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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:

The national union that represents workers in meatpacking and food processing jobs, the United Food and Commercial Workers, says the administration should enact enforceable standards instead of guidance that requires protections like protective equipment, physical distancing, daily testing for workers and paid sick leave so workers can stop the spread of illness. And Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, echoed their concerns tweeting, "Using executive power to force people back on the job without proper protections is wrong and dangerous."

Every April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day, a day to honor workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job.

Last Minute, Unannounced Amendment in COVID-19 bill by Wisconsin Republicans Leaves Frontline Workers Exposed and Ineligible for Worker’s Compensation

 April 24, 2020, MILWAUKEE, WI – The following is a statement from Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale, co-chair of Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council:

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is proud to support Tricia Zunker, SAG-AFTRA union member, in the 7th Congressional District special election scheduled for May 12, 2020. Zunker is running to fill an open seat currently left vacant with the resignation of former Congressman Sean Duffy.

Those we elect to public office have a duty to look beyond what might be immediately popular to what is genuinely in the public interest. Republican leaders in the Wisconsin legislature are failing this critical leadership test badly.

The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO continues to call for personal protective equipment, thorough sanitization and cleaning of workplaces and appropriate social distance to save lives

The AFL-CIO warned Tuesday that workplaces were still far too dangerous to consider reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as some governors are starting to lift restrictions in order to get businesses up and running again. Richard Trumka, the federation’s president, said there was still insufficient personal protective equipment and not enough testing to make worksites safe yet. He called for stronger legal protections for those who will have to refuse dangerous work as their employers begin to call them back.

(April 21, 2020, MILWAUKEE, WI) – The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO has been consistently calling for every essential worker, whether on the front lines, working with the public, or simply working closely with coworkers, to have personal protective equipment, thoroughly cleaned and sanitized workplaces, and social distance from one another to save their own lives and the lives of all Americans. Unions and workers on the front lines across the country have been demanding PPE and better OSHA workplace standards for infectious disease.