Tariffs Are Good for Workers

From the AFL-CIO

Working people have seen two camps inside the White House: one for Wall Street and corporate CEOs and one for workers. The plans announced by President Trump to crack down on predatory trade practices show the rise of the worker camp.

The plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum is long overdue and good for America because we need new economic rules that allow working families and our communities to thrive.

Wall Street CEOs and multinational corporations say the tariffs will start a trade war, but the truth is Wall Street has been waging a war on working people for decades.

The results have been devastating. As America has lost our industrial capacity with each shuttered plant and closed production line, workers lose jobs and communities lose a tax base and an economic cornerstone.

64,000: That’s how many good-paying jobs in America’s steel industry have been lost since 2000 because of predatory steel practices by our nation’s trading partners, which also has resulted in the loss of nearly one-quarter of America’s steel-making capacity.

Working people who still have jobs often face lower pay and worse benefits, while local roads, parks, libraries and schools face cuts from lost funding.

Trade enforcement isn’t a trade war. It’s a smart way to ensure a fair economy that protects our freedoms and allows us to join together and negotiate with our employers for a better life, no matter what country we live in or what industry we work in.

The steel and aluminum tariffs announced by President Donald Trump are good for working people because they punish the predatory practices of countries that use lax trade rules to hurt American companies and working people.

“This is a great first step toward addressing trade cheating, and we will continue to work with the administration on rewriting trade rules to benefit working people,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.


Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work