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AFL-CIO Now

Kicking Them While They're Down

Andy Richards, new media strategist at the AFL-CIO, sent the following message to working family activists:

It’s been a long winter for locked-out American Crystal Sugar workers. Workers have been locked out for nearly 19 months from their jobs because of the greed of CEO David Berg and company board members.

Luckily, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled recently that workers were entitled to receive unemployment benefits under state law. This has been a lifeline for American Crystal Sugar workers.

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Solidarity Center: Afro-Colombians Fighting Against Discrimination at Work

Agripina Hurtado dscusses the goals of the new Afro-Colombian Labor Council. Photo: Tula Connell

Afro-Colombians are far likelier than other Colombian workers to earn less than the minimum wage and to be employed in jobs where they cannot form unions  to improve their working conditions. And all of this exclusion “has a strong current of racial discrimination under it,” said Agripina Hurtado, the newly elected president of the Afro-Colombian Labor Council (Consejo Labor Afrocolombiano). A quarter of Colombia’s population is Afro-descendant, yet Afro-Colombians comprise more than three-quarters of the country’s poor.

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Reconnecting McDowell Continues to Revitalize West Virginia County

In March 2012, AFT helped lead a public-private partnership to help struggling McDowell County, W.Va., and the participants were hopeful that things could be turned around economically and educationally. A year later, the Reconnecting McDowell project has begun to show that investment in communities can change people's lives.

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Reading List: Medicare and Medicaid Spending Fall, Underscore Flaws in Ryan-GOP Budget

For today's health care read, check out these new stories from Think Progress and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP):

CBO May Have Undershot Medicare’s Future Deficit Reduction By Over $300 Billion
Projected Medicaid Spending Has Fallen by More Than $200 Billion

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Women's History Month: Domestic Workers Demand Workplace Rights

Photo courtesy of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Flickr photostream.

As Women’s History Month continues, it’s important to highlight the often unsung heroes doing great work that continues to push the union movement forward, like domestic workers and groups advocating on their behalf. For many of us, domestic workers are the backbone of our household, providing general family care, housekeeping and home health care. They are responsible for some of the most vital and intimate work in our nation, and yet the law does not guarantee them the same protections they guarantee our families.

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Unions, Environmental Groups and Tribal Leaders Join Together to Defend CEQA

Unions, Environmental Groups and Tribal Leaders Join Together to Defend CEQA

Yesterday, a growing coalition of labor unions, environmental groups and tribes made clear that protecting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), our state’s landmark environmental protection law, is essential to California’s future.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Unions to Blame for Economic Woes? 'Oh, Please'

NNU nurse. Photo courtesy of National Nurses United.

Today, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board ridiculed the absurd notion from the Missouri state Senate that somehow union members (teachers, nurses, secretaries, pothole fixers and home health care workers) are to blame for the state's economic woes. "Oh, please," the board responds. 

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Ryan Budget Highlights House Republicans' Extreme Demands

Photo courtesy of Greg Skidmore's Flickr photostream.

It's back. The Ryan–GOP budget that gives seniors "coupons" to pay for health care and guts Medicaid and public investment to enrich millionaires and billionaires was once again proposed by the House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) today. 

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America, Let's Get Back to Work

You probably don't have to look beyond your own community to see the visible signs of a crumbling and over-crowded transportation system. And you probably don't need to look further than your own family or close friends to find someone who is out of work.

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Maine Lobstermen Seek to Organize Union

Photo courtesy tedkerwin

Tristan Jackson and eight other Maine lobstermen traveled to Hollywood, Md., in February to get the training and knowledge they need to start forming a union, which they say will give them unprecedented clout when dealing with the state legislature and the businesses that buy the lobsters they catch. The lobstermen met with representatives of the Machinists (IAM) and left the meeting geared up to recruit others and launch their local union.

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