to the military by offering public servants a 2.1 percent increase next year.

“It’s not going to make up for the losses these hard-working men and women have already endured, but it is a start.

“At a time when federal workers are front and center in disaster relief in Texas, it’s vital for the American public to recognize their dedication and work. And it’s beyond time for them to be fairly compensated for the jobs they do.

“For years we have called for fair pay for civil servants, and will continue to press the Administration and Congress to take care of those who helped pull us out of the Great Recession. Today is a nice first step, but much more must be done.”

New Report Shows Non-Union Workers Are Less Likely To Have Paid Time Off

New AFL-CIO Labor Day Report Finds Americans’ Freedom to Spend Time with Family Eroding

Majority Think Unions Key to More Benefits on the Job

The majority of people agree that unions are the key to more benefits at work according to a new poll released today by the AFL-CIO, the Economic Policy Institute and GQRR.  The poll shows some startling results that fewer workers are getting paid time off for holidays and vacations, resulting in less time with their families. The poll also shows strong support for labor unions and that people want the ability to join a union.

Over the last twenty years research has shown that Americans are working more and more every year.  Productivity has gone up exponentially while wages have remained relatively flat.  For some, workers are working longer because they are forced to work two or three jobs, others because their employers expect them to work from home on their weekends.  63% of a people reported that they are taking fewer vacations and have less time off than they ever did in the past.
As workers face longer and longer workdays spending time with their families is becoming harder as many do not have access to paid time off for holidays or vacations.  The report shows that overall 23% of the workforce do not have paid holidays and 24% do not have paid vacations.  Access to paid time off even harder in low wage jobs.  “Among the bottom 10% of earners, 59% do not have access to paid holidays, while among the top 10% of earners, 7% do not have access to paid holidays.”

Share of private-sector workers without paid holidays, by wage group, 2017.

The report shows that if you want to have paid vacations, paid holidays, and overtime when you do work a holiday, it pays to be a union member.

The report showed: “While 78% of all working people polled have Labor Day off, 85% of union members do. Furthermore, 66% of union members receive overtime for working on Labor Day, compared with 38% of nonunion members. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of union members enjoy access to paid vacation, compared with 68% of nonunion members. Finally, 75% of union members have access to paid sick leave, compared with only 64% of nonunion members.”

The majority of American workers credit labor unions for many of the benefits they receive.
“Union workers empowered by the freedom to negotiate with employers do better on every single economic benchmark,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Union workers earn substantially more money, union contracts help achieve equal pay and protection from discrimination, union workplaces are safer, and union workers have better access to health care and a pension.”

The report goes on to talk about how very few working people have access to paid family leave. This is paid time off to take your child to the doctor or stay home when they are ill. “Only a paltry 14% of private-sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employers.” the report stated.

This means that “37 million private-sector workers have no access to paid sick leave at all.”

Union Have Been Good for People by Raising Wages and Helping People Enter the Middle Class

Labor unions continue to push for more working people to have access to paid sick leave and family medical leave.  “Recently, in New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C., respectively, the AFL-CIO has played lead roles in the fights to expand access to paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for all working people. Elsewhere, individual unions have been at the forefront of new and ongoing fights in Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.”

These ongoing efforts have helped revitalize the labor movement.  The report found that “72% of Americans think unions help people enter the middle class.” They also understand the direct connection between unions and paid holidays and paid time off.

That is probably why 54% said that they would join a union today, IF they had the opportunity.

“This Labor Day, the AFL-CIO will continue to push for an economy that supports work-life balance and ensures every worker has the freedom to spend time with loved ones. Whether it’s strengthening the right to form a union and negotiate for paid time off, expanding paid leave nationwide or rewarding employers that do the right thing, we are committed to advancing commonsense solutions that allow more Americans to enjoy full and happy lives.”


Click here for the transcript of Richard Trumka talking to the Christian Science Monitor about the new report, “Laboring on Labor Day.”

The full “Laboring on Labor Day” report is included below.

