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AFL-CIO Now

DREAMers Organize for Immigration Reform

Photo courtesy of United We Dream's Facebook page.

This weekend, more than 600 youth activists gathered in Kansas City, Mo., to discuss strategies and outline priorities for the United We Dream (UWD) network. UWD is the largest immigrant youth organization in the country with 47 affiliates in 25 states. The National Congress provided an opportunity for participants to celebrate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and their successful "I am a DREAM Voter" get out the vote campaign. 

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Machinists Raise $299,000 for Guide Dogs of America

 Machinists Raise $299,000 For Guide Dogs of America

This is a cross-post from the Machinists Newsa blog focused on news of interest to members of the Machinists (IAM) District Lodge 751.

Machinists District Lodge 751 raised nearly $299,000 for Guide Dogs of America in 2012.

District President Tom Wroblewski presented the California-based charity with a check for $298,949.66 at the annual Guide Dogs Banquet on Nov. 17 in Las Vegas.

That’s a record one-year fundraising total for District 751, which is Guide Dogs of America’s top fundraiser across North America.

Watch "IAM's Guide Dogs of America Changes Lives" on YouTube. 

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Back to the Bargaining Table, Labor Leaders Tell Gov. Quinn

This post is from the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan and Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez are calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to reverse his decision to terminate the union contract that covers some 35,000 state workers.

“State employees are on the frontlines every day preserving public safety, safeguarding children and assisting families, caring for aging veterans, responding to disasters, and protecting our environment,” Carrigan said.  “Gov. Quinn’s effort to undermine their collective bargaining rights is unwarranted and virtually unprecedented in Illinois government.

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Workplace Advice: Can't Stand It

Workplace Advice: Can't Stand It

Can't Stand It is a cross-post from Working America’s Dear David workplace advice column. David knows you deserve to be treated fairly on the job and he’s available to answer your questions, whether it is co-workers making off-handed comments that you should retire or you feel like your job's long hours are causing stress.

Question:

Are there any laws that protect workers who are required to stand all day? For example, I noticed that the pharmacists at a large chain drug store aren't allowed to sit at their computers and must stand all day. I asked some of the workers about it, and they said that they end up suffering leg pain as a result. Do OSHA standards apply here? Can anything be done about it? It seems as if this would be an issue that would affect a lot of other workers in the service industry, such as those who work in hair salons.

—Anthony, New York

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Obama Budget Keeps Faith with Voters

The budget proposal President Obama gave Republicans yesterday "keeps faith with the voters in last month’s election, who overwhelmingly opposed tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans and benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare," says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

The ball is now in the Republicans’ court. Unfortunately, Republicans do not seem to have learned the lessons from their shellacking at the polls in November.  They are still insisting on the very things voters rejected so resoundingly: tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% and benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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UNITE HERE Elects Taylor as New President

From left to right: UNITE HERE Secretary-Treasurer Sherri Chiesa, President D. Taylor and Retiring President John Wilhelm.

D. Taylor, leader of UNITE HERE’s Local 226 (the Culinary Workers Union) in Las Vegas, has been elected president of the national union. He replaces John Wilhelm, who served as president since 2009.

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Reaching Workers Key to HIV/AIDS Prevention

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day and the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center is spreading the word.

A new post on the center's website says, "Reaching workers on the job and educating them about HIV prevention is an essential element in slowing—and ultimately ending—HIV/AIDS."

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Workers Cheer Living Wage Victory in Austin

Workers Defense Project. Photo by John Anderson, The Austin Chronicle

Construction workers and others in the Austin, Texas, area are celebrating a coalition victory this week after Travis County commissioners approved a first-ever economic development policy that includes a living wage requirement.

The policy requires contractors asking for tax incentives to move into the county to pay all employees at least $11 per hour. It’s a significant improvement over the prevailing construction hourly wage of $7.50.

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Solutions: What Congress Should Do During the Lame-Duck Session

Photo of Jacob Hacker courtesy House Committee on Education and the Workforce Dem

We have five weeks to tell Congress to let the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire and reject any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Visit www.aflcio.org/ProtectOurFuture for all the information you need on the upcoming budget showdown. 

As Congress deliberates during the "lame-duck" session, benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are being targeted for cuts. Some say benefit cuts are necessary because we face a debt crisis, but working families and their allies strongly reject such claims. It is true that we face a projected budget imbalance over the long term, but the answer is to tackle the real reasons for this imbalance and not use deficits as an excuse to pursue unrelated agendas.  Here are a few specific AFL-CIO suggestions that would tackle the true causes of this problem without cutting benefits.

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AFL-CIO Demands 'Unionmade' Stop Its Fakery

"Unionmade" isn't.

Attention "Unionmade": We're not flattered by imitation.

What happens when a company that acknowledges its clothing is not union-made names itself "Unionmade" anyway? Count on union members proud of their reputation for quality work to say "Give it up." In a  letter  Thursday, the AFL-CIO demanded that the apparel company Unionmade—which also has a logo suspiciously like the historic AFL-CIO “handshake” logo—stop its trademark infringement and unfair competition.

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