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Work—and Laughter—Connect Us All

Have you heard the one about the corporate CEO and the duck? Or how about the classic description of what happens when three shop stewards walk into a bar? If you’re in Portland, Ore., Sunday night, you just might hear these and more when Laughing Liberally and the Oregon AFL-CIO showcase strategies for infusing activism with comedy.

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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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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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