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Trumka: Don’t Forget About Fast Track
While much of the Internet this past week was focused on escaped llamas, figuring out what color a dress is or mourning the loss of SAG-AFTRA member and Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy, we can forget that legislation is still being pushed that would make the lives of working families worse.

03/01/2015

Protecting Fragile Retirement Nest Eggs
A new study by the White House Council of Economic Advisers has found that financial advisers seeking higher fees and commissions drain $17 billion a year from retirement accounts by steering savers into high-cost products and strategies rather than comparable lower-cost ones.

03/01/2015

Wisconsinites Rally to Stop ‘Right-to-Work’ Bill
'I am not a terrorist' is common theme at Saturday's protest against 'right to work' bill.

03/01/2015

Thousands Protest Wisconsin Right-to-Work Bill at Capitol
Wisconsin unions bused in thousands of workers from around the state on Saturday to demonstrate against the impending adoption of a law that would ban private sector workers from being required to join a union or pay dues.

03/01/2015

Leonhardt: A Fumble and Some Punts: Attention Turns to Scott Walker the Campaigner
“Perhaps the most important question in the Republican presidential primary is whether Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor, is a capable presidential candidate,” writes David Leonhardt in The New York Times.

03/01/2015

AFL-CIO: 'Right to Work'? Right-Wing Origin
“Mark Twain famously noted, ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme,’” writes William Spriggs in the AFL-CIO’s blog Now. “The current efforts to roll back the ability of working people to counterbalance the corporate domination of America's politics is firmly rooted in the initial corporate opposition to the Wagner Act of 1935 that finally assured American workers the right to organize and bargain for wages and working conditions. Among those early efforts to reduce the strength of unions was an effort led by Vance Muse."

03/01/2015

Longshoremen Maintain Clout in Era of Globalization and Automation
More than 4,400 ships bring nearly $400 billion worth of goods through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach every year, a crucial link in the global supply chain of factories, warehouses, docks, highways and rail lines.

03/01/2015

Union Official: 'Solidarity' is Key for Striking BP Refinery Workers
Three weeks after they walked off the job at BP Whiting Refinery with no end to the strike in sight, members of United Steelworkers Local 7-1 were urged Saturday to stay the course and not cross the picket lines.

03/01/2015

Hiltzik: Under Attack, Unions Show New Creativity and Militancy
“One consequence of the steady decline of unions in America is that we've forgotten what little we used to know about what organized labor even means,” writes Michael Hiltzik in The Los Angeles Times.

03/01/2015

Quesada: Do Republicans Support Wage Theft?
Starting last week, “Republican House members -- many of whom are bankrolled by major federal defense, energy and construction contractors -- are holding a hearing to roll-back President Obama’s ‘Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces’ executive order,” writesKarla Quesada in The Hill.

03/01/2015

Public Backs NY Teachers in Fight with Governor Cuomo, Poll Finds
In the ongoing war between Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York's teachers, the teachers are winning, according to a new poll out today from Siena College Research Institute.

03/01/2015

LA Teachers, Union Leaders Rally Amid Stalled Talks
Dressed in red and raising signs into the air, thousands of teachers filled a downtown Los Angeles park on Thursday in demand of higher wages and smaller class sizes amid stalled contract negotiations.

02/27/2015

'Worse Than Wrong': Wisconsin Advances Bill to Gut Workers Rights
"All of organized labor is under a full-scale attack, and this will end up being one of the darkest chapters in organized labor's history if Wisconsin becomes the 25th state to succumb to the right to work for less law," said Machinists Union official Phil Gruber at a rally before the vote on Wednesday.

02/27/2015

Wisconsin Governor Compares Organized Workers to ISIS
Speaking to the audience at the annual rightwing convergence known as CPAC on Thursday, Republican Governor Scott Walker indicated that his ongoing attack on the rights of workers in his home state of Wisconsin is preparing him for a possible future fight with foreign militants such as those aligned with the Islamic State fighters now operating in Iraq and Syria. Mary Bottari, deputy director of the Madison-based Center for Media & Democracy, said Walker's comments were "jaw-dropping."

02/27/2015

Wisconsin Protesters Bussed to DOA Facility Without Being Charged, Released to Find Way Back in Snowstorm
As Republicans rushed through a so-called “Right to Work” bill in the Wisconsin State Senate on Wednesday, some people were removed from the galleries for outbursts but not arrested, while at least two people were taken to an off-site Department of Administration processing facility and made to find their own way back to the State Capitol over a mile away in a snowstorm.

02/27/2015

Warren: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Clause Everyone Should Oppose
"Giving foreign corporations special rights to challenge our laws outside of our legal system would be a bad deal. If a final TPP agreement includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement, the only winners will be multinational corporations," writes Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) in The Washington Post.

02/26/2015

AFL-CIO: What’s ISDS in the TPP? Very Scary!
While it’s pretty much a given that big corporations -- not working people -- have been the winners in free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and Central America Free Trade Agreement over the years, Senator Elizabeth Warren exposes a frightening tool in the TPP that gives corporations unimaginable power over the United States’ legal system.

