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9to5 Founder: 'We Were No Longer Just Going to Be an Office Wife'

The first union for secretaries, 9to5, found a way to turn National Secretary's Day on its head in 1973, with the slogan "Raises, Not Roses," during a day of protest.

"We were about business, we were serious workers and you couldn't buy us off anymore," says Karen Nussbaum, one of the founders of 9to5, in an interview with PBS MAKERS, a series covering women who lead and trailblaze.

Nussbaum is now the executive director of Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

Watch the first of Nussbaum's interviews below:


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New Reports Spotlight ‘Worst Forms’ of Child Labor Around the Globe

Photo by Vipez/Flickr

Around the globe, 215 million children are engaged in child labor, including an estimated 6 million in forced labor. Annual reports, released this week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), tracks the progress and lack of progress in combating child labor. The reports, said Labor Secretary Hilda Solis:   

Remind us of what happens to the most vulnerable members of society when poverty and labor exploitation unite.

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Election 2012: What’s at Stake for Latinos

21.3 million is a lot of people. It’s the number of Latino voters who can cast a ballot this November. At more than 15% of the American population, Latinos are being courted by candidates from the presidential race down to state and local races.

The AFL-CIO has teamed up with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) to host a panel at the AFL-CIO discussing what’s at stake in this election for Latino voters on Tuesday, Oct. 2, from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. EDT.

We’ll be live-streaming the panel, so you can watch the webcast at home:

Don't forget to follow the action on Facebook:; and Twitter:

RSVP for the Latino election panel livestream today.

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My Vote, My Right Registers Voters in Nevada

The AFL-CIO’s My Vote, My Right mobilization is teaming up with community partners around the nation to make sure eligible voters are registered and to ensure that their voting rights are protected. This week in Nevada, volunteers from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), unions from the Nevada State AFL-CIO and others in the Nevada New Majority Coalition fanned out across Las Vegas in registration drives in conjunction with National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 25. 

 FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Moyers and Company Make Scary Journey Through the ‘United States of ALEC’

Starting this weekend on PBS stations across the country, Moyers and Company will air “United States of ALEC.” (Find the date and airtime in your area.) The American Legislative Exchange Council describes itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership.” But “United States of ALEC” finds that:


Behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

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Working America Organizers Turn Into Neighborhood Heroes

Working America volunteers are everyday heroes.

"Working America Organizers Turn Into Neighborhood Heroes," by Seth D. Michaels, is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

Michael Taeu, a Working America organizer, was out talking to people in Oregon City, Ore., last night when he saw something he doesn't usually see: smoke pouring out of the windows of one of the houses in the neighborhood.

Michael could have turned around, but he didn't. Instead, he went into the house, helped rescue a woman trapped inside and put out the fire.

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Investigative Report Finds Davis-Bacon Wage Violations at Georgia Construction Firm

An Atlanta TV station’s investigative report uncovered a Paulding County construction company’s efforts to circumvent federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws and then, when caught by the U.S. Department of Labor again, attempt to avoid paying workers a fair wage for their work by changing their job descriptions to lower-paying classifications.

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Solidarity Center: Threatened with Death, Mexican Labor Activist Leaves Country

Learn more about the Solidarity Center at

This is an excerpt from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's "Threatened with Death, Mexican Labor Activist Leaves Country."

Facing death threats for her work as a Mexican labor rights activist, Blanca Velásquez left the country earlier this month and suspended her two-year legal battle with the Mexican government over ongoing harassment and threats against workers in Puebla, Mexico.

In May, human rights defender José Enrique Morales Montaño, who worked with Velásquez at the Center of Support for Workers (CAT), was kidnapped by four masked men and physically tortured for 16 hours before being released. Other employees at CAT have received death threats, and the organization’s e-mail has been hacked in a cycle of harassment that began in December 2010. That month, Velasquez found a threatening message scrawled across her office wall: “No saben con quien metes” (“You don’t know who you’re messing with”).

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‘Small’ NFIB Gets GOP Funders’ Big Bucks

Read ‘Small’ NFIB Gets GOP Funders’ Big Bucks' at

David Groves of The Stand, a project of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) and its affiliated unions, sends us "‘Small’ NFIB Gets GOP Funders’ Big Bucks."

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) promotes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan organization” that is “the leading small business association representing small and independent business.”

For a business group so focused on “small” it says it twice, the NFIB reportedly gets a lot of its funding from the biggest names in Republican politics, including Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. As for the “independent” part, the NFIB’s political and legislative agendas at both the national and Washington state levels align closely with the Republican Party and big—not small—corporate interests.

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Here's Your Road Map for the Upcoming Budget Obstacle Course

Here's Your Road Map for the Upcoming Budget Obstacle Course

After the election, Congress will make some high-stakes decisions about jobs and taxes that could have serious consequences for working families and the economy. A new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) should serve as the working families’ guide to the post-election debate.

Here are some of the decisions facing Congress when they return: the federal unemployment benefits program expires at the end of December. The Bush tax cuts also expire automatically and Congress will have to decide whether to extend them for the middle class or also extend them for the richest 2% of Americans.  Thanks to last summer’s debt ceiling agreement, across-the-board budget cuts are scheduled to take effect in January 2013.  If Congress makes the wrong calls on these high-stakes decisions, we could have another recession in 2013.

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