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AFL-CIO Now

Eidelson: 'McDonald's Guest Workers Stage Surprise Strike'

McDonald's location in the Philippines. Photo from Flickr.

McDonald's workers in central Pennsylvania launched a strike at 11 this morning, reports Josh Eidelson of the Nation. The guest workers, who began the surprise strike, allege the franchisee of the world's largest fast-food hamburger chain owes them unpaid wages and has retaliated against them. 

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Illinois Union Members to the Rescue

Illinois Union Members to the Rescue

Martina Sangster’s ceiling was on her floor. Living room, dining room and entryway—all tumbled down after what started as a small crack.

Her insurance wouldn’t cover the mess and her family couldn’t afford the extensive work that was needed. But help came from a different direction: the AFL-CIO community services liaison for United Way of the Quad Cities Area and local union members who donated their skills and also got the materials contributed.

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Why Immigration Is a Top Priority for U.S. Labor

Maria Elena Durazo. Photo courtesy of the Department of Labor via Truthout.

Today, labor is one of the key forces pushing for comprehensive immigration reform in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the movement's advocacy and more about how unions transformed themselves into outspoken champions of immigrant rights, I spoke with Maria Elena Durazo. A daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers, Durazo rose to become the leader of the hotel and restaurant workers union in Los Angeles, the dynamic UNITE HERE Local 11. And, as chair of the national AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee, Durazo is now a leading point person in the national immigration debate.

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Peterson’s Puppet Populists

Photo from the PR Watch blog.

Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades, an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure Astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.

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How to Easily Find Union-Made Tires

Photo courtesy vagawi

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made it very easy to find union-made tires by requiring that each tire carry a code that shows the company and the location of the plant that manufactured the tire. DOT requires that each tire sold in the United States carry a code that looks something like this: DOT BE XX XXX XXX. The two letters or numbers that follow the DOT identify a particular factory as listed below.

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Working Women Empowered: Making Democracy in Tunisia

Photo by the Associated Press via the Solidarity Center website.

In December 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a 23-year-old market vendor in Tunisia, self-immolated to protest deep-seated government corruption that made it impossible for him to earn a living. Following his desperate action, Tunisian women helped spur protests and end autocratic regimes in Tunisia and throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Today, Tunisian women remain in the forefront of ensuring democratic change in their country during the difficult years of government transition.

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Miller & Harkin Introduce Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10

Photo courtesy George Miller

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama joined a growing chorus of voices demanding that the national minimum wage be raised.  Tuesday, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) announced they will introduce the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013.

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Krugman Says Increased Spending, Not Austerity, Key to Creating Jobs

Richard Trumka and Paul Krugman

Before a packed crowd at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said the way to ease the economic crisis in the United States is to create more jobs through increased public investment, raising wages and restoring workers’ ability to bargain collectively. Austerity policies are the last thing we should be doing. The event was part of AFL-CIO's Book Club series. Krugman discussed major themes in his book End This Depression Now!, which was just released in paperback.

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Las Vegas Taxi Drivers Struck the Yellow-Checker-Star Transportation

Las Vegas Taxi Drivers Struck the Yellow-Checker-Star Transportation (YCS)

Last Sunday, taxi drivers employed at Yellow-Checker-Star Transportation in Las Vegas authorized a strike, triggered by what they say are the company’s unfair labor practices by refusing to provide the union with information relative to collective bargaining. There are 1,703 drivers in the bargaining unit.

Industrial, Technical and Professional Employees (ITPEU) represents the taxi drivers and is an affiliate of the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU). Unfair labor practice charges were filed by ITPEU/OPEIU Local 4873 on Friday, March 1.

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Robert Reich: What Obama Should Do Now

What should the president do now?

Push to repeal the sequester (a reconciliation bill in the Senate would allow repeal with 51 votes, thereby putting pressure on House Republicans) and replace it with a “Build America’s Future” Act that would close tax loopholes used by the wealthy, end corporate welfare, impose a small (1/10 of 1%) tax on financial transactions and reduce the size of the military.

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