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Showing blog posts by Barbara Doherty

About Barbara Doherty

My dad drove a laundry delivery truck in San Francisco and I came to appreciate unions sitting in the waiting room at the Teamsters vision center there. More than 30 years ago, I joined the international SEIU publications staff (under the union’s legendary, feisty president, George Hardy). Living in California, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., over the years, I have contributed countless news and feature articles, as well as editing, to the publications and websites of unions in the public and private sectors and the construction trades.

Workers Cheer Living Wage Victory in Austin

Workers Defense Project. Photo by John Anderson, The Austin Chronicle

Construction workers and others in the Austin, Texas, area are celebrating a coalition victory this week after Travis County commissioners approved a first-ever economic development policy that includes a living wage requirement.

The policy requires contractors asking for tax incentives to move into the county to pay all employees at least $11 per hour. It’s a significant improvement over the prevailing construction hourly wage of $7.50.

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Nuns on the Bus Visit Might Be Exactly What Mitt Romney Needs

Nuns on the bus condemn Romney's 47% comment.

Remember Nuns on the Bus? This summer's inspiring anti-poverty movement arrived in New York City on Monday, where the nuns and their supporters promptly hopped off the bus and onto the Staten Island Ferry to highlight how Republican budget proposals would impact poverty programs throughout the state. The group's leader, Sister Simone Campbell, told ThinkProgress that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comments about the "47 percent" were "shocking." 

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Pennsylvania Teachers Have Key Role in Voter Education

Two "My Vote, My Right" events will be held in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia where voters can received IDs.

When it comes to voter registration and education, there is no place more critical in 2012 than the key swing state of Pennsylvania. Members of the AFT Pennsylvania (AFT-PA) are playing a big role in making sure voters are ready and able to cast ballots in the Keystone State.

In addition to a long list of their own activities, AFT-PA is participating in a “My Vote, My Right” event on Sept. 18, where the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) will join AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and members of unions, community and voting rights groups outside the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) office in downtown Pittsburgh to help people obtain voter ID cards and register to vote. Another "My Vote, My Right" event will be held in Philadelphia on Sept. 22 at the Department of Motor Vehicle office in the Oxford Levick Shopping Center at 919-B Levick St.

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Interactive Map Marks Fatal Construction Falls

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers and cause the second-highest number of injuries.

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers and cause the second-highest number of injuries. A new interactive map marks fatal construction falls and graphically conveys what numbers alone cannot.

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The War on Voting: The Southern Strategy

With the spotlight on Southern states during both of the political conventions, a look at voter suppression efforts in that region is revealing. Diversity is broadening daily in Southern states—while the Republican-led war on voting rages there, perhaps harder than in any other region.

In "Voter Suppression: the Confederacy Rises Again," blogger Ari Berman, with The Nation magazine, lays out the details.

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Football Frenzy: Preserving High Standards at NFL Construction Sites

Photo courtesy of Fabiwa's Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabi_k/

If you’re a football fan, tonight’s the night. The first game of the 2012 National Football League season—between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys—will kick off at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

There’s plenty of excitement about the football matchup (even with replacement workers subbing as referees), but the construction workers who built the stadium can feel an extra surge of pride in the work they completed two years ago under a project labor agreement (PLA).

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RNC Convention Cleaners' Pay Dips Below Minimum Wage

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/internetsense/

In the aftermath of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., the GOP stuck with its principles regarding keeping low-paid workers, well, low paid.

The crew that cleaned up the convention hall last week—about 105 workers—included many whose take-home pay amounts to less than the state's minimum wage. 

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Law Students Connect with Workers, Community in Summer of Service

Law students pose outside AFL-CIO's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Check out the AFL-CIO's new Innovators website feature, "Law Students Connect with Workers, Community in Summer of Service" here.

As participants in the AFL-CIO’s Law Student Summer (LSUS) program, Mehta, Callahan and 10 others “are learning, hands-on, how they can make a difference in people’s lives,” says AFL-CIO Associate General Counsel Nancy Schiffer, who coordinates LSUS. 

LSUS’ sister initiative, the Minority Outreach Program, taps into the extensive network of some 1,900 union attorneys who belong to the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee(LCC) and encourages law students of color to apply for summer clerkship opportunities at LCC law firms and legal departments throughout the country.

The LSUS and the Minority Outreach Program internships are no fillers for vacationing office support staff. They are all about boots on the ground, with interns fanning out across the country to help workers gain a voice on the job and help unions represent members and contribute to the community.

Click here to find out more

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New Mexico Teachers Fight Against ‘Blame and Shame Game’

Protesters at the AFT New Mexico rally in Santa Fe chanted, “One, two, three, four, kids are not a test score!” AFT-New Mexico photo

A fired up workforce in New Mexico is fighting a Summertime battle against a “reform” scheme by Gov. Susana Martinez (R) that would hurt, not help, the state’s public school students. Martinez refused to consult with educators in drafting the plan and is pushing it through by an administrative rule change after the legislature rejected her proposals this spring.

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On a Mission With Nuns On the Bus

Photo courtesy of the Network Lobby Facebook Page

Usually you don’t hear a lot about nuns in the mainstream media. But everyone’s talking about the Nuns on the Bus these days and the ruckus made by Sister Simone Campbell and her band of sojourners. These Roman Catholic nuns chose the bus tour as a very public way to bear witness—to speak out against the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

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