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Working people are being infected at work and dying from COVID-19 in every sector.
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.”

Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District is holding a special election on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 to replace former Congressman Sean Duffy who resigned his seat last fall. The seat has gone unfilled since his resignation.

Entertainment workplaces need more time and data to prepare and change the way show business works. “Here’s the reality: Because of the nature of the industry, arts and entertainment professionals may likely be some of the last workers able to return safely to their jobs,” said Liz Shuler, the AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer. “And when they do, they’re not going to be returning to ‘normal’; it’s going to be a very different approach to the industry.

The United States now has more than a million reported coronavirus cases, by far the most of any country in the world. The health of our nation, physically and economically, depends on the safety of our workers. That has always been true, but perhaps never more so than in the face of today’s crisis — and it’s why we need clear and decisive action from the White House. President Trump has given us more confusion than solutions, failing to use his executive authority to protect working people.

As Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, wrote in a public letter to the U.S.

Join the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Virtual Phone Bank at wisaflcio.org/mobilize as we get out the vote for union member Tricia Zunker in Wisconsin's Congressional District 7 special election on Tuesday, May 12.

This Thursday, May 7, at 5:00 p.m., is the deadline to request an absentee mail-in ballot for regular and permanent overseas voters in the May 12 special election in Wisconsin’s Congressional District 7. Request your absentee ballot online at myvote.wi.gov.

The people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District have been without a representative in Congress for months. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is supporting union member Tricia Zunker (SAG-AFTRA) for the special election on May 12. Zunker will represent all people and work to protect and advance the rights of workers.

Be prepared to vote early or absentee in this coronavirus public health emergency.

“For all workers, the toll of COVID-19 infections and deaths is mounting and will increase even more rapidly as workers return to work without necessary safety and health protections,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote in the letter, which listed dozens of members who have died from the virus. He faulted the agency for not doing more inspections, not issuing citations and releasing only voluntary coronavirus safety guidelines. “Without government oversight and enforcement, too many employers are disregarding safety and health standards,” he wrote.