News

Sisters and Brothers  of the Rock County Labor Council, as you probably heard, we recently held elections of officers at our December Meeting.  Although they chose not to run this term,  I wanted to thank both Ivan Collins and Kevin Bishop for their hard work and tireless hours spent on behalf of labor.  They both plan to continue their hard work while focusing in on Laborfest and a variety of other Labor functions.The new officers are the following.

  • President – Shawn Reents
  • Recording Secretary – Mike Williams
  • Treasurer – Teri Laws
  • Vice President – Jim Millard
  • Sergeant at Arms – David  Groth
  • Trustees – Amy Nunn, Randi Shultz, Leo Sokolik & Troy Johnson

 Our next meeting is scheduled for March 27th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Janesville Labor Temple. 

Thanks and I hope to see everyone there!

CEO pay for major companies in the United States rose nearly 6% in the past year, as income inequality and the outsourcing of good-paying American jobs have increased. According to the new AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch, the average CEO of an S&P 500 Index company made $13.94 million in 2017—361 times more money than the average U.S. rank-and-file worker.

Tefere Gebre came to the United States in 1984 as a teenager. He and four friends had left their home in war-torn Ethiopia and walked nearly 500 miles across the desert to a refugee camp in Sudan.

When it comes to appreciating educators, please heed an old expression: Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.

Fifty years ago this week, Martin Luther King Jr. went to Memphis, Tennessee, to march with the city’s striking black sanitation workers. Wages were bad, and conditions were so unsafe that workers were seriously injured or even killed while using the trash compactors of their trucks. The city of Memphis, their employer, refused to do better; city officials refused to act to improve their wages or safety.

As America prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination today, there is one name you may not hear: Bayard Rustin. A close confidante and mentor of King, Rustin was a key leader of the civil rights movement and chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He proved to be a transformative figure in the fight for racial justice, even introducing King to the Gandhian principles of nonviolence that would come to define the struggle. He also happened to be gay. 

Rep.-elect Conor Lamb made national waves with his improbable win in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He faced down $10 million in outside money funneled to his opponent by corporate and right-wing interests. He fought through a barrage of incessant, hyperpartisan attacks blanketing the airwaves. He was abandoned by his own party’s national infrastructure in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in nearly 15 years. And he still came out on top.

In their quest for even bigger profit margins, the rich and powerful have always tried to divide and suppress working people. Whether they’re seeking to quash worker protections, lower wages, cut benefits or weasel out of pension obligations, they know their biggest roadblock to unchecked power has always been a strong union.

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump are running scared. After the Republican candidate who ran with the ardent backing of the Republican Speaker of the House and the Republican president lost a special election for a Pennsylvania congressional seat in a district that was so Republican-friendly that Donald Trump won it by 20 points and the former GOP congressman regularly ran without opposition, the men who define the Republican Party as it now exists had to explain their loss.

Rep.-elect Conor Lamb made national waves with an improbable win last week in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He faced down $10 million in outside money funneled to his opponent by corporate and right-wing interests. He fought through a barrage of incessant, hyperpartisan attacks blanketing the airwaves. He was abandoned by his own party’s national infrastructure in a district that hadn’t elected a Democrat in nearly 15 years. And he still came out on top.

Nearly two centuries ago, a group of women and girls—some as young as 12—decided they'd had enough. Laboring in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, they faced exhausting 14-hour days, abusive supervisors and dangerous working conditions. When threatened with a pay cut, they finally put their foot down.

The mill workers organized, went on strike and formed America's first union of working women. They shocked their bosses, captured the attention of a young nation and blazed a trail for the nascent labor movement that would follow.

Members and leaders of the union that represents hotel and hospitality workers gathered Monday evening to discuss the workers’ experiences with sexual harassment by guests and what the union is doing to create safer workplaces for its members.

The meeting of national and local leaders of the AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor and employees that the union represents — which includes hotel and hospitality workers — came less than a month after an alderman sponsored a loophole into the city’s sexual harassment ordinance that would weaken the legislation.