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One Million Anti-TPP Petitions Delivered to Congress


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TPP Signing in New Zealand Overshadowed by U.S. Presidential Candidate, Congressional Opposition

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tulsi Gabbard, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sierra Club, MoveOn, CREDO and Other Online Activist Groups Kick Off TPP Protest Activities

Washington, D.C. – As representatives of the TPP countries meet in New Zealand to officially sign the trade deal, its prospects of going into effect remain uncertain at best. The pact does not enjoy majority support in Congress, and changes that some members are demanding are strongly opposed by other TPP nations. No U.S. presidential candidate polling over five percent in any state supports the deal. At a press conference today, speakers addressed the failings of the TPP, and the political environment surrounding the deal.

“The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

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Richard Trumka and Rep Rosa DeLauro

“The TPP agreement is toxic, and the American people are not buying it,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are determined to end the era of corporate trade deals that lower our wages and kill our jobs. To all those on the ballot in 2016, we have a simple message: either you’re with us or against us.”

Debbie Sease, Senior Lobbying and Advocacy Director, Sierra Club, had the following to say at the event, “Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership puts our economy and our climate on the line. Congress should reject the toxic trade deal and build a new model of trade that puts the health and safety of people before the profits of big polluters.” 

Also at the event, the following national on-line activist organizations delivered to Congress more than a million signatures on anti-TPP petitions: Avaaz (http://bit.ly/1o36deO), CREDO (http://bit.ly/20n5iHA), Care2 (http://bit.ly/1VHxoGD), Corporate Accountability International (http://bit.ly/1KUEP7I), Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, MoveOn, SumOfUs (http://bit.ly/1Qa21R6), and the Sierra Club (http://bit.ly/20Eyab0).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate giveaway that’s bad for consumers, workers, and the environment. We don’t need our elected leaders to hand multinational corporations even more power over our daily lives. That’s why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members have fought against the TPP and other deals like it over the years—and why we’ll fight it in Congress this spring,” said Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action who spoke at the event. 

“Time and time again CREDO’s 3.9 million activists have demonstrated their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other job-killing trade deals,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy Political Director. “The TPP is a massive giveaway to big corporations that will erode environmental, labor, and intellectual property standards and we are 100 percent dedicated to defeating it in Congress,” Zaheed continued. Since 2013, CREDO has generated more than  one million petition signatures and 40,000 phone calls in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.  

In 30 locations nationwide, activists are holding protests against the TPP to oppose the signing and energize local opposition organizing. TPP signing-day rallies are also occurring in Auckland, New Zealand and capitals of other TPP signatory nations.

“The TPP is a dream come true for the Monsantos of the world, but for regular people it will be a disaster — a tool for big business to attack our public health, internet freedom, and the rule of law,” said Joseph Huff-Hannon with Avaaz. “That’s why more than 860,000 Avaaz members are calling on Congress to reject this corporate giveaway.” 

Corporate Accountability International representative Cloe Franko had the following to say about their actions around TPP: “This corporate-driven trade deal not only fails people and the environment, it represents an enormous threat to the democracy and sovereignty of all twelve nations involved. Negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors, this deal is poised to rewrite trade rules in the name of corporate profits. With allegations of corruption of one of the lead negotiators now calling into question the integrity of the entire TPP, Congress must heed the demands of the people rallying here today and the millions more around the world opposed to this agreement and reject it when it’s up for approval.”

Care2, who also participated in today’s event, said that their members tend to be the most concerned about ISDS and the lack of enforcement for the wildlife and environmental protections in the TPP. “The TPP was negotiated in secret for seven years with very little congressional oversight, but a lot of corporate influence. As a result, we now have a trade deal that would allow corporations to sue the U.S. government. We have a deal that has sold out environmental and wildlife protections, food safety, and human rights. We have a deal that will turn democracy as we know it up-side-down. And that is why over 135,000 Care2 members are demanding that Congress vote ‘no’ on the TPP. We will never support a trade agreement that attacks everything we care about and have fought to protect,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, Care2 Online Organizing Strategist.

