Need Some Wheels? UAW’s 2014 Union-Made Car List

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The UAW’s 2014 Union-Built Vehicles List features quality, variety and fuel-efficient vehicles along with a number of new additions that represent new jobs for America’s workers.

As a result of 2011 bargaining between the UAW and Ford, Fusion sedans are being made at the Flat Rock, Mich., Assembly Plant. The Fusion was previously made only in Mexico. Also, the Ford Transit Connect van, insourced from Europe, is now being produced at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

The Chevrolet Equinox is being made for the first time in Spring Hill, Tenn., as a result of 2011 bargaining between the UAW and General Motors. Also new on the list are GM’s Cadillac ELR hybrid/electric-powered luxury sports car and the revival of the Jeep Cherokee.

Mpg-conscious consumers might also take a look at Ford’s C-Max hybrid plug-in and Focus electric models, which are made at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.

UAW President Bob King says that in 2011, UAW members won investment and product commitments that led to some real increases in jobs for UAW members and others in jobs that support the auto industry throughout the United States.

We continue to see the results from that round of bargaining and will continue to press for more jobs for communities that are still recovering from the economic recession.

As for consumers, King says, “There’s plenty to choose from on this list, no matter what kind of vehicle you are looking for.” He adds:

Be assured that when you buy any car on this list that you are doing the utmost to support decent-paying jobs in communities across the United States.

The list also includes Canadian-assembled vehicles built by members of Unifor, formerly the Canadian Auto Workers union, because they include significant UAW-made content and support the jobs of UAW members.

Read more here and download the list here.

Photo by autovivacom on Flickr

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Company Turns to IBEW and Brings Jobs Back from China

Neutex Advanced Energy Group, a Houston-based maker of LED lights, light bulbs and fixtures, brought its core manufacturing operation from China back to the United States last year and turned to the Electrical Workers (IBEW) to staff its facility.

Paul Puente, assistant business manager of IBEW Local 716, approached John Higgins, president and CEO of Neutex, to discuss his needs and concerns and how they could work together.Higgins agreed to make the facility an IBEW union shop, and the Electrical Workers agreed to provide training for its workers and help the company market its union-made products. Neutex will employ 250 to 300 IBEW members in its 15,000-square-foot facility.

“The partnership with the IBEW, it’s giving us credibility when we’re growing in leaps and bounds,” says Higgins. “We should be able to bring this [to the United States] and still be able to make a much better quality product, in better time and help our middle class.”

This post originally appeared on AFL-CIO’s @Work site. Read more @Work stories here

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Congressional Republicans Violate Oath of Office: Punching In

Washington braces for first government shutdown in 17 years.

Congressional Republicans are violating their oath of office, says Steelworkers President Leo Gerard.

Key Quote: “Self-righteous Republicans would be the first to condemn a worker who is fired for refusing to perform his job. The GOP would deny that guy unemployment benefits. They’d jail an accountant who deliberately paid company bills late, damaging the firm’s credit rating. But that’s exactly what Republicans are doing to their employer. They’re betraying America by violating their sworn duty of office.”

Illinois AFL-CIO votes to support marriage equality.

State Senator Wendy Davis will reportedly run for Texas Governor.

Why immigration reform matters to Minnesota.

The gender pay gap: how does your state fare?

Arizona Republicans want to keep their right to gerrymander.

The latest on the fight for better wages among non-union federal contract workers.

Half of Milwaukee charter schools get failing grades.

Union members collect 10,400 pounds of food for San Mateo food bank.

Finally: California Gov. Jerry Brown signs Domestic Worker Bill of Rights into law.

Marty Walsh Finishes First In Crowded Field in Boston, But the Real Work is Just Beginning

Great news for Boston! Marty Walsh took first place out of twelve candidates in last night’s preliminary election for Boston mayor.

Walsh will face City Councilor John Connolly in the general election on November 5.

