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AFL-CIO Now

American Crystal Sugar Workers Ratify Contract

Locked-out workers at American Crystal Sugar plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa will soon be returning to work after they ratified a contract late last week. The company locked out 1,300 workers, members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), in August 2011.

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Current Patriot Coal CEO Agrees with UMWA Claim That Patriot Seemed Designed to Fail

Current Patriot Coal CEO Agrees with UMWA Claim That Patriot Seemed Designed to Fail

As previously reported, the Mine Workers (UMWA) contend that Patriot Coal was set up by Peabody Energy and Arch Coal purposely to fail in order to dump costs associated with retirees who had worked for the two companies. Now Ben Hatfield, the current CEO of Patriot, says that he agrees with UMWA President Cecil Roberts that the creation of Patriot seemed destined to fail. Hatfield was, at the time, CEO of International Coal Group. Patriot recently has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to shed retiree costs, mostly from Peabody and Arch.

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New PayWatch Spotlights CEO Pay, Fix the Debt Hypocrisy, Golden Nest Eggs and More

www.paywatch.org

Did you know that the CEOs of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, the corporate front group that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare and lower corporate taxes, have parked more than $418 billion of untaxed corporate profits overseas? Overall it is estimated that U.S. corporations have as much as $1.9 trillion sheltered overseas. That would make a nice down payment on fixing the debt.

You can read about "Fix the Debt" and more in the 2013 edition of the AFL-CIO’s Executive PayWatch launched today. PayWatch not only shines a light on Fix the Debt hypocrisy, but it also explores the huge wage gap between CEO pay and the average U.S. worker. PayWatch started in 1997. 

Visit www.paywatch.org.

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Restaurant Worker Advocate to Appear on 'Real Time with Bill Maher' Tonight

Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman, co-director and co-founder of ROC-United, will appear on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" tonight at 10 p.m. EDT to discuss the importance of raising the tipped minimum wage for our country's 10 million restaurant workers. 

If you have HBO, be sure to tune in. 

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Want to Understand the Economy? Attend These D.C. AFL-CIO Book Club Events

Want to Understand the Economy? Attend These D.C. AFL-CIO Book Club Events

AFL-CIO will be hosting two powerful Book Club events in Washington, D.C., that will help explain the current state of the U.S. economy, income inequality and the politics of austerity. On Monday, April 15, Nobel Prize-winning author Joseph Stiglitz will be discussing his book The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future. On Tuesday, April 16, Robert Kuttner will talk about his book Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility.

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Increasing the Minimum Wage Would Boost the Housing Market: A Firsthand Account

Increasing the Minimum Wage Would Boost the Housing Market: A Firsthand Account

This is a cross-post, by Doug Foote, from Working America's Main Street blog

This week, Minnesota state Rep. Jason Metsa (D) is taking the Working America Minimum Wage Challenge—living on the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. He’ll report his experience back to the Minnesota legislature, where they are considering a bill to raise the minimum wage to $9.95.

On Wednesday, Metsa’s challenge was to find a place to live. Why a challenge? His budget that he set out on Monday allowed for only $359 a month for housing.

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