News

Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation in Solidarity with the New Paltz International Women’s Day March

While a demonstrator stood behind her holding a sign depicting an indigenous version of Rosie the Riveter and the caption “A woman’s place is in her union,” Janette Clark of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation traced International Women’s Day’s roots in the garment workers’ strikes of the early 20th century. 

https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2019/03/11/activists-for-many-causes-find-co...

Statement from Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO:

"Thank you to everyone who submitted their ballot for the state AFL-CIO’s endorsements in the November elections.  All endorsement recommendations were approved.

We look forward to working with all of you as well as Area Labor Federations, Central Labor Councils and local unions throughout the state to educate our members and ensure they vote for Labor’s candidates."

Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

This Labor Day, America’s working families are facing unprecedented challenges.

Racial disparities in who contracts the virus have played out in big cities like Milwaukee and New York, but also in smaller metropolitan areas like Grand Rapids, Mich., where the Bradleys live. Those inequities became painfully apparent when Ms. Bradley, who is Black, was wheeled through the emergency room. Early numbers had shown that Black and Latino people were being harmed by the virus at higher rates.

On Saturday, June 20, working people from the Hudson Valley joined with workers in Kingston, NY to take part in a Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice, calling on Congress to pass the HEROES Act.
Our Education Committee hosted a forum on increasing revenues to stop the systematic starving of the common good.
On May Day we conducted an online panel discussion/town hall, focusing on workers who are on the frontlines of the current crisis.

This month’s historic Supreme Court ruling that LGBTQ employees are protected in the workplace by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was another step forward in the march for equality. While there is much to celebrate, this ruling comes as our nation is suffering from centuries-old systemic racism and grieving its latest victims. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by police officers. Twenty-five-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down on a run by two white men. We need to say their names, know their stories, and recognize why they were deprived of a full life.

Race-neutral policies simply will not address the depth of disadvantage faced by people this country once believed were chattel. Financial restitution cannot end racism, of course, but it can certainly mitigate racism’s most devastating effects. If we do nothing, black Americans may never recover from this pandemic, and they will certainly never know the equality the nation has promised.

Read the full article in The New York Times Magazine.

America is suffering under the crushing weight of three crises, which are a public health pandemic, an economic free fall, and structural racism. They are knotted together in that untangling one depends on how we untangle the others. For instance, structural racism is deeply ingrained in the share of black workers unemployed and dying from the coronavirus. Today, thousands of working people across the country will join together in a national day of action called the Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has demanded an investigation from Facebook and a public apology from founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg after an online presentation touted the ability of employers to block the word "unionize" on the company's Workplace platform. "Blacklisting is illegal. Employers censoring their employees' speech about unionizing is illegal," Trumka, the leader of the largest federation of labor unions in the U.S., tweeted on Friday.