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One Year After 15 Died in Preventable Texas Fertilizer Blast, Safety Rules Stalled

 

When the West, Texas, fertilizer plant, where 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in wooden sheds without sprinkler systems and near other combustible material—caught fire, exploded and killed 15 people, including 10 emergency responders, the state of Texas had virtually no regulations governing ammonium nitrate and other hazardous chemicals. A year later, it still doesn’t.

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New Hampshire Workers Build Bridges to Push Equal Pay

New Hampshire's elected and community leaders marked Equal Pay Day with the traditional press conference—and a critical step toward ensuring that women receive a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. Shortly before a paycheck fairness bill, S.B. 207, was heard in the New Hampshire House Labor Committee, representatives from women’s groups and labor joined elected leaders at the Statehouse to commemorate the strides being made in New Hampshire to address pay inequity.

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Ohio Extremists Looking to End Government Transparency and Sell Elections to the Highest Bidder

Tim Burga

Anonymous extremists in the Ohio legislature are attempting to change the laws to increase the influence of independent groups in government and make it harder for average Ohioans to know what their government is doing or have any influence on that government.  According to Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, an anonymous amendment was submitted to a bill currently before the legislature that would eliminate an administrative rule governing campaign finance.  This would mean that contractors working for or attempting to work for the state can spend money trying to influence the outcome of elections of the very people who would potentially give them state contracts.  Furthermore, Burga said the repeal of the administrative rule would make groups that make independent election expenditures no longer required to disclose who made contributions to them.

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Tell the House It’s Time to Act on Restoring Unemployment Benefits

Tell the House It’s Time to Act on Restoring Unemployment Benefits

Since House Republican leaders allowed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits program to expire in December, nearly 2.8 million jobless workers have lost their economic lifeline. The Senate passed a renewal of those vital benefits on Monday and that means the ball’s back in the House of Representative’s court and lawmakers need to hear from you that jobless Americans can’t wait any longer. 

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All Senate Republicans Say ‘No’ to Paycheck Fairness

Photo via Florida AFL-CIO

Most Republican lawmakers say they believe in fair and equal pay for women. But a day after Equal Pay Day, when Republican senators had a chance to vote for a bill that would have gone a long way to achieving that goal, not a single one cast a vote to just allow debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, let alone pass it.

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Workers’ Actions Bring Change to Walmart

Workers’ Actions Bring Change to Walmart

When workers at Walmart began mobilizing to make changes at the world’s biggest employer—one with the deserved reputation of disrespecting its workers and slapping down any attempt by workers to influence workplace policies—most folks’ initial reaction was “well, good luck with that.”

But it wasn’t good luck that brought about some recent workplace changes at Walmart. 

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

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

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

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Immigration Bus Stops at Wolf’s Door

Photo by Dan Duncan

Marching and chanting, "Yes, we can!" in seven different languages, nearly 100 people rallied Tuesday morning in front of U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf's (R) 10th District office in Herndon, Va., urging his support for immigrant rights.

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Ohio Extremists Next Target? College Athletes

Photo courtesy WFIU Public Radio on Flickr

Not content to only go after collective bargaining rights, pensions and voting rights, the extremists in Ohio are targeting a new group of their state's residents, attempting to pre-empt any attempt by college athletes to organize and express their rights. After the National Labor Relations Board ruled that players at Northwestern University were employees of the school, and could thus form a union, Ohio's right-wingers took action to try to stop athletes at Ohio colleges and universities from following suit, proposing a bill that would specify that college athletes aren't employees in Ohio.

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Training @Work: Nights of Labor Studies

Training @Work: Nights of Labor Studies

Daryl Mosely was desperate for a better opportunity to support his family. Frustrated by his retail job’s low wages and disappointed by the small yearly raises, when his father—a union plumber and former apprentice—encouraged him to apply for an apprenticeship program, Mosely was all ears.

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Extremists Going 'All In' to Make Missouri the Most Anti-Worker State in the U.S. We Can Change That

Extremists Going 'All In' to Make Missouri the Most Anti-Worker State in the U.S. We Can Change That

Extremists in the Missouri House are pushing for legislation that would hurt working families, importing a national agenda that faces bipartisan opposition in the state. Despite claims made by the proponents of the legislation, paycheck deception and "right to work" for less bills wouldn't help the states' workers and would limit the rights of those workers.

If you're in Missouri, call your state representatives at 888-825-1418 and tell them to oppose "right to work" H.B. 1770.

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