Showing posts with label georgia afl-cio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label georgia afl-cio. Show all posts

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Georgia AFL-CIO supports continuation of Plant Vogtle Project; AFL-CIO announces link to donate for relief efforts in Texas


Georgia AFL-CIO President, Charlie Flemming, issued the following announcement on August 31, 2017:


The Georgia AFL-CIO fully supports Georgia Power and its decision to complete the Vogtle project. The completion of this multi-billion-dollar investment means the 4,500 highly skilled craft members of the North America Building Trades will continue to stay on the job.

“As the President of the Georgia AFL-CIO, representing 210,000 union members and retirees in the state. I commend Georgia Power and their partners for the decision to recommend of the Plant Vogtle nuclear project. Not only will it deliver clean and reliable energy to millions of Georgians, it will provide thousands of good quality, family-wage jobs. The plant will serve the clean energy and economic needs of the state for decades to come.”  said Charlie Flemming, President of the Georgia AFL-CIO.

Completing the Vogtle project will allow the Southern Company to continue to diversify its electricity portfolio, save thousands of family sustaining jobs and continue to grow the regional economy. We support this decision to continue the project.


Support for relief efforts in Texas

In other labor-related news, the AFL-CIO has announced that the Texas AFL-CIO has activated a link to donate to the Texas Workers Relief Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that helps affiliated workers in the aftermath of disasters. The link is www.texasaflcio.org/donate.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Georgia State AFL-CIO Condemns the Domestic Terrorism and Hatred in Charlottesville, Virginia.


By Charlie Flemming, August 15 - 2:11 pm

"Over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, the nation and the world witnessed the hateful views and terrorist acts committed by white supremacists and neo-Nazis. This racism and bigotry has no place in America. In this country, we have always fought, in solidarity, for equality and justice and against these and other diabolical prejudices.

This is the time for leadership. Our leaders, both in DC and under the Gold Dome, must acknowledge this for what it is: domestic terrorism rooted in bigotry.

The hearts and prayers of Georgia’s Labor Movement are with all the victims, but especially the families of those who lost their lives: Heather Heyer and state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.  We pray for everyone’s safety. The labor movement condemns this domestic terrorism and remains committed to eradicating the despicable causes of hatred and intolerance.

If you would like to learn more about everything that happened in Charlottesville this weekend, please read more in this Washington Post article."

Thursday, December 8, 2016

MARTA’s Keith Parker honored as 2016 Public Official of the Year; ATU Local 732 may disagree

Governing magazine has named MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith Parker as one of its 2016 Public Officials of the Year, but MARTA’s union may not agree with that assessment.


The magazine’s Publisher Mark Funkhouser writes that in the group of eight individuals honored this year, he sees some common traits:

“Among the group of eight, I see some common traits that reflect the evolution of politics and management in state and local government, such as moderation, collaboration, and a focus on smart financial management.”

Mr. Parker’s listed accomplishments include launching a safety campaign on MARTA’s trains and buses, decreased wait times, reopened bathrooms, giving employees bonuses, and finishing his first year with a $9 million surplus, instead of the $33 million deficit that was projected before he came in.

Governing bills itself as the nation's leading media platform covering politics, policy and management for state and local government leaders.

In its profile, the magazine says that Parker helped MARTA build trust with riders and the general public, which resulted in approval of a referendum in November that resulted in a $2.5 billion investment for rail expansion for MARTA.



Outsourcing Paratransit

Keith Parker’s relationship with the MARTA union has not been as smooth.

The magazine does not mention the MARTA union’s dispute with the system over the outsourcing of MARTA’s paratransit service.

In a Transformation Road Map prepared by KPMG, the consultancy has recommended that MARTA explore outsourcing its paratransit service as a means of reducing costs. Five-year savings could range from a loss of $15,390,000 to a savings of $42,940,000.

This proposal has been opposed by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732, which has offered a cost-saving MARTA Mobility proposal, which the union claims includes a series of recommendations to help the agency achieve its cost and efficiency goals. 

In response, the MARTA Board of Commissioners voted to table their decision to privatize the federally mandated service. 

The dispute still figures prominently on the union’s web site under:



Governing writes that “Today, Parker is regarded by many as the man who saved MARTA, but he is focused on the work ahead. ‘We’re not doing any victory laps yet,’ he says.”


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Federal judge strikes down part of Georgia’s right-to-work law

Unions in Georgia are declaring victory after Senior United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley struck down part of Georgia’s right-to-work statute as contrary to the National Labor Relations Act.

Specifically, the judge granted a summary judgment in favor of Georgia State AFL-CIO Truck Drivers & Helpers Local No. 728, and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996, which had challenged the state law that allowed employees to revoke their union membership at any time.

The judge struck down sections 3(d), 4, and 5 of Georgia’s right-to-work statute (Act No. 192 of the Georgia 2013 Session Laws, O.C.G.A. §§ 34-6-21, 34-6-25, and 34-6-26) as unenforceable because it conflicted with the NLRA.

The labor organizations asserted the right to engage in the collective bargaining process without state interference as well as the ability to enter into temporarily irrevocable checkoff authorization agreements pursuant to an enumerated exception in federal law.

