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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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Even Bunnies Know They’re Better Off Organized

Just in time for Easter, Pride at Work sends us this video to remind us it can be tough to organize at work, so you need to organize some bunnies to have your back. You might need to organize a lot of bunnies…and build an organization. There’s strength in numbers 

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Indiana Laborer and Songwriter Tells Lawmakers ‘Remember November’

When Indiana working families were rallying at the statehouse against the state legislatures’ drive to ram through "right to work" legislation, Laborers (LIUNA) member Turner Corn was there with his guitar to boost the crowd's spirit. He’s since written this new song, “Remember November,” which reflects the frustrations working Americans feel towards elected officials who attack their fundamental rights and values.

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Walker Repeals Wis. Equal Pay Protection

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election, quietly repealed a state law making it easier for pay discrimination victims to seek justice. Amanda Terkel reports in The Huffington Post that Walker signed into law a bill passed in party-line votes by Republicans in the state legislature that rolls back the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act. The act had allowed workers to challenge pay discrimination in state rather than just federal courts.

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March Job Growth Weaker than Expected

The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dipped slightly to 8.2 percent, according to the Labor Department report released this morning. Economists had predicted stronger job growth, in line with recent months when 200,000 or more jobs were created.

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'Workers Need to Have Power and a Voice'

The experience of the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate Working America has shown that working people—union and nonunion—“hold closely to the belief that workers need to have power and a voice,” reports Kenneth Quinnell at Crooks and Liars, based on an interview with Working America’s Executive Director Karen Nussbaum. “….There is strength in numbers and…working families and their allies have numbers they can mobilize to make positive change.”

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Turning Bad Jobs into Good Ones Requires Political Will

MIT's Paul Osterman has a provocative piece in the Boston Review about some myths standing in the way of turning lousy, low-wage jobs into good jobs. The convention wisdom, he says, is "to let the economy generate jobs of whatever quality firms choose and then, if necessary, compensate by enabling people to avoid the bad ones or by shoring up people who are stuck. The nature of available jobs is a given." His arguments bolster the union movement's case that we need direct intervention in the labor market to make bad jobs into good jobs through collective bargaining, labor standards, public-sector leadership, training and career ladders and more.

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CWA District 6 Members OK AT&T Mobility Pact

Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 6 have ratified a new four-year agreement with AT&T Mobility. The pact covers more than 9,000 workers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas and will bring 2,000 jobs back from overseas and other outsourced facilities.

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APA Activists Hit the Doors to Kick Off National ‘Every Vote Counts’ Campaign

Last Saturday, more than 30 dedicated Asian Pacific American (APA) activists from a variety of local APA organizations joined the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s D.C. Chapter (APALA-DC) in Annandale, Va., to launch the national APALA “Every Vote Counts” campaign. Members of APALA-DC, Asian American Action Group, Korean Americans for Obama, KAYA (formerly Filipino Americans for Obama), Vietnamese Americans for Obama, Voice of Vietnamese Americans and others arrived at the Northern Virginia Central Labor Council bright and early to learn about the importance of civic engagement within the APA community and to train in the basics of voter registration.

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TWU Local 100 Takes Message to Albany

More than 2,000 members of Transport Workers (TWU) Local 100, who keep New York City’s subway and bus system up and running, recently headed to Albany for a day of lobbying state lawmakers on vital transportation and working family issues.

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UMWA: On Anniversary of Upper Big Branch, Keep Families in Your Prayers

Today, April 5, is the second anniversary of the disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine where an explosion that mine safety experts say could have been prevented killed 29 coal miners. Mine Workers (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts says, “Today is a day for us to pause and think about the families…. Let us continue to keep the families of the victims in our hearts and our prayers.”

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