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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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Reclaiming Our Middle Class, State by State

I’m at a Netroots Nation panel with some folks who have been on the front lines of state battles in Wisconsin and Missouri, along with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).  In the panel, they’re discussing their on-the-ground experiences, and how their strategies can be used by other states facing similar challenges (and, ultimately, used to build a national movement to take back the American Dream).

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More Than 700,000 Ohioans Sign S.B. 5 Repeal Petitions

How’s this for some fast work? In just two months, workers, activists and other volunteers in Ohio have collected 714,137 signatures of Buckeye State voters to place on the November ballot the repeal of Gov. John Kasich’s (R) bill that eliminates the collective bargaining rights of more than 350,000 public employees .

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Illinois Latest State to Attack Collective Bargaining

Thousands of Illinois public employees could lose their collective bargaining rights under a bill passed by the state House last month and set for a state Senate vote June 22.  

AFSCME Council 31 says the bill—S.B. 1556—would impact thousands of employees under the governor and other constitutional officers who’ve gained union rights in recent years. It changes the definitions of supervisory and managerial under state labor law.

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Shuler at Netroots: Breaking Down Barriers on Road to Prosperity

We’re live-tweeting AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler’s presentation at Netroots Nation in Minneapolis. In a panel on breaking down barriers to inequality, Shuler joins Melissa Bradley from the Tides Foundation, Rha Goddess at The Opportunity Agenda and researcher Anat Shenker-Osorio.

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S.C. Workers Say Boeing Should Not Break Law to Move Jobs There

In advance of a politically motivated hearing, South Carolina working men and women called today on lawmakers to focus on creating good jobs instead of mounting a political three-ring circus in defense of Boeing lobbyists and CEOs.

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Check Out Our New Collective Bargaining Site

This morning, we launched a new website—Collective Bargaining: Real people. Real Impact—that serves up facts, fun and real-world stories about what the power to bargain means to working people. The site features a trio of videos we produced with Laughing Liberally to convey the importance of collective bargaining with humor, showing just how bad things can get if workers don’t have a voice at the bargaining table. Pay cuts, benefit attacks and “Paid Child Fun Time” are just some of the schemes hatched by bosses who have the table to themselves—and not even a pizza party makes those any easier to swallow.

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Choose Union: Raise a Glass for the Working Class

When you’re out with friends on a beautiful summer Thursday night in Minneapolis, supporting good union jobs might not be the first thing that comes to mind. At the Netroots Nation conference, we’re working to change that. One glass of beer at a time.

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New Jersey Union Members Arrested Protesting Bill to End Collective Bargaining

This is a cross-post from the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

Thousands of working men and women protested the New Jersey Statehouse today against legislation that would effectively eliminate public employee collective bargaining rights over health care benefits. Chanting “Kill the bill” and “Worker rights are human rights,” 25 union members, including New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan, were arrested for disorderly conduct.

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Spending Cap Is Bad Idea

The only good thing about a federal spending cap is how it sounds in a press release, according to Jordan Eizenga, a policy analyst for the Center for American Progress.

Some conservative lawmakers are calling for a cap on total federal spending as a precondition to their support for raising the debt limit. Some are even bringing the issue up in the presidential primary.

But Eizenga says:

The bottom line is that this is an astonishingly bad idea even for those willing to undermine the entire U.S. economy by engaging in political brinksmanship over the debt limit.

Check out his analysis here.

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Government Will Review AFL-CIO Complaint Against Bahrain

The AFL-CIO today applauded the U.S. Department of Labor’s decision to accept its complaint regarding the government of Bahrain’s failure to live up to its trade agreement commitments with respect to workers’ rights.

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