According to the National Labor Relations Board web site,

“The NLRA allows employers and unions to enter into union-security agreements, which require all employees in a bargaining unit to become union members and begin paying union dues and fees within 30 days of being hired.

Even under a security agreement, employees who object to full union membership may continue as 'core' members and pay only that share of dues used directly for representation, such as collective bargaining and contract administration. Known as objectors, they are no longer full members but are still protected by the union contract. Unions are obligated to tell all covered employees about this option, which was created by a Supreme Court ruling and is known as the Beck right.

An employee may object to union membership on religious grounds, but in that case, must pay an amount equal to dues to a nonreligious charitable organization.

24 states have banned union-security agreements by passing so-called "right to work" laws. In these states, it is up to each employee at a workplace to decide whether or not to join the union and pay dues, even though all workers are protected by the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union.”

Even in those circumstances, Judge O’Kelley found that union members in Georgia could not arbitrarily stop paying union dues at will.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Workers Memorial Day – April 28, 2016

Workers' Memorial Day will be observed in Georgia and across the nation on April 28, 2016.

It is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers. It is also the day OSHA was established in 1971. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. (From the OSHA web site)

In Georgia, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers' Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs. The AFL-CIO has declared that "this year, workers will come together to call for work in this country that is safe, healthy, and pays fair wages."

On Workers’ Memorial Day, April 28, workers in all International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE) local unions have been asked to pause and offer a moment of silence at 1 pm EDT / 10 am PDT on behalf of those in the entertainment industry and all workers who have paid the ultimate price in order to support themselves and their families.

A nationwide listing of events for April 28, 2016 can be found on the AFL-CIO web site. A listing of events scheduled for Workers’ Memorial Week (April 23 – 30, 2016) can be found on the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health web site.

Materials and posters to aid in the observance of Workers' Memorial Day may be downloaded here or ordered online here. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Union Summer targets Atlanta in 2016

The AFL-CIO is now recruiting college interns and a site coordinator to work in teams to support union organizing campaigns and other initiatives in Atlanta during June, July, and August 2016.


According to the AFL-CIO, tasks include:

“…having one-on-one conversations with workers in the process of organizing a union in their workplaces, organizing direct actions such as marches and rallies, talking with workers impacted by the jobs crisis, as well as assisting in building community, labor and religious support for union organizing efforts.”

While Union Summer is an annual event, the cities targeted vary each year. In 2016, targets will include:

·       Jackson, MS
·       Atlanta, GA
·       Anniston, AL
·       Houston, TX

Interns participating in this year’s activities are not considered employees but do receive a stipend of $480 per week. The site coordinator will be paid $3,200 per month.

Interns should possess the following characteristics to be successful:

·       Flexible and willing to work long hours and nights and weekends on an unpredictable schedule (depending on needs of the campaign);
·       Adaptable in the face of new challenges and experiences;
·       Able to work in teams and have excellent communication skills;
·       Open to working with people of different races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientations; and
·       Willing to immerse themselves in an intensive, learning-by-doing experience.

The AFL-CIO has not identified which industries or companies in Atlanta would be targeted but past efforts have focused on fast food and health care establishments.

More information on planned activities is available on the Union Summer website.

The AFL-CIO has also uploaded a video on YouTube discussing their 2015 Union Summer.





Thursday, February 11, 2016

Union membership declines in Georgia in 2015

Georgia lost 8,000 union members in 2015, even as the state gained wage and salary workers, according to data recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2015, the number of wage and salary workers in Georgia grew from 3,926,000 to 4,016,000 while union membership dropped from 170,000 to 162,000. As a result, the percentage of union members in Georgia’s workforce fell from 4.3 percent in 2014 to 4.0 percent in 2015.

Percentage of wage and salary workers in Georgia 
belonging to unions, 2000 to 2015
Georgia recorded the fourth lowest union membership percentage among the 50 states in 2015.

States with the lowest percentage of
wage and salary workers belonging to unions in 2015

2014
2015
South Carolina
2.2
2.1
North Carolina
1.9
3.0
Utah
3.7
3.9
Georgia
4.3
4.0
Texas
4.8
4.5

In 2000, the union membership rate in Georgia was 6.5 percent, and there were 237,000 union members.

For the nation, the union membership rate--the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions--was 11.1 percent in 2015, unchanged from 2014. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.8 million in 2015, was little different from 2014. In 2000, the union membership rate was 13.4 percent, and there were 16.3 million union workers.

Looking at nearby states, both Alabama and South Carolina posted declines in the percentage of union members. Alabama’s percentage of union members shrank from 10.8 in 2014 to 10.2 in 2015. South Carolina’s percentage fell slightly from 2.2 to 2.1 percent.

The story was different in Florida where, in contrast to Georgia, the percentage of wage and salary workers belonging to unions in Florida grew by 91,000 over the year even while total wage and salary employment decreased by 48,000. As a result, the percentage of union members rose from 5.7 percent in 2014 to 6.8 percent in 2015.

Data on union membership are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 eligible households that obtains information on employment and unemployment among the nation's civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and over. There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. The state data preserve the long-time practice of highlighting the direction of the movements in state union membership rates and levels regardless of their statistical significance.