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AFL-CIO Now

Richard Trumka Reacts to 2012 BLS Numbers on Union Membership

Photo courtesy of UNITE HERE.

The union membership rate was 11.3% in 2012, down from 11.8% in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which released updated figures today. This decrease in union membership highlights the painful fact that people are working harder but are making less and less. 

One area that saw a significant loss was in the public sector. There are nearly 400,000 fewer union members, from teachers in the classroom to police and firefighters that keep us safe. In manufacturing, the jobs that have returned so far are largely low-wage, nonunion jobs. 

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Drama Behind Reality TV Cameras Puts Producers on the Line

Photo by Chris Garlock

Inhumanly long hours, cruelty, frayed nerves. And that’s just behind the cameras at reality shows. “It’s scary and nerve-wracking,” says Sevita Qarshi, a producer walking the line Thursday outside the Realscreen conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

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Community Organizers, Worker Centers Get Big LIFT

Photo courtesy of VOZ

The AFL-CIO announced today the third round of LIFT [Labor Innovation Fund for the Twenty-First Century] Fund grants, which will be awarded to a diverse group of organizations that are organizing workers outside of traditional models.  Past recipients include the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, which helps workers such as LeDaya Epps to find good-paying jobs through apprenticeship programs. LeDaya attended the 2015 State of the Union address at the invitation of first lady Michelle Obama.

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Wal-Mart’s Manufacturing Recovery?

Wal-Mart’s Manufacturing Recovery?

President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, told Americans that manufacturing in the United States is back. The president is right to applaud job creation in manufacturing. But both elected leaders and the public should be wary of one company, in particular, falsely taking credit for this “manufacturing renaissance”: Wal-Mart.

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The Case for Union Organizing—2015

The Case for Union Organizing—2015

The union movement is 3.5 million members smaller than 40 years ago, and the forces that brought that about are as energetically engaged and powerful as they have ever been.

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Oregon Workers Call for $15 State Minimum Wage

Oregon AFL-CIO photo

Workers across the country are standing up and fighting for higher wages, and the most vocal among them are fast-food and retail workers who are calling for a $15 living wage. Most recently, hundreds of workers rallied for a $15 wage in Oregon.

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California Nurses Ratify New Pact with Kaiser Permanente

CNA photo

California registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), who work at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics in northern and central California voted overwhelmingly (93%) to ratify a new three-year contract reached last week. The agreement covers 18,000 RNs and will give them a stronger voice on patient care and provide breakthrough improvements in workplace protections along with economic gains.

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Help Pick the Winner in IBEW Photo Contest

Help Pick the Winner in IBEW Photo Contest

The 15 finalists in the Electrical Workers (IBEW) annual photo contest have been selected, and you can choose who takes home the top honors. The photos, shot by IBEW linemen, electricians, railroad workers and more, often take place amid stunning natural beauty and eye-catching situations.

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Highlights of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

Highlights of the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

We asked attendees at the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference to text us their impressions of this year's conference. The responses were positive, with the community service event and Martin Luther King Jr. March in Atlanta being the highlights. Here is what you told us (after the jump).

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Brooklyn Carwash Workers Join RWDSU

RWDSU photo

Carwash workers at Vegas Auto Spa in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., voted unanimously to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers, on Jan. 24. They have been on strike since late November over what they claim are stolen wages and unsafe working conditions.

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It’s National Mentoring Month, and New York IBEW Local Shows How It’s Done

Erin Hill (center, front row) with members of the IBEW Local 3 mentoring program.

January is National Mentoring Month, and our friends at the Berger-Marks Foundation are highlighting the mentoring program that New York City Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 shop steward Erin Sullivan helped establish in the 11,000 member local in 2011.

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