02/26/2015

Scott Walker Is Set to Deliver New Blow to Labor in Wisconsin
After saying for months that an effort to advance so-called right-to-work legislation would be “a distraction” from dealing with larger issues like the state’s economy and job growth, Governor Walker is now preparing to sign a measure -- being fast-tracked through the Republican-held State Legislature -- that would bar unions from requiring workers to pay the equivalent of dues.

02/26/2015

Next Goal for Walmart Workers: More Hours
The move to increase hourly wages by Walmart, which employs 1.3 million workers as the country’s largest private sector employer, is sending ripples through the retail industry. On Wednesday, the TJX Companies, which runs the discount chain T. J. Maxx, said it would follow suit, raising the pay of its hourly wage workers to at least $9 later this year, and to $10 next year.

02/26/2015

Wisconsin Senate Approves Right-To-Work Bill, Sends to State Assembly
The Wisconsin Senate narrowly approved a "right-to-work" bill on Wednesday that would bar private-sector employees who work under union-negotiated contracts from being required to join their unions or pay them dues.

02/26/2015

Applications for US Jobless Aid Rise to 313,000
More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, though the number of applications was still consistent with steady hiring. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 11,500 to 294,500.

02/26/2015

Nationwide Refinery Strike Expands to 15 Plants in Fourth Week
A nationwide strike at oil refineries organized by the United Steelworkers union expanded to 15 plants in its fourth week.

02/25/2015

NFL Players Union Speaks Out Against Wisconsin Anti-Union Bill
Wisconsin Republicans have started moving another anti-union bill toward Governor Scott Walker's desk. Nothing seems likely to deter them, but for what it's worth, the union representing the state's highest-profile union members has come out in opposition. That would be the NFL Players Association, which represents football players on the Green Bay Packers.

02/25/2015

With Chicago Mayor's Blessing, Teachers at Two Charters Launch Drive to Unionize
“To all of a sudden come out for a variety of measures like increasing the minimum wage, like saying there ought to be collective bargaining -- that they should be free to unionize -- stands in contrast to his effort to break the Chicago Teachers Union several years ago,” Jesus Garcia said of the 2012 teachers strike that was Chicago’s first in 25 years.

02/25/2015

New England Workers Win Largest Telecom Strike in History
FairPoint workers in New England have ratified a new contract, ending the longest telecom strike in U.S. history. The 1,700 workers in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine staff call centers and build and maintain phone and Internet lines.

02/25/2015

Despite Wage Hike, Some Walmart Shareholders Seek Change
A prominent investor in Wal-Mart Stores Inc is pushing ahead with a campaign to link a portion of executive compensation to staff motivation, a sign that the retailer's wage hike last week won't end outside pressure over employee pay and benefits.

02/25/2015

Benen: Walker Connects Union-Busting to His 'Foreign Policy'
"Walker argued that when Reagan fired the PATCO air-traffic controllers over their illegal strike, he was sending a message of toughness to Democrats and unions at home as well as our Soviet enemies abroad. Similarly, Walker believes his stance against unions in Wisconsin would be a signal of toughness to Islamic jihadists and Russia’s Vladimir Putin," writes Steve Benen on MSNBC.

02/24/2015

Rahm Emanuel Forced Into Runoff in Bid for Second Term as Chicago Mayor
Rahm Emanuel, who was easily elected mayor of this city four years ago, was dealt a significant setback Tuesday. Though he came in first among the five candidates on mayoral ballots here, Emanuel failed to seal a second term by winning support from enough voters to avoid a riskier, head-to-head runoff election this spring.

02/24/2015

Word of 'Threat' Cuts Short Hearing on Right-to-Work Measure in Wisconsin
More than eight hours of testimony on a so-called right-to-work bill ended abruptly here in Madison, Wisconsin Tuesday night after the Republican committee chairman cited a “credible threat” to disrupt the vote. In a hurried, chaotic roll call as protesters chanted in opposition, legislators voted to advance the bill to the full Senate.

02/24/2015

'Going up Against a Beast': Wisconsin Workers Rise to Fend Off GOP Attack
State and national labor leaders rallied in the Wisconsin State Capitol on Tuesday, ahead of a day-long committee hearing on a so-called 'right-to-work' bill, which undermines collective bargaining by allowing workers to opt-out of paying the costs of union representation.

02/24/2015

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Wisconsin Right to Work Fight
"The effort to lower wages in America is going to reach new heights in Wisconsin this week," writes AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. "Wall Street billionaires and political extremists are joining together to force a vote on Right to Work legislation which is wrong for Wisconsin hardworking families."

02/24/2015

Christie Broke Law by Cutting Pension Payments, Judge Rules
In a significant blow to Governor Chris Christie, a judge ruled Monday that the governor broke a law he signed by cutting $1.57 billion from a pension payment this year, and must now work with state lawmakers to restore the money.

