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Virginia Republicans Move to Mute Workers’ Voice in Workforce Development

During the past few years, as Republicans have taken control of state legislatures and governors’ offices, the attacks on workers and their unions have gone from the extreme we saw in Wisconsin and Michigan to the more subtle, as we are seeing today in Virginia.

Legislation in the state House and Senate, that anti-worker lawmakers had hoped would fly under the radar, would reduce labor representation on the 29-member Virginia Workforce Council (VWC) to just one person.

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BCTGM Members Vital to Success of Spun Off Hostess Brands

As part of the bankruptcy process, the divisions of Hostess Brands are being auctioned off and, says David B. Durkee, international president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), “We are working diligently with potential new buyers on behalf of those workers affected by the ongoing process.”

The success of the new companies is dependent upon a turn-key restart of operations, which our highly skilled members are more than able to provide.

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DREAMer Lopez on Mobilizing for Immigration Reform

A road map to citizenship is now a real possibility for 11 million aspiring citizens, thanks to immigration reform blueprints from President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators.

But DREAMer Rafael Lopez reminds us that it will take real hard work and persistence to make citizenship a reality for the millions of aspiring Americans. Check out Lopez's thoughts in the YouTube video in the post. 

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Union Plus Scholarship Deadline Is Tomorrow

Randell Krol, AFSCME Local 2733.

The 2013 Union Plus Scholarship application is now available but time is running out to apply. A complete application must be received on or before 12 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

How does the Union Plus Scholarship Program work?

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Ground Game: USA Helps Renew Wildlife Areas

Ground Game: USA Helps Renew Wildlife Areas

Under a white, wintry sky, nearly two-dozen union members volunteered to rebuild a 100-foot wooden bridge on a public trail in the Black Hills.

“When you’ve got skilled workers with the right tools, the work goes quick,” says Dana Garry, who manages the 109-mile Mickelson Trail for South Dakota’s Department of Game, Fish and Parks. In two days, the volunteers rebuilt abutments and replaced the bridge surface and railing. “It was just amazing,” she said. “These volunteers fill an important need.”

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Mine Workers President Roberts and Nine Others Arrested at Peabody Energy Protest

Photo of protesters who were arrested outside Peabody Energy headquarters. Credit: Cathy Sherwin

Mine Workers (UMWAPresident Cecil Roberts and nine other union members were arrested in front of Peabody Energy’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis yesterday, as more than 750 members and retirees sang Amazing Grace and held signs calling for fairness. Several of those arrested had oxygen tanks, and many in the crowd were brought to tears as the arrested protesters were peacefully loaded into the sheriff’s van while Which Side Are You On played on the loudspeakers. The protesters arrived at Peabody after marching from federal bankruptcy court, where Patriot Coal’s lawyers were inside. Those arrested were released later in the day, according to the St. Louis City Division of Corrections. 

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In the States Roundup for Jan. 29

Image courtesy RIGovernor

Here's a look at some of the key battles in the states from the past week.

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Obama Poised to Sign Long Overdue Sandy Relief Bill

As soon as the Hurricane Sandy relief bill that the U.S. Senate passed Monday night lands on President Obama’s desk, he says he will sign it. But he notes that legislation to help families and communities recover from the devastating November hurricane is long overdue.

For the families working to put their lives back together, every day without relief is one day too many.

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Special Needs Students at Risk Under Bloomberg’s NYC School Bus Plan

New York City school children with special physical, emotional and mental needs could be bused to school with general education students under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to cut student transportation costs, according to the New York Daily News.

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Obama Calls for Road Map to Citizenship in Immigration Reform

Young people gather outside the high school in Las Vegas where President Obama unveiled his immigration platform.

The immigration reform platform President Obama unveiled today at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas shows, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

The president clearly shares the AFL-CIO’s commitment to a viable pathway to citizenship, meaning that seemingly innocuous conditions cannot be allowed to get in the way of a road map for citizenship that encompasses the dreams of 11 million people.

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