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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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Bottom Line: Green Bay Diaper Drive Big Success

Bottom Line: Green Bay Diaper Drive Big Success

Hundreds of babies and toddlers from low-income families in the Green Bay, Wis., area will be happier and drier in the coming months, thanks to the 13,000 diapers collected by Brown County United Way, in partnership with the Greater Green Bay Labor Council Community Services Committee and 21 community partners. Dan Wadle, the AFL-CIO Community Services liaison, says:

It’s a case where there’s a lot of need in the community as far as with low-income families. It’s difficult to afford diapers.

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People of Color: Romney/Ryan Plans Take Us Back to ‘Less Equitable’ Times

“For progressives and people of color, it’s hard to imagine a worse choice” than Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate, writes Imara Jones on the blog Colorlines today. He says the pair:

represent a retread of 40 years’ worth of Republican ideas on economics, race and the role of government. Not content to let failure remain dormant, they want to reanimate bankrupt concepts and take them to a whole, new level.

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40,000 Call for Second Bill of Rights

IBEW President Edwin Hill adresses the Workers Stand for America Rally. WS4 photo

Some 40,000 working people—including Bo McCurry—stood up for working families and a Second Bill of Rights at a huge rally in Philadelphia on Saturday.

McCurry, 58, worked for 25 years at a Sparta, Tenn., manufacturing plant. Earlier this year, the plant closed its doors and shipped the jobs to Mexico. Says McCurry:

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Nathan Adrian: Son of Union Member Makes Olympic Gold

Nathan Adrian: Son of Union Member Makes Olympic Gold

It was the sixth day of the London Olympic Games and Jim and Cecilia Adrian still hadn’t seen their son Nathan for whom they traveled 4,800 miles to watch swim for the United States. Nathan, 23, was competing in his second Olympics. Nathan and his mom were exchanging text messages, but the two hadn’t spoken in-person in days. While waiting to watch the 100-meter freestyle race on Aug. 1, the Adrians chatted with some Australian spectators who were on their way to see a water polo match in the Olympic Park.

“They wished Nathan good luck,” says Jim. “But not enough to come in first…at that point, everyone was predicting [James] Magnussen would win.”

In a dramatic, heart-racing sprint, Nathan, of Bremerton, Wash., took home his first individual gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle swim, beating Magnussen by one-hundredth of a second. 

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Study: Voter Fraud Scare Is A Fraud

Study: Voter Fraud Scare Is A Fraud

Yet another study shows that supposed rampant “voter fraud” is nearly nonexistent. The Washington Post reports on a study today that finds one voter fraud case for every 16 million prospective voters.

An analysis of 2,068 reports of alleged election fraud over the past 12 years by News21 shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent.

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The 1% of the 1%

The 1% of the 1%

Last week, we told you about how mega-donors are drowning out the voices of everyday folks in the presidential campaign. A small handful of people with the deepest of pockets have been shelling out more cash on this election than most of us will even see in our lifetime.

Via The Fix, we see that the Sunlight Foundation has a revealing, shocking analysis. As The Fix summarized, “One-hundredth of one percent of the American public is responsible for one-quarter of all the cash given to political campaigns.”

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Workers at Siemens' Maryland Plant Being Targeted

This is a cross-post from United Steelworkers (USW). 

Workers in a northeast Maryland Siemens’ plant, who recently signed affiliation cards with the USW, have become targets of the company’s anti-union philosophy, said USW last week. The company has launched a full-blown union-busting campaign, hiring an anti-union consultant, Ken Cannon, who advertises “40 years of experience supporting managements' efforts to remain union free.”

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What's Wrong with Paul Ryan?

In case you’re having trouble remembering just how bad for working families the budget plan written by vice presidential contender Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would be, here’s a handy excerpt from a Top 10 list by the Center for American Progress.

1. It caters to the 1%.

Ryan’s proposed tax cuts for the rich are larger than the windfall they received from former President George W. Bush.

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Union Consensus on Romney’s VP Pick: Wrong for America

AFL-CIO unions reacting to presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul “End Medicare as We Know It” Ryan as his running mate say the Romney-Ryan ticket is the wrong choice for America.

Yesterday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, "Whether it's outsourcing American jobs or picking his running mate, Mitt Romney's proven just how bad his decision making is for working people. Aligning himself with the poster-child for ending Medicare and Social Security puts to rest any suggestion that Romney has a clue what the middle class needs. We're witnessing the radical Tea Party extremes drive the final nail in what was once the Republican Party."

Here’s what unions had to say:

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Will Manufacturing Make China a Democracy?

Photo of Shanghai. Courtesy of Dainis Matisons via Flickr

This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post by Stan Sorscher, labor representative for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace/IFPTE Local 2001 (SPEEA/IFPTE).

The other day, I had lunch with an economist I respect and admire. I asked him, what would it take for China to become a modern democracy and build a strong middle class?

OK. I didn't ask him that. I told him that China would need strong institutions of civil society and a deeper sense of a social contract to become a stable modern democracy with a dynamic middle class.

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