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Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

This Labor Day, America’s working families are facing unprecedented challenges.

If an investor was searching for the country’s most explosively successful commodity, they might look to the ground for natural resources or to Wall Street for some new financial instrument. But, the most meteoric success story can be found virtually all around us—in the booming video game industry. Growing by double digits, U.S. video game sales reached $43 billion in 2018, about 3.6 times greater than the film industry’s record-breaking box office.

More workers were involved in strikes and other labor disputes in 2018 than at any point in the past three decades, fueled by widespread teacher protests last spring, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

Read more from the Wall Street Journal.

I understand why it would be insane to spend even a day without controllers, troops, Transportation Security Administration screeners, Coast Guard officers, FBI and Border Patrol agents and a laundry list of other truly essential workers employed by the federal government. What I don’t understand is why we tolerate a system that lets elected officials fail to do their one real job — funding the government — with no consequences for anyone in power.

Something funny happened on the way to the labor movement’s funeral.

The longest government shutdown in American history is over for now. On Friday afternoon, Donald Trump announced a deal to reopen government for the next three weeks. The short-term appropriations measure notably includes no funding for his beloved border wall — or steel slat fence, or smart wall, or whatever else he decides to call it in the future.

An Act to Prevent Wage Theft, Promote Employer Accountability, and Enhance Public Enforcement (SD 1464, HD 3789). Lead Sponsors: Senator Sal DiDomenico & Representative Dan Donahue

When women and our allies unite, we build power. That’s true in mass marches and on the job.

“I never realized how strongly unionizing and feminism go together,” registered nurse (RN) Suzanne Levitch, 33, of Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, tells Teen Vogue. “There’s not really another way for workers, especially women workers, to be treated fairly.”

The nation’s airlines are blaming the partial federal government shutdown for putting another dark cloud in their path, with few federal workers and contractors taking to the skies and stalled federal agency approvals causing delays in expansion plans, including Southwest Airlines’ much-anticipated service to Hawaii.