Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council


President's Message

TN AFL-CIO President Billy Dycus issued the following statement in response to the failure to extend enhanced unemployment benefits before this weekend's deadline.
"By letting the additional $600 in unemployment benefits expire, working families in Tennessee and across the country have once again been failed by our leaders.

Legislative Updates

Shortly after 3:00 a.m., the members of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly finally adjourned sine die.
While we'll elaborate much more on this in the second part of our Legislative Wrap-Up (which will be sent by the end of the month), we want to share a couple thoughts about SJR 648 (aka The "Kelsey Amendment") and the current, overall legislative environment. Is it frustrating that Republicans chose to move SJR 648, especially after COVID-19 has already turned so many of our lives upside-down, let alone that they filed it to begin with? Absolutely. Is it even worse that they're playing games at the 11th hour just to get this passed? Of course.
Before we dive into the happenings of the recently-resumed legislative session, we wanted to take a moment to briefly expand on the statement sent out by President Dycus and Secretary-Treasurer Starling earlier this week. The murder of George Floyd nearly two weeks ago, Breonna Taylor, and countless other black people (who too often go unnamed) at the hands of police is sickening.

Take Action

Working people are desperate for our leaders to put partisanship aside and do what is right for our health, our economy and our country. Tell your Senator to support the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) and provide the relief working families need.

The labor movement is working nonstop to ensure workers devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic receive the protections and support needed during this challenging time. Get involved and make sure the needs of working people are heard.

National News

The path to the presidency runs through the labor movement.

Thousands of working people across the country joined together on June 17 in a national day of action. We called for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and for Congress to take actions to address structural racism. The HEROES Act is grounded in America’s Five Economic Essentials that are desperately needed to keep working people safe and financially secure. This day of action was just the beginning. Today and every day that follows, working people will mobilize like never before to make the HEROES Act the law of the land and rid our institutions of systemic racism.

Support for the labor movement is the highest in nearly half a century, yet only one in 10 workers are members of unions today. How can both be true?

More than three years after taking office, the administration has never filled the job running the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is charged with enforcing workplace safety laws. The $560 million-a-year agency, whose estimated 2,000 inspectors performed 32,020 on-site inspections in 2018, spent months not doing any in-person inspections related to coronavirus, other than in hospitals, said Rebecca Reindel, director of occupational safety and health for the AFL-CIO.

Working people are bearing the brunt of this global pandemic and economic crisis. The physical toll, death, pain, and suffering that Oregon’s frontline and essential workers have experienced is unprecedented.

Coupled with the economic collapse that has exacerbated long-term inequities for low wage workers and BIPOC communities, workers are hurting and they need protections.

Daniel DiSalvo asks: “Will Unions Let Schools Reopen?” (op-ed, June 30). Of course! The AFT published our school reopening plan in April. We said it isn’t a question of whether to reopen, but how to do it safely. We need the infrastructure and investment to physically distance, stagger classes, provide personal protective equipment and test, trace and isolate new cases.