This isn’t just a victory for a candidate. It’s a victory for working people all across Boston, who are one step closer to having a mayor who will put their needs first. In every neighborhood in Boston, you’ll hear the same thing: voters want a mayor who will put job creation, affordable housing and great public schools first. Last night’s result shows that Marty Walsh has the record and the values we can trust on those issues.

We have all too many examples of what happens when mayor cities elect the wrong mayor. Michael Nutter in Philadelphia vetoed a paid sick days bill and made deep cuts to schools and city services, and Rahm Emanuel in Chicago has become the poster boy for school closings and corporate-backed education privatization. After 30 years of Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston is at an historic crossroads, and November will determine what path the city takes.

Marty Walsh is committed to tackling Boston’s number one problem: growing inequality. If you have friends or family in Boston, please share with them why Marty is the best choice for Boston’s working families.

Paid for by Working America, 815 16th Street NW, Washington DC. www.workingamerica.org.

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After Only Six Months, Working America is Booming in Texas

The following is a guest post from Michael Hicks, one of our first Working America members in Houston, Texas.

Howdy!

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and it’s true! The Working America squad here in The Lone Star State is big and growing. Members like myself have been pretty busy over the past couple of weeks collecting over 1,000 handwritten letters in support of an ordinance that would make Houston a zero-tolerance city for wage theft. Although the ordinance hasn’t passed yet, I know that when labor, faith based organizations and community affiliates come together in solidarity–things happen!

Here’s a photo from the recent press conference and rally on the steps of City Hall:

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On Thursday, another Working America member (Elisabeth Johnson) and I spoke at the press conference. This was my first time speaking at a press conference, but I was excited to speak up for hard working families like mine who want to see the ordinance passed.

Also, this past weekend Working America folks teamed up with the rest of our Harris County AFL-CIO brothers and sisters for this year’s first Labor-to-Neighbor block walk. Although it rained a bit, we threw on ponchos and saddled up to get folks ready to vote early in October!

Michael Hicks

Since I joined Working America, I feel I have a megaphone to amplify the issues important to me.

Michael Hicks
Working America Member
Houston, TX

To get involved with Working America in Texas, sign up here or email Taylor at [email protected].

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Governor Christie Is Wildly Out of Step With New Jersey On This Issue

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Back in January, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill increasing the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50.

As he asks voters to elect him to a second term this fall, Gov. Christie’s veto has put him wildly out of step with a majority of New Jerseyans. A Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll released yesterday showed 65 percent support for raising the minimum wage by a dollar.

The poll found support for the increase among voters of all political persuasions: 74 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of independents, and 54 percent of Republicans support a policy almost identical to the one that Christie dashed with the stroke of his pen.

Gov. Christie infamously wormed out of sharing the ballot with the state’s special U.S. Senate election, featuring well-known Newark Mayor Cory Booker, at the cost of $24 million in taxpayer dollars. But all that maneuvering might be for naught, because he’ll still be sharing the ballot with Public Question 2: a constitutional amendment raising the minimum wage and tying future increases to the Consumer Price Index.

Even as Christie openly prepares to run for president in 2016, the middle finger he showed to low-wage workers in January may come back to haunt him this fall.

Sign up to get involved with Working America in New Jersey.

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Here’s What Would Happen If They Actually Defunded Obamacare: Punching In

What would happen if the Affordable Care Act were actually defunded? A lot of chaos.

The biggest danger for Republican ACA opponents is that the new health care law will succeed.

Federal workers will strike this morning. Find out why.

In California, a dancer speaks out for organizing.

5 school superintendents talk about how the sequester has affected their students.

Scott Walker doesn’t like Wisconsin job numbers. So he’s making up better ones.

Who is sponsoring Rick Perry’s job-stealing trips?

AFL-CIO enters formal partnership with United Students Against Sweatshops.

“As universities become a bigger part of the economy, having a partnership with the premier student labor group can only be helpful for workers abroad and in the U.S.”

