(audio) "Anytime we've made real social progress as a country it is getting people...lower income...working class...whether they be white, black, Hispanic, Asian, various mixed ethnicities...to realize that they come together...that's how you make real social and economic progress. And the other side also knows this and they are pretty shrewd at figuring out ways to try to divide people along ethnic lines or other lines because if people focus on their common economic interests...that's when we make real progress.”
That’s Congressman Brendan Boyle on the latest episode of the AFL-CIO’s “State of the Unions” podcast. Brendan comes from a union family and now co-chairs the House Blue Collar Caucus, formed in the aftermath of the 2016 election to better connect with blue collar workers.
(audio) “It's not just an economic issue as well because when you do have losses in those areas, especially if that happens with an older workforce that doesn't see a future, you end up then having an increase in alcoholism...an increase in substance abuse...an increase in suicides. The stories I know just from folks laid off at the time that my dad was, a number of his personal friends who ended up unfortunately turning to the bottle or other ways to ease their pain. In a couple of instances suicide...we can't just look at those issues in a silo and not recognize the economic component and that connection.”
Catch “State of the Unions” wherever you listen to podcasts.
On today’s labor calendar, tune in at one o’clock this afternoon for this week’s “Your Rights At Work” where we’ll check in on the latest labor news and take your calls about workplace rights; that’s one o’clock today, here on WPFW 89.3FM.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1857, women’s rights advocate and labor activist Alice Henry was born in Melbourne, Australia. Henry came to the United States in 1905 and worked for twenty years for the National Women’s Trade Union League of America in Chicago, directing the education department and editing the League’s official journal.
Today’s labor quote is from the preface to Alice Henry's book, The Trade Union Woman, published in 1915:
“There is a mightier force at work…That is the spirit of independence expressed in many different forms, markedly in the new desire and therefore in the new capacity for collective action which women are discovering in themselves to a degree never known before.”
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