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AFL-CIO Now

Union Sportsmen Volunteer at Youth Conservation Camp Center

USA photo

Laura Bliss-Morris of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance sends us this report.

As part of a Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) Boots on the Ground project, volunteers from Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 30 helped put the finishing touches on a new facility that will host youth educational programs at the Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center.

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GOP Rep.: The Pa. Voter ID Law Would Only Disenfranchise 'Lazy' People

Just in case you were concerned about the more than 750,000 Pennsylvania voters who would be disenfranchised this November—thanks to the state's new voter ID law—Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Pa.), who sponsored the law, assured Pennsylvania residents during a radio interview that the law would only disenfranchise "lazy" individuals. 

Astonishingly, Metcalfe took a cue from Mitt Romney and claimed these individuals who are "lazy" are also the 47% "living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work."

Actually, the "lazy" 47% are the working poor, senior citizens (who paid into Social Security and Medicare throughout their working lives), active military personnel, students and people with disabilities. How dare these people want to vote?

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CWA, IBEW Reach Deal with Verizon

CWA Photo/Flickr

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW) have reached a tentative contract agreement with Verizon. The two unions and Verizon had been in federal mediation since July.

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Working America: Another Way to Join the Movement

Join Vicki and Working America to make a difference in your community.

Check out the AFL-CIO's new Innovators website feature, "Working America: Another Way to Join the Movement." 

One day in Havertown, Pa., a neighborhood organizer in a red shirt knocked on Vicki’s door, asking how Vicki felt about cuts in her state’s school budget. A retired school teacher who has a grandson with special needs, Vicki worried the cuts her governor was pushing would eliminate resources for special education. 

Vicki was already angry about these cuts. She felt that one of the most important people in her life was being targeted. But until that day, she felt powerless to do anything about it. Like so many people, she thought she couldn’t change the process, and that her elected leaders weren’t listening. Then someone showed up at her door with a solution—a strategy to change things.

Read the rest of "Working America: Another Way to Join the Movement."

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Workers Say Federal Aid to Auto Industry Saved Jobs and Manufacturing Industry

When the American automobile industry was on the verge of collapse in 2009, Mitt Romney said he’d let it go bankrupt. President Obama engineered a recovery program that put this vital industry back on its feet and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, not just at the auto plants, but up and down the supply chain and throughout American manufacturing. This new video from the United Steelworkers (USW) tells that story through the eyes of the men and women of USW Local 903 at the Gary, Ind., Dana Holding Corp. axle plant. 

Watch USW's new video and share it on FacebookTwitter and all your social networks. 

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New Romney Attack Ad Features Miners Forced to Pose Without Pay

Photo from the Romney for America campaign YouTube page.

Ohio coal miners at a Murray Energy mine (a nonunion mine) lost a day's pay when they were forced to attend a mandatory Mitt Romney campaign rally in Beallsville last month. 

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported:

Because the company's mine had to be shut down for "safety and security" reasons during Romney's visit, [Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob] Moore confirmed workers were not paid that day. He said miners also lose pay when weather or power outages shut down the mine and noted that federal election law doesn't let companies pay workers to attend political events.

Now, the Romney campaign is featuring these coal miners in its new attack ad claiming President Obama is "anti-coal."

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Voter Fraud? You're More Likely to Be Struck by Lightning

Think voter fraud is a problem? Think again. The chance of voter fraud occurring in a federal election is 1 in 2.3 million. A person is more likely to be struck by lightning or attacked by a swarm of bees than commit voter fraud. 

Thirty-four states introduced voter ID requirements that would effectively disenfranchise more than 21 million eligible voters who don’t have the required IDs—mostly people of color, low-income voters, students, seniors and people with disabilities.

The NAACP recently released this video, Dangerous World, which shows voter fraud isn't dangerous but stopping 21 million people from voting is. 

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Romney Bemoans Union Contracts Would Prevent Mass Firing of Federal Workers

Romney Bemoans Union Contracts Would Prevent Mass Firing of Federal Workers

We all have regrets in our lives, even Mitt Romney, who told a group of high-roller donors that he regrets federal workers are protected by union contracts, so that if he wins the election, he won’t be able to fire as many workers as he’d like to.

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Chicago Teachers, Students Heading Back to School

Chicago teachers vote to end strike. CTU full membership will vote on the framework for an agreement in the upcoming weeks.

Chicago's striking teachers will head back to school today after the Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates voted to suspend their strike while members consider an agreement framework.

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Pa. Supreme Court Voter ID Development Is a 'Positive Step'

Pa. AFL-CIO and community activists helped voters sign up for IDs Sept. 18.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision to send the voter ID law back to the lower court for evaluation on whether the law disenfranchises voters "is a positive step," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 

But it is also a reminder of how cumbersome voter ID laws have become to voters. We are less than 50 days away from a critically important election, and many voters are going to face problems voting because of confusing voter ID laws. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 758,000 residents lack a state-issued ID and nationally the problem is even bigger. 

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