AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference to begin

The 2022 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human

Photo: Mark Popovich/Flickr

The 2022 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference will begin virtually today.

AFL-CIO is the US’ largest federation of labor unions, and the annual conference focuses on the battle for economic and racial justice by and within the labor movement. This year’s conference will explore how unions can build a progressive labor movement that reflects America’s modern workforce.

The stresses placed on the economy by the COVID-19 pandemic upended the traditional labor market. Instead of high unemployment, America now combats labor shortages due to labor force participation still not returning to pre-pandemic levels. Further, increased hazards faced by workers during the pandemic have led many to demand better working conditions, causing a rise in strikes. This week, America’s largest freight rail union announced an intended strike over attendance policies.

At the conference, expect AFL-CIO to encourage unions to protect their future by leveraging the pandemic for greater protections. The pandemic’s challenges spurred successful labor organizing across the country. Expect increased strike activity, especially by food and supply chain delivery workers. While the strikes likely will be successful, expect them to exacerbate existing supply chain delays.

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