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Wait, What Did the GOP Just Say About Minimum Wage Workers? Winners and Losers of the Week

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore on Flickr

In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.

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What Union Members Are Doing This Week

Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions, state federations and other working family organizations are doing around the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week.

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The Four-Letter Word Politicians Avoid: Poor

In his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, President Barack Obama never used the word “poor” and only used the word “poverty” once, which was in the context of fighting “extreme poverty” globally, in emphasizing the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

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SAG-AFTRA Awards Honor ‘Birdman,’ ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Casts

SAG-AFTRA Awards Honor ‘Birdman,’ ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Casts

SAG-AFTRA honored outstanding motion picture and television performances at its annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremonies Jan. 25. Debbie Reynolds received the union's highest honor, the 51st annual Life Achievement Award.

Of the top industry accolades presented to performers, only the Screen Actors Guild Awards are selected solely by actors’ peers in SAG-AFTRA. Also, the SAG Awards was the first televised awards show to acknowledge the work of union members.

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Union-Made Super Bowl Party Shopping List

Union-Made Super Bowl Party Shopping List

On Super Bowl Sunday next week, some of our larger and faster union brothers—members of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA)—will be battling it out in Glendale, Ariz., at Super Bowl XLIX (49 for those of us who are shaky on Roman numerals).  While the Super Bowl carries a union label, from players to broadcast crews to stadium workers—your Super Bowl party spread can, too, with union-made in America food and drinks.

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23 Things Poor People Have to Worry About That Wealthier People Never Even Have to Think About

Photo by Cory Doctorow via Flickr Creative Commons

A recent Reddit thread discussed experiences people had while experiencing poverty, with a particular focus on those things that people are forced to buy or do that people who aren't poor never have to think about, much less worry about. In thousands of comments, people recounted hundreds upon hundreds of stories of trying to find ways to maintain a minimal lifestyle in the face of extreme poverty.  One of the things that labor unions were created to do, and a key focus of the AFL-CIO's Raising Wages campaign, was to prevent workers from having to suffer through these hardships and in states where union density is higher, wages for both union and nonunion workers are higher, meaning fewer people have to live through such experiences.

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Union Plus Scholarship Deadline Is Jan. 31

Union Plus Scholarship Deadline Is Jan. 31

Time is running out to apply for the 2015 Union Plus college scholarship program for union members and their children. Applications must be submitted by noon Eastern time on Jan. 31. Since 1992, the program has awarded more than $3.6 million to students of more than 2,400 working families. The awards will range from $500 to $4,000 and are for study beginning in the fall each year. Students may re-apply each year.

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McCain Amendment Could Scuttle U.S. Maritime Industry

This Jones Act tanker was built by U.S. workers at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego and launched in 2004. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics NASSCO

While many lawmakers are focusing on creating, maintaining and even bringing back jobs to the United States, Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) is pushing legislation that threatens 400,000 U.S. shipbuilding, seafaring and supply chain jobs in the maritime industry.

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What’s in the State of the Union for Young Workers?

What’s in the State of the Union for Young Workers?

As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka noted, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night was filled with “eloquent and forceful advocacy for working families,” including combating income inequality, raising wages and strengthening unions. Obama’s address also contained a number of proposals that would have a significant impact on young workers and that also coincide with the recently released AFL-CIO’s youth economic platform.

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Take Action: National Call-In Week Against Fast Track

Take Action: National Call-In Week Against Fast Track

The new Republican-controlled Congress isn't wasting any time in pushing policies that will harm working families. How long will it be until they start pushing for Fast Track trade authority, potentially one of the most devastating ideas that has serious traction in Washington, D.C., right now? The good news is that you don't have to sit around waiting for it to happen, you can take action now.

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