May 31, 2013, 7:30 p.m.: The alarm sounded. It was a house fire. As the firefighters gathered and donned their gear, the sky turned an eerie yellow-gray, signaling a severe storm. The rain came down in sheets. This was Moore, Okla.; a town reeling from some of the most devastating tornadoes on record—and another lurked overhead.
The Texas AFL-CIO and Texas AFT partnered this weekend with a Univision station in Austin to promote reading and academic success at the Austin edition of the COPA Univision amateur soccer tournament. The event included adult and youth men's and women's teams. During the tournament, more than 2,000 people visited the AFL-CIO/AFT exhibit and volunteers gave out more than 1,500 books to children in attendance.
The Equal Pay Act was landmark legislation. As Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi remarked in a press conference last Thursday:
He [President John F. Kennedy ] knew it was a first step to end the 'unconscionable practice'—in his words—of paying women less than men for the same amount of work. But in the course of 50 years, loopholes in the Equal Pay Act were carved out and exploited. Disparities affecting minority women widened. And the “unconscionable practice” persists.
Last week, despite the tremendous benefits paid sick days would have for the city’s working families, businesses, economy and public health, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vetoed the paid sick days bill passed by the City Council last month. As National Partnership President Debra L. Ness said, the move was “short-sighted and the City Council should act quickly to make its effect short-lived.”
Thousands of teachers, parents and allies rallied in Albany, N.Y., on Saturday in opposition to the use of high-stakes standardized tests that are being put in place before the state and teachers have time to fully implement the new curriculum to support those tests. More than 225 buses filled with people showed up to the rally, which was sponsored by New York State United Teachers, the New York State AFL-CIO, AFT, Citizen Action, the New York Immigration Coalition and New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.
Workers at Sunny Day Car Wash in the Bronx, N.Y., who joined the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) last year, ratified a three-year contract this week. The pact mirrors the contract the workers made with another carwash in Queens less than two weeks ago.
After watching the continued decline in the number of Oregon workers winning a voice at work, the Oregon AFL-CIO “decided to do something different,” says state federation President Tom Chamberlain. That something different was unions working together. Since late 2011, Oregon unions have been able to craft a number of significant victories for workers who want a voice on the job. Says Chamberlain:
By working together, we have achieved something phenomenal.