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Showing blog posts published on Jan 15, 2013

Walmart's Job Offer to Vets Needs Context

Photo courtesy of

The wrong way to greet our military veterans as they return to civilian life after defending the nation would be offering an $8.81 an hour part-time job with little to no benefits.

Walmart CEO Bill Simon said this morning at the National Retail Federation conference that starting Memorial Day, Walmart would offer honorably discharged veterans jobs. Simon pledges to hire 100,000 vets over the next five years. Right now, it's unclear if these Walmart jobs would be full-time or offer adequate benefits. 

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Walmart CEO Announces There Will Be More Transparency in Worker Scheduling

Walmart employees who are part of the OUR Walmart group organizing for change and workers' rights at the massive chain announced on their Facebook page that Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart, said at the National Retail Federation conference this morning that Walmart will begin to have more transparency in its scheduling system "so part-time workers can choose more hours for themselves." 

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3.5 Million Jobs at Stake if Infrastructure Continues to Crumble

Transportation Trades Dept. photo.

What would it cost if the nation’s crumbling infrastructure of bridges, roads, rails, sewer systems, power grids, airports and more is allowed to deteriorate at its current pace? Some 3.5 million jobs and $3.1 trillion in lost economic output by 2020. What would it cost to avoid that? About $1.1 trillion in additional investment.

Sure sounds like a great return on the investment and it is, according to a new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The study, Failure to Act, finds that:

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Number of Working Poor Climbs, So Does Income Inequality

The jobless rate is dropping and the economy has been adding jobs every month for nearly three years. But far too many of those are low-income jobs that don’t pay enough to meet a family’s basic needs, according to a new report that finds that working poor families in the United States now account for 32% of all working families, up from 28% in 2007, the year the recession began.  

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El Salvador Airline Servicer Fires 96 Workers for Forming a Union

Workers at AERODESPACHOS in El Salvador sought better job safety--and 96 were fired. Photo: CEAL

The promotional website for AERODESPACHOS in El Salvador features workers loading airplanes, transporting baggage and servicing engines. Yet while the airline ground services company wants to showcase its workforce, it is unwilling to provide safe working conditions and decent wages, its employees say. And when the ground servicing crew sought to address safety and health issues by forming a union, AERODESPACHOS fired 96 employees—nearly its entire staff—to reduce the number of workers seeking to join a union and so legally disqualify their efforts.

Tell the El Salvadoran government to end its contract with AERODESPACHOS and work to reinstate the employees.

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Illinois Gov. Quinn Continues His War on Public Service Workers

AFSCME photo

Anders Lindall, AFSCME Council 31’s public affairs director, and Clyde Weiss, AFSCME assistant editor, send us this report.  

The rights of public service workers seem to be of no consequence to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). He’s prepared to sign a bill that allows him to deny collective bargaining rights to 3,580 state employees of his choosing, including up to 1,900 who currently have union representation. The legislation also allows the state’s other constitutional officers broad latitude to take away bargaining rights from their employees.

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Supreme Court Upholds Restriction on RNC Program that Supresses the Vote in Communities of Color

Photo from a voter registration event in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift 30-year restrictions on a Republican National Committee (RNC) program that intimidates voters in communities of color. The Supreme Court did not comment on this decision. 

The restriction came about after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) sued the RNC for enlisting off-duty sheriffs and police officers to patrol polling places in minority precincts in New Jersey during a 1981 gubernatorial election. The next year, the RNC agreed not to carry out some programs it claimed were designed to combat voter fraud and to have the other reviewed by a federal court.

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AFT Helps Put Books in Homes

Children who grow up in homes with books, research shows, have much higher reading scores and go farther in the education system than others. But many children can’t get books at home because their families just don’t have the money or have other problems. The AFT partners with First Book to help reduce the achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students. First Book has distributed more than 90 million new books to children across the United States, many of whom could not afford them.

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