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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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50 Years Ago, JFK Opened Door for Federal Employees to Join Unions

Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order opening the door for 2 million federal employees to join unions. His action set the stage for expanding these rights under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter—a bipartisan recognition that federal employees should have a voice on the job.

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1 Million Signatures Submitted to Recall Walker

Working people hit one right out of Miller Park: Moments ago, they submitted 1 million signatures supporting a recall election of Gov. Scott Walker (R), exceeding the total number of signatures required by 460,000. Walker last year pushed to abolish the rights of public employees to collectively bargain for a middle-class life. Overall, Walker’s policies are killing 18,000 jobs a year in Wisconsin, according to a recent report and more than 27,000 jobs have been lost since he signed the budget last year.

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Indiana: 20,000 Signed Postcards Say No Way to RTW

AFL-CIO Field Communications staffer Cathy Sherwin sends us this report.

In their campaign to rush through so-called right to work (RTW) legislation, Indiana Republican leaders, including Gov. Mitch Daniels, have claimed they have public support. Wrong.

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Interfaith Service for Jobs: Creating Good Jobs Is a Matter of Will

James Parks, communications director at the D.C. Office of Interfaith Worker Justice, sends us this.

More than 500 people packed the Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., Jan. 16 for an Interfaith Service for Jobs. The service was sponsored by Faith Advocates for Jobs to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and to call on our nation’s government to make King’s dream of economic justice and good jobs a reality.

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MLK Observance: ‘The 99% Have Power’

More than 550 activists from the labor and civil rights communities wrapped up the AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Jr., Observance in Detroit this weekend after taking part in community service, workshops and worship. The events honored King’s vision that collective action is the key to ensuring freedom—whether at the voting booth or at the workplace, and energized participants to continue their work in making King’s dream a reality.

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Goal of True Equality Still Challenges Us All

Forty-nine years ago, on June 23, 1963, tens of thousands of people gathered here in Detroit, only weeks before hundreds of thousands went to Washington to march for jobs and freedom.

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Solis to Receive Top Award at MLK Event

Tonight in Detroit, where hundreds of activists are gathered for the annual AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance, participants will honor several individuals for their outstanding contributions to working people. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will receive the top honor for her extraordinary dedication and commitment to improving the lives of workers throughout her lifetime. The At the River I Stand award is given to a national leader who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to civil rights and workers’ rights.

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Illegal Procedure? Dallas Cowboys Called on Sweatshop Connections

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spent $1 billion to build the gilded palace his legendary National Football League team plays in eight Sundays a year. But in the gift shops inside Cowboys Stadium and in sports apparel stores around the nation, Cowboys fans are buying fancy jackets, jerseys and other gear made by Cambodian workers earning just 29 cents an hour for 10-hour days, six days a week.

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Arizona. An Economic Model to Avoid

Donna Gatehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

Arizona, as the pithy Jon Stewart put it a while back, is the “meth lab of democracy.” The Grand Canyon State has achieved international notoriety for legalizing guns in bars, SB1070 [anti-immigrant legislation], a Birther Bill, and of course, the antics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, among other things.

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Romney to Seniors: Let Them Eat PB & J

Alliance for Retired Americans Communications Director Michael Buckley sends us this report.

While presidential candidate Mitt Romney noshed at a recent Palm Beach fundraiser co-hosted by a sugar baron and a pro sports owner, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans members gathered nearby for a more simple meal: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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