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AFL-CIO Now

One Year After 15 Died in Preventable Texas Fertilizer Blast, Safety Rules Stalled

 

When the West, Texas, fertilizer plant, where 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in wooden sheds without sprinkler systems and near other combustible material—caught fire, exploded and killed 15 people, including 10 emergency responders, the state of Texas had virtually no regulations governing ammonium nitrate and other hazardous chemicals. A year later, it still doesn’t.

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Trumka on Bloomberg TV: Romney's Auto Plan Would Have Slashed Jobs

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s claim that he shares credit for the auto industry’s recovery is “almost laughable,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing tonight at 9 p.m. EDT and showing again throughout the weekend (check it out here).

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AFL-CIO’s Silvers ‘Top Wonk’

There are wonks, then there are “Top Wonks,” and our very own Damon Silvers, AFL-CIO policy director, has been named a “Top Wonk” on the economy. Top Wonks is a directory of experts in a broad range of public policy issues. It is widely used by journalists, researchers, public officials and others to find top policy experts.

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2011 Video: Walker Says Goal Is Splitting Unions, Not Balancing Budget

A new video obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) telling his single largest donor, Diane Hendricks, that destroying collective bargaining for public workers is just the "first step" of his “divide and conquer” plan. The video was originally taken by a documentary filmmaker in January 2011, one month before Walker introduced his bill to gut collective bargaining.

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J.P. Morgan's Losses Say: Banks Need Regulation

A bad gamble by J.P. Morgan resulting in a quick $2 billion loss has raised the specter of the financial crisis of 2008, when Big Banks ruined the economy and caused the recession, high unemployment and housing problems that still dog the nation. Fully enacted financial reform can't come too soon.

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Former Coal Miner Out-Mobilizes Millionaire in Big Win for W.Va. Workers

Can a former coal miner win an election against a millionaire? Just ask Clyde McKnight.

A retired coal miner from southern West Virginia, he worked for more than 30 years in the mines and currently serves as the South Central AFL-CIO president. McKnight defeated millionaire and former gubernatorial candidate Melvin Kessler in the Democratic primary by a razor-thin margin of 52 votes this past Tuesday, a win in large part to the grassroots efforts of working people.

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Maine's Gov. LePage Exempts Himself from Pension Cuts

In Maine, state employees are being forced to pay more in contributions for their pensions, but one isn’t: Gov. Paul LePage. He exempted himself from the new pension formula, reports Mike Tipping in the Kennebec Journal.

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Labor, Politics and Brazil’s Transformation

Labor, Politics and Brazil’s Transformation

At a time of economic turmoil and austerity measures in many countries, Brazil is getting deserved recognition for its successes in lifting nearly 40 million of its citizens out of extreme poverty over the past 10 years while fostering economic expansion for the nation.

A well-attended brown bag discussion at the AFL-CIO this week provided background on Brazil’s transformation, insights about the work needed to continue improving conditions for Brazilian workers and unions and food for thought about the examples Brazil has set for the United States and the world.

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College Grads: Hard Work Plus Education Alone Don't Lead to Success

College grads today are wondering whether education plus hard work is really the formula for success—and for good reason. The missing ingredient in that formula? It’s leverage. The power of collective action.

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IAFF’s Mitchell Ready to ‘Restore Integrity' to Wisconsin Government

Now that Mahlon Mitchell has won the Democratic primary, including defeating a “fake Democrat” Wisconsin Republicans entered in the race as a sabotage effort, the president of the Fire Fighters of Wisconsin (IAFF) is setting his sights on taking on Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in the June 5 recall election. A new ad from the IAFF airing in the Badger State explains to voters that after 15 years of “putting his life on the line” as a firefighter, Mitchell is running for lieutenant governor to “restore integrity to Wisconsin’s government and to get Wisconsin working again."

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Romney says Obama 'Takes His Marching Orders' From Unions

Is this guy a presidential candidate from a major party, or a fringe nut? He sounds like Rush Limbaugh. HuffPo: Mitt Romney: Obama 'Takes Marching Orders From Union Bosses',

Speaking to a crowd at a campaign stop in Lansing, Mich., on Tuesday, presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney took a swipe at both President Barack Obama and organized labor, saying the president "takes his marching orders" from unions that cost American jobs.

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