17126_Report5-fin_1

Nashua Teachers Union (AFT) Sends Support To Colleagues In The Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

NASHUA, NH August 31, 2017 – By now, we have all seen the destruction and devastating flooding left by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. As we start another school year here in Nashua, it’s hard not to think about the students, teachers, and school personnel who can’t go to school right now.

“It’s just heart-breaking,” said Adam Marcoux, President of the Nashua Teachers’ Union. “It’s hard to comprehend such destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and the impact it has had on the communities. Here we are enjoying nice weather, the start of another school year, and they’re all just trying to survive, wondering where they might sleep or eat.”

The Nashua Teachers’ Union Board of Directors met on August 30 for their first meeting of the year. On the agenda was Texas AFT and how they could help their colleagues in Texas. To that end, the Board of Directors unanimously approved donating $2,415.00 to the Texas AFT Disaster Relief Fund. The $2,415.00 is an odd number for a donation, but it has special meaning.

“Members of the Nashua Teachers’ Union have met and become friends with members of the Houston Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2415, through the AFT Teacher Leaders Program,” Marcoux said. He added, “The devastating event takes on a new meaning when you know people personally impacted by the destruction.” The $2,415.00 is in honor of the friends and colleagues of the Houston Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2415. “AFT and locals around the country are bonded by our commitment to our profession and to our organization. We’re always going to be here to support each other,” Marcoux said.

The Nashua Teachers’ Union is also planning a school supplies drive for later in the year to help get the students, teachers, and classrooms ready for learning. Marcoux added, “They aren’t at a point yet where they can put these supplies to use so we’ll wait until November or December to collect those basic things like crayons and glue and then send them down.”

All the proceeds collected by Texas AFT will go to direct relief to affected Texas AFT members.

For more information, or to make a donation to Texas AFT, please visit http://www.texasaft.org/help-educators-impacted-hurricane-harvey/.

National Nurses United To The Rescue

RN Response Network Deploys Nurse Volunteers to Houston to Help Provide Medical Assistance Post-Hurricane Harvey

RNs to Provide Care as Well as Plan For Ongoing Nurse Deployments

National Nurses United (NNU)’s Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a national network of volunteer nurses, will deploy its first delegation of RN volunteers to Houston, beginning Thursday, August 31, to work with locals on providing medical assistance in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, NNU announced today.

“As nurses, we felt immediately and strongly compelled to assist local communities in their process of healing and recovery from Hurricane Harvey,” said RN Response Network director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “This is just the beginning of our assistance, and RNRN will be working with local officials to send ongoing teams of volunteer nurses to areas impacted by the hurricane, in the months to come, given that the initial aftermath of a super storm like this is followed by continuing health challenges.

“RNRN has deployed volunteer nurses post-hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Typhoon Haiyan, as well as in other disaster relief and humanitarian assistance missions around the world, and we know from experience that long past the time when news cameras disappear, disaster-stricken communities still need care. Our nurses will be there to help.”

Registered nurse volunteers on the initial RNRN Hurricane Harvey relief deployment will be providing medical assistance at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where around 9,000 people are seeking shelter from the storm. Over 1,000 registered nurses from 49 states and Puerto Rico have also answered RNRN’s call for Hurricane Harvey volunteers—and await possible future assignments.

“Being a nurse, you’ve sworn to care for people,” said RNRN volunteer Robert Enriquez, of El Paso Texas, a Cardio Vascular Intensive Care Unit RN, as well as an Emergency Medical Technician, paramedic and firefighter. “If people [impacted by the hurricane] need help, I feel like it’s my duty to help as much as I can.”

For Enriquez, the impact has even touched his own family, as a cousin in Houston “lost everything; everything is underwater.”

“One of the things I wanted to do with my license, when I got it about eight years ago, was to do volunteer work and to use my license to help people who really needed help,” said RN Erik Hoagland, an Intensive Care Unit nurse from Oakland, California, who will be deploying to Houston with RNRN. “I’m really proud to be part of National Nurses United.  It’s great that RNRN exists and that there’s an interest in taking care of the larger community.”

