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Imagine working as a housekeeper for a national hotel chain. You and your colleagues, anxious for better wages and a more reasonable workload, have begun the process of forming a union.

Every year on April 28, the labor movement observes Workers Memorial Day to remember workers killed or injured on the job and to renew the fight for strong safety and health protections.

John Brady is a Registered Nurse and worked at Backus Hospital (Hartford HealthCare) in Norwich when he and his co-workers decided they needed to form a union.
When Kirt and his co-workers tried to form a union, his employer hired a union-busting firm to "educate" employees with mandatory captive audience meetings.
Liz Shuler is the first woman ever elected president of the AFL-CIO. She took over a time when the world of work has been turned upside down.
Ema Vasquez works at McDonald’s at an I-95 service plaza. She and her co-workers have been fighting against injustice in their workplace since 2019.

Ally Dube was a school bus driver employed by M & J Bus Inc. in North Stonington. When Ally and her co-workers tried to form a union, they were subjected to intense captive audience meetings where she felt “like a hostage.”

Watch Ally share her experience:

AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel is once again joined by local union leader Sherri Dayton for a relevant conversation on legislative proposals impacting healthcare professionals currently before the General Assembly. Together they co-host an episode focused on initiatives that would help achieve safe patient care and to hold health chains accountable for gutting vital services.

LABOR PRESS: You’ve been given such a huge responsibility now, with the death of your friend Rich Trumka [In August she was appointed to serve the remainder of his term.] But the entire time you’ve been involved, labor has been struggling to come back. Do you have a secret plan? What can the AFL-CIO do to rebuild the labor movement?

Jasmine Vendredi is a union organizer with AFT Connecticut. She’s helped countless workers exercise their rights and improve their working conditions by forming a union. But it’s not an easy experience. In fact, in can be traumatic for many.

Imagine being kept in a room while your employer intentionally threatens and intimidates you. If you leave, you will be fired. What can you do? The law is not on your side. You’re stuck.

"Limiting captive audience meetings can give workers back a bit of that freedom that they all deserve," said Vendredi.

This year, for Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently making women's history across the labor movement.