“The TPP signing today is largely theater. Everyone knows the real fight here will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists are gearing up to fight the TPP. Once we’ done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as SOPA after the Internet Blackout,” said Evan Greer, campaign director, Fight for the Future.

And finally, Ledys Sanjuan, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.org, concluded “The TPP is one of the largest corporate power grabs we’ve seen. Not only will it cost hundreds and thousands of US jobs but it will significantly reduce internet freedom and give power to corporations to sue our governments for regulating them. We need to come together and stop our governments from ratifying this dangerous trade deal.”  

One Million Anti-TPP Petitions Delivered to Congress


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TPP Signing in New Zealand Overshadowed by U.S. Presidential Candidate, Congressional Opposition

U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Tulsi Gabbard, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Sierra Club, MoveOn, CREDO and Other Online Activist Groups Kick Off TPP Protest Activities

Washington, D.C. – As representatives of the TPP countries meet in New Zealand to officially sign the trade deal, its prospects of going into effect remain uncertain at best. The pact does not enjoy majority support in Congress, and changes that some members are demanding are strongly opposed by other TPP nations. No U.S. presidential candidate polling over five percent in any state supports the deal. At a press conference today, speakers addressed the failings of the TPP, and the political environment surrounding the deal.

“The American people have been left out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership from the beginning and the results show. From an ISDS process that allows foreign corporations to overrule our domestic rule of law, to unenforceable labor and environmental protections, to no protections against currency manipulation, this deal helps the corporate class while selling out working Americans and their families. The American people deserve a better future that empowers our middle class and domestic economy; that protects people and our planet,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02).

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Richard Trumka and Rep Rosa DeLauro

“The TPP agreement is toxic, and the American people are not buying it,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are determined to end the era of corporate trade deals that lower our wages and kill our jobs. To all those on the ballot in 2016, we have a simple message: either you’re with us or against us.”

Debbie Sease, Senior Lobbying and Advocacy Director, Sierra Club, had the following to say at the event, “Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership puts our economy and our climate on the line. Congress should reject the toxic trade deal and build a new model of trade that puts the health and safety of people before the profits of big polluters.” 

Also at the event, the following national on-line activist organizations delivered to Congress more than a million signatures on anti-TPP petitions: Avaaz (http://bit.ly/1o36deO), CREDO (http://bit.ly/20n5iHA), Care2 (http://bit.ly/1VHxoGD), Corporate Accountability International (http://bit.ly/1KUEP7I), Fight for the Future, Public Citizen, MoveOn, SumOfUs (http://bit.ly/1Qa21R6), and the Sierra Club (http://bit.ly/20Eyab0).

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a corporate giveaway that’s bad for consumers, workers, and the environment. We don’t need our elected leaders to hand multinational corporations even more power over our daily lives. That’s why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members have fought against the TPP and other deals like it over the years—and why we’ll fight it in Congress this spring,” said Ben Wikler, Washington Director, MoveOn.org Civic Action who spoke at the event. 

“Time and time again CREDO’s 3.9 million activists have demonstrated their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other job-killing trade deals,” said Murshed Zaheed, CREDO’s Deputy Political Director. “The TPP is a massive giveaway to big corporations that will erode environmental, labor, and intellectual property standards and we are 100 percent dedicated to defeating it in Congress,” Zaheed continued. Since 2013, CREDO has generated more than  one million petition signatures and 40,000 phone calls in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority.  

In 30 locations nationwide, activists are holding protests against the TPP to oppose the signing and energize local opposition organizing. TPP signing-day rallies are also occurring in Auckland, New Zealand and capitals of other TPP signatory nations.

“The TPP is a dream come true for the Monsantos of the world, but for regular people it will be a disaster — a tool for big business to attack our public health, internet freedom, and the rule of law,” said Joseph Huff-Hannon with Avaaz. “That’s why more than 860,000 Avaaz members are calling on Congress to reject this corporate giveaway.” 

