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AFL-CIO Now

To Vote or to Use the Restroom Should Not Be the Question: Winners and Losers of the Week

Hunger strikers praying for the release of their loved ones ansd to stop deportations. Photo via Twitter

In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the people or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whomever or whatever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Monday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Monday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working family’s news we're reading today (after the jump).

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When You Hear Someone Say Americans Are Lazy, Smack Them with a Printout of This Right Here

When it comes to laws mandating paid time off, we lag behind much of the industrialized world, especially for maternity leave and vacation time. Why is that, do you think?

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6 Reasons Why Unions Are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity

6 Reasons Why Unions Are Essential to Creating Broadly Based Prosperity

At the end of March, the Roosevelt Institute launched a new project, the Future of Work, which takes a look at the changing landscape in the area of workers’ rights and representation in the political and economic system that affects their lives. Author Richard Kirsch does a great job of explaining that landscape and discussing potential policy solutions in a report titled The Future of Work in America: Policies to Empower American Workers and Secure Prosperity for All.

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FTT—Financial Transaction Tax or Flash Boys Transaction Tax?

Currently, at the top of the New York Times bestseller list in non-fiction is Michael Lewis’ Flashboys; a detailed look at how the high-frequency computerized trading of stocks allowed sophisticated programmers to beat top institutional investors to trades and pocket millions.  Lewis tells the story as a detective story, with a Royal Bank of Canada trader Brad Katsuyama as its protagonist, uncovering why his trades got delayed.  While many reviews have focused on the need to better regulate the stock market to insure its fairness, less attention has been paid to a big reveal of the book.

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9 Reasons Why We're Giving a 'Thumbs Down' to the Ryan Budget

Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

House Republican leaders passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget this week by a vote of 219 to 205, with no Democrats voting in favor. The Ryan budget is chock full of so many terrible ideas that it’s hard to single out the biggest stinkers, but here goes.

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Postal Workers Rally to Stop USPS/Staples Privatization

Postal Workers Rally to Stop USPS/Staples Privatization

Postal Workers (APWU) members from eight midwestern states rallied outside a Staples store in Altoona, Iowa, Thursday evening as part of a drive to stop the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS's) privatization of retail operations. USPS is contracting services to Staples, with “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than postal employees.

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Minnesota Set to Raise Minimum Wage to $9.50

Image via Working America

On Thursday, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of workers to $9.50 per hour by 2016. Under the law, which supporters expect Gov. Mark Dayton (D) to sign, businesses with gross sales of $500,000 or higher are required to raise their minimum wage to $8 per hour in August, $9 a year later and $9.50 by August 2016. Many smaller employers will be allowed to pay a lower rate, one that will reach $7.75 by 2016. Workers under 18 and 19- to 20-year-olds who are training still can be paid $7.25 per hour. From 2018 forward, the state's wage will be indexed to inflation.

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AFL-CIO Stands with NFL Cheerleader and Oakland Raiderette Lacy T.

By Stasiland/Flickr

Cheerleading for professional sports is more than sporting sparkly midriff-baring tops, white cowboy boots and zipping off to calendar shoots...it's a job. And it's demanding. 

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Musicians Strike Up the Band to Make Lionsgate ‘Listen Up’

Musicians Strike Up the Band to Make Lionsgate ‘Listen Up’

Yesterday, we told you how musicians who make the music for scores that are so vital to a movie’s story and success are coming together to challenge production companies like Lions Gate Entertainment (Lionsgate) that are shipping American musicians ’ jobs overseas. Here are some photos from the kick off actions of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) Listen Up campaign.

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