Why adjunct professors are the new working poor.

Finally: Connecticut’s new labor leader makes history.

The Texan Who Is Really Undermining Health Care Isn’t Ted Cruz

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Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, took to the floor of the Senate today to stage a pretend filibuster. He’s been talking for a long time, and claims it’s his effort to derail the Affordable Care Act.

Fortunately, Cruz’s grandstanding will have zero effect on the new health care law. But as Tara Culp-Ressler notes, what Cruz is doing is just a distraction from the real attack on ACA. If you want to see a Texas Republican sabotaging the new law and preventing people from getting the coverage they need,

  • Perry refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage. That means hundreds of thousands of low-income Texans will have no coverage whatsoever.
  • Perry declined to set up a Health Insurance Marketplace, forcing the federal government to step in.
  • Perry imposed tons of new regulations on organizations and agencies who want to assist people in signing up for health care in the Marketplace.

Millions of Texans go uninsured—it has one of the highest uninsured rates of any state. There are few places that need the ACA more. But Rick Perry is doing everything in his power to break the law and make it less functional.

That might play well at right-wing fundraising events. But it means people in Texas are going to have a harder time getting health care.

Ted Cruz is making a lot of noise. Rick Perry is actually, critically undermining the ACA.

Tell Governor Perry to accept federal Medicaid funds and help nearly 2 million Texans afford health insurance.

Photo by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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10 Important Initiatives Coming Out of the AFL-CIO National Convention

The AFL-CIO quadrennial 2013 convention in Los Angeles was a flurry of exciting activity that promises to remake the labor movement in the United States and build a movement for all working people to deal with the new challenges and political landscape working families must navigate. While there were many important discussions and plans made at the convention that will be expanded on in the coming months and years, here are 10 important initiatives that came out of the resolutions passed by the convention delegates that you should know about:

1. Opening Up and Broadening the Labor Movement: The delegates recognized the need to expand the labor movement to be more broad and inclusive and to recognize all working families, whose rights have been under assault. No fewer than six resolutions were passed to expand the labor movement and partner with allies in new ways. The first invites every worker in America to join the labor movement, either through affiliate unions or through Working America. Another one provides for supporting political campaigns that protect and expand workers’ rights to organize. A third related resolution calls for expanded efforts to help workersorganize around the globe. Other areas of renewed focus would be on organizing in the southern United States, in building lasting community partnerships with organizations that share our values and expanding and protecting voting rights so working families have a say in choosing those who pass laws that affect their rights.

2. Economics for Shared Prosperity: The convention delegates approved several resolutions that call for new ways of thinking and talking about the economy, moving away from the conservative, pro-corporate way of discussing the economy. The first initiative calls for an economics of shared prosperity, which focuses on creating living wage jobs for all who seek them, providing workers a voice on the job, health care for everyone, aging with dignity, jobs that support families and high-quality education for all children. The AFL-CIO also has committed to creating a curriculum and training program to teach working families how to talk about the economy in more accurate terms that don’t let pro-corporate interests drive the conversation. The federation also supports policies that will fix the parts of the economy that are having the biggest negative impact on working families. This resolution called for legislation that would create good jobs, improve economic security for all of America’s workers and make the tax system more fair through requiring Wall Street and the wealthiest 2% pay their fair share. Another resolution supported by the delegates focuses on the need to raise wages if we want to fix what is wrong with our economy, and lays out a broad agenda of efforts at the federal, state and local levels that aim to raise wages and labor standards for everyone who works in America.

3. A Road Map to Citizenship for Aspiring Americans: At the convention, the AFL-CIO recommitted to its ongoing support for and leadership in creating an immigration system that protects U.S. workers, reduces the exploitation of immigrant workers, reduces employers’ incentives to hire undocumented workers, keeps families together, creates a road map for aspiring Americans and contributes to shared prosperity for all.

