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Jazz Musicians Faced Historic Abuse

Jazz musicians have been—and continue to be—among the most abused of professional performers, writes Todd Bryant Weeks in a Black History Month feature for the latest edition of Allegro, the magazine of American Federatoin of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) Local 802 in New York.

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Trader Joe’s Latest Food Chain to Sign Pact to Protect Tomato Pickers

Sarah Seltzer writes for Alternet and other online publications and sends us this.

Trader Joe’s, the popular food chain, which caters to the socially conscious set, had been falling short of its healthful and “progressive” image recently—by refusing to sign onto an agreement to protect tomato pickers. But after a tireless campaign by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the company has agreed to sign on, and planned protests in front of a Trader Joe’s were canceled.

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Oil Workers Rally for Jobs

This is a report from the Metropolitan Washington Labor Council by Chris Garlock and Julia Kann.

Hundreds of oil workers from three Philadelphia refineries slated for permanent shutdown early this year came to Capitol Hill yesterday to tell Congress “the closures threaten family-supportive jobs and will lead to persistent shortages of home heating oil and motor vehicle fuels in Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast.” The workers—members of United Steelworkers—rallied in front of ConocoPhillips Co. and Sunoco Inc. in downtown Washington, D.C., presenting “pink slips” to management at both oil companies.

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Join TWU’s ‘I Support American Jobs’ Campaign

Earlier this month, American Airlines announced plans to eliminate the jobs of 13,000 workers and dump pension plans for nearly 90,000 workers as part of its bankruptcy plan. Roughly 9,000 Transport Workers (TWU) members are employed at American.

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Newport News Shipyard Techs Win Voice With IAM

It took more than two years, but 220 workers the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Newport News, Va.—formerly Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding—got their votes counted and won representation with the Machinists (IAM).

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Remembering. As We Move Wisconsin Forward

This is a cross-post from the Defend Wisconsin blog, by Jill Hopke, a doctoral student at UW-Madison and a member of the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA).

A year ago the system of social trust in Wisconsin began to come unraveled. Feb. 11 marks the one-year anniversary of Gov. Walker’s announcement of the Budget Repair Bill, now Wisconsin Act 10, effectively ending 50 years of public sector collective bargaining rights.

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Fired Latino Workers at Pomona College Fight Back

Sarah Seltzer writes for Alternet and other online publications and sends us this.

When a group of longtime food service employees of Pomona College in California—a prominent liberal arts school—lost their jobs due to their immigration status, it got an already tense campus talking. This wasn’t an ordinary firing, or even an unfortunate casualty of the nasty wave of anti-immigration sentiment. To people on campus who had been helping the workers speak up for their rights, it felt like union-busting. The terminated workers had been employed on campus for years, but only after they began a drive toward unionization with UNITEHERE! was their immigration status investigated by the college.

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February Marks 44th Anniversary of Historic Memphis Sanitation Strike

February is Black History Month and one of the noteworthy events in African American history is the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike that began Feb. 11, 1968.  It was on that day that, after years of discrimination and injustice, the African American sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn., began their strike for economic justice and dignity. They sought to join AFSCME Local 1733.

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Georgetown Panel Examines Wisconsin Uprising

A year ago, thousands of Wisconsin workers filled the statehouse and streets of Madison protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) attack on their collective bargaining rights. The battle reverberated beyond the borders of Wisconsin, triggering a nationwide dialogue on collective bargaining.

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AFGE Says Republicans Have Some Explaining to Do

In a nationwide advertising campaign getting underway this weekend, AFGE members are calling out Republican lawmakers for supporting a plan to pay for the payroll tax relief extension by slashing federal employee wages.

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