Day Two: Building the Movement to Meet the Moment
Working people across America and around the world are coming together in the proud union city of Philadelphia to join the 29th AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention. As one movement, we are engaging, learning and preparing to take the next steps on the journey for dignity and justice at work. Look to your email every morning for a quick recap of what’s happening at our convention.
Message from President Liz Shuler
- Organizing is our top priority. We have to capture the momentum that is building across the country.
- The Center for Transformational Organizing will be at the heart of our strategy to create the future on our terms. The path forward runs right through the labor movement.
- It’s about results. And results are what the AFL-CIO is organizing to win.
‘Make the Most of This Opportunity,’ Labor Secretary Declares
Our union brother, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh (LIUNA), delivered a call to action at our convention on Monday. He shared his story of growing up in a union family in Boston, and how the values he learned as a child inspired the work he’s doing as America’s secretary of labor.
“Now, for the first time in a long time, there’s wind at your back,” Walsh told the convention. “You have the highest level of union worker interest in our lifetime. You have, in Washington, the most pro-labor administration committing to help. You have a chance to write the next chapter of the labor movement: America’s journey to economic justice.”
Workers at Raven Software rally for respect
CWA Secures Groundbreaking Labor Neutrality Agreement with Microsoft
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Microsoft announced on Monday they have entered into a labor neutrality agreement. The landmark agreement will apply at video game company Activision Blizzard after Microsoft’s acquisition closes, and it reflects a fundamental belief by both organizations that enabling workers to freely and fairly make a choice about union representation will benefit Microsoft and its employees, and create opportunities for innovation in the gaming sector.
“This agreement provides a pathway for Activision Blizzard workers to exercise their democratic rights to organize and collectively bargain,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Microsoft’s binding commitments will give employees a seat at the table and ensure that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard benefits the company’s workers and the broader video game labor market.”
Quality assurance workers (pictured above) at Activision Blizzard subsidiary Raven Software recently voted to form a union with CWA, and the agreement with Microsoft opens the door for many more video game workers to join them.
Flex McGhee, IAM organizer, surrounded by his fellow organizers
Union Organizers Show Labor Movement’s Power at Work
Organizing is essential to our movement, and it couldn’t happen without committed organizers in every sector across the country. Organizers for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union-UFCW (RWDSU-UFCW), UNITE HERE, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), the Machinists (IAM), National Nurses United (NNU), AFSCME and the UAW spoke about their fight for a voice on the job.
“I’m a machinist at heart, and fighting is what machinists do!” said Flex McGhee, who shared his story of organizing with the IAM at Delta Air Lines. “We need to have these conversations with our coworkers so that they understand that the best title any of us can have is ‘dues-paying member in good standing.’”
Watch: How Building Tradeswomen Are Clearing the Way
Women in the building trades are leading the charge and creating change at work. Three trailblazing tradeswomen took to the Unity Stage on Sunday to share their stories.
Vicki O’Leary (pictured above, second from left), general organizer for safety and diversity at the Ironworkers, said being a tradeswoman can be summed up in one word: empowerment.
“My whole career, I’ve been empowered to take care of my family, I’ve been empowered to buy my own home,” she explained. “We’re doing it. We’re standing up in a man’s world and showing them that maybe it’s not so much a man’s world anymore.”
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation President Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou in front of the AFL-CIO Convention welcome sign
Voices of the Movement: Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou
Meet delegate Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou (UFCW), president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.
“What we’re seeing in our communities right now is unprecedented,” she said Sunday night. “The opportunities are limitless. We need to come together, especially with the vision that Liz Shuler outlined tonight around one goal to grow.”
Glaubitz Gabiou said the need for growth has crystallized, and she plans to “plant the seeds” of union growth in Minneapolis for years to come.