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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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RNC Convention Cleaners' Pay Dips Below Minimum Wage

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/internetsense/

In the aftermath of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., the GOP stuck with its principles regarding keeping low-paid workers, well, low paid.

The crew that cleaned up the convention hall last week—about 105 workers—included many whose take-home pay amounts to less than the state's minimum wage. 

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No, WE Built It: Updates from the Democratic National Convention

Promoting policies that strengthen the working and middle class is a major goal of the labor delegates who represent working people at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, N.C., this week.

Speaking at the DNC CarolinaFest on Labor Day in Charlotte, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker said:

We built this country together. Every one of us lends a hand. We do it every day. All work has value. Our work connects us to each other. And together, we are better….All work is honorable. All work has dignity and is worthy of respect. And decent pay. And good benefits. I’m talking about the work of all of us. Not just some of us. Not just the 1%. All of us. Each and every single one of us.

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Hug A Thug Booth Big Hit in Charlotte

thug

Walking through CarolinaFest in Charlotte, N.C., this past Labor Day, you could buy a funnel cake, ride down a bouncy slide—and hug a union “thug.”

Compliments of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, the Hug A Thug booth featured teachers, firefighters, nurses—just about everyone who’s a union member and/or thug, depending upon your political perspective. The union movement's "hug a union thug" campaign poked fun at conservative attempts to scapegoat union members.

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Labor Day Messages from Labor Leaders

Below are excerpts from Labor Day Greetings union leaders.

AFT President Randi Weingarten:

It’s a day to honor the deep commitment each of us has to serve the children we teach, the families we heal and the communities we love. It’s a day to reflect on the values we hold dear—that every American should have access to a good job that can support a family, with access to affordable healthcare; that every child should be able to attend a high-quality public school in their neighborhood.

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Barbara J. Easterling: We Must Educate Younger People About Unions

Barbara J. Easterling is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans. She was previously the secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America.

Barbara J. Easterling is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans. She was previously the secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America.  

As we near Labor Day, I want to encourage you to help younger generations better understand why labor unions are so important. Too many people either know very little about unions or only know what politicians and Fox News tell them.

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82-Year-Old UAW Retiree a Fixture in Paducah Labor Day Parade

Photo by Berry Craig.

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.

Jay Latham never cuts his grass on Labor Day.

The 82-year-old UAW retiree from Benton, Ky., would rather rev up his yellow and green riding mower for Labor Day parades in nearby Paducah. Latham is in the lineup for the 37th annual end-of-summer holiday procession in the largest town in deep western Kentucky.

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Good News: Federal Judge Restores Early Voting In Ohio

Talking Points Memo (TPM) reported this afternoon:

A federal judge in Ohio on Friday restored early voting rights in the three days before the election, ruling in favor of the Obama campaign.

U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus ruled that "restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive UOCAVA [Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act] voters from early voting."

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