Meet our new Interns!

Carlos Matos:
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Hello, my name is Carlos Matos. I was raised in Lowell, MA. and moved to Puerto Rico when I was thirteen years old. Furthermore, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Bragg, NC. Surely, I made it my home for sixteen years. During my time there, I studied H.V.A.C-R (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration). Also, I studied aeronautics. In the present day, I am studying to be a social worker and will be conducting my internship at the North Shore Labor Council. Furthermore, in my free time, I like to draw, read, exercise, and do volunteer work.

Damaris Cortez:
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My name is Damaris Cortez, and I will be one of the new North Shore Labor Council interns. I am super excited to begin this work. I am a Massachusetts native, I was born here in Boston, but my family is from Puerto Rico, so I also speak Spanish. I have worked for the community since I was 16, one of my first jobs was at a daycare center in Brighton and my last job was also community-based family therapy. I have done a lot of case management and connecting those I serve with other community resources. I am currently a student at Salem State University’s social work program, and I am really wanting to gain experience in policy and macro-level social work. Social work called my attention because I believe in equity. In my downtime, I enjoy spending time with my loved ones, doing art-related activities, and listening to podcasts. I look forward to working with you all, whether it be individually or me working with your unions/organizations. Hope everyone is staying safe!

 

John Sweeney, who led an era of transformative change in America’s labor movement, passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 86.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses why America needs a strong labor movement and how the Biden administration is committed to strengthening unions.

Carlos Matos:

Lisa Pedersen of Revere, Massachusetts, has been a United Steelworkers (USW) member for 34 years. As “the first girl in [her] area” when she started as a gas leak investigator and repair person for the National Grid, Pedersen is used to being a leader. She is now a “working leader” at the National Grid, and her union loyalty and leadership instincts have particularly shone during the past couple of years.

Today, the AFL-CIO and GBAO released a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The findings come days after voting closed in the organizing drive and demonstrate a significant rise in public support.

“This suite of target date CIT funds is a welcome addition to the lineup of financial products which carry the AFL-CIO name,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Defined benefit plans remain the bedrock of a secure retirement. However, the Labor Movement’s philosophy that all Americans are entitled to retire with dignity and financial security dictates that we must also ensure that defined contribution investors’ interests are protected. This product provides a cost-effective solution that brings this proposition to life.

“Millions of workers still do not have the strong COVID-19 protections they need to be safe at work. Marty Walsh’s strong leadership will be needed to urgently issue a strong, comprehensive OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard to set workplace safety rules, accompanied by strong enforcement to ensure workers are protected,” said Rebecca Reindel, the AFL-CIO’s safety and health director. Reindel said new rules and strong enforcement are “essential to President Biden’s promise to protect workers from COVID-19.”

Walsh's confirmation was a victory for AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who rallied his federation of 56 unions to back the Boston mayor soon after Biden won the election in November. "It's difficult to overstate the importance of this moment," Trumka said. "For four years, working families have lived with a Labor Department devoted to serving a handful of elite interests. Now, the power to enforce safety and equity in our workplaces has been handed from a ruthless corporate lawyer to a proud union brother."

An important meeting was held Thursday at the White House as the first female vice president, Kamala Harris, gathered with women labor leaders. The vice president called together the small group to discuss tackling the pandemic, creating an equitable recovery and getting women back to work.

Last week, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion investment in our country’s recovery and future success. AFL-CIO affiliate unions released a flurry of statements praising the bill’s enactment and highlighting how the American Rescue Plan will help our members.