4. Embracing and Including the Diverse Workforce: The AFL-CIO embraced diversity at its convention as never before, with people of color and women representing 46% of delegates. An inclusion conference held before the convention kicked off ways to work more closely with communities of color, young workers and the LGBT community. In addition to the resolution on the road map to citizenship for aspiring Americans and the resolutions on expanding the labor movement, the delegates passed resolutions on:

  • Working women: focusing on equal pay for equal work; respect for the balance among work, family and community; forging and expanding partnerships with allies; and increasing equality and building women’s leadership within the labor movement.
  • Young workers: including recognizing the importance of young workers in the current and future economy; expanding young worker programs to all levels of the federation; and giving young workers a seat on the AFL-CIO General Board.

Delegates also voted to add gender identity and gender expression to the federation’s constitutional equality section.

5. Retirement Security for All: With seemingly endless attacks in recent years on retirement security, the AFL-CIO calls for strengthening and improving Social Security benefits, much stronger protections for private and public pension laws and other legislative improvements to laws that protect working families in their retirement years. Any proposal to cut Medicare or Social Security to fund lower taxes for corporations and the 1% is immoral and unacceptable.

6. A New Approach to Trade and Globalization: The convention also passed a resolution calling for improvement in international trade deals, with a focus on protecting workers’ rights around the world, environmental protection, preventing corporations from interfering with national sovereignty and public interest regulations and making it clear that the AFL-CIO would oppose trade deals that don’t live up to these ideals.

7. Opposing Mass Incarceration for Profit: The AFL-CIO recognizes that the private prison industry, which pushes for laws that increase incarceration rates so they can pad their profits, creates negative incentives for state and local governments to lock up more people, even when crime rates are low. Such policies also harm communities, are unsafe for both inmates and prison employees and have a strongly disproportionate effect on people of color.

8. Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education: As a key component of any strategy of improving the lives of working families, the AFL-CIO supports a broad range of educational reforms that ensure that all children have the opportunity to attend safe, high-quality schools. The delegates also condemned the attacks on public education by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D).

9. Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The convention delegates passed a resolution that supports the responsible implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the protection of workers’ rights in any health care changes made by government or private corporations, and continues to support the ultimate goal of a single-payer system.

10. State Federation, Central Labor Council and Affiliate Accountability: Because of the importance of effective state federations, central labor councils (CLCs) and affiliates in fighting back against right-wing attacks in the states and the possibilities for expansion of workers’ rights at the state level, the AFL-CIO is moving forward on several initiatives to maximize efforts in the states. The first is to require state federations and large CLCs to hire qualified campaign managers and develop and implement strategic plans that include community engagement programs. The second is to create a special committee that will develop and monitor the performance of state federations, CLCs and affiliate unions. Each year, 10 states will undergo a thorough peer review and the findings and recommendations of the review will be reported.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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It’s National Voter Registration Day! #CelebrateNVRD: Punching In

Bostonians will start to choose their first new mayor in nearly 30 years today.

Here’s why they should vote for Marty Walsh.

The shocking college athlete rip-off: now they’re fighting back.

Charles Blow on Occupy Wall Street’s legacy.

Key quote: “So, the Occupy Wall Street movement, which many dismissed as the wails of the young and disaffected without clear objectives, clear leaders or a clear political agenda, may, in the end, have a rather clear legacy: ingraining in the national conscience the idea that our extreme levels of inequality are politically untenable and morally unacceptable, and that eventually the 99 percent will demand better.”

In defiance of Gov. Christie’s veto, 65 percent of New Jerseyans support a minimum wage increase.

New Ohio website helps determine Medicaid eligibility.

How the AFL-CIO Convention turned into a pop-up art gallery.

Home-care workers are not babysitters. Here’s why last week’s rules change is a big deal.

5 charts that show undocumented population trends.

Finally: It’s National Voter Registration Day! Are you registered?