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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.

Americans should vote on Nov. 3 because our lives are literally depending on it.

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

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Geoconda Arguello Kline, the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas, about the union's reaction to the election results.

Listen to the segment on NPR.

With Joe Biden about to enter the Oval Office, the American workplace is going to look much different. The former vice president and U.S. senator has four decades of relationships with union leaders behind him, setting him up to potentially be the most labor-friendly president the U.S. has ever had. Biden, who won the endorsement of almost every major union in the country, has made labor reform a fundamental part of his program and is widely expected to name at least one union leader to his Cabinet.

Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO labor federation, told reporters on a call Thursday that his union members came out overwhelmingly in favor of Biden. The AFL-CIO conducted a poll of 1,000 members on Nov. 2 and 3 and found that they preferred Biden to Trump 58% to 37%. Trumka said that was about four points better than Hillary Clinton did in a similar poll of federation members around the 2016 election. “In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, Joe Biden’s firewall was union-made,” Trumka said. “We did not want an excuse not to go out on the doors,” D.

Trump’s OSHA sports a woefully anemic force of just 750 federal inspectors for the entire country (1,815 total when you include state inspectors)—meaning it would take an astounding 165 years for them to inspect every American workplace, an all-time high, according to a report by the AFL-CIO. That’s one safety inspector for every 79,262 workers.

Read the full article in Common Dreams.

Last December, Bob Kemper, the grievance chairman of United Steelworkers Local 1299, was summoned to a conference room at Great Lakes Works, a U.S. Steel plant just south of Detroit. A cohort of senior managers told Kemper and three other union officers that the automotive industry, which buys almost all of the plant’s steel, was cutting its car production. With reduced demand for its product, most of Great Lakes would be “indefinitely idled.” Kemper knew this meant that members were getting laid off, but the terminology was unfamiliar.

President Trump’s trade war against China didn’t achieve the central objective of reversing a U.S. decline in manufacturing, economic data show, despite tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods to discourage imports. The tariffs did succeed in reducing the trade deficit with China in 2019, but the overall U.S. trade imbalance was bigger than ever that year and has continued climbing, soaring to a record $84 billion in August as U.S. importers shifted to cheaper sources of goods from Vietnam, Mexico and other countries.

President Trump’s extraordinary directive allowing his administration to weed out career federal employees viewed as disloyal in a second term is the product of a four-year campaign by conservatives working from a ­little-known West Wing policy shop.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.