AFL-CIO plans ‘Labor in the Pulpit’ program Labor Day weekend

This year’s Labor Day weekend, September 2-5, provides a unique opportunity for state federations, central and area Labor councils to reach out to faith congregations in our communities by organizing a Labor in the Pulpit program.

“Labor Day is not only a time to celebrate and honor the contributions of working people, but also an opportunity to connect our struggle for dignity, economic, social and racial justice and collective voice on the job to the fundamental values of all faith traditions,” AFL-CIO President Elizabeth Shuler said.

The Labor in the Pulpit program places union leaders as guest speakers in Christian faith congregations so that they can speak about the common bond that Labor shares with the faith community in short, five-minute presentations.

The Labor on the Bimah program places union speakers in synagogues (Jewish community) and the Labor in the Minbar program places union speakers in mosques/masjids (Muslim community). As the AFL-CIO is an inclusive organization, we want to be welcoming to diverse faith traditions in our local communities.

Many state federations, area and central Labor Councils have participated in the Labor in the Pulpit program in the past and some have ongoing programs each year.

“This year we are asking all state federations, area and central Labor Councils to participate in the Labor in the Pulpit program as part of our outreach program to the faith community to develop on-going relationships for the long term,” Shuler said.

Visit the AFL-CIO website at to get Labor in the Pulpit, on the Bimah and in the Minbar materials you can use with local congregations. The materials include an outline for speaker presentations and a sample letter to recruit congregations to participate in the program. Now is the time to begin compiling a list of faith leaders and congregations that you would contact about the Labor in the Pulpit program and invite them to participate.

For more information or assistance, contact Religion-Labor Coordinator Michael Szpak in the Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department at 202-637-5285 or mszpak@afl-cio.


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