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Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, the AFL-CIO will be profiling labor leaders and activists to spotlight the diverse contributions Hispanics and Latinos have made to our movement. Today's profile features Javier Pierrend.
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.

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 year, for Women's History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making women's history across the labor movement.

“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.”

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.

"When technology comes into a union worksite, we're able to negotiate to get a fair share of the increased productivity and make sure it's healthy and safe — it's called bargaining acquiescence. We bargain to get a fair share for workers. But society as a whole doesn't have that," says Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.

Read the full article on CNBC.