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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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Arizona Legislature on the Warpath Against Teachers, Public Education

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

Arizona’s teachers have been under attack for years from right-wing ideologues intent on dismantling public education as we know it. Arizona ranks lowest in the nation in per-pupil spending and highest in number of students per teacher. This year the state legislature is targeting teachers along with other public-sector worker with “Wisconsin on steroids” union-stripping bills, but there are several other bills specifically aimed at teachers and public education on the docket.

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Newport News Shipyard Techs Win Voice With IAM

It took more than two years, but 220 workers the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Va.—formerly Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding—got their votes counted and won representation with the Machinists (IAM).

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UI Deadline Approaching, Jobless Tell Lawmakers ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’

If Congress doesn’t act and renew unemployment insurance benefits for the nation’s jobless workers by Feb. 29, millions of workers like Kenny Wilkes will be left without a vital lifeline to keep their families head above water.

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Remembering. As We Move Wisconsin Forward

This is a cross-post from the Defend Wisconsin blog, by Jill Hopke, a doctoral student at UW-Madison and a member of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA).

A year ago the system of social trust in Wisconsin began to come unraveled. Feb. 11 marks the one-year anniversary of Gov. Walker’s announcement of the Budget Repair Bill, now Wisconsin Act 10, effectively ending 50 years of public sector collective bargaining rights.

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Steven Rush New Helicopter Pilots President

Steven Rush was elected president of the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association International (PHPA), at the union’s annual meeting in Dallas Feb. 12. He is a founding member of the PHPA which, was established in 2002 and represents approximately 3,000 helicopter pilots throughout the United States and Canada.

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Trumka: Federal Budget Proposal ‘Puts Us on Right Path’

The federal budget proposal President Obama introduced today “puts us on the right path towards building a solid foundation for our economic future,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says.

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Fired Latino Workers at Pomona College Fight Back

Sarah Seltzer writes for Alternet and other online publications and sends us this.

When a group of longtime food service employees of Pomona College in California—a prominent liberal arts school—lost their jobs due to their immigration status, it got an already tense campus talking. This wasn’t an ordinary firing, or even an unfortunate casualty of the nasty wave of anti-immigration sentiment. To people on campus who had been helping the workers speak up for their rights, it felt like union-busting. The terminated workers had been employed on campus for years, but only after they began a drive toward unionization with UNITEHERE! was their immigration status investigated by the college.

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February Marks 44th Anniversary of Historic Memphis Sanitation Strike

February is Black History Month and one of the noteworthy events in African American history is the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike that began Feb. 11, 1968.  It was on that day that, after years of discrimination and injustice, the African American sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn., began their strike for economic justice and dignity. They sought to join AFSCME Local 1733.

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Make Valentine’s Day International Flower Workers’ Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and tens of millions of us will show our love to that special someone with flowers. But Valentine’s Day also gives us a great opportunity to how our support for the 100,000 mostly women workers in Colombia who work long days to cut and ship flowers for Valentine’s Day.

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99% Confront the 1% at Conservative Conference

This is a report from the Metropolitan Washington Labor Council by Chris Garlock and Julia Kann.

More than 1,200 labor and community activists turned out in force at two demonstrations Friday outside the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Chanting “Whose America? Our America!” as many as 700 labor and community activists shut down Woodley Road at noon with an impromptu sit-in and a brief take-over of the  Marriott Wardman Park Hotel driveway.

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