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Ohio IAFF Member Addresses DNC Delegates

This is a cross-post from the Fire Fighters (IAFF) union. 

IAFF Local 48 member Doug Stern from Cincinnati spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday night.

Stern says for the majority of his life he identified as a Republican. But with last year’s political assault on Ohio’s public employees, he felt that the Republican Party left him and other members of the middle class behind.

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Working Families: Together We're Better

Work connects us all. The Chicago Federation of Labor's new YouTube video, "Rise," is a powerful reminder that working people built this country and continue to keep it running every day. 

The video states:

We breathe life into every neighborhood every day...separate stories, different voices—but joined together. 

Watch the video in the post or on the Chicago Federation of Labor's YouTube channel.

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Tell Us What You Think: Democratic vs. Republican Platforms…Where Do Workers Win?

Last week, we discussed that the Republican Party platform is a road map to dismantle workers’ rights. Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times says the Republican platform “calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions” and, for the first time in years, doesn’t even acknowledge the right to form unions.

The New York Times reports, when doing a side-by-side comparison of the platforms, the two visions are “poles apart in their view of the nation.”

Let’s take a look at some of the major differences:

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What Is Romney-Ryan’s Aim?

Photo courtesy of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare:

Hugh J. Campbell of the United Steelworkers sends us this blog

For three decades, attempts to undermine Social Security and Medicare have been considered “touching the third-rail” because the two programs are valued by our middle class and aspiring middle class. But to the financial elite, these safety-net programs have been the bane of their existence.

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Labor Day on Parade: How Working Families Celebrated

Colorado AFL-CIO thanked NHL mascot Bernie for all his hard work.

Last week we asked you to check out a Labor Day celebration nearby and thank the people whose work you appreciate by sending an e-card or video. Here’s a snapshot of some of the creative ways people celebrated Labor Day yesterday:

In Louisville, Colo., union members passed out Labor Day thank-you cards to firefighters, transportation workers and even Rocky, the NBA Denver Nuggets mascot, and Bernie the St. Bernard, mascot for the NHL Colorado Avalanche. View pictures on the Colorado AFL-CIO Facebook page.

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USW: Salt Mine Owner Violated Worker Safety, Should Not Get Award

True Value should take back the 2011 Supplier of the Year Award it gave North American Salt, says United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard, because North American operates a salt mine in Louisiana that has received safety and health citations for serious violations and been shut down temporarily by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Some 100 workers at the company’s Cote Blanche mine in Louisiana are USW members.

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U.S. Office of Trade and Labor Affairs Issues Report on Submission Under U.S.-Peru FTA

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Trade and Labor Affairs (OTLA) has issued a report on the 2010 SINAUT-SUNAT submission under the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that represents the resolution of the first case under the so-called “May 10” agreement—an agreement that raised the bar for labor obligations in U.S. FTAs. The U.S.-Peru FTA was the first to require parties to “adopt and maintain in its statutes and regulations, and practices thereunder,” the rights stated in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-Up, including the right of collective bargaining.

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RNC Convention Cleaners' Pay Dips Below Minimum Wage

Photo courtesy of

In the aftermath of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., the GOP stuck with its principles regarding keeping low-paid workers, well, low paid.

The crew that cleaned up the convention hall last week—about 105 workers—included many whose take-home pay amounts to less than the state's minimum wage. 

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Hey, Folks. You Just Got Labor Day All Wrong

Eric Cantor gets Labor Day all wrong.

Those of us who spent Labor Day thanking people for their hard work and reflecting on the contributions of the labor movement got the point of the day all wrong.

Fortunately, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was on Twitter to set us right.

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No, WE Built It: Updates from the Democratic National Convention

Promoting policies that strengthen the working and middle class is a major goal of the labor delegates who represent working people at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

Speaking at the DNC CarolinaFest on Labor Day in Charlotte, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker said:

We built this country together. Every one of us lends a hand. We do it every day. All work has value. Our work connects us to each other. And together, we are better….All work is honorable. All work has dignity and is worthy of respect. And decent pay. And good benefits. I’m talking about the work of all of us. Not just some of us. Not just the 1%. All of us. Each and every single one of us.

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