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The History of Labor Activism at Walmart

Photo courtesy Ron Dauphin

For those interested in learning more about the state of labor activism at Walmart and how worker-employer relations got to this point at the nation's biggest employer, read Josh Eidelson's latest article in The Nation, The Great Walmart Walkout. Eidelson also examines Walmart's effect on local communities and the supply chain that provides the company's products.

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Union Members Serve Up Some Christmas Cheer

UAW Members Serve Up Some Christmas Cheer

UAW locals 531 and 2317 in Lafayette, Ind., served a piping hot Christmas meal on Dec. 19 to local people who live on a low income or don't have a home. The union members split the cost of the meal between the two locals.

See more photos on the United Way of Greater Lafayette's Facebook page

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Boehner’s Failure a Fiscal Reset Button

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement on House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B” failure and the latest fiscal developments:   

Speaker Boehner’s failure last night should be seen as one thing: A reset button to listen to the will of the American people. The slate is clean and we call on the President to come forward with an offer that reflects the reasons he won the election. Across the country working people continue to demand no tax cuts for the richest two percent and no benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. At this point, cuts to the Social Security COLA to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent should be off the table. The President and Congress have no obligation to radical Republicans who have no ground to stand on. What they do have is the backing of millions of hardworking women and men tired of being held hostage by far right-wing Republicans who clearly have little interest in governing.

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Workers Die, Companies Don’t Pay

Check out the heartbreaking story of some of the many workplace deaths where companies are found liable and penalties are issued but never collected as corporations game the bankruptcy system, lawyers aggressively fight and, sometimes, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fails to follow through. Peg Seminario, director of safety and health at the AFL-CIO, is quoted in the article. 

Read Even After Workplace Deaths, Companies Avoid OSHA Penalties.

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Trumka to Union Leaders: 'The Time Has Come for Immigration Reform'

The time for immigration reform is now, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said to union leaders today. This will be a focus for labor in 2013. Hardworking immigrant families came to this country for the promise of freedom and the opportunity to provide a better life for their children—even if it meant uprooting their families. Working families are all the better for having hardworking new immigrants as contributing members of the communities, with full rights and equal protections. The country needs to create a common-sense immigration process with a road map to citizenship. 

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Christmas Comes on 18 Wheels for Locked-Out American Crystal Sugar Families

Photos from Operation Christmas Solidarity

It could have been a pretty bleak and hungry holiday season for the families of the 1,300 American Crystal Sugar workers who have been locked out of their jobs since August 2011. But thanks to the combined efforts of the unions of the St. Paul (Minn.) Regional Labor Federation and the American Income Life Insurance Co., there’ll be presents under the trees and food in the pantries.

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Arizona's Minimum Wage Increase to Boost Local Economy

Photo courtesy Wisconsin Jobs Now

As the new year starts, Arizona's lowest-paid workers will see a gift—the state's minimum wage will go up 15 cents, to a new total of $7.80 an hour. More than 72,000 workers will get a boost in their pay equaling an average of $320 annually. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the increased consumer spending generated by the increase will add $13 million to the local gross domestic product (GDP). Nine other states also will be raising their wages on Jan. 1, 2013, helping nearly 1 million workers across the nation.

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Ga. Activists Tell Republicans Don’t Hold Middle Class Hostage

Photo by DeLane Adams

A group of union members, community activists and business owners told Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) there is one thing they and most Americans don’t have on their holiday gift list—a tax hike for the middle class and benefit cuts for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, especially as a result of a congressional Republican refusal to make the wealthy pay their fair share that sends the nation over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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Don't Let John Boehner Steal Christmas

Don't Let John Boehner Steal Christmas

Anyone who wants to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits to finance massive tax giveaways for the rich must have a heart two sizes too small

Today, we're tweeting at House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, telling them to stop holding working people hostage just so the wealthiest 2% can receive more tax giveaways. 

Click here to send this message to Boehner and McConnell: Don’t “steal Christmas” by passing GOP benefit cuts.

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Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ Good for Wealthy, Bad for the Rest of Us

UPDATE: With a large number of House Republicans refusing to back asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled his “Plan B.” from the floor last night and adjourned the House. No negotiations between Republicans and the Obama White House on the expiring middle class tax cuts and automatic spending cuts set to go into effect Jan. 1 are scheduled.  But a White House spokesman said, “The president will work with Congress to get this done, and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy.”  

If House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “really wanted to address the true causes of our long-term budget imbalance, the last thing he would ask Congress to do is pass more wasteful tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” AFL-CIO Government Affairs Director Bill Samuel said in a letter to House members today.

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