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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.”

This Labor Day, America’s working families are facing unprecedented challenges.

North Dakota AFL-CIO Labor Endorsed
Candidates for November 2020

Representative in Congress                       Zach Raknerud

North Dakota AFL-CIO United for Paid Family Leave

WHEREAS, Paid Family Leave is a common sense proposal that would allow an employee to
request paid leave to care for themselves or a family member when medical emergencies arise;
and

WHEREAS, Paid Family Leave is beneficial for employers and employees alike – by reducing
turnover, lowering training costs, improving morale, and attracting workers; and

WHEREAS, Too many North Dakota workers must make a choice between taking care of loved

ND AFL-CIO Supports Public Employee Collective Bargaining 

WHEREAS, a union fundamentally is an association of individual workers seeking to address
common workplace issues, the statutory right to engage in collective bargaining is necessary to
ensure that workers can exercise their civil right to associate with other workers on issues of
mutual concern ​ and restore the balance of economic power in our country; and

WHEREAS, collective bargaining is the process in which working people negotiate contracts

ND AFL-CIO Honors Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte

WHEREAS, North Dakota responders put their lives on the line in the interest of public safety on
a daily basis; and

WHEREAS, The North Dakota AFL-CIO recognizes that North Dakota is one of the most
dangerous places to work in America; and

WHEREAS, The North Dakota AFL-CIO believes that all workers deserve to go home to their
families at the end of their shift; and

WHEREAS, Grand Forks Police Officer Cody Holte, while performing his daily duties, was shot

ND AFL-CIO Commits to Civil Rights and Economic Justice

WHEREAS, working people are diverse, we are different colors, gender identities, religions,
sexual orientations and ages; and

WHEREAS, the labor movement has been at the forefront of the struggle for every major civil
rights law and stands strong in the fight for dignity, life and liberty for every worker at the
intersection of economic justice and civil rights; and

WHEREAS, America’s legacy of racism, exclusion and injustice continues to obstruct working

North Dakota AFL-CIO Condemns Police Brutality and Racism

WHEREAS, George Floyd, a black resident of St. Louis Park, Minn. Floyd was handcuffed and
pinned to the ground by a local police officer’s knee for over eight minutes as three other
officers stood by, watching as he was killed; and

WHEREAS, This tragedy is all too familiar, highlighting the double standard experienced by
black and brown people in America, including North Dakota, when interacting with law
enforcement; and

WHEREAS, Racism causes pain to people of color every day in America; and

NPR's David Greene talks to NPR's Scott Horsley and William Spriggs, chief economist for the AFL-CIO, about the pandemic's effect on joblessness — especially on minority employees. SPRIGGS: Well, in this case, it's, for the Hispanic community, the industries in which they dominate. So they're very important to the restaurant industry. That industry lost the most amount of jobs. Before this downturn, we had 12.6 million Americans who worked in restaurants.

Declaring that working people are saying, “We’ve had enough,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said unions will continue the fight to root out systemic racism in the U.S. In a 77-minute Zoom telecast on June 3, Trumka and other labor leaders—AFSCME President Lee Saunders, Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson, Painters President Ken Rigmaiden, Unite Here President D. Taylor, and two Unite Here regional leaders—laid blame for that racism at the feet of U.S. history and U.S. politicians.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka argued that the GOP’s reluctance to act quickly on another expansive relief bill would become unsustainable. “The pressure is building on them. People are about to run out of the $1,200 checks, the extra unemployment benefits will run out soon, that needs to be extended, the number of people without health care grows every day,” Trumka said in an interview. “All of that puts additional pressure on them to act.”