Corporate Accountability International representative Cloe Franko had the following to say about their actions around TPP: “This corporate-driven trade deal not only fails people and the environment, it represents an enormous threat to the democracy and sovereignty of all twelve nations involved. Negotiated in secrecy behind closed doors, this deal is poised to rewrite trade rules in the name of corporate profits. With allegations of corruption of one of the lead negotiators now calling into question the integrity of the entire TPP, Congress must heed the demands of the people rallying here today and the millions more around the world opposed to this agreement and reject it when it’s up for approval.”

Care2, who also participated in today’s event, said that their members tend to be the most concerned about ISDS and the lack of enforcement for the wildlife and environmental protections in the TPP. “The TPP was negotiated in secret for seven years with very little congressional oversight, but a lot of corporate influence. As a result, we now have a trade deal that would allow corporations to sue the U.S. government. We have a deal that has sold out environmental and wildlife protections, food safety, and human rights. We have a deal that will turn democracy as we know it up-side-down. And that is why over 135,000 Care2 members are demanding that Congress vote ‘no’ on the TPP. We will never support a trade agreement that attacks everything we care about and have fought to protect,” said Lacey Kohlmoos, Care2 Online Organizing Strategist.

“The TPP signing today is largely theater. Everyone knows the real fight here will be in Congress, where this unpopular and anti-democratic deal faces fierce opposition from both sides of the aisle. A massive coalition of activists are gearing up to fight the TPP. Once we’ done with it, secret trade deals will be as politically toxic in DC as SOPA after the Internet Blackout,” said Evan Greer, campaign director, Fight for the Future.

And finally, Ledys Sanjuan, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs.org, concluded “The TPP is one of the largest corporate power grabs we’ve seen. Not only will it cost hundreds and thousands of US jobs but it will significantly reduce internet freedom and give power to corporations to sue our governments for regulating them. We need to come together and stop our governments from ratifying this dangerous trade deal.”  

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka To Demand An End To Deportations At Pasadena’s Worker Center

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

(Photo by Bill Burke, Page One Photography)

During the event, day laborers, elected officials and immigrant and community leaders will highlight how failed enforcement policies undermine workers’ rights  

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will be at a worker center in Pasadena, Calif., today where he will oppose the ongoing deportations that undermine family unity and weaken rights for all workers. He will be joined by Los Angeles Labor Federation of Labor President Rusty Hicks; Pasadena City Mayor, Terry Tornek; Pasadena Councilmember, District 5, Victor Gordo; California State Labor Commissioner, Julie Su; and dozens of day laborers and workers who will share their experiences as immigrant workers.

During the event President Trumka plans to deliver the following remarks [Excerpts]:

“America’s deportation crisis is a bipartisan failure. 

“And I could not come here today without saying how disappointed I am with the Obama Administration’s recent decision to send women and children back to dangerous Central American nations.

“I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for President Obama, yet the plague of immigration raids in America is nothing less than a travesty.  A human travesty.

“All over our country, those who fled violence and poverty to come here for a better life are being forced to live in fear.  This is wrong and today we say once again: stop the era of deportations!

“It’s time for us to ramp up the pressure on our elected leaders.  Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with America’s labor movement and our allies, we are going to protect all working people.

“We demand an end to deportations and safe haven for workers who speak up on the job.

“We call on the Supreme Court to give DAPA and DACA the green light.  But no matter what the justices decide, we will keep mobilizing and keep organizing.

“We shouldn’t be building walls.  We should be building bridges—to security and prosperity and a better life.

“The future of immigrant workers is not in detention centers.  It’s in worker centers like this one.

“So brothers and sisters, continue to stand up when your communities are under attack.  Your bravery is inspiring.  Your courage lifts us all.”

New Report: A Year of Raising Wages Agenda

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Worker wins rule since first ever Raising Wages Summit,
but challenges remain

(Washington, DC) – Marking nearly one year since the first ever Raising Wages Summit, the AFL-CIO today released a new report detailing the successes, struggles and path ahead to raise wages for working people.

