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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Mar 11, 2013

People @Work: Found in Translation

Duy Tran

Duy Tran’s uncle came to America on a boat with other political refugees from Vietnam during the U.S. war. It was at sea for 52 days. Their only food was raw fish. Half of them died from starvation. They came seeking freedom and better lives for themselves and their families. Most of Tran’s family and friends experienced similarly dangerous journeys on their path to America and Tran says it gave him a greater appreciation of the goals Vietnamese immigrants were pursuing.

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Report: No Skills Gap in Wisconsin or Beyond

There’s no skills gap holding back recovery in the job market or the broader economy, despite contrary claims from some politicians and CEOs. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, History, Economic Development and Urban Studies professor Marc V. Levine reviewed scientific literature on the skills gap concept and found no evidence to support it.

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Meet My Immigrant Mom

Photo from the Meet My Immigrant Mom Tumblr

Is your mom someone special? Is she an immigrant? The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is spreading the word about winning dignity and respect for our immigrant moms, and for all immigrants, through a new Tumblr collection of stories called "Meet My Immigrant Mom."

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Virginia Community Organizations Launch Statewide Campaign for Real Immigration Reform

Alice Foltz (left) and Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada oversee a breakout session at the founding meeting of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Photo by marschad.

Commonsense immigration reform at the national level must “offer a short and direct path to citizenship for all aspiring citizens already in the United States.” That was the first of six broad principles adopted by Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights, a new organization of more than a dozen community groups that gathered in Northern Virginia last Saturday. A diverse assembly of more than 100 activists came together to plan for their campaign to convince members of Congress to support “true reform” of our immigration laws that respects the dignity of every individual, strengthens families and builds a stronger economy that protects workers' rights and meets the state’s needs for a trained workforce by providing access to education for all.

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Alaska Workers' Voice Launches Innovative 'My Job' Facebook Page

Photo courtesy Alaska Workers' Voice

Alaska Workers' Voice launched a new Facebook page, "My Job," in February that highlights the human side of the state's working families. Alaskans can submit an original photo with a message that explains their job in a creative way to be posted on the page.

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Victory for Howard University Dining Hall Workers

Howard University Workers

The Real Food, Real Jobs movement is going strong and supporters have a lot to celebrate. After a successful march and rally on U Street on March 1 in Washington, D.C., Howard University workers won a new contract with food service provider Sodexo on March 7. Members of UNITE HERE Local 23, Howard dining service workers will see an improvement in their working conditions, as well as an increase input to sustainability efforts on behalf of the university. Furthermore, the contract that was overwhelmingly approved has won workers the right to a sustainability oversight committee and access to more worker training.

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Colorado Becomes 13th State to Offer DREAMers In-State Tuition

Photo courtesy of Think Progress.

The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday that would allow DREAMer immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. The bill now goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to be signed into law, something he has indicated he will do. Only three Republicans voted for the bill.

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Edsall: War on Social Security and Medicare

Debates over Social Security and Medicare reform cannot continue inside the Washington, D.C., vacuum without "adequate consideration to facts," writes Thomas B. Edsall in a recent New York Times op-ed. Yet that's exactly what is happening—not to mention "reform" inside the beltway means "cut" for policymakers trying to forge grand budget bargains. 

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AFL-CIO Urges U.S. Government to Use New TIFA to Address Worker Rights Abuses in Iraq

Last week, the United States and Iraq announced a bilateral United States-Iraq Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), signed in 2005, would likely to enter into force later this year. TIFAs provide a formal bilateral mechanism for countries to discuss trade- and investment-related issues.

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Have You Heard of the TPP Yet? An Important Trade Agreement You Need to Know About

Photo courtesy of the Global Trade Watch. Rally in Leesburg, Va.

The U.S. government is currently working with 10 other countries to negotiate the biggest trade and investment agreement (also known as a “free trade agreement” or FTA) in history. It is called the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. Not only will it be bigger than NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement)­—it’s actually NAFTA plus eight other countries.

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