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Fast Food Workers Walk Off the Job in Milwaukee

Photo courtesy Wisconsin AFL-CIO

Fast food workers in Milwaukee, Wis., became the latest to join a nation-wide movement for a living wage by walking off the job on Wednesday and calling for both an increase in wages and the recognition of their right to form a union free from employer harassment or retaliation.  Hundreds of workers joined the walkout, leaving restaurants like McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Old Country Buffet and Popeye's.  A rally is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

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Getting to the Root of the Immigration Debate

Recently, the Heritage Foundation released a report condemning the current push for resolving America’s moral dilemma over immigration. One of its co-authors, Jason Richwine, has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. But, it turns out that his dissertation concluded that Hispanic immigrants have low intelligence and will have grandchildren in America, with low intelligence. Now, the Heritage Foundation has made several efforts to distance themselves from that work, painstakingly pointing out that Richwine worked at the American Enterprise Institute when he was working on his dissertation.

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Machinists Honored for Boston Bombing Response

Photo courtesy IAM

Three members of Machinists (IAMLocal 264 in Boston were honored for their bravery and quick thinking in response to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. John Foley, Dave Litif and Mike Rown, who were volunteering at the finish line of the marathon, immediately moved to tear down barricades around the blast site to help people leave the area and began treating the wounded.

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Take Action to Increase the Minimum Wage in Minnesota

Photo courtesy: Working America

Minnesota is part of a growing group of states and localities that aren't sitting around and waiting for the federal government to take the lead on pushing to increase the minimum wage and move it closer to a living wage. Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which hasn't gone anywhere in Congress. But that isn't stopping states like Minnesota, which are stepping up and getting the job done when it comes to raising the minimum wage.

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Durazo: 'Los Angeles...the Low-Wage Capital of the Nation'

Journalists are fixated on union members' donations to the Los Angeles mayoral race to elect Wendy Greuel, Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, writes in a Los Angeles Times column. But one issue is being largely ignored: the working poor. 

"But if the discussion about the role of unions in the campaign is going to focus almost exclusively on money, shouldn't we talk about money in its entirety?" writes Durazo. "What motivates me and so many others in L.A. labor when it comes to money are the hundreds of thousands of our fellow workers in Los Angeles who don't earn enough of it."

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Home Defenders League Sponsors Wall Street Accountability Week of Action

Photo courtesy: Home Defenders League

The Home Defenders League is holding a Wall Street Accountability Week of Action in Washington, D.C., from May 18-23. Families directly affected by the foreclosure crisis are traveling to the nation's capital to make their voices heard. On May 20, at 1:30 p.m., home defenders and their allies are rallying to "Bring Justice to Justice." The week also will include community organizing and training in home defense and other nonviolent tactics.

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Stop Aspiring Citizen Deportations, Groups Tell White House

The Obama administration should suspend deportations of aspiring citizens who would be eligible for a pathway to citizenship under a commonsense immigration reform bill that is under consideration in the U.S. Senate, a group of labor—including the AFL-CIO—Latino and other immigration reform advocates told the White House earlier this week.

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Effort to Stop Koch Brothers’ Takeover of L.A. Times Gains Momentum

LA County Federation of Labor photo, via Facebook

Don’t sell out to the Koch brothers / Don’t let the brothers in the door / We don’t want them taking over / That is what we’re marching for!

That  was the message, as sung by acclaimed musician Ry Cooder, carried by hundreds of Los Angeles residents who marched and rallied Tuesday to urge Oaktree Capital Management not to sell the respected Los Angeles Times to right-wing extremists David and Charles Koch. The “No Koch Hate in L.A.” rally was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and community allies.

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Bangladesh Government Moves to Ease Unionization

Arati Bala Das, 18, who lost her right leg in the Rana Plaza collapse, feeds her sister, Akhi

The Bangladesh Cabinet approved a change to the nation’s labor laws that it says would enable workers to more freely form unions. The proposal, which must be approved by Parliament, would allow workers to join unions without showing the list of union supporters to factory owners to verify their employment—a practice that effectively makes it impossible for unions to gather sufficient support to register with the government because factory owners often penalize or fire workers who support unionization.

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