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Walmart’s Black Thursday Hits Paducah

Check out this graphic on AFL-CIO's Facebook page.

Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this.

James Vetato planned to spend Black Friday wearing out shoe leather on a picket line at the Southside Walmart in Paducah, Ky.

"Now I'll be there Thanksgiving night, too," Vetato said. "Walmart has announced it will be open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night, which will prevent a lot of the associates from spending the holiday with their families.”

Help spread the word about Walmart strikers by sharing the United States of Walton infographic (above) on Facebook

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Next Up in Trade Agreements: Trans-Pacific Partnership

Celeste Drake in the AFL-CIO Legislative Department sends us this.

When the recent APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit convened in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 8-14,  the 21-member organization released the “Outline of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement” (TPP), a proposed pact that would include nine APEC members: the United States, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand and Australia.

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Unions’ Partnership with Oregon’s Cool Schools Means Green Schools and Jobs


The labor movement, the union-owned financial services company Ullico and the state of Oregon are partnering in a $15 million “Cool Schools” initiative that includes repairs, rebuilding and energy retrofits. Says AFT President Randi Weingarten:

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Tell the Banks: This Home Is Occupied

The Occupy Wall Street movement has given a voice to the 99 percent of us who have suffered at the hands of the Big Banks. In cities across the country, “Occupy” protesters have highlighted our nation’s growing economic inequality, high unemployment and the foreclosure crisis that continues to ravage our communities.  We saw another inspiring example of the 99 percent standing together in recent days in Atlanta.

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South Carolina Activists Rally for Workers Outside GOP Debate

The following is adapted from the South Carolina AFL-CIO Blog by Russell Bannan.

More than 100 labor and community activists rallied for workers’ rights in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday, in a one-mile march that ended at the site of the Republican presidential debates. The action called attention to the GOP’s blatant attacks on workers for exercising their rights of collective bargaining and freedom of association.

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Philip Levine: Reflecting the Poet’s Vision of Working in America

When the nation’s Poet Laureate, Philip Levine, gives a reading of his work tomorrow here at the AFL-CIO, he will recite poems that weave a lyrical web of words around his visceral understanding of the world of work. Levine, whom the Library of Congress named Poet Laureate in May, and who has written of his experiences working in Detroit factories in the post-World War II years, finds his verses especially resonate with America’s workers—and that’s in part because his portrayals are so honest. (To attend the event, which begins at 1 p.m. Nov. 15, RSVP here.)

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United Way Endorses America Wants to Work Mobilization

In a letter to local United Way chapters across the country, Brian A. Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way World Wide, urges the local offices to join with local labor councils and state federations as they mobilize for the AFL-CIO’s America Wants to Work campaign.

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Indiana Unions Help Families Heat Homes

Judy Parkins, AFL-CIO director of Community Services, sends us this report.

The North Central Indiana AFL-CIO Council and United Way in South Bend are giving community members the opportunity to Adopt a Family and heat a home. Dawn Chapla, AFL-CIO Community Services liaison, wrote the grant that will match donated dollars for heating, provide free budget counseling and provide a case coordinator to develop and work on a plan of action.

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APWU Says Honor Vets with Jobs

On Veterans Day today, lawmakers will make a lot of speeches honoring the service of the nation’s military veterans. But many of these same lawmakers are backing legislation that could cost the jobs of 26,000 veterans who work for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

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More Proof of CEO Greed (In Case You Had Doubts)

In 1965, when the U.S. economy was humming, the average CEO collected $24 for every $1 earned by a worker. Today, as the economy struggles, that ratio is $243-to-$1. It sounds bad and as the chart shows, looks even worse. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows the trend here.

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Sen. Graham Threatened ‘Guns a-Blazing’ If NLRB Moved on Boeing

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to come out with “full guns a blazing” against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if NLRB acting-General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a complaint against the Boeing Co., charging it with moving production away from its Washington State facility in retaliation for the workers exercising their right to strike. The call occurred nine days before the NLRB issued the complaint April 20.

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