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Showing blog posts by Barbara Doherty

About Barbara Doherty

My dad drove a laundry delivery truck in San Francisco and I came to appreciate unions sitting in the waiting room at the Teamsters vision center there. More than 30 years ago, I joined the international SEIU publications staff (under the union’s legendary, feisty president, George Hardy). Living in California, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., over the years, I have contributed countless news and feature articles, as well as editing, to the publications and websites of unions in the public and private sectors and the construction trades.

Mom Says, Eat Your Veggies—and Join a Union

It’s a fact: If you’re a union member you have better wages, benefits and working conditions—along with a voice at work. But a new Duke University study suggests that labor unions also are good for your health.

The research finds that more unionized U.S. workers consider themselves healthy than do their nonunion counterparts, an indication that membership is good for the body as well as the paycheck, said David Brady, a Duke sociology professor and co-author of the study.

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Early Childhood: Unions Take Big Role in Advancing Good Outcomes

When it comes to education, few would dispute that youngsters who have access to high-quality child care and early learning opportunities have a better chance at lifelong success.

Now, two research reports show that unions are playing a big role in helping child care providers bring the highest level of care to the children and families they serve. Another study calls for more effective public investment in early childhood education.

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Wisconsin: The Uprising that Led to a Historic Recall

Wisconsin: The Uprising that Led to a Historic Recall


With Tuesday’s recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and other lawmakers around the corner, it’s a good time to look back at the events that led to this day and the stirring groundswell of action and support that continues to inspire us.

Walker was just one of several Republican governors and legislators emboldened by the 2010 elections that brought tea partiers to office. But Walker had a long history of anti-union and anti-public worker efforts—and he opened an unprecedented attack on Wisconsin’s public workforce early in 2011.

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Social Security Proposals Spell Hardship for Older Workers

Social Security Proposals Spell Hardship for Older Workers

A new study from the Economic Policy Institute finds that hardships for older workers due to proposed Social Security cuts would be significant—and that the “just work longer to make up the difference” argument doesn’t hold up. Yes, the idea of raising the retirement age is on the table again, as it was 30 years ago, when Reagan-era legislation passed to raise it to age 67—a transition that is still taking place.

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Labor, Politics and Brazil’s Transformation

Labor, Politics and Brazil’s Transformation

At a time of economic turmoil and austerity measures in many countries, Brazil is getting deserved recognition for its successes in lifting nearly 40 million of its citizens out of extreme poverty over the past 10 years while fostering economic expansion for the nation.

A well-attended brown bag discussion at the AFL-CIO this week provided background on Brazil’s transformation, insights about the work needed to continue improving conditions for Brazilian workers and unions and food for thought about the examples Brazil has set for the United States and the world.

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Public-Sector Job Cuts: It’s a Red-State Thing

Just over a year ago, the 2010 midterm elections saw Republicans seize control of both branches of the legislatures in 11 states. Then, while talking up the notion of job creation, they set about cutting their state and local public workforces with a ferocity unseen in decades.  The most recent numbers, according to the Roosevelt Institute, are stark.

The 11 states are Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Together, they eliminated 87,900 state and local public jobs—more than 40 percent of the total cut.

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