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 25 years later: Lessons from organizers of Justice for 25 years later: Lessons from organizers of Justice for Janitors
On June 15, 1990, the Los Angeles Police Department viciously attacked immigrant janitors who were striking for the right to organize in Century City, Los Angeles. In a story that is now all too familiar, the police claimed they were defending themselves. Only later, when TV news footage exposed t....

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 I lost my hands making flatscreens I can't afford

I lost my hands making flatscreens I can't afford
On February 11, 2011, I lost both my hands. I was working an overnight shift at my job in Reynosa, México, where I was cutting metal for parts used in assembling flatscreen televisions. I was working in my usual area, and the boss was pressuring us. “I want you to work faster, because we need the....

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Home care is real work that deserves a fair wage
D’Rosa is a home care worker who struggles to make ends meet. She is from Georgia, where she works with elderly adults. At a recent press event in Washington, DC, D’Rosa and other home care workers addressed a crowd of reporters and advocates to make the case that home care work is real work. D’R....
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 Trying to survive in a broken economy 

Trying to survive in a broken economy
My name is John D’Amanda, and I have been a loyal employee at a McDonald’s in Oakland, California for five years. Prior to working in fast food, I was a small business owner like millions of Americans. I made good money washing windows for houses, stores, malls, and contractors in the San Francisc....

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Why so many Americans feel so powerless
A security guard recently told me he didn’t know how much he’d be earning from week to week because his firm kept changing his schedule and his pay. “They just don’t care,” he said. A traveler I met in the Dallas Fort-Worth Airport last week said she’d been there eight hours but the airline respo....
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Rising inequality is poisoning our democracy
The United States as a nation boasts about the virtues of equality and the ability of all Americans to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” But in the reality of the 21st century, this concept is little more than a catchphrase. The United States is a nation divided by wealth and income, where....
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Trans Pacific Partnership: It’s all or nothing
Have you seen what’s in the new Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal? Most likely, you haven’t – and don’t bother trying to Google it. The government doesn’t want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It’s top secret. Why? Here’s the real answer people have given me: “We can’t make ....
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‘Flexible economy’ lacks flexibility
These days it’s not unusual for someone on the way to work to receive a text message from her employer saying she’s not needed right then. Although she’s already found someone to pick up her kid from school and arranged for childcare, the work is no longer available and she won’t be paid for it. ....
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Another step toward equality for LGBT workers
Recently, President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination went into effect. It prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Because of this Executive Order, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peo....
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Defending the rights of workers in Honduras
“It’s not about what we can do for the region; it’s about what we can do together.” Vice President Joe Biden spoke these words last November, at a conference to address the emigration crisis among the poorest three countries in Central America. I was reminded of these words in Honduras, where I t....
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Protecting working Americans’ paychecks President Barack Obama
Five years ago, after the worst financial crisis in decades, we passed historic Wall Street reform to end the era of bailouts and too big to fail. As part that reform, we created an independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with one mission: to protect American consumers from some of the....
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Fairness for workers laboring in the shadows
Leopolda Zumaya was working as an apple picker when he fell from a tree, breaking his leg and leaving him with permanent nerve damage and a chronic pain disorder. A treating physician said Mr. Zumaya's injuries were among the worst he'd seen, but when his boss learned Mr. Zumaya could not return t....
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Making homeownership within reach for everyone
Recently, I traveled with President Obama to Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona where he highlighted the great progress the housing market has made in recent years. When the President took office six years ago, our nation was facing an historic economic crisis, so he acted quickly to stabiliz....
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Protecting workers’ right to fair wages
A recent federal appeals court ruling effectively closed a regulatory loophole that has depressed wages for foreign workers employed under the H-2B guest worker program as well as domestic workers in those industries. The decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals removes a provision that a....
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Marking a year of accomplishment in 2014
While enjoying the holiday season and planning for the New Year, we look back on a busy year of much accomplishment during 2014. The United Farm Workers renegotiated union contracts protecting thousands of berry, citrus, wine grape, vegetable, flower and almond workers—with improvement for workers....
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