AFL-CIO Executive Council Passes Statements on Energy, Jobs and Immigration

02/26/2013 Jackie Tortora

 AFL-CIO officers at the annual Executive Council meeting.

At its February meeting, the AFL-CIO Executive Council, representing 57 affiliate unions, adopted several statements that covered energy and jobs, workers’ rights and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and immigration, among other things.

The AFL-CIO supports a comprehensive energy policy focused on investing in our nation’s future, creating jobs and addressing the threat of climate change. It is clear that for the foreseeable future our nation will continue to use a wide range of energy sources—including both traditional sources like coal, oil and natural gas, and newer sources like wind, solar and nuclear. Any serious effort to tackle climate change must begin with ensuring we use a range of tools, including policy incentives and technology, to make our economy more energy efficient and by doing so to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from all of these sources. Continue reading “AFL-CIO Executive Council Passes Statements on Energy, Jobs and Immigration”

What’s So Great About Unions, Anyway?

AFL-CIO Now

02/19/2013  Elizabeth Shuler

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, outside of election campaign seasons, even progressives wonder what’s so great about unions. Sure, we had a role to play before job safety laws, the eight-hour day, Social Security and civil rights laws were passed. But today?

Even our friends aren’t immune to the relentless attacks on unions from the right and the stereotypes that come with them: union thugs, lazy workers, relics of the past, self-absorbed, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Most of you know that as union strength has declined over the past three or so decades, so has the middle class. That’s because unions are just regular working people who come together to balance power with employers and bargain for better living and working standards. And when unions are weakened by corporate and right-wing politicians, all working people feel the squeeze. Continue reading “What’s So Great About Unions, Anyway?”

Working Families Tell Lawmakers: ‘Protect Our Future’

AFL-CIO Now

01/30/2013 Mike Hall

 Photo by Katelyn Hartford

After Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) office ignored requests from Columbus-area families to meet and talk about the kind of budget policies he and other lawmakers are pushing that would hurt both working people and the recovering U.S. economy, they decided to drop by anyway.

The Wednesday action outside Portman’s Columbus office was just one of dozens of “Protect Our Future” demonstrations around the country. The events focused on rejecting any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid; closing loopholes for Wall Street and the richest 2%; and canceling the sequestration crisis lawmakers like Portman, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and others created for themselves and the rest of the country. Continue reading “Working Families Tell Lawmakers: ‘Protect Our Future’”

The U.S. Economy Is Shrinking: Now Is the Time to Worry

AFL-CIO Now

01/31/2013 William Spriggs

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman was always shown with a grin on his face, captioned, “What, me worry?” Well, now it is time to worry.

The release of the advanced GDP numbers—measuring all goods and services produced in the United States—for the past three-month period of 2012, shows the economy shrinking. Why? Well, personal consumption—all those Christmas gifts—grew by 2.2%, a growth rate faster than in the preceding quarter. Non-residential fixed investment, what businesses are buying to increase their economic activity going forward, jumped by 8.8%, almost six times faster than in the preceding quarter, and imports dropped significantly (a drain on the system, since that is money going abroad), so that the net effect of exports and imports was a boost of 5.7% to the economy. So, if people are buying more, business is investing more and imports aren’t sucking the wind out of the economy’s sails, where did we go wrong? Federal expenditures plummeted by 15%. The big chunk of the drop from federal expenditures came in defense expenditures. Continue reading “The U.S. Economy Is Shrinking: Now Is the Time to Worry”

AFGE National President Receives Prestigious AFL-CIO Civil Rights Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 24, 2013

Contact:Emily Ryan
(202) 639-6421 / ryane@afge.org

AFGE National President Receives Prestigious AFL-CIO Civil Rights Award

(WASHINGTON)—The national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, J. David Cox Sr., was awarded with the AFL-CIO’s At the River I Stand award on Jan. 20 during the AFL-CIO’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance and conference, We Are One: Workers’ Rights and Civil Rights, this year held in Philadelphia. The At the River I Stand award is given annually to a national leader who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to civil rights and workers’ rights. Continue reading “AFGE National President Receives Prestigious AFL-CIO Civil Rights Award”