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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Nov 20, 2012

L.A. Union Members Walk for Homeless Heroes

These L.A. union members who staffed the Homeless Heroes team sign-up booth at Homewalk 2012, are just part of the 500-plus strong union turnout. Los Angeles County Labor Federation photo

More than 10,000 Angelenos, including members of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s “Team Homeless Heroes,” took part in the United Way’s 2012 HomeWalk 5K Run/Walk Nov. 17 to raise funds to combat homelessness in the Los Angeles area. The more than 500 members of Team Homeless Heroes are from Los Angeles unions and the team is organized by the L.A. Fed’s AFL-CIO Community Services/United Way partnership. It focuses on the men and women who served our country and who are now facing homelessness. 

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AARP Members Oppose Cuts to Medicare/Medicaid

A powerful ally has joined in the fight to protect Medicare and Medicaid benefits. AARP President A. Barry Rand wrote a strongly worded letter to President Obama and Congress, stating that the organization's membership overwhelmingly opposes benefit cuts to Medicare or Medicaid as part of any deal to lower the deficit by the end of the year. A survey of members of the AARP shows that more than 70% of members said they want Washington to focus on improving and strengthening health care for seniors. They also are opposed to any changes to the programs that would weaken benefits for seniors who live on limited, fixed incomes. 

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Arizona Secretary of State Reverses Position, Calling for Overhaul of Election Process

Photo courtesy of Adios Arpaio's Facebook page.

UNITE HERE sends us this report from Arizona. 

After more than a week of protests that brought national attention to what Rachel Maddow called “Arizona’s Broken Electoral System,” Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett told the Associated Press over the weekend that he will seek an overhaul of Arizona’s ballot-counting process.

Bennett’s announcement comes just days after his initial insistence that, while not perfect, Arizona’s counting this year was customary and that protests were unnecessary.

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In-State Tuition to DREAMers with Work Permits Now an Option in Massachusetts

Think Progress reports DREAMers with work permits in Massachusetts will now be eligible for in-state tuition in state schools. 

DREAMers are aspiring citizens who're eligible for work permits under President Obama's deferred action program.

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It’s a Safe Turkey This Year, but Next Year?

It’s a Safe Turkey This Year, but Next Year?

Take a good look at that Thanksgiving turkey you pull from the oven, smoker or deep fryer Thursday. If a proposed new rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is approved, it may be the last Thanksgiving bird you’ll be sure is free of—if you’re squeamish skip to the next paragraph—tumors, feces, scabs, salmonella and other defects.

The proposed rule would not only allow plant management to increase the speed of poultry processing lines by five times the current limit, it could eliminate the jobs of more than 800 trained federal food safety inspectors and turn many inspection duties over to plant employees.

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American’s Agents Set to Vote, Airline to Ask Supreme Court to Block

American’s Agents Set to Vote, Airline to Ask Supreme Court to Block

Since the nearly 10,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines said in 2011 they wanted to vote on joining the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the airline has battled every step of the way. Now it says it is going to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the workers’ right to vote.

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Eskow: 'Wall Street Finds a 'Third Way' to Plunder Our Wealth'

Eskow: 'Wall Street Finds a 'Third Way' to Plunder Our Wealth'

This is an excerpt of "Wall Street Finds a 'Third Way' to Plunder Our Wealth," by Richard (RJ) Eskow. 

Gotta hand it to 'em: Those Wall Street guys are smart. They've already found two ways to plunder the nation's wealth for their own enrichment, and now they're working on a third.

The first way? Identify and finance a wave of Democratic politicians who would join with Republicans in deregulating Wall Street. The second? Employ the same so-called 'centrist' Democrats, along with their Republican cohorts, to bail them out after they crashed the economy. That bailout continues, and the assurance of protection from being prosecuted for their criminal misdeeds.

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Still a Long Way to Go for Labor Rights in Colombia

A Colombian worker loading palm fruit—palm plantations are notorious for their use of cooperatives to avoid direct employment relationships, despite being fined by the Ministry of Labor.

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

It’s been more than seven months since the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (Columbia FTA) went into effect, and many U.S. workers are wondering exactly how the agreement is benefiting workers in either country. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. For America’s workers, the U.S. trade deficit with Colombia is on track to exceed last year’s deficit—never good news for job creation or wage growth. Meanwhile, Colombian workers still face momentous obstacles when trying to exercise even the most basic of workplace rights, including the right to organize unions and act collectively for better working conditions. 

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Unionmade Isn’t

Unionmade Isn’t

If there were fact checkers for corporate advertising, this would get four Pinocchios. Unionmade clothes aren’t. Unionmade is the San Francisco clothing company where those with way too much money and far too little common sense can spend $565 for a pair of “vintage” Levi Jeans or a $258 “work shirt.”

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Avoid Post-Holiday Spender's Remorse

Union Plus: Avoid Post-Holiday Spender's Remorse

"Avoid Post-Holiday Spender's Remorse" is a cross-post from Union Plus

Opening gifts each December is a ton of fun. Opening the resulting bills in January is not. Yet every holiday season millions of consumers use their credit cards to finance gifts they don’t have the cash to pay for. Consider the following before you start shopping this holiday season.

There are only two legal ways out of debt – cutting expenses or increasing your income. Decide which works for you and commit to it before you start shopping.

Prioritize.  What’s more important?  Paying your mortgage and buying food or giving gifts you can’t afford?  Consider shortening your gift list or giving smaller gifts to adults.  In times like these, friends and family understand.

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