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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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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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Working for Poverty Wages with Little to No Benefits? That's 'Slavery,' Says Rev. Lawson

In case you missed it, the AFL-CIO kicked off its 2013 convention last Sunday with a pre-conference diversity event featuring a powerful speech by civil rights leader Rev. James Lawson. 

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Union Members at the AFL-CIO Convention Stand with DREAMer to Ask President Obama to Stop Her Father's Deportation

Hareth Andrade-Ayala, a former Union Summer participant and DREAMer who came to the AFL-CIO Convention to read her poem, "America," was hoping she could ask President Barack Obama a very important question: Will you please stop the deportation of my father?

But, she realized, actions speak louder than words, and asked the delegates to stand in solidarity with her father. Then something really cool happened. 

Watch the video in the post to see. 

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What Has Been Your Favorite Part of the Convention So Far? Here's What You Said

Newly-elected AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre.

Yesterday, we asked AFL-CIO Convention delegates and attendees by text message what their favorite part of the convention has been so far. Here's what they said.

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AFL-CIO Convention 2013 Live Blog: Day 4

AFL-CIO Convention 2013 Live Blog: Day 4

Welcome to the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention live blog. Comments will appear after moderation. See our comment guidelines here. You can participate in the discussion from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT).

Check out the live blog after the jump. 

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AFL-CIO Convention Delegates Take to the Streets in an Art Action Lifting Up Invisible Workers

No worker is invisible, and that's exactly what AFL-CIO delegates and attendees said as they hit the streets of Los Angeles last night to raise awareness about the value of work. 

Check out the video highlights in this post, and see our blog post from yesterday explaining what these cardboard workers are all about

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Women Come Together to Talk About Building a Movement at the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention

Photo of the Bread and Rosie Reception.

Last night, women of the labor movement came together to talk about creating a movement that matters to women at a "Bread and Rosie" reception. 

Sponsored by Union Plus, the reception featured special guests and speakers, including former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and María Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. 

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Economist Joseph Stiglitz Talks Shared Prosperity at the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention

You all know the facts, said economist Joseph Stiglitz, addressing the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention delegates. America's workers productivity has soared, yet wages have stagnated. 

"You've worked hard since 1979, your output per hour has increased 40%, but pay has barely increased," said Stiglitz. "The Great Recession has made things worse....95% of the gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the upper 1%. The rest, the 99%, never recovered."

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