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AFL-CIO Now

Presidential Debates 2012: Join Us for a Twitter Chat with Young Workers

Follow #head2head and #letsdebate for a live Twitter chat during the first presidential debate.

In addition to a live, interactive discussion with AFL-CIO policy experts during Wednesday night's presidential debate we'll host on the AFL-CIO Now blog (details to come later today), we're encouraging young workers to tune into our live Twitter chat Oct. 3 from 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m. to join the conversation. AFL-CIO's NextUp Twitter account will moderate the discussion on jobs, student loans and investing in America's future. 

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California’s Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights and TRUST Act Vetoed

Late Sunday night California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed the California Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights and TRUST Act. The TRUST Act would have prevented a deeply flawed federal deportation program from tearing apart more California families, diverting important resources and costing the state millions of dollars. 

The governor's midnight veto of the California Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights “does not shake our commitment to winning in California or building a national movement,” said the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), in a statement released Monday. The group vowed to carry on the fight for the workplace rights of the state’s 200,000 domestic service workers.

Even in the face of setbacks like this one, our movement for dignity, respect and labor protections for domestic workers grows stronger. We know that our work to make the world a more just place for domestic workers—and for all of us—is the work of a lifetime. And one governor’s poor decision will not derail us.

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UAW Members Make Louisville, Ky., More Accessible by Building Ramps

UAW Members Make Louisville, Ky., More Accessible by Building Ramps

Larry Snook, vice president of Labor Services at Metro United Way in Louisville, Ky., has an ambitious goal, along with the skilled tradesmen from UAW Local 862: building 25-30 mobility ramps for people's homes in the next two years.

Volunteers from Local 862 and Metro United Way are volunteering their time to help the Center for Accessible Living coordinate and build mobility ramps for people with disabilities' homes in flood zone areas through a Ford Motor Co. initiative in Louisville. Ford is providing funds for the ramp materials and recruiting employee volunteers from UAW. So far, three ramps have been built. 

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Unequal Justice and the 1% Supreme Court

This is a cross-post from the Alliance for Justice’s Justice Watch blog.   

In a series of 5 to 4 rulings, a majority on the United States Supreme Court effectively has rewritten the law to favor big business at the expense of the American people, according to a new documentary, "Unequal Justice: The Relentless Rise of the 1% Court," produced by Alliance for Justice (AFJ), which was released online Monday. “Today, as the Supreme Court begins a new term, the court will be ‘open for business,'” said AFJ President Nan Aron. 

The term is already packed with cases with the potential to restrict corporate accountability and limit everyday Americans’ civil rights and access to justice  The court’s decisions this term could have harmful consequences for the ability of consumers, victims of discrimination and others to get a fair day in court.

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Romney’s ‘Invisible’ Trash Collector Speaks Out

We know that Mitt Romney holds the 47% of us who are low-income workers, students, retirees, military families and others in pretty low regard. He even said, “[M]y job is not to worry about those people.” And when Romney talks about workers with good middle-class public service jobs, he mocks firefighters, teachers and other public employees and says, “It’s time for us to cut back” on those jobs.  

The San Diego County sanitation worker who picks the trash from Romney's $12 million oceanfront mansion has something to say about that.

 

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Joan Walsh at the AFL-CIO Oct. 3: What's the Matter with White People?

What’s the Matter with White People? By Joan Walsh

Many Americans long for a golden age that "never was," writes Salon columnist and MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh in her new book, What’s the Matter with White People? The book explores the four-decades-old scapegoat politics of right-wing culture warriors who blame people of color, the LGBT community, feminists, immigrants and union members for the decline of the middle class, while distracting from the real culprits. 

Please join us Wednesday for a discussion with Walsh and a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

Where: AFL-CIO

815 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m.

Bring your lunch—drinks will be provided.

RSVP here

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More Than 3,200 Workers Choose AFL-CIO Unions

More than 1,800 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers employed by American Medical Response (AMR) in Northern California and 500 EMS workers at New England EMS voted last week to join AFSCME, while more than 900 telecom, health care and other workers chose a voice at work with AFL-CIO unions.

Kathy Ivy (see video), a paramedic in Contra Costa County with 18 years’ experience, said:

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My Own Political Opinion

My Own Political Opinion

"My Own Political Opinion" is a cross-post from Working America’s Dear David workplace advice column.

Question:

As a courtesy, I communicated to the director of the company where I work that I will be volunteering for one of the candidates running for president. I was told that I was not allowed to participate in any kind of political activity as long as I worked for the company. I asked why, fairly offended. He said that due to the fact that most of his clientele support the other candidate, he would risk losing up to 90% of his clientele. Not only am I not allowed to express my opinion or represent what I believe in as a proud American, but I also cannot even put a bumper sticker on my car, as I would risk immediate termination. What are your thoughts on these subjects? —Raven, N.H.

Answer:

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Working America: 10 Reasons Not to See 'Won't Back Down'

"10 Reasons Not to See 'Won't Back Down'" is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

The Walden Media film "Won’t Back Down," starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, opens in theaters today. The film dramatizes a parent fighting to improve her child’s school, but it’s actually a dishonest Hollywood portrayal of the problems in our educational system—funded by the very people who want to privatize and profit from our schools. Here are 10 reasons to skip it:

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9to5 Founder: 'We Were No Longer Just Going to Be an Office Wife'

The first union for secretaries, 9to5, found a way to turn National Secretary's Day on its head in 1973, with the slogan "Raises, Not Roses," during a day of protest.

"We were about business, we were serious workers and you couldn't buy us off anymore," says Karen Nussbaum, one of the founders of 9to5, in an interview with PBS MAKERS, a series covering women who lead and trailblaze.

Nussbaum is now the executive director of Working America, a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

Watch the first of Nussbaum's interviews below:

 

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