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AFL-CIO Now

Trumka: Bain-Style Tactics by Hostess Are ‘Wrecking America’

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement concerning Hostess Brands' announcement that it will liquidate its holdings and cease operations, costing 18,000 workers their jobs.

What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price. These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed. They have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they and their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. This is wrong. It has to stop. It’s wrecking America.

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Urgent Appeal for Relief for Fire Fighters Affected by Superstorm Sandy

Photo courtesy of iFireDesign

Thousands of Fire Fighters (IAFF) who were on the front lines in the response to Superstorm Sandy lost their own homes and personal lives while working hard to save the lives and homes of others. Many of them are now struggling and need direct financial assistance immediately. Despite the help they are receiving from family, friends and their fellow IAFF members, they need more help in starting their lives over.

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Campaign for America's Future Launches 'Wage Class War' Website

Photo courtesy of Talk Radio News Service

The Campaign for America's Future (CAF) launched a new website Thursday, Wage Class War, saying that the 2012 election was, in large part, about class warfare and that the Democrats who sided with the middle class and poor were the victors.

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The Story of One New Arizona Voter

Sarah Burris of UNITE HERE sends us this update from Arizona. Burris works in online media. 

I've been on the ground this week in Arizona to help a campaign UNITE HERE invested in this year called Adios Arpaio. Adios Arpaio was a massive voter-registration campaign, aimed at voting out the notoriously anti-immigrant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, that was led by 2,000 high school students, many of them the children of immigrants. We registered 35,000 new voters, and 70% of them are Latino. I've spent some time here before and many, many weeks since helping with everything I could. 

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Palm Beach Unions Show Big Heart for Thanksgiving

Big Heart Brigade photo

If you live in the Palm Beach, Fla., Treasure Coast area and want to help make Thanksgiving happen for families who might need a boost, you can join the Big Heart Brigade’s Thanksgiving Feast, 2012. Supported by the United Way of Palm Beach County Partnership, which includes the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO, the Big Heart Brigade is looking for 4,000 volunteers who can help prepare, cook, package and distribute the nearly 100,000 meals for the homeless and disadvantaged.

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UNITE HERE, Students and Community Activists in Arizona Say 'Count Our Votes'

UNITE HERE, Students and Community Activists in Arizona Say 'Count Our Votes'

More than 100 high school students and members of UNITE HERE, Promise Arizona in Action and Adios Arpaio are rallying outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office to demand the more than 450,000 provisional ballots be counted. 

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How to Boost the Economy by Ending Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

A new report by Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and The Century Foundation (TCF) shows how ending Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans could lead to 2 million more jobs in 2013 and 1.4 million more jobs in 2014.

The EPI report explains what economists already know about tax cuts for the wealthy—they are extremely ineffective in creating jobs.

EPI shows how we could end these wasteful tax cuts for the wealthy, use half of the savings to reduce the deficit and use the other half to create jobs in much more effective ways.

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Members of Congress to Introduce Legislation to Address Some Voter Suppression Concerns

Photo courtesy of George Miller

After widespread reports of long lines and problems with voting on Election Day, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) announced that he will introduce legislation that will help address at least part of the problem. 

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Elected Officials and President Trumka Reject Benefit Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

A group of Democratic senators is circulating a letter opposing benefit cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and saying that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should expire at the end of the year. The letter also calls for increasing revenue, cuts to defense and the closing of tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. The letter was drafted by Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) and Tom Harkin (Iowa). The Democratic senators are hoping to get 30 senators to sign the letter.

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If Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Expire, Economy Will Lose 400,000 Jobs

If Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Expire, Economy Will Lose 400,000 Jobs

A study released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that 400,000 jobs could be lost if Congress fails to extend the federally funded extended Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits program when it expires at the end of 2012.  Unemployment benefits not only provide a lifeline to unemployed workers struggling to get by, but also provide critical support for the economy.  According to EPI, “economists widely recognize that extending unemployment benefits is one of the most effective tools for generating jobs in a downturn” because cash-strapped jobless workers immediately spend their UI benefits, and this spending generates activity throughout the economy.  EPI finds that if Congress refuses to extend UI, the unemployment rate will be 0.3% higher next year than it will be if Congress continues the program.

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