The report, “Fighting for a Better Life: How Working People Across America are Organizing to Raise Wages and Improve Work,” finds that over the last year income inequality has shifted from a problem we discuss to a problem we can solve.

The report points to clear and unequivocal steps for a path forward. Armed with the solutions outlined in the report, the central conclusion is that America is ready to move beyond the discussion of income inequality and is beginning to write new rules that will shape the economy.

“One year ago, we made clear that raising wages for all working people was our number one priority,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “In 2015 we came together in collective voice and action, and made significant progress.”

The report goes well beyond direct wage increases, highlighting successes that demonstrate the all-encompassing nature of the raising wages agenda. Numerous organizing victories, paid sick leave laws in multiple states and municipalities and new protections against wage theft if five states are outlined as part of the effort to create an economy built on raising wages.

The report also outlines hurdles to further victories, and challenges that remain as the raising wages agenda grows.

In December 2015 alone, the report shows, President Obama and Democrats in Congress were forced to fight off six amendments to the budget that would have rolled back protections for working people. And while the unemployment rate continued to fall last year, wage growth showed only modest improvement before grinding to a halt.

Even with modest wage growth and significant gains for working people in 2015, the report is a reminder that more work is needed in order to keep raising wages a priority in political and economic conversations. 

“Although the victories and the momentum of the Raising Wages movement in 2015 demonstrate that collective action works, we are still far behind where we need to be and where we can be,” said President Trumka. “In the year ahead, we will continue to push for a comprehensive economic agenda that puts working people first. Raising Wages is not a hobby, it is our mission.”

View the report at: http://www.aflcio.org/content/download/174433/4152655/RaisingWagesReport2015.pdf

Collective Action has the Power to Defeat Racist Rhetoric in 2016

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Ian Haney-Lopez releases new report outlining strategies for
collective action against racist rhetoric in politics

(Washington, DC) – Today, the AFL-CIO and University of California Berkeley Law Professor Ian Haney-Lopez, in partnership with Demos and the University of California-Berkley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, released a new report offering a response to the increase in racist and offensive rhetoric throughout the election season so far.

In the report, entitled “Race and Economic Jeopardy For All: A Framing Paper for Defeating Dog Whistle Politics,” Haney-Lopez addresses the connection between dog whistle politics and the increasingly successful right-wing attacks on the government and unions, and offers a frame for the labor movement to mobilize and defeat dog whistling.

Dog whistle politics and manipulated hostility towards people of color already have a strong presence in the 2016 election. Recently, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released a video shaming the use of such rhetoric, specifically shining a light on Donald Trump’s campaign.

“The report comes at a crucial time in American politics when right-wing politicians are inciting fear in voters with the use of dog-whistle politics,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “This language damages the ability to achieve the policies our country’s working families so desperately need.”

“Conservatives and their billionaire backers are exploiting racial anxiety to win support for policies that overwhelmingly favor the very rich. Race today is about all of us–the economic future of each of our families, and also, who we are as Americans,” said Haney-Lopez.

“In this election cycle, we’ve seen presidential candidates unabashedly using racist dog whistles to divide and spread distrust among working people, and the only winners are those already benefiting from record inequality,” said Demos President Heather McGhee. “Ian Haney-Lopez’s agenda-setting new report makes clear that a strong and inclusive labor movement is America’s best hope for true cross-racial solidarity.”

As the demographics of working people continue the shift to include more women and people of color, the labor movement must continue to fight back against such divisive language that inhibits shared progress.  

The report can be accessed online.

Richard Trumka Takes On Donald Trump’s Racist Hate Filled Campaign

Working families deserve better than a campaign fueled by fear and hatred.

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, has some straight forward talk about Donald Trump’s campaign that divides workers, attacks immigrants and people of color.

From his initial campaign announcement, Trump’s campaign has been focused on immigrants and people of color.  He referred to Mexican’s as “rapists” and “drug dealers” and wants to build a wall across our southern border to keep people out. Trump spews hatred like an erupting volcano.

