News

News from the Central Labor Council of Middle Tennessee.

John Sweeney, who led an era of transformative change in America’s labor movement, passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 86.

Last Friday, we had the honor of hosting former Atlanta Mayor/US Congressmember/UN Ambassador Andrew Young, Jr.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses why America needs a strong labor movement and how the Biden administration is committed to strengthening unions.

So America today needs more than anything solidarity and human dignity — the church's core teachings. The teaching that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, that we are not commodities whose value is determined by a flawed and arbitrary market, but human beings, souls, created in the image of God, and each of our worth is beyond price. And it is high time our nation's laws promoted solidarity and human dignity.

Our Constitution says that after a presidential election, Congress shall meet on Jan. 6 to count the electoral votes cast for the president and vice president. It is a solemn ritual of democracy.

But it is only that — a ritual. This ceremonial custom is not how our president and vice president are chosen. They are chosen by us, the people.

Of course, President Donald Trump and senators like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz know this. But it did not stop them from inciting an insurrection. Acting out of nothing but unprincipled ambition, they put democracy in danger.

Working families are once again under attack by greedy politicians and corporations. Notorious anti-labor legislator Senator Brian Kelsey and corrupt Representative Robin Smith are trying to enshrine Tennessee’s Right to Work law into our state constitution (SJR0002). This resolution would make workplaces more dangerous, keep millions of Tennesseans struggling to make ends meet for generations to come, and set a dangerous precedent of amending the Tennessee constitution to cater to a political agenda.

The AFL-CIO called on President Trump to resign or be removed from office “at once, whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” following the riots at the U.S. Capitol this week. The labor group’s general board released the statement Friday, saying it is not one America's labor movement makes lightly. “The deadly storming of the U.S.

The president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, praised President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) for secretary of Labor, calling the mayor an “exceptional” choice. “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools.

Prominent union leaders of the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers are publicly condemning President Donald Trump’s supporters for storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called it “one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War.” 

Read the full article on CNBC.

The Labor Department on Wednesday released the final version of a rule that could classify millions of workers in industries like construction, cleaning and the gig economy as contractors rather than employees, another step under the Trump administration toward endorsing the business practices of companies like Uber and Lyft. Companies don’t have to pay contractors a minimum wage or overtime and don’t have to pay a share of contractors’ Social Security taxes or contribute to unemployment insurance on their behalf.

Wow, what a year! In the face of incredible adversity, we came together like never before to fight for workers’ rights, build our movement, and show what true solidarity looks like. To take a moment to celebrate all the amazing things our movement has accomplished this year, we put together a short “highlight reel” of some of our favorite moments this year. Let’s build on these victories and happy memories, and keep fighting as we enter a new year with new opportunities!