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A Great Opportunity for the Land of Opportunity

Photo courtesy House Committee on Education and Workforce Development

President Obama made the case in his State of the Union address last week for swift passage of comprehensive immigration reform. His powerful call for Congress to "get this done" brought members on both sides of the aisle to their feet and made it clear that, after decades of congressional inaction and presidential timidity, comprehensive immigration reform finally has a solid chance to pass.

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Wall Street Journal Article Dismisses Poverty and Workers' Rights in Bangladesh

A Bangladeshi garment worker. Photo courtesy of the Solidarity Center.

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial, American Unions vs. Bangladesh's Workers (subscription only), dismisses poverty and workers' rights in a country where devastating garment factory fires have killed 119 people in recent months, which the Journal has reported on. The editorial makes several erroneous points about garment workers in Bangladesh, and the threat to remove the country's duty-free status because of workers' rights violations.  

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Union Members @Work: Collaboration

Union Members @Work: Collaboration

As we continue this week’s launch of the AFL-CIO’s new online hub @Work, today we are spotlighting “Collaboration,” one of the seven featured categories of the new site.

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North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Slashing Unemployment Insurance

Photo courtesy Hal Goodtree

Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill Tuesday that will make life much harder for North Carolina's unemployed workers. Beginning July 1, new claims will be reduced from $535 to $350 as the maximum benefit per week. And while current recipients can get unemployment insurance payments for 26 weeks, that number will be cut to a maximum of somewhere between 12 to 20 weeks, the duration varying depending upon the state's unemployment rate. If the maximum fell below 19 weeks, North Carolina would offer the lowest maximum number of weeks in the country. The bill also rejects extra benefits allowed under federal law, which means that 170,000 residents will lose $780 million in current weekly payments.

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Global Union Movement Backs T-Mobile USA Workers’ Struggle

T-Mobile, the telecom company that last year closed seven call centers in the United States and shipped more than 3,300 jobs overseas, is running its remaining U.S. call center operations with abusive and intimidating tactics, T-Mobile workers at the company’s Charleston, S.C., call center told a workers' rights hearing (see video, below) last week.

Workers at a number of T-Mobile (owned by Deutsche Telekom) call centers are mobilizing to win a voice at work with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and have been met with a fierce anti-union campaign.

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Missouri Voters Urge Senate to Reject ALEC-Inspired Anti-Worker Legislation

Photo courtesy We Are Missouri

Voters from across the state of Missouri wrote letters to their state senators this week, urging them to reject "right to work" for less and paycheck deception legislation. Both proposals are currently before the state's General Assembly.

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Union Members Raise Voices for Commonsense Immigration Reform, Path to Citizenship

Several hundred union, immigrant and community activists rallied in Seattle on Monday and called for comprehensive, commonsense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for more than 11 million aspiring citizens.

The Seattle action was one of more than a dozen events that are the kickoff of the AFL-CIO’s immigration reform campaign

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What’s So Great About Unions, Anyway?

Photo from the AFL-CIO website feature Taxi! Taxi! by Robert Struckman

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, outside of election campaign seasons, even progressives wonder what’s so great about unions. Sure, we had a role to play before job safety laws, the eight-hour day, Social Security and civil rights laws were passed. But today?  

Even our friends aren’t immune to the relentless attacks on unions from the right and the stereotypes that come with them: union thugs, lazy workers, relics of the past, self-absorbed, yadda, yadda, yadda.

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Bowles-Simpson 'B-S' Zombie Plan Tells Working People to 'Drop Dead'

It's back. No matter how many times working people reject the Bowles-Simpson "B-S" budget plan that cynically claims it would "promote economic growth "—but would actually snuff out the recovery and cut lifelines for working families—it keeps coming back to the table. 

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson released another tired plan today that would cut Social Security COLAs to pay for lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, among other things. 

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Latino Population in California Changes Attitudes Toward Immigration Reform

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

By the end of 2013, Latinos will make up 40% of California's population. By the end of 2050, that number will rise to 48%. The growing Latino and immigrant communities in California are changing the way Californians view immigration reform, New York Times' Jennifer Medina writes. In a state where, a generation ago, voters passed what is considered one of the most anti-immigrant ballot initiatives, recent polls show a dramatic shift in perception of aspiring Americans. Californians now say that "immigrants are a benefit to the state, according to public opinion polls from the Public Policy Institute of California."

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