Trump’s campaign stops have been riddled with violent acts against people of color for speaking out against Trump’s fear mongering and oppressive ideas.

Recently Trump said that workers wages are “too high.” I would expect nothing less from a greedy capitalist who has been taking advantage of working men and women his entire career.

Too many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Many are working 50 or 60 hours a week between two and three jobs and still one-in-four children are food insecure.  Trump makes more in one minute ($434) than a minimum wage earner makes in an entire week.

Listen to the strong warning offered by Trumka, the son of an Italian and Polish immigrant family, about how America deserves better than Donald Trump.

Video Link

New Hampshire Issue Advocacy Groups Join Forces, Rally Ahead of Democratic Presidential Debate

Rally and Downtown March Called on Democratic Candidates to Articulate Vision for a Clean Energy Future, Invest in Economic Security for Families and Small Businesses, and Put Voters Ahead of Special Interests

2015-12-19 march 1MANCHESTER, NH – Today, more than 20 issue advocacy groups gathered in Manchester to share a collective vision for a better future in advance of the New Hampshire Democratic Primary Debate.  The march and rally, titled “The Future We Want,” made its way down Elm Street in a show of unity. The march began at the Radisson Hotel, where leaders from across the region discussed how the activist community is coming together to demand action on the issues that matter to New Hampshire and the nation.

“There are so many great organizations doing important work in the state,” said Mike Padmore, State Director for NextGen Climate New Hampshire. “Every group here is working together for justice and progress, by protecting our planet, restoring democracy through campaign finance reform, supporting reproductive rights, investing in economic security for working families and defending the refugees seeking safety and a better life.”

Close to 200 people attended the event. Participants discussed how their work supports a unified vision to move our state and country forward and the importance of working together to ensure a fairer and more just future for all Americans. New Hampshire has a long tradition of using its First-in-the-Nation Primary status to vet candidates on the issues that matter most to Americans and for months Granite State “bird dogs” – issue advocates that follow the candidates and pin them down on the tough questions – have worked the Democratic Primary field. Rally speakers pointed to tonight’s Democratic Primary Debate, happening just two miles away at St. Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics, calling it an opportunity for candidates to be champions of justice and progress.

“In New Hampshire, we have a unique opportunity to be in the spotlight of the national conversation in the months leading up to the First in the Nation primary” said Will Hopkins, Executive Director of New Hampshire Peace Action. “With that opportunity comes an important responsibility to engage with the candidates and articulate a vision for the future that demands strong leadership on the issues that matter to Granite Staters.”

The participating organizations from today’s rally and march will continue to work together to articulate and demonstrate a fair, just, and progressive vision for America during the Presidential Primary.

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NextGen Climate NH is a non-profit, non-partisan dedicated to averting climate disaster and promoting prosperity for all Americans. NextGen is calling on our elected leaders to get America to 50% renewable energy by 2030.

350 Action is pushing presidential candidates during the New Hampshire Primary to keep fossil fuels in the ground. It empowers New Hampshire residents to use creative direct action and bird dogging to influence our leaders.

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our operational mission is to promote the American Way and defend it from attack, to build and nurture communities of support for our values, and to equip those communities to promote progressive policies, elect progressive candidates, and hold public officials accountable.

Moms Clean Air Force is a community of parents working together to combat air pollution, including the urgent crisis of our changing climate – to protect our children’s health.

The American Friends Service Committee’s “Governing Under the Influence” project is a non-partisan, educational effort to raise awareness about the excessive power held by the ultra-wealthy and major corporations, especially those that profit from militarism and incarceration.  To date the project has trained more than 1000 NH people to be effective “bird dogs,” brought its giant GUI banners to dozens of political events, sponsored educational programs with hundreds of participants, and engaged all major presidential candidates in substantive discussions about nuclear weapons spending, the immigrant detention mandate, the influence of the military industrial complex, and other issues.

