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“The Middle Class Is Hollowed Out And Harder Than Ever To Break Into. We Need A Modern Labor Movement That Brings Good Jobs” - Labor Perspective From Liz Shuler, President Of The 56 Union, 12.5 Million-Member National AFL-CIO

Published Tuesday, October 5, 2021
by National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler Via The Chicago Sun Times
“The Middle Class Is Hollowed Out And Harder Than Ever To Break Into. We Need A Modern Labor Movement That Brings Good Jobs” - Labor Perspective From Liz Shuler, President Of The 56 Union, 12.5 Million-Member National AFL-CIO

Flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport recently, I spotted the Ramp Workers on the tarmac, busily unloading bags and doing safety checks on the plane in 115 degree heat.

Most passengers were anxious to deplane, ready to head to baggage claim, not giving a second thought to the work happening all around them to make their journey happen.

Working People are re-evaluating pre-COVID employment and refusing to accept a substandard job.

As a result, wages are rising, schedules are more human and benefits are increasing.

Millions of new jobs for Working People, mostly Unionized, will result from the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint moving through Congress.

The latest Gallup Poll found that 68% of Americans - and 77% of people age 18-to-34 - have a positive opinion of Unions.

And the devastating pandemic taught America that without Nurses, First Responders, Teachers, Grocery Clerks, Truck Drivers, Postal Workers and Essential Heroes, we’d be utterly nowhere.

These positive developments are not sufficient to right our economic ship.

For decades, our economy has undermined Working People.

Income inequality remains at an all-time high.

The Middle Class is hollowed out and harder than ever to break into.

This economic system, neither sustainable nor fair, creates instability and threatens Democracy.

Whether out of self-interest, moral outrage, or both, it is in no one’s interest for this slide to continue.

Welcome, then, a modern Labor Movement.

A modern Labor Movement begins by putting good jobs and Working People at the center of our national conversation - back where it used to be, when work was respected culturally and rewarded economically.

It focuses on creating and protecting good, predictable, desirable Union jobs that sustain a Middle-Class life.

A modern Labor Movement prioritizes inclusivity, reflecting the radically diversifying and talented work forces made up of Women, People of Color, Immigrants, LGTBQ people and other historically marginalized groups.

It dismantles systemic racism, structural barriers and other fatal flaws in our economy and society, wherever they exist.

A modern Labor Movement embraces innovation, experimentation and change at pace with a modern economy.

It ensures Working People have a say in the development and deployment of new technology -such as AI, machine learning and advanced manufacturing that will drive future growth.

A modern Labor Movement both organizes at the local level to expand Union Membership and advocates for legislation in Washington D.C., including securing voting rights, rebuilding our infrastructure and fixing our broken Labor Laws through the PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act, essential for protecting Workers’ right to organize.

Finally, a modern Labor Movement delivers results.

To Continue Reading National AFL-CIO President Shuler’s Labor Perspective, Go To:



Like the New Deal , we are at a pivotal moment in history with the major Bills in Congress on jobs , childcare, voting rights and many other items included in pending legislation.

Once a 40-hour work week , a minimum wage , Workers' rights and Social Security passed, there was no turning back.

Social Security alone became untouchable and could not ever be ended, politics a third rail .

Mitch McConnel knows this.

If the Dems deliver child care, Worker and voting rights , higher wages, infrastructure and Medicare expansion - the GOP will have to accept these things or be out of power for a long time.

Just take Medicare expansion alone .

If senior citizens can get hearing aids to hear, eye exams and glasses to save their vision and/or to see , and GET TO HAVE TEETH , the people will never allow it to be taken back - ever.

Then the New Deal does not become law and lead to Civil Rights Legislation without Labor .

The same is in play now.

We must pull out all stops , including an end to the racist filibuster , to make a just society .
Posted by Jim Bertolone on October 7, 2021 at 1:29 pm

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