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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Jan 18, 2013

AFSCME Supporters Protest Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Austerity Measures

Around 200 AFSCME supporters protested Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s austerity measures outside a downtown Washington, D.C., hotel today at noon.

As Nutter participated in the first day of the 79th winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, people in the block-long picket line that formed in front of the hotel chanted things like “No more cuts! Nutter’s nuts!” and “Take a hike! Corporate Mike!,” alluding to his administration’s record of reducing community health services and closing down libraries, schools and fire stations and his support for tax breaks for the wealthiest.

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Big Majority Backs Pathway to Citizenship for Immigrants

America's Voice photo

A new poll shows that the vast majority of Americans support common sense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for current undocumented immigrants. The bipartisan poll found that 73 percent favored immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for aspiring citizens and that requires immigrants to pay taxes, holds employers accountable for hiring legal workers and prevents them from exploiting immigrant labor and improves border security.

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Union Members Honor MLK Legacy Through Community Service

Photo courtesy of TWU's Twitter photos.

Union members and attendees of the AFL-CIO's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance in Philadelphia today participated in community service projects across the city. Check out these tweets and photos from the AFL-CIO and the Transport Workers (TWU):

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Hostess Workers Set the Record Straight

Mike Hummell says the men and women who made the iconic baked goods at Hostess Brands’ Lenexa, Kan., plant turned out quality products and “it was something everyone who worked there had a lot of pride in.”

That was until years of mismanagement coupled with unprecedented corporate greed bankrupted the company, stole the workers’ pensions and closed dozens of bakery plants’ doors in November. In this video, Hummell, a 14-year veteran of Hostess, and other members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 218, say they want to set the record straight.    

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U.S. Soccer Star Alex Morgan Pushes for Collective Bargaining for Players‏

Photo courtesy kkimphotography

Alex Morgan, one of the stars on the 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women's soccer team, is on the verge of professional soccer stardom for a new team in Portland, Ore., as part of the new National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).  Morgan is advocating for strong collective bargaining rights for League players

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AFT Applauds Gates Foundation Call for Effective Teacher Evaluation

Photo courtesy of Gates Foundation

AFT President Randi Weingarten expressed her support for the conclusion reached by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation study that calls for more effective evaluation of teachers. The Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) study shows teachers are the most crucial component of student success, and that current measures of teacher effectiveness fail to accurately recognize good teachers and show a pathway toward improving teacher and teaching quality.

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Bloomberg’s Stubbornness Costs NYC $450 Million in Education Aid

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg already has shown he is willing to put the safety of schoolchildren at risk in forcing a strike by the city’s school bus drivers. Now, Bloomberg has shown he is willing to throw away $450 million in state and federal education aid by breaking off talks with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) over a new evaluation system.

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Vigil for Beaten Driver Spotlights Dangers Taxi Drivers Face

In Brooklyn, N.Y., yesterday family members, taxi drivers and elected officials held a prayer vigil outside Kings County Hospital for taxi driver Key Chun Kim, 53, who remains in a coma after suffering a brutal assault by a passenger on New Year’s Day. Taxi drivers are 30 times more likely to be killed on the job than other workers, says New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.

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Advocacy Group CDM Seeks to Shed Light on a 'Lawless Space' in Temporary Worker Programs

Immigration reform is rapidly becoming a legislative priority in 2013 and policymakers have been outlining the components of a comprehensive package, including the expansion of employment-related visas like the H-2 temporary work visa programs. More than 100,000 workers are recruited from abroad for employment in the United States each year under the H-2 programs, to work in such industries as agriculture, landscaping, forestry and hospitality. Today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Centro de Los Derechos del Migrante (CDM, Center for Migrant Rights) released a new report, “Recruitment Revealed: Fundamental Flaws in the H-2 Temporary Worker Program and Recommendations for Change,” which exposes substantial defects in the program’s recruitment systems and proposes policy changes that would prevent future exploitation and abuse. The report is the result of an intensive, multisource investigative study that involved more than 220 interviews with recruited workers.

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