National Nurses United represents around 800 Texas registered nurses in communities hit by the storm. To that end, RNRN volunteers will also have the very personal experience of knowing that while they are deploying to provide assistance on the ground, they will be standing in solidarity with their local colleagues, who have been impacted both at work and at home.

“We nurses all just pulled together and got the job done,” said NNU member Valerie Gray, RN, a labor and delivery nurse from Houston who spent 97 hours at her hospital, in the aftermath of Harvey, working 12 hours then sleeping 12 hours. “I’m very proud of our team.”

“My mother lives in Port Aransas, and … everything is destroyed there. My mother’s house and my sister’s business are trashed,” said NNU member Kim Smith, RN, of Corpus Christie, who says local nurses are simply pulling together—despite struggles in their personal lives— to “do the most good for the most people you can; you’ve just got to go to work and keep going.”

Both local and RNRN volunteer nurses say they are concerned not just about immediate negative health impacts, as people face lack of food, shelter, water, power and basic sanitation, and lack of access to necessary medications—but also ongoing concerns ahead, with the potential for infectious diseases and injuries and illnesses in the cleanup effort.

“We understand that local people and first responders are still focused on the search and rescue process, and our nurses are going to be working in a way that will not add to the burden,” said Castillo. “We also understand that recovering will take time, and we want to assure local communities that our nurses will be here to help, today, tomorrow and in the months to come.”

“As the hurricane raged through Houston, my first thought was signing up to volunteer. I feel I have an ethical obligation to help any way I can in times of need,” said volunteer RN Amy Bowen, a flight nurse from Kansas City, Missouri, who will be adding the Houston deployment to her six previous deployments with RNRN.

“As a critical care registered nurse with prior disaster experience I understand the dire situation the people of Texas are facing, and I am compelled to offer any assistance that I can. With the support of National Nurses United, I know nurse volunteers make an impact.”


RNRN volunteer nurses have cared for thousands of patients during disaster relief and humanitarian assistance deployments that include the South Asian tsunami (2004); Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005); the Haiti earthquake (2010); Hurricane Sandy (2012); Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda (2013) and the Continuing Promise 2010 and 2015 humanitarian missions with the Department of Defense. RNRN volunteers have also provided first aid and basic response services to hundreds of community events across the country, as well as rotating teams who assisted the water protectors in Standing Rock in 2016. 

RNRN is powered by NNU, the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.

A Dartmouth Professor Gets Unfairly Chastised By College For Comments About ANTIFA

Since the events in Charlottesville there has been a growing discussion about “ANTIFA,” the nearly 100 year old organization thats sole purpose to stop the threat of fascism worldwide.

ANTIFA, short for Anti-Fascism, is made up of thousands of dedicated members who are willing to stand up and if necessary fight back against the militant rise of fascism.  As white supremacists in Charlottesville began attacking non-violent counter protestors, ANTIFA members defended them.  Dr. Cornel West said “that he felt that the antifa saved his life” as he stood with faith leaders singing “this little light of mine.”

Dr. Mark Bray, a lecturer at Dartmouth University has quickly emerged as the expert on ANTIFA and has recently spoken on a number of cable news outlets and Sunday talk shows.

Bray who authored the book, “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” has come under fire for his comments on Meet the Press this week.  As the Union Leader reports, “Bray argued that ‘when pushed, self-defense is a legitimate response to white supremacist and neo-Nazi violence.’”

Dr Bray’s comments were then twisted by a right-wing news agency called “Campus Reform.”

“Following an article on the website Campus Reform that accused Bray of ‘endors[ing] Antifa violence,’ he has been subject of death threats and targeted online harassment,” wrote the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) that represents educators at Dartmouth. “We have recently seen a surge in politically motivated, targeted harassment against academics, especially those in ethnic and gender studies.”

Dartmouth President Phillip Hanlon quickly chastised Bray’s comments in a statement:

“Recent statements made by Lecturer in History Mark Bray supporting violent protest do not represent the views of Dartmouth. As an institution, we condemn anything but civil discourse in the exchange of opinions and ideas. Dartmouth embraces free speech and open inquiry in all matters, and all on our campus enjoy the freedom to speak, write, listen and debate in pursuit of better learning and understanding; however, the endorsement of violence in any form is contrary to Dartmouth values.”

