Arizona Voices at Work Blog

Welcome to the Arizona Voices at Work Blog! Here you will find the latest stories about working Arizonans and our fight to strengthen our movement statewide. Click here to join our email list and get our blog sent directly to your inbox.

On March 29th, the Arizona AFL-CIO co-sponsored Women in Organized Labor, a Women’s History Month celebration featuring legendary labor leader and civil rights activist, Dolores Huerta.

The following article was originally published in the Phoenix Business Journal on March 3rd, 2022.

A secretive network of billionaire investors, corporate lobbyists, and conservative lawmakers is working behind closed doors to rewrite our laws and limit our freedoms.

Liz Shuler is the first woman ever elected president of the AFL-CIO.

She took over a time when the world of work has been turned upside down.

Union organizing is happening in some unexpected places, and sometimes in ways that disrupt the traditional union playbook.

LABOR PRESS: You’ve been given such a huge responsibility now, with the death of your friend Rich Trumka [In August she was appointed to serve the remainder of his term.] But the entire time you’ve been involved, labor has been struggling to come back. Do you have a secret plan? What can the AFL-CIO do to rebuild the labor movement?

It was deeply disappointing that just days after our nation paid homage to the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, the same senators who praised his name struck down critical legislation that would have strengthened our election systems and ensured every American has the fundamental right to vote.

In a world in which members of political parties seem more interested in defeating the will of the electorate, if it means defeating their political rivals than improving the lives of countless Americans, the filibuster has become the weapon of choice. The filibuster, a Senate procedure, has been used to sideline and stop bills without there ever being an actual vote on the substance of the proposed legislation.

Nearly one year after his historic election, the credibility of President Joe Biden’s central campaign promise to “Build Back Better” rests in the passage of his landmark legislative packages. Among these bills is the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which will strengthen and expand the right of workers to form unions, bargain collectively, and would stand as the most significant workers’ rights law implemented in nearly 90 years.

Last month we saw historic worker action take over national headlines. In what has come to be known as “striketober,” workers across the country were withholding their labor in the face of inexcusable corporate greed. Going on a strike is a sacrifice and not easily decided, but for too long our economy has favored lining the pockets of CEOs.

This year, Labor Day takes on a whole new meaning for our labor movement as workers continue to fight for dignity and respect in the workplace, all while providing essential services on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also seen employers’ true colors through our global health crisis.

While some sprang into action to protect workers, we had to fight with others to provide basic necessities, like personal protective equipment or even a safe way for workers to report COVID-19 outbreaks without fear of retaliation.