Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council

 

President's Message

With Labor Day just around the corner, we are reminded of what an exciting time it is to be members of Tennessee's labor movement. Thanks to the collective solidarity of all of our brothers and sisters across the state, working families are prepared to head into election season stronger than ever before. Whether at the state or local level and with the help of our Central Labor Councils, our members are engaged, motivated, and fired up to work to elect labor-endorsed candidates to office this fall.

Legislative Updates

In the midst of dealing with a pandemic, an economic crisis, and the continued fight for racial justice, we didn't think that it was possible for Tennessee lawmakers to pass any bills that could do more damage than the ones that have already become law this year.
If it seems like virtually no time has passed since we sent out our legislative wrap-up for the year, that's because it hasn't. Less than two months after lawmakers adjourned (seemingly for the year) on June 19th,  Governor Bill Lee announced last week that he is calling the Tennessee General Assembly back into a special session beginning TODAY (Monday, August 10th.) The main reason for doing so?
Shortly after 3:00 a.m., the members of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly finally adjourned sine die.

Take Action

A complete and accurate count in the 2020 census is vital to working families in every corner of our country but the enumeration period ends soon and there are still communities with low response rates.

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.


National News

Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

This Labor Day, America’s working families are facing unprecedented challenges.

The path to the presidency runs through the labor movement.

This election year, America faces interlocking crises—a global health crisis, economic collapse, and systemic racism. Even as we live in fear of disease and economic ruin, we have had to watch the on-camera murders of unarmed Black people by officers who have sworn to protect and serve us. So many of us have stood outside nursing homes and hospitals as our loved ones died inside, alone. In response, we are struggling with despair and asking, Dare we hope for profound change in our public life?

Rev. William Barber, who heads the nonprofit Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign, joined Richard Trumka, president of the country’s largest federation of unions, at the church to announce a formal partnership to work for social, racial and economic justice. Trumka said the labor movement honors the bombing’s four young victims: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair. “But our debt to this community is greater than that,” he said.

As the new professional football season begins, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) released the first in a series of videos of members speaking out on racial justice. The video focuses on NFLPA members’ activism and their participation in the Black Lives Matter movement. The members shared their perspectives on kneeling and what using their platform looks like this football season. “I had that mindset of I’m going to kneel this year as well.

As Labor Day approaches and economic conditions in the U.S. remain tenuous, Americans' 65% approval of labor unions is once again the highest it has been since 2003. Public support for labor unions has been generally rising since hitting its lowest point of 48% in 2009, during the Great Recession.

Read the full article in Gallup.