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AFL-CIO Now

Bill Moyers on Union Movement’s Tough Times

Moyers & Co.

No doubt these are tough times for working families and their unions. This weekend, Bill Moyers speaks about the unbridled influence of Big Business and its effects on the labor movement with two labor activists who have been part of the movement for many years.

Bill Fletcher Jr., AFGE Field Services and Education Director and author of the forthcoming book, They’re Bankrupting us—and 20 Other Myths About Unions, and Stephen Lerner, who worked with AFL-CIO President Emeritus John Sweeney at SEIU to create that union’s Justice for Janitors movement, will be on the PBS show “Moyers & Company.”

Check local listings here.

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Bring Jobs Home: Don’t let TPP Become the Next NAFTA

Union members rally outside the TPP negotiations demanding a deal that is good for American families.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, sounds like a friendly little cooperative endeavor, doesn't it?  Or maybe a new kind of bathroom tissue?   Well, it's neither of those things.  It's a proposed "free trade agreement," like NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), but with 11 countries instead of three. The negotiations, held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, brought out almost 200 union members along with allies from Occupy San Diego, La Fuerza Unida, Friends of the Earth and other groups on Monday to express concern about the possible ramifications to their jobs, their families and the American economy.  Trade negotiators from the U.S. were at the Hilton all week working on the negotiations with representatives from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.  Mexico and Canada were recently added to the TPP—but have not yet participated in the talks.

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June Jobs Grew by 80,000, Unemployment Rate Stays at 8.2%

Sierra Romero

The number of new jobs rose by 80,000 in June and the unemployment rate stayed at 8.2 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data out this morning. The boost in jobs is less than the 100,000 needed per month to keep up with the growing workforce, and far short of what’s needed to replenish the millions of jobs that have never been regained since the recession’s onset.

Private employment, which excludes government agencies, increased by 84,000 in June, the weakest in 10 months. In fact, the number of those working for public-sector jobs decreased by 4,000.

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Anti-Social Security Crusaders Fail to Incite Generational Warfare

Social Security Administration poster from 1989 featuring an actual SSA Call Center employee.

Social Security is popular.

It is one of the most, if not the most, popular federal government-run programs. It is social insurance, not welfare. It provides Americans with a reliable source of income when: a senior retires from work, a child loses a working parent or if a worker becomes disabled.

Social Security is an American promise.  We pay into the program during our working lives and we’re entitled to collect benefits. We paid for it. It’s our money.

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How Many Jobs Will the U.S. Lose if Romney Is Elected?

How Many Jobs Will the U.S. Lose if Romney Is Elected?

According to a Cornell University study of janitors and security guards, when service sector jobs are outsourced, even within the United States, workers in those jobs are paid lower wages and receive fewer health benefits.

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United Steelworkers Celebrate Victory, Philadelphia Refinery Stays Open

USW marches to keep the refinery during the Nov. 5, 2011 community walk through Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

Things looked bleak for United Steelworkers Local 10-1 last September when Sunoco Inc. announced it would shut down its Philadelphia refinery if a buyer was not found.  But after a hard-fought, ten-month campaign waged by the local and international union, USW Local 10-1 members ratified a contract with a new owner, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, which is a joint partnership between The Carlyle Group and Sunoco.

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Obama Filing Unfair Trade Complaint Against China on Its Duties for U.S.-Made Cars

Here's good news (from the Toledo Blade):

Demonstrating a tough line on trade with China, the Obama administration will file an unfair trade complaint today against China's new duties on some American-made cars and sport utility vehicles, including the Toledo-made Jeep Wrangler.

A senior administration official told The Blade Wednesday the United States will file the case with the World Trade Organization in Geneva, accusing China of putting illegal duties on $3.3 billion worth of U.S.-made auto imports.

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Republican Gov. Snyder Vetoes Bills that Would Cause Voter Suppression

Michigan Gov. Snyder signs the 2011-2012 budget. Photo courtesy of Gov. Snyder's website.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed three controversial election reform bills Tuesday—going against his fellow Republicans—that would have made it difficult for legitimate voters to participate in elections.

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Made in America, Our Stars and Stripes. Happy July 4!

Made with pride.

Made to last.

All-American and All-American made.

The U.S. flag.

On July 4, we salute the women and men at this New Jersey factory (video) who create our star-spangled banners, our military troops who ensure our flag is still flying and all America's workers who toil to build this country with pride.

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Take Action to Support Locked-Out Con Ed Workers

New York City Central Labor Council

Some 8,500 workers locked out at Consolidated Edison Power Co. after contract negotiations stalled Sunday, say they hope the company's promise to go back to the bargaining table on Thursday means management is serious about bargaining a fair contract. The power company wants to replace pensions with a 401(k)-type savings plan, according to the New York Post, and the workers, meanwhile, are asking for a 4 percent pay hike, said union spokesman John Melia.

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