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Trumka: An Election Message for the Lame Duck Congress: Fair Taxes, No Cuts

This is an excerpt from "An Election Message for the Lame Duck Congress: Fair Taxes, No Cuts," by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

After a hard-fought and divisive election year, it's time to rebuild America's middle class—but to do it we need to make sure the lessons from this campaign stick.

Four years ago, the leadership of the Republican Party made a cynical political gamble—and this year they lost because they bet against Ame

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Organizing Victories in Portland Energize Oregon's Working Families

Organizing victory for cab drivers in Portland, Ore.

While Oregonians exercised power at the polls in the 2012 elections Tuesday, workers in Portland also were gearing up for another election that would give them a powerful voice on the job.

After electoral wins across the state and three successful organizing drives in the past three months, full-time, part-time and extra board paratransit drivers and dispatchers with First Transit Region 3 voted Wednesday to form their own union with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757. By an overwhelming margin, 160 employees voted to form the union in the election yesterday, which was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Health Care Matters!

It certainly does, in a variety of different ways. Health care matters from the perspective of affordability, can each and every American afford health care? Health care matters from the perspective of access, does everyone have adequate access to meet their needs? Health care matters from a quality perspective, does every person receive the same quality of health care throughout their lifetime?

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Iowa City Union Members Back American Crystal Sugar Products Boycott

On a recent evening, members of unions from the Iowa City Federation of Labor and other activists urged customers at the Target store in Coral Ridge Mall to boycott American Crystal Sugar products and support the workers who have been locked out since Aug. 1, 2011. See more in this video.

 

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Working Families Say Lame Duck Can’t Bargain Away Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

Ohio AFL-CIO photo

Thursday morning outside Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) Cincinnati office (see photo), a young single mother and her son, Vincent, who has severe disabilities, talked about the vital role Medicaid plays in their lives and how devastating any cuts to that health care lifeline would be.

The action was just one of more than 100 last week by working family activists urging Congress not to agree to a so-called “grand bargain” of deficit reduction in the upcoming lame-duck session that includes Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefit cuts.

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Simpson-Bowles 'Grand Bargain' Candidates Lose on Tuesday

Bob Kerrey photo courtesy of Esther Dyson

The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., and in much of the media, is that because of the deficit and debt, we need to make cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. A bipartisan commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles has promoted a plan that would cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and lower corporate taxes for the wealthy. Bowles and Simpson have been promoting their plan heavily and took to endorsing candidates who they believed would support their plan. 

Voters on Tuesday rejected all of the candidates that both Bowles and Simpson endorsed...

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The Headlines Say It All: Unions Power Working Family Victories on Tuesday

After Tuesday's historic election victories for President Obama and many pro-working family candidates, newspaper headlines give credit where credit is due.

Here's a roundup of some headlines highlighting how labor got out the vote:

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With Events Across the Country, Working Families Turn from Election to Protecting the Social Safety Net

With Events Across the Country, Working Families Turn from Election to Protecting the Social Safety Net

While working families are resting after an exhausting election cycle, working people and union members are continuing to mobilize. Before the end of the year, Congress will meet in a "lame-duck" session and tackle numerous issues that could have powerful effects on the lives of middle-class Americans.

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Senate Wins and ALEC Defeats Highlight State Races

Wisconsin AFL-CIO photo

Here’s a look at a number of other key working-family races and ballot issues from yesterday’s elections.

In several U.S. Senate races where Republican, corporate and super PAC cash looked like it would make the difference, union members’ get-out-the-vote activism and votes helped push working-family candidates to victory. Democrats now have 55 senate seats. Elizabeth Warren defeated Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Tim Kaine beat George Allen in Virginia. Rep. Tammy Baldwin overcame Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Sen. Jon Tester defeated challenger Rep. Denny Rehberg in Montana and Sen. Sherrod Brown won over Josh Mandel in Ohio. Other Senate wins include Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). 

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Trumka Says America's Workers Rejected a Vision for the Country That Attacks Working Families

Photo courtesy of Stijn Vogels

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the key message of the 2012 elections is that working people have rejected the vision for the United States championed by the opponents of working families. The union movement’s unprecedented efforts to reach out to working families was decisive in the presidential election and down the ballot.

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