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Union-Made Valentine's Day Shopping List

Photo courtesy of BCTGM.

Why not give your valentine some union-made sweets this Feb. 14? It turns out, there are many union-made treats you can give out on Valentine's Day. The iconic Necco candy Sweethearts conversation hearts are made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM). Here are some more products compiled by our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor:

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Path to Citizenship Vital to Immigration Reform, San Antonio Mayor Tells House Panel

Photo by j valas images/flickr

Putting the nation’s 11 million aspiring citizens on a path to citizenship is not—as many Republican House lawmakers have characterized—the “extreme” option for immigration reform, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told a House Judiciary Committee hearing today.

Putting them on a path to citizenship, that’s the best option.

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New York Times Editorial: More Jobs, Higher Pay

The New York Times posted an editorial today highlighting the need for high-paying American jobs, a shift from austerity to investments in our infrastructure and economy and strengthening workers' rights to collectively bargain for a voice on the job. The Times is publishing a series of editorials "on what President Obama and Congress should tackle in the next four years.” Other editorials can be found here

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FMLA Anniversary Blogger and Op-Ed Roundup

FMLA Anniversary Blogger and Op-Ed Roundup

Public figures, working families and community allies are sharing their thoughts today about the benefits of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on its 20th anniversary and the need for paid sick leave. Check out some highlights from the MomsRising blogger carnival by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), President Bill Clinton and several labor leaders:

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NNU Nurses Call for Safe Staffing Ratio for D.C. Hospitals

Washington Hospital Center RN Rajini Raj. NNU photo

When nurses are forced to carry a heavy patient load because of understaffing, the first to suffer are the patients. Several speakers at a Washington, D.C., City Hall press conference Monday said that legislation to establish a nurse-to-patient safe staffing ratio would protect patients’ safety and care.

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MomsRising Blog Carnival: Make FMLA’s Promise Real—Together

Photo courtesy of Women Unemployed's Facebook page.

Today, let’s celebrate 20 years of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Since 1993, the FMLA has been used more than 100 million times, helping 35 million people keep their jobs and health insurance while caring for a family health crisis or a new baby. That’s truly something to celebrate.

But this groundbreaking law didn’t just pop into our lives in 1993. A committed community of activists—women’s groups, union members, faith allies, family advocates and more—worked together for nine years to win it.

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Coalition of Michigan Lawmakers, Unions and Citizen Journalist File Lawsuit to Block 'Right to Work' for Less

[Photo credit: Anne C. Savage | Eclectablog]

Chris Savage is a Michigan-based political writer and owner of Eclectablog. You also can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

On Dec. 6, 2012, Republicans in the Michigan legislature passed bills that eventually led to Michigan becoming the 24th "right to work" for less state. With their majorities in both the House and the Senate and encouragement from Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, this was a pretty straightforward accomplishment. However, it was done with a crowd of thousands of protesters surrounding the Capitol building and filling its corridors. 

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Tom's Father's Story: This Is No Way to Die

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka sent this message to working family activists:

Tom Ward’s hardest memory to live with was the day his father came home from what would be his last day of work. His father barely made it through the door, fell to the floor and, between tears, said, “I can’t do it anymore.”

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America's Voice: House Immigration Hearing; We'll Be Watching These Republicans

Brian Bilbray. Photo courtesy of America's Voice blog.

Remember Brian Bilbray? The hardline anti-immigrant congressman-turned-FAIR-lobbyist-turned-congressman-turned-forced-retiree? Well, Bilbray—before his most recent electoral defeat—was the head of a group of anti-immigrant members of the House of Representatives called the “Immigration Reform Caucus.” To avoid confusion about what real reform looks like, we prefer to call it the Bully Brigade. Bilbray had inherited the caucus from Tom Tancredo—now, without either of them in the House anymore, it looks like the caucus has been quietly sent into (at least temporary) retirement as well.

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Gerard: Immigration Reform Prevents Employer Abuse

Oscar came to the United States at the age of 16 to work. There were no jobs for him in his native Guatemala, and he felt obligated to help support his parents.

He was lured across borders by the promise of work. He believed, as so many immigrants do, that there would be a job for him in America.

For the past five years, he has worked at a Los Angeles carwash that cheated him and other immigrant workers out of pay, refused protective gear and even denied drinking water.

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