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AFL-CIO Now

Retailers Key to Bangladesh Worker Safety, Investors Tell Walmart, Gap

Clean Clothing Campaign illustration

A coalition of faith organizations, investors and labor groups—including the AFL-CIO—is urging major U.S. retailers, including Walmart, Gap, Sears and others, to sign on to a binding workplace and fire safety plan to prevent tragedies such as the recent building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 garment workers and two 2012 fires that claimed the lives of more than 400 Bangladeshi clothing workers.  

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Hall of Fame Honors Three Women Labor Trailblazers

Hall of Fame Honors Three Women Labor Trailblazers

Three pioneering and historic women labor trailblazers were inducted into Labor’s International Hall of Fame Thursday night. The award ceremony honored Evelyn DubrowViola Liuzzo and Anna “Annie” Klobuchar Clemenc posthumously.  

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Republican Filibuster Next Battle for NLRB Nominees?

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been under “relentless political attack [and] many elected officials are actively trying to shut the NLRB down,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said this morning as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (HELP) opened confirmation hearings on a package of nominees to the board.

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High-Tech Firms Want Low-Wage—Not U.S.—Workers

Photo of Lanai by Justin Ornellas (Flickr).

Before a company, say Oracle, would be allowed to recruit and hire foreign workers under the H1B visa program in the draft of the immigration bill now under consideration in the Senate, it first must give U.S. workers who are equally or better qualified the first shot at the jobs. That sounds like a patriotic no-brainer.

But recent news reports outline a huge lobbying effort by high-tech firms—like Google and Microsoft—to get those pro-U.S. worker provisions out of the bill.

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Fast Food Workers Walk Off the Job in Milwaukee

Photo courtesy Wisconsin AFL-CIO

Fast food workers in Milwaukee, Wis., became the latest to join a nation-wide movement for a living wage by walking off the job on Wednesday and calling for both an increase in wages and the recognition of their right to form a union free from employer harassment or retaliation.  Hundreds of workers joined the walkout, leaving restaurants like McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Old Country Buffet and Popeye's.  A rally is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

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Getting to the Root of the Immigration Debate

Recently, the Heritage Foundation released a report condemning the current push for resolving America’s moral dilemma over immigration. One of its co-authors, Jason Richwine, has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. But, it turns out that his dissertation concluded that Hispanic immigrants have low intelligence and will have grandchildren in America, with low intelligence. Now, the Heritage Foundation has made several efforts to distance themselves from that work, painstakingly pointing out that Richwine worked at the American Enterprise Institute when he was working on his dissertation.

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Machinists Honored for Boston Bombing Response

Photo courtesy IAM

Three members of Machinists (IAMLocal 264 in Boston were honored for their bravery and quick thinking in response to the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. John Foley, Dave Litif and Mike Rown, who were volunteering at the finish line of the marathon, immediately moved to tear down barricades around the blast site to help people leave the area and began treating the wounded.

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Take Action to Increase the Minimum Wage in Minnesota

Photo courtesy: Working America

Minnesota is part of a growing group of states and localities that aren't sitting around and waiting for the federal government to take the lead on pushing to increase the minimum wage and move it closer to a living wage. Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which hasn't gone anywhere in Congress. But that isn't stopping states like Minnesota, which are stepping up and getting the job done when it comes to raising the minimum wage.

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Durazo: 'Los Angeles...the Low-Wage Capital of the Nation'

Journalists are fixated on union members' donations to the Los Angeles mayoral race to elect Wendy Greuel, Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, writes in a Los Angeles Times column. But one issue is being largely ignored: the working poor. 

"But if the discussion about the role of unions in the campaign is going to focus almost exclusively on money, shouldn't we talk about money in its entirety?" writes Durazo. "What motivates me and so many others in L.A. labor when it comes to money are the hundreds of thousands of our fellow workers in Los Angeles who don't earn enough of it."

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