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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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Houston Union Members Hand Out Books at the COPA Soccer Tournament

Lizzet Lopez reads to children at the Houston COPA Texas AFT/AFL-CIO booth.

The Texas AFL-CIO and Texas AFT partnered this weekend with a Univision station in Houston to promote reading, immigration reform and workers' rights at the Houston edition of the COPA Univision amateur soccer tournament. The event included adult men's and women's and youth teams. During the tournament, several thousand people visited the AFL-CIO/AFT exhibit and volunteers gave out more than 1,800 books to children in attendance. Besides the ice cream truck, the exhibit was the second most popular, said Joe Arabie of the Texas AFL-CIO. 

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Tell Us: How Can We Reverse the Trend of the Rich Getting Richer While Everyone Else Gets Less and Less?

Photo from the UC Berkeley blog:

Join Robert Reich on Thursday, June 20, noon–1 p.m. EDT for the seventh in the AFL-CIO series of live online discussions on how we build a movement for the future of working people. Reich, former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton and Chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley—and the AFL-CIO—wants to hear your ideas on new ways the labor movement can change economic trends that hurt working people. He poses this question:

The rich keep getting a bigger share of the economic pie while everyone else’s share keeps shrinking. What should be done to reverse this trend?

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Trumka: 'Americans in All but Paper' Deserve a Road Map, not an Obstacle Course to Citizenship

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement this morning on creating a commonsense immigration process:

Working people, including the 12 million members of the AFL-CIO, would like to remind our elected leaders why there is no higher legislative priority than immigration reform, which must include a certain and inclusive path to citizenship and respect the rights of America’s workers.

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How Do We Make People Care About the Need to Improve Wages and Working Conditions? Here's What You Said

Saru Jayaraman

This week, we posted the sixth in the AFL-CIO series of live online discussions on how we build a movement for the future of working people. Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, posed this question:

How can we create a culture shift and raise the consciousness of America's public about the need to improve wages and working conditions?

Check out some of the great comments so far. Here are some highlights: 

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Happy Flag Day from America's Unions

Every June 14, America's working families celebrate Flag Day. Check out the video in the post that tells the story of an American-made flag. 

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Louisiana Chemical Plant Explodes, At Least 73 are Injured and One Killed

Early this morning an explosion and fire occurred at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar, La., the local news reported

At least 73 people are reported injured and person was killed, according to ABC News. 

Fire, ambulance and rescue teams are at the scene. 

More details to follow. 

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Ohio Union Members Stand with Fired Teacher Carla Hale

Photo courtesy of the "I Support Carla Hale" Facebook page.

It was her mom's obituary that got Carla Hale fired. The six words sealed the deal? "Survived by Carla & her partner."

Hale, who taught physical education at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio,  for 19 years, was fired in March, weeks after the obit ran. Hale said she was fired for being in a gay relationship. Now, local unions represented by the Central Ohio Labor Council are supporting Hale in her fight to be reinstated. 

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What Is Alt-Labor? Why Is It Important? Netroots Panel Will Answer Those Questions

Netroots Nation

With the rapid rise of worker centers and alternate ways to gain a voice on the job, a traditional union is no longer the only way to organize and bargain for paid sick leave, a raise and other workplace rights. Just look at the Walmart strikers and restaurant workers speaking out about the need for paid sick leave. Worker centers representing domestic and food service workers and groups like the Dancers’ Alliance and Working America, the AFL-CIO's community affiliate, are expanding the definition of what it means to be a part of the labor movement.

At the Netroots Nation 2013 conference, a group of people representing traditional labor and worker centers will be discussing "Alt-Labor" in a panel on Friday at 4:30 p.m. PDT.

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Tell Us: How Can We Raise Awareness About the Need to Improve Wages and Working Conditions?

Saru Jayaraman.

Join Saru Jayaraman on Wednesday, June 12, from 2–3 p.m. EDT for the sixth in the AFL-CIO series of live online discussions on how we build a movement for the future of working people. Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC)—and the AFL-CIO—want to hear your ideas. She poses this question:

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Union-Made Father's Day

Louisville Sluggers are union-made.

Celebrate your dad in solidarity style this Father's Day by getting him a gift that's union-made. 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, for some help this holiday.

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