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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts by AFLCIO Now Editor

Taxi Workers Protest High Fees, Daily Struggles

Taxi Workers Protest High Fees, Daily Struggles

Members of the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA) protested today outside three Long Island City, N.Y., garages that lease vehicles and broker permits for taxi drivers, calling attention to their daily struggles. Led by Bhairavi Desai (shown speaking in photo) and joined by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, the Taxi Workers are calling for lower lease rates, credit card fees and permit costs.  In October, the NTWA became the most recent AFL-CIO affiliate.

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Day of Caring Means a Clean-Up in Erie

Day of Caring Means a Clean-Up in Erie

Union volunteers in Erie, Pa., pulled weeds, mulched, raked and more on the main campus of the Barber National Institute on April 21, an annual Day of Caring. The institute provides education, training, rehabilitation and residential and health care services for persons with disabilities. The grounds clean-up project there was organized by the Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council Community Services Committee.

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Report Exposes Extent of Workplace Death and Disease in Asia

Report Exposes Extent of Workplace Death and Disease in Asia

This is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center.

Asia is facing an onslaught of work-related deaths and diseases. Of the 2.2 million people who die each year all over the world as a result of work-related accidents or illness, 1.1 million are Asian. Yet the problem of workplace health and safety and its victims remain invisible, according to a new report released today in commemoration of Workers Memorial Day by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), a Solidarity Center partner.

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Why I Care About Workers Memorial Day

Why I Care About Workers Memorial Day

This is a cross-post from the Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH).

Until just a few years ago, I never gave much thought to Workers Memorial Day. Sure, I understood that safety on the job was important, but that was something other people could worry about, it didn't have much to do with me. I was more interested in struggles to make sure people were paid fairly, so that they had enough money to put food on the table; that was the more important stuff.

When I started working on the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, that all began to change.

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All Eyes and Ears on Arizona as Supreme Court Hears Arguments on S.B. 1070

All Eyes and Ears on Arizona as Supreme Court Hears Arguments on S.B. 1070

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

About 400 anti-S.B. 1070 protesters gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., this morning as the justices heard opening arguments on the legality of the controversial 2010 Arizona immigration enforcement law.

Meanwhile today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said S.B. 1070 and laws like it "are tearing families apart and destroying the hopes and dreams of children and making it hard for workers to exercise their most fundamental rights."

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Gov. Brewer Won't Appear at Senate Hearing to Defend Ariz. Immigration Law

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is refusing to appear at a Senate hearing to defend S.B. 1070, the controversial state immigration law she signed in 2010. Brewer is scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., on April 24, the day the hearing is scheduled, but will be sending former state Sen. Russell Pearce to testify in her place.

The reason Brewer won’t be at that hearing is obvious to anyone familiar with Arizona politics. Despite her national image as a tough-as-nails politician, bolstered by her recent memoir, Scorpions for Breakfast, the last thing Brewer ever wants to face is hard questions.

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Four Years Later, No Justice for Guatemala's Workers

Four years ago today, the AFL-CIO and six Guatemalan trade unions filed a complaint under the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement about suppression of workers' basic rights in Guatemala. Although the case was accepted in 2009 and advanced to the dispute resolution phase in 2011, the government of Guatemala's "continuing recalcitrance to support and defend workers’ rights to free association, collective bargaining and even the simple right to be paid for work performed is shameful, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today in a statement.

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Women Still Paid Only 77 Cents for Every Dollar a Man Gets

In 2010, women who worked full-time, year round, still only earned 77 percent of what men earned. The median earnings for women were $36,931 compared with $47,715 for men, and neither real median earnings nor the female-to-male earnings ratio have increased since 2009. And even though women are outpacing men in getting college degrees, that’s not enough to close the gender pay gap.

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Arizona: Model State for Voter Suppression

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

The past few weeks have not been kind to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). and it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of people. Rising GOP superstar and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in furious denial and damage control mode over multiple reports of the striking resemblance of bills he is pushing in his state to ALEC model legislation. A nationwide petition effort by Color of Change to persuade major corporations to drop their support of ALEC appears to be wildly successful, with companies such as Coke, Pepsi, Kraft Foods and others saying adios to the organization.

Color of Change chose ALEC's attacks on the voting rights of minorities as a main issue for its campaign because it is one of the most insidious ways that ALEC achieves its harmful goals. And my state, Arizona, has been at the forefront of ALEC's voter suppression agenda.

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Washington Jobs Bonds ‘A Great Victory’ for Workers, State

This is a cross-post from David Groves at The Stand, a project of the Washington State Labor Council.

OLYMPIA (April 11) — With strong bipartisan support, the Washington state legislature today passed the Infrastructure Jobs Bonds sought by a labor-business coalition to create some 20,000 jobs throughout the state. Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) President Jeff Johnson called it "a great victory for the working men and women of our state, especially those in the construction industry who have suffered from such high unemployment since the beginning of the recession."

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