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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts published on Dec 4, 2012

A Mandate, Mr. Speaker? Really?

“Winning” in a democracy is assumed to mean that you won more votes than the other candidate or party. And so, when Speaker John Boehner writes an open letter to the president calling 2012 “a status quo election in which both you and the Republican majority in the House were re-elected,” you might reasonably guess that Republicans in the House of Representatives won more votes than Democrats.

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Republican Budget Proposal Offers Nothing New

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Republican congressional leaders offered their budget counter-proposal Monday in response to President Obama's proposal, but it does little more than rehash previous offers that were clearly rejected by the voters in November's election.

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Activist Gaby Pacheco Describes Her Struggles in TEDx Talk

Photo courtesy of blancastella

Gaby Pacheco, the leader of the DREAM youth movement from Miami and one of the co-founders of Students Working for Equal Rights, tells her story in a recent TEDx Talk. Pacheco moved to the United States from Ecuador when she was eight. She grew up a hardworking student who was elected student government president of Miami Dade Community College and the statewide community college student government organization. Along the way she faced many obstacles as an aspiring citizen, from an encounter with the Ku Klux Klan to the inability to find work because of her lack of papers verifying citizenship.

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Adiós Arpaio Brings Wave of Change to Maricopa County

A 13-year-old Arizonan and Adiós Arpaio volunteer had to stand up and be the man of the house because his father was deported. An 18-year-old was pulled over while driving and sent to jail because he didn't have the right documentation. These are the stories that energized Latinos, teenagers and Arizona's working families to create political change in their community. 

Adiós Arpaio, a campaign that set out to oust Sheriff Joe Arpaio, recruited 2,000 high school students to canvass and register more than 34,000 new voters. 

UNITE HERE sends us this video detailing the on-the-ground work of Arizonans who were determined to stop families from being torn apart and young people being sent to jail.

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Just Employers: Park Slope Parents Advocate for Domestic Workers’ Rights

Photo courtesy of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice.

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "Just Employers: Park Slope Parents Advocate for Domestic Workers’ Rights."

In 2010, New York ratified landmark legislation for domestic workers, a group excluded from the legal protections—such as the right to organize and collectively bargain—granted by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights gave domestic workers the right to overtime pay, paid days of rest and protection against sexual or racial harassment.

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Happy Ending to This Fairy Tale? End Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich

Once upon a time, Ed Asner (former president of the Screen Actors) tells us, in this animated video from the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), there was a land that was happy and prosperous with a great education system, safe streets, jobs for everyone and a thriving middle class. But then things changed when the rich people decide they didn’t want to pay taxes anymore.

 

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Flight Attendants Win OSHA Protections

Photo by Bob B. Brown/Flickr

The nation’s flight attendants will gain workplace health and safety protection from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under a proposed new policy announced by OSHA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

While OSHA safety and health standards apply to most of America's workers, airline crews have been under the jurisdiction of the FAA since 1975, when the agency claimed exclusive jurisdiction over workplace safety and health for all crew members when they are on board the aircraft.

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Interview: Labor, Business Must Partner for Ethical Investment in Burma

FTUB General Secretary Maung Maung when he returned to Burma in September. Photo: FTUB.

This is an excerpt of the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's Interview: Labor, Business Must Partner for Ethical Investment in Burma

Political transformation is happening fast in Burma, but social and cultural change are just beginning—putting the country at a key tipping point for how it ultimately will be structured, says Pyi Thit Nyunt Wai, general secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB). 

 
 

“We’re starting at ground zero. The country is like dough that’s being kneaded. We must decide what shape it has to be,” he says.

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United Nations Climate Talks: Expectations and Opportunities in Doha, Qatar

Bob Baugh directs the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and chairs its Energy Task Force. He is at the United Nations climate talks with labor delegates from around the world.

After two years of exceeding expectations, a United Nations group of unions is ready to continue creating plans for jobs and addressing climate change.

At the start of this year’s conference, which is known as the 2012 COP 18, nobody thought much would happen, especially because the meeting is being held in Qatar, which leads the world in per capital carbon emissions. Qatar also represents the bloc of oil nations that tied up previous negotiations over demands concerning the potential loss of oil revenue because of a climate agreement. The host country gets to run the meeting and set the agenda for these talks.

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New Study Shatters ALEC, Laffer Economic Myths

Photo of Arthur Laffer courtesy of the House Republican Conference

A new study of proposals from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) shows that policies the organization promotes do more to harm the economy than help it, despite the claims of the group's lead researcher and author, Arthur Laffer. States that are highly rated in ALEC's annual Rich States, Poor States report actually do worse economically than states ALEC rates poorly, according to Selling Snake Oil to the States, by Good Jobs First.

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