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D.C. Metro Council: Helping Workers Build Futures

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A union construction and building trades career can put workers on the path to the middle class. The Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council Community Services Agency's Building Futures pre-apprenticeship construction program can be the first step on that path.

The next course begins in October and applications are due by Sept. 14. Click here for a brochure, or call 202-974-8223 for more information.

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Police Open Fire on Protesting Mine Workers in South Africa

An on-going industrial conflict escalated into tragedy yesterday as police opened fire on a group of protesting workers at the Marikana Mine and surrounding area in Rustenburg, South Africa, about 50 miles from Johannesburg. The platinum mine is owned by U.K.-based Lonmin. The violence has taken 38 lives and injured more than 75 people.

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More Texas Lawmakers Cut Ties with ALEC

Illuistration By Center for Media and Democracysate capitol

Thirteen more Texas legislators, including 10 Republicans, have severed their ties with the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Earlier this year, another dozen Lone Star State lawmakers said goodbye to ALEC. Matt Glazer, executive director of Progress Texas, the group that has helped expose ALEC’s influence in the state legislature, says:

These legislators have shown the courage of their convictions by standing up to a corporate bill factory and declaring their support for the people of Texas above all else. 

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Civil Rights Commission Provides Public Forum to Anti-Immigrant Hate Group

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is holding a field briefing in Birmingham, Ala., on the impact of state anti-immigrant laws, like Arizona’s infamous S.B. 1070 and Alabama’s H.B. 56. The commission describes itself “as an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency, [whose] mission is to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws.” It came as quite a shock to see groups that are not only vehemently anti-immigrant but have been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center on the witness list, including Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). 

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Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Restrictive Early Voting Law

Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Restrictive Early Voting Law

This from TPM:

A panel of federal judges ruled late Thursday that a Florida law that limits the number of early voting days cannot be implemented in several counties because it
would have an adverse impact on minority turnout.

The early voting restrictions are part of a voter suppression package the Republican-controlled state legislature passed last year. Other provisions included disenfranchising 100,000 previously eligible ex-felons who'd been granted the right to vote under Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008 and shutting down non-partisan voter registration drives. In May, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the provision restricting non-partisan voter registration drives.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Issues Executive Order to Symbolically Punish Aspiring Citizens

Diana and Diana, two DREAMers with the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

Hundreds of activists gathered at the state Capitol Thursday morning in Phoenix to denounce Gov. Jan Brewer for the appalling executive order she issued on Wednesday, which was the day the Obama administration's Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals went into effect. The federal policy change allows the young people known as "DREAM Act kids" or "DREAMers" to stay in the country and apply for work permits provided they meet certain conditions. An estimated 80,000 Arizonans who were brought into the country illegally as children may be eligible for the program, and many have been excitedly lining up at federal immigration offices around the state to get the forms and instructions. 

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NFL Players Join United Way to Recruit Education Volunteers Across the U.S.

NFLPA members are recruiting education volunteers to read, mentor and tutor local children.

Want to help your favorite NFL player and member of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) fight against school dropout rates in your community?

Pledge to become a reader, tutor or mentor, along with the 30 football players and the United Way initiative.

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New Report: Romney's Bain Capital Linked to Union Suppression Case

Romney was a director of Key Airlines when pilots and flight attendants plan to organize a union was suppressed.

Although Mitt Romney continues to try and distance himself from his record of offshoring U.S. jobs overseas during his tenure at Bain Capital, a new report by the Financial Times’ Robin Harding shows there were even more anti-worker tactics occurring under Romney’s watch at the company. Now we might understand more about why he boasted earlier this year that he’s “taken on union bosses before.”

According to U.S. District Court and federal documents, Key Airlines, controlled by Bain Capital at the time, ran an unlawful campaign to stop the organization of a union in the 1980s. Mitt Romney was a director of the airline, according to regulatory filings, and a shareholder in the company. The Financial Times put together this report with documents from the National Mediation Board in 1986 and a 1992 judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

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State Department Report Fails to Address Serious Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

State Department Report Fails to Address Serious Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

There are doubts about the institutions responsible for the rule of law in Honduras and the government’s protection of human rights, acknowledged the U.S. State Department in an Aug. 8 report. Unfortunately, the State Department says virtually nothing about the widespread impunity regarding violations of freedom of association or the threats and violence aimed at labor activists.

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Broken Job Promise Slows Corporate Tax Break

We’ve seen this movie before. A company goes before a local or state government and promises jobs and an economic boost, but they need just one little thing first—tax breaks! But after pocketing taxpayers’ money, guess what? No jobs, just broken promises. (See T-Mobile.)

This week in Fort Wayne, Ind., the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council had enough.

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