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AFL-CIO Now

Watch: Election 2012 and What's at Stake for Latinos

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No ‘Poll Tax’ This Year in Pennsylvania

Arlene-Holt-Baker-at-Philadelphia-My-Vote-My-Right-event_medium

I’ll never forget my up-close encounter with vote suppression—and it’s the reason I’m so pleased today that a judge in Pennsylvania ordered elections officials there not to enforce a new voter ID law. That means Pennsylvanians who can’t show a photo ID when they go to the polls can still vote a regular—not a provisional—ballot.

My encounter with vote suppression was years ago, when I was a little girl and wanted a new pair of shoes. You can’t get new shoes now, my mother told me, because she had to save the money to pay her poll tax. That’s how important the right to vote was to my mother—she knew it was a sacred right that people had fought and died for and she was not about to treat it as anything less.

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SPEEA Members Reject Boeing Pact in Landslide Vote

SPEEA members count ballots in Boeing contract vote. SPEEA photo

Engineers and technical workers at the Boeing Co. overwhelmingly rejected the company’s contract in a mail ballot ratification vote announced last night. The workers are members of Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)/IFPTE Local 2001.

Boeing had claimed the union’s negotiating team did not represent the workers’ desires, says SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth. But on recommendation of the committee, the workers rejected the contract 15,092 to 608. Says Goforth:

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César Chávez’s Home Designated National Monument

UFW Photo

President Obama yesterday designated the home and burial site of the legendary United Farm Workers (UFW) leader, César Chávez, a national monument. Known as La Paz, short for Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz, or Our Leady Queen of Peace, the site is in Kenne, Calif. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the designation is a:

fitting tribute for a man whose campaign for civil rights and respect for workers struggling in the shadows broke new ground and left an indelible mark on the pages of American history.

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Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights

This is an excerpt from The Huffington Post article, "Bahrain's Denial of Visas to Rights Activists Underscores Contempt for Human and Worker Rights," by Cathy Feingold, director of AFL-CIO's International Department. 

What is the best way for the United States to stand against violent repression, the quashing of dissent, show trials, torture and other egregious violations of human and civil rights?

In the case of Bahrain, apparently, it is to include the country in a new U.S. trade and investment plan and offer mostly silence as the regime crushes its opposition, invests heavily in a public relations campaign and closes off the country to human rights and social justice activists.

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Judge Issues Partial Injunction Against Pa. Voter Suppression Law for Nov. 6 Election

A Pennsylvania state judge this morning issued a partial injunction of the state's voter ID law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled that voters will still be asked to present a valid ID, and if they don't have one, they'll be asked to present one next time but will be able to vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Voters will not be required to return within six days to show a valid identification card, as was required by the law passed earlier this year. 

We’ll bring you more details later. This ruling only applies to the Nov. 6 election. 

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Sanitation Driver Says Romney’s Reliance on Public Services and Call for Cutbacks ‘Hypocritical’

If Mitt Romney has his way, even more public service workers will be out of jobs because he says, “It’s time for us to cut back” on police officers, teachers, social workers and sanitation workers like San Diego County’s Joan Raymond, who says, “I actually did pick up trash on Mitt Romney’s street.”

This second video from AFSCME features a worker whose job it is to keep exclusive neighborhoods pristine, including Romney’s in La Jolla, Calif., where his $12 million mansion is perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean.

Raymond says:

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Trumka Applauds Schneiderman Lawsuit Against Bear Stearns

Photo by Benjamin Dumas.

In an era when the rich and powerful line their own pockets at the expense of workers, homeowners and investors, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is striking a blow for accountability and equal justice, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. 

Schneiderman just filed a lawsuit against Bear Stearns alleging that the former investment bank created fraudulent mortgage-backed securities.

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AFL-CIO Endorses Boycott of Crystal Sugar for 14-Month Lockout of Workers

The AFL-CIO has endorsed a nationwide consumer boycott of American Crystal Sugar Co. products starting Oct. 15. The boycott is in response to the company’s 14-month lockout of 1,300 workers at its processing facilities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa. If the company returns to the bargaining table in good faith and reaches an agreement, the boycott will be called off.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the locked-out workers—members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM)—“are responsible for American Crystal Sugar’s profitability and previously strong reputation.”

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Presidential Debates 2012: Join Us for a Twitter Chat with Young Workers

Follow #head2head and #letsdebate for a live Twitter chat during the first presidential debate.

In addition to a live, interactive discussion with AFL-CIO policy experts during Wednesday night's presidential debate we'll host on the AFL-CIO Now blog (details to come later today), we're encouraging young workers to tune into our live Twitter chat Oct. 3 from 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. to join the conversation. AFL-CIO's NextUp Twitter account will moderate the discussion on jobs, student loans and investing in America's future. 

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