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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Feb 20, 2013

What Would a Free Trade Agreement with the EU Look Like?

Photo courtesy of nationsonline.org

In his 2013 State of the Union Address (SOTU), President Obama announced that the U.S. would soon begin talks on a “Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”—in other words, the U.S. will begin negotiating a “free trade agreement” (FTA) with the European Union (EU).

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Across the Nation, Working Families Say Stop Sequestration

Photo by Sara Wallenfang

Detroit’s below freezing temperatures and gray winter skies didn’t deter a group of union and community activists from gathering downtown in front of a Chase Bank to build support to ensure that corporate special interests like Chase pay their fair share in taxes.

The morning action was just one of more than 100 events in a national day of action urging Congress to avert the $85 billion in arbitrary, across-the-board sequestration cuts in everything from mental health services to public safety scheduled to take effect March 1.

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Small Business Owners Oppose Cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

A new poll from Small Business Majority shows that small business owners oppose suggested benefit cuts to social safety net lifelines. The poll shows that 80% oppose cuts to Social Security, while nearly 75% oppose cuts to Medicare and about 66% oppose cuts to Medicaid.

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Work Harder, Make Less: 40% Earn Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

At one time it was an economic tenet for America's worker: Work smarter, better, faster and harder and you’ll reap the rewards. That’s exactly what America's workers have done for the past four decades plus. But while worker productivity has soared, workers’ wages have been tightly tethered to the ground. So much that economist Dean Baker writes:

If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth [since 1968], it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women. 

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Who Has Leverage in the Sequester Fight?

Back in January, House Speaker John Boehner was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article claiming Republicans have leverage in the fiscal showdown fight because they're willing to use sequester cuts to extract massive concessions in the form of cuts to vital lifelines, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 

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Take Action to Support Mexican Working Families

Take Action to Support Mexican Working Families

This Thursday at noon, working families in Washington, D.C., will be rallying at the Mexican Embassy in solidarity with workers in Mexico as part of a global Day of Action. The campaign is based around four basic goals to:

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SPEEA Units Reach Split Decision in Boeing Contract Votes

One group of workers at Boeing’s Pacific Northwest facilities voted to accept the company’s latest contract offer, while a second voted to reject the deal and to authorize a strike if necessary, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)/IFPTE Local 2001 announced Tuesday.

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A Great Opportunity for the Land of Opportunity

Photo courtesy House Committee on Education and Workforce Development

President Obama made the case in his State of the Union address last week for swift passage of comprehensive immigration reform. His powerful call for Congress to "get this done" brought members on both sides of the aisle to their feet and made it clear that, after decades of congressional inaction and presidential timidity, comprehensive immigration reform finally has a solid chance to pass.

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Wall Street Journal Article Dismisses Poverty and Workers' Rights in Bangladesh

A Bangladeshi garment worker. Photo courtesy of the Solidarity Center.

A recent Wall Street Journal editorial, American Unions vs. Bangladesh's Workers (subscription only), dismisses poverty and workers' rights in a country where devastating garment factory fires have killed 119 people in recent months, which the Journal has reported on. The editorial makes several erroneous points about garment workers in Bangladesh, and the threat to remove the country's duty-free status because of workers' rights violations.  

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Union Members @Work: Collaboration

Union Members @Work: Collaboration

As we continue this week’s launch of the AFL-CIO’s new online hub @Work, today we are spotlighting “Collaboration,” one of the seven featured categories of the new site.

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