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Showing blog posts published on Nov 8, 2012

OSHA Fines American Crystal Sugar for Dangerous Build Up of Combustible Sugar Dust

Imperial Sugar plant where 14 workers were killed in a sugar dust explosion in 2008. U.S. Chemical Safety Board photo.

In October, American Crystal Sugar Co.—which has locked out its highly trained 1,300 member workforce since August 2011—has been assessed nearly $50,000 in fines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for widespread, “high gravity” and “serious” safety violations, including accumulation of combustible dust and failure to lock out equipment during maintenance and repair.

High levels of dangerous and combustible sugar dust was cited in the 2008 Imperial Sugar explosion that killed 14 workers at its Port Wentworth, Ga., refinery.  

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Trumka: An Election Message for the Lame Duck Congress: Fair Taxes, No Cuts

This is an excerpt from "An Election Message for the Lame Duck Congress: Fair Taxes, No Cuts," by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

After a hard-fought and divisive election year, it's time to rebuild America's middle class—but to do it we need to make sure the lessons from this campaign stick.

Four years ago, the leadership of the Republican Party made a cynical political gamble—and this year they lost because they bet against Ame

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Organizing Victories in Portland Energize Oregon's Working Families

Organizing victory for cab drivers in Portland, Ore.

While Oregonians exercised power at the polls in the 2012 elections Tuesday, workers in Portland also were gearing up for another election that would give them a powerful voice on the job.

After electoral wins across the state and three successful organizing drives in the past three months, full-time, part-time and extra board paratransit drivers and dispatchers with First Transit Region 3 voted Wednesday to form their own union with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757. By an overwhelming margin, 160 employees voted to form the union in the election yesterday, which was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Health Care Matters!

It certainly does, in a variety of different ways. Health care matters from the perspective of affordability, can each and every American afford health care? Health care matters from the perspective of access, does everyone have adequate access to meet their needs? Health care matters from a quality perspective, does every person receive the same quality of health care throughout their lifetime?

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Iowa City Union Members Back American Crystal Sugar Products Boycott

On a recent evening, members of unions from the Iowa City Federation of Labor and other activists urged customers at the Target store in Coral Ridge Mall to boycott American Crystal Sugar products and support the workers who have been locked out since Aug. 1, 2011. See more in this video.

 

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Working Families Say Lame Duck Can’t Bargain Away Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Ohio AFL-CIO photo

Thursday morning outside Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) Cincinnati office (see photo), a young single mother and her son, Vincent, who has severe disabilities, talked about the vital role Medicaid plays in their lives and how devastating any cuts to that health care lifeline would be.

The action was just one of more than 100 last week by working family activists urging Congress not to agree to a so-called “grand bargain” of deficit reduction in the upcoming lame-duck session that includes Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefit cuts.

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Simpson-Bowles 'Grand Bargain' Candidates Lose on Tuesday

Bob Kerrey photo courtesy of Esther Dyson

The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., and in much of the media, is that because of the deficit and debt, we need to make cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A bipartisan commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles has promoted a plan that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and lower corporate taxes for the wealthy. Bowles and Simpson have been promoting their plan heavily and took to endorsing candidates who they believed would support their plan. 

Voters on Tuesday rejected all of the candidates that both Bowles and Simpson endorsed...

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The Headlines Say It All: Unions Power Working Family Victories on Tuesday

After Tuesday's historic election victories for President Obama and many pro-working family candidates, newspaper headlines give credit where credit is due.

Here's a roundup of some headlines highlighting how labor got out the vote:

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With Events Across the Country, Working Families Turn from Election to Protecting the Social Safety Net

With Events Across the Country, Working Families Turn from Election to Protecting the Social Safety Net

While working families are resting after an exhausting election cycle, working people and union members are continuing to mobilize. Before the end of the year, Congress will meet in a "lame-duck" session and tackle numerous issues that could have powerful effects on the lives of middle-class Americans.

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