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Showing blog posts by Liz Shuler

About Liz Shuler

Liz Shuler was elected AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer in September 2009, the youngest person ever to become an officer of the AFL-CIO. Shuler previously was the highest-ranking woman in the Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, serving as the top assistant to the IBEW president since 2004. In 1993, she joined IBEW Local 125 in Portland, Ore., where she worked as an organizer and state legislative and political director. In 1998, she was part of the IBEW’s international staff in Washington, D.C., as a legislative and political representative.

Unions Are a Woman's Best Friend

Planning at the AFL-CIO's Next Up Young Worker Summit

With National Women’s History Month behind us now, it’s still important to celebrate the great strides women have made over the past decades. It is equally important to remember how many women workers still don’t have the basic necessities they need to support themselves and their families. The labor movement views the struggle for women’s equality as a shared fight, especially considering women are the sole or primary breadwinners for 40% of families in the United States. Women of color, in particular, have a hard time getting good pay and benefits, and they make up a disproportionate share of low-wage workers.

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It's Past Time We Invested in Young Workers

It's Past Time We Invested in Young Workers

Free, high-quality public higher education. Expanded apprenticeship programs. Jobs that pay living wages. Workplaces that are free of discrimination. Strong union rights. Don't those sound great?

These are what the members of the AFL-CIO's Young Worker Advisory Council are asking for in their newly released Youth Economic Platform. This new generation of union leaders is tired of tone-deaf political conversation that completely misses the mark. They're fed up with an economy that's not working -- especially for young people.

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Three Ways to Raise Wages

Three Ways to Raise Wages

For a lot of working people, this holiday season will be one of belt-tightening rather than shopping sprees. Let’s face it, our wages just aren’t keeping up the way they used to. Here’s a fact: Average income for the least rich 90% of us has been flat since the 1970s, although people are working more hours. Not a recipe for a holiday-buying bonanza.

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Support Walmart Workers

Walmart. On one hand we have the Walton family—Walmart’s owners. With almost $150 billion in wealth, they are the richest family in the nation. On the other hand, we have Walmart workers, most of whom work for less than $25,000 a year. Most are women. And this Thanksgiving, more than 1 million of them have to go to work instead of spending the full day with their families. The following day—Black Friday—thousands of Walmart workers and community allies will be striking and protesting all over the country, calling on Walmart to end retaliation for workers who speak out for better working conditions and pay.

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Many Paths to Succeed

For a long time, we’ve assumed there was one path to success for America’s kids: College prep courses in high school followed by four or more years of a college education.

But that formula leaves a lot of people out—like people whose families can’t afford college, those who can’t face the huge debt burden of college loans and young people whose career goals do not require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

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Nov. 4: It’s All About Women

Nov. 4: It’s All About Women

The other day I read a statistic that made me laugh a little. It said women’s issues are shaping up as the second-biggest issue among voters this year, behind only the economy.

Really? I don’t think so.

We are the economy.

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11 Great Reasons to Vote

I’m sure you are planning to vote, but maybe you know people who are on the fence—who think elections in non-presidential years just aren’t that important. Not true!

Here are 11 great reasons you can share with them to get them to the polls (after the jump). 

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I'm a Koch Sister, Too!

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler with Joyce and Karen Koch

You’ve heard of the Koch Brothers, the ultra-rich, corporate extremists whose deep pockets are flooding election-season airwaves. Too often, their goals are part of a political playbook to drive down wages, cut Social Security and Medicare and secure more corporate tax breaks at the expense of our environment. Their money may dominate America's politics and lawmaking, but their values and ideals sure don’t.

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Beyond Summit, Sustained Focus Needed for Working Women and Families

Aisha Thurman makes tipped minimum wage as a server in Michigan and is a member of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

Next week, people from all over the country will convene in Washington, D.C.—and many more will log in to participate virtually—at a White House Summit on Working Families. Under the banner of “creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans,” we’ll hear from businesses, economists, advocates, workers and, yes, labor leaders to discuss policy solutions that can make a difference in the lives of working families. It’s an important conversation, and I look forward to seeing great examples of companies that give their employees meaningful benefits, fathers who take family leave when a new baby arrives and communities coming together to support workers struggling to get by.

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Walmart Moms: ‘Their Fight Is Our Fight’

Our walmart photo

This an open letter from AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler to the nation's working women.  

In a show of national unity, Walmart moms are walking off the job in stores throughout the country this week. After years of trying to support themselves and their families on wages that are too low, with schedules that rob them of full-time benefits and an employer who fires co-workers who audaciously ask for more pay, they have had enough.

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