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AFL-CIO Now

Bowles-Simpson 'B-S' Zombie Plan Tells Working People to 'Drop Dead'

It's back. No matter how many times working people reject the Bowles-Simpson "B-S" budget plan that cynically claims it would "promote economic growth "—but would actually snuff out the recovery and cut lifelines for working families—it keeps coming back to the table. 

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson released another tired plan today that would cut Social Security COLAs to pay for lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, among other things. 

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Latino Population in California Changes Attitudes Toward Immigration Reform

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

By the end of 2013, Latinos will make up 40% of California's population. By the end of 2050, that number will rise to 48%. The growing Latino and immigrant communities in California are changing the way Californians view immigration reform, New York Times' Jennifer Medina writes. In a state where, a generation ago, voters passed what is considered one of the most anti-immigrant ballot initiatives, recent polls show a dramatic shift in perception of aspiring Americans. Californians now say that "immigrants are a benefit to the state, according to public opinion polls from the Public Policy Institute of California."

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New York City School Bus Strike Ends

Photo courtesy of ATU's Flickr photo stream.

With the promise from several Democratic candidates—one of whom is likely to succeed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg next year—that they will “revisit’ school transportation contracts to ensure that the experienced and trained school bus drivers and bus matrons will be treated fairly, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1181 have ended their strike.

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America's Unions: Our Values @Work

America's Unions: Our Values @Work

Union members have been called many stereotypes over the years: thugs, relics, selfish—the list goes on. But the truth is union members are people who work and make contributions to their communities every day. Union members are innovating on the job and training the next generation of skilled workers, among many other things.

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Fiscal Showdown Photos from Last Week

Working families rallied on Capitol Hill last week, calling on Congress not to make any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They also told Congress to close tax loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest 2% and to prevent the sequester from going into effect and harming the country. 

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Majority of House Dems Oppose Benefit Cuts for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Majority of House Dems Oppose Benefit Cuts for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Another Republican-manufactured fiscal crisis is fast approaching and it threatens the fragile economic recovery with the automatic, across–the-board sequestration budget cuts scheduled to kick in on March 1. Republicans have indicated they will block any attempt to stop the sequester unless there are benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

But a majority of House Democrats late last week signed a House Progressive Caucus letter to President Obama opposing benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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AFL-CIO Book Club Event: Behind the Kitchen Door

AFL-CIO Book Club Event: Behind the Kitchen Door

Do you really eat ethically? Author Saru Jayaraman challenges frequent restaurant-goers with that question in her newly released book, Behind the Kitchen Door. Jayaraman will be at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Feb. 20, from noon to 2 p.m., for a signing and book discussion. 

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15th Annual IBEW Photo Contest Displays Great Talent

Bill DeClement , Folsom, N.J., Local 351 took first place.

This year's winner of the Electrical Workers' (IBEW's) annual photo contest, Bill DeClement, from Folsom, N.J., Local 351, took home first place for his photo of two IBEW members riding in a "window rig at about 7 a.m. one morning in Atlantic City when a blanket of fog rolled in, swaddling the ocean and city below." The photo was taken from the highest Atlantic City building, the Revel Casino. 

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CLUW’s Gloria Johnson Dies

Gloria Johnson

Gloria Johnson, 85, a founding member and former president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), died Feb. 13 at Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, Md. She also served as an AFL-CIO vice president. Says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

Gloria’s values and unapologetic stance for the full inclusion of women and minorities in the workplace and society will continue to inspire and improve the lives of working women and men….The barriers she broke and the foundations she helped lay will undoubtedly live on in history.

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EPI: 'Signing Trade Deals Is a Terrible Jobs Strategy'

Photo from the AFL-CIO Now blog.

Signing more trade deals (also known as FTAs) as a way to create jobs? Meh. Seems unlikely, unless there is a radical change to the current trade model. The current model does much more than reduce tariffs (tariffs are taxes on imports). It also puts in place a bunch of rules that have made it advantageous for employers to move jobs offshore—resulting in unemployment, wage suppression and reduced union bargaining power. 

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