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!

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

2020’s growth in pay inequity between workers and CEOs confirms the “executive base salary reductions” touted during the COVID-19 crisis were just lip service, per this year’s AFL-CIO Executive Pay

The president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, praised President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) for secretary of Labor, calling the mayor an “exceptional” choice. “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools.

Prominent union leaders of the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers are publicly condemning President Donald Trump’s supporters for storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called it “one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War.” 

Read the full article on CNBC.

The Labor Department on Wednesday released the final version of a rule that could classify millions of workers in industries like construction, cleaning and the gig economy as contractors rather than employees, another step under the Trump administration toward endorsing the business practices of companies like Uber and Lyft. Companies don’t have to pay contractors a minimum wage or overtime and don’t have to pay a share of contractors’ Social Security taxes or contribute to unemployment insurance on their behalf.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said: “Instead of increasing lifesaving measures aimed at protecting working people at our workplaces, the Trump administration consistently rolled back existing safety and health rules and has failed to move forward on any new safety and health protections. We look forward to working with the new administration to strengthen job safety protections and enforcement; rebuild workplace safety agencies; and prevent worker deaths, injuries and disease.”

This past fall, Transport Workers Union (TWU) member Gregory Harasym began a master’s program in city and regional planning with a concentration in transportation. He intends to examine alternative transportation methods to address community-level health and social injustices; and he hopes to eventually be a specialist in this field, focusing on policy for the Department of Transportation. His career direction changed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which deeply impacted his community and left him passionate about helping communities become resilient to future disasters.

Transportation industry groups and unions were quick to applaud the selection of Pete Buttigieg as President-elect Joe Biden’s nomine

“Katherine Tai’s nomination signals a stark departure from the failed practices of the past.”

Tai played a key role in shaping the United States Mexico Canada Agreement — which the AFL-CIO endorsed — as the top trade counsel for the House Ways and Means committee, and previously headed the USTR legal team on China issues.

Tony Lein, a member of the Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 95 in Chicago, is among the 2020 Union Plus Scholarship award winners. He is a firefighter/paramedic and peer fitness trainer with the Oak Park [Illinois] Fire Department, where he has worked since 2015. He also teaches American Heart Association CPR classes with Save-A-Life. Lein was awarded a $4,000 scholarship as he pursues a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.