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AFL-CIO Now

More Than 3,200 Workers Choose AFL-CIO Unions

More than 1,800 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers employed by American Medical Response (AMR) in Northern California and 500 EMS workers at New England EMS voted last week to join AFSCME, while more than 900 telecom, health care and other workers chose a voice at work with AFL-CIO unions.

Kathy Ivy (see video), a paramedic in Contra Costa County with 18 years’ experience, said:

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My Own Political Opinion

My Own Political Opinion

"My Own Political Opinion" is a cross-post from Working America’s Dear David workplace advice column.

Question:

As a courtesy, I communicated to the director of the company where I work that I will be volunteering for one of the candidates running for president. I was told that I was not allowed to participate in any kind of political activity as long as I worked for the company. I asked why, fairly offended. He said that due to the fact that most of his clientele support the other candidate, he would risk losing up to 90% of his clientele. Not only am I not allowed to express my opinion or represent what I believe in as a proud American, but I also cannot even put a bumper sticker on my car, as I would risk immediate termination. What are your thoughts on these subjects? —Raven, N.H.

Answer:

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Working America: 10 Reasons Not to See 'Won't Back Down'

"10 Reasons Not to See 'Won't Back Down'" is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

The Walden Media film "Won’t Back Down," starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, opens in theaters today. The film dramatizes a parent fighting to improve her child’s school, but it’s actually a dishonest Hollywood portrayal of the problems in our educational system—funded by the very people who want to privatize and profit from our schools. Here are 10 reasons to skip it:

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9to5 Founder: 'We Were No Longer Just Going to Be an Office Wife'

The first union for secretaries, 9to5, found a way to turn National Secretary's Day on its head in 1973, with the slogan "Raises, Not Roses," during a day of protest.

"We were about business, we were serious workers and you couldn't buy us off anymore," says Karen Nussbaum, one of the founders of 9to5, in an interview with PBS MAKERS, a series covering women who lead and trailblaze.

Nussbaum is now the executive director of Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

Watch the first of Nussbaum's interviews below:

 

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New Reports Spotlight ‘Worst Forms’ of Child Labor Around the Globe

Photo by Vipez/Flickr

Around the globe, 215 million children are engaged in child labor, including an estimated 6 million in forced labor. Annual reports, released this week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), tracks the progress and lack of progress in combating child labor. The reports, said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis:   

Remind us of what happens to the most vulnerable members of society when poverty and labor exploitation unite.

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Election 2012: What’s at Stake for Latinos

21.3 million is a lot of people. It’s the number of Latino voters who can cast a ballot this November. At more than 15% of the American population, Latinos are being courted by candidates from the presidential race down to state and local races.

The AFL-CIO has teamed up with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to host a panel at the AFL-CIO discussing what’s at stake in this election for Latino voters on Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. EDT.

We’ll be live-streaming the panel, so you can watch the webcast at home: www.aflcio.org/latinovote.

Don't forget to follow the action on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aflciolatino; and Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFLCIOLatino

RSVP for the Latino election panel livestream today.

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My Vote, My Right Registers Voters in Nevada

The AFL-CIO’s My Vote, My Right mobilization is teaming up with community partners around the nation to make sure eligible voters are registered and to ensure that their voting rights are protected. This week in Nevada, volunteers from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), unions from the Nevada State AFL-CIO and others in the Nevada New Majority Coalition fanned out across Las Vegas in registration drives in conjunction with National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 25. 

 FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Moyers and Company Make Scary Journey Through the ‘United States of ALEC’

Starting this weekend on PBS stations across the country, Moyers and Company will air “United States of ALEC.” (Find the date and airtime in your area.) The American Legislative Exchange Council describes itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership.” But “United States of ALEC” finds that:

 

Behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

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Working America Organizers Turn Into Neighborhood Heroes

Working America volunteers are everyday heroes.

"Working America Organizers Turn Into Neighborhood Heroes," by Seth D. Michaels, is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

Michael Taeu, a Working America organizer, was out talking to people in Oregon City, Ore., last night when he saw something he doesn't usually see: smoke pouring out of the windows of one of the houses in the neighborhood.

Michael could have turned around, but he didn't. Instead, he went into the house, helped rescue a woman trapped inside and put out the fire.

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Investigative Report Finds Davis-Bacon Wage Violations at Georgia Construction Firm

An Atlanta TV station’s investigative report uncovered a Paulding County construction company’s efforts to circumvent federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws and then, when caught by the U.S. Department of Labor again, attempt to avoid paying workers a fair wage for their work by changing their job descriptions to lower-paying classifications.

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