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L.A. Transportation PLA Offers Lifeline for Long­-Term Jobless, Homeless

This is a cross-post from Chaz Bolte of the We Party Blog.

The city of Los Angeles and its mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, have been leading the national push for Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) to help create jobs for local workers. This trend continued last Thursday as the city and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that PLAs have been entered into to ensure that 40 percent of the work hours performed on most MTA projects moving forward will be done by people who live in economically disadvantaged communities.

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‘Downsized’: The Song

From Union Communications Services:

Joe Glazer, known by many as labor’s troubadour, had for more than 50 years used his voice and guitar to rally supporters to the union cause, including for this timely tune, “Downsized.”

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Overall Union Membership Notches Up from 2010 to 2011

Overall union membership increased by 49,000 from 2010 to 2011, including 15,000 new 16- to 24-year-old members, according to new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data out this morning. An increase of 110,000 in the private sector was partially offset by a decline of  61,000 in the public sector, making the rate of union membership essentially unchanged at 11.8 percent, with some 14.8 million U.S. workers union members.

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282 Cablevision Workers Join CWA

Yesterday, 282 Cablevision technicians and dispatchers in Brooklyn voted to join the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1109 in a union election administered by the National Labor Relations Board, overcoming a vigorous anti-union campaign led by Cablevision. They are the first Cablevision workers to join a union. Cable TV is an overwhelmingly nonunion industry while the traditional telecommunications industry remains highly unionized.

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The Cablevision 99% Votes Today

Today, 285 Brooklyn-based Cablevision workers—the Cablevision 99%—will vote in a election for union representation.

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Indiana House Voting Now on RTW

Thousands of working Hoosiers are chanting, “No Right to Work,” while the Indiana House sets to vote on passage of a “right to work” for less bill that will lower wages for the state’s working people.

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Transport Workers Set to Protest ‘Job Cremator’ Romney

Members of the Transport Workers (TWU), whose jobs are facing elimination by Bain & Co., will protest outside campaign offices of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the days leading up to the Florida primary election on Jan. 31. Calling Romney ”a job cremator, not a job creator,” TWU President James Little says Romney:

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Indiana Senate Passes RTW Despite Broad Public Opposition

AFL-CIO Field Communications staffer Cathy Sherwin sends us this from the Indiana statehouse.

Despite overwhelming opposition throughout Indiana to the so-called right to work (RTW) bill, the state Senate yesterday passed its version of the bill by 28-22, while House Speaker Brian Bosma continued to use strong-arm tactics to force RTW down Hoosiers’ throats. The Senate chose to vote even as 10,000 Hoosier workers packed the statehouse—and even though working families have been holding town hall meetings, making thousands of phone calls and signing postcards.

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USW Oil Workers Set Stage to Bargain for Safe Refineries, Good Jobs

Patrick Young from the United Steelworkers, sends us this.

Three years ago, members of the United Steelworkers (USW) went to the bargaining table with the big oil companies to negotiate changes to health and safety programs at oil refineries that would keep workers safe. Across the board, the industry said, “No.” They weren’t interested in bargaining meaningful and enforceable improvements to refinery safety.

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American Workers in the Age of Austerity

If you’re in Washington, D.C., next week, hope you can stop by the AFL-CIO for a discussion on “American Workers in an Age of Austerity.” Panelists will talk about what we can learn from the past as we strategize for the future in the context of labor, progessives and the current U.S. political environment.

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