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AFL-CIO Now

How Organizations with Ties to Hate Groups Are Trying to Influence the Immigration Debate

The U.S. House of Representatives held its first hearings for the current session on immigration reform Tuesday. Many immigration groups also submitted official testimony for the record. One name, in particular, jumped out as questionable, at best, in terms of being an expert witness on the topic of immigration—Jessica Vaughan, who submitted a written statement. Vaughan is the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), an organization that portrays itself as an "independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization" that advocates a "low-immigration, pro-immigrant" public policy. In reality, CIS is connected to a shadowy network of anti-immigrant funders and activists who participate in or are associated with movements for white nationalism.

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Labor Leaders Announce National Mobilization Campaign for Immigration Reform

Photo courtesy of the Workers Defense Project.

Comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship is essential to all of America’s workers, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a telephone press conference today, as he and Maria Elena Durazo, chair of the AFL-CIO’s immigration Committee, announced the labor movement’s campaign for a common-sense immigration process.

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Rights Group’s Probe Concludes Palermo’s Illegally Fired Workers

Slice of Justice photo.

A new investigation finds “compelling evidence” that Palermo’s Pizza’s firing of 90 workers at its Milwaukee plant is directly tied to the company’s anti-union practices and was illegal under both U.S. and international labor standards. The report, by the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), says Palermo's Pizza should reinstate—with full back pay—the fired workers and begin negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

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North Carolina Republicans Ramp Up Attacks on the Unemployed

Photo of Gov. Pat McCrory courtesy Willamor Media

In a near party-line vote, the North Carolina House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to a bill that would harm many of the state's more vulnerable citizens by cutting back on unemployment insurance. The measure would cut maximum weekly benefits by one-third, bringing the top weekly payout to $350, and reduce the maximum length an unemployed worker can get from 26 weeks to 20. As the bill currently stands, 80,000 workers are set to lose unemployment insurance payments.

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Workers Expose Dirty Secrets of Recycling Industry

Most of us don’t know what happens to our recycling after we take it to the curb each week.

On Feb. 2, hundreds of recycling workers and community supporters gathered in Oakland, Calif., at the Recycling Workers Convention to discuss a wide range of serious problems plaguing Alameda County’s recycling industry with an audience of elected officials and policy makers who oversee this supposedly “green” industry.

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Silica Dust Delay Deadly for Workers

Feb. 14 will mark the second anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA's) submission of the silica dust standard for review to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Every year that goes by without the enactment and enforcement of the proposed standard that controls workers' exposure to silica dust, 60 workers will die, AFL-CIO Health and Safety Director Peg Seminario told NPR in a story broadcast today.

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Global Unions Urge Release of Imprisoned Russian Trade Unionist

Valentin Urusov was detained prior to the start of a rally he was organizing. Photo: CSID

Trade unionist Valentin Urusov is proof that in Russia it’s still possible to be imprisoned in the 21st century equivalent of the gulag for standing up for worker rights on the job. An electrical fitter at an ore-processing mill owned by the diamond mining company Alrosa, Urusov has spent more than four years of a six-year term in a penal colony in Yakutia in far northern Russia.

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Austerity Plans and 'Bowles-Simpson' Are Bad Policies for the Economy and Working Families

Austerity Plans and 'Bowles-Simpson' are Bad Policies for the Economy and Working Families

Working families aren't fooled. There's nothing "fair and balanced" about the Bowles-Simpson budget plan that would ultimately increase unemployment, cut Social Security benefits, tax workers’ health benefits and scapegoat federal employees while giving more tax breaks for sending jobs overseas and lowering tax rates for Wall Street and the wealthiest 2%. Yesterday, Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) introduced an amendment to H.R. 444, that would direct President Obama to follow the budget recommendations of Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, known as the Bowles-Simpson plan. 

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Virginia Gerrymandering Plan Blocked By House Speaker

Photo courtesy VCU CNS

An attempt to ram through a partisan redistricting map by Virginia State Senate Republicans has been blocked by the speaker of the state's House of Delegates. 

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Trumka: Immigration Reform Is Personal

Trumka: Immigration Reform Is Personal

There is a deep and personal reason AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is passionate about enacting immigration reform that provides a real pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who call this country home. In a post today on Daily Kos, he writes:

When people use the word 'immigrant' like an epithet, I take it personally. I come from a small town in southwestern Pennsylvania’s coal country called Nemacolin. It was not easy when my family came to this country. My parents and grandparents fled poverty and war from different corners of Europe. 

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