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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. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

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

The path to the presidency runs through the labor movement.

Something funny happened on the way to the labor movement’s funeral.

The longest government shutdown in American history is over for now. On Friday afternoon, Donald Trump announced a deal to reopen government for the next three weeks. The short-term appropriations measure notably includes no funding for his beloved border wall — or steel slat fence, or smart wall, or whatever else he decides to call it in the future.

When women and our allies unite, we build power. That’s true in mass marches and on the job.

“I never realized how strongly unionizing and feminism go together,” registered nurse (RN) Suzanne Levitch, 33, of Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, tells Teen Vogue. “There’s not really another way for workers, especially women workers, to be treated fairly.”

The nation’s airlines are blaming the partial federal government shutdown for putting another dark cloud in their path, with few federal workers and contractors taking to the skies and stalled federal agency approvals causing delays in expansion plans, including Southwest Airlines’ much-anticipated service to Hawaii.

The focus of General Motors’ November announcement shutting down plants in Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck and Warren, Michigan; and Baltimore, Maryland shouldn’t be about money. It should be about people.

UAW GM members are dedicated and committed to making a great product, supporting the success of a company, and supporting a solid, prosperous community.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it's playing out. UAW GM members are facing the disruption of their families.

Most media outlets continue to portray the federal “shutdown” as a political fight between a president who once said he would be proud to provoke a standoff and congressional leaders who have called the bully’s bluff. And it is that. But the story of President Trump facing off against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just scrapes the surface of what is really going on.

Teachers overwhelmingly approved a new contract Tuesday and planned to return to the classroom after a six-day strike over funding and staffing in the nation’s second-largest school district.

Although all votes hadn’t been counted, preliminary figures showed that a “vast supermajority” of some 30,000 educators voted in favor of the tentative deal, “therefore ending the strike and heading back to schools tomorrow,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Eight hundred thousand workers. That is the number of government employees and contractors impacted by President Trump’s shutdown of the federal government. The average take home pay of impacted workers is around $500 per week, and any financial uncertainty is sure to cause stress and anxiety over how to make ends meet. Each day of this manufactured crisis, working families lose money for housing, healthcare and groceries — the essentials we need to get by.