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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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Ohio Results Show Voters Say Focus on Jobs, Not Partisan Attacks

Cincinnati Fire Fighters (IAFF) member Doug Stern says yesterday’s overwhelming rejection of Gov. John Kasich’s (R) attempt to eliminate collective bargaining rights of workers like firefighters, nurses, teachers, bridge inspectors and others shows:

[T]he citizens of Ohio spoke and they made it loud and clear that the focus of government should be on creating sustainable middle class jobs, rather than pushing a partisan political agenda.

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Pomona Students Can’t Speak with Food Workers—They Might Join a Union

If you’re a student at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., you’d best not speak with a campus food service worker who’s on break, unless you do so in a management-authorized area.

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Trumka Joins Working Ohioans to Get Out the Vote Against Issue 2

Deborah Dion with the Ohio AFL-CIO field program sends us this.

Speaking at a Cleveland rally on the eve of Nov. 8, Election Day, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka brought down the house yesterday when he spoke passionately about why we must join together and beat back Issue 2/ S.B. 5. More than 500 union volunteers from 30 different local unions as well as community activists and Columbia University students from New York City rose to their feet repeatedly cheering before hitting the doors to canvass city neighborhoods  to spread the message about voting “No” vote on Issue 2/S.B. 5.

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Lead a Cheer for Your Team and Unions

Whether it’s in front of the big screen TV in the living room, at your favorite sports bar or at a stadium tailgate, a lot of us this time of the year get together for football. If you’re reading this blog, it’s likely you have a pretty good grasp of what unions do and how they help out working families. But as our friends at American Rights at Work (ARAW) point out, “It’s likely not everyone in the crowd will be a die-hard union fan.”

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Republicans: No Time for Jobs, Attacks on Workers Come First

In 2011 alone, anti-worker legislators in Congress have launched nearly 50 attacks on the National Labor Relations Board and the nation’s labor law—the National Labor Relations Act—according to a new report from American Rights at Work (ARAW).

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House Resolution Honors Unions’ Role in Building Middle Class

The nation’s labor unions play a vital role in “ensuring a strong middle class,” says a resolution honoring the labor movement, introduced in the House this week by Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.).

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CWA Joins with Occupy Activists to Protest Corporate Greed at Verizon

Chanting, “We are the 99 percent; you are the 99 percent,” Verizon workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) yesterday marched through downtown Washington, D.C., joining with activists from the Occupy movement. Some protesters carried signs that read, “Occupy Verizon.”

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As S.B. 5/Issue 2 Vote Nears, Right-Wing Money Pours Into Ohio

Right-wing dollars are showering Ohio’s airwaves and the coffers of anti-labor politicians as Election Day nears for a Nov. 8 referendum on Senate Bill 5/Issue 2. Voting “No” on Issue 2 will revoke S.B. 5, the anti-worker bill supported by Gov. John Kasich and passed by the state legislature earlier this year that effectively eliminates collective bargaining for public employees.

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‘Recall Walker’ Drive Faces Sneak Attack from Wisconsin Republicans

The drive to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) gets officially under way Nov. 15, when the United Wisconsin coalition will file papers with Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board to begin the recall effort. But Republicans last week launched a sneak attack to derail the effort.

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