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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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3 Billionaires Went a Long Way to Prop Up Wisconsin's Walker

Wisconsin's recall election was a "dark night" for America's workers in large part because it showed how massive corporate cash can run roughshod over the democratic process, Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen said last night. Speaking on "The War Room," Cohen put it this way:

We are now the only democracy in the world with that kind of unregulated spending that, at this point, is obscene.

Watch the full interview here.

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Blue-Collar Workers Hurt Most by Simpson’s Plan to Raise Social Security Retirement Age

Even as Alan Simpson rants against anyone who dares to oppose his scheme to raise the Social Security retirement age, a new study finds such an action would have the greatest impact on workers in the most physically demanding occupations—but would have little overall impact on the financial health of  Social Security.

Meanwhile, the California Alliance for Retired Americans—the group at which Simpson directed his most recent rant, calling them “a wretched group of seniors” and “greedy geezers” full of “blather and drivel,” who are “shoveling out bullshit”—is fighting back.

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Trumka: Rio Tinto Tarnishes Olympic Spirit

Trumka: Rio Tinto Tarnishes Olympic Spirit

Summer Olympic Games medal supplier, Rio Tinto—a union-busting global mining conglomerate with a track record of worker and environmental abuse—should be kept off the podium in London, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. In a letter sent to the chairman of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Trumka points to Rio Tinto’s Jan. 1 lockout of 750 USW members in Alma, Quebec.

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Netroots Nation 2012: Progressives Set to Rock Providence

Netroots Nation 2012: Progressives Set to Rock Providence

Some 3,000 netroots activists are headed to Providence, R.I., for the start of the annual Netroots Nation 2012 conference, where progressives of all stripes—with a big showing from the union movement—will share online and offline strategies for mobilizing at the local and national levels. The June 7-10 event features such blockbuster speakers as Rebuild the Dream co-founder Van Jones and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and an economic keynote highlighted by Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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Early Childhood: Unions Take Big Role in Advancing Good Outcomes

When it comes to education, few would dispute that youngsters who have access to high-quality child care and early learning opportunities have a better chance at lifelong success.

Now, two research reports show that unions are playing a big role in helping child care providers bring the highest level of care to the children and families they serve. Another study calls for more effective public investment in early childhood education.

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Wisconsin: Walker’s $50 Million Doesn’t Sway Union Voters

Wisconsin: Walker’s $50 Million Doesn’t Sway Union Voters

WI

Yesterday’s Wisconsin election results, in which Gov. Scott Walker (R) held onto his office—thanks to a $50 million war chest—but lost the state Senate, “is not the end of the story, but just the beginning,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at an afternoon press conference today.   

Noting that Walker was the best-funded politician in state history, Trumka said, “We knew a recall election would be tough, and we knew we would be outspent.” But he added Wisconsin working people provided an incredible counter to Walker’s mostly out-of-state funded campaign that held a seven-to-one spending edge. 

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Wisconsin: Working Families Win Back Senate

WI

Despite retaining his seat, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), in last night's recall election, appears to have lost control of the state Senate with former state Sen. John Lehman’s (D) victory over Walker ally state Sen. Van Wanggaard. If Lehman’s win holds up, it will give Democrats a one-seat (17-16) majority in the state.

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Scottish Immigrant Recalls Through Art Her Wrongful Detention in U.S. Prison

Jennifer Kauffman

Labor activists, comprehensive immigration reform advocates and art aficionados alike turned out last night at the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C., to meet with Christine Ashley, UNITEHERE! Local 217 member and artist, who was wrongly detained for a month in 2011 upon entering the country from her native Great Britain.

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What’s Really Happening Behind the Kitchen Door?

Jennifer Angarita, AFL-CIO National Worker Center coordinator, sends us this.

From locally grown, organic greens to grass-fed beef, we care about the food that comes out of the kitchen—but what about the workers who chop, grill, sauté and serve our food? Today, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. Despite its size and growth, the industry suffers from pervasively low wages, wage theft, non-existent benefits, rampant discrimination and often dangerous or unhealthy working conditions.

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Trumka: Wisconsin Forced Governor to Answer for His Divisive Tactics

WI

Wisconsin "forced the governor to answer for his efforts to divide the state and punish hard-working people" in today's recall election," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said tonight following predictions Gov. Scott Walker (R) would retain his seat.

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