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Can Obama Win Back the Youth Vote?

Photo by greenforall.org/Flickr

This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.

In 2008, young people in America—including many who voted in their first presidential election—rallied behind a youthful senator from Illinois campaigning on the promise of change and hope. Now the incumbent in the White House, Barack Obama, faces a difficult challenge in recapturing the youth vote for his re-election. Early this month, The New York Times reported that enthusiasm for Obama among voters aged 18 to 24 has fallen sharply since the past election cycle. And many of the young people interviewed in the article spoke of feeling alienated from politics.

So what is behind young people's disaffection? And what must President Obama do if he is serious about winning back the country's youth?
 

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Harold Meyerson: Bankrupt Cities? Don't Blame Unions

The bankruptcies of California cities Stockton and San Bernardino weren’t caused by unions, Washington Post op-ed columnist Harold Meyerson points out in a new column, “Bankrupt Cities? Don’t Blame Unions.” Contrary to reporting on the subject, the bankruptcies of these two cities were caused by Big Banks “peddling subprime mortgages to poorly paid workers.”

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Union Summer—An Education in Union and Community Organizing

Cuahuctemoc Salinas marches in a boycott picket line. He is in the orange vest.

A question Cuahuctemoc Salinas often gets when he tells carwash customers about the poor working conditions carwash workers experience is “So why are they still working here?”

To which he replies:

They’re afraid. Jobs are sacred right now. They have to provide for their families.

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Tell Us What You Think: Caterpillar Makes Billions, Demands 6-Year Wage Freeze

Caterpillar workers and their families recently rallied against the massive giveback demands. Photo by peoplesworld/Flickr

Braving record heat and dangerous midwestern summer thunderstorms, groups of 15 members from the Machinists (IAM) Local 851 take four-hour shifts every day picketing the gates of the Caterpillar factory in Joliet, Ill. This is their 12th week on strike after Caterpillar, which made $4.9 billion in profits last year, demanded the nearly 800 workers accept a six-year wage freeze, doubled health care premiums and cuts to pensions. What do you think about Caterpillar making record profits and demanding its workers take a six-year pay freeze?

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Colombia Labor Action Plan Fails to Stop Labor and Human Rights Violations

Colombia is known as “the most dangerous place in the world to be a trade unionist.”

Today, Colombian trade unionists, representatives from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the Escuela Nacional Sindical (ENS, Colombia’s National Union School) and the AFL-CIO participated in a panel discussion on the implementation of the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights. The panelists reached a grim conclusion—so far, the Labor Action Plan (LAP) has failed to stop serious labor and human rights violations in Colombia, even though the U.S. government has declared it a success and has allowed the related Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to go into effect.  

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Meet Mr. 1%: Here’s What You Say

Last week we launched our Meet Mr. 1% website with shareable infographics on Mitt Romney’s record as a state governor, his overseas bank accounts and his economic attack plan that would harm working families. The graphics also highlight, with Romney at its helm, that Bain killed and outsourced jobs and pushed companies into bankruptcy.

Here are some of the “greatest hits” remarks from our commenters. John DeRosier writes:

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Tell Your Senators to End the Bush Tax Cuts for the Richest 2%

The U.S. Senate will vote tomorrow on a measure to end the Bush tax cuts for the nation’s richest 2 percent but maintain the cuts for middle-class families. Because of a Republican filibuster, it will take 60 votes before the Senate can even take up the legislation. Call your senators at 888-744-9958 and tell them to vote for the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412).

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Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Kaiser Permanente Ratify Agreement

The nearly 100,000 members of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and Kaiser Permanente reached agreement Monday, July 23, on a three-year national contract. The pact covers workers in 28 unions at hundreds of Kaiser Permanente health care facilities in nine states.

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Justice Department Probes Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

Orginal photo by Sun Dazed/Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a formal investigation into Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law that, by some estimates, could disenfranchise nearly one in 10 eligible voters—mostly people of color, students, seniors and low-income voters. The bill mirrors other voter suppression laws Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed in recent years based on model legislation from the extremist American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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10 Facts About the Minimum Wage

10 Facts You Need to Know about the Federal Minimum Wage

Today marks the third year minimum wage workers haven't seen a raise. While the price of just about everything else has skyrocketed (milk, eggs, health care, college), full-time minimum wage workers are barely making more than $15,000 a year. Here are 10 facts you need to know about the minimum wage. 

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