02/24/2015

Obama Seeks New Protections for Retirement Savings
President Obama on Monday moved to shake off the constraints of a gridlocked Congress and use his office to push his economic priorities, announcing he would create new protections for retirement savings, and calling on the nation’s governors to cooperate on areas of common ground.

02/24/2015

Obama Proposal Recognizes How Retirement Saving Has Changed
Here is a short tale of how the way Americans save for retirement has changed over the last couple of generations. It helps explain what the Obama administration is up to with a new initiative this week.

02/24/2015

Wisconsin Lawmakers to Hold Right-To-Work Hearing as Unions Rally
Wisconsin lawmakers on Tuesday will field testimony from the public on a proposed right-to-work bill at the state capitol, where union members are expected to hold a rally in opposition of the legislation.

02/24/2015

Canada's Biggest Railroad Reaches Labor Deal
Canada’s biggest railroad has reached a last-minute tentative agreement with one of its unions, averting a lockout that had threatened to delay imports from Asia and compound a port logjam on the West Coast of the United States.

02/24/2015

Labor Chief: Unions to Push on Wages in 2016 Campaign
Politicians of all ideologies have failed American workers in an era of rising corporate profits and declining wages, the nation’s top labor leader said Monday, vowing to pressure candidates running for president in 2016 to address the issue.

02/23/2015

Mississippi Auto Parts Workers in Union Drive Plan Protest
Workers at an automotive seat factory in Mississippi are protesting what they say are low wages and poor working conditions as they attempt to unionize in what could become a new front for the United Auto Workers in the state.

02/23/2015

Workers and Critics Greet Walmart pay Raise but Say Much Remains to be Done
By trumpeting its plan to raise pay for 500,000 workers, Walmart clearly hopes to end once and for all its reputation as a bottom-of-the-barrel employer. Mind you, this is the company that has been hounded for years by protesters shouting about rock-bottom wages, off-the-clock work, sexual discrimination, union busting and the use of unsafe factories in Bangladesh.

02/23/2015

McDonald's Pressured to Hike Pay as Wal-Mart Raises, Economy Improves
McDonald's Corp and its franchisees may have few options but to begin raising hourly wages as an improving U.S. economy creates competition for good workers and as mega-employer Wal-Mart Stores Inc sets a higher bar on pay, according to labor experts.

02/22/2015

Striking FairPoint Workers Ratify Tentative Agreement
FairPoint Communications workers ratified a new contract during three days of voting, ending a four-month strike by more than 1,700 workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, two unions announced Sunday.

02/22/2015

Meyerson: Lessons from Germany on Sharing Worker-Management Power
“‘The Gilded Age was not a golden age,’ says Tom Perez, the U.S. labor secretary,” writes Harold Meyerson in The Commercial Appeal. “‘America works best when employers and employees work together’ -- as they did not during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century and have not during the neo-Gilded Age we are stumbling through today."

02/22/2015

Changes to GE Health Plans Leave Retirees Stunned
Working as a secretary at General Electric in the 1960s, Gail Zorpette would occasionally hear co-workers complaining about their pay. From her perspective, working at GE was about much more than a paycheck. "It's not just the salary you're getting paid; you have to add everything else into that figure," she said, including the feeling that GE was the kind of company that would look out for its workers, now and into the future.

02/22/2015

UAW Chief: Raise Worker Pay, Keep Companies Competitive
United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams told Reuters it would be an "injustice" if workers at the Detroit Three automakers don’t get a raise in contracts this year, but he said the union must also ensure the companies remain competitive.

02/22/2015

AFL-CIO’s Black History Month Labor Profiles: A. Philip Randolph
A. Philip Randolph was one of the greatest black labor leaders in America's history and a key founder of the modern American civil rights movement. Randolph was born April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida, and he grew up on the east side of Jacksonville.

02/22/2015

AFL-CIO: Refinery Blast Exemplifies Striking Oil Workers Safety Concerns
An explosion at an ExxonMobil refineryin Torrance, California, last this week that injured four workers and shook homes for miles around was a chilling reinforcement of the safety concerns that striking oil workers have stressed, as the above video from the United Steelworkers shows.

02/22/2015

Wisconsin Republicans Plan to Push Right-To-Work Bill Next Week
Wisconsin Republicans plan to call an extraordinary session to fast-track a right-to-work bill in the state legislature next week, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said on Friday.

02/22/2015

Postal Workers and Postal Service Open Talks
The American Postal Workers Union and the U.S. Postal Service began negotiations Thursday over a new contract, the first time the two have bargained in four and a half years. Heading into the negotiations, the USPS has a new postmaster general, Megan Brennan. Postal workers are calling not only for fair wages and benefits, but for longer and more convenient hours for customers.

02/22/2015

Obama’s Economic Report Focuses on Income Inequality
President Obama on Thursday stepped up his efforts to define which economic problems need urgent attention -- and what kind of attention would work -- if not under his administration, then the next.

02/22/2015

Union Membership on the Rise in Connecticut
Connecticut unions added roughly 24,000 people to their combined membership base last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, giving the state 231,000 unionized workers -- more than the numbers labor unions were fielding in 2003.

02/22/2015


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