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AFL-CIO Now

Showing blog posts by Donna Jablonski

Donna Jablonski working hard at the phone bank.

I’m the AFL-CIO’s deputy director of public affairs for publications, Web and broadcast. Prior to joining the AFL-CIO in 1997, I served as publications director at the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund for 12 years. I began my career as a newspaper reporter in Southwest Florida, and since have written, edited and managed production of advocacy materials— including newsletters, books, brochures, booklets, fliers, calendars, websites, posters and direct response mail and e-mail—to support economic and social justice campaigns. In June 2001, I received a B.A. in Labor Studies from the National Labor College. Most important: I’m the very proud mom of a spectacular daughter.

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Trumka and Coyle: Social Security 'Continues to Work'

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Edward Coyle today issued this joint statement on the 2013 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Report:

The most important message from the 2013 Social Security Trustees Report is that our Social Security system continues to work for the American people.  After years of economic crisis for working families, Social Security is in better shape and more dependable than 401(k)s, private pensions or any other public or private program. We must call out those who will try to misuse today’s report as political cover for unwarranted and ill-advised benefit cuts, like switching to the “chained CPI” to calculate Social Security’s annual cost-of-living increase (COLA).

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Better Idea: Increase Social Security and Medicare Benefits

As word spreads that President Obama’s budget proposal will call for Social Security and Medicare benefit cuts, other voices are calling for increasing the successful programs instead as the medicine struggling families and a weak economy need.

A report for the New America Foundation highlights the crisis in retirement security and proposes expanding Social Security.

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'It's Ruined Me'

For a heart-breaking look at how the Republican-engineered dysfunction at the National Labor Relations Board is affecting working men and women, check out Dave Jamieson’s weekend piece in The Huffington Post.

Jamieson chronicles the nine-year ordeal of union coal miners at the Cannelton mine near Smithers, W.Va., who lost their jobs when Massey Energy (since purchased by another mining company after the notorious Upper Big Branch disaster) bought the mine.

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Illinois Union Members to the Rescue

Illinois Union Members to the Rescue

Martina Sangster’s ceiling was on her floor. Living room, dining room and entryway—all tumbled down after what started as a small crack.

Her insurance wouldn’t cover the mess and her family couldn’t afford the extensive work that was needed. But help came from a different direction: the AFL-CIO community services liaison for United Way of the Quad Cities Area and local union members who donated their skills and also got the materials contributed.

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NFLPA-Harvard Team Up on $100 Million Study of Player Injuries

Football is a dangerous sport by nature, but it doesn't have to be as dangerous as it is today.

The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has awarded $100 million to Harvard Medical School for a 10-year study of player injuries and illnesses, including brain trauma. The study is funded under the collective bargaining agreement the players reached recently with the NFL. Its goal: to transform the health of current and retired players, whose lifespan averages 20 years less than men who are not professional football players.

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The Rise of 'Never-Never' Employment

How did we end up with all these low-wage, no-benefit temporary jobs in our economy?

Erin Hatton, of State University of New York at Buffalo, had a fascinating read in the New York Times this weekend, The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy, tracing the rise in America of the temp industry, and how it forged "new cultural consensus about work and workers." 

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Hostess Workers Get New Ally

The 18,000 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) who've made our Twinkies and other classic snacks have a new ally in their struggle for their jobs and pensions and the brand's survival. The bakery workers' pension fund has engaged a prominent New York investment banking firm in connection with Hostess Brands' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, BCTGM announced.

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Sombrotto was a 'Thoughtful and Creative Champion of Working Families'

Former Letter Carriers President Vincent R. Sombrotto died Jan. 10 at the age of 89.

Sombrotto was a letter carrier at Grand Central Station in New York City in 1970, when postal workers’ pay and working conditions were so poor they were eligible for public assistance. He became a leader and spokesman in a New York City wildcat strike of postal employees. That strike pitted the might of the U.S. government, which sent in strike-breaking troops. The resolve of the strikers never wavered and led to a new law creating the modern United States Postal Service and granting collective bargaining rights to postal employees.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “We mourn this loss of a thoughtful and creative champion of working people.”

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Obama to Push for Path to Citizenship in Immigration Reform

Photo courtesy of the United We Dream Facebook page.

President Obama intends to push quickly to fix America's broken immigration system, according to The New York Times, including a path to citizenship—the core of the AFL-CIO's immigration reform agenda.

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Labor Secretary Solis Resigns

Labor Secretary Solis Resigns

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned today.

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