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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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Thousands of Burmese Taken Off Official Blacklist

Thousands of Burmese Taken Off Official Blacklist

The AFL-CIO welcomes the Burmese government’s decision to remove some 2,000 people from a blacklist of more than 6,000 banned from entering the country.  Among those affected by this decision is Maung Maung, the general secretary of the ITUC-affiliated Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB). After decades in exile, Maung Maung’s return represents an important step in Burma’s history and provides hope to millions of unorganized workers.

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Ryan’s Fact-Challenged Speech

Ryan’s Fact-Challenged Speech

Last night, Paul Ryan lived up to the Mitt Romney campaign pledge that it would not be “dictated by fact-checkers” when he blamed President Obama for the closure of a General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis.  As any fact-checker or Janesville worker who lost a job knows, the plant closed during the Bush administration.

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Paducah Labor Day Parade Salutes ‘Women in the Workplace’

Paducah Labor Day parade honors women in the workplace.

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. 

Hundreds of Labor Day events are happening all over the country. Find a Labor Day event near you

Most Labor Day parades have one grand marshal, but the Paducah-based Western Kentucky Labor Day Committee decided 15 was more like it.

“That’s how many we’re having in our parade this year, and they are all women who belong to unions,” said Brandon Duncan, president of the non-profit, all-volunteer committee, which sponsors Paducah's annual holiday processions.

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Ryan's 'Tough Issues': More Tax Breaks for the Rich, Cuts to Medicare and Social Security for Everyone Else

Romney-Ryan budget vision for America is at odds with working families.

Tonight, Paul Ryan painted a picture of his and Mitt Romney’s vision of America. It is a vision, he said, where he and Romney "will not duck the tough issues" and it is a vision where "Mitt Romney and I have made our" choices. 

It is a vision that chooses more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations—paid for by cuts in Social Security, Medicaid and other programs that poor and working-class families rely upon. It’s paid for with cuts to investments in our future such as education and rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure, both vital to maintaining and growing a middle class.

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Crystal Sugar Workers Offer Company 'Ready to Work' Plan

When a company locks out skilled employees and replaces its entire workforce with inexperienced new hires, here’s what happens: productivity plunges and profits tank.

Losing money is not a wise corporate strategy. Yet, unless American Crystal Sugar Co. agrees to return to contract negotiations with the 1,300 workers the company locked out a year ago, the company is on course to repeat its sorry fiscal 2012 performance. After the company replaced all its seasoned employees, production costs increased by 23 percent and payments to its shareholders lagged behind the rest of the industry, which saw their shareholder payments increase. That followed a year in which Crystal Sugar was hugely profitable, with $1.5 billion in net earnings.

(Sign a petition calling on American Crystal Sugar CEO Dave Berg to treat workers fairly and return to the bargaining table.)

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RNC 2012: Bashing Working People Everywhere

Bashing unions and working people seems to be the unifying theme of the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) held in Tampa, Fla., this week.

Josh Eidelson wrote for Salon that the RNC's choice of speakers and agenda is "a full-on embrace of the same anti-union agenda that helped earn Scott Walker and Nikki Haley their Tuesday night speaking slots."

The new platform reflects a Republican Party even more hostile to organized labor than the one that nominated John McCain four years ago.

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Chat Live with ‘America’s Job Counselor,’ Hilda Solis

Young workers and college graduates have a tough job market to navigate, but Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will be providing some career advice tomorrow for those entering the workforce.

In advance of Labor Day 2012, Secretary Solis—"America's Job Counselor"—will host a live Twitter chat at 2 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Aug. 30.

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Follow Live Reactions to Paul Ryan's and Mitt Romney's RNC Speeches Tonight and Tomorrow

Follow live reactions to the Republican National Convention tonight and Thursday by following @AFLCIO on Twitter.

The AFL-CIO will be offering live responses to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday and Thursday nights, as Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney offer their "vision" for America. Paul Ryan will be speaking tonight at 10 p.m., and Mitt Romney, Thursday night at 10 p.m.

You can follow the action on our Twitter account, @AFLCIO or on the Web at www.twitter.com/aflcio.   

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Erie Union Members Help Students Head Back to School with Free Haircuts, Backpacks

Erie Union Members Help Students Head Back to School with Free Haircuts, Backpacks

For the past six years, the Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council’s Community Services Committee has helped sponsor an annual “Back to School Free Haircut Day” in conjunction with Michael Hooks of Michael’s Hair Salon in Erie, Pa. In 2006, only 30 or 40 people showed up to the event. This year, it was more than 700.

This year, AFL-CIO Community Services liaison Ron Oliver says more than 700 children took part and, on top of the free haircuts from Hooks and a team of volunteer stylists, each child received a backpack of school supplies and a children’s book.

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Celebrate Workers and Join a Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar Event

Celebrate Workers and Join a Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar Event

What are you doing this Labor Day weekend to celebrate everything workers do to make our lives better and our communities strong?

Here are a couple ideas.

First, thank someone you know for all his or her hard work.

Next, take time out to honor the sacredness of work by joining with faith communities and union members through a Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar event.

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Take Action

Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

Sign the petition. »

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