North Dakota AFL-CIO


Working people are tired of hearing how tax giveaways for Wall Street billionaires and corporations will supposedly trickle down to the rest of us.

On Friday, September 22nd, North Dakota Union members Travis Swanson, United Steelworkers Local 560 President and Dan Jackson, USW Local 560 member and Vice President of the Northern Plains United

Governor’s Workforce Development and HR Conference

In a functioning democracy, a government responds to its people’s needs.

“What we know from RNRN’s work in previous disaster-stricken areas, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as post-earthquake Haiti and super typhoon Haiyan, is that after an initial surge

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Led by AFGE National Secretary Treasurer Joseph P. Flynn, the summit featured speakers and panelists who spoke about the great work done at the VA, the crucial need to fill the 49,000 vacancies nationwide, and the true cost of funneling more funds into the private, for-profit sector.

Some 275 volunteers – pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and other workers – took off from Newark International Airport on October 4 on a union-sponsored relief mission to hurricane-smashed Puerto Rico, the AFL-CIO announced. Some 50 unionized registered nurses, members of National Nurses United, flew in from San Francisco the day before to join the mission.

The unionists headed for the island commonwealth, whose 3.4 million residents lack power, food, drinkable water and other resources, two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.

One hundred organizations, including a number of progressive groups and labor unions, are urging Congress to reject a major international tax change proposed in Republicans' framework for a tax overhaul.

In a letter dated Monday, the groups speak out against the framework's move toward a "territorial" tax system that would largely exempt American companies' foreign profits from U.S. tax.

"It is an incredibly bad idea," wrote the groups, which include the AFL-CIO, Americans for Tax Fairness and the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition.

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In a functioning democracy, a government responds to its people’s needs. This is a democracy’s strength. On the other hand, North Dakota has substituted a polite government for a responsive one, especially in regards to working families’ issues.

They listen to you. They smile and nod, then they say they some variation of, “We understand that you’re concerned, but we know better and will continue as before.” Whether the issue is healthcare, wages, or workplace safety, they sincerely believe that by being polite to working people, they are responding to their needs. They are not.

Is this truly what representative government has become?

Our issue with the Governor’s Workforce Development Conference this coming Wednesday is a great example of the lack of responsiveness. This conference is bringing in two anti-worker lawyers to present their version of labor law. Yeah! The law that protects working people from abuse is going to be presented by people who have made millions by guiding businesses through loopholes in the same law.

We have been working to get this changed for six weeks to no avail. Understand our demand is a small one. We just want this one session to be presented by our own North Dakota Labor Department. This entire issue could be solved in 20 minutes, but we get nothing but a paternalistic attitude that they know best.

Remember that we have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation while maintaining low wages outside the oilfield. We don’t need to become more business friendly. To the contrary, we need to become much more worker friendly to keep and attract more working families to this state. We need better wages, more fairness and improved safety on the job.

Yet our state will never achieve anything if our government continues to be unresponsive to working families’ issues.

There are questions that we need to start asking. When is North Dakota going to start listening to its working families? When is our government going to be as responsive to us as it is to businesses and corporations? When are working families going to matter as much as money?

I guess the real question is when are we going to return a government of the people, by the people, for the people?

The time to start is now!

Florida's working families have seen devastating flooding, rains, winds and destruction to their homes, possessions and livelihoods. Help them by contributing to the Florida AFL-CIO’s Worker Relief Fund today.