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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Nov 26, 2012

Unions Mark 'No to Violence Against Women' Day

Unions Mark No to Violence Against Women Day

This is an excerpt from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's "Unions Mark No to Violence Against Women Day."

At a Turkish-owned textile plant in the Democratic Republic of Georgia a few years ago, female employers were repeatedly forced to remain on the job without pay for hours a day. When they ultimately demanded to be released, the factory manager responded by yelling and throwing a heavy load of unfinished dresses at one woman. The blow knocked her unconscious. The factory manager returned to Turkey to avoid prosecution—but likely would not have faced charges even if he had stayed, says Bob Fielding, Solidarity Center country program director in Georgia, who described the incident.

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Walmart Strikes and Protests Hit 100 U.S. Cities

Photo courtesy of OUR Walmart's Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ourwalmart/

Across the United States in 100 cities, Walmart employees, union members and supporters came together to speak out against the largest employer in the world on Black Friday. More than 1,000 protests were held by Walmart workers and community activists who spoke out about poor working conditions, low wages, irregular hours and more. This year, many large retail chains began Black Friday sales on Thursday evening, forcing workers to miss out on the Thanksgiving holiday with their friends and families.

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Pro-Worker Musical 'NEWSIES' Seizes the Day with an AEA Outstanding Broadway Chorus Award

It's only fitting the musical version of the story of the 1899 Newsboys Strike in New York City would garner the Actors' Equity (AEA) Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA) Sixth Annual ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. The Broadway musical lifts up the true events of newsboys (a.k.a. "newsies") who organized together in a successful two-week strike against newspaper giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst for better wages. 

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Henry Greenspan: 'I'm a Union Man'

Photo courtesy of the Central New York Area Labor Federation

Ann Arbor, Mich., resident Henry Greenspan explained in a recent letter to the editor in the Lansing State Journal that state legislators trying to enact a "right to work" for less law are not looking out for the best interests of working families. 

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Bernstein: Inequality and Budget Deficits—Why Is Only the Latter an Emergency?

Source: Piketty and Saez, 2012, link in the blog.

"Inequality and Budget Deficits: Why Is Only the Latter an Emergency?" is a cross-post from Jared Bernstein's On the Economy blog. 

I just read two sweeping reports on the state of income inequality in the U.S. (the second link focuses on state-level inequality) and other advanced economies.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so ensconced in fiscal cliff discussions, but I was struck by how much more alarmed policymakers are by the budget deficit than by the inequality situation. There are reasons for that tilt—some good, some bad—but based on magnitudes of the problem, it’s far from clear that our current sole policy focus is warranted.

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Shoppers, Walmart Strikers Find Common Bonds in Paducah

Photo by Berry Craig

Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this follow-up to his Nov. 21 story 

The manager at the Southside Walmart in Paducah, Ky., might have figured he’d quashed the protest at his store. After all, he made James Vetato and three other OUR Walmart picketers leave from near the front door.

The quartet retreated but regrouped at the entrance road to the busy shopping center the Walmart store anchors.

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