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AFL-CIO Executive Council Honors Building and Wood Workers’ International with Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award

AFL-CIO Executive Council Honors Building and Wood Workers’ International with Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award

The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) and its affiliates, which are at the forefront of the campaign to bring justice to construction workers worldwide, are the recipients of the 2014 Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award, the AFL-CIO Executive Council announced in a statement adopted at its annual winter meeting in Houston.

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Executive Council: Detroit Bankruptcy Must Not Impoverish Workers, Retirees

AFSCME Photo

Detroit’s bankruptcy filing “must not be used as a tool to impoverish city of Detroit workers or retirees,” says the AFL-CIO Executive Council, in a statement from its July meeting.

City workers already have made severe concessions to keep the city afloat. They are not to blame for Detroit’s financial problems, yet they have been making sacrifices all along the way to help the city out….The AFL-CIO will continue to support our city of Detroit active and retired members in their fight to maintain dignity on the job, a safe workplace, fair wages and benefits for their labor, and against cuts in the pensions they have paid for and earned.

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AFL-CIO Executive Council Addresses Economy, Trade, Voting Rights

AFL-CIO Executive Council Addresses Economy, Trade, Voting Rights

The AFL-CIO Executive Council called for a “high-wage” economic strategy, a new trade model and universal voter registration coupled with vigorous protection of the right to vote at its February meeting in Orlando, Fla., today. The Executive Council also addressed gender equality and commemorated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington .

In its statement on economic strategy, the council says, “There is something fundamentally wrong with the U.S. economy,” that has resulted in “the stagnation of wages and incomes that has crippled the American middle class for more than a generation.”

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AFL-CIO Executive Council: Shared Prosperity Dependent on Collective Bargaining

The AFL-CIO Executive Council endorsed Yale Professor Jacob Hacker’s just released economic blueprint, Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All, that says restoring the middle class must include restoring workers’ ability to bargain collectively.

The agenda for shared prosperity builds upon an understanding of the central role of workers, their unions and collective bargaining to address the full range of our society’s economic ills—our jobs and infrastructure deficits, our housing crisis, the hollowing out of our manufacturing sector, the disconnect between wages and productivity, the health care and retirement security crisis and the particular toll that these crises have taken on communities of color and women.

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New Members Elected to AFL-CIO Executive Council

New members were elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council this morning. Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), will fill the seat of former President Mark Ayers, and Laura Reyes, secretary-treasurer for AFSCME, will fill the seat of retiring AFSCME President Gerry McEntee. AFSCME President Lee Saunders was named chair of the Executive Council Political Committee.

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The 99 Percent Solution to the Retirement Security Crisis

The Washington Post recently ran a lengthy article explaining the difficulties Americans face in providing for a secure retirement, as traditional pension plans become less common and 401(k) savings accounts prove to be frighteningly inadequate.

But AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka points out that this whole discussion about retirement security fails to mention an obvious solution staring at us right in the face. It’s called Social Security.

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AFL-CIO Council: Organizing, Bargaining Key to Reversing Inequality

Inequality in both wealth and income is greater than at any time since the early part of the last century. At the same time, says the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the best remedy to inequality and injustice—collective bargaining—is under increasing political attack in the private and public sectors. But workers across the country are fighting for their right to join a union.   

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Council Supports State DREAM Acts, Urges Congressional Action

With the federal version of the DREAM Act stalled in Congress, 13 states have adopted their own versions. But those laws have become targets of right-wing extremists connected to groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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Council Says 30 Years of Policies for the 1% Caused Crisis, Outlines Steps to Fix Economy

In a broad statement today at its annual winter meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on “How to Fix What Is Wrong with Our Economy,” the AFL-CIO Executive Council details the step-by-step policy decisions by business and government and the rise of corporate power over the past decades that brought the economy to its knees and outlines ways to fix the economy for the long term.

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AFL-CIO Calls for Overturning Citizens United Case

Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gave business corporations and other groups the green light for unlimited independent campaign spending. That decision in the Citizens United case, says the AFL-CIO Executive Council, has “undermined democracy.”

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