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Trumka: Austerity Only Weakens the Economy

Trumka: Austerity Only Weakens the Economy

Calling sequestration “just a fancy word for a dumb idea,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the 750,000 job-killing, across-the-board budget cuts and other moves toward fiscal austerity will “further weaken the economy and cost jobs” and make even worse “the crisis of mass unemployment. Millions of Americans who want to work cannot find jobs.”

Writing in a special report in The Hill on jobs and the economy, Trumka says:

On some days, it seems like all of official Washington is racing to embrace the most destructive consensus since the Iraq war.

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Day of Action Calls for Repeal of ‘Cockamamy’ Sequester

Photo of an Arizona "Repeal Sequester" event.

In more than 100 events across the country Wednesday, working families rallied outside lawmakers’ offices, federal agencies, military bases and elsewhere to shine a spotlight on the impact of the sequester’s across-the-board cuts that will cost more than 750,000 jobs this year alone and to call for its repeal.

While most of the actions aimed at members of Congress were focused on Republicans who are using the sequester as leverage to get their way in Congress, in Beckley, W.Va., a group of more than 50 AFGE and other union members and community supporters received a shout out of support from Rep. Nick Rahall (D).

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Made in America: Union-Made Passover

Photo courtesy of Suzy T's Flickr photostream:

As you plan your Passover Seders, make sure you check out these tasty union-made in America recipe ingredients and drinks. These highlights come from our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Food and drink include those brought to you by the Machinists (IAM), United Farm Workers (UFW), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Teamsters (IBT). 

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Abuse of Temporary Workers Shows Need for Legal Protections

While the White House, Congress and outside groups debate the details of what the exact shape of the country's immigration system will be, an article from ABC-Univision details three shocking examples that make clear any legislation addressing the topic must include protections for temporary workers brought to the United States.

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New Report Card Grades Nation’s Infrastructure D+

New Report Card Grades Nation’s Infrastructure D+

While the nation’s infrastructure has seen slight improvement since the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its last report card in 2009—from D to D+—the group warns that, without a major commitment and investment, the roads, bridges, drinking water systems, mass transit systems, schools and systems for delivering energy that we depend on “may soon fail to meet society’s needs.”  

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10th Anniversary of Iraq War Reminds Us Veterans Face Jobs Crisis

Photo courtesy of the VoteVets Facebook page.

Ten years ago this week, the United States launched the invasion of Iraq. The nation remains divided on the wisdom, strategy and outcome of the war that claimed the lives of 4,488 U.S. service members and left more than 32,000 wounded.  

But there is one certainty—the men and women who honorably fought and served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade have come home to an economy that works even less for them than it does others. Job loss, stagnant wages and a widening gap between working families and the wealthy and Wall Street are some of these problems.  

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Harkin and DeLauro Introduce Healthy Families Act to Allow Earned Paid Sick Leave

Photo courtesy America 2050

On Wednesday, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the Healthy Families Act, which would give workers the opportunity to earn paid sick leave they could use for personal illnesses or to take care of sick family members, among other uses. The act also would allow workers to use earned sick time to deal with the effects of domestic violence.

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MLB Owners Foul Ball on Worker Pensions

Photo by peterjr1961/Filckr

What comes to mind when you think about Major League Baseball (MLB)? Multimillion-dollar ball players and even multier-million-dollar owners? Shiny new stadiums with $300 luxury VIP seating and $10 beers and $8 hot dogs for those of us in the bleachers? The $6 billion Fox Sports/Los Angeles Dodgers TV deal and others like it?

While MLB seems to be printing money faster than Topps prints baseball cards, ESPN New York reports that the club owners are considering eliminating pensions for the everyday, regular folk employees who work behind the scenes to keep the glitter dome running—club employees from office workers to trainers to minor league coaches and staff to scouts.

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Casino Workers to Engage in Civil Action on Las Vegas Strip

Photo courtesy: Culinary Workers Union Local 226

On Wednesday night, members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 will engage in the first act of civil disobedience on the Las Vegas strip by union members in more than 20 years in solidarity with workers from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas casino. The workers have been negotiating a contract with the casino owner, Deutsche Bank, for more than two years and they contend that the owner refuses to agree on measures that are standard in other major casino contracts on the strip. Workers plan to engage in action by blocking traffic. Contracts for workers on the Strip will expire June 1.

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