Union-Made-in-America Snack Time—Grab a Handful

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No doubt during this upcoming long July 4 weekend—maybe at a backyard gathering of your family and friends or during the World Cup games—you’ll likely feel like a little snack. Well, here’s a list of union-made-in-America snacks—from the salty, like Lay’s Potato Chips and Cheez-Its, to the sweet, such as Cracker Jacks and Oreos. And for those of you trying to keep the weight off, we have some more healthy options, too.

These treats are made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Machinists (IAM) and United Farm Workers (UFW) and Teamsters (IBT). For more union-made-in-America products, be sure and visit the Labor 411′s website and the Union Label & Service Trades Department.

To get more made-in-America product lists sent right to your phone, text FLAG to 235246.

Sweet and Salty Snacks

Act II Popcorn, Bagel Bites, Bakenets, Barnum Animal Crackers, Better Cheddars, Bugles. Cameo Cookies, Cheese Nips, Cheetos, CheezIt, Chex Mixes, Chips Ahoy!, Cornnuts, Cracker Jack, Crunch N’ Munch, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Frito Lay Dips, Fritos, FudgeO’s, Funyuns, Ginger Snaps, Grandma’s Cookies, Honey Maid Graham Crackers, Keebler Cookies.

Krispy Crackers, Lay’s Potato Chips & Dips, Lorna Doone, Mallomars, Marshmallow Peeps, Matador Beef Jerky, Maui Style Potato Chips, Miss Vickie’s Potato Chips, Mission Chips, Munch ‘Ems, Munchos Potato Crisps, Nabisco Nilla Wafers, NutriGrain Bars, Nutter Butter, Old El Paso Chips, Dips and Salsa, Oreos, Orville Redenbacher Popcorn.

Pinwheels, Premium Crackers, Quaker Oats Granola Bars, Quaker Snack Mix, Rice Krispies Treats, Ritz Crackers, Rold Gold Pretzels, Royal Brand Pudding & Gelatin, Ruffles, Slim Jim, Smartfood Popcorn, Snackwells, Snyders of Berlin, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Sun Chips, Tastykake, Teddy Grahams, Tostitos, Tostitos Dips & Salsa, Triscuit, Vegetable Thins, Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Wheat Thins, Wheatsworth Cracker, Wise Chips & Snacks.

Healthier Alternatives

Andy Boy Vegetables, Blue Diamond Almonds, California Mushroom Farm Inc., EuroFresh Farms Vegetables, Fresh Express Salads, Hidden Valley Salad Kits, Monterey Mushrooms, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Sunkist Citrus Fruit—look for the UFW black eagle.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Quench Your Thirst with a Union-Made-in-America Brew

Quench Your Thirst with a Union-Made-in-America Brew

Like the song says, “Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets.” Then you can cool off with a made in America and union-brewed cold beer. There’s a wide range of union-made beers to please any palate, from the ubiquitous Bud Light from Anheuser-Busch to the hard to find Talon Double IPA from Mendocino Brewing Co. to organic brews from Butte Creek Brewing and the classic “Land of Sky Blue Waters” Hamm’s from Miller/Coors.

Below is a partial list from Labor 411’s Definitive Union Beer List and from the Union Plus website of beers brewed by Machinists (IAM), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), UAW, Teamsters, Operating Engineers (IUOE) and IUE-CWA members.

To get more made-in-America product lists right to your phone, text FLAG to 235246.

1845 Pils, Alexander Keith’s, Anheuser-Busch, Bass, Beck’s, Black Eye Ale, Black Hawk Stout, Blue Heron Pale Ale, Boxer, Bud Light, Budweiser, Budweiser American Ale, Busch, Butte Creek Organic Collection, Carmel Wheat Beer, Clear Creek Ice, Czechvar, Dundee Craft Beer, Eye of the Hawk, Genesee Brewery, Goose Island, Hamm’s, Henry Weinhard’s Blue Boar, Henry Weinhard’s Private, Hoegaarden, Honey Amber Rose, Huber Bock, Huber Premium.

Icehouse, Kirin, Labatt Blue, Labatt Blue Light, Landshark Lager, Lazy Mutt Farmhouse Ale, Leffe Blonde, Lionshead, Mad River Brewing Co., Mendocino Imperial, Michelob, Miller Beer, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller High Life, Miller High Life Lite, Miller Lite, Miller Lite Ice, Milwaukee’s Best, Milwaukee’s Best Ice, Milwaukee’s Best Light, Minhas Oktoberfest.