The cross-partisan NH Rebellion has mobilized thousands of citizen rebels to #FightBigMoney in politics by walking the talk for democracy all across the Granite State – 30,000 miles and counting. #NHRebellion educates candidates and voters on how our democracy could be fixed through its We the People pledge,  including overturning Citizens United, ending the Legislator to Lobbyist revolving door, requiring donation transparency, and other reforms. #NHRebellion is part of Open Democracy, the nonpartisan organization founded by legendary reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock.

The New Hampshire AFL-CIO is a strong statewide voice for all working people, bringing together the unions of New Hampshire under one banner to fight for economic and social justice in our workplaces and communities.

Rights and Democracy is bringing people together to take action to build healthy communities and make the values of our communities guide the policies of our government. Together, we create change through grassroots organizing, educating and mobilizing around the issues that affect our communities, recruiting and training candidates to run for office, and working through the political and electoral process to advance progressive policies that lead to happy, healthy, and just communities for everyone.

New Hampshire Sierra Club represents over 15,000 Members and Supporters who care about the environment and the future of the Granite State. NHSC supports pollution-free clean energy future that can benefit the local economy and create jobs, like energy efficiency, wind and solar energy. Our goal is to have a zero carbon polluting economy by the year 2050.

The members of New Hampshire Peace Action are dedicated to making a contribution to world peace. We envision a world in which nuclear disarmament, mutual security, global understanding, international cooperation and respect for human rights create social, economic, and environmental benefits for all humanity.

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. Follow us on Twitter.

After nearly 40 years NH Citizens Alliance continues to lead the movement for social and economic justice in the Granite State. We focus on creating a more engaged electorate through issue education, leadership development and voter engagement and mobilization. Central to our work is a women’s economic justice framework. We must take action now to ensure that women have equal rights and receive fair treatment on the job, in health care and in the new economy.

Better Future Project works to build powerful grassroots movements to address the climate crisis and advance a rapid and responsible transition beyond fossil fuels in Massachusetts and beyond.

350 Massachusetts for a Better Future is building a powerful statewide social movement to confront the climate crisis, hold our politicians accountable and undermine the destructive influence of the fossil fuel industry.

 The UNH Peace and Justice League is a social justice advocacy group.  We have worked on issues ranging from the student debt crisis at UNH to the nationwide issue of money in politics.

Divest UNH is pressuring the University of New Hampshire to divest their endowment from fossil fuels.  No one, especially universities, should be profiting of the devastating effects of climate change.  Our goal is not just to push the University of New Hampshire to divest but to create a long lasting student movement to fight for climate justice.

At the Organic Garden Club we manage an organic farm on campus.  Our goal is to provide a place for students to learn how to garden and to educate our community on where their food comes from.

The UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition is a collaborative of sustainability initiatives and committees seeking to promote a better environment and a stronger community

350NH is a climate movement of neighbors. We work as a community to turn off new fossil fuel infrastructure and turn on New Hampshire’s potential for a renewable energy future.

Worker Wins Update: Workers Continue to Make Waves and Raise Wages this Season

Washington, DC – Workers across the country finished 2015 strong, fighting for and achieving several significant victories to help create a better life for all working families.

Trump Las Vegas Workers Voting ‘Yes’ to Join Union: Last week, workers at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas voted yes to be represented by Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 of UNITE HERE. Over 500 employees at the hotel will now become members of the union.

Tennessee-based Volkswagen Workers Vote to Join Union: Approximately 150 skilled trades employees at VW’s Chattanooga, TN plant voted overwhelmingly to join a union earlier this month. The election, held under intense pressures from anti-working family advocates, is a critical step towards ensuring auto workers and workers throughout the South have a greater voice in the workplace.

Workers at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Win New Contract: Earlier this month, 2,000 workers from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas voted on and approved a four year contract between the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165 and the hotel. The contract comes after a two-year fight with the Cosmopolitan’s previous owners, and has critical language ensuring that wages and benefits are protected if the casino and resort is sold again.

