Day Four: Building the Movement to Meet the Moment
Working people across America and around the world came 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.
- We need to be the hub for young worker empowerment. And I am so thrilled to announce the official launch of Young Organizers Rising.
- Through this new initiative, we are putting a stake in the ground when it comes to young worker activism. And we are ensuring this once in a generation moment of worker uprising and union organizing results in the economy that young workers deserve.
- We’re going to lead the future by developing the leaders of the future. I can’t wait to see what we all have to learn from each other and from them.
Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond Unveils Partnership to Shape America’s Future Workforce
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond announced a new initiative for America’s labor movement to join forces with the Chris Gardner Foundation and deliver our world-class training programs at high schools in underserved communities around the country.
“The goal is to have a four-year pre-apprenticeship program for high school students,” Redmond explained. “This is what the labor movement is supposed to be doing at this time.”
The partnership will bring together members of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), SAG-AFTRA, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and our building trades unions.
Young Workers Are the Future of Our Movement
Young workers overwhelmingly approve of the labor movement, and they want to be members of our unions. Across the country, in every industry, young workers are planting the seeds of worker power that will grow for years to come.
Rachel Gitlevich (pictured above, second from right), a young animation worker, was part of a successful campaign to form a union with The Animation Guild-IATSE Local 839. “Since organizing, immediately we started seeing change,” she said with a smile. “We now feel empowered to take our working conditions into our own hands….It’s amazing.”
AFL-CIO Sports Council to Be the Voice of Union Athletes
With more and more professional athletes joining together in unions, our labor movement is founding the AFL-CIO Sports Council. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler announced the formation of the new council, which will strengthen union athletes across the sports industry.
Founding members of the Sports Council include NFL Players Association (NFLPA), United Football Players Association-USW, NWSL Players Association (NWSLPA), USWNT Players Association (USWNTPA) and USL Players Association-CWA (USLPA-CWA).
“We love the sport that we play, but the issues that our members face are universal ones,” said NWSLPA Executive Director Meghann Burke. “As we come together to form the new AFL-CIO Sports Council, our capacity to win justice on the field for players, and to act in solidarity with workers off the field, will only increase.”
Voices of the Movement with Cecilia Valdez
Meet Cecilia Valdez (pictured above, center), vice chair of the Pima Area Labor Federation and a 44-year member of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7026 in Tucson, Arizona.
“We need to make sure that the people we’re trying to organize into the labor movement aren’t afraid of the repercussions because they are undocumented,” Valdez said of immigrant workers. “Everyone is entitled to be a union member if they want a union.”
For Sister Valdez, this convention has been an opportunity to “engage and re-energize.” And when she goes back home, she plans to implement some of the things she learned at the workshop on organizing women in the building trades.
Watch: Four Days of Solidarity
That’s a wrap in Philadelphia! Thank you all for joining us and for those following along at home. Together, let’s create a worker-driven future worth fighting for.
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