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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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8 Ways Working Families Are Stepping Up to Help Out in the Flint Water Crisis

Photo courtesy Michigan AFL-CIO on Twitter

The story has been all over the news in recent months, but there is a major crisis with the water in Flint, Michigan. What is covered a lot less is that working people in unions, both in Michigan and beyond, have stepped up in a variety of ways to help the residents of Flint maintain their safety during the crisis. Here are some of the ways that working people have helped out so far.

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Trade Deals Like TPP Encourage 'Business Decisions' Like This Heartbreaking One from Indianapolis

Trade Deals Like TPP Encourage 'Business Decisions' Like This Heartbreaking One from Indianapolis

In this video, workers at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis react to the company announcing that it will ship 1,400 local jobs to Mexico in what they described as "strictly a business decision." You can hear the heartbreak and outrage in the voices of the workers who must now scramble to figure out how to take care of their families. Carrier makes heating, air conditioning, ventilation and other systems. The layoffs are scheduled to begin in 2017.

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TPP Is Terrible for U.S. Workers

TPP Is Terrible for U.S. Workers

Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer for the California Labor Federation, wrote a recent op-ed for The Sacramento Bee explaining why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad for America's workers.

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Must See: Michael Moore’s New Film

Must See: Michael Moore’s New Film

With the 2016 election season underway, the timing could not be better to go see an exciting new film from progressive champion Michael Moore. It’s called “Where to Invade Next,” and it takes on some of the most pressing issues facing America today. Moore, in his usual funny, creative and thought-provoking way, makes a strong case for the AFL-CIO's Raising Wages agenda as a way to restore the American Dream.

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Is the TPP a Threat to Human Rights?

Just days before the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade and investment deal was signed, a human rights experts warned against it.

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Black History Month Profiles: Celebrating a Pioneering Labor Leader in California, Doug Moore

Black History Month Profiles: Celebrating a Pioneering Labor Leader in California, Doug Moore

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to spotlight one of California's most forward-thinking labor leaders, Doug Moore. Moore is the executive director of United Domestic Workers of America, AFSCME Local 3930, which is made up of more than 91,000 California home care workers. His union has made historical gains under his leadership, expanding membership by the thousands in recent years. When talking to Moore, I was struck by his enthusiasm and seemingly tireless resolve to grow our labor movement. You can tell he cares deeply about his members, the broader workers’ rights movement and racial justice in our country. Let’s dive in.

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Love with a Union Label on Valentine’s Day

Photo courtesy Bev Sykes on Flickr

Why not give your valentine some union-made sweets this Feb. 14, toast your love with champagne that carries a union label or touch up your pheromones a bit with some smell-good union-made scents.

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Dems Must Run Toward People of Color, Not Away From Them

Dems Must Run Toward People of Color, Not Away From Them

It might surprise you to hear we have a progressive majority right now, but we need to stop wasting dollars chasing and trying to change the minds of conservative white swing voters. The progressive policy agenda will benefit all working people, as is the case with Obamacare, but we can’t waste time or money chasing a shrinking sector of the electorate when growing communities of color are eager to engage and work with us to reshape America’s policies and priorities.

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Londrigan: Judge's Ruling Against County RTW Ordinance a Victory for Kentucky's Working Families

Londrigan: Judge's Ruling Against County RTW Ordinance a Victory for Kentucky's Working Families

Federal District Judge David Hale’s decision striking down Hardin County's “right to work” ordinance was a victory for Kentucky’s working families, said Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO.

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Why Shouldn't Education Be Free?

Students hang banner below the historic clock tower of the Cooper Union Foundation building in New York City during a 2012 December occupation in protest of the possibility of implementing tuition in the historically free school.

Why shouldn’t higher education be free for everyone?

Higher education is not a commodity. It is a social good. It’s increasingly necessary to get a good, middle-class job. A more highly educated workforce can be more adaptable and make the country more competitive. So why shouldn’t it be free for everyone?

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