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Colombia Labor Action Plan Fails to Stop Labor and Human Rights Violations

Colombia is known as “the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist.”

Today, Colombian trade unionists, representatives from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Escuela Nacional Sindical (ENS, Colombia’s National Union School) and the AFL-CIO participated in a panel discussion on the implementation of the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights. The panelists reached a grim conclusion—so far, the Labor Action Plan (LAP) has failed to stop serious labor and human rights violations in Colombia, even though the U.S. government has declared it a success and has allowed the related Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to go into effect.  

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Meet Mr. 1%: Here’s What You Say

Last week we launched our Meet Mr. 1% website with shareable infographics on Mitt Romney’s record as a state governor, his overseas bank accounts and his economic attack plan that would harm working families. The graphics also highlight, with Romney at its helm, that Bain killed and outsourced jobs and pushed companies into bankruptcy.

Here are some of the “greatest hits” remarks from our commenters. John DeRosier writes:

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Tell Your Senators to End the Bush Tax Cuts for the Richest 2%

The U.S. Senate will vote tomorrow on a measure to end the Bush tax cuts for the nation’s richest 2 percent but maintain the cuts for middle-class families. Because of a Republican filibuster, it will take 60 votes before the Senate can even take up the legislation. Call your senators at 888-744-9958 and tell them to vote for the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412).

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Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Kaiser Permanente Ratify Agreement

The nearly 100,000 members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Kaiser Permanente reached agreement Monday, July 23, on a three-year national contract. The pact covers workers in 28 unions at hundreds of Kaiser Permanente health care facilities in nine states.

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Justice Department Probes Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

Orginal photo by Sun Dazed/Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a formal investigation into Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law that, by some estimates, could disenfranchise nearly one in 10 eligible voters—mostly people of color, students, seniors and low-income voters. The bill mirrors other voter suppression laws Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed in recent years based on model legislation from the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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10 Facts About the Minimum Wage

10 Facts You Need to Know about the Federal Minimum Wage

Today marks the third year minimum wage workers haven't seen a raise. While the price of just about everything else has skyrocketed (milk, eggs, health care, college), full-time minimum wage workers are barely making more than $15,000 a year. Here are 10 facts you need to know about the minimum wage. 

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Workers Stand for America and a Second Bill of Rights

Workers Stand for America and a Second Bill of Rights

On Aug. 11, thousands of American workers will come together in Philadelphia in the first major action of the Workers Stand for America campaign, the centerpiece of which is America’s Second Bill of Rights:

  • Full employment and a living wage.
  • Full participation in the political process.
  • A voice at work.
  • A quality education for all.
  • A secure and healthy future.

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Super Rich Have Hidden at Least $21 Trillion in Offshore Accounts

Super Rich Have Hidden at Least $21 Trillion in Offshore Accounts

Instead of investing in the economy and creating jobs, the global elite super rich (the .001%) stashed their assets in offshore tax havens. Mitt Romney has offshore accounts in Australia, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

new report from the Tax Justice Network estimates the amount of wealth sitting in offshore accounts is at least $21 trillion and as much as $32 trillion.

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AFL-CIO to Release New Report on Colombian Labor Action Plan

Colombian workers, union leaders and the director of Colombia's national union school will take part in a panel discussion at AFL-CIO headquarters tomorrow following the release of a new report by the AFL-CIO on the Labor Action Plan that was intended to reduce the violence directed at Colombian workers and union activists and increase their ability to exercise basic labor rights such as free association and collective bargaining.  

The Labor Action Plan was negotiated to ease the passage of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The AFL-CIO and allies successfully held off the vote for years over Colombia's troubling human rights record. Colombia has been the deadliest nation in the world for trade unionists. Thirty were slain in 2011 and another 10 were killed already this year. Impunity from prosecution for such killings remains high, at around 95 percent.

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Economists Say Minimum Wage Boost Would Help 20 Million Workers

Photo by Spike55152/Flockr

A group of prominent economists today urged President Obama and congressional leaders to raise the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for three years. In a letter to the president and lawmakers they wrote: 

A higher minimum wage at this juncture will not only provide raises for low-wage workers but would provide some help on the jobs front as well.

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