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Court Affirms Workers' Rights to Determine Size of Bargaining Units

In a ruling last week, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2011 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that said people in unions can organize smaller units of workers, rejecting Specialty Healthcare's claim that the NLRB overstepped its bounds. The company originally attempted to prevent a group of nursing assistants from forming a union without also including other, nonprofessional employees.  

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Loot in This ‘Heist’ Not Jewels, but American Dream

Loot in This ‘Heist’ Not Jewels, but American Dream

Who doesn’t love a heist movie? It’s great escapist fare. You get clever jewel thieves, bold bank robbers and elegant and suave con artists. But when you take that adventure out of the world of fantasy and into the real-life boardrooms, corporate offices and Washington hideaways and the loot isn’t sparkling diamonds and gold bars but the homes, savings and jobs of regular working stiffs, you get “Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?

Now streaming live—and free—here, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Labor Day, “Heist” traces how American corporations orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs and tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy.

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Appeals Court Denies Peabody’s Retiree Health Care Evasion

UMWA photo

In a victory for some 3,100 retired Mine Workers (UMWA) members and a setback for Peabody Energy and its attempt to duck its health care obligations, a U.S. Court of Appeals’ bankruptcy appellate panel today reversed a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed Peabody to shed its responsibilities.

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Walmart Should Look in Mirror for Declining Sales Cause

OUR Walmart Photo/Flickr

Walmart reported last week that sales at its U.S. stores had unexpectedly declined. Walmart tried to explain its shrinking sales away by citing outside factors such as higher gas prices and payroll taxes.

But, say many market observers, the real cause lies within Walmart itself—the largest private-sector employer in the United States and the poster child for low-wages.  

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Forever 21 Is Forever Wrong as It Slashes Hours and Health Care Benefits for Full-Time Workers

Photo by deriviativesofcourse/Flickr

A group of workers at the mall fixture Forever 21 clothing stores might be stuck forever in poverty without health insurance and paid time off now that execs at the trendy youth fashion chain have decided to reclassify some of the full-time sales, stock and maintenance workers, along with cashiers and other store employees, as part-time workers, allowed just 29.5 hours of work a week.

The outrage over the cold, corporate move is flooding the Forever 21 Facebook page, with most vowing never to shop at Forever 21—well, forever.

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Mine Workers Tell Peabody, ‘We’re Not Going Away’

Fairness at Patriot photo via Facebook

More than 2,000 Mine Workers (UMWA) members and retirees, other union members and faith and community activists rallied outside the St. Louis corporate headquarters of Peabody Energy in the latest action demanding fairness for the active and retired miners caught in the 2012 boardroom-orchestrated bankruptcy of Patriot Coal.

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Walmart to Make Safety Changes After OSHA Inspections Find Violations

Photo courtesy Ron Dauphin

Retail giant Walmart reached an agreement with the Labor Department to make improvements at nearly 4,700 Walmart and Sam's Club locations after an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection at a Rochester, N.Y., store in 2011 found numerous safety violations, USA Today reports. The company also will pay $190,000 in fines. Similar violations were found between 2008 and 2010 at stores in nine states.

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ALEC Pursuing Radical Corporate Agenda While Working Families Protest

The Center for Media and Democracy today released a new report on the American Legislative Exchange Council, examining the extreme conservative organization's powerful and growing influence in the states. The report identifies more than 450 bills introduced by state legislators that copied ALEC's model bills, with West Virginia and Missouri leading the way with the most bills. Across the nation, 84 of these proposed laws passed.

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8 Ways That ALEC Is Targeting Working Families

Photo courtesy Mentatmark

Information about the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) working in secret to push state-level policy to more extreme levels is coming to light more and more and America's working families are starting to stand up to the group's corporate-driven agenda. While ALEC's agenda is all over the policy map, the organization has a particular focus on pushing new laws that attack working families and undercut the rights of workers, both in the workplace and in retirement.  Here are eight of the most dangerous and most widespread ways that ALEC is targeting workers and their right to a voice on the job.

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Walmart: Portrait of a Job Killer

Making Change at Walmart, photo via Facebook

Whenever communities, lawmakers or activists question or criticize Walmart for the way it treats workers—the low-pay, the stores’ impact on the communities—the retail giant pulls out a well-worn script with a simple message, “Walmart creates jobs and if there’s one thing this economy needs, it’s more jobs.”   

Setting aside the quality of the jobs for another day, is Walmart telling the truth?

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