At Annual Labor Day Breakfast, Leaders to Celebrate Rising Labor Movement, Year of Victories

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On 125th Anniversary of Labor Day, Union Approval Nears 50-Year High Mark

BOSTON, MA – More than 500 union leaders and activists, along with key community allies, will be joined by Massachusetts political leaders at the Greater Boston Labor Council’s Annual Labor Day Breakfast to celebrate recent campaign victories for workers across the Commonwealth, including the heavily publicized strikes at Marriott hotels, National Grid, Stop & Shop supermarkets, and the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority, among others. Strike activity is on the rise across the nation, yielding a growing number of victories for unions and their supporters, and Massachusetts is no exception.

Union approval ratings continue to climb, now at 64% according to a recent Gallup poll, one of the highest marks achieved in the last 50 years. Labor leaders point to a recognition among the general public and working families that unions are needed more than ever in an era growing wage inequality.

According to data from an MIT study, the number of U.S. workers “who don’t belong to unions but say they would join one if they could is higher than it was two decades ago.”

These findings have bolstered calls among leaders for labor law reforms that would make it easier for workers to join unions without employer retaliation.

Speakers at the breakfast will include:
Darlene Lombos, Vice President, Greater Boston Labor Council
Louis Mandarini, President, Greater Boston Labor Council
Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Bethel AME Church
Richard Rogers, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Greater Boston Labor Council
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston
Steve Tolman, President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Ed Markey, U.S. Senator
Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Congresswoman
Bill Galvin, Secretary of State
Maura Healey, Attorney General

In addition to citing victories for workers across the state in recent months, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council Rich Rogers plans to call for unity among the labor movement in the 2020 election. Moves by President Trump to weaken labor protections and to provide handouts to the ultra-wealthy will be a focal point for Rogers and other speakers.

“I believe it is incumbent upon every union leader both national and local to embrace the eventual Democratic nominee,” Rogers will say in his remarks. “We have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to educate our members to ensure the Democratic nominee receives an overwhelming vote from organized labor. Trump’s unabashed racism and sexism should be an automatic disqualifier. His tax plan put more money in the pocket of the 1% and worsened the crisis of economic inequality. His deregulatory agenda includes stacking the National Labor Relations Board against unions, turning the Department of Labor over to enemies of workers, further eroding workplace safety protections by weakening OSHA, and repealing every executive order President Obama issued to help level the playing field.”

“At this time in our history, we are up against some of the darkest and most urgent moments of our lifetimes. We must continue to build worker power so we can fight for our values like healthcare, retirement, and dignity in the workplace,” said Steve Tolman, President, Massachusetts AFL–CIO.

WHAT: Greater Boston Labor Council’s Annual Labor Day Breakfast

WHEN: Monday, September 2, 2018 (Labor Day) at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

WHO: Over 500 labor and community leaders, union members, community allies, and elected officials

About the Greater Boston Labor Council:
The Greater Boston Labor Council represents 160 unions with over 90,000 members in 24 communities in the Greater Boston area. Chartered by the National AFL-CIO, the Greater Boston Labor Council’s mission is to improve the lives of working families within the 24 communities in our jurisdiction. Our goal is to build a movement of unions and workers to advocate for working family issues in city and town halls throughout Greater Boston. The Greater Boston Labor Council also seeks to reach out to progressive allies within our communities to form coalitions to advance the cause of economic justice. Through our Committee on Political Education (COPE), the Greater Boston Labor Council is actively engaged in the political process. We endorse and campaign for candidates for municipal office who are supportive of the needs of union members and working families. We proudly serve the communities of Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lexington, Lincoln, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Needham, Newton, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, Weston, Winchester, Winthrop and Woburn. mmunity allies, and elected officials