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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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Stories from the Women Workers Who Make Our Country Great

Stories from the Women Workers Who Make Our Country Great

Women are coming together and improving their workplaces by fighting for policies that include everything from raising the tipped and minimum wage, making equal pay for equal work a reality, demanding more consistent and adequate hours in retail scheduling to making sure everyone has access to affordable child care and can receive basic workplace accommodations during pregnancy. These women workers know collective bargaining and collective action are important for achieving workplace policies that work for women and families. 

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What Working Women Need: Fair Wages, Consistent Scheduling, Affordable Child Care, Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

What Working Women Need: Fair Wages, Consistent Scheduling, Affordable Child Care, Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

Bene't Holmes is a 25-year-old single mother who works at Walmart in Chicago and struggles to survive on low wages. In February, she suffered a miscarriage while at work, after a manager denied her request for job duties that were less physically demanding. She asked for a leave of absence after the miscarriage to recover and was denied that request as well and was subsequently discipined for time she took off. Bene’t realized she needed a voice on the job and took action with the OUR Walmart campaign. Along with her fellow Walmart associates who are speaking up for respect and rights on the job, they are winning. Read more on Bene't's story

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Never Felt so Good: Michael Jackson's New Music Video with Justin Timberlake Features Dancers with a Union Contract

We already know Justin Timberlake is awesome for negotiating a fair union contract with the dancers on his 20/20 Experience World Tour—the first touring contract of its kind for SAG-AFTRA tour dancers—but now Dancers' Alliance informs us Michael Jackson's new music video with Timberlake, "Love Never Felt so Good," features dancers covered by a union contract. 

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Let's Talk About Working Women and Raising Wages

Aisha Thurman, a waitress and mother of two, has been a restaurant worker for the past 20 years. Her base salary for each of those years has been $2.65 an hour. The minimum tipped wage has been frozen at $2.13 since 1991. Thurman joined the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United in Michigan because she wants to change the restaurant industry for the better and make it a better place for women, especially single moms like her.

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11 Things Everyone Should Know About Working Women and the Minimum Wage

11 Things Everyone Should Know About Working Women and the Minimum Wage

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New Jersey State Senate Passes 'Made in America' Legislative Package

Last week, thanks to New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a package of five bills requiring manufactured products used in certain contracts to be made in America was passed in the state Senate. The primary bill requires that vendors receiving contracts, including public work contracts, with state and local governments, as well as public institutions of higher education, purchase goods manufactured in the United States.

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Collective Action: It's How Working Families Win!

Collective Action: It's How Working Families Win!

Women make up the majority of tipped and minimum wage workers. Child care costs are a huge barrier for families, and retail hours and scheduling make it difficult for working parents to make enough to survive. Women still earn less on the dollar than their male counterparts. More than four in 10 private-sector workers—and more than 80% of low-wage workers—do not have paid sick days. What century are we in?

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Union, Yes: Machinists Win Back-to-Back Organizing Drives in Texas

Exciting things are happening in Texas. The Machinists (IAM) today announced a second important organizing victory, this time for 475 office and clerical personnel employed by L3 at the Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) in Corpus Christi. This follows an April organizing win for 450 helicopter mechanics and technicians at the same facility.

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Think About Moms Next Time You Shop at Walmart

During the annual Walmart shareholders meeting last week, moms who work at the retail giant walked off the job across the country. Joined by co-workers and allies, they have been calling for respect and decent wages—at least $25,000 a year—and demanding an end to retaliation against employees who speak out for better working conditions. Some Walmart associates even took their message to Walmart chairman and heir Rob Walton personally, and to the annual Walmart shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark.

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Union-Made Father's Day Shopping Ideas

Photo by Geoff Livingston/Flickr

Celebrate your dad in solidarity style this Father's Day by getting him a gift that sports the union label. Check out some union-made Father's Day gift ideas from our friends over at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Don't forget to text MADE to 235246 for more union-made-in-America product lists. 

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