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AFL-CIO Now

Dancers' Alliance Wins First Pact for Video Performers

Earlier this spring, we highlighted the creative action by dancers and other music video performers as they mobilized for a fair contract—and they now have one. SAG-AFTRA and the Dancers' Alliance reached the first-ever industry-wide contract to cover dancers and other performers on music videos with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI Music and The Walt Disney Co.

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Tell Change.org to Stop Supporting Union-Busters Like Stand for Children

herladpost/Flickr

Nicole Aro is the AFL-CIO Digital Strategies deputy director.

My mother is a high school teacher. Growing up, the joy that she took in her students learning each day was inspiring (and still is!). She spent thousands of dollars of her own money on classroom and after school activities, countless days and weeks over the summer poring over classics so she could better educate her seniors on their Advanced Placement (AP) work and endless nights and weekends creating her own supplemental material when the textbooks just weren’t engaging enough (think sketch comedies using characters from The Iliad and The Odyssey).

Inspired largely by my mom, when I got to college in Chicago, I promptly signed up to be a part-time teaching assistant in the Chicago Public School system.

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Trumka to IMF: Global ‘Wall Street’ Tax Needed

Trumka to IMF:  Global ‘Wall Street’ Tax Needed

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is taking part in the L20’s June 18-19 meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico. Leaders of the 19 nations and the European Union who make up the L20 are discussing the global economic crises.

Yesterday, Trumka introduced International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, and @AFLCIOLatino tweeted the exchange. Check it out. 

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Aung San Suu Kyi: Workers' Rights Must Be Protected in Burma

Photo credit: Anna Biondi

Although corporations are now investing in Burma, opportunities for economic growth must be balanced with protections for working people, Burmese political opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said last week. Speaking at the International Labor Organization (ILO) Conference in Geneva, Suu Kyi was joined by U Maung Maung, general secretary of the General Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB), who spoke about the long struggle for freedom of association and the freedom to organize in Burma.

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Rising Income Inequality Decreases Civic Participation

Vaguely Artistic

Oren M. Levin-Waldman is professor of public policy at the Metropolitan College of New York and the author of “Wage
Policy, Income Distribution, and Democratic Theory.”

Over the past four decades, the United States has seen middle-class wages stagnate and income inequality rise. Increasing income inequality is a problem because it reflects the decline of the middle class and the disappearance of middle-class jobs. But it also threatens the survival of a democratic society.

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Workers and Their Unions Key to Economic Turnaround, Election Outcome

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Columbia University Professor Dorian Warren both say the best way to solve the nation’s economic crisis is to grow the middle class rather than allowing wealth to concentrate in fewer and fewer hands. Unions, they say, will play a vital role politically and economically in building a strong middle class.

O'Malley and Warren spoke on a conference call with reporters Friday to counter recent attacks by Republican lawmakers on workers and their unions.

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American Rights at Work, Jobs with Justice Announce Merger

American Rights at Work, Jobs with Justice Announce Merger

American Rights at Work (ARAW) and Jobs with Justice (JwJ) are joining forces. In a joint statement, American Rights at Work Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown and Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta say:

Unions are about the collective being stronger than the individual—that together we can achieve what we cannot on our own. What's true for construction workers and nurses, for janitors and teachers, is also true for the workers' rights movement. That's why American Rights at Work is joining together with Jobs with Justice by merging.

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In North Carolina, Working America Stands Up for the Unemployed

In the midst of a terrible jobs crisis, there are those in North Carolina who seek to cut assistance for those who have lost their jobs. That’s just plain wrong.

Currently, North Carolina’s Chamber of Commerce seeks to restrict unemployment benefits by reducing the maximum weekly income from $506 to $350. In addition to the monetary cut, the time allowed to receive benefits could be reduced from 26 weeks to 20 weeks. The restriction of unemployment benefits will devastate hundreds of thousands of families who are actively looking for work.

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Senate Takes Step Toward Curbing Excessive Speculation in Oil Markets

This is a crosspost from the Air Line Pilots’ (ALPA) Pilot Partisan blog. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a much-needed boost to the Commodities Future Trading Commission’s (CFTC) budget yesterday. The CFTC is responsible for implementing and enforcing rules to ensure speculative trading in the oil futures market is tightly monitored.

Most airlines utilize hedging strategies to protect themselves from wild spikes and drops in the price of oil. They are legitimate end users of the product, and the CFTC permits the airline industry to continue such legitimate hedging practices. However, many large investors use the derivatives markets to speculate on oil prices, resulting in unsustainable increases in fuel costs. Such speculation negatively impacts our jobs and our industry, which is why ALPA has been strongly advocating for tougher rules and oversight to reduce excessive speculation.

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Job Killer? The Media Buy the Lie That Democrats Are to Blame

Job Killer? The Media Buy the Lie That Democrats Are to Blame

The media is more likely to define a presidential administration as a “job killer” if it’s Democratic, according to an independent study released this week, and in 91.6 percent of the stories alleging that a government policy was a “job killer,” the news media failed to cite any evidence for this claim.

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