Since Hanlon made his statement over 100 faculty members at Dartmouth have called for him to retract the statement.

“We continue to call on college and university leaders to denounce the targeted online harassment of their faculty members and to more forthrightly defend academic freedom, including the freedom of faculty members to speak as private citizens, even when their comments may provoke controversy or outrage,” said Henry Reichman, first vice president of the AAUP and chair of Committee A on academic freedom.

Reichman is right, Dr. Bray has done nothing wrong.  He spoke as a private citizen about a book that he wrote.  He never called for violence against white supremacists but stated that “self-defense is a legitimate response to white supremacist and neo-Nazi violence.”

I want to be clear, I do not condone violence but there is a significant difference between self defense and starting a fight.  Some people are ready, willing and able to stand up against these fascist white supremacists and defend those people who cannot.


Below is an interview from Democracy Now that recaps Dr West’s experience in Charlottesville before Dr Bray explains what Antifa is.

(Video should begin at 1:35 mark.)

Celebrate Labor Day with USA’s “Brotherhood Outdoors” Marathon on Sportsman Channel 


Franklin, TN
(Aug. 28, 2017) – The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) and Sportsman Channel are teaming up again to honor the American workforce during the 2017 Brotherhood Outdoors “Salute to the American Worker” marathon in celebration of Labor Day, which airs Saturday, Sept. 2, from 5-8 p.m. ET.

The United States is built on the backs of tireless workers with an undying dedication to the progress of this great nation. Over the course of six consecutive Brotherhood Outdoors episodes, viewers will get an intimate glimpse into the lives of some of America’s hardest workers as they share their personal histories and experiences before heading out on memory-making hunts and fishing trips across the country.

“Labor Day is a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.   It honors the American Labor movement and those men and women who give their time, their passion and, in some cases, their lives to make sure workers’ rights, wages, working hours, political expression, labor laws and working conditions are upheld.  We are honored to team up with Sportsman Channel to share the inspiring stories of six of those dedicated union workers through a Brotherhood Outdoors marathon,” said USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance.

The show’s relatability to the “everyman” is what makes Brotherhood Outdoors a truly unique show in its category. It is authentic commentary from the ones who have actually lived it.

Schedule for Sept. 2 (ET):

5:00 p.m.   Jon Scaife: Fireman (IAFF Local 3690)
The marathon kicks off with Arizona firefighter Jon Scaife as he shares his history as a union member and fireman before traveling to Kentucky to take a shot at a whitetail buck … and a sip of homegrown bourbon.

5:30 p.m.   Dale Cullum: Insulator (Insulators Local 92)
Dale Cullum shares his role as business manager for his local in South Carolina as well as a mentor and member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He puts his hunting and mentorship experience into practice as he guides a lucky youth hunter on a Michigan turkey hunt.

6:00 p.m.   Scott Kirchoff: Troubleshooter (IBEW Local 2150)
Scott Kirchoff provides a glimpse into his responsibilities as a utilities troubleshooter in Wisconsin and his passion for teaching new hunting courses. When he travels to Ohio to hunt whitetail, he puts his own lessons in action.

6:30 p.m.   Jason Koger: Motivational Speaker (UA Local 633)
Jason Koger shares how a life-changing accident impacted his future as the world’s only bi-lateral arm amputee using dual prosthesis. He describes his history with the union and how he hopes to inspire others. When he heads to Texas to hunt wild hogs, Jason also embraces the sounds of the Lonestar State.

7:00 p.m.   Travis Simmons: Operating Engineer (IUOE Local 673)
A dedicated operating engineer in Florida, Travis Simmons has been an avid outdoorsman since childhood. He shares his excitement when he embarks on a memorable fly-fishing trip that Mother Nature does her best to spoil.

7:30 p.m.   Ronnie Carver: Auto Worker (UAW Local 2188)
Ronnie Carver shares his history as a proud member of his local auto workers union. He shares his passion for forestry as he takes viewers on a tour of his certified forest. Then he fulfills a family dream when he heads to Canada to for a once-in-a-lifetime bear hunt.

