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Showing blog posts published on Jan 14, 2013

Maine Labor History Mural Finally Sees Light of Day

Courtesy of the Judy Taylor Studio

Not quite two years ago, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) ordered the removal of an 11-panel, 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history from the Department of Labor. LePage, who supports “right to work” for less laws and has pushed to weaken child labor laws, claimed the mural was anti-business and akin to North Korean propaganda. But it is back on public display after the state Department of Labor and Maine State Museum reached an agreement to display the mural for three years at the Augusta Museum.

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AGMA Relief Concert to Aid Artists in Severe Financial Need

AGMA Relief Concert to Aid Artists in Severe Financial Need

For the fourth year in a row, the Musical Artists (AGMA) will be holding a benefit concert to help cover basic living expenses for artists who are in severe financial need. The concert will feature members of the Washington National Opera Chorus and will take place Jan. 20 at 4 p.m., at St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. AGMA represents vocalists, dancers and opera and ballet production staff.

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Sombrotto was a 'Thoughtful and Creative Champion of Working Families'

Former Letter Carriers President Vincent R. Sombrotto died Jan. 10 at the age of 89.

Sombrotto was a letter carrier at Grand Central Station in New York City in 1970, when postal workers’ pay and working conditions were so poor they were eligible for public assistance. He became a leader and spokesman in a New York City wildcat strike of postal employees. That strike pitted the might of the U.S. government, which sent in strike-breaking troops. The resolve of the strikers never wavered and led to a new law creating the modern United States Postal Service and granting collective bargaining rights to postal employees.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “We mourn this loss of a thoughtful and creative champion of working people.”

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New York City Misses the Bus on Student Safety

NYS AFL-CIO photo

New York City may be putting the safety of public and private school students who ride the city’s “Yellow” bus fleet at risk. In sending out a request for competitive bids on certain routes—the current contracts expire June 30—the Department of Education is dropping a long-standing requirement that proven, experienced and trained drivers and bus monitors retain their jobs.

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Flight Attendants Push for Equal Benefits for Domestic Partners

Flight attendants who work for Spirit Airlines filed a lawsuit against the airline for reneging on a contractual commitment to provide equal benefits for all employees by forcing employees who want health care coverage for their domestic partners into a lower-quality health care plan than the plan covering other employees. The flight attendants, members of the Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), said that management is using procedural loopholes to avoid providing equal benefits.

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Some in the Media Disappointed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Were Spared from Cuts

Despite the fact that the majority of people across party lines oppose benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, some media pundits lamented that President Obama did not push these harmful cuts in the recent so-called fiscal cliff agreement. 

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ALPA Asks Congress to Set One Standard of Safety for All Flights

Photo courtesy Dan Nguyen

The Air Line Pilots (ALPA) union is asking Congress to pass the Safe Skies Act of 2013, which would set one standard of fatigue rules for all pilots. Currently, under a rule issued by the Federal Aviation Administration last year, only passenger pilots are required to operate under flight- and duty-time limits that protect them from excessive fatigue and the possible dangers they face if they become too tired to properly fly their plane. Pilots who fly cargo planes currently operate under a weaker standard.

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