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Oxfam: 2012 Wealth and Income of World's 100 Richest People Could Eliminate World Poverty

Photo courtesy net_efekt

According to a new report from Oxfam, the wealth and income that the world's richest people accumulated last year would be enough to eliminate world poverty four times over. Ben Phillips, a campaign director at Oxfam, said that extreme wealth is now one of the major obstacles to solving the problems of extreme poverty. The $240 billion the top 100 billionaires in the world made in 2012 would completely eliminate extreme poverty, the report concludes.

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Market Discipline for the Boeing 787

My career is invested in the aerospace industry, so it was very sobering to me when the Federal Aviation Administration ordered that 787 airplanes be grounded.

Friends ask me to explain the situation— what lessons can we draw from the 787? Invariably, we start with "outsourcing."

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Richard Trumka Reacts to 2012 BLS Numbers on Union Membership

Photo courtesy of UNITE HERE.

The union membership rate was 11.3% in 2012, down from 11.8% in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which released updated figures today. This decrease in union membership highlights the painful fact that people are working harder but are making less and less. 

One area that saw a significant loss was in the public sector. There are nearly 400,000 fewer union members, from teachers in the classroom to police and firefighters that keep us safe. In manufacturing, the jobs that have returned so far are largely low-wage, nonunion jobs. 

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California Coalition Supports Path to Citizenship and Effort to Keep Families Together

Maria Elena Durazo, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor executive secretary-treasurer

Christian Torres worked as a cook in the Pomona College dining hall for more than six years. Torres and 16 of his co-workers were fired from Pomona College for not re-verifying their work eligibility after the college asked for documents, which were requested while he was leading an effort to organize to form a union. Torres and his brother came to the United States while still teenagers to join their mother and father who were already in the U.S. He supports the movement to create a common-sense immigration process. Although Torres was fired from Pomona, he continues to support his co-workers in their struggle for better working conditions at the college. 

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Staten Island Couple: Portrait of NYC School Bus Drivers, Matrons

Photo by Christain  Styeen/Flickr

While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to vilify the striking drivers, bus matrons and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) as "greedy villains" bankrupting the city, New York Daily News columnist Denis Hamill paints a real-life picture in a recent column. He profiles Vic and Lucy DiBitetto—a school bus driver and matron on the same Staten Island bus route caring for kids with autism, multiple sclerosis and physical and developmental challenges.

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Republicans Move in Right Direction on Debt Ceiling but Avoid the Important Issues

Photo courtesy Talk Radio News Service

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seemingly have rallied enough of their House allies to push the battle over causing a U.S. government default down the road, with a temporary three-month extension of the government's borrowing authority (or "debt ceiling"). But House Republicans have not changed their ransom demands. They've simply chosen a different hostage. For now.

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Charlotte City Workers Win Voluntary Checkoff

Public-sector workers in Charlotte, N.C., can now have their union dues deducted from their paychecks like other causes they support, with voluntary payroll deductions. Last week, the Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 to allow the checkoff. The North Carolina State AFL-CIO points out that denying workers dues checkoff is a favorite tactic for right-wing politicians to undermine labor unions' ability to organize.

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Why We Can't 'Split the Difference': The Case for Citizenship

Photo by Antonio Villaraigosa/Flickr Creative Commons

The prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are the highest in years. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are currently negotiating a bill, and President Obama has stated that it is one of his top legislative priorities in 2013. Speculation abounds as to what may be included in a final package but, generally speaking, comprehensive reform of our immigration system would consist of four interconnected parts: border security, internal and worksite immigration enforcement, a system to manage future immigration to the United States and a road map to citizenship for the undocumented population currently living here. The union movement has a unified framework, which addresses these points.

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President Obama: 'Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security...They Strengthen Us'

President Obama: 'Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security...They Strengthen Us'

During President Obama's second inaugural address yesterday, he affirmed we're stronger when we work together:

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone....No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.

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Union Members Honor MLK with Community Service

Transport Workers Union (TWU) members from around the country joined in the annual AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance this weekend where thousands of union members honored Dr. King with community service projects. They send us this video.

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