News

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.

The National AFL-CIO has put together a resource guide which covers how to protect yourself from COVID-19, how to manage your finances while unemployed, and how to search for a job.

Read this resource guide here: PDF icon When the Paycheck Stops

**For latest information visit: https://www.masslegalservices.org/covid-19-and-ui

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update 3/19/20

Questions and Answers about Unemployment Insurance (UI)

You should contact the Department of Unemployment and apply for unemployment insurance (UI) right away if:

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the entire world are facing uncertain times with the fast spread of COVID-19. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Labor Movement as a whole have a proud history of stepping up and leading on issues surrounding workplace standards to keep hard working men and women safe on the job as well as community standards to keep their families safe at home.

Statement from President Steven A. Tolman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, March 4, 2020

“On behalf of the MA AFL-CIO I would like to congratulate MTA member Carol Doherty for her Primary win in the 3rd Bristol House District. I would also like to commend IUEC 4 member John Mahoney and former MTA member Dina Samfield on their hard fought special election campaigns. Although John and Dina came up just short, every time a union member runs for office and puts working family issues front and center, the Labor Movement grows stronger.”

 

North Carolina workers need a raise. For 11 consecutive years, the cost of living (food, rent, education, childcare) has increased causing our minimum wage to decline in value by 24 percent. Now, a person working full-time while making $7.25 an hour lives thousands of dollars below the federal poverty threshold.

Campaigning for the presidency in 2016, Donald Trump promised that, if he was elected, “American worker[s] will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.”  Has he kept this promise? When it comes to protecting workers’ health and safety, his administration has been a disaster. Once in office, Trump packed the leadership of U.S.

Today, strikes are back—among teachers, hotel workers, auto workers, supermarket employees, and disconsolate Google-ites, among others. (The walkout of roughly 20,00 Google employees, protesting the company’s treatment of sexual harassment, didn’t even make it into the BLS numbers due to the bureau’s definition of what constitutes a work stoppage.) As I write, more than 20,000 workers are preparing to take a strike vote at Safeway markets in the D.C.–Maryland area.

President Trump released a $4.8 trillion budget proposal on Monday that includes a familiar list of deep cuts to student loan assistance, affordable housing efforts, food stamps and Medicaid, reflecting Mr. Trump’s election-year effort to continue shrinking the federal safety net. The proposal, which is unlikely to be approved in its entirety by Congress, includes additional spending for the military, national defense and border enforcement, along with money for veterans, Mr.