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Showing blog posts by Robert Struckman

About Robert Struckman

I’m the AFL-CIO’s speechwriter and a former newspaper reporter and magazine writer and editor. I’ve reported and written on a wide variety of topics, from business and city government to crime and politics. In my working life, I’ve been a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the UAW and now the Communications Workers of America (CWA). My wife and two kids and I live in Maryland, but we are and always will be from Montana.

College Grads: Hard Work Plus Education Alone Don't Lead to Success

College grads today are wondering whether education plus hard work is really the formula for success—and for good reason. The missing ingredient in that formula? It’s leverage. The power of collective action.

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Trumka: Manufacturing Revival Vital to Strong National Security

Center for National Policy

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka today said our national security depends on reviving the nation’s manufacturing and industrial base . He called for adding 4 million manufacturing jobs and eliminating the trade deficit within five years.  

In a wide-ranging speech at the Center for National Policy ( CNP ), Trumka said economic strength is crucial to America’s national security and economic standing, and manufacturing is central to economic strength. That’s a connection that most people understand, he said.

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Sarandon: 'I’ve Always Known that Unions Made America'

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, left, with actor Susan Sarandon

“That was the turning point for a lot of actors," said actor Susan Sarandon to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka about the national commercial actors strike 12 years ago. "It wasn’t until we felt threatened that we realized the importance of our union.”

In a casual moment in a midtown Manhattan hotel Friday evening, Sarandon, a longtime member of SAG-AFTRA , and Trumka spoke at length before she introduced him to a gathering held by Local 1 of the American Federation of School Administrators.

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Writers, Producers Race to the Top with WGAE

Writers, Producers Race to the Top with WGAE

A banner for Atlas Media Corp. fluttered in a light breeze above 36th Street in Manhattan. In this morning's sunlight on the sidewalk below, nearly 100 nonfiction TV writers and producers, members of the Writers Guild of America, East ( WGAE ), waved signs and chanted, demanding health care benefits and better treatment.

Then they staged a footrace, complete with numbered bibs and a finish line held on one end by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, that was dubbed a “Race to the Top” to end the “race to the bottom” at Atlas—a company named for the right-wing polemical novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

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'Taxi Drivers Unite!'

'Taxi Drivers Unite!'

Yesterday, 40 members of the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA) and taxi workers from San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia cheered, chanted and waved signs outside the Midtown Operating Corp. garage in Long Island City, N.Y. Their messages: “Lower the Lease!” and “Stop the Greed!” In the midst of the drivers were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and NTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai, who hollered into the bullhorn, “We’re your union! Taxi drivers unite!” The NTWA has held 50 such marches in the past four months to protest crippling fees that guarantee profits for owners of taxicabs and medallions and a tough existence for drivers.

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Human Rights Day: Celebrate Our Struggles, Build for the Future


In a dramatic way not seen in years, today’s celebration of International Human Rights Day arrives during enormous and popular ongoing struggles.

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Unions on World AIDS Day: We Won’t Turn Away from People with AIDS

AIDS and HIV remain a major public health issue around the world, and so does workplace discrimination against people with AIDS/HIV.

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Bad Economics: Cutting Federal Workers, Jobs

Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl doesn’t want to to pay for a one-year extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut by taxing the wealthiest 1 percent. He wants to take it out of the pay of federal workers.

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NYC Marchers Want an Economy ‘for All Working People’

On a brisk and sunny day in New York City, Christy Thornton stood at the corner of Broadway and 31st streets.

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One Union Worker from Omaha Says: We Need ‘Made in America’

Bill Redler of Omaha, Neb., knows both the hard times of the American construction worker today and the right way forward.

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