SAG-AFTRA Podcast With AFL-CIO President Looks To Future Of Labor Movement – Deadline

SAG-AFTRA is celebrating the upcoming Labor Day weekend with a podcast that includes Liz Shuler, president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO, which represents 57 affiliated unions, together with SAG-AFTRA, and staff in each ZIP code within the nation.

According to Shuler, the way forward for organized labor is brilliant.

“We are stronger together,” Shuler mentioned on the podcast. “By being an affiliate union of the AFL-CIO, it brings the complete breadth and scope and energy of 12.5 million working folks to one another’s fights. And SAG-AFTRA is on the entrance traces of a lot. Lots of people suppose, ‘Oh, well, SAG-AFTRA, are they really workers?’ Well, after all, since you work in an business like Hollywood, or you might be somebody in broadcast, you completely have the identical points that working folks in different professions have: security and well being considerations, discrimination and harassment considerations, and ensuring you’re being paid equitably on your work.

“So, what that means is we get to bring the voices and solidarity of more people together to support each other in those fights. And I think of the work that you (SAG-AFTRA) did during the pandemic, for example, being on the front lines of creating safety standards that the rest of us could learn from. So that’s just one small example of what we do to help each other. And it’s a great example of how we show up for each other.”

You can hear the podcast, co-hosted by SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Ben Whitehair, here.

“And I think in every industry, where there’s workers and management,” Crabtree-Ireland mentioned, “there’s always a need to balance out the power of management. And I don’t think anyone’s ever found a better or more effective way to do that than by workers acting collectively. And our members are workers, for sure. Anyone who’s been to a film or television set, or a broadcast newsroom or to a recording studio, definitely knows that.”

Stressing the interconnectedness of unionized staff, Shuler pointed to representatives of the labor motion becoming a member of the picket traces throughout SAG-AFTRA’s 10-month strike towards the Bartle Bogle Hegarty promoting company in 2018-2019, and to SAG-AFTRA members displaying up final year to lend help to hanging ice cream cake staff in New Mexico who had been asking for a dollar-an-hour pay increase. That, she mentioned, “is a great example of how we are more powerful together.”

Reflecting on the historic good points labor unions have achieved for union and nonunion staff alike – such because the five-day workweek, paid holidays and baby labor legal guidelines – Whitehair famous that the AFL-CIO and SAG-AFTRA are uniquely poised to deal with the challenges that staff face sooner or later. One method they try this, he famous, is thru their annual Labor Innovation & Technology Summit, which is a joint partnership between SAG-AFTRA and the AFL-CIO, which he mentioned are “continuing to look to the future.”

“I know you’ve been quite active within SAG-AFTRA on these issues,” Shuler mentioned. “And I do know you’ve got a committee inside your union that’s actually taking this on, ft first, as they are saying, and leaping in as a result of technology has impacted your business most likely greater than any business. If you consider the evolution and the place we’re headed from right here, it has been an incredible alternative for we within the labor motion to accomplice with SAG-AFTRA on this Labor Innovation & Technology Summit as a result of we will get entry to the most effective pondering, the cutting-edge methods, on the right way to sort out technology in order that it’s working for working folks. What are the guardrails we should be putting in in our contracts and to have the ability to share that with the remainder of the labor motion?

“So that’s what this is about as a collaboration. It’s a partnership for building for the future because we know that highly skilled union workers are what our economy needs as technology is disrupting our workplaces and the ground keeps kind of shifting underneath our feet. But we’ve been there before. The labor movement has been constantly evolving and changing as technology has changed over the last a hundred years, frankly. And so, the trick here is that as new jobs emerge, we want to make sure the labor movement is the center of gravity for helping workers navigate that change, to help them upskill and find that pipeline to the next opportunity and make sure that those jobs that are emerging are good paying union jobs. So, we’ll look forward to working with you on the next Summit. And I know we also partner around the Consumer Electronics Show, which gives us a window into what the next innovations are going to be and how we can make them work for working people.”

“It’s been so fun to do that with the AFL-CIO,” Crabtree-Ireland mentioned. “And speaking for SAG-AFTRA, we certainly have learned a lot and seen things coming down the road by virtue of that type of investment in looking to the future. And so, it’s been a really tremendous partnership, and I’ve observed some of the other unions who’ve been present when we’ve done those programs have really taken a lot away from that experience as well.”

Shuler additionally famous that the AFL-CIO has a Technology Institute to develop experience on the way forward for work and the way finest to carry the labor motion collectively in coping with rising applied sciences. “So, we’re trying to leverage the power of labor to really shape technology and innovation for working people,” she informed the SAG-AFTRA leaders. “I don’t have to let you know how the pandemic really has accelerated the usage of applied sciences at work. And we’re seeing every kind of stories on how staff are being surveilled. And I even realized about this new technology referred to as a ‘mouse jiggler,’ which for people who find themselves working at dwelling and are being monitored each 10 minutes by their employers primarily based on their keystrokes and the way they use their computer systems.

“And so, we need to be leading the charge on how to have a voice at the table; how to include a worker perspective when we’re building out these new regimes of how we’re gonna be working in new and different ways. And so we think that organized labor has to be at the center of these transformations to make sure that we have a role in shaping that future, because we really are the only force in the country, if you think about it, that has enough power to make sure that working people can shape that future and shape it together for our union members, but also for the rest of working America.”

Pointing to a brand new Gallup ballot that discovered that 71% of the American public help unions, Shuler famous that that determine is the best since 1965, and up from 68% final year. “So, the trend is going nowhere but up because workers are waking up to their power,” she mentioned. “And they’re saying, ‘We’ve labored via this pandemic. We bought our nation via it. We typically had been on the entrance traces as important staff. We had been referred to as important in the future and handled as expendable the subsequent. Companies are actually making billions of {dollars} popping out of this pandemic. It could be higher. Like we have to cease and intestine test ourselves. Like we’re not gonna simply sit again and take it anymore. We have the ability to stand up and demand higher.’

“And so that’s where all this organizing is coming in that we’re seeing all across the country. Workers are finding their voice. They’re standing up. They’re taking risks. They’re going on strike. They’re leading walkouts and picket lines. And you know, also ‘quiet quitting,’ as we’ve read in the newspapers. So, I think it’s a moment in time. It’s an inflection point for the labor movement. How do we harness the energy and the momentum, and all of these positive feelings people have about unions into actual union growth?”

“The stars appear to be aligned,” she mentioned. “And if we don’t make the most of this second, then I don’t know after we will. We have a pro-union administration within the White House, probably the most pro-union president in our lifetimes. We have the general public with us – 71% approve of unions. And we now have working people who find themselves rising up and able to take dangers.

“And in order that’s what offers me nice hope, nice pleasure, to be main on this second and being there with you alongside you and your members to indicate that the labor motion is extra related and vibrant and daring and trendy and inclusive as ever. And our doorways are open broad. We’re actually the one establishment left that may carry folks collectively to make the change that staff want on this economic system. Because as you recognize, it’s not working for all working folks. If we’re gonna shut that inequality hole, if we’re gonna struggle for equal pay for girls, and struggle towards discrimination and harassment, and for civil and human rights, then we now have to do it with a strong, highly effective motion of working folks.

“And that’s what we think the AFL-CIO and our unions will be for the future and the next generation, and as the future of work evolves. So, this is a very exciting time to be in the labor movement.”

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