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Join Walmart Workers for Black Friday Actions

Walmart workers around the country are mobilizing for a “Black Friday” strike to protest working conditions, wages and retaliation against workers who speak out. Last week, workers and their allies at a Walmart warehouse picketed and rallied in front of the Riverside County, Calif., facility following last Wednesday’s strike by some two dozen warehouse workers.

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Through the Eyes of a Union Member: The Slow Demise of an American Baking Company

Through the Eyes of a Union Member: The Slow Demise of an American Baking Company

This is an excerpt of Through the Eyes of a Union Member: The Slow Demise of an American Baking Company, which appeared on the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) blog. 

The following story was sent to us by a retired BCTGM Local 24 member. It is a true account of a dedicated bakery worker who grew up in and with Interstate Bakeries Corp. (IBC), in its various forms. Like his father before him, he spent his career working hard and supporting his family with good wages and the protection of a union contract. And like his father, he watched as the company was mismanaged and began the spiral of demise.

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Mo. High Court Says Public Bodies Must Bargain in Good Faith

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that when cities, school boards and other public bodies bargain with workers’ unions, they must do so in good faith with the intention of reaching an agreement. While that may seem like common sense to most of us, two earlier rulings, including one from 1957, said that while such public entities are obligated to recognize the workers’ unions, they did not have to bargain.

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Working America’s Second Annual #TurkeyTalk: The Seq-what?-ster Edition

Working America’s Second Annual #TurkeyTalk: The Seq-what?-ster Edition

"Working America’s Second Annual #TurkeyTalk: The Seq-what?-ster Edition" is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

Picture this: You’re home for the holidays, about to dive into that rich, golden-brown pumpkin pie, when suddenly a conversation erupts with your mother-in-law about “deficit reduction” or “debt crisis.” "We spend too much," she says, indignant. "Why can’t the federal government pay its bills—I do." A “harrumph!” is implied by the look she’s giving you. What do you say? 

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Walmart’s Black Thursday Hits Paducah

Check out this graphic on AFL-CIO's Facebook page.

Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this.

James Vetato planned to spend Black Friday wearing out shoe leather on a picket line at the Southside Walmart in Paducah, Ky.

"Now I'll be there Thanksgiving night, too," Vetato said. "Walmart has announced it will be open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, which will prevent a lot of the associates from spending the holiday with their families.”

Help spread the word about Walmart strikers by sharing the United States of Walton infographic (above) on Facebook

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Kettle with Mettle: Union Members Fashion Super-Sized Salvation Army Kettle for the Holidays

Photo courtesy of Jay Larson

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "Union Members Fashion Super-Sized Salvation Army Kettle for the Holidays."

Around the holidays, grocery store shoppers expect to see a cheerful person in a Santa hat and red apron, ringing a bell and collecting donations in the iconic Salvation Army red kettle.

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T-Mobile Workers' Struggle to Gain a Voice on the Job Resonates Across the Globe

T-Mobile, the telecom company that earlier this 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 under what workers describe as a “climate of tyranny,” says Lothar Schroeder of German union ver.di, which represents workers at Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company. Schroeder spoke with Reuters


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L.A. Union Members Walk for Homeless Heroes

These L.A. union members who staffed the Homeless Heroes team sign-up booth at Homewalk 2012, are just part of the 500-plus strong union turnout. Los Angeles County Labor Federation photo

More than 10,000 Angelenos, including members of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s “Team Homeless Heroes,” took part in the United Way’s 2012 HomeWalk 5K Run/Walk Nov. 17 to raise funds to combat homelessness in the Los Angeles area. The more than 500 members of Team Homeless Heroes are from Los Angeles unions and the team is organized by the L.A. Fed’s AFL-CIO Community Services/United Way partnership. It focuses on the men and women who served our country and who are now facing homelessness. 

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AARP Members Oppose Cuts to Medicare/Medicaid

A powerful ally has joined in the fight to protect Medicare and Medicaid benefits. AARP President A. Barry Rand wrote a strongly worded letter to President Obama and Congress, stating that the organization's membership overwhelmingly opposes benefit cuts to Medicare or Medicaid as part of any deal to lower the deficit by the end of the year. A survey of members of the AARP shows that more than 70% of members said they want Washington to focus on improving and strengthening health care for seniors. They also are opposed to any changes to the programs that would weaken benefits for seniors who live on limited, fixed incomes. 

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Arizona Secretary of State Reverses Position, Calling for Overhaul of Election Process

Photo courtesy of Adios Arpaio's Facebook page.

UNITE HERE sends us this report from Arizona. 

After more than a week of protests that brought national attention to what Rachel Maddow called “Arizona’s Broken Electoral System,” Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett told the Associated Press over the weekend that he will seek an overhaul of Arizona’s ballot-counting process.

Bennett’s announcement comes just days after his initial insistence that, while not perfect, Arizona’s counting this year was customary and that protests were unnecessary.

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