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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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L.A. Transportation PLA Offers Lifeline for Long­-Term Jobless, Homeless

This is a cross-post from Chaz Bolte of the We Party Blog.

The city of Los Angeles and its mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, have been leading the national push for Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) to help create jobs for local workers. This trend continued last Thursday as the city and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that PLAs have been entered into to ensure that 40 percent of the work hours performed on most MTA projects moving forward will be done by people who live in economically disadvantaged communities.

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‘The Help’ Actors Receive Top SAG Awards as Union Boards Vote to Merge

The red-carpet glamor and prestige of the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards last night put the pre-Oscar spotlight on the cast of “The Help” in the theatrical motion picture category, with actors themselves choosing the best of the best.

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Florida Seniors Speak Out Against Voter Suppression

Laura Markwardt, senior communications associate at the Alliance for Retired Americans, sends us this.

Hundreds of Florida seniors and others turned out for a rally in Tampa Friday against voter suppression. The rally was followed by a hearing inside the courthouse about the new law chaired by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who came to investigate whether the state law denies voters their constitutional rights. Durbin is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.

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‘Downsized’: The Song

From Union Communications Services:

Joe Glazer, known by many as labor’s troubadour, had for more than 50 years used his voice and guitar to rally supporters to the union cause, including for this timely tune, “Downsized.”

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This Is So Cool!

You’ve got to check this out…it’s meant for kids, but, really, how can you go wrong at a website that rocks noisy engine revs, animated potato chips and full-color awesomeness?

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Pensions Aren’t the Problem for State Budgets

This is a crosspost by AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders from Huffington Post.

Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, the Pravda of the 1 percent, is at it again, continuing its push to gut the retirement security of millions of middle class workers across the country while enriching the Wall Street moneymen who just three years ago took our economy over the cliff.

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Poverty Underlies Education System’s Shortcomings

Here’s a letter to the editor in The Hill by Diann Woodard, president of the School Administrators (AFSA), the only national education union representing principals, assistant principals and school administrators.

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Rep. Miller Asks Justice Dept. for Investigation of Possible Coercion of NLRB Member

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, asked the Department of Justice to look into evidence uncovered by a National Labor Relations Board Inspector General investigation that found board member Brian Hayes engaged in employment discussions with a law firm with business before the agency. Miller wrote:

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Overall Union Membership Notches Up from 2010 to 2011

Overall union membership increased by 49,000 from 2010 to 2011, including 15,000 new 16- to 24-year-old members, according to new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data out this morning. An increase of 110,000 in the private sector was partially offset by a decline of  61,000 in the public sector, making the rate of union membership essentially unchanged at 11.8 percent, with some 14.8 million U.S. workers union members.

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282 Cablevision Workers Join CWA

Yesterday, 282 Cablevision technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn voted to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1109 in a union election administered by the National Labor Relations Board, overcoming a vigorous anti-union campaign led by Cablevision. They are the first Cablevision workers to join a union. Cable TV is an overwhelmingly nonunion industry while the traditional telecommunications industry remains highly unionized.

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