Natural Ice, Natural Light, O’Doul’s, Olde English 800, Pabst,  Peregrine Pilsner, Pyramid, Red Dog, Red Tail Ale, Reserve, Rolling Rock, Sam Adams, Sharp’s, Shergill IPA,  Shock Top, Sparks Malt, Staropramen, Stegmaier, Stella Artois, Swiss Amber, Talon Extra Select Double IPA, White Hawk Select IPA.

Get the full list here.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

July 4 Made-in-America Flags and BBQ Shopping List

Annin Flagmakers photo

A week from today, we’ll be gathering with families and friends for the nation’s birthday, July 4. Many of us will celebrate with a barbecue. We can keep the red, white and blue in the holiday with this made-in-America, union label backyard barbecue checklist, compiled from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), the LA Labor 411′s websiteUnion Plus and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Before we get into the menu, if you want to wave that flag wide and high, American flags from Annin Flagmakers and Artflag carry the union label. In the photo above, UFCW members Tanya Mounts and Jackie Darr add the grommets to a large American flag at Annin’s Coshocton, Ohio, plant.

To get more made-in-America product lists right to your phone, text FLAG to 235246.

Be sure to check AFL-CIO Now everyday through July 4 for more made-in-America, union product spotlights.

Picnic Supplies

Weber Q series grill, coolers by Igloo and Rubbermaid, red Solo cups and don’t forget the sunscreen by Coppertone and Bain de Soleil.

Hot Dogs, Sausages and Other Grill Meats

Ball Park, Boar’s Head, Calumet, Dearborn Sausage Co., Fischer Meats, Hebrew National, Hofmann, Johnsonville, Oscar Mayer. See more.

Condiments

French’s Mustard, Guldens Mustard, Heinz Ketchup, Hidden Valley Ranch, Lucky Whip, Vlasic. See more.

Buns and Bread

Ottenbergs, Sara Lee, Vie de France Bakery. See more.

Sodas and Bottled Water

Bart’s, Coke, Diet Sprite, Pepsi, Sprite, American Springs, Pocono Northern Fall’s, Poland Spring. See more.

Beer

Budweiser, Bud Light, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Lionshead, Mad River, Michelob, Miller, Rolling Rock. See more.

Snacks and Dessert

Breyers Ice Cream, Flips Pretzels, Frito-Lay Chips, Good Humor Ice Cream. See more .

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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California Ruling Ignores Real Factors Behind School Performance

Earlier this week in a suit financed and backed by corporate and wealthy benefactors—including those with investments in charter schools and educational technology—a California judge ruled that the state’s teacher tenure and seniority-based layoff statutes were unconstitutional.

Students Matter, the group that initiated the suit (Vergara v. California), claims tenure protects bad teachers and is the root cause for student underachievement, especially in schools that serve low-income students.

AFT President Randi Weingarten noted that on the day the decision was handed down:

Thousands of California classrooms were brimming with teachers teaching and students learning. They see themselves as a team, but sadly, this case now stoops to pitting students against their teachers. The other side wanted a headline that reads: ‘Students win, teachers lose.’

The suit, said California Federation of Teachers (CFT) President Joshua Pechthalt, “is not pro-student.”

It is fundamentally anti-public education, scapegoating teachers for problems originating in underfunding, poverty and economic inequality.

California ranks at the very bottom of all states in its per-pupil expenditures, at $8,342 (in 2011), according to the quality index published by Education Week. That’s 30% below the national average of $11,864, “reflecting the consistent shortchanging of the K-12 system by the state,” writes Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik.

Hiltzik also points out that the backers of the suit blame the teachers for the state of education in California but:

Not the imbalance of financial resources between rich districts and poor. Not the social pathologies—poverty, joblessness, racial discrimination, violence—that affect educational attainment in disadvantaged communities.

Says Weingarten:

It’s surprising that the court, which used its bully pulpit when it came to criticizing teacher protections, did not spend one second discussing funding inequities, school segregation, high poverty or any other out-of-school or in-school factors that are proven to affect student achievement and our children.  We must lift up solutions that speak to these factors—solutions like wraparound services, early childhood education and project-based learning.

Read Weingarten’s full statement here.

The ruling will be appealed.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Moral Monday’s Focus on Education Gets Lawmaker’s Attention

Photo via Hannah Rose Mendoza's facebook page

More than 1,000 North Carolinians called on the state legislature to restore funding for public school students’ education and to back off its attack on teachers’ rights and its support of school privatization in a Moral Monday rally at the state Capitol in Raleigh.

