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The New York City AFL-CIO Central Labor Council’s 2020 Year In Review

Published Sunday, January 3, 2021
by The New York City AFL-CIO Central Labor Council
The New York City AFL-CIO Central Labor Council’s 2020 Year In Review

(NEW YORK CITY) – Now that the unprecedented year 2020 has come to an end, the New York City AFL-CIO Central Labor Council’s is taking the time to look back at all that the Labor Movement accomplished in the face of previously unimaginable obstacles

Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic, the New York City Labor Movement stood with Essential Workers who put themselves in harm’s way to make sure that New Yorkers had access to health care and critical goods and services.

The Labor Council supported and fought for Working Families who saw their jobs and livelihoods slip away in the resulting economic crisis.

And the Labor Council mourned those who have been lost and recommitted ourselves to the fight for strong safety and health protections.

The Labor Council also spoke out against racial injustice and the continuing systemic inequalities faced by our Brothers and Sisters of Color.

And at the same time, we’ve kept up our efforts to give Workers a voice on the job - and we’ve reimagined our Political and Civic Outreach Programs to engage with our Members in new ways, in a year when that engagement was more critical than ever before

None of this would have been possible without our Union Affiliates and their Members.

On behalf of all of us at the New York City Central Labor Council, we extend our deepest appreciation and gratitude for your solidarity and for your partnership - and we wish you and your loved ones a brighter, happier and healthier 2021.

Now, a look back on 2020:

January-March: The Labor Council and many of our Affiliates spent the early months of 2020 kicking off a robust Census 2020 campaign, with a citywide Census Day of Action in February. We continued our outreach efforts with our annual Labor and Civil Rights Breakfast, hosted this year by EmblemHealth - with more than 100 guests representing dozens of Unions, community organizations and elected officials from across New York City.  At the event, we took the opportunity to not only reflect on the continuing unity and interdependence of the Labor and Civil Rights Movements, but also to explore the role that these movements would play in ensuring the success of the 2020 Census, and the critical impact the Census has on Working People and our communities.

We also completed construction and moved into our new office at 350 West 31st Street, in a building owned by the New York Metro American Postal Workers Union (APWU).  The new New York City Labor Center will help create a cost-effective and permanent institutional presence where Members and Affiliates can collaborate and project a message of solidarity, strength and purpose for Organized Labor.  And eventually, we expect to be able to provide a multi-use and flexible amenity space, including auditorium space for meetings and other training rooms.

In March, the Labor Movement - along with the rest of our city, began to feel the terrible impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  At the same time that so many New Yorkers began to face the health-related challenges, thousands of others faced the sudden loss of their livelihoods as the country plunged into an economic crisis that continues today.

In response, we also saw Unions and Working People increasingly banding together to put pressure on employers and raise public awareness about health and safety issues they were facing on the job - and demanding their employers prioritize the health and safety of their workforce over profits.

At the Labor Council, we quickly launched COVID-19 Resources and Ways to Help web pages, with updates on legislative and policy developments - as well as information on how to donate supplies, contribute to Relief Funds, volunteer, register community spaces, and donate blood.

Together with the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG), we convened a remote meeting with New York City Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo and our live entertainment affiliates, who were among those earliest and hardest hit by the economic impact of the virus.

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