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AFL-CIO Now

Moyers and Company Make Scary Journey Through the ‘United States of ALEC’

Starting this weekend on PBS stations across the country, Moyers and Company will air “United States of ALEC.” (Find the date and airtime in your area.) The American Legislative Exchange Council describes itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership.” But “United States of ALEC” finds that:

 

Behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

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Working America Organizers Turn Into Neighborhood Heroes

Working America volunteers are everyday heroes.

"Working America Organizers Turn Into Neighborhood Heroes," by Seth D. Michaels, is a cross-post from Working America's Main Street blog

Michael Taeu, a Working America organizer, was out talking to people in Oregon City, Ore., last night when he saw something he doesn't usually see: smoke pouring out of the windows of one of the houses in the neighborhood.

Michael could have turned around, but he didn't. Instead, he went into the house, helped rescue a woman trapped inside and put out the fire.

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Investigative Report Finds Davis-Bacon Wage Violations at Georgia Construction Firm

An Atlanta TV station’s investigative report uncovered a Paulding County construction company’s efforts to circumvent federal Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws and then, when caught by the U.S. Department of Labor again, attempt to avoid paying workers a fair wage for their work by changing their job descriptions to lower-paying classifications.

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Solidarity Center: Threatened with Death, Mexican Labor Activist Leaves Country

Learn more about the Solidarity Center at www.solidaritycenter.org.

This is an excerpt from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's "Threatened with Death, Mexican Labor Activist Leaves Country."

Facing death threats for her work as a Mexican labor rights activist, Blanca Velásquez left the country earlier this month and suspended her two-year legal battle with the Mexican government over ongoing harassment and threats against workers in Puebla, Mexico.

In May, human rights defender José Enrique Morales Montaño, who worked with Velásquez at the Center of Support for Workers (CAT), was kidnapped by four masked men and physically tortured for 16 hours before being released. Other employees at CAT have received death threats, and the organization’s e-mail has been hacked in a cycle of harassment that began in December 2010. That month, Velasquez found a threatening message scrawled across her office wall: “No saben con quien metes” (“You don’t know who you’re messing with”).

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‘Small’ NFIB Gets GOP Funders’ Big Bucks

Read ‘Small’ NFIB Gets GOP Funders’ Big Bucks' at www.thestand.org.

David Groves of The Stand, a project of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) and its affiliated unions, sends us "‘Small’ NFIB Gets GOP Funders’ Big Bucks."

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) promotes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan organization” that is “the leading small business association representing small and independent business.”

For a business group so focused on “small” it says it twice, the NFIB reportedly gets a lot of its funding from the biggest names in Republican politics, including Karl Rove and the Koch brothers. As for the “independent” part, the NFIB’s political and legislative agendas at both the national and Washington state levels align closely with the Republican Party and big—not small—corporate interests.

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Here's Your Road Map for the Upcoming Budget Obstacle Course

Here's Your Road Map for the Upcoming Budget Obstacle Course

After the election, Congress will make some high-stakes decisions about jobs and taxes that could have serious consequences for working families and the economy. A new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) should serve as the working families’ guide to the post-election debate.

Here are some of the decisions facing Congress when they return: the federal unemployment benefits program expires at the end of December. The Bush tax cuts also expire automatically and Congress will have to decide whether to extend them for the middle class or also extend them for the richest 2% of Americans.  Thanks to last summer’s debt ceiling agreement, across-the-board budget cuts are scheduled to take effect in January 2013.  If Congress makes the wrong calls on these high-stakes decisions, we could have another recession in 2013.

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N.H. Gubernatorial Candidate Ovid Lamontagne Says He'll Be 'Scott Walker on Steroids'

N.H. Gubernatorial Candidate Ovid Lamontagne Says He'll Be 'Scott Walker on Steroids'

New Hampshire union member and labor advocate Matt Murray is the creator and writer for N.H. Labor News. He sends us "Scott Walker Headlines N.H. GOP Convention."

The New Hampshire GOP welcomes their self-proclaimed hero Scott Walker to New Hampshire this week.

Gov. Walker will be headlining Saturday’s GOP Convention at Pinkerton Academy.

Get a good look at him while he’s here. Find out what he stands for and who he stands with.  Remember, Walker is the role model for the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate: Ovide Lamontagne describes himself as “Scott Walker on steroids.”

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Fan Outrage Trumps Owners’ Greed, Ref Lockout Over

Photo by sgrace/Flickr

The NFL’s lockout of its veteran and trained professional corps of referees is now over after the league and the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) reached a tentative eight-year agreement late Wednesday night. The referees will hold a ratification vote Friday and Saturday. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the end of the lockout means:

A football season, which started in disaster, can now get back on track. Not only toward fairness and integrity for the game, but ensuring the highest level of safety possible for the athletes who play the game.

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Beyond Monday Night Football: Why You Should Care About Lockouts

We’ve all heard about the high profile lockouts of the NFL, NBA and NHL; lockouts that among other things, have garnered tons of media attention, resulted in the cancellation of an annual hockey tournament and caused a massive uproar among fans of Monday Night Football.

This employer tactic however, is not limited to the sporting world, and in the past year alone, there have been an estimated 17 employer imposed lockouts.

Sotheby’s locked out art handlers.  Cooper Tire did the same to its workers.  And right now, 1,300 skilled, highly trained workers who turn beets into sugar are currently being locked out by their already profitable employer – American Crystal Sugar

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Musicians Need Unions, Too—NSO Violist Explains Why

Check out our latest “What I Do” video feature on the AFL-CIO home page, www.aflcio.org (scroll down), with National Symphony Orchestra violist and American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) member Jennifer Mondie.

Mondie, who has been an AFM member for 25 years, says the union “has done so much for classical music, for the world of music, in general.”

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