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Working America

Our country needs a working family agenda, not a corporate agenda.

12 Elizabeth Warren Quotes to Prepare You for Her Appearance at the AFL-CIO on May 2

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will be appearing at the AFL-CIO’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on May 2 to promote her new book, A Fighting Chance, which chronicles her inspiring life story. From her working-class roots in Oklahoma to her successful 2012 campaign to replace incumbent Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R), Warren tells the passionate story of what drives her to fight for working people. Here are 12 key quotes from her that show why she is a champion of the 99%.

1. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory….Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea—God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”—September 2011

2. “People feel like the system is rigged against them, and here is the painful part, they’re right. The system is rigged.”—September 2012

3. “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn’t be left in poverty.”—August 2013

4. “Look around. Oil companies guzzle down the billions in profits. Billionaires pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries, and Wall Street CEOs, the same ones that direct our economy and destroyed millions of jobs still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them. Does anyone here have a problem with that?”—September 2012

5. “It is critical that the American people, and not just their financial institutions, be represented at the negotiating table.”—Summer 2009

6. “Americans are fighters. We’re tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one—no one can stop us.”—September 2012

7. “And that’s how we build the economy of the future. An economy with more jobs and less debt, we root it in fairness. We grow it with opportunity. And we build it together.”—September 2012

8. “I understand the frustration, I share their frustration with what’s going on, that right now Washington is wired to work well for those on Wall Street who can hire lobbyists and lawyers and it doesn’t work very well for the rest of us.”—October 2011

9. “If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to jail….Evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night.”—March 2013

10. “Corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.”—September 2012

11. “If there had been a Financial Product Safety Commission in place 10 years ago, the current financial crisis would have been averted.”—Summer 2009

12. “Nobody’s safe. Health insurance? That didn’t protect 1 million Americans who were financially ruined by illness or medical bills last year.”—February 2005

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Punching In: Earth Day Edition

A great chart that illustrates the growth of income inequality

In 1980 the American middle and poorer class had higher incomes than their counterparts.

Now, not so much.

Raise the wage

A full-time Walmart managers’ story: “I make $12,000 a year.”

Medicaid expansion     

According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services, nearly 70 percent of Arkansans have signed up for the private Medicaid option.

Teachers experience wage theft, too

An interesting commentary on pensions and wage theft as it pertains to educators.

The fight to unionize

Finally, Kaplan teachers get their union contract.

Lastly, happy Earth Day!

Check out The Nation’s extensive coverage of environmental issues.

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AFL-CIO Calls on the Obama Administration to Provide Deportation Relief

Update: Monday afternoon AP reported Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is weighing limiting deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. who don’t have serious criminal records. Read more.

The AFL-CIO today called upon President Barack Obama to halt deportations that tear families apart from each other, and today the AFL-CIO sent the president a memo urging him to take swift action on the urgent needs of workers and immigrant communities.

While Republicans in Congress are abdicating their responsibility to create a commonsense immigration process, the AFL-CIO recommends the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) take the following three steps:

  1. DHS should grant affirmative relief with work authorization to individuals who are low priorities for removal or eligible for prosecutorial discretion under existing DHS policies. This would stop employers from “playing the deportation card” that pits workers against each other.
  2. DHS should reassert the primary role of the federal government in determining and implementing enforcement priorities by ending programs that effectively delegate those responsibilities to state and local law enforcement.
  3. DHS should reform the enforcement and removal system to stop criminalizing immigrant communities and ensure that individuals who are low priorities for removal or eligible for prosecutorial discretion are not removed.

Read more details about these steps in the memo and from the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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The numbers are in: Scott Walker-style governing is not good for business. http://ift.tt/1jCO3Z1

The numbers are in: Scott Walker-style governing is not good for business. http://ift.tt/1jCO3Z1

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Workplace Realities: An Eye-Opening Video

Family Values @ Work recently released this video in an effort to addresses workplace issues that employees and their families encounter.

The video gives some common, short anecdotes that perfectly illustrate the plights of workers and their families.

There’s the boss who sexually harasses his employee, the child worried that La Migra is coming to take her parents, and the woman who doesn’t get paid overtime.

Buzzfeed has posted the video on its site, along with seven interesting facts about 21st century workplace culture.

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What’s getting you through Monday?

h/t to UCubed for the Monday humor. http://ift.tt/1r9yigV

What’s getting you through Monday?

h/t to UCubed for the Monday humor. http://ift.tt/1r9yigV

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Pryor Supports a Modest, but Much Needed Wage Hike for Arkansas

pryor

Despite State Representative and U.S. Senate hopeful Tom Cotton’s resistance to any minimum wage hike, Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor continues to endorse raising the state minimum wage to $8.50 an hour.

