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John Sweeney, who led an era of transformative change in America’s labor movement, passed away Feb. 1 at the age of 86.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses why America needs a strong labor movement and how the Biden administration is committed to strengthening unions.

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a strong warning to Donald Trump Friday that the nation’s workers are ready to stop any attempt by the administration to trash the U.S. constitution.

He was reacting to announcements by Trump that he considers the mail-in voting process unacceptable and that he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election. Trump has said, essentially, that only an election he wins would be one he would recognize.

Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) at a steel factory in Columbus, Ohio, had hope when the Trump administration promised to protect their jobs. Fred Silvia, president of USW Local 9309, said: “Initially, we felt the tariffs were going to help us. Unfortunately, there was still steel coming in from overseas and our business just started dropping off.” Production at the steel factory where USW members worked was indefinitely halted in June. “The tariffs were a short-term fix to a long-term problem that we still currently have today.

Given the multiple crises facing American this year, 2020 has felt like “an absolute gut punch.” But organized labor was meant for difficult times like these, and by joining together with each other to weather these crises and tackle the problems that caused them, we will win.

This election year, America faces interlocking crises—a global health crisis, economic collapse, and systemic racism. Even as we live in fear of disease and economic ruin, we have had to watch the on-camera murders of unarmed Black people by officers who have sworn to protect and serve us. So many of us have stood outside nursing homes and hospitals as our loved ones died inside, alone. In response, we are struggling with despair and asking, Dare we hope for profound change in our public life?

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Rev. William Barber, who heads the nonprofit Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People’s Campaign, joined Richard Trumka, president of the country’s largest federation of unions, at the church to announce a formal partnership to work for social, racial and economic justice. Trumka said the labor movement honors the bombing’s four young victims: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair. “But our debt to this community is greater than that,” he said.