Florida is experiencing a climate emergency. Temperatures continue to increase, sea levels are rising, flooding is displacing communities, and intensified storms threaten both our coasts and inland areas. These cascading effects touch every aspect of Floridian’s daily lives: our health, water resources, and work.
On the 20th day of being forced to work without pay, federal workers in North Florida brought their voices straight to the halls of power in Tallahassee to demand an end to the government shutdown.
It has been years since Florida’s workers have had an ally in the governor’s mansion. While the economy has been growing under Rick Scott, pay has been flat and living costs have been rising, leaving millions of families just a missed paycheck away from economic crisis. Those who have been underpaid, injured on the job or laid off – even after a natural disaster – have been left stranded by the state’s broken systems. Florida’s working families deserve a governor who will fight for them by promoting good jobs with fair pay and safe workplaces for the state’s eight million workers.
The Florida West Coast Apprenticeship Council will reach out to the community about the opportunities and career paths their trainings provide. On Thursday, May 10th, they will be working with faith and community leaders in the African American community to host an apprenticeship career fair at the NFL YET Center (3310 E Lake Ave, Tampa) from 10AM – 1PM. Members of the community will be able to talk to apprenticeship coordinators from local unions about apprenticeship programs that offer paid training, skills and industry certifications, and a path to a successful career with high pay and unrivaled benefits.
“AT&T has also announced roughly 1,600 layoffs of its technicians nationwide, around 290 from the Southeast,” stated President Farruggio, “even after the big corporate tax cuts were announced which was supposed to help create jobs. We will continue these mobilization efforts throughout the bargaining process for as long as it takes to let the company know that we will not go quietly into the night”
The fight for issues that affect all of us like fair wages, affordable healthcare, and retiring with dignity, will be lost if we fail to stand together. We cannot afford to let ourselves be divided, or to only be engaged when a certain party or candidate is taking our side. In the months and years to come, we will have huge victories for working people if we continue to educate our friends and family, agitate those that seek to tear away what we have, and organize in solidarity, for the future of us all.
What does it mean to be union? It means standing together with family, co-workers and community, especially when they need it the most. Union members across the state exemplified that definition with relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Irma over the past two weeks.
In the wake of Irma, Florida AFL-CIO created the Florida Workers Relief Fund, a program to help provide relief for union members, their families and community partners. Funds raised statewide have been going directly to union members who are still struggling to get back on their feet in areas that were hardest hit.
Today, the rich and powerful continue to rig the rules to take away our freedom to join together in union for a fair return on our work. On this Labor Day, we must remember why we celebrate the first Monday in September. We honor all of the accomplishments we have made for workers rights, we pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much blood, sweat, and tears, and we reaffirm our determination to continue the fight to do better, for all workers.
While many were on their way to enjoy the sun and sand in Daytona Beach on a beautiful Saturday morning, union members and their families from across Volusia County assembled to ensure the kids from the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home had new shoes and socks to start the school year with.
As Ellen finished her remarks, her eyes glowed with pride as she looked at her son who now strives to continue in her footsteps as a union pilot and shared gratitude that Bunny and her union family could help provide that opportunity.
Generation after generation, struggle after struggle, that moment defined unionism in a nutshell for me. Union is community. It’s working hard to lift one another up in any way that we can so that we can all thrive and so that we can all be heroes. Who is union strong? Students, hero women pilots, my friend Bunny, you and I, that’s who.