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AFL-CIO Now

Students Against Sweatshops Rally to Make Walmart and Gap Protect Workers

On Saturday, the AFL-CIO joined a coalition led by the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) in an international day of action to pressure Walmart and Gap to stop the use of unsafe factories that have killed more than 1,800 workers in Bangladesh since 2005. To date, the two corporate giants have refused to sign on to a legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh that would go a long way toward making workers in Bangladesh safer.

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UNITE HERE and Hyatt Reach National Agreement: Pact Provides Contracts and Process for Workers to Join Unions

UNITE HERE and Hyatt Reach National Agreement: Pact Provides Contracts and Process for Workers to Join Unions

Today Hyatt Hotels Corp. and UNITE HERE, the union of hospitality workers in the United States and Canada, announced a national agreement that resolves longstanding disputes between the two organizations. The agreement creates a framework for the company and the union to work together moving forward. Both UNITE HERE and Hyatt hailed the pact as a positive step.

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What Does the End of DOMA Mean for Federal Employees?

Photo courtesy vpickering

More information is coming out about the Supreme Court decision that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Last week, we reported Lambda Legal's advice about the ruling and what it means. Now we have specific details about how the decision affects federal employees, coming from the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, Elaine Kaplan.

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13 Mind-Blowing Facts About America's Tax-Dodging Corporations

Over at AlterNet, Richard Eskow has a great article highlighting hard-to-believe facts about American corporate tax dodging that will probably make you angry. For instance, did you know that corporate tax rates are at a 60-year low at the same time that corporate profits are at a 60-year high? Or, that as part of the extreme lengths companies go through to avoid paying taxes in the United States, one building in the Cayman Islands is the officially registered headquarters for nearly 19,000 corporations?

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Join the Human Chain Against Chained CPI

Join the Human Chain Against Chained CPI

Be part of a “Human Chain Against the Chained CPI” on Tuesday—a national day of action to protest proposed cuts to Social Security, veterans' and other federal benefits. The so-called "Chained" CPI proposal would reduce cost-of-living adjustments and prevent benefits from keeping up with inflation. "Chained" CPI has been masquerading as a technical fix, but really it's just a benefit cut.

Find an event near you. 

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Rhode Island Moves a Step Closer to Paid Family Leave

The Rhode Island State Senate passed legislation that would grant 80% of the state's workers access to paid family leave, allowing them to take paid time off for a new child or to care for family members. The House now must take up the bill before it adjourns in the next few days. If it passes, Rhode Island would become the third state, after California and New Jersey, to offer such a plan.

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19 Firefighters Killed Battling Arizona Wildfire

Prescott Fire Dept. photo

Nineteen Arizona firefighters, 18 from an elite wildfire unit, were killed Sunday in an out-of-control blaze about 80 miles north of Phoenix. The members of the Prescott Fire Department’s Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew team were dispatched to the front lines of the Yarnell Hill fire to establish a fire line to try to slow fire that reportedly had wind-driven flames as high as 20 feet.

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Student Loan Interest Rate to Double As Deadline Passes Without Action

As Congress left Friday for a weeklong vacation for the Independence Day holiday, a July 1 deadline passed without congressional action on student loan interest rates. New subsidized federal Stafford loans issued after that date will incur a new rate of 6.8%, up from the current 3.4% students pay. Time still exists to fix the rate increase, however, as most students don't sign their loan paperwork until early August. Without legislation to reverse the increase, some 7 million students will see rates on their subsidized loans double at a time when student loan debt has reached more than $1 trillion and more and more economists are saying the massive student loan debt problem is becoming a drag on the economy.

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Radio Host Rick Smith Goes on Labor History Tour Across America

Image courtesy the Rick Smith Show

Progressive radio host Rick Smith, a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and his family, producer Brett Banditelli and writer Pat LaMarche, recently embarked on a 7,800-mile cross-country trip to rediscover labor history. The Pennsylvania resident launched the trip on June 6 at the Talkers New York Conference as a way to counterbalance the domination of radio by conservative anti-labor talk radio hosts.

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Made in America: July 4 BBQ Shopping List

Photo courtesy of Annin Flagmakers

This is the weekend many of us will head to the stores to stock up on our July 4 supplies for the summer’s top cookout event. To celebrate the Fourth with a Made in America, union label, check out our union-made list below, compiled from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the LA Labor 411's website, Union Plus and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).  

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

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