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The House Republican Health Care Plan—a Betrayal of Working People that Keeps Getting Worse

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 12:16

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the Republican health care plan on which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced plans for the House of Representatives to vote later today, stating in a letter:

This legislation is a betrayal of working people who will pay the price for it through medical care they can no longer afford, greater financial insecurity, fewer jobs and lives that end too soon. Though it masquerades as health policy, this legislation is really a massive redistribution of wealth away from working families to give even more to the wealthy few.

Stand with Mondelez/Nabisco Working People Whose Jobs Were Outsourced by Watching and Sharing This Video

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 08:00

The consequences of corporate greed are disastrous. Just ask the 600 former Mondelēz/Nabisco working people and members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) union in Chicago, who were laid off one year ago today as the company shifted production to Mexico.

Investors with $3 Trillion in Assets Call for CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio Disclosure

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 08:00

Today, more than 100 institutional investors with a combined $3 trillion in assets under management sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in support of a CEO-to-worker pay ratio disclosure. The signatories of the investor statement on pay ratio disclosure include a variety of pension plans, asset managers, foundations, faith-based funds and state treasurers.

Getting Kids to Be Activists Through a Graphic Novel

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 14:00

One of the lessons of history is that it must be retaught so our children won’t repeat it. When I left Union Plus last year, I decided to enter into an “encore” career and published a graphic novel to teach kids about labor history. But most importantly, how to become an activist when you’re a teenager. That was just the beginning—AFT got involved and decided that we needed to go big on this. Through #ShareMyLesson, we wrote a lesson plan that guides kids through worker history but also gets them engaged in issues during this very important political time.

AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 13:24

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

 “Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn’t vote for a budget that slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. President Trump’s proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The $54 billion cut to programs that benefit working families is dangerous and destructive. Huge cuts to the departments of Labor, Education and Transportation will make workplaces less safe, put more children at risk and make improving our failing infrastructure much more difficult. The administration can and should do better.”

9 Ways the Republican Health Care Bill Makes Health Coverage in America Unaffordable and Out of Reach

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 08:04

The Congressional Republican health plan is an attack on everyone’s health benefits. No health care coverage—workplace plans, Medicare, Medicaid or the individual insurance coverage now available as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—is untouched. For more than a century, working people in their unions have fought to make health care a right for every American. The Republican plan contradicts this very idea by making care less affordable and less accessible. It’s bad for our health care, it’s bad for working families and we fully oppose it.

Women's History Month Working Women Profiles: Kara Sheehan

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 12:33

Meet Kara Sheehan, a field organizer at the Texas AFL-CIO and member of Office and Professional Employees Local 298. Before joining the AFL-CIO, Sheehan worked with the Workers Defense Project and other local progressive groups in Austin, and worked at the Austin City Council.

Rep. Steve King and the Racist Origins of 'Right to Work'

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 11:57

Controversial Iowa Rep. Steve King is once again in hot water for espousing racist, white nationalist views, tweeting that "we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies." He doubled down on his bigoted words over the weekend, telling CNN that "I meant exactly what I said."

How to Find Union-Made Tires

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 13:08

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made it very easy to find union-made tires by requiring that each tire carry a code that shows the company and the location of the plant that manufactured the tire. DOT requires that each tire sold in the United States carry a code that looks something like this: DOT BE XX XXX XXX. The two letters or numbers that follow the DOT identify a particular factory.

Still Getting 'It' Wrong

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 08:18

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the economy gained 235,000 payroll slots in February and upped its estimates for December and January by another 9,000 jobs. Over the three-month period, that means an average job growth of 209,000 jobs a month. Including the ups and downs, over the past 30 years, the U.S. economy has averaged job growth of about 126,000 jobs a month. So this current rate of growth would suggest a strong labor market. Further, workers who transitioned from being out of the labor force into active job search were 2.3 times more likely to land a job than to be stuck unemployed.and looking. And unemployed workers were 1.3 times more likely to find a job than if they were to quit and drop out of the labor force discouraged. Over the year, average wages (not adjusting for inflation) rose 2.8%.

The Working People Weekly List

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 06:00

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s this week’s Working People Weekly List.

In Washington, D.C., Another Contractor Stiffed by Trump

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:36

Freestate Electrical is suing Donald Trump's organization for failing to pay $2 million for work done on the luxury hotel in the Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C. Freestate, an Electrical Workers (IBEW) signatory contractor, did award-winning work on the building when Trump was running for president. Four other contractors have sued over the project, claiming nearly $5 million in unpaid bills.

The Economy Adds 235,000 Jobs in February, and Unemployment Little Changed at 4.7%

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 09:37

The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February and unemployment was little changed at 4.7%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages were up 2.8% from last February, but that growth is modest for this point in a recovery. This continues the recovery of the labor market at a tempered rate, which means the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee should continue to let the economy grow at this rate and not raise interest rates.

Telemundo Performers Vote to Join SAG-AFTRA

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:37

In a historic vote, telenovela performers at Spanish-language station Telemundo have voted to join SAG-AFTRA. The vote was 91–21 in favor of membership, and this is the first time in 65 years a group of performers at a major television network sought a unionization election. The new bargaining unit will cover actors, dancers, singers and stunt performers for shows produced in the United States. SAG-AFTRA will meet with the performers to discuss issues related to fair pay, residuals, benefits and on-set safety measures.

House Republicans Propose Giving Health Insurance Companies a Tax Break on CEO Pay

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 11:11

CEOs of health insurance companies received a generous early Christmas gift, thanks to Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

Advancing Immigration Reform in Maryland

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 10:13

In a time of heated rhetoric and divisiveness around immigration, Maryland’s unions, faith community and immigrant rights groups are leading the way forward on state-level immigration reform. Two bills are currently under consideration in Maryland that would offer significant protections to immigrant workers and families—the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act (H.B. 1362/S.B. 0835) and the Regulation of Farm Labor Contractors and Foreign Labor Contractors Act (H.B. 1307/S.B. 1016). The measures proposed in these bills would help ensure that our law enforcement policies respect due process and protect civil rights in the workplace and community, and would expand protections within guest worker programs.

‘A Day Without a Woman’: How You Can Show Solidarity

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 11:07

On Wednesday, March 8, International Women's Day, women across the world are taking action to call attention to the contributions we make every day in our workplaces, homes and communities.

This year, the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington have called for a day of action called, “A Day Without a Woman.” 

Congressional Republicans Attack a Law That Keeps Federal Contractors Accountable on Worker Safety and Fair Pay

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 09:01

Federal contractors who seek lucrative contracts with the government are subject to commonsense scrutiny of their worker safety and pay records, thanks to an executive order signed by then-President Barack Obama and the regulations implementing it.

Now congressional Republicans are callously moving forward on a plan to overturn these regulations in the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act. 

Historic March Signals to Nissan to Do Better, Right Racist Wrongs

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 12:37

On Saturday, more than 5,000 auto assemblers, handlers and servicers marched with their families and supporters in Canton, Mississippi, to demand Nissan respect their employees' desire to come together in union. Nissan refuses to allow the people who work for them to have a seat at the table to voice their concerns and gain a better workplace. At the march, an active leader at the plant read a letter on behalf of his fellow members of the UAW. They called on the auto giant to stop attacking their union and threatening their families, and to include them at the table to improve safety and conditions in the plant.

Congress’ Cuts in Health Care Will Hit Women Harder

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 10:15

Republican leaders in Congress are working on plans to cut health benefits for tens of millions of people. The harms from these cuts are likely to have the biggest impact on women, both for their own health benefits and as they try to manage health care for their families.

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