In a recent op-ed, the senator expressed his hesitation to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, noting that the figure “might make sense for more affluent places like California or New York.”

Instead, Pryor expressed support for a ballot initiative that would modestly raise Arkansas’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour:

“Too many Arkansans today are working harder than ever, but with so many in low-wage jobs — some working two or even three — they’re falling further behind. Raising the minimum wage can begin to reverse this trend while protecting and strengthening Arkansas’s economic core: our working families.”

Arkansas currently pays a minimum wage of $6.25 an hour, one of the lowest in the entire country, and a gradual raise could prove to be a reasonable way to give nearly 170,000 residents a raise while stimulating the economy, Pryor wrote.

“Raising the wage isn’t a government handout, and it doesn’t add a dime to our debt or deficits. Rather, it’s a market-based solution that helps hardworking families struggling to get by,” Pryor wrote.

Advocates of raising the state wage are currently pushing to get signatures to place the measure on the ballot in November.

 

Photo courtesy of Bread for the World via Flickr.

1 day ago

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Addressing Poverty May Help Rural Areas the Most: Punching In

Chattanooga saga

UAW withdraws Volkswagen election objections.

Key Quote: “The unprecedented political interference by Gov. Haslam, Sen. Corker and others was a distraction for Volkswagen employees and a detour from achieving Tennessee’s economic priorities. The UAW is ready to put February’s tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga.”

Ohio legislators turns its back on voting rights

OPINION: Ohio legislators put stumbling blocks in front of voters.

Anti-poverty initiatives will help rural America

Poverty still a huge problem in rural communities.

Not just free trade; fair trade

Progressive members of Congress pen anti-TPP letter.

Key Quote: “This agreement would force Americans to compete against workers from nations such as Vietnam, where the minimum wage is $2.75 a day.”

Running on Obamacare

Obamacare’s success is “destroying GOP midterm strategy.”

Robert Kuttner asks: Can Democrats stop incremental goals and “go long?”

Organize everywhere

New York City Mayor de Blasio shares support for carwash unionization campaign.

University of Connecticut recognizes new grad student union

Finally: Why Twitter was invented

Twitter users tear NCAA President Mark Emmert a new one during public chat.

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Today in Labor History: Some 12,500 Goodyear Tire workers strike nine plants in what was to become a 3-week walkout over job security, wage and benefit issues - 1997. http://nyti.ms/1hhdht8

Get daily labor history at Union Communication Services. http://ift.tt/1eUEhEk

Today in Labor History: Some 12,500 Goodyear Tire workers strike nine plants in what was to become a 3-week walkout over job security, wage and benefit issues - 1997. http://nyti.ms/1hhdht8

Get daily labor history at Union Communication Services. http://ift.tt/1eUEhEk

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Hmm…

Thanks to The Other 98% for the image. http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8 http://ift.tt/1gZLAcv

Hmm…

Thanks to The Other 98% for the image. http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8 http://ift.tt/1gZLAcv

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This one’s for all the librarians out there.

Thanks to Portland State University Library for the image. http://ift.tt/1qZqSMY

This one’s for all the librarians out there.

Thanks to Portland State University Library for the image. http://ift.tt/1qZqSMY

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We’re hiring Field staff in Greensboro! Make your voice heard, apply now! http://bit.ly/1j9pSzO (apply to national office) http://ift.tt/1eF46b7

We’re hiring Field staff in Greensboro! Make your voice heard, apply now! http://bit.ly/1j9pSzO (apply to national office) http://ift.tt/1eF46b7

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Of the 8 Million ACA Enrollees, 35% Are Under 35

aca

Despite naysayers predicting that Obamacare would fail due to a lack of engagement by those aged 18 to 35, President Obama just announced that 35% of enrollees are in fact under the age of 35.

This comes as great news for the ACA and the administration that implemented it, as much of its future success is dependent on the younger demographic participating.

Since the deadline to register passed in March, Obama has seen numerous victories as enrollment numbers have exceeded expectations and costs are lower than expected.

During the press conference Obama took some time to note the GOP’s longstanding reluctance to accept the law.

“I recognize that their party is going through the stages of grief — anger, denial, all that stuff,” Obama said of Republicans. “We’re not at acceptance yet.”

“The point is the repeal debate is and should be over. The Affordable Care Act is working,” Obama said in a press conference from the White House briefing room.

The next cycle of open enrollment begins on November 15, 2014. For more information on how you can get healthcare, visit WorkingAmericaHealthCare.com.

Photo courtesy of Will O’Neil via Flickr.

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