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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Dec 10, 2012

In Michigan, Obama Says Right to Work Is ‘Right to Earn Less Money’

President Obama today slammed the Michigan Republicans' and Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) drive to ram through so-called right to work bills that Obama said, “[d]on't have to do with economics. They have everything to do with politics."

What they're talking about is giving you the right to make less money….What we shouldn't be doing is try to take away your rights to bargain for better wages or working conditions.

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Congressional Connection Poll Joins List of Surveys Showing Public Opposes Benefit Cuts to Social Security and Medicare

Photo courtesy Progress Ohio

In the latest edition of the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, the majority of respondents said they oppose benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security. An overwhelming 79% said that they wanted no cuts to Medicare at all. Only 17% said they favored some cuts; only 3% said they favored significant cuts. The numbers were similar for Social Security.

The survey polled 1,003 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 points. 

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AFL-CIO Welcomes Canadian Workers to TPP Talks

Celeste Drake speaking about the TPP at the British Columbia Federation of Labor Convention, November 2012.

Outside of hardcore trade policy wonks, few in the United States or Canada have ever heard of the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (commonly referred to as TPP) or know much about it—and it's time that changed. The TPP is a trade agreement based around the current "P-4" (Chile, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore). 

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D.C. Workers and Community Members Urge Bon Appétit to Take Leadership on Sustainability

Photo from UNITE HERE's Real Food, Real Jobs blog.

"D.C. Workers and Community Members Urge Bon Appétit to Take Leadership on Sustainability" is a cross-post from UNITE HERE's Real Food, Real Jobs blog. 

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RATE Coalition Channels George Orwell's '1984' in Call for Lower Corporate Taxes

Photo courtesy Michael Fleshman

A group of corporate CEOs, known as the Reforming America's Taxes Equitably (RATE) Coalition, sent a letter to Congress asking for the corporate tax rate to be lowered. CEOs from 17 of the largest U.S. companies say, in the letter, that the corporate tax rate of 35% is the highest of any industrialized nation and that it leaves American companies unable to compete.

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Michigan Workers Set for Huge Rally Against ‘Right to Work’ for Less

Michigan Workers Set for Huge Rally Against ‘Right to Work’ for Less

Thousands of union members, community activists and workers’ rights advocates will march on the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday as the state legislature is expected to take its final step in ramming through—without public debate or hearings—a divisive “right to work” for less bill.

The action—organized by a growing coalition of labor, community, faith and other groups—will begin at 8 a.m. at the Lansing Center at 333 E. Michigan Avenue and the march to the state Capitol kicks off at 9 a.m. For more information, visit WeAreMich.org.

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Proposed Ohio Bill Offers New Protections for Veteran Sentencing

A proposed bill in Ohio would require a court to consider a person's military service when sentencing for misdemeanor or felony charges, the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council in Ohio reports. A judge would have to take into account whether the offender has an emotional, mental or physical condition that can be traced to military service that contributed to the commission of the crime. 

The bipartisan bill, S.B. 330, proposed by state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), passed in the state Senate 33-0. S.B. 330 will go to the Ohio House to be voted on before the end of the lame-duck legislative session. 

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Detroit Free Press Says Snyder Bowed to Party’s ‘Most Irrational Ideologues’

Detroit Free Press Says Snyder Bowed to Party’s ‘Most Irrational Ideologues’

In 2010, the Detroit Free Press endorsed Republican Rick Snyder in his race for Michigan governor. The paper’s editorial board said it believed Snyder’s promise that he would be a “new kind of governor…a pragmatist focused like a laser on initiatives that promised to raise standards of living for all Michiganders….In short, we trusted Snyder's judgment.” But in a scathing editorial denouncing Snyder’s “abrupt about face” in backing “right to work” for less legislation, the state’s largest newspaper wrote:

That trust has now been betrayed.

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More Than 100,000 People Tell Macy's CEO: 'No Benefit Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid'

Photo courtesy dananthony11

More than 100,000 American consumers signed a petition asking Macy's Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren to drop out of the "Fix the Debt" Coalition. Fix the Debt portrays itself as dedicated to lowering the national debt, when the reality is that it is lobbying to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest 2%. The consumers are part of Progressive Congress, the nonprofit foundation of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, or CREDO, a progressive activist organization.

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Human Rights Day 2012: Marking Worker Rights Worldwide

Yessica Hoyos Morales. Photo by Tula Connell.

This is an excerpt of Human Rights Day 2012: Marking Worker Rights Worldwide from the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center. 

Nearly 3,000 trade union leaders have been murdered in Colombia over the past 20 years and the killing continues, with at least 35 unionists murdered so far this year. Yet behind each statistic is an individual, says Colombian lawyer and human rights activist, Yessica Hoyos Morales. Someone much like her father, Jorge Darío Hoyos Franco, a Colombian labor leader, who was assassinated in 2001 by two hired hit men.

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