//United Way and the Labor Movement

United Way and the Labor Movement

United Way and the labor movement go way back – a 75-year partnership that’s building stronger communities. This year, we’ve effectively renewed our vows. To celebrate, we want to take a moment before Labor Day to share a few highlights of our enduring nationwide partnership.

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Whether it’s being designated as a Model City for Community Services (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), stepping up to tackle the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, helping veterans find jobs in Broward County and Los Angeles or mentoring young people in Erie, Pennsylvania and Atlanta, union members are stepping up across the U.S. to add momentum to United Way’s community impact work.

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Here in St. Joseph County, union leaders and members of organized labor have long been fundraising partners of United Way. Some of our largest past and current annual workplace fundraising campaigns is through unions and businesses with an organized labor presence. In April of each year, United Way of St. Joseph County also collaborates with the local council of AFL-CIO to organize a Workers Memorial Day service – a program which recognizes those families and workers who have been lost to a workplace fatality, emphasizing that the fight for workplace safety is not over and is continuously evolving.

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This Labor Day, United Way of St. Joseph County calls on our community to recognize the importance of unions in our community. They have long secured strong wages to support families, fought for increased workplace safety, as well as advocated for expanded healthcare and family leave policies which we all benefit from. Apprenticeship programs continue to offer a path to job training and workforce development without the burden of college debt. Many apprenticeships also benefit from earning college credits and even a two-year degree, all while earning a living and learning a trade.

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From manufacturing, to transportation, teachers, municipal workers, linesman, as well as firefighters and public safety officers, we are surrounded by thousands of union members in our county. However, many families are still struggling to break down the barriers of institutional and generational poverty. The expense of transportation, childcare, and health issues continues to prevent some from entering or re-entering the workforce. This is why United Way of St. Joseph County calls on our partners in organized labor and member unions of the AFL-CIO to reaffirm the commitment to United Way and our collective effort to fight the root causes of poverty, lift the working poor to financial independence, and ensure a path of academic and career success for our students.

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In Solidarity,

By | 2019-08-28T21:01:49-04:00 April 5th, 2018|News/Blog|Comments Off on United Way and the Labor Movement

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