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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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CWA, TWU Form New Partnership

The Transport Workers (TWU) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have voted to work together in a new partnership. The two unions represent more than 120,000 airline workers and are joining forces to support bargaining and organizing at American Airlines and campaigns at other airlines.

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RTW Circus Continues in New Hampshire

AFL-CIO communications staffer Nora Frederickson sends us this cross-post from Blue Hampshire.

Full of tea party zeal after voting to repeal lunch hours for all employees, the House Labor Committee took up a new so-called right to work “RTW” bill today over the loud objections of union members, business owners and faith leaders.

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Ariz. Update: ‘Focus on Real Priorities,’ Union, Community Leaders Today at Capitol

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

This afternoon, a crowd of 100 assembled on the lawn of the Arizona State Capitol to hold a press conference to oppose four anti-worker  bills under consideration by the state Senate. Representatives and supporters of  AFSCME, AFL-CIO, education and a public safety union demanded that Gov. Jan Brewer and Rebublican state legislators put hard-working Arizona families above corporate  interests. State Sen. Steve Gallardo, a Democrat and AFSCME member, kicked the event off with a rousing speech in support of unions and against special interests trying to cut the pay and benefits of teachers and emergency responders.

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Locked-Out Workers to Embark on Journey for Justice

Amy Masciola, a union campaign consultant, sends us this.

More than six months ago, American Crystal Sugar Co. locked out more than 1,300 sugar beet workers in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota. Two months ago, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. locked out more than 1,000 workers in Findlay, Ohio. Last week, Caterpillar announced it would shut down a plant in Ontario, just over one month after locking out 500 workers. Rio Tinto Alcan locked out 750 workers in Quebec Jan. 1. HealthBridge locked out 800 nursing home workers in Connecticut in December. As Laura Clawson at the Daily Kos notes, “For evidence of a war on workers, look no further than the rise of the lockout.”

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Arizona Update: Public and Private Workers in Solidarity

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at DemocraticDiva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

As Arizona’s “Wisconsin on Steroids” anti-worker bills get streamlined through committee hearings, Arizona labor leaders are gearing up to push back. This afternoon, I spoke with Roman Ulman, executive director of AFSCME Arizona. Ulman told me union leaders are still meeting with legislators at this point, urging them to support working families over corporate interests. As he said:

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