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AFL-CIO Now

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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Mainstream Media Really Like the Idea of Cutting Your Social Security Benefits

Photo by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Sick and tired of hearing and reading news stories about the pressing need to cut your earned Social Security benefits? So are we. Media Matters shed some light on this fatigue by pointing out a whopping 68% of media coverage on Social Security in the first six months of this year focused on cutting, not strengthening, benefits. 

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Does the NLRB Confirmation Fight Confuse You? MSNBC's Chris Hayes Breaks It Down

Chris Hayes

Check out this great clip from "All In With Chris Hayes" featuring Panera Bread worker Kathleen Von Eitzen. Von Eitzen and her co-workers voted to join the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 70 in Battle Creek, Mich., but Panera Bread refused to bargain with them. Even though the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled the company had to negotiate with Von Eitzen and her co-workers, their case is in limbo because of a federal circuit court of appeals ruling that President Obama's recess appointments to the NLRB are "invalid."

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How Can We Better Lift Up the Voices of Women in the Workplace?

Photo via the Adios Arpaio FB page

How can the labor movement do more to include women’s perspectives and issues in our work? How can we do better on strengthening community partnerships and lifting women’s voices on policy issues? We want your ideas.  

The AFL-CIO and MomsRising.org invite you to a tweetchat on Wednesday, July 17, at 2 p.m. EDT to discuss the well-being of and most pressing issues facing women and moms in the workplace. Join us to share your comments, resources or questions by adding the hashtag #WellnessWed to your tweets at that time.

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Will the NLRB be Able to Protect Workers’ Rights?

The workplace rights of millions of working people will be at risk if the U.S. Senate does not approve President Obama’s five bipartisan nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This morning, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) for a discussion of the NLRB’s role as an advocate for all U.S. workers, how the board can function in the face of Republican attempts to prevent it from doing its job and potential Senate rule changes to end the obstructionism that’s blocking NLRB nominees. The discussion was held at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.

Stay tuned for a video of the discussion!

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Dream It Now: Keep Families Together

More than 200,000 families have been separated by deportation since July 2010. In case you missed it, last week The Dream is Now released a new music video highlighting the importance of keeping families together and supporting a common sense road map to citizenship for aspiring Americans. 

Check out the video and call your representative to support immigration reform at 1-888-787-9658.

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Working America's Dear David: Train in Vain?

Working America's Dear David: Train in Vain?

Train in Vain is a cross-post from Working America’s Dear David workplace advice column

Question:

At the company I work for, employees are expected to attend training, usually four hours per day, Monday to Friday, for 30 days (without pay). Once training is completed, they may or may not get a chance to work, because the company has brought on so many people that most of the time only 10 percent can be on the schedule at one time. There are over 3,000 of us with the same job title working for this company all over the country. So many people are getting taken advantage of every day by this company. I know at least 90 percent of us feel the same way. A lawsuit has already been started, but I feel we need to organize and create a union to stop the abuses and manipulation of this company in its tracks. Where do I go from here?

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BART Strike Ends for Now, ATU Continues Contract Negotiations

BART workers and members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555 ended their strike today as negotiations continue over a new contract. Their current contract will expire August 4. 

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Happy 4th of July

Photo by Bayasaa, Flickr.

We at the AFL-CIO would like to wish you a happy, healthy and safe 4th of July. 

In case you missed it, here's our July 4th shopping list (if you're running out to the store at the last minute) and some grill and fire safety tips brought to you by the Fire Fighters (IAFF). 

If you plan on shooting off your own fireworks, here's a great Facebook graphic from IAFF on fireworks safety.

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Trumka Statement on Delayed Employer Responsibility Assessments in the Affordable Care Act

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement on the announcement the administration is delaying employer responsibility assessments in the Affordable Care Act until 2015: (see statement after the jump). 

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IBEW Members Did Something Pretty Cool for a Woman Who Couldn't Afford Her Utility Bill

When an elderly woman on a fixed income couldn't afford an astronomical utility bill that was caused by leaks, local Electrical Workers (IBEW) members stepped in. 

Check out this story on the AFL-CIO's @ Work site in the community section and watch the video in the post. 

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