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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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Sarandon: 'I’ve Always Known that Unions Made America'

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, left, with actor Susan Sarandon

“That was the turning point for a lot of actors," said actor Susan Sarandon to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the national commercial actors strike 12 years ago. "It wasn’t until we felt threatened that we realized the importance of our union.”

In a casual moment in a midtown Manhattan hotel Friday evening, Sarandon, a longtime member of SAG-AFTRA, and Trumka spoke at length before she introduced him to a gathering held by Local 1 of the American Federation of School Administrators.

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Win a Week’s Car Rental from Union Plus

Union Plus Car Rental Contest

Looking to save a little money on you next vacation? Let Union Plus put you in the driver’s seat. Enter the new Union Plus contest for a chance to win a week-long car rental. All you need to do is click here and register for program e-mails and mobile alerts. Union Plus will keep you posted about valuable new benefits, future contests and more.

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'Ideological Center of Republican Party Must Change'

A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute teamed up on a blunt op-ed in today's Washington Post, which is quite a stunner considering their establishment credentials.

"Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem" is the title.

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Brown Signs Law Protecting Project Labor Agreements in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law this week a bill that says local governments cannot issue blanket prohibitions on project labor agreements (PLAs) without losing state funding for public works projects. Los Angeles and San Francisco recently approved PLAs for projects that will create tens of thousands of good, middle-class jobs. But other cities—including San Diego— have tried to ban the agreements.

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Writers, Producers Race to the Top with WGAE

Writers, Producers Race to the Top with WGAE

A banner for Atlas Media Corp. fluttered in a light breeze above 36th Street in Manhattan. In this morning's sunlight on the sidewalk below, nearly 100 nonfiction TV writers and producers, members of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), waved signs and chanted, demanding health care benefits and better treatment.

Then they staged a footrace, complete with numbered bibs and a finish line held on one end by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, that was dubbed a “Race to the Top” to end the “race to the bottom” at Atlas—a company named for the right-wing polemical novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

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'Taxi Drivers Unite!'

'Taxi Drivers Unite!'

Yesterday, 40 members of the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA) and taxi workers from San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia cheered, chanted and waved signs outside the Midtown Operating Corp. garage in Long Island City, N.Y. Their messages: “Lower the Lease!” and “Stop the Greed!” In the midst of the drivers were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and NTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai, who hollered into the bullhorn, “We’re your union! Taxi drivers unite!” The NTWA has held 50 such marches in the past four months to protest crippling fees that guarantee profits for owners of taxicabs and medallions and a tough existence for drivers.

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Workers Memorial Day: Honor the Dead with a Fight for Safe Jobs

Photo by Sara Wallenfang

In hundreds of Workers Memorial Day ceremonies across the country, working families are honoring workers who have died or been hurt on the job and carrying on the fight for safe workplaces. (Click here to find an event near you.) David Michaels, director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), says: 

Making a living shouldn’t include dying.

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APALA Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago, when the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) was founded, “you could almost count the number of Asian Pacific American (APA) organizers on one hand,” says APALA Executive Director Gregory Cendana. But in the two decades since, "That has clearly changed when you look around at the growing number of Asian Pacific American union leaders, staff and organizers." 

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Affordable Care Act Spurs $1.3 Billion in Rebates from Health Insurers

About 15.8 million people will receive an estimated $1.34 billion in insurance company rebates on their 2011 health care premiums under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The rebates should be in consumers’ hands this August.

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Adviser Left Romney Campaign During NLRB Ethics Probe

Former National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Peter Schaumber, involved in an ethics probe by the board’s inspector general, no longer is an adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a report in The Hill.

“It’s hardly a coincidence that Schaumber resigned from the Romney campaign the same time that his inside source at the board was notified he was being investigated,” says AFL-CIO spokesperson Alison Omens.

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