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Showing blog posts by Jackie Tortora

Jackie Tortora

I'm the blog editor and social media manager at the AFL-CIO. Interviewing union musicians was my introduction to the labor movement. My first job after graduating college was in Syracuse, New York, where I wrote and edited the International Musician, the monthly magazine for the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). Protecting Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts brought me to Washington, D.C., where I spent two years as a new media coordinator at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. I came to the AFL-CIO in the summer of 2012, just in time to re-elect President Barack Obama. When I'm not tweeting about America's unions, it's likely I'm watching Syracuse basketball and football. 

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Lifelong Indiana Ironworker Wins National United Way Community Services Award

Photo below from left to right—Nancy McCormick, AFL-CIO/CSL Midwest Regional Director, United Way Worldwide; Dan Murchek, President, Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor; Deb Townsend, AFL-CIO/CSL Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor, Lake Area United Way; Sharon Wright, Women's Leadership Council, LaPorte County United Way; James Stemmler, Local #395 Ironworkers retired, Beirne Award Winner; Kathy Ertle, President, Indiana Association of United Ways; Chris Brickey, President, Central Indiana Labor Council, AFL-CIO; Mrs. Karen Husky and Mr. Gary Husky, #395 Ironworkers, retired.

James Stemmler of Michigan City, Ind., has spent more than 20 years leading labor volunteers in community improvement. He initiated the Union Workers Street Collection for United Way in 2007, when he invited four trade unions to volunteer. During the most recent event, 20 union volunteers raised more than $3,100 in four hours.

Stemmler was presented with the prestigious national Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award for his longtime work with United Way and the labor community in La Porte County. The award was presented at the Indiana Association of United Ways State Leaders Conference on March 13 in Indianapolis.

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Hey, DREAMers with DACA, Learn Your Rights at Work

Hey DREAMers with DACA, Learn Your Rights at Work

Join the “Working with DACA: Workplace Rights Webinar” this Thursday March 13, at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT) and find out all you need to know about DACA and employment.  

Register NOW.

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'Too Damn High': Why We Spend So Much on Health Care

Photo via Robin Hood Tax USA/National Nurses United

We spend a lot of money on health care in the United States. In fact, Americans pay far more for health care per person than any of the other 33 OECD countries—$2,800 higher than the next closest country and two-and-a-half times the OECD average

Is this investment paying off? Not really. 

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If We End Currency Manipulation by 2015, How Many Jobs Will Your State Gain?

If We End Currency Manipulation by 2015, How Many Jobs Will Your State Gain?

A hat tip to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) for this handy map that calculates the jobs created as a share of state employment from ending currency manipulation by 2015

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Join a Tweetchat on Unions in the United States Thursday, March 6

Photo via the Postal Workers (APWU)

"PBS NewsHour" holds live Twitter chats each Thursday from 1–2 p.m. EST and this week they're discussing unions. Join @NewsHour on Twitter tomorrow using the hashtag #NewsHourChats to talk about the importance of having a voice on the job. 

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Your 'Free Trade' Video Watch List (Plus a TPP Comic)

Image via Economix Comix

Check out this great new video, "Washington's Dirty Little (Trade) Secret," debunking promises about the job creation effects of NAFTA and the U.S.-Korea FTA....It makes you wonder why we should believe those promises this time around?

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‘It’s So Hard to Care About Anything Anymore’: Confessions of Unemployed Workers

Photo, via Whisper

Just in case folks need a reminder, being unemployed really sucks. On top of the stress of not knowing how you’re going to pay rent or afford to eat, you feel isolated from your friends and family. Most people get that being out of work is no picnic, but Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) needs a refresher. Kirk voted twice against extending emergency jobless benefits, which is crazy when you consider more than 99,000 Illinoisans have lost this lifeline.

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Black History Month Reflections: AFGE Officer Thrilled by Obama's New Initiative for Young Men of Color

Yvette Martin-Gross, photo courtesy of AFGE

Yvette Martin-Gross, an AFGE officer and National Women's Advisory Coordinator for the 14th District (Washington, D.C., metro area), has always been interested in women's upward mobility in the workplace. 

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For-Profit Colleges Be Warned, CFPB Is Sticking Up for Student Loan Borrowers

For-Profit Colleges Be Warned, CFPB Is Sticking Up for Student Loan Borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took a stand for student borrowers yesterday and sued ITT Educational Services, accusing the national college chain of predatory lending. 

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UAW Files Appeal with NLRB on Outside Interference During Chattanooga Volkswagen UAW Election

UAW Files Appeal with NLRB on Outside Interference During Chattanooga Volkswagen UAW Election

It's hard enough to form a union without politicians and special interest groups interfering and using scare tactics. Which is exactly what happened in Chattanooga, Tenn., when Volkswagen workers narrowly voted against representation with UAW by 44 votes. 

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