(audio) I’m very clear in knowing that the workplace conditions that we enjoy today are largely due to if not singularly the efforts of organized labor going back decades.”
That’s Andrew Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor and 2018 Democratic nominee for Florida governor, on the latest “State of the Unions” podcast, discussing the impact of organized labor:
“Workplace protection, pay, what it means to be able to bargain on behalf of regular working people so that major, large corporate interests and profits don’t get to always rule the day when it comes to what happens in the workplace. My mother...and I shared often on the trails...growing up she was a school bus driver and my daddy was a construction worker. She was a member of AFSCME when she drove for the Miami Dade School System. And then was a member of the Amalgamated Transit Union when she became a city bus driver. And she got up every day working right on behalf my family to make it better for us but I also remember what it was like watching my mother and father argue at the end of the day over which bills they could pay before something got cut off, because the system didn’t always work for them. And so labor has meant a tremendous amount just in my own life and in my own living experience, but more broadly what it has meant to the middle class and to working class folks...what we have done with labor...I say we...what labor has done to really create a more lasting middle class in this country is something that is under total duress under this administration and under rules that are being increasingly built and strengthened against the everyday worker. That’s why the stakes are so high in these elections.”
Gillum also shares his experiences on the campaign trail and previews the important fights ahead on voting, worker and civil rights; check out the full interview on the AFL-CIO’s “State of the Unions” podcast, available wherever you listen to podcasts.
On today’s labor calendar, tune in at 1pm this afternoon for “Your Rights At Work”; we’ll talk about next steps after the government shutdown, plus
The Solidarity Center reports on the crisis in Zimbabwe and as always, your calls. That’s 1pm this afternoon right here on WPFW 89.3FM.
And for the latest labor calendar listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 2002, union and student pressure forced Harvard university to adopt new labor policies raising wages for its lowest-paid workers.
Today’s labor quote is by Ida May Fuller, the first retiree to receive an old-age monthly benefit check under the new Social Security law, on this date in 1940. Miss Fuller -- known as Aunt Ida to her friends and family—lived in Vermont and had filed her retirement claim the previous November, having worked under Social Security for just under three years. While running an errand she dropped by the Rutland Social Security office to ask about possible benefits.
"It wasn't that I expected anything, mind you,” she said, “but I knew I'd been paying for something called Social Security and I wanted to ask the people in Rutland about it."
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