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Esquire Profiles Trumka as American of the Year

The latest edition of Esquire magazine features an in-depth look at AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Named as one of the Americans of the Year by the magazine, the article examines Trumka’s past, current role and vision for the future.

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UNITEHERE! Local 6—a Dynamic Force in N.Y. City

Despite the odds, members of UNITEHERE! Local 6 won respect and a contract that boosts wages and health care coverage from a restaurant owner who likened workers to chairs—yet another victory for the 23,000 low-wage service employees who are members of New York City’s dynamic union.

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Calm Down, It’s Just a Poster

You may recall the hysterical hoopla from the business world this summer when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an even-handed, simple and straight rule that says employers must display an 11-by-17-inch poster (available at no cost from the NLRB) informing workers of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The placard tells workers about their right to join a union and their right not to join a union.

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Veteran of Mexico City Workers’ Occupation Shares Strategy with Occupy DC

Solidarity Center’s Lorraine Clewer sends us this report.

Humberto Montes de Oca, an union leader from the Mexican electrical workers union, Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME), knows a few things about long-term public occupations to protest injustice. He recently shared some of his knowledge with the activists of Occupy D.C., now nearing the two-month mark at McPherson Square Park in the nation’s capital.

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Politics Major Factor in Decreased Unionization

Many economists and policymakers say the drop in unionization rates is an inevitable consequence of the changing global economy and advancing technology. But a new report finds that national politics plays a bigger role than globalization or technology in the decline in unionization in the United States and the 20 other nations studied

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Mexican Electrical Workers Union Goes Global With Its Struggle

Leaders of the Mexican electrical workers union, along with the AFL-CIO and more than 100 global unions and human rights groups, are asking the U.S. government to negotiate with Mexico to stop the attacks on the union and workers or face sanctions. The Mexican government forcibly disbanded the union in 2009. The union movement has come under constant attack since Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in 2006. Click here, here and here for more.

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Fla. Nurses Vote NNU, Health Care Workers at VA Choose AFGE

Registered nurses at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Fla., last night overwhelmingly voted—86 percent—to join National Nurses Organizing Committee-Florida, the state affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU). Earlier this month, AFGE signed up 700 medical professionals at the Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) Edward Hines Jr. Hospital in Hines, Ill.

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Harkin to Republicans: Focus on Jobs, Not Attacks on Workers’ Rights

At a time when working families are struggling to make ends meet and Americans are taking to the streets to protest the growing gap between the haves and have-not, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-S.D.) says congressional Republicans “are trying to convince Americans that the National Labor Relations Board—a small federal agency charged with defending workers’ rights—is somehow responsible for our nation’s economic woes.”

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Sen. Graham Threatened ‘Guns a-Blazing’ If NLRB Moved on Boeing

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) threatened to come out with “full guns a blazing” against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) if NLRB acting-General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a complaint against the Boeing Co., charging it with moving production away from its Washington State facility in retaliation for the workers exercising their right to strike. The call occurred nine days before the NLRB issued the complaint April 20.

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Changes in Labor Law in Burma, and What That Really Means

U Maung Maung, general secretary of the Federal Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB), visited the AFL-CIO last week to give some perspective on the draft Labor Organizations Law the Burmese government has introduced. The International Labor Organization (ILO) will decide in November whether to send a Commission of Inquiry to the country, a move Burma would like to avoid.

Although the law is a step in the right direction, U Maung Maung pointed out several holes in its reach, foundation and application and says it lacks adequate procedures for protecting collective bargaining or freedom of association. The announcement of changes in the labor law was accompanied by the release of 15 activists in October, all of whom were held on charges of “affecting the morality or conduct of the public or a group of people in a way that would undermine the security of the Union or the restoration of law and order.” However, 22 activists are still being held for this same reason, with sentences reaching up to 28 years.

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