Video Teaser from Union Sportsmen.

Presented by Bank of Labor, Brotherhood Outdoors is also sponsored by the following unions, contractors and corporate partners: Buck Knives, Burris/Steiner, Carhartt, Flambeau, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, National Electrical Contractors Association, United Association/International Training Fund and Union Insurance Group.

To find Sportsman Channel in your area click here.


About the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel/Sportsman HD is a television and digital media company fully devoted to honoring a lifestyle that is celebrated by millions of Americans. A division of Outdoor Sportsman Group, Sportsman Channel delivers entertaining and informative programming that showcases outdoor adventure, hunting and fishing, and illustrates it through unique and authentic storytelling. Sportsman Channel embraces the attitude of “Red, Wild & Blue America” – where the American Spirit and Great Outdoors are celebrated in equal measure. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 36 million U.S. television households. Stay connected to Sportsman Channel online at thesportsmanchannel.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Nashua Teachers Union Calls On Board For Action On Proposed Contract

NASHUA, NH August 28, 2017 – Over 1,000 teachers are waiting for a new contract, but they’re not going to have one before the school year begins. For the third contract in a row, Nashua’s teachers are beginning the school year without an employment contract in place to continue the one that is expiring on August 31. This year, however, the Nashua Teachers’ Union (NTU) seemed to be on the verge of an agreement with the Nashua Board of Education (BOE) when the Board suddenly went silent after a promising meeting on June 15. Last week, the BOE finally agreed to resume negotiations in mid-September – a full three months since the parties last met.

“We are entering our second school year in a row without a contract,” said NTU President Adam Marcoux. “The lack of productive communication from the Board is problematic. I have tried numerous times to engage in talks to move this process forward, only to be met with responses stating why they could not meet or with no response at all. The silence is deafening.”

The expiring one-year contract was approved toward the end of 2016 as a stop-gap measure to give both parties time to evaluate the current salary structure. Under last year’s contract, a joint Board and NTU Salary Committee was created to study the current salary structure and recommend how it could be improved to insure retention of highly experienced faculty, especially those who were being paid significantly less than teachers with similar experience in comparable districts around the state. That committee proposed a new salary schedule that would be based on education and actual years of teaching experience instead of continuing the unsatisfactory step method.

Five months of negotiations for a new contract began in January, followed by one month of mediation when an impasse was declared in May. On June 15, the NTU left the mediation meeting believing they were within hours of settling a new multi-year agreement. The parties agreed the BOE would meet to discuss the proposed changes in salary structure, and then negotiations would resume. Despite many requests to continue negotiations since June, the Board was unable to resume working with the teachers to secure a contract and ensure a smooth opening of the school year.

“We are trying to come to an agreement that is fair and equitable to our teachers while understanding the budgetary impact it has on the school district and the City,” said Marcoux.

Labor Speaks Out Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Presidential Pardon

Image by Gage Skidmore

Yesterday, President Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted for violating people’s civil rights in his anti-immigrant crusade.

“The criminal conviction grew out of a lawsuit filed a decade ago charging that the sheriff’s office regularly violated the rights of Latinos, stopping people based on racial profiling, detaining them based solely on the suspicion that they were in the country illegally and turning them over to the immigration authorities”, reported the New York Times.

“Joe Arpaio terrorized and harassed Hispanic workers, regardless of immigration status, for the six terms he served as Sheriff,” said UNITE HERE in a written statement. “Under him, illegal racial profiling of law abiding citizens ran rampant in the most populated county in Arizona, and he institutionalized systematic discrimination against Hispanic workers across Phoenix that included frequent violations of the U.S. constitution.  UNITE HERE is proud to have challenged his election multiple cycles with the “Adios Arpaio” campaign focused around activating Hispanic voters in Maricopa County – voters who ultimately threw Arpaio out of public office last November.”