The Moral Monday protests began last year in response to Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) and the Republican legislature’s extremist agenda that has attacked voting rights, education, the environment, unemployed workers, health care and women’s rights.

Showing Moral Monday’s mounting pressure and its growing state and national high profile, for the first time a leader of the legislature met with the protesters who had been prepared for a sit-in and possible arrest.

North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R) met with some 15 teachers and student outside his office for about two hours. According to news reports, it was an occasionally heated but mostly civil conversation about the cuts to public education funding, the elimination of nearly 700 teaching assistants, public funds for private school vouchers and tying teacher raises to eliminating tenure rights.

While protesters said they appreciated that Berger met with them, they said they would continue their drive to protect students and public education. Bryan Proffitt, a 10-year teacher, said:

I won’t be satisfied until my students have what they need and our schools aren’t bleeding every day….We’ll be back if these conditions are not met. The reality is, with all the media attention we’re getting right here and all this conversation, we’re going to be back with a whole lot more folks.

The Next Moral Monday on June 16 will focus on workers’ rights.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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Lawmakers Duck Moral Monday Protesters

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Several hundred people rallied at the state Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., yesterday in a Moral Monday action focused on environmental and health care issues. Eleven of the protesters were arrested on trespassing charges after a sit-in at the Capitol building, but none were arrested for violating the recent “imminent disturbance” gag rule.

The Moral Monday protests began last year in response to Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) and the Republican legislature’s extremist agenda that has attacked voting rights, education, the environment, unemployed workers, health care and women’s right.

Those arrested were trying to deliver a letter to McCrory whose office, normally opened on a Monday, was closed. The letter urged the governor to:

“Reverse course by repenting, repealing and restoring our state to higher ground by eliminating the laws and policies pushed by this N.C. Legislature, led by Speaker [Thom] Tillis and Senate Leader [Phil] Berger and signed by you.”

Also, the legislature, which normally holds Monday evening sessions, was adjourned yesterday in an effort, some said, to avoid the demonstrators from faith, civil rights, labor, environmental, women’s health care and other groups. Said Rakhve Devasthklia.

“Deliberately not showing up on Monday for their constituents to speak with them shows who they’re representing. I don’t think they would do this when Duke Energy shows up.”

In February, Duke Energy’s Dan River plant was the site of the nation’s third largest spill of toxic coal ash that spread 70 miles downriver. Also, in March, North Carolina regulators said Duke Energy illegally pumped 61 million gallons of contaminated water from a coal ash pit into the Cape Fear River.

Moral Monday demonstrations are set for the next several Mondays, including next week, highlighting education and a June 16 action focused on workers’ rights.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW.

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Hey North Carolina, Our Freedoms Were Built Through ‘Imminent Disturbance’

North Carolina lawmakers want to use a new gag rule to silence growing Moral Monday protests over their extremist agenda that has attacked voting rights, education, the environment, unemployed workers, health care and women’s rights.

The “imminent disturbance” rule allows police to arrest anyone who poses a threat to create a disturbance through chants, singing or anything that might interfere with normal conversation levels at the State Legislative Building in Raleigh. In other words, just the possibility of an “imminent disturbance” could put the civil rights, union, student, environmental and other activists in jeopardy of arrest.

But as this new AFL-CIO video shows, “the greatest moments of America’s  history were borne of ‘imminent disturbance’,” from  the Boston Tea Party to the women’s suffrage movement to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and more.

“Silence the people and you’ve silenced America.”

AFL-CIO Communications Director Eric Hauser said:

“We stand together with the thousands who have spoken out against these reprehensible rules, and call on North Carolina’s leaders to reverse course and restore the basic rights we fight for every day”

For more information, text DISTURB to 235246 (data and message rates may apply).

In a related development, members of the Moral Monday movement staged a special lobby day at the State Legislative Building Tuesday urging lawmakers to “repent for their immoral actions last summer and to repeal these disastrous laws that are hurting our state’s most vulnerable.”

When House Speaker Thom Tillis (R)—who is also running for the U.S. Senate—refused to meet with them, more than a dozen staged a sit-in in his office at about noon. After legislative police ordered the sit-in’s supporters and a large group of media to leave the area that evening, they arrested 14 of the protesters at about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to news reports.

