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Unions Continue to Help Out Working Families Hit Hard by Sandy

While John Boehner and his allies in the U.S. House of Representatives play politics with aid to families whose lives were shattered by Superstorm Sandy, numerous unions have stepped up to provide money and supplies to those in need. Here are a few examples of how unions are helping families recover from the storm's devastation.

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6 Reasons Why Means-Testing Social Security and Medicare Is a Real Dud

Photo courtesy of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Means-testing Social Security and Medicare is an idea thrown around a lot to "find savings" because, on the surface, it doesn't sound too painful. Wealthy people typically are able to save more and invest in retirement than lower- and middle-income earners, so they don't need Social Security and Medicare as much, right? Wrong. 

Means testing Social Security and Medicare is a cynical way to weaken and destroy benefits for middle-income working people.

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BCTGM Elects New Leaders

BCTGM President David B. Durkee (right) and BCTGM Secretary-Treasurer Steve Bertelli. BCTGM photo.

David B. Durkee, who served as secretary-treasurer for the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) since 1998, is the union’s new president after the BCTGM’s General Executive Board approved his nomination. He succeeds Frank Hurt, who retired Jan. 1 after 20 years in office. The board also approved Steve Bertelli as secretary-treasurer.

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Portland to Discuss Paid Sick Leave Requirement

The city of Portland, Ore., is planning to discuss a proposal by the Everybody Benefits community coalition that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The coalition is made up of labor, community and business groups and is seeking to follow in the footsteps of San Francisco and other cities that have successfully passed similar ordinances.

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Jobless Rate Unchanged in December, Economy Adds 155,000 Jobs

Jobless Rate Unchanged in December, Economy Adds 155,000 Jobs

The nation’s economy added 155,000 new jobs in December and the jobless rate was unchanged from November’s adjusted 7.8%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 155,000 jobs created reflect 34 straight months of positive job growth.

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New Immigration Rule Aims to Keep Families Together

Photo courtesy of the We Belong Together campaign on Flickr.

Immigrant families with a spouse, child or parent who is a U.S. citizen will no longer be torn from each other when a family member who is an aspiring citizen begins the process of obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the United States, under a new federal rule on immigration announced Wednesday. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says the rule:

Facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa.

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Orlando Sentinel: Union-Busting's the Secret Filling Inside Twinkie Demise

Photo courtesy ephien

An editorial in Wednesday's Orlando Sentinel challenges numerous myths about the end of Hostess and correctly blames the company's downfall on management's assault on working families.

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Boehner Offers Patchwork Hurricane Sandy Aid

Photo courtesy of the United States Congress.

Yesterday, we told you House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) broke his promise to hold a vote on a desperately needed relief package for the victims and communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy more than two months after the storm. After a massive and angry outcry—especially from members of his own party who called his vote squelching a “cruel stab in the back”—Boehner announced he would bring a hurricane aid bill to the floor Friday.

But that patchwork package falls far short of the help Sandy’s victims need.

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Conjuring a High-Tech Labor Shortage

By English: Cpl. Lucas Vega [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We hear two views about the high-tech workforce.

On one hand, employers warn of a dire labor shortage. On the other, recent high-tech graduates can't find jobs. Many face crushing student loans that they may never pay off. Mid-career high-tech workers are steadily being let go. Discouraged mid-career workers take lower-paid service jobs after months of searching for a job as good as the one they lost.

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Make the Call: The Shocking Truth About the U.S. Senate

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is leading a campaign to change the current rules that govern the U.S. Senate that hurt the democratic process. 

CWA writes on its "Fix the Senate Now" site:

In the past, our nation was able to move forward on landmark legislation that put in place workers' rights, civil rights, retirement security for seniors and much more.

But today, obscure tactics—like the "silent" filibuster—allow individual senators to hold the nation's work hostage while cutting backroom deals. And the problem is getting worse.

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