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Infrastructure Condition a ‘Scandal,’ Threatens U.S. Economy, says AFL-CIO Executive Council

Infrastructure Condition a ‘Scandal,’ Threatens U.S. Economy, says AFL-CIO Executive Council

To keep the United States strong and to ensure the foundation of the economy is sound, the nation’s leaders “must begin by rebuilding the infrastructure that thrust the United States into the modern era but now is out of date and falling apart,” said the AFL-CIO Executive Council in a statement approved Wednesday at its summer meeting in Washington, D.C., at the AFL-CIO headquarters. The council said:

Political gridlock has turned the United States from the nation that led every major advance in public economic development—in rail and transit, roads, sewers, utilities, aviation, shipping and so much more—into a nation that can’t find the will to lead in the 21st century. 

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Executive Council Says New Coal Dust Standard Will ‘Save Miners’ Lives’

Executive Council Says New Coal Dust Standard Will ‘Save Miners’ Lives’

A new standard that limits miners’ exposure to the coal dust that causes black lung “will save miners’ lives,” said the AFL-CIO Executive Council in a statement approved today at the council’s summer meeting at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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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 Responds to the Trayvon Martin Shooting by Calling for Social and Economic Justice for Communities of Color

Photo by Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Veda Shook

Today the AFL-CIO Executive Council released a statement in response to the tragic shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on its commitment to social and economic justice for communities of color. The council also pledged to take action around these issues at the AFL-CIO Convention in September.

Read the text of the statement after the jump. 

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What Are Free Trade Agreements, Really?

What Are Free Trade Agreements, Really?

“Free trade agreements.” Many union members and other workers might tell you that so-called FTAs (of which NAFTA—the North American Free Trade Agreement—­is the most well-known) haven’t been effective at creating jobs or raising standards of living—and they’d be right. But what are these FTAs, really

Well, first of all, “free trade agreements” are only somewhat about trade and have very little to do with making it “free.” At least if we are talking about U.S.-style trade agreements since 1993, when NAFTA went into effect. 

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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 Passes Statements on Energy, Jobs and Immigration

AFL-CIO officers at the annual Executive Council meeting.

At its February meeting, the AFL-CIO Executive Council, representing 57 affiliate unions, adopted several statements that covered energy and jobs, workers' rights and the National Labor Relations Board and immigration, among other things. 

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AFL-CIO Executive Council Welcomes New Members, Presents New Charters

Actors' Equity Association (AEA) receives new charter.

The AFL-CIO's Executive Council February meeting kicked off this morning in Orlando, Fla., welcoming two new council members and presenting two new charters for Actors' Equity and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART). 

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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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