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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Nov 19, 2012

Trumka: 'Austerity Economics is Bad Policy and Politics'

This is an excerpt of The Hill's, "Austerity Economics is Bad Policy and Politics," by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Not only is austerity bad politics – even Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had to distance themselves from it – but it’s disastrous economic policy. Austerity economics is responsible for the country’s growing inequality, rising deficits and unemployment. Austerity economics means the wealthy remain unscathed while the people who rely on programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the young – will get less and pay more. And let’s not forget the impact this will have on future generations.

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The Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Loses in Possible Hostess Liquidation

Photo courtesy of Jenn Durfey

As part of its liquidation filing, Hostess is requesting approval to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to executives—the same executives who ran the company so poorly it is closing its doors and liquidating its assets.

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'Fix the Debt' Group Would Receive Huge Tax Windfalls by Cutting Social Security and Medicare

'Fix the Debt' Group Would Receive Huge Tax Windfalls by Cutting Social Security and Medicare

Fix the Debt, the unserious coalition of CEOs and corporations who are lobbying to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while increasing tax breaks for their companies to send jobs overseas, have spent nearly $1 billion in lobbying and campaign contributions during the past four years, according to a new Public Campaign study

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Protecting Precious Cargo, School Bus Drivers Turn to TWU

 

The school bus drivers and monitors in Burleson and Weatherford, Texas, take their jobs of transporting “precious cargo” seriously—especially when it comes to safety. After recently voting (see video) to join the Transport Workers (TWU), they say their voice about safety can’t be ignored any longer. Says driver Amy Lytle:

We want safe buses to transport these children in. If you’re driving a bus with a bungee-corded door, they‘re OK with that. I’m not OK with that.

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Mexican Unionists, Campesinos and Lawmakers Host TPP Seminar

Pictured from L to R: Rick Arnold from Common Frontiers, Alberto Arroyo from RMALC , Celeste Drake, Isidro Pedraza Chávez, Senator PRD party, Melinda St. Louis of Public Citizen. Second row: Alejandro Villamar of RMALC

Celeste Drake, trade policy specialist for the AFL-CIO, sends us this. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, in Mexico City, Mexico, the PRD group of the Mexican Senate, along with the Mexican labor federation UNT and the campesino federation CONORP, hosted a one-day summit looking at the social and economic impacts of theTrans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP or Trans-Pacific FTA). The summit was held at the same time as delegations from the 11 TPP countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States) were meeting elsewhere in Mexico to negotiate the agreement. 

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Working Families Refused to Be Silenced in the 2012 Election Despite Outside Spending

Working Families  Refused to be Silenced in the 2012 Election Despite Outside Spending

Election Day is behind us now (someone please tell Rep. Allen West [R-Fla.]), and there’s plenty to be happy about. Nov. 6, 2012, brought a wave of victories for working families and the defeat of some seriously scary candidates backed by billionaires and their deep pockets.

America's workers refused to let their voices be silenced by the nearly $1.5 billion in independent spending that poured into the election and nearly every candidate backed by Karl Rove’s Crossroads conglomerate lost. It’s tempting in this atmosphere to say that Citizens United didn’t matter after all, and that unlimited spending isn’t a problem in U.S. politics.  But let’s not jump to premature conclusions on the basis of a single election. Karl Rove isn’t going anywhere, and there’s no guarantee the GOP and its billionaires will make the same stupid missteps next time around.

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Postal Service Sets Productivity Records, Still Faces Deficit Because of Congressional Requirement

Photo courtesy Wisconsin AFL-CIO

A new annual report from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) showed increased worker productivity and a declining operational deficit, despite a larger amount of money lost by the organization based on a unique congressional requirement that USPS prefund retirement benefits for decades into the future. No other agency or private company in the country faces such a requirement. Congress passed the provision in 2006 and could repeal it at any time, solving most of the deficit problems the service faces.

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