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7 Years of Bush: The Walls Came Tumbling Down The economy is not the only thing crumbling around President Bush. After years of near neglect, so is the nation’s infrastructure. He admitted Monday in his State of the Union address that there is “real concern” about the economy. But just as he did in his economic stimulus proposals, he made no mention of the nation’s deteriorating roads, bridges, dams, water and sewer systems. Ed Wytkind, president of AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department ( TTD), says Bush once again: failed to provide leadership regarding our nation’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, for the eighth time in a row. The Minneapolis bridge collapse in August was a horrific and vivid example of our infrastructure’s state of disrepair. How many bridges have to fall down before we make our transportation infrastructure a priority?

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Economic Report: 2007 worst year for economy since 2002 Economic Report: The economy saw its worse year since 2002 thanks in part to a sluggish fourth quarter. According to the Commerce Department the economy grew by just 2.2 percent in 2007. The economy only grew by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter – economists had been predicting growth of 1.2 percent. Consumer spending also slowed down to 2 percent from 2.8 percent the previous quarter.

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What did it take to get discussions between the Writer’s Guild and the Producers Moving Again? – 01/31/08 What did it take to get discussions between the Writer’s Guild and the Producers moving again? Jesse Russell takes a look: Last week the Writer’s Guild of America made a major concession to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in order to get negotiations moving again. They dropped demands to have the right to organize reality and animation show writers. Reality writers make up one of the fastest-growing segments of Hollywood and an even larger portion of the non-union workforce. According to reports, they endure long hours with low pay and no health or retirement benefits. Muffy Sunde, an organizer with Radical Women, called the decision to drop the demand a step backwards:

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What did it take to get discussions between the Writer’s Guild and the Producers moving again? – 01/31/08 What did it take to get discussions between the Writer’s Guild and the Producers moving again? Jesse Russell takes a look: Last week the Writer’s Guild of America made a major concession to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in order to get negotiations moving again. They dropped demands to have the right to organize reality and animation show writers. Reality writers make up one of the fastest growing segments of Hollywood and an even larger portion of the non-union workforce. According to reports they endure long hours with low pay and no health or retirement benefits. Muffy Sunde, an organizer with Radical Women, called the decision to drop the demand a step backwards:

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Edwards drops out of race calling on Clinton and Obama to remember his fight – 01/31/08 As former North Carolina Senator John Edwards announced his intention to remove his name from the ever shrinking pool of candidates running for the Democratic Presidential nomination, he laid out clear what his campaign was about and what he expected of his two main opponents – New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Edwards, always seen as a strong supporter of organized labor and an even stronger champion of those in poverty made a call for the Democratic party to not forget what it is supposed to be about: [Edwards]: I don’t know when our party began to turn away from the cause of working people. From the fathers who were working three jobs just to afford to pay the rent. Mothers sending their kids to bed wrapped up in clothes and coats because they couldn’t afford to pay for heat. We know that our brothers and sisters have been bullied into believing that they can’t organize and that they can’t put a union in a workplace. Well, in this campaign we didn’t turn our heads, we looked them square in the eye and we said – we hear you, we see you, and we are with you.

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With Edwards Out, ‘Which Candidate Will Speak for Working Families?’ Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), who announced today he will suspend his campaign for president, had earned the endorsement of three AFL-CIO affiliated unions: the Mine Workers (UMWA), the United Steelworkers (USW) and the Transport Workers (TWU).   Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts says the other candidates will need to work hard to fill the gap left by Edwards’ departure. Without Sen. Edwards in the race, we wonder about several things: Which candidate will now take up the cause of the millions of working families who have been so callously pushed aside by the current administration? Which candidate will speak so eloquently about the clear link between rebuilding the middle class and restoring the right to organize?

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At the University of California, Low Pay for Workers, Big Bucks for CEOs Several thousand patient care workers at University of California (UC) medical centers and thousands of other UC service workers are paid significantly less than workers at other hospitals and universities in the state. But top executives recently pocketed big raises and bonuses, according to a new report. The Center for Labor & Community Research and The Partnership for Working Families report finds that the UC workers, members of AFSCME Local 3299, are paid about 25 percent less than the “market rate” for similar workers in their communities.

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Senate Needs to Extend Unemployment Insurance, Food Stamps in Stimulus Package A stimulus package is a good first step toward alleviating the nation’s multipronged economic crises. But the $150 billion economic stimulus package passed by the U.S. House this week is lacking two critical items: extension of unemployment insurance and expanding food stamps. A new report by industry research firm Moody’s Economy.com agrees with many economists in finding both would provide the “biggest bang for the buck” to the economy. The AFL-CIO’s short-term stimulus plan released Jan. 18 also calls for extending the number of weeks job seekers receive unemployment benefits and expanding food stamp coverage. Another key point in our plan is fiscal relief for state and local governments to avoid the economically depressing effect of tax increases and budget cuts.

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Defense Workers Win Battle for Bargaining Rights An arduous four-year battle by U.S. Department of Defense employees turned into victory this week with the help of the Democratic majority in Congress: The employees at Defense will keep their bargaining rights and retain their civil service rights to appeal major disciplinary actions. After the Republican-led Congress refused to block the Bush administration’s anti-worker National Security Personnel System (NSPS), which took away workers’ bargaining rights, the United Department of Defense Workers Coalition (UDWC) continued the fight to restore workers’ rights. Members of the coalition, made up of the 36 unions that represent Defense Department workers, helped get out the vote to ensure a Democratic majority in Congress and that majority restored the Defense workers’ collective bargaining rights as part of the Defense authorization bill. President Bush signed the bill Monday.

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Default utility Image Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award Honors Labor in the Arab Spring The 2012 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award will honor the Tunisian General Union of...
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Recent Posts

Default utility Image Meany-Kirkland Human Rights Award Honors Labor in the Arab Spring The 2012 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award will honor the Tunisian General Union of...
Default utility Image Quality Health Care for Women Includes Contraceptive Equity Women must have the right to quality health care, including equal access to contraception, and...
Default utility Image Council Says 30 Years of Policies for the 1% Caused Crisis, Outlines Steps to Fix Economy In a broad statement today at its annual winter meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.,...
Default utility Image AFL-CIO Calls for Overturning Citizens United Case Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court gave business corporations and other groups the green...
Default utility Image AFL-CIO Calls for Across-the-Board Raise in Social Security Benefits America has a retirement security crisis—not a Social Security crisis, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said...

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