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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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Are Organizing Victories in Los Angeles a Model for the Future of Labor?

It's not every day a former manufacturing hub for middle-class jobs gets to reinvent itself after the factories and plants shut down and ship off. But that's exactly what's happening in Long Beach, Calif., in Los Angeles County. 

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Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett Gets a Big, Fat 'F' for Fiddling with Charter School Grades

Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett Gets a Big, Fat 'F' for Fiddling with Charter School Grades

Detractors of public education received a big blow last week when it was revealed that former Indiana schools superintendent Tony Bennett manipulated the state's school grading formula to ensure a charter school run by a major Republican donor received an "A" grade. 

Bennett, who was just recently Florida's education commissioner before he resigned last week, was pressured to step down after the Associated Press published the following email to his chief of staff:

This will be a HUGE problem for us….They need to understand that anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work.

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AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Holt Baker, CWA President Cohen Among Immigration Activists Arrested on the Hill Today

Photo by Michael Saldarriaga, Campaign for Community Change

Outside the Cannon House Office Building this afternoon, immigration activists, including AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen, took arrest for blocking traffic during a sit-in protest. 

Watch a video of the arrest from NBC News here

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How Do We Make Our Movement Better for Working Women? Here's What You Said

How Do We Make Our Movement Better for Working Women? Here's What You Said

Yesterday, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Donna Edwards (D-Md.) led an online discussion on how we can make our movement all it can be for working women, as the AFL-CIO continues its crucial conversation about the future of working people and of unions.

See what people said about working women here and check out some highlights of the conversation after the jump.

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Today: Chat with AFL-CIO Leadership and Reps. Linda Sánchez and Donna Edwards About Lifting Up Women's Voices

Chat with AFL-CIO Leadership and Reps. Linda Sanchez and Donna Edwards about Lifting Up Women's Voices

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker and Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) and Donna Edwards (D-Md.) are leading an online discussion on how we can make our movement all it can be for working women, as the AFL-CIO continues its crucial conversation about the future of working people and of unions.

They will be moderating the online discussion on Wednesday, July 31, from 1–2 p.m. EDT. Please join the conversation at http://go.aflcio.org/ConvQ9 and encourage others to participate. We need broad and diverse voices to help shape the future of working people.

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On Medicare's Birthday, Let's Pass the Commonsense Medicare Drug Savings Act

Photo courtesy of the Alliance for Retired Americans/Flickr

As working families celebrate Medicare's 48th birthday, the Alliance for Retired Americans and other advocates are urging Congress to pass the Medicare Drug Savings Act. 

Read some powerful stories about people who would be affected by Medicare benefit cuts

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How Do We Create a Robust Movement for Working People? Here's What You Said

For the past several months, the AFL-CIO has been asking you how we can create momentum around the commitment to building a stronger future for working people. 

In mid July, we examined what people have been telling us in our in-person listening sessions and online. To date, more than 4,700 people attended in-person listening sessions, including four regional state federation and central labor councils and more than 950 comments were posted to www.aflcio2013.org

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Let's Make Our Movement All It Can Be for Working Women

Let's Make Our Movement All it Can Be for Working Women

Leaders of the labor movement are looking at how to create a re-energized movement that’s even more relevant to working people’s lives—and we need your advice. When it comes to making a difference for women today, what’s working and what do we need to change? What are the most important issues for working women? How can we make the biggest impact on those issues? How can we swell the ranks of women leaders—and why does it matter? As we put together recommendations for action at the AFL-CIO Convention in September, we need your voice, your ideas and your perspective on all this and more.

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In Case You Missed It: FLOC's Baldemar Velásquez Discusses the Fight for Farm Workers on 'Moyers and Company'

In Case You Missed It: FLOC's Baldemar Velásquez Discusses the Fight for Farm Workers on "Moyers and Company"

Baldemar Velásquez, founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), appeared on "Moyers and Company" July 19 to discuss farm workers fighting for a voice on the job and fair treatment from North Carolina tobacco company giant R.J. Reynolds.

Watch the entire show after the jump. 

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AFL-CIO Executive Council Supports Large Retailer Accountability Act in Washington, D.C.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council in its July meeting released a statement commending the Washington, D.C., City Council's passage of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA). LRAA requires large retailers with more than $1 billion in annual sales with stores of more than 75,000 square feet to pay a living wage of $12.50 an hour. 

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