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Trumka Calls for Universal Voter Registration

Photo by Vincent J. Brown/flickr

The United States should adopt a universal and automatic voter registration system to boost participation and ensure all citizens have the opportunity to participate in the democratic process, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said this morning.

Speaking to the Funders' Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), Trumka said a strong and growing grassroots democracy movement needs to come together to “push back against the next wave of state-level attacks on the right to vote.”

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Trumka: Union Jobs Build the Middle Class

Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Transportation.

This is an excerpt of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka's "Opposing View: Union Jobs Build the Middle Class" from USA Today.

It's a tough time to work for a living.

Middle-class families have been losing ground for more than a decade. Today, working people have a smaller piece of the pie than at any time in the past 50 years. During that period, the number of people belonging to unions also declined steadily; in fact, if you look at the decline of the middle class beside the state of union membership, those numbers are parallel. This should concern everyone who cares about a strong America.

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Latinos Support the Wealthy Paying Their Fair Share of Taxes

Photo courtesy of Adios Arpaio's Facebook page.

A recent poll confirms what a growing number of politicians, community leaders and mainstream news media already suspected: Most Latinos, like most other Americans in battleground states, support a plan to reduce the deficit that includes more revenue from tax increases for the wealthiest people.

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No Public Input and Signed in Secret, Michigan ‘Right to Work’ for Less Law Goes into Effect in April

AFT photo

It seems appropriate that after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) shepherded through the state House and Senate the right-wing extremist and corporate CEO backed  “right to work” for less legislation—that he had long-called "too divisive" to pursue—without any public input, that he would sign the measure in secret yesterday.

Here are some details of the legislation that, if it follows the pattern of “right to work” laws in other states, will lower the standard of living for Michigan workers. 

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Made in America Holiday Gift and Stocking Stuffer Guide

Chateau Ste. Michelle, brought to you by United Farmworkers. Photo from Chateau Ste. Michelle's Facebook page.

Finding that perfect gift this holiday season doesn't have to be a headache. Check out this Made in America, union-made gift guide. Here are some highlights from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411. Gifts include those made by members of UNITE HERE, Boilermakers (IBB), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Machinists (IAM), United Steelworkers (USW), Teamsters (IBT), UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU/UFCW) and United Farm Workers (UFW).

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Learning to Share: Teachers Collaborate on Quality Lesson Plans

Check out an excerpt of the AFL-CIO's new Innovators website feature, "Learning to Share: Teachers Collaborate on Quality Lesson Plans."

Think about facing a classroom of kids every day and being expected to walk in the door with something new, fresh, compelling and challenging.

Creating the massive volume of quality instructional material required is among a veteran teacher’s greatest challenges. Needed resources are often hard to come by, expensive and it can be difficult to evaluate their effectiveness.  So a group of teachers attempted to solve these problems by creating a valuable new online resource where educators can share their best lesson plans, Share My Lesson.

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Gov. Snyder Signs Both Michigan 'Right to Work' for Less Bills

We Are Michigan photo

Gov. Rick Snyder just signed the "right to work" for less bills into law (S.B. 0116 and H.B. 4003). Gov. Snyder and House Republicans rammed through  “right to work” for less legislation with no input from the voters. 

 AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement:

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Arguello-Kline Becomes Culinary Union's First Latina Leader

Geoconda Arguello-Kline, a former housekeeper and Nicaraguan refugee, today was named secretary-treasurer of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 of UNITE HERE in Las Vegas. Arguello-Kline is the first Latina leader of the union and will represent 60,000 hotel and restaurant workers. 

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Your Original Art Can Make a Difference (If Submitted by Dec. 17)

Image courtesy of Melanie Cervantes

Are you an artist or graphic designer? Do you oppose cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other lifelines? Then Artstrike wants your submissions by Dec. 17. Artstrike is a collaboration among CultureStrike, 5D Stories and the Rebuild the Dream Innovation Fund to create original art that fights back against the most extreme proposals being floated as a response to the fiscal bluff.

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Watch Big Michigan 'Right to Work' for Less Actions Live

SEIU photo via yfrog

UPDATE: Republican Michigan lawmakers who’ve rammed “right to work” for less legislation through the state House and Senate, didn’t have to do much original work in drafting the anti-worker law.  They just turned to model legislation playbook from the extremist American Legislative Council (ALEC) and copied verbatim. Take a look at this side-by-side comparison from our friends at the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).

The UAW will live-stream portions of the march and rally in Lansing, Mich. Here is the Ustream link and you can visit the UAW Facebook page for live-streaming updates.

We’ll also bring you updates throughout the day on the AFL-CIO Now blog and you also can follow the action from Michigan AFL-CIO on Twitter.     

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