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Netroots Nation: How We Won the Janet Yellen Fight

Photo courtesy IMF on Flickr

The chair of the Federal Reserve is by many accounts the second most powerful person in the United States after the president, but what the Federal Reserve does is a mystery to most Americans. Last year, there was an unusual public debate about who President Barack Obama should appoint as chairman of the Federal Reserve to replace departing chair Ben Bernanke. Bernanke’s vice chair, Janet Yellen, a renowned economist, had worked with Bernanke to prevent a second Great Depression, and it was widely expected that President Obama would appoint her. Then, suddenly, it seemed as though former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, with the backing of powerful Wall Street Democrats, was going to get the job. Then, equally suddenly, Summers withdrew his name, paving the way for President Obama to appoint Yellen as the first woman chair of the Fed.

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5 Things that Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased

5 Things that Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased

The federal minimum wage was last increased on July 24, 2009, and since then, a lot has changed (don’t forget tipped workers haven’t seen a raise since 1991). There have been so many attacks on working families since that time that it would be difficult to catalog them all. But workers and their allies haven't taken the attacks sitting down, and many are finding new ways to organize and stand up for their rights. 

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Tobacco Growers Rep Resigns Following Punching Incident

FLOC photo

Last week, we reported on an incident caught on video where a representative of the North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA) punched an organizer from the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) in the face during an outdoor meeting with workers. Now, FLOC reports that the NCGA accepted the resignation of the representative identified by BuzzFeed and FLOC as Paul Saffle.

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11 Ways the 'Schedules that Work' Act Would Make the Lives of Working Families Better

11 Ways the 'Schedules that Work' Act Would Make the Lives of Working Families Better

On Tuesday, Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced the "Schedules That Work" Act to provide federal guidelines for making sure that employers offer fair, flexible and reliable schedules for working families who are often left in difficult situations because of erratic employer scheduling. Miller said the act is about "dignity" and ensuring workers can earn a decent living and meet family responsibilities.

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Will Republicans Vote to Export U.S. Jobs?

Photo of Bring Jobs Home Rally, courtesy of the United Steelworkers

Republican senators have a golden opportunity today to show whose side they are on. In a vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2569), the GOP can come down on the side of America's workers who are seeking good, middle-class jobs in an economy that’s not creating enough of them, or they can choose to stand with the corporations that ship U.S. jobs overseas.  

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Wednesday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Wednesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families’ news we're reading today (after the jump).

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New Jersey Union Members Learn ‘Common Sense Economics'

New Jersey State AFL-CIO photo

In New Jersey Monday, eight union members took part in the state’s first “Common Sense Economics” training, which at its core, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, has “a clear, simple message: Raising wages works.”

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Peru Supersizes Its Backslider Legislation

Peru Supersizes Its Backslider Legislation

Poor Peru. It seems international investors might be losing interest in sending money its way. For those who argue that it is too hard to compete in international trade when you have decent rules on the books about inspecting workplaces, enforcing safety regs or protecting the environment, Peru has responded, “No problem! We’ll just push through a jumbo pack of regressive changes to undo good laws passed on promises of a more just, inclusive and sustainable society.” Sound shocking? Maybe. But also true. That’s exactly what the government of Peru did on July 11, rolling back both labor and environmental laws.

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Massachusetts Domestic Workers Win Nation’s Strongest Bill of Rights

MCDW photo

Housekeepers, nannies, caregivers for the elderly and other domestic workers in Massachusetts now are protected by the nation’s fourth and most comprehensive Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights.

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Scholars Speak Out Against Troubling 'Corporate Courts' (ISDS) in TTIP

As another round of negotiations for the U.S.–E.U. trade deal (known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP) began, 121 leading academic experts on trade, investment law, European Union (EU) law, international law, human rights, constitutional law, global political economy and related fields issued a statement expressing deep concern about the investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions that negotiators plan to include in the deal. 

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