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Rep. Ellison Calls for End of Crystal Sugar Lockout

Wednesday marked the six-month anniversary of America Crystal Sugar Co.’s lockout of 1,300 workers and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) told the U.S. House: “It’s time for the company to negotiate.”

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State Dept. Cracks Down on Abuse of Foreign Students by Hershey and Others

In response to protests by foreign students exploited in a factory subcontracted by the Hershey Company and advocacy by the AFL-CIO and our allies, this week the U.S. State Department announced that it will make major revisions to a guest-worker and cultural exchange visa program and barred participation by a major player in the program, the Council for Educational Travel, USA (CETUSA).

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Take Action to Help Cleaning Workers in Netherlands

Spreading the word here from our friends at LabourStart, who sent this action request (and plug for its conference this year).

They’re calling it the “uprising of the invisible.”

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More than 1,500 Workers Join AFL-CIO Unions

Warehouse workers, school bus drivers, teachers, mechanics, telecommunication and manufacturing workers all have recently won a voice at work with AFL-CIO unions.

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Hate the Pay Gap? Take the App Challenge

If you’re frustrated about the wage gap that persists between male and female workers, you can channel your energy into a new contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and President Obama’s National Equal Pay Task Force.

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Retirees Occupy Century Aluminum

This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post.

On Dec. 18, a dozen retirees, men and women in their 60s, 70s, even 80s, began occupying a median strip along Route 33 in front of the closed Century Aluminum smelter in Ravenswood, W.Va. In tents and under tarps, a small group stays overnight, despite hypertension, arthritis and other old age ailments. One has suffered a stroke.

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Indiana Working Families Ready to Take Back the State

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

Far from conceding defeat after the passage of a so-called right to work (RTW) bill, tens of thousands of Hoosier workers came together in solidarity to march from the statehouse to Super Bowl village in Indianapolis. From the steps of the statehouse, Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott said today would mark a new start to taking back the state, starting with “the biggest march Indiana has ever seen!”

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Egypt’s New Labor Movement Comes of Age

This is a cross-post by Ben Moxham of Stronger Unions, the blog from the United Kingdom’s Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the new Egyptian trade union movement that has its roots in last year’s incredible uprising that toppled the Mubarak government.

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‘Right to Work’ for Less Passes, Indiana Working Families Vow to Fight On

The Indiana state Senate this morning approved (28-22) a “right to work” for less bill. Passage of the bill, says Indiana State AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott, “means that strong arm tactics, misinformation and big money have won at the Indiana Statehouse.”

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Arizona: The New Wisconsin

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

A slate of bills introduced in the Arizona Legislature this session would wipe out public-sector unions in our state. If Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signs them into law, which is likely, they would ban collective bargaining by public employees, end automatic payroll deductions for dues and prohibit compensation for performing union duties. These measures go even further than the union-stripping bills that enraged Wisconsinites last year and, unlike in Wisconsin, Arizona police and fire unions would not be exempted.

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