Last week, millions of unemployed American workers who are currently receiving Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits were notified that on Dec. 29, 2012, these benefits will end. Many of the people receiving this message are union brothers and sisters. These union members depend on these benefits to provide food and housing for their families until they can obtain a new job. They fell on hard times through no fault of their own, now they need our help in getting these benefits extended through 2013.
Office clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 63, are striking in order to protect jobs in America that pay well and help drive the economy. Employers walked out of negotiations Saturday, prompting International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) Acting General Secretary Stephen Cotton to condemn the international carriers and terminal operators.
As the approach of the so-called "Fiscal Cliff" nears, many advocates nationwide are making this message clear: Medicare benefit cuts are not an option. In a letter to the president and Congress, AARP states, "As we move forward, it is clear that older Americans want the focus of the debate to be on reducing overall health costs and not simply targeting Medicare and Medicaid for budget cuts." Just days after the election, a collective of the largest and most powerful progressive voices ran a Washington Post advertisement to the president and Congress that included, "No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security benefits or shifting costs to beneficiaries or the states," as one of five guiding principles for reducing the federal deficit. Medicare Rights Center joined 146 national organizations in support of this very same message.
For the fourth time, locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers rejected an identical contract offer from the management company. The workers are members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM).
In a time of widespread calls for education "reform" that are little more than thinly veiled attempts at privatizing schools, the AFT has a new proposal that would actually help solve some of the problems American education faces. The AFT Teacher Preparation Task Force released a report, Raising the Bar—Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession, that recommends the equivalent of a "bar" exam for teachers, similar to the tests that lawyers have to pass before they can legally practice.
Nurses and members of National Nurses United (NNU) know that if Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits are cut, people they care for every day will be hurt. This is why across the United States and in Washington, D.C., NNU is running bus ads as part of a national campaign telling Congress not to push seniors off of the so-called "fiscal cliff."
Bob Baugh is the executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and serves as chair of the federation’s Energy Task Force and as the liaison to the International Trade Union Confederation's (ITUC's) Climate Working Group. He is at the United Nations climate talks with the ITUC delegation.
The trade unions of the world have come to the Climate of the Parties (COP) 18, the 2012 U.N. climate talks in Doha, to speak out for workers’ rights and to promote a global climate agreement. The AFL-CIO and the ITUC have worked to promote a Just Transition agenda within a new climate accord that recognizes the need for good jobs, decent work and a democratic voice for workers and communities. Decent work is a recognized set of international standards that includes the right to organize, collective bargaining and for a safe and healthy work environment.
This weekend, more than 600 youth activists gathered in Kansas City, Mo., to discuss strategies and outline priorities for the United We Dream (UWD) network. UWD is the largest immigrant youth organization in the country with 47 affiliates in 25 states. The National Congress provided an opportunity for participants to celebrate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and their successful "I am a DREAM Voter" get out the vote campaign.