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AFL-CIO Now

A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS

Cristina Pena

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS," here.

In the early 1990s, no research was being done on pediatric AIDS, which was killing thousands of children born with the disease every year in the United States. Cristina Pena, now in college, was among those born with HIV. When she was three, her father died, leaving her and her mother alone, “two peas in a pod,” says Pena.

“Nobody knew how to act around us. Physicians donned masks and full gowns just to speak to us. Aunts and uncles worried about sharing drinks. When my mother inquired about our future, doctors just shrugged, limited our lifespan to five years and admitted they just didn’t know enough.”

Pena and thousands more like her are alive today because of the efforts of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation—and union members at the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

Click here to find out more.

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Tom Paine Speaks Out on Immigration

Thomas Paine, one of America’s founding fathers, is back—and weighing in on the national dialogue around immigration.

Channeling Paine, actor Ian Ruskin describes how Paine and all those who came from other countries to found the United States were—drum roll, please—immigrants (see video).

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New Immigration Report Dispels Myths, Provides Insight

Read the CAP issue brief on immigration for a more accurate snapshot of immigrants in America and aspiring citizens.

There are so many myths and misconceptions about immigration, oftentimes it’s hard to get the facts. That’s where the Center for American Progress’ new immigration policy brief comes in handy.

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Taxi Drivers Unite with Labor Council

Taxi Drivers Unite with Labor Council

Lorena Gonzalez is the secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. Gonzalez and Mikaiil Hussein, president of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego, also issued a statement together upon the affiliation of the independent taxi workers with the labor council. You can read that statement here.

At the Labor Council, our mission is to create more jobs, better jobs and better lives for all of San Diego's workers—union and nonunion. For years, we have proudly worked on policies that bring up the standard for our entire community; things like a living wage ordinance, paid family leave, worker retention policies and health care access for working families.

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Only 2.5 Percent of Small Businesses Affected by Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts for Top Marginal Rates

Only 2.5 Percent of Small Businesses Affected by Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts for Top Marginal Rates

Republicans pride themselves of being the champions of small business owners. But it’s helpful to clarify what actually is their definition of a small business.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released a report that shows only 2.5 percent of small business owners would be affected by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on the wealthiest taxpayers (top two marginal tax rates).

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Profile of Minimum Wage Workers Isn’t What You Think

Opponents of increasing the nation’s minimum wage always fall back on the argument that it doesn’t need to be raised because it’s mostly teenagers working part-time for extra pocket money who are getting that hourly figure (which right now is $7.25).

A new study shows that stereotype isn't true. In fact, the majority of minimum wage workers have completed some college, live in families making less than $40,000 a year and so are contributing to the family income, and are working full-time.

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Arizona ACLU Brings Class-Action Lawsuit to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Office

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

Opening arguments were heard on Thursday morning in a class-action lawsuit brought by the Arizona ACLU charging that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has been engaging in a shocking pattern of profiling and harassment of Hispanic residents. The suit could put S.B. 1070 on the skids, as the ACLU has produced several e-mails from then-Sen. Russell Pearce (often cited as the main architect of S.B. 1070) expressing paranoid racist vitriol. The plaintiffs say the e-mails demonstrate that the infamous "show your papers" law was indeed racially motivated, as opponents of the law have charged from the beginning.

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Boston Unions Stand Up for Exploited Workers

Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 35, working with other area unions, the Greater Boston Labor Council and community groups, helped expose the exploitation of a group of Philadelphia workers hired by a subcontractor to renovate the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel. Earlier this week, the workers were awarded $31,000 in back pay.

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Which Greedy Banker Said It? Play the Wall St. Quotes Game

Carrie Sloan

At the height of the Wall Street financial scandal that rocked this country into near economic ruin, bankers were ablaze with greed. To mark the approaching two-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the think tank Demos has compiled some of the more colorful quotes from this group and challenges you to guess who said them.

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Growing U.S. Income Inequality Eating Away at Our Nation

Growing U.S. Income Inequality Eating Away at Our Nation

Timothy Noah, author of The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Income Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, spoke here at the AFL-CIO today, part of our summer book series on jobs, inequality and the financial crisis. In researching the book, based on a 10-part series he wrote in 2010 for Slate, Noah says he surprised even himself when he realized that economic mobility was far more robust than it turned out to be.Noah provided so much incredible data, we want to share it here in a visual walk-through of Noah’s presentation. (Get a PDF of all Noah's charts here.

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