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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.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has met with the head of the largest U.S. labor group, the AFL-CIO.

Lopez Obrador’s office said Wednesday he promised AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka that Mexico will enforce new, stricter labor laws. He also called for ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.

President Trump took to Twitter on Labor Day to attack AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, slamming him for his criticism of Trump’s trade deals. The AFL-CIO is the country’s largest coalition of more than 50 major unions and represents some 12.5 million American workers, from pilots to teachers.

Presidential candidates are going all out to win over working-class Americans.

Despite its setbacks, or perhaps because of them, organized labor has an energy level that AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says he hasn’t seen before in his 50 years with the movement.

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