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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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Low-Wage Federal Contract Workers to Strike Today

Photo via Ad Meskens, Wikimedia images.

Delano Wingfield makes $9 an hour working in the Union Station food court in Washington, D.C. And it's really hard to get by. 

“Right now, it’s actually like really tight…” Wingfield told Salon's Josh Eidelson. “Most of my money is on bills and rent.”

Wingfield and other cleaning and concessions workers plan to walk off their jobs in federal buildings Wednesday, Eidelson reports, and march on the White House, demanding fair wages and better working conditions. 

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New Website Exposes Top 12 Privatizers and Profiteers in America

Across the country, for-profit companies are privatizing our schools, roads, prisons, drinking water and, sometimes, even the government itself. 

Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of the award-winning, launched, a resource that functions like a Wikipedia page, devoted to helping taxpayers identify the corporations seeking to privatize public services in their communities. 

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2 Monkeys Were Paid Unequally; See What Happens Next

Income inequality—the major gap between the rich and average working families—is real, inflicts pain and is created by bad economic policy. 

Stay tuned for former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's film, "Inequality For All," coming to theaters this month that explains how things got so unequal in the United States and what we can do to change that. 

In the meantime, here's a humorous video, via Upworthy's Workonomics channel, that shows even primates understand inequality. 

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D.C. Living Wage Bill Unable to Get Votes to Override Mayor's Veto, but Fight for a Higher Minimum Wage Has Just Begun

Photo via Jobs with Justice/Flickr

Although the Washington, D.C., Council did not override Mayor Vincent C. Gray's veto of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), which would have required the district’s big-box retailers to pay workers a living wage of $12.50 an hour, the conversation about raising the minimum wage in D.C. is gaining momentum. 

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Did You Realize You Lost $7,000? Find Out Who Has It Now

Photo via WeeklyDig/Flickr.

Yesterday's U.S. Census Bureau figures gave us a shocking dose of reality: Your family lost $7,000 from 2000 to 2012. 

Blogger Richard (R.J.) Eskow from Campaign for America's Future pointed out that on average, most median income families lost even more than that: $7,490. 

He writes, "That’s $624 per month. $144 per week. $20 per day."

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Watch the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention

For those who followed the AFL-CIO 2013 Convention online this past week, here is full video coverage of the proceedings from Sunday to Wednesday, including speeches from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and more. Watch Trumka's speech in this blog post, then click here to access the rest of the videos

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