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Some 3,800 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) are on strike at nine refineries operated by Shell, Marathon, Tesoro and LyondellBasell after Shell, the lead company in the National Oil Bargaining talks, “refused to provide us with a counteroffer and left the bargaining table,” said USW President Leo W. Gerard. The strike at the nine facilities began Monday, and the remaining USW-represented refineries and oil facilities are operating under a rolling 24-hour contract extension. The USW represents 65 U.S. refineries and more than 230 refineries, oil terminals, pipelines and petrochemical facilities in the United States. Read more >>>

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement on President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal: In the State of the Union, President Obama forcefully advocated for working families and the bold actions we need to create an economy that truly works for all working people. His budget follows through with a number of proposals that would benefit American workers, such as repeal of harmful sequestration cuts, higher taxes on capital gains and a financial crisis fee on the largest financial institutions. These are all pieces to a robust program to raise wages.www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/ Read more >>>

Friends of the Feathered

As part of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance's (USA's) Work Boots on the Ground project, New Jersey union members built and painted 52 pheasant and 10 quail transport boxes to support the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which raises and releases some 50,000 pheasants and 11,000 quail annually across the state. Read the full article>>>

Share of Households Earning Middle-Class Income

Income inequality became a hot topic of economic conversation in 2014, and publications like The Atlantic have taken notice. In 17 Things We Learned About the Economy in 2014, the authors explore the growth of low-income jobs, stagnant wages for families and shrinking wages for younger workers, the racial and gender wage gap, taxes and the dwindling middle class.

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It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>


Stephen Harmsen was busy with a customer at his auto repair shop on a hot July day in Hapeville, Ga., when two guys came in and asked him if he’d put up a sign in his window. After he took a look at the sign’s message, America Wants to Work: Good Jobs Now, it was a no brainer. The two guys—Jimmy Hyde, who heads up the UAW’s Global Organizing Institute in Atlanta, and institute intern Ron Allen—talked with Harmsen and other business owners up and down Hapeville’s main artery as part of the union movement’s nationwide Bring Jobs Home campaign. Read more >>>

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