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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Jan 24, 2013

Paycheck Fairness Act Aims to Close Wage Gap

Today, women make just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man for equal work, about $434,000 over their careers. Sponsors of the reintroduced Paycheck Fairness Act, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), say the proposed bill will help close that gap. The pair has introduced the bill several times in recent years, but Republicans have been able to block action on the bill, most recently last summer with a Senate filibuster.

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Working Families Rally for Paid Sick Leave at Boston Dunkin' Donuts

Photo courtesy Massachusetts Paid Leave Coalition

Activists rallied in front of the Beacon Street Dunkin' Donuts in Boston to build support for a bill in the state legislature that would require employers to give earned sick leave hours to their employees. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Dan Wolf and state Rep. Kay Khan and would ensure that workers get one hour of sick time for each 30 hours they work, up to a maximum of at least 40 hours a year, depending on the size of the company (smaller companies have some exemptions).

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Maine Labor Mural Resonates with Visitors

Maine Labor Mural Resonates with Visitors

The Maine labor history mural that finally was returned to public display this month after Gov. Paul LePage (R) ordered it removed from the state Department of Labor in 2011 is attracting a steady stream of visitors at its new home. Go to the full story to see all 11 panels.

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Arkansas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Named New State Secretary of Labor

Ricky Belk, Secretary-Treasurer of Arkansas AFL-CIO

Arkansas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Ricky Belk was just named secretary of labor for the state of Arkansas by Gov. Mike Beebe. 

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Latinos and Nurses Helped California Union Membership Grow in 2012

While most states saw a decline in union membership in 2012, California bucked the trend as 100,000 new workers joined collective bargaining units. Pushing the growth were Latino workers and nurses, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Overall, 11.3% of America's workers are current union members, which is a smaller percentage from 2011, but in California, the number is closer to 18% and is growing. Other southwestern states, such as Nevada and Texas, are also seeing growth in union membership.

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Chicago Workers Win Tough New Wage Theft Protection

Arise Chicago photo

Chicago now has one of the nation’s strongest anti-wage theft laws after the City Council last week unanimously passed a bill that the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) affiliate Arise Chicago, immigrant workers groups and unions supported. The new ordinance could revoke business licenses for businesses found guilty of wage theft.

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Sign White House Petition Urging Action on Silica Dust Rule

About 1.7 million workers in the United States each year are exposed to silica dust and run the risk of developing silicosis, lung cancer and other debilitating diseases. Public health experts estimate that 280 workers die each year from silicosis—and thousands more develop silicosis as a result of workplace exposures.

But a proposed workplace standard on silica dust exposure from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been delayed for nearly two years as the Office of Management and Budget reviews the proposed standard.

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‘Jobless Need Not Apply’ Signs Coming Down in NYC

‘Jobless Need Not Apply’ Signs Coming Down in NYC

One of the ugliest side effects of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression is the continuing practice among many employers of refusing to consider applications of job seekers who are unemployed.  

But the New York City Council yesterday overwhelmingly (44-4) passed a bill that prohibits discrimination against the unemployed in hiring.

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