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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Dec 18, 2012

Snyder Set to Veto Bill Allowing Concealed Weapons in School

UPDATE: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) did veto the bill to allow concealed weapons in schools and other public venues. State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) said, “I am thankful that common sense has prevailed and that Gov. Snyder has vetoed this terribly misguided legislation.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder today will veto a just-passed bill that allows licensed concealed weapons permit holders to carry their weapons into current “gun-free zones” such as schools, churches, arenas, hospitals and other specified locations.

In a letter to Snyder following the Connecticut school shooting where 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, AFT President Randi Weingarten and Michigan AFT President David Hecker wrote Snyder and urged him to veto the legislation.

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Cohen: We Need Senate Rules Reform

Illustration by DonkeyHotey/Flickr

This post originally appeared at The Huffington Post.

For several years now, the Communications Workers of America has been working with Fix the Senate Now, a broad coalition of democracy, community, women, faith-based and civil rights groups that are fed up with a Senate that functions more like Cicero's Senate of ancient Rome than a 21st century democracy. Despite being considered the world's model deliberative body, in reality it's a place where little gets done because of the abuse of the Senate rules. This isn't news.

Pick up the phone right now and urge your Senator to support Senate Rules Reform. Call 1-888-966-9836 or text RULESREFORM to 69866. 

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Chained CPI: The Younger You Are, the Bigger the Cut

Photo from a lame-duck Social Security rally in Wisconsin.

One of the proposals floated for months in the fiscal bluff debate in Washington, D.C., is a change to the formula used to measure inflation for Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) called the "chained" CPI. Let's be clear: This is a benefit cut. These COLAs make sure seniors' income keeps pace with the rising costs of housing and food. The "chained" CPI would cut future Social Security benefits by as much as $2,432 for someone who is 17 years old today. Studies from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) show that not only is the "chained" CPI a benefit cut, it eventually will lead to higher taxes for most working people.

Young people around the country have been speaking out on the fiscal showdown. Check out this roundup of blog posts and see what it means to them.

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Trumka: 'Republicans Are Once Again Demanding Benefit Cuts to Pay for Tax Cuts'

"Republicans are once again demanding benefit cuts to pay for tax cuts, and threatening to harm the economy unless they get their way," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a statement today

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Trumka: Hawaii’s Inouye ‘Exemplified America’s Values’

Photo courtesy of Sen. Inouye's office.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii), 88, who served the Aloha State in Congress for more than 50 years, died Monday in Bethesda, Md. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Inouye “was the person every American aspires to be.”

His courage under fire, visionary leadership and love for his country and his constituents are an inspiration for everyone. From a war hero to a United States senator, Sen. Inouye exemplified America’s values. He fought valiantly, broke down barriers and was a fierce advocate for what is right and good. Our nation lost an American hero yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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Capitol Hill Action Fights Calls to Cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Photo by Ianthe Metzger

Amid reports that negotiations over the so-called “fiscal cliff” include possible cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other vital lifelines that families count on, worker activists are rallying on Capitol Hill today. They are calling on Congress to fight back against cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and to insist that lawmakers ensure the nation’s wealthiest pay their fair share in taxes.

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AFL-CIO: We Stand in Solidarity with Migrant Workers

Photo courtesy of Favianna Rodriguez.

The first edition of “We Stand in Solidarity with Migrant Workers” appeared on the AFL-CIO Now blog in 2010.  

Dec. 18 is International Day of Solidarity with Migrants and marks the date the United Nations adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

To commemorate this day, we have compiled personal stories of the immigrant experience at the AFL-CIO. As you’ll see, our colleagues’ collective experiences are a tapestry of the immigrant experience. Our co-workers have come to the United States from around the world for a variety of reasons—to escape war and repression, to work, to feed their families back home, to study and to marry.

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Michigan’s Lame Duck Hatches New ‘Financial Martial Law'

Faced with a shrinking margin for the 2013 legislative session, Michigan Republicans not only majority-muscled through a “right to work” for less bill in its lame-duck session that stood little chance of passage next year, but several other last-minute controversial measures as well.

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Right to Work Laws are Killing the American Dream

This is an excerpt of The Huffington Post column "Right-to-Work Laws are Killing the American Dream," by Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen. 

The campaign to make Michigan a so-called "right to work" state is not really about individuals paying union dues. It's all about the 1 percent limiting the ability of working people to work together for a real voice on the job and better wages and conditions.

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Young and Old Agree: Don't Cut Social Security

Social Security survivor benefits make it possible for children to live at home instead of being sent to an orphanage when a parent dies. Social Security old age benefits ensure you can retire with dignity. If you become disabled or injured on the job, Social Security disability benefits will help keep you afloat. 

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