Meeting and Women’s March

Hello everyone,

Great news! Our organization is growing steadily with new meeting attendees and new people taking leadership positions!

We had a very productive discussion at our meeting this past Sunday, with attendees who hail from many different backgrounds, some of whom joined us via video conference.

Sam Rigotti was introduced to the group. He has an extensive background in professional development and has offered to help us raise funds to further our cause.

Now that New Jersey has a new Governor who is advocating for a progressive agenda, we have an opportunity to help existing organizations pass said agenda, with highest priority being to institute a $15/hour minimum wage.

We also discussed AWA’s initiative to organize temporary workers who operate in white collar environments and the ways in which we will go about that. Along with compiling a database to provide an array of resources to workers, our methods will include innovative uses of social media. This marks a departure from similar organizations who also advocate for economic justice, though we do plan to seek partnerships with them on common goals.

This past Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we volunteered at a Veterans’ nursing home as part of Governor Murphy’s inauguration.

We plan on participating in the one year anniversary of the Women’s March this Saturday, January 20th in Morristown, NJ at 200 South St. Please let me know if you can join us.

In addition, the Latino Action Network’s legislative conference will be a great opportunity to connect with allies. A panel on workers’ rights is scheduled to be held during the conference. Please register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/latino-action-networks-2018-annual-legislative-conference-tickets-36906443165

We look forward to seeing you there!

Take care,

Dan

Daniel L. Ulloa

President

American Workforce Association

22 Carpenter Terrace N.

2 R

Belleville, NJ 07019

American.workforce1@gmail.com

(908) 421-1422

@American_Work1

Please follow and like us:

Our First Public meeting!

Greetings!

I want to thank everyone who attended our first public meeting last night! We had a great conversation among union members, white-collar professionals, part-time workers, and small businessmen.

We resolved to assist part-time and temporary workers in navigating the economy, as they are one of the groups struggling the most in this age of great economic inequality.

We resolved to assist part-time and temporary workers in navigating the economy, as they are one of the groups struggling the most in this age of great economic inequality. We are excited to take this step, but we need your help! AWA is a grassroots effort to bring together working men and women to address the pressing economic issues of our time. We need volunteers to help get us up and running. Your time and/or assistance you can offer is greatly appreciated. Please respond directly to this email if you wish to get involved!

Please consider donating $25 to help improve our website and retain a lawyer:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/awa
Our next meeting will be January 14th at 5 pm at 7 Silvester Ct. East Brunswick, NJ 08816. A video link will be provided for those who cannot attend in person.

Please follow and like us:

The NLC Labor Summit and the Crumbling of New Jersey

21764921_10104169696551536_4820964334217685268_n
Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ) addressed the NLC Labor Summit Saturday.

By Eddie Rivera

The New Leaders Council’s Labor Summit in Edison on Saturday was a reminder of how New Jersey needs to be a beacon of hope for the labor movement and how far it has fallen. The last eight years with Chris Christie as Governor have derailed the Garden State. New Jersey has fallen behind its neighboring states in every economic measure since the Great Recession. Its credit rating has been downgraded several times. The NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development has seen its budget nearly slashed to death and belittled in integrity. The bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour was vetoed last summer and the legislature did not override his veto. State residents are unable to make ends meet. It’s nearly impossible to survive with a low minimum wage and high tuition costs. Imagine raising kids while working three jobs and earning an education. This is a great injustice in a state as prosperous as ours.

In addition, Trump’s presidency has only made it worse. His appointment to the Supreme Court is likely to vote in favor of weakening labor unions while a similar bill is pending in Congress. The regulatory gains made by the Obama Administration in the face opposition are being turned back. His administration is stacked with plutocrats seeking to benefits their cronies at the expense of the American people. As Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ) pointed out, there are a handful of individuals in the United States Congress who have been in a labor union.

This weekend’s summit was a reminder to on its laurels in the long war against Hypercapitalism when small gains are achieved. Now is the time to fight for the preservation of the Labor Movement in New Jersey and the country as a whole. We as a state cannot continue to move backward. Now is the opportunity to turn the page and move forward back to the progressive values we in the Garden State hold dear. With so much diversity, New Jersey needs to demonstrate progressivism in all areas of public policy. Each of the panelists has expressed their views on labor with much thought and deliberation.

Without labor, New Jersey cannot function. We need reform to continue robust activity within the transportation, manufacturing, health, education, and customer service sectors. Everyone should be entitled to pension and benefits in their respective fields. I urge everyone to continue the fight for a better New Jersey. Eight years of falling behind the rest of the nation has gone long enough. Let us all come together and make all our dreams come true once again.

Please follow and like us:

The Decline of American Labor

The New York Times today published an article by Steven Greenhouse describing the decline of the American Labor movement from its height as a cornerstone of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.

The New York Times today published an article by Steven Greenhouse describing the decline of the American Labor movement from its height as a cornerstone of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.

The author’s main point is that unions no longer have the power to deliver the votes of the members to their preferred candidate of Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Support among their own rank and file would be far less of challenge to organize than defeating some of their larger foes. Clinton has been making many appearances with union leaders on the campaign trail. Persuasive pamphlets can easily be distributed to members. While many of the rank and file may support Sanders in the primary, he is far less of a threat to their power than Trump.

Turning the rank and file against Trump or any other eventual Republican nominee would only be the top of labor’s clout if it wishes to stay relevant. Even if Hillary Clinton is elected President, unions would need to continue to fight on multiple fronts at once.

The author points to the rise of the Right fueling by the Koch brothers’ money machine Americans for Prosperity as the reason labor has lost ground in Wisconsin, Michigan, and now West Virginia.

The problem for Labor is how to gain an edge at the bargaining table. Or quite simply, how it must learn to play on the battlefield of the 21st century world, which is far more global than the time period when Labor reach its zenith in the mid -20th century.

Furthermore, unions been unable to reverse their ever dwindling numbers. At its peak, one-third of the American workforce was a member of a labor union at the height of the modern industrial era.

NA-CE398_UNIONS_16U_20150123123006

According to the chart above which originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the percent of union membership declined from nearly 25% in 1973 to 11.1% in 2014. Without their former numbers maintaining a financial disadvantage has taken its toll.

Labor was assailed from all sides at one point: big and small business owners fought labor in the marketplace while many social liberal interest groups fought for a voice in the Democratic Party.

Granted, labor has made some strategic alliances with all groups at one point or another. Many leaders of unions come from a variety of backgrounds and include women now. An unsound environmental project might also have poor labor standards. Academics in eastern universities often ponder many of the questions of salary and employment that unions worry.

To combat the Americans for Prosperity, labor needs to find a way to increase its support among the general public to help it at the bargaining table both with elected officials and other interest groups.

Please follow and like us: