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Showing blog posts by Tula Connell

About Tula Connell

I got my first union card while I worked my way through college as a banquet bartender for the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee (we were represented by a hotel and restaurant local union—the names of the national unions were different then than they are now). With a background in journalism—covering bull roping in Texas and school boards in Virginia—I started working in the labor movement in 1991. Beginning as a writer for SEIU (and OPEIU member), I now blog under the title of AFL-CIO managing editor.

Canada Labor Laws Support Workers' Freedom to Form Unions

In 1960, the same number of workers were in unions in Canada and in the United States. After that, unionization in this country started a steep decline. Yet Canada’s unionization rate has held fairly steady. By 2011, 11.8 percent of U.S. workers were in unions, compared with 29.7 percent in Canada (click chart to enlarge).

So what happened here?

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Poll: Income Inequality Too High, Rich Aren't Paying Fair Share of Taxes

The U.S. public sees a danger in the nation’s growing income inequality and says the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes (click on chart to enlarge), according to a new Pew Research Center survey released yesterday.

Nearly six in 10, or 58 percent, say the rich don't pay enough in taxes, while 26 percent believe the rich pay their fair share and 8 percent say they pay too much.

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What's Mitt's Secret?

What's Mitt's secret?

What do you think Mitt Romney is hiding by not releasing his tax returns prior to 2010?

The United Steelworkers (USW) union wants to know. Go the USW’s new website, www.WhatsMittsSecret.org, and submit your response.

Here are some samples from the site:

“Mitt’s hiding that he claimed Paul Ryan as a dependent.”

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On Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote, What Do Romney-Ryan Offer?

On Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote, What Do Romney-Ryan Offer?

Ninety-two years ago yesterday, U.S. women won the right to vote.

The Indiana State AFL-CIO mentioned in an e-mail yesterday, Rose Schneiderman, who headed the Women’s Trade Union League, explained in 1918:

We want to tell our Senators that the working women of our State demand the vote as an economic necessity. We need it because we are workers and because the workers are the ones that have to carry civilization on their backs.

The anniversary is a good time to reflect on how women would fare under a Romney-Ryan administration.

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America the Undertaxed

In refusing to turn over more than two years of his tax returns, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney brags that he paid all his taxes but "not a penny more." Meaning no matter what he paid, he coughed up a pretty minimal amount, however you slice it. Not only can Romney get away with legally paying very little in taxes, but his low tax rate is within an already low national tax rate (click to enlarge chart).

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Taxpayers Get Bang for Their Buck with Medicare, Social Security

Taxpayers Get Bang for Their Buck with Medicare, Social Security

If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were really interested in maximizing taxpayer money to get the most bang for the buck, they would not push to cut Social Security and Medicare. (And, in the case of Medicare, the Romney/Ryan plan would raise health care costs for seniors on average by $11,000, with today’s 54-year old paying $59,500 in increased Medicare costs

Rather than cutting Social Security and Medicare, they should strengthen both programs.

Here’s why.

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Locked-Out Crystal Sugar Worker: 'We Didn't Do Anything to Deserve This'

Locked-Out Crystal Sugar Worker: 'We Didn't Do Anything to Deserve This'

Michael Frank headed over to a rally in East Grand Forks, Minn., last night, one of many he’s taken part in over the past year. Frank, along with 1,300 other workers, was locked out of the American Crystal Sugar factory a year ago, and last night’s event was part of the workers’ ongoing efforts to urge the sugar beet processing company return to the bargaining table.

“They don’t want to sit down with us,” said Frank, a 33-year veteran with with company and currently day warehouse foreman. “We didn’t do anything to deserve this.”

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A Chilling Look at Voter Supression in Ohio

A Chilling Look at Voter Supression in Ohio

A sobering analysis at freepress.net dissects the four-pronged effort by the Ohio Republican Party to steal the 2012 presidential election.
Authors Bob Fitrakis and Bob Wasserman conclude that because Ohio is a pivotal state in deciding the winner,

if they get away with it, the Ohio GOP could make it virtually impossible for Barack Obama to carry Ohio this November.

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Georgia Unions and Small Businesses Send One Message: Bring Jobs Home

Charlita Varner

Georgia union members reached out to small business owners, like Charlita Varner, who joined them in sending a message to lawmakers about what it takes to strengthen our communities: Bring Jobs Home.

Read how they did it.

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Trade Deficit with China Cost 2.7 Million U.S. Jobs

Trade deficits matter: 2.7 million U.S. jobs have been lost over the past decade due to our nation’s growing trade deficit with China, according to a new report out today (click on chart to expand).

“The China Toll” also shows that between 2001—when China was admitted into the World Trade Organization—and 2011, the U.S. trade deficit with that nation eliminated or displaced 2.1 million manufacturing jobs. Those jobs represent more than half of all U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during that time.

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