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Ky. Students Protest McConnell as Commencement Choice

Ky. Students Protest McConnell as Commencement Choice

The son of a United Steelworkers (USW) member is leading a Murray (Ky.) State University student protest against their school's choice of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as this year's graduation speaker May 11. The lad is Devin Griggs, who won the outstanding labor youth award from the Kentucky State AFL-CIO at the state convention in 2011.

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Why Bill Clinton Came to 'Talk Windows' at the AFL-CIO

In 2011, the labor movement committed, as part of the Clinton Global Initiative, to help facilitate $20 million in investment in energy-efficient retrofits. Today President Clinton joined AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and AFT President Randi Weingarten for a ribbon-cutting ceremony as work begins on an energy efficiency retrofit of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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IAFF First Responders on Scene in Texas Fertilizer Blast

Photo courtesy of IAFF

Members of Fire Fighters (IAFF) locals are part of the emergency response team on the scene in West, Texas, following last night’s massive explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed as many as 15 people, injured 160 and left many missing, including a member of Dallas IAFF Local 58, who lives in West. IAFF sends us this report.

Hazmat teams from IAFF Local 478 in Waco, Texas, and IAFF Local 2505 in Killeen, Texas, and other emergency service personnel are responding to the scene of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, which has killed as many as 15 people, including several firefighters, according to reports.

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Gov. Chris Christie Says, 'Unions Are the Problem'

Gov. Chris Christie Says, 'Unions Are the Problem'

“Unions are the problem.” These were the words that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used in response to a question posed by a teacher at a recent town hall meeting. The governor has clearly taken a page out of the union-busting playbook by trying to brand the union as a self-interested third party, but the teacher sensibly corrected the governor, stating that “teachers are the union.” 

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Kids vs. Seniors: An Urban Myth

Are we spending too much on seniors and too little on kids? Many will recognize this as a classic either-or fallacy (what about tax breaks for the wealthy…?) But with Ronald Brownstein, Ezra Klein and Charlie Cook all repeating the Urban Institute statistic that federal spending on seniors is nearly seven times that on children, the idea that seniors are crowding out children’s programs is catching on in Washington. Meanwhile, Urban Institute’s estimate that state and local governments spend nine times more on kids than on seniors hasn’t gotten the same attention. Overall, it appears that government spending on seniors is roughly double (or less) that on children, though this measure includes Social Security, which is almost entirely funded through worker contributions.

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Time to End California’s Corporate ‘Gravy Train’

California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski/CLF photo

Hundreds of workers descended on the California state Capitol yesterday as part of the California Labor Federation’s legislative conference lobby day with a simple message for both Democrats and Republicans in office: “End the Corporate Gravy Train.” They were referring to the state’s wasteful enterprise zone program, which takes money away from schools, infrastructure and other valuable services to line the pockets of corporate CEOs at Walmart and other large, profitable corporations.

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Mexican Union Leader Vindicated in Court, Launches New Book

Napoleón Gómez of Los Mineros (left) and USW Pres. Leo W. Gerard At Vancouver press call to launch the Los Mineros leader’s  new book, ‘Collapse of Dignity.’

Fresh from a series of resounding legal victories, Mexican mine workers leader Napoleón Gómez has written a book that exposes the Mexican government’s seven-year campaign to destroy democratic unions and drive down workers’ wages. Gómez won the AFL-CIO’s Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award in 2011.

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Boosting the Minimum Wage in the States Is a No-Brainer

Illustration by Interfaith Workers Justice

With the federal minimum wage stuck at $7.25 an hour and an increase facing stiff opposition from congressional Republicans, coalitions  of union, community, faith and other groups are mobilizing to win increases in state and local minimum wage levels. Here’s a look at some recent wins and campaigns where AFL-CIO state federations and central labor councils are playing big roles.

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