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Controlling Rising Health Care Costs: Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

Controlling Rising Health Care Costs: Medicare Is the Solution, Not the Problem

This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post, by Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center.

Although Election Day is behind us, Medicare remains on working people's minds. Medicare ranked third to the economy and federal deficit as an issue of extreme importance in deciding how people voted. For months now, pundits, candidates and policymakers have wrestled one another about Medicare's future. Taking place at town hall meetings and on editorial pages, these battles were mostly waged in fiscal terms. Medicare's sustainability, the fiscal slope and the cost of insuring the Baby Boomers are hot topics for debate. Attention will now turn from the candidates' promises to their actual proposals.

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Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

Border Crisis Spurs AFL-CIO, Honduran Labor Movement to Call for Renewed Attention to Labor Rights Violations in Honduras

As thousands of unaccompanied minors have arrived at the United States’ southern border in recent weeks, right-wing politicians and activists have used the refugee situation to push their anti-immigrant agendas, roll back protections for potential trafficking victims and stoke xenophobia among the general public by focusing on gang violence and disease.

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Tell President Obama It’s Time to Provide Administrative Relief for Immigrant Workers and Families

Tell President Obama It’s Time to Provide Administrative Relief for Immigrant Workers and Families

This week working families are urging President Obama to take executive action to stop the crisis that is tearing apart immigrant families. 

Sign a petition calling on Obama to provide administrative relief for our families.

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Friday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Friday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working family’s news we're reading today (after the jump).

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The Voice of Thomas the Tank Engine Quits Over 'Survival' Wages

Photo courtesy Ollie Brown on Flickr

The song "Rules and Regulations" from the popular children's television show "Thomas the Tank Engine" contains these lines:

Although sometimes you'll find it so hard
And the wrong way may seem easier
It doesn't matter who you are
Obey the rules and you'll go far

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Bloomsbury, N.J., Subway Workers Vote to Join Union

Photo courtesy Chapstickaddict on Flickr

Notoriously anti-union Gov. Bill Haslam (R-Tenn.) can't be happy about this story. Haslam's family owns Pilot Flying J, a chain of travel centers, and workers at a Subway sandwich shop in Bloomsbury, N.J., just voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Earlier this year, Haslam was one of the key players in the effort to defeat a union vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. The company run by his brother, Jimmy, hasn't been as successful in denying workers their rights, as other workers at the Bloomsbury Pilot Flying J location voted to join RWDSU earlier this year.

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AFGE Applauds Move to Reduce Federal Prison Overcrowding

Photo courtesy Julie Tuason on Flickr

AFGE issued a release today in support of the U.S. Sentencing Commission's (USSC's) unanimous vote on Friday to allow federal prisoners serving time for low-level drug offenses to apply for early release. Overcrowding in federal prisons has become a significant problem in recent decades. AFGE notes that federal prison incarceration levels have risen 50% since 2000, and nearly 900% since 1980, much of it relating to drug sentences. The federal prison system is overcrowded by an average of 43%, with some prisons being much higher, and this increases dangers for both correctional officers working in the prisons and inmates.

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Here’s What We’re Reading: Thursday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Thursday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families’ news we're reading today (after the jump).

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Netroots Nation: How We Won the Janet Yellen Fight

Photo courtesy IMF on Flickr

The chair of the Federal Reserve is by many accounts the second most powerful person in the United States after the president, but what the Federal Reserve does is a mystery to most Americans. Last year, there was an unusual public debate about who President Barack Obama should appoint as chairman of the Federal Reserve to replace departing chair Ben Bernanke. Bernanke’s vice chair, Janet Yellen, a renowned economist, had worked with Bernanke to prevent a second Great Depression, and it was widely expected that President Obama would appoint her. Then, suddenly, it seemed as though former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, with the backing of powerful Wall Street Democrats, was going to get the job. Then, equally suddenly, Summers withdrew his name, paving the way for President Obama to appoint Yellen as the first woman chair of the Fed.

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5 Things that Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased

5 Things that Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased

The federal minimum wage was last increased on July 24, 2009, and since then, a lot has changed (don’t forget tipped workers haven’t seen a raise since 1991). There have been so many attacks on working families since that time that it would be difficult to catalog them all. But workers and their allies haven't taken the attacks sitting down, and many are finding new ways to organize and stand up for their rights. 

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Tobacco Growers Rep Resigns Following Punching Incident

FLOC photo

Last week, we reported on an incident caught on video where a representative of the North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA) punched an organizer from the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) in the face during an outdoor meeting with workers. Now, FLOC reports that the NCGA accepted the resignation of the representative identified by BuzzFeed and FLOC as Paul Saffle.

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