|New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO|
Calling all Delegates, Councils, Retirees - The New Mexico Federation of Labor, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) Biennial Convention takes place June 12 -13, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Keynote Speaker: New Mexico is honored to host Tefere Gebre, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO for our 2015 convention.
Tefere has had the unique experience of working at all levels of the labor movement. Born in Gondar, Ethiopia, Brother Gebre was a political refugee who emigrated to the United States as a teenager. He graduated in 1987 from Belmont High School in downtown Los Angeles.
A standout track and field athlete, he attended Cal Poly Pomona on an athletic scholarship. While in college, Tefere worked his first union job as a night shift loader at UPS (and member of Teamsters Local 396). Since, Tefere has devoted his entire life to the values of hard work and a voice at the workplace.
Listen to Brother Gebre:
UA Plumbers and Pipefitters 412 Union Hall
Other Convention Events Include:
Beginning 6/12 6:00 P.M. @SheratonAlbuque
all proceeds benefit C.O.P.E. fund
Sheraton Albuquerque Airport
May 26 Deadline for $83 room block rate:
CALL (505) 843-7000
Read more >>>
A Moral Monday documentary from Santa Fe, New Mexico by Mariana Nonino
We Gotta Keep the Band Together, Man! [MOVIE!]
New Mexico’s labor movement and progressive allies quietly unified during the state’s 2015 legislative session and pushed back against Governor Martinez’s extreme right-wing agenda, widely perceived as an attack on social, economic, and environmental justice issues.
Republicans wrestled away control of the NM House of Representatives from Democrats after the 2014 election for the first time in over 60 years. To blame was a combination of superior campaign fund raising efforts by Republicans and the Democratic party’s failure to connect with voters on populist issues or generate enough enthusiasm for voter turnout.
The enthusiasm gap was closed early on in the session as Labor and progressive allies closed ranks and mobilized an effective response to the GOP agenda which stood on four main pillars:
1. Attack workers’ rights through proposal of several pieces of right-to-work legislation;
2. Further corporatizing public education by championing scientifically flawed teacher evaluation systems, mandatory third grade flunking bills, and standardized testing on steroids;
3. criminalize entire families and condoning the exploitation of workers by seizing drivers licenses of undocumented immigrants
4. Prioritizing corporate and polluting industry profits over environmental interests
Advocacy groups from every camp (conservation, education, labor, immigrant & social justice) came together and endeavored to remain unified under one tent throughout the entire session.
Alliances were tested when groups differed on strategy or tactics, but disputes were settled and solidarity remained strong throughout thanks to a unified labor movement’s leadership.
Pivotal were Labor’s major field and communications efforts which supported inside political strategy and gave progressive Democratic champions the cover they needed to take difficult and politically charged votes in favor of the people.
At the session’s conclusion, as the dust settled, most every piece of extreme right-wing legislation had been defeated. However, there was no time to celebrate or take down our guard.
The NM Senate, where labor and progressive causes mounted their most staunch defense, is up for reelection in 2016. Only hours after the session ended, the right-wing machine began churning out op/eds and messaged the media about how labor’s progressive Democratic allies had done New Mexico a disservice by killing Governor Martinez’s agenda.
The obvious strategy of Republican Governor Martinez and the GOP will be to unseat the workers’ champions and remove opposition to their anti-everything-but-corporate-profit agenda.
While right-wing talking points and junk science were effectively discredited during the session, the anti-worker propaganda has reemerged stronger in the wake of the session.
It is more important now than ever for labor and progressive allies to remain unified. We must be strategically active and educate voters on our issues to counteract the productive right-wing propaganda machine.
While much of the Internet this week was focused on escaped llamas, figuring out what color a dress is or mourning the loss of SAG-AFTRA member and Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy, we can forget that legislation is still being pushed that would make the lives of working families worse. Whether it is the "right to work" policies pushed by the allies of Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), who likes to compare workers to terrorists, and in other states like New Mexico and West Virginia, or the ongoing negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) using the Fast Track process, we need to stay alert. Read more >>>
Friends of the Feathered
As part of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance's (USA's) Work Boots on the Ground project, New Jersey union members built and painted 52 pheasant and 10 quail transport boxes to support the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which raises and releases some 50,000 pheasants and 11,000 quail annually across the state. Read the full article>>>
Share of Households Earning Middle-Class Income
Income inequality became a hot topic of economic conversation in 2014, and publications like The Atlantic have taken notice. In 17 Things We Learned About the Economy in 2014, the authors explore the growth of low-income jobs, stagnant wages for families and shrinking wages for younger workers, the racial and gender wage gap, taxes and the dwindling middle class.Read more >>>
It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>
When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>
The New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO represents more than 110,000 members of 30 unions and community affiliates throughout New Mexico. The mission of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, is to improve the lives of working families:to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation. Read more >>>
© AFL-CIO. All rights reserved.
Photographs and illustrations, as well as text, cannot be used without permission from the AFL-CIO.