Progress and Strike

Hello All!

I hope everyone is managing the best they can with this crazy weather!

We are making progress one step at a time! We have been connecting with a variety of progressive organizations such as Our Revolution, as well as meeting with lawyers who can provide free consultations to individuals who have encountered labor problems at work.

Our next meeting is Thursday, April 19th at 7 pm at 7 Silvester Ct., East Brunswick, NJ 08816. We plan to discuss narrowing our focus from the broad idea of “struggling workers and 1099 independent contractors” to a more specific sector where we can make inroads and, consequently, more progress.

In addition, we plan to hold a strategic planning session and a SWOT analysis where we will formalize our mission and assess the assets and liabilities of our organization. All are welcome and encouraged to attend (and bring friends)!

Please RSVP here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/107921590052231/

If you can’t make it in-person, use the link below to conference in:

https://zoom.us/j/162124938

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IN OTHER NEWS: Following the teachers strike in West Virginia, a strike has begun in Oklahoma where teachers and their allies have occupied the state capitol building. They have refused to back down until their demands are fully met.

Oklahoma has severely cut its public education budget for years while lowering its tax on oil companies. This has resulted not only in low salaries but in crumbling educational conditions such as lack of textbooks, seats, pencils, paper, and scissors. The cuts have been so deep, in fact, that many schools now only operate four days per week. The low salaries for teachers there have forced many to leave the state. Teachers in Oklahoma are the worst paid in the country.

Currently, in Kentucky, teachers in eight school districts have gone on strike as well to protest a severe reduction in their pension. Teachers in Arizona are threatening to strike as well. These strikes are all being organized with broad grassroots support among union members.

While these places might all seem to be dark red states, they had some Democratic representation during the Obama Administration. Moreover, simply because a state is politically conservative in some parts doesn’t mean labor unions and their allies, including AWA, should have no interest in the economic and labor issues there.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. King was in Memphis to support a strike by sanitation workers when he was assassinated. King believed that civil rights were entwined with economic justice and had sought to launch a “Poor People’s Campaign” to address economic issues. However, the effort failed after his death. The idea is being revived by the Rev. Dr. Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP. Stay tuned…

We seem to be at the breaking point where workers will no longer accept death by cuts. When push comes to shove, we must fight back against hypercapitalism which is destroying the middle class.

ABOUT US: The American Workforce Association (AWA) is a community organization with ties to labor unions founded to address economic inequality that has resulted in lower salaries and fewer benefits for the workforce. We welcome input from everyone to grow our leadership team.

In solidarity,

Daniel L. Ulloa
President
American Workforce Association

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Reclaim Our Liberty

This past weekend, AWA went to a a labor rally in New York City held by the AFL-CIO’s New York City Central Labor Council. This rally comes ahead of the oral arguments going before the Supreme Court in the case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

Greetings!

This past weekend, AWA went to a a labor rally in New York City held by the AFL-CIO’s New York City Central Labor Council. This rally comes ahead of the oral arguments going before the Supreme Court in the case Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.

The issue is whether public employees in a unionized workplace are required to pay the fees that go toward bargaining on their behalf, even if they are not union members. These dues help provide the resources necessary to benefit union members, separate from political action. These non-union employees violate the collective freedom of speech of those who choose to join a union. This has been the Supreme Court’s position since 1977.

At the rally we heard from a number of labor leaders covering workers in local and state government, telecommunications, construction, painters, teachers, and college professors and staff in AFSCME, CWA, SEIU, RWDSU, the AFT, the IUPAT Painters, Jobs with Justice, and many others. They all spoke about the need to reclaim our liberty to associate freely from those seeking to infringe on it.

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In addition, we heard from Troy Walcott, a leader of the IBEW Local 3, whose members have been on strike for 11 months against the cable provider Spectrum. The giant corporation is seeking to cut the health benefits of its employees, despite generating billions of dollars in profit and granting a raise to their CEO recently. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also spoke as to how unions not only benefit their members but the general public as well.

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When union membership was at its highest, companies gave their employees generous salaries and benefits to offset the threat of their respective corporations becoming unionized. Thus everyone benefited.

The opposition to labor unions is funded by the same special interest groups that do not believe in paying a living wage, providing health benefits, or enforcing laws to combat racism and sexism.  They believe that corporate profit is important above all else, at the expense of the well-being of workers, product quality, and protecting the environment. There is little in place to check their belief and their actions towards this end.


IN OTHERS NEWS:

NEW- BRUNSWICK- United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) organized a protest on the Rutgers University campus demanding $15 an hour for student jobs on campus. Led by Mariah Wood, students and their allies including 15 NOW, New Labor, NJ Working Families, the NAACP, the NJ Work Environment Council, and others, marched in the streets of New Brunswick demanding this wage increase.

The situation is dire as a growing number of students on campus cannot afford food. Many are resorting to food pantries to get by, but the food pantries in New Brunswick are strained to keep up with the capacity. It is public knowledge that Rutgers has $700 million in reserves that could easily go toward raising students’ wages.

WASHINGTON- A union made up of political campaign staffers named the Campaign Workers Guild (CWG) had its first public call last night. They are planning to organize campaign staffers who often work under intense conditions to elect officials who will make the world a better place. The CWG had its first public victory recently when the staff of Randy Bryce, the labor leader running for Congress against Paul Ryan, was formally recognized as a union. This is a great step forward in providing better working conditions.

The CWG, similar to AWA, is seeking new models to assist 1099 contract workers who are not eligible under existing labor law to be recognized into a formal union. This is just one of the major reasons that labor law needs to be fundamentally transformed in the United States. However, this is not going happen under the existing conditions. We need to be at the forefront of organizing the communities that will take the lead in this fight.

To do so we need your help! Please get in touch with us if you’re interested in becoming a part of AWA or supporting our efforts. We seek to empower individuals who can improve their skills while helping us grow.

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
Americanworkforce.net

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