UNITE HERE’s represents 270,000 workers mainly in the hotel, restaurant, gaming industry. Their membership is quite diverse and includes some “undocumented” immigrants.  UNITE HERE negotiates into their contracts some protections for workers who are waiting to gain legal citizenship.

“Donald Trump’s pardon of convicted criminal Joe Arpaio is an attack on immigrants writ large, and shows Trump’s support for Arpaio’s illegal practices. With a dozen TPS expirations looming in the next year and the fate of DACA at imminent risk, we are deeply troubled that Trump is pardoning criminals and sympathizing with racial bigots instead of protecting the law abiding, tax-paying immigrant workers on those programs who make the American economy run, and make this country truly great,” UNITE HERE added.

The United Farm Workers, were quick to condemn Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio.

“We are extremely disappointed with President Trump. He has consistently shown no respect for the hardworking immigrants of this nation,” said the United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez. “His pardoning of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is shameful. Time and again, immigrants have demonstrated that they are the backbone of agriculture and many other industries. The President should not be pardoning someone who has been so vicious towards immigrants and who has openly flouted a federal judge’s order to stop his racial discrimination.”

“President Trump didn’t just pardon a thug and a criminal, he undermined the rule of law and betrayed the basic norms of our democracy just to hype up his base. Democrats and Republicans alike, including Sen. John McCain and even right-wing members of Congress, have condemned this action because Trump’s blatant abuse of power undermines the dignity of the office of the presidency and tears at the fabric of a just and fair democracy built on the rule of law for all,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson and Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker in a written statement.

Even Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) blasted Trump for using his Presidential Pardon authority to pardon Arpaio.

“No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders. The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions.”

Ray Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party summed it up perfectly by saying:

“His pardon is a wink and a nod to law enforcement around the country that, if you discriminate against and abuse people unlawfully, you will be rescued from prison by the President of the United States. There is no justification for Trump’s pardon and anyone who tries to defend it is defending criminal discrimination with clear eyes.”

This pardon is just political payback for all that Arpaio has done for Trump during his campaign, adding another notch in his already corrupt administration.

Labor Activists Take To Fenway Park To Inform Public About NESN Retaliating Against Union Workers

BOSTON, MA – Yesterday, labor activists conducted an informational picket at Fenway Park to expose New England Sports Network (NESN) and its new crewing company, Program Productions Incorporated’s (PPI) retribution toward IBEW Local 1228 broadcast technicians.

NESN, through PPI, has devastated the incomes of their loyal workers by engaging in retribution in retaliation for unionizing.   Recently, NESN broadcast technicians across New England joined IBEW Local 1228 to create a collective voice to garner equal pay of those in similar positions working for other networks, much needed health benefits, retirement planning and safer working conditions.

NESN, through PPI, has systematically targeted these technicians for retribution throughout this baseball season, forcing them to lose several games each month of the season, costing each worker thousands of dollars.   Some workers and their families have lost up to $3,000 a month simply because they are fighting for economic security for their families.

NESN is a joint venture of Fenway Sports Group (80% controlling interest, and owner of Boston Red Sox) and Delaware North (20% interest in the network, and owner of the Boston Bruins).

“NESN’s behavior toward long time loyal broadcast technicians has been reprehensible and mean spirited,” said Fletcher Fischer, Business Manager of IBEW Local 1228.  “We have reason to believe that the Boston Red Sox ownership has been kept in the dark by NESN management regarding the mistreatment of our technicians.”

Fischer continued “As of today, Red Sox ownership knows about NESN’s union busting behavior and retribution.  We don’t believe that the Boston Red Sox treats their employees the way NESN treats our broadcast technicians and their studio workers. NESN has demanded loyalty from these broadcast technicians for over two decades, and our broadcast technicians gave that loyalty willingly as they love what they do. They have won many Emmys for NESN due to the quality, passion and professionalism they bring to every NESN broadcast.”

“Now NESN is punishing people for wanting a union contract to provide for their families, and to secure health care and retirement benefits for the first time ever.  Red Sox ownership needs to get NESN and PPI to conduct themselves in a responsible and cooperative manner when dealing with our broadcast technicians,” Fischer concluded.

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