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!

 

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

Carlos Matos:

When Liz Shuler rides on an airplane, she often has an experience that will be familiar to most travelers: Her seat mate asks, "What do you do?"

Five years ago, after saying she worked for a labor union, Shuler said, most people would put their noses back in their books. Today, she's met with reactions like "awesome" and "amazing." 

NYT: How did you get your start in the labor movement?

Liz Shuler: I came up through the IBEW [International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers]. My father was a union member and worked for PGE [an Oregon utility]. Clerical workers were not in a union, and my mother and I were organizing them. PGE was a study in the difference a union can make: Power linemen were respected and made good wages, and nonunion clerical workers were not listened to and didn’t have a voice.

Workers at companies like Kellogg’s, Nabisco and John Deere have hit the picket lines in recent weeks hoping to get a better deal from their employers. A new survey suggests the public by and large supports them.

The AFL-CIO labor federation commissioned the progressive pollster Data for Progress to take the public’s temperature on the strikes that have made headlines this summer and fall. The online survey of nearly 1,300 likely voters asked if they “approve or disapprove of employees going on strike in support of better wages, benefits, and working conditions.”

Marcial Reyes could have just quit his job. Frustrated with chronic understaffing at the Kaiser Permanente hospital where he works in Southern California, he knows he has options in a region desperate for nurses.

Instead, he voted to go on strike.

And many of them are either hitting the picket lines or quitting their jobs as a result.

The changing dynamics of the US labor market, which has put employees rather than employers in the driver's seat in a way not seen for decades, is allowing unions to flex their muscle.

Twenty years ago today, on a Sunday afternoon in Brookwood, Alabama, 32 coal miners descended 2,000 feet below the ground into the Jim Walter Resources Blue Creek No. 5 Mine for a routine maintenance check.

Flying into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport recently, I spotted the ramp workers on the tarmac, busily unloading bags and doing safety checks on the plane in 115 degree heat. Most passengers were anxious to deplane, ready to head to baggage claim, not giving a second thought to the work happening all around them to make their journey happen.