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AFL-CIO to Release New Report on Colombian Labor Action Plan

Colombian workers, union leaders and the director of Colombia's national union school will take part in a panel discussion at AFL-CIO headquarters tomorrow following the release of a new report by the AFL-CIO on the Labor Action Plan that was intended to reduce the violence directed at Colombian workers and union activists and increase their ability to exercise basic labor rights such as free association and collective bargaining.  

The Labor Action Plan was negotiated to ease the passage of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. The AFL-CIO and allies successfully held off the vote for years over Colombia's troubling human rights record. Colombia has been the deadliest nation in the world for trade unionists. Thirty were slain in 2011 and another 10 were killed already this year. Impunity from prosecution for such killings remains high, at around 95 percent.

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Economists Say Minimum Wage Boost Would Help 20 Million Workers

Photo by Spike55152/Flockr

A group of prominent economists today urged President Obama and congressional leaders to raise the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour for three years. In a letter to the president and lawmakers they wrote: 

A higher minimum wage at this juncture will not only provide raises for low-wage workers but would provide some help on the jobs front as well.

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AFT Advocates Against a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Education

AFT Advocates Against a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Education

Kenneth J. Bernstein is a National Board Certified retired school teacher and was named a 2010 Washington Post "Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher." He is nationally recognized for writing online on education and other issues, especially as teacherken on Daily Kos

The AFT, led by its President Randi Weingarten, advocates vigorously on behalf of what it views as best for students in the public schools of America. In the current environment of test-driven accountability systems, there is a danger of narrowing the education our children receive to improve test scores. This leads to a “one-size-fits-all” approach that is justified on the grounds of the supposedly poor performance of U.S. schools on international comparisons. But too often those who rely upon such comparison neither understand what the results mean nor do they examine what things high-scoring countries do.

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Hyatt Boycott Aims to End Worker Abuse

Hyatt Boycott Aims to End Worker Abuse

Hyatt “systematically abuses housekeepers and other hotel workers,” said UNITEHERE! President John Wilhelm this morning in announcing a worldwide boycott of the hotel chain.

A wide range of groups, including the AFL-CIO, NFL Players Association (NFLPA), Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), Pride At Work and several civil rights and women’s groups, are backing the boycott.

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CWA and IBEW Ask for Mediation in Verizon Contract Talks

Photo of 11/2/2011 CWA/Occupy D.C. March, by Julia Kann

report by Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council, AFL-CIO, assistant mobilizer Julia Kann of Union City.

Unable to negotiate an agreement for over a year, Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Electrical Workers (IBEW) have asked the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to step in to help with negotiations with Verizon Communications.

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A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS

Cristina Pena

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS," here.

In the early 1990s, no research was being done on pediatric AIDS, which was killing thousands of children born with the disease every year in the United States. Cristina Pena, now in college, was among those born with HIV. When she was three, her father died, leaving her and her mother alone, “two peas in a pod,” says Pena.

“Nobody knew how to act around us. Physicians donned masks and full gowns just to speak to us. Aunts and uncles worried about sharing drinks. When my mother inquired about our future, doctors just shrugged, limited our lifespan to five years and admitted they just didn’t know enough.”

Pena and thousands more like her are alive today because of the efforts of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation—and union members at the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Click here to find out more.

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Tom Paine Speaks Out on Immigration

Thomas Paine, one of America’s founding fathers, is back—and weighing in on the national dialogue around immigration.

Channeling Paine, actor Ian Ruskin describes how Paine and all those who came from other countries to found the United States were—drum roll, please—immigrants (see video).

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New Immigration Report Dispels Myths, Provides Insight

Read the CAP issue brief on immigration for a more accurate snapshot of immigrants in America and aspiring citizens.

There are so many myths and misconceptions about immigration, oftentimes it’s hard to get the facts. That’s where the Center for American Progress’ new immigration policy brief comes in handy.

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Taxi Drivers Unite with Labor Council

Taxi Drivers Unite with Labor Council

Lorena Gonzalez is the secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. Gonzalez and Mikaiil Hussein, president of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego, also issued a statement together upon the affiliation of the independent taxi workers with the labor council. You can read that statement here.

At the Labor Council, our mission is to create more jobs, better jobs and better lives for all of San Diego's workers—union and nonunion. For years, we have proudly worked on policies that bring up the standard for our entire community; things like a living wage ordinance, paid family leave, worker retention policies and health care access for working families.

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Only 2.5 Percent of Small Businesses Affected by Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts for Top Marginal Rates

Only 2.5 Percent of Small Businesses Affected by Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts for Top Marginal Rates

Republicans pride themselves of being the champions of small business owners. But it’s helpful to clarify what actually is their definition of a small business.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a report that shows only 2.5 percent of small business owners would be affected by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on the wealthiest taxpayers (top two marginal tax rates).

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