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AFL-CIO Now

Dave Johnson: So Can We Focus on Jobs NOW?

America Wants to Work.

Congress and the media paid homage to the agenda of the billionaires and Wall Street, with the manufactured “fiscal cliff” PR campaign frenzy that just ended. So now can we get back to the country’s priorities? Can we talk about jobs now?

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Boehner Cancels Vote on Hurricane Sandy Aid

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia commons.

The hundreds of thousands of East Coast residents—especially in New York and New Jersey—who continue to feel the sting of Hurricane Sandy more than two months after the storm, now are "feeling the sting of a House Republican slap to the face after Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) backed out of a promise to vote on an emergency aid package for hurricane victims," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) called Boehner’s decision to cancel the vote “a cruel knife in the back.”

Sign the New York State AFL-CIO petition to pass Hurricane Sandy relief.

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AFGE Calls on Congress to Reject Federal Worker Pay Freeze Extension

Photo of J. David Cox Sr., courtesy of AFGE

AFGE is urging Congress to reject an attempt by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) to extend a freeze on federal worker salaries that has been in effect for the past two years. AFGE National President J. David Cox said that the proposal is a "cheap political ploy" that would inflict serious damage to the already modestly paid working families whose members hold federal government jobs. Cox also pointed out the freeze would harm the communities where these workers live since they will spend another year unable to afford much outside of bare necessities. 

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CWA, AT&T West Reach Tentative Agreement

CWA photo

The 22,000 Communications Workers of America (CWA) members employed at AT&T West will soon vote on a new contract after a tentative agreement was reached late last month. The workers are employed at AT&T operations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri.

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5 Reasons Why Extending Unemployment Insurance Is Good for the Economy

Image courtesy of the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" agreement included extending federal unemployment insurance (UI) for workers who have been jobless for more than 26 weeks.

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) details five ways extending UI benefits the economy. 

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Trumka's Statement on the 'Fiscal Cliff' Agreement

Photo of a July 2011 meeting with Congressional leadership courtesy of the White House.

Update: The House voted 257 to 167 to approve the Senate agreement. 

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka responds to the Senate agreement on the "fiscal cliff":

The agreement passed by the Senate last night is a breakthrough in beginning to restore tax fairness and achieves some key goals of working families.  It does not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. It raises more than $700 billion over 10 years, including interest savings, by ending the Bush income tax cuts for families making more than $450,000 a year. And in recognition of the continuing jobs crisis, it extends unemployment benefits for a year.  A strong message from voters and a relentless echo from grassroots activists over the last six weeks helped get us this far.

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Happy New Year from America's Unions

Happy New Year from America's Unions

The AFL-CIO wishes you and your family a Happy New Year filled with solidarity, justice and peace.  

We hope you'll continue to be active readers and commenters in our AFL-CIO Now blog community. 

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Wisconsin Labor Activists Help Strugging Families Become Self-Sufficient

Photo courtesy of South Central Federation of Labor

The South Central Federation of Labor in Wisconsin collected $445 in gas cards and bus cards to donate to the Community Action Coalition, which provides case management for families struggling to become self-sufficient.

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Workplace Advice: My Fair Share

Workplace Advice: My Fair Share

My Fair Share is a cross-post from Working America’s Dear David workplace advice column. David knows you deserve to be treated fairly on the job and he’s available to answer your questions, whether it is co-workers making off-handed comments that you should retire or you feel like your job's long hours are causing stress.

Question:

What can you do about not being paid a fair wage for the work you do? I make a lot of money for the company I work for feeding a robot up to 4,000 packages per hour. How do I get some of the money I make for the company through high production paid to me?

—Marty, Indiana

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Laborers Union Apprenticeship Program Trains a New Generation

Photo by Paul Burton

This article originally appeared in The Journeyman, the newspaper for the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County (Calif.). It is written by Journeyman editor Paul Burton.

Like other Building Trades apprenticeships, the Laborers’ (LIUNA's) training program prepares men and women for careers in construction. The apprenticeship program at the Northern California Laborers Training Center in San Ramon is relatively new and has been providing training for new laborers for just 12 years. Apprenticeship coordinator Manny Carrillo said as the work that Laborers do has become more specialized and the workers need to learn more skills, the program is now mandatory.

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