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A Growing Problem for All Families: Student Loan Debt

Today college graduates face crippling amounts of student loan debt.

Jessica Camacho is a policy intern at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.

As a low-income and first-generation college student in my family, the subject of student loans has been a matter of acute concern to me. High school counselors constantly told me that student loans are “good debt.” This type of information made it justifiable for peers in similar socioeconomic situations to borrow federal and private loans. But lenders take advantage of first-time borrowers by failing to explain in full detail future payment plans, which may cause individuals to be fiscally unprepared for post-graduate life. Current student debt trends must be fixed in order to stop setting up graduates for a lifetime of financial struggles.

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Madison Mental Health Workers Vote for AFSCME

Nearly 300 workers at Journey Mental Health Center in Madison, Wis., voted overwhelmingly to join AFSCME Council 40 last week. The two groups that chose AFSCME are the professional staff and the center’s paraprofessional workers. Journey is a private, non-profit organization and the workers provide mental health services at nine sites in Dane County.

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What Workers Really Fear on the Job

What’s your biggest worry about your job?

Some 40 percent of America’s workers say they fear their benefits will be reduced in the near future, according to Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll released today. That compares with 28 percent who are afraid their wages will be cut back and 28 percent who fear they will be laid off, a percentage that's still high compared with pre-recession levels. (Click on chart to enlarge.) In addition, 26 percent fear their hours will be cut back.

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Ryan’s Rage?

Photo by Dave Hoefler/Flickr

It’s darn hard to find an area where we and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan agree. But there is at least one. Ryan says he is a big fan of the band Rage Against the Machine. Who knew Ryan—the Ayn Rand disciple and worshipper of unfettered corporate power—could find common ground with Rage, which has made a career out of singing and fighting for progressive causes and against corporate greed?

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New Immigrant Businesses Are Good for U.S. Economy

New Immigrant Businesses Are Good for U.S. Economy

Immigrant-owned new businesses are critical to jump-starting the U.S. economy and creating jobs, according to a recent report by
the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Immigrant-owned businesses now employ one out of every 10 U.S. workers at privately owned companies and add more than $775 billion of revenue to the U.S. gross domestic product.

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Union Summer Organizes for Change with New York City Taxi Drivers

Photo Credit: Robert Struckman

The next time you take a cab, take a moment to think about the person driving the car. Taxi drivers typically do not have the same benefits as workers in other professions. But the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA) is working to change that. 

NTWA in New York City is the largest taxi driver union in the United States working to ensure that its members can make a living wage. This summer, Sahar Khan, one of the nine New York Union Summer interns, is learning about NTWA's innovative strategies to grow the union's membership.

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Mitt Romney: BainOfOurExistence.com

BainofOurExistence-Banner

Mitt Romney likes to cite his experience as a businessman as qualifying him to be president.

A new website takes a close look at Romney’s participation in the corporate world—his many years as CEO of the hedge fund Bain Capital. The closer you look, the uglier it gets.

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Palermo CEO Seeks Meeting with Trumka in Pizza Strike

The AFL-CIO welcomes a dialogue with Palermo Villa Inc. CEO Giacomo Fallucca to discuss the company’s recent actions in response to union organizing efforts among workers at the pizza manufacturing plant in Milwaukee, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today.

I am encouraged by your willingness to discuss workers’ desire for a voice on the job. It is only through open dialogue that management and labor can reach a just and fair resolution of workplace problems, and I am happy to participate in opening such a dialogue.

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Young Workers Showcase Solidarity, Creativity, Team-Building at WSLC Convention

After WA YELL’s first annual convention, (from left) Kamaria Hightower, Justine Winnie, Elaine Carlson, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, Tasha West Baker and Jorge Antonio Valenzuela.

This is a cross-post, by Justine Winnie, from The Stand, a project of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) and its affiliated unions. Winnie of OPEIU Local 8 is the newly elected recording secretary for WA YELL. 

More than 50 young leaders and allies converged Aug. 5 in Wenatchee for the Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders’ (WA YELL's) first annual convention. Members from diverse corners of the state kicked off their time at the WSLC’s convention with a bang and brought their trademark spark and dedication to movement-building across industries, unions and generations.

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Immigration Action and Its Troubling Effects on Children

Immigration Action and Its Troubling Effects on Children

Imagine if you were a child and living in constant fear of losing your parents.

For many children of aspiring citizens, potential loss of one or both parents is a day-to-day reality. Deportations can force children into foster care when their parents are shipped out of the country and leave single mothers struggling to make ends meet.

A new Center for American Progress report highlights how deportations break up families and negatively affect the entire community.

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