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AFL-CIO Now

Follow Your Dreams and Complete Your College Degree

If you’ve been considering going back to school, why not take the next steps at the National Labor College (NLC). The NLC’s online degree programs make it easy to balance work, family and school.

Bruce Dantley

2012 graduates Bruce Dantley of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) and AFSCME member Tina Davis did it. So can you.

Tina Davis

Spring semester begins Jan. 7, 2013, and if you apply now, you can get 50% off the application fee.  

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AFL-CIO Calls on Iraq and Fiji Governments to Improve Labor Rights

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the United States Trade Representative convened hearings on labor rights in Fiji and Iraq in response to petitions the AFL-CIO filed.

As developing countries, both Fiji and Iraq receive tariff benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences. In order to keep the benefits, countries have to comply with a number of conditions, including the requirement to take steps to ensure their workers can exercise internationally recognized worker rights, including freedom of association, collective bargaining and freedoms from forced labor.

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EPI: Obama Too Quiet on Job Record

President Obama and Mitt Romney discussed jobs during the debate, but the president didn't use the opportunity to tout his record of job creation or proposals, writes Economic Policy Institute's (EPI's) Rebecca Thiess. For more than two and half years, private-sector jobs are growing. 

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Solidarity Center: Take Part in World Day for Decent Work Oct. 7

Take Part in World Day for Decent Work Oct. 7

"Take Part in World Day for Decent Work Oct. 7" is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center. 

Being employed in “decent work” sounds basic. But for millions of people around the world, it’s not a reality. When workers are jobless—or, at the other end of the spectrum, forced to toil under dangerous job conditions or for pay so low they cannot support themselves or their families, decent work is out of reach.

 
 

Each Oct. 7, World Day for Decent Work reminds all of us about the plight of these workers. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) launched Decent Work Day in 2008, and each year, the Solidarity Center and its partners in the global labor movement observe that day to bring attention to the need for decent work. As the ITUC states: “Decent work must be at the center of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first.”

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Eternity in O'Hare, or Romney’s ‘Permanently Delayed’ Aviation Plan

Many of us have fumed at the gate or sweated while stuck on the tarmac as our flights have been delayed. Things would get even worse in the aviation world, especially for workers, under a Romney administration, as the new website Permanently Delayed illustrates.

The site, from the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), shows the stark contrast between President Obama and Mitt Romney on issues that matter to aviation workers.

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Jobless Rate Drops to 7.8% in September

The unemployment rate declined from 8.1% in August to 7.8% in September, with 114,000 jobs added last month, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There has been positive private-sector job growth for more than two and a half years. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says this morning’s jobs report:

confirms that the economy is finally beginning to build some momentum, as we work to dig out of the devastatingly deep hole that President Obama inherited from George W. Bush and a generation of flawed policies.  Now we need the President and Congress to build on this momentum and keep their focus on job creation, including by passing the American Jobs Act. 

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Workers and Community Activists Take on Mining Corporation in Mexico

Brian Finnegan talks to mineworkers and community members.

At 6 a.m., the AFL-CIO participated as an international observer as mineworkers and community members peacefully blocked access to the Canadian mining company Excellon Resources Inc. at La Platosa mine in Durango, Mexico. The protesters have maintained their camp at the entrance of the mine since July 8. They continue to seek negotiation and demand a resolution to the conflicts between Excellon, local landowners and workers in the mine.

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SoCal Wal-Mart Workers Strike

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor photo.

For the first time in history, Wal-Mart workers have gone on strike. Workers participating in the one-day strike at several Southern California stores say they are striking to protest attempts by Wal-Mart to silence and retaliate against associates who speak out about working conditions, low-pay, lack of respect and other issues that plague workers at the notorious anti-union retail giant.

While the striking workers are not union members, they have joined together in OUR Wal-Mart, a worker-led organization that stands up to make change in its company.

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Union Drive Registers 450,000 New Voters

Union Drive Registers 450,000 New Voters

More than 450,000 new voters from union households may be going to the polls Nov. 6 thanks to an ongoing voter registration drive by the union movement, says AFL-CIO Political Director Mike Podhorzer.

We're really proud that more union members are going to be engaged. Whoever they vote for, the fact is we're increasing civic participation.

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The Betrayal of America's Middle Class Was a Choice, Not an Accident

"The Betrayal of America's Middle Class Was a Choice, Not an Accident" is a cross-post from Truthout by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.

The outsourcing of good jobs, the elimination of pensions, rampant home foreclosures; skyrocketing higher education costs and mounting debt: Given these stark realities, the American middle class seems to be sinking fast. The renowned reporting team of Donald Barlett and James Steele insists it is no accident.

I was excited to talk with the duo about the problems now facing our middle class—and about how we can pull ourselves from the abyss.

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