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AFL-CIO Now

Union Members Help During and After Superstorm Sandy

Union members work during and after Hurricane Sandy.

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "Recovering After Superstorm Sandy."

The recovery from Superstorm Sandy could be one of the most expensive in American history, with estimates climbingtoward the $50 billion mark in property damage alone. As Americans all across the country pitch in, most of the work repairing and rebuilding the storm-ravaged areas will be done by talented and hardworking union members. Many of the organizations dealing with Sandy’s devastation emphasize the importance of union workers’ expertise and skill, as well as of sufficient government financial support for rebuilding physical structures and roads and, in many cases, people's lives. Here is what our members have been doing to help with the recovery:

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Hurricane Sandy Resources for New York Residents

Local 79 New York Laborers pitch in to clean up after Hurricane Sandy in Long Island.

If you're in New York and need assistance locating Hurricane Sandy resources or want to volunteer to help, here are some links to get you started:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Website

This site has comprehensive info on applying for FEMA assistance, updates on gas shortages, warming centers and tips for cold weather, transportation (bridges, roads, subways, railways), food assistance, power outage updates, unemployment insurance and more.

http://www.governor.ny.gov/ 

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Mitt Romney: Shed the American Worker

According to a new Transport Workers (TWU) video, America's workers and their retirement security are simply "excess costs" to Mitt Romney. Romney thinks major corporations should be able to "shed" these costs any time they please, no matter the consequences to people's lives. Watch TWU's latest YouTube video and make sure you vote Nov. 6. 

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There's Still Time to Phone Bank and Get Out the Vote

Worker's Voice just launched a Friends and Neighbors tool for online activists.

Do your part in getting friends and family out to vote for pro-working family candidates this Tuesday. Sign up for the Workers' Voice Friends and Neighbors (FAN) online social phone bank tool that is available in key battleground states. 

Start phone banking here: http://go.aflcio.org/Phone-Bank.

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Hurricane Sandy Resources for New Jersey Residents

By Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/U.S. Air Force/New Jersey National Guard (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you're in New Jersey and need assistance locating Hurricane Sandy resources, here are some links to get you started:

NJ 2-1-1 Hurricane Response and Recovery

http://www.nj211.org/hurricane.cfm

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IAFF: The Role of Government During Natural Disasters

Photo courtesy of Christopher O’Neill

"The Role of Government During Natural Disasters" is a cross-post from the IAFF Frontline Blog by Rich Duffy of the Fire Fighters (IAFF).

The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast is a great example of why we need a centralized federal government that can respond to states and communities in need of disaster relief.  Hurricane Sandy also underscores a very important issue for Americans, and that is what role the federal government should play in during a disaster (man-made or natural).

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Employer Tactics in Ducking Back Wage Claims Now Before Supreme Court

The AFL-CIO has filed a friend of the court brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in which an employer is attempting to avoid paying its workers back wages. The case centers on a Pennsylvania nurse, Laura Symczyk, Genesis Healthcare Corp. and methods employers are using to get around paying wages due under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Unemployment Insurance Available and Grants from Union Plus

Hurricane Sandy: Disaster Unemployment Insurance Available and Grants from Union Plus

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has a new disaster unemployment insurance (DUA) fact sheet for those affected by Hurricane Sandy in the hardest hit counties in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.  

Read the rest of NELP's DUA fact sheet on its blog

In addition, Union Plus Disaster Relief Grants of $500 are available to help participants in the Union Plus Credit Card, Insurance or Mortgage programs who are facing financial hardship because of recent severe weather. Visit www.unionplus.org/sandy.  

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Hotel, Broadcast, Theater Workers Join AFL-CIO Unions

UNITE HERE photo

Hotel workers, broadcast technicians, TV and theater employees are just some of the workers who’ve recently joined AFL-CIO unions.

The 705 workers at Levy Restaurants at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., the new home of the Brooklyn Nets, won union recognition with UNITE HERE Local 1 through a majority sign-up agreement in which an employer agrees to recognize the worker’s choice of a union when a majority of workers sign union authorization cards. 

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Join Us: AFL-CIO Is Live-Blogging Election Day

After you vote Nov. 6 (if you haven't voted already), join us on the AFL-CIO Now blog for live coverage and an interactive chat on Election Day, starting at 9 a.m. ET. We'll be providing updates from the states, info on voter protection and the inside scoop on what we're hearing from America's workers and union members. Bookmark www.aflcio.org/Election2012Live or sign up for an email reminder below. 

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