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Hyatt Hurts: Crossing the Picket Line Hurts Everyone

Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Hurts campaign website:

Jennifer Kauffman is an AFL-CIO immigration policy and training associate. These are her thoughts on allies crossing the Hyatt picket line to attend the 2012 Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet (ONA).

Colleagues in the immigration advocacy and DREAM movement have wondered aloud whether journalist Jose Antonio Vargas crossing the picket line was such a bad thing, after all, since he drew the attention of more than 100 journalists to the plight of the Hyatt Hurts campaign workers.

The answer is simply this: Crossing a picket hurts EVERYONE.

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With Safety at Stake, NFL Players Call for End to the Referees' Lockout

Photo MattBritt00/Flickr

Any fan of the NFL who has watched the season unfold with replacement officials because the league has locked out the skilled and veteran officials knows calls are being missed or called incorrectly and the replacements have a tenuous control of each game. But even worse, say the players, their safety is at stake.

In a letter to team owners urging an end to the lockout of the referees, the Executive Committee of the NFL Players Association writes:

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New 401(k) Fee Disclosure Resource Website Goes Live

A new website from the U.S. Department of Labor explains 401(k) fees. Photo courtesy of

Thanks to a new website from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, for the first time, workers with 401(k)-type retirement plans will be able to track what they are paying in fees to invest their savings.

The new site, Understanding Retirement Fees, also includes new tips and tools on making smart retirement investment decisions.

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Tell Us What You Think: What’s Wrong With the U.S. Economy? The Real Scoop

This is the first of a four-part series describing what went wrong with America’s economy and how to fix it. See Part 2 tomorrow—and please leave a comment to tell us what you think. (Click the chart to enlarge.)

The Great Recession officially ended more than three years ago, but working families know there’s still something wrong with the U.S. economy.  If we want to fix our economy, we first have to understand what’s wrong with it. (Click chart on the left to enlarge). 

Starting today, in a series of four posts and infographics, we’ll spell out what we see as the short-term and long-term causes of our economic problems and we’ll point to specific solutions.

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Soulful Sheet Metal Worker Advances on ‘The Voice’

Mycle Wastman, a member of Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA) Local 66 in Seattle, certainly made his voice heard this week. In the “blind audition” portion of the NBC show, “The Voice,” his performance of the Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together” drew a rousing ovation and a chance to go on to the next round.

After the celebrity judges pitched him to be part of their “teams,” Wastman selected to go with Cee Lo Green, who told Wastman:

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My Vote My Right Event Helps Philadelphia Voters Obtain IDs

Joseph Desprez.

Joseph Desprez, a Philadelphia voter, saw the My Vote, My Right event at PennDOT today and volunteered to be a poll watcher this November. Desprez already had a state-issued voter ID, and wanted to make sure everyone who wants to vote would be able to.

Pennsylvania voters went to the PennDOT office in the Oxford Levick Shopping Center in Philadelphia, Pa., Saturday, Sept. 22, to obtain voter IDs.

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Let Rosie Remind You of Important Dates

Let Rosie Remind You of Important Dates

Ever forget a birthday or to send flowers on Mother’s Day? Let Rosie the Riveter remind you. Union members can now have their own personal reminders sent via text or email with the Union Plus Rosie’s Reminder Service.  

The unique service creates online reminders, so you will never miss another important date again.

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Locked-Out Sugar Workers’ Kids to Tell Their Stories


Since August 2011, the more than 1,300 workers at five American Crystal Sugar sugar beet processing plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa have been locked out. While CEO Dave Berg took in nearly $2.5 million in total compensation last year, the workers and their families have been struggling to keep roofs over their heads and food on the table.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, in East Grand Forks, Minn., the children and grandchildren of the locked-out workers will write Berg and board members to tell them how the lockout has affected their families and their lives and urge the company to return to the bargaining table.

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Mitt Romney Pays a Lower Total Tax Rate Than the Average American

What's Mitt's Secret? Photo courtesy of United Steelworkers.

Damon Silvers is the policy director and special counsel of the AFL-CIO. 

Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax return is an education in injustice, just like his 2010 return was.  The peculiar letter he released from his tax accountant Pricewaterhouse Coopers concerning his taxes before 2010, simply adds to the mystery—why won’t he follow his father’s and President Obama’s example and release ten years of tax returns?

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Letter Carriers' Heroes: A Safety Net of Service

NALC honors its everyday heroes.

Charlie Rose, a 23-year veteran Letter Carriers (NALC) member from Athens, Ohio, has sniffed out more than a dozen natural gas leaks in homes along his route, preventing what could have been deadly explosions. He also was the driving force behind the effort that convinced the city to replace more than 17,000 feet of aging gas pipeline and require carbon monoxide detectors in new rental units. For that, he was honored with the union’s Special Carrier Alert award. He was one of six NALC members recognized yesterday at ceremonies in Washington, D.C., as 2012 Heroes of the Year.

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