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AFL-CIO Now

RNC Speakers Really Don't Like Working People

While this week, Vice President Joe Biden and others thanked unions and working people for their contributions to the economy, we heard quite the opposite last week from Republican National Convention (RNC) speakers like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who took every opportunity to speak out against teachers and people who work for a living. 

Watch the AFL-CIO YouTube video highlighting some of these comments we heard from Tampa, Fla., last week. 

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Bob King, Workers Laid Off by Bain Show a Romney America

In 2008, at the height of the recession, Mitt Romney declared that government should “let Detroit go bankrupt” rather than providing federal aid to automakers. President Obama was a lot smarter than that. As a result of federal assistance, General Motors (GM) posted record profits and paid back its loans early, Chrysler paid back all its loans and hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers are on the job who otherwise would be out of work (click on chart to enlarge).

Karen Eusanio, a UAW Local 112 member and second generation auto worker, is one of those workers. Speaking last night at the Democratic National Convention, Eusanio recalled her struggle to support her children after GM laid her off, and the unpopularity of Obama’s plan to save the auto industry. Yet, President Obama didn’t think about the polls or the politics, said Eusanio.

He thought about the people. Because he put himself in our shoes, we’re back on our feet. Obama believed in us, he stood up for us.

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Richard Trumka: 'We Love Our Country....We Built It'

America needs good jobs and shared prosperity, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told delegates at the Democratic National Convention tonight. It’s abundantly clear the Romney-Ryan ticket is only offering prosperity for the rich and an economic nightmare for everyone else, whether it's cutting Medicare and Social Security, giving the rich more tax breaks or outsourcing America's jobs. “Prosperity requires democracy—starting with the essential right of everyone in this great country to a voice, both in the ballot box and in the workplace.” 

Prosperity requires economic security. Working Americans will stand with leaders who protect and strengthen Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—not those who plan cuts to benefits working people have paid for, earned and are counting on. 

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What Will Excluded Workers Celebrate Next Labor Day?

This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post by Tiffany Williams, advocacy director of the Break the Chain Campaign.

While the Labor Day holiday is meant to give us time to reflect on the victories in human progress that were hard-fought by the union movement, it is also a great time to check in on the "excluded workers" movement—workers who, because of policy or practice, fall outside the traditional labor protections offered to other workers in the U.S.

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Football Frenzy: Preserving High Standards at NFL Construction Sites

Photo courtesy of Fabiwa's Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabi_k/

If you’re a football fan, tonight’s the night. The first game of the 2012 National Football League season—between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys—will kick off at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

There’s plenty of excitement about the football matchup (even with replacement workers subbing as referees), but the construction workers who built the stadium can feel an extra surge of pride in the work they completed two years ago under a project labor agreement (PLA).

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Bad Jobs on the Rise

Nearly one-quarter of America’s workers are in bad jobs—and the number is climbing, according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). “Bad Jobs on the Rise” defines a bad job as one that pays less than $37,000 a year—the inflation-adjusted earnings of a typical male worker in 1979—and offers no health insurance or retirement plan (click on chart to enlarge).

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Ohio IAFF Member Addresses DNC Delegates

This is a cross-post from the Fire Fighters (IAFF) union. 

IAFF Local 48 member Doug Stern from Cincinnati spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday night.

Stern says for the majority of his life he identified as a Republican. But with last year’s political assault on Ohio’s public employees, he felt that the Republican Party left him and other members of the middle class behind.

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Working Families: Together We're Better

Work connects us all. The Chicago Federation of Labor's new YouTube video, "Rise," is a powerful reminder that working people built this country and continue to keep it running every day. 

The video states:

We breathe life into every neighborhood every day...separate stories, different voices—but joined together. 

Watch the video in the post or on the Chicago Federation of Labor's YouTube channel.

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Tell Us What You Think: Democratic vs. Republican Platforms…Where Do Workers Win?

Last week, we discussed that the Republican Party platform is a road map to dismantle workers’ rights. Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times says the Republican platform “calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions” and, for the first time in years, doesn’t even acknowledge the right to form unions.

The New York Times reports, when doing a side-by-side comparison of the platforms, the two visions are “poles apart in their view of the nation.”

Let’s take a look at some of the major differences:

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What Is Romney-Ryan’s Aim?

Photo courtesy of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare: www.ncpssm.org

Hugh J. Campbell of the United Steelworkers sends us this blog

For three decades, attempts to undermine Social Security and Medicare have been considered “touching the third-rail” because the two programs are valued by our middle class and aspiring middle class. But to the financial elite, these safety-net programs have been the bane of their existence.

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