 

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and one of the founders of the Moral Monday movement, said the Moral Monday protests will continue:

“Speaker Thom Tillis and his aides have refused to engage in a serious discussion over the deep and weighty issues, and now they are playing a waiting game in hopes that we will lose heart, pack up and go home. But we are not here to play games. These are serious, life-and-death questions. Where can the unemployed go for help? Where can those hardworking North Carolinians without health care access go? Where can those who have been disenfranchised go?”

Are You Trapped in the Walmart Economy?

Workers at Walmart are mounting a new initiative not only to get their stories of how Walmart’s low wages, disrespect and intimidation are trapping them in a Walmart economy, but how millions of other workers and their families are caught in that same economy.

A Walmart economy is an economy of inequality manipulated by corporations like the $16 billion-a-year-in-profits retail behemoth and other corporations and 1 percenters like the Walton family, the richest in America.

To workers at Walmart, a Walmart economy means “having to decide between paying my bills and being able to take a day off work to stay with my sick daughter,” says LaShanda Myric, a Walmart worker in Denver.

For Richard Wilson who works at a Chicago Walmart, it means “….Working full-time, but not being able to pay back my student loans.”

What does the Walmart economy of inequality mean to you? Is it struggling to pay your bills or drowning in debt? Is it forgoing health care because you can’t afford health insurance or being unable to retire?

Use the hashtag #Walmarteconomy to tweet or post a photo or video to Instagram to say what the Walmart economy means to you. You also can go to the new Walmart Economy website and share your story.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

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U.S. Rated Alarmingly High in Global Survey of Worst Places for Workers’ Rights

U.S. Rated Alarmingly High in Global Survey of Worst Places for Workers’ Rights

The United States lags far behind other nations in protecting workers’ rights, according to a new survey from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The rankings are based on 97 internationally recognized indicators and standards to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said:

“Countries such as Denmark and Uruguay led the way through their strong labor laws, but perhaps surprisingly, the likes of Greece, the United States and Hong Kong, lagged behind. A country’s level of development proved to be a poor indicator of whether it respected basic rights to bargain collectively, strike for decent conditions or simply join a union at all.”

The nations are ranked on a scale from 1 (the best with just irregular violations of workers’ rights) to 5 (with no guarantee of workers’ rights at all).  The United States received a mark of 4, which, according to the ITUC system, means:

Workers in countries with the rating of 4 have reported systematic violations. The government and/or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers putting fundamental rights under continuous threat.

Along with the United States, 29 other nations received a 4 rating, including Argentina, Botswana, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan and Thailand. Belgium, Finland and South Africa were among the 18 nations that received a 1 rating, while 24 countries were rated 5, including Belarus, Bangladesh, Egypt, Guatemala and Qatar. Eight countries where the rule of law has broken down received a special 5+ grade.

The report also found that in the past year, governments of at least 35 countries have arrested or imprisoned workers as a tactic to resist demands for democratic rights, decent wages and safer working conditions and secure jobs. In at least nine countries, murder and disappearance of workers were commonly used to intimidate workers.

Burrow also noted that the ITUC Global Poll 2014 found nearly two-thirds of people want governments to do more to tame corporate power.

“The World Bank’s recent Doing Business report naively subscribed to the view that reducing labor standards is something governments should aspire to. This new Rights Index puts governments and employers on notice that unions around the world will stand together in solidarity to ensure basic rights at work.”

In the map above, nations in red have the worst workers’ rights ratings while lighter-shaded nations are rated progressively better.

Read the full report, ITUC Global Rights Index: The World’s Worst Countries for Workers.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW.

Moral Monday Is Back!

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Today, civil rights, union, student and other working family activists will kick off another round of Moral Monday actions at the state Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., as the year’s legislative session begins. They will be there even as new rules to suppress and gag the protesters passed last week are now in effect.

In more than a dozen Moral Monday events last year and earlier this year, thousands of North Carolinians protested attacks on voting rights, education, the environment, unemployed workers, health care and women’s rights by the extremists who control the state legislature and governor’s mansion.

North Carolina State AFL-CIO President James Andrews said:

“Today, we are back to call on the General Assembly to build an economy that works for everybody, that raises wages and puts people to work. We call on legislators and the governor to stop bullying ‘the least of thee’—the poor, our children, students, seniors and the unemployed. They may not want to hear from or see us, but we will never be obedient in the face of injustice.”

We will bring you a report on the Moral Monday action tomorrow.

For more information, visit www.naacpnc.org and follow the North Carolina State AFL-CIO on Twitter for live updates. Also check out the hashtags #ForwardTogether and #MoralMonday on Twitter.

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW.