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DREAMers Can Now Apply for U.S. Residency

Diana and Diana, two union DREAMers from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)

Starting today, more than a million young aspiring citizens who were brought to this country as children (known as “DREAMers”) can apply for U.S. residency and a work permit under the terms of a new policy announced by the Obama Administration last month.  The application forms are posted online at the Department of Homeland Security.

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National Leader Champions Inspiring Young Activists

Liz Shuler addresses activists in San Jose, Calif., who are working to increase the city's minimum wage.

Stacey Hendler Ross, communications director of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, sends us this

Through rap, “spoken-word” poetry and music, one strong message permeated a room full of supporters for a November ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in San Jose, Calif.: “It’s time for $10.” The event, held at IBEW Local 332 featured AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler who flew in from Washington, D.C., to throw her support behind the campaign. Shuler's labor roots are with IBEW Local 125 in Oregon.

Shuler offered her unwavering endorsement of the minimum wage increase as she lauded the group of young activists who launched the effort to create an ordinance mandating a $10 an hour minimum wage in San Jose. The current California state minimum is $8.

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Minimum Wage Boost Could Create 100,000 Jobs

min wage

When wages rise, workers and communities benefit. So imagine how improved our national economy would be if the wages of nearly 30 million workers got a boost?

If Congress acted to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, some 28 million workers would see a pay increase, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) latest report on the minimum wage. Further, those workers would receive nearly $40 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period.

During an across the phase-in period of the minimum-wage increase, the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by roughly $25 billion, resulting in the creation of approximately 100,000 net new jobs, according to EPI.

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U.S. Dept. of Labor Tells Georgia: 'You Violated the Law by Cutting Off UI Benefits'

After reviewing unilateral changes Georgia made to its unemployment insurance (UI) rules, the U.S. Department of Labor has declared that the state has no “adequate statutory basis” for denying UI benefits to seasonal employees who work for private contractors providing services to schools. The strongly-worded guidance to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler came in an Aug. 2 letter obtained by the Atlanta Constitution Journal and publicized in their front page story: State ordered to reverse itself on some unemployment claims.

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Judge Upholds Pennsylvania’s Voter Suppression Law

Judge Upholds Pennsylvania’s Voter Suppression Law

A Pennsylvania state judge yesterday refused to block the voter suppression law that Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R) said “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the Pennsylvania law and other similar voter ID laws

are being pushed for partisan reasons to disenfranchise particular groups of voters.  They are cynical and wrong, and they undermine our democracy.

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Fire Fighters Launch Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness

Fire Fighters Launch Campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness

This is a crosspost from the Fire Fighters (IAFF).

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the IAFF encourages affiliates to participate in fundraising and awareness campaigns in
support of women in their fight against breast and other cancers.

Over the last several years, IAFF affiliates across North America have participated in events throughout October, prompting a movement to wear and sell pink  t-shirts as part of their breast cancer awareness efforts. Inspired by the  success of these campaigns, in 2010, the IAFF passed a resolution  that supports and encourages IAFF members to develop campaigns to benefit local  and national organizations dedicated to finding a cure for cancer.

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Romney-Ryan Budget Plan Would Devastate Working Families; Union Activists Spread the Word

AFGE and area unions protest Paul Ryan's budget at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

As Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan travel the country peddling their budget that would decimate Medicare, cut Social Security and give millionaires more tax breaks they don't need, union activists are reminding voters what their economic plans mean for working families. AFGE and other unions protested outside Sheldon Adelson's Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nev., yesterday during a Paul Ryan fundraiser. 

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Outside Money Influences Elections from the President to the Local Sheriff

Money influences elections at all levels. Photo courtesy of Yomanimus, Flickr.

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the current financial state of play in electoral politics. Despite the mega-finances poured into the current election cycle, working families have more power than they think—power at the polls.

It’s not just the presidential race that’s being flooded with money. Every political race—from your local sheriff to state and local judges to your state governors and legislators—is receiving more donations from an ever greedier financial elite.

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California's Prop. 32 Would Be Citizens United on Steroids

Chris Chapman

This is an excerpt from The Hill, by John Logan, professor and director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University.

Conservative activists in California are promoting a deceptive ballot proposition that would increase the ability of business groups and billionaires to dominate state elections. The measure, Proposition 32, claims to be an even-handed effort at campaign finance reform—but nothing could be further from the truth. Prop. 32 (or “Stop Special Interest Money Now,” as its big money supporters prefer to call it) would cripple the ability of unions to participate in politics but have little or no impact on unlimited spending by corporate executives and other wealthy individuals.

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Labor Lou: Hollywood’s Back Door

Photo courtesy of gavinj1984 Flickr.

This is a cross-post by Labor Lou. 

A neighborhood on the eastern edge of the L.A. basin and shorthand for the movie and television industries, Hollywood had its own city charter for fewer than 10 years before being annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. By joining L.A., it gained access to the water supply then beginning to flow by aqueduct from the Owens Valley, 233 miles to the north.

D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplin filmed there but now, in fact, studios and related businesses are situated throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with particular concentrations in Culver City, Burbank, the San Fernando Valley and—of course—the part of town known as Hollywood.

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