Huffington Post Workers Vote to Join Union: The Huffington Post continues the trend of new media unionizing, as the editorial staff asked management to recognize Writers Guild of America East as their union representative earlier this month. This vote makes The Huffington Post the biggest digital news operation to opt for union representation. In the past year, working people have made significant gains in the media industry as the News Guild-CWA and Writers Guild of America East have won major organizing wins, including Gawker, The Guardian US, ThinkProgress, Salon, Vice Media, and Al Jazeera America.

Temple University Adjuncts Join AFT: Late last month, more than 1,400 adjust professors voted to join full-time faculty members and librarians that are already represented at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This vote represents the largest single representation election for adjuncts in the United States since 2013.

Wake County Raises Wages: Last month, the Wake County Commission, in North Carolina voted to raise the minimum wage for county workers to $13.50 an hour. This county joined Greenville, Greensboro, Asheville, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro in giving their employees a living wage

American Airline Agents Approve First Contract: Late last month, American Airlines agents overwhelmingly voted in favor of their first contract as members of the CWA/IBT Passenger Service Association. The new contract ensures higher wages and better job stability for agents.

San Antonio Hotel Workers Resolve Labor Dispute: Workers at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio and the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk will be receiving higher wages and improvements in working conditions after settling a seven-year dispute that involved the NLRB, OSHA, and workers.

Dallas Construction Workers Win the Right to Rest: Last week, the Dallas City Council passed a new ordinance allowing construction workers to take a 10 minute rest every four hours. The legislation, championed by the Dallas AFL-CIO, will help promote safer workplaces for workers operating in dangerous conditions.

Why Four Organizing Wins Are a Snapshot of the Future of Working People

Statement by AFL-CIO Strategic Advisor and Communications Director, Eric Hauser, on recent organizing wins by working people across the country:

“As we all deal with the on-demand economy, it is critical to note the power of the collective voice. The future is seen in the actions of workers over the past weeks to stand up, hand in a ballot, and declare with one voice they want a union. These workers represent a snapshot of America, and represent the best chance for every working family to have access to a better life.”

Over the last weeks, working people have cast their ballot to join a union. Significant examples include:

Trump Las Vegas Workers Voting ‘Yes’ to Join Union – Over 500 employees will become part of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas.

Temple University Adjuncts Vote to Join Unions – More than 1,400 adjuncts will join the 1,400 full-time facility members and librarians already members of unions at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Tennessee-based Volkswagen Workers Vote to Join Union – Approximately 150 skilled trades employees at VW’s Chattanooga, TN plant voted overwhelmingly to join a union earlier this month.

Envoy Air Employees Vote to Gain Union Representation – Nearly 5,000 Envoy Air agents joined to vote to become part of a union in an election conducted by the National Mediation Board.

Kuster Applauds Passage of Long-Term Transportation Bill

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement about the passage of H.R 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which passed the House by a vote of 359 to 66.

“Since taking office, I’ve continually advocated for smart, pro-growth transportation policies to develop the infrastructure we need to compete in the 21st Century.  Unfortunately, for more than a year, Congress has moved from one short-term authorization of our highway programs to the next, harming the ability of states to plan new projects and putting jobs at risk.  Today I was pleased to join a strong bipartisan majority of my colleagues to vote for a long-term, five-year transportation authorization that will boost overall funding and give planners the certainty they need to undertake large-scale infrastructure projects to drive economic growth and create jobs.

This legislation includes important funding for the Federal Transit Administrations “New Starts” program which supports the construction of public transportation systems and is a critical funding source for expanding passenger rail in the Northeast.  The FAST Act also provides $6.3 billion in funding for the National Freight Program, which aims to increase the economic competitiveness, efficiency and productivity of our nation’s vast freight network as well as $200 million to help commuter railroad companies install Positive Train Control technology that will reduce collisions and improve passenger safety. 

I was disappointed, however, that this legislation did not utilize a dedicated funding source to pay for all five years that the bill authorizes.  The FAST Act uses $70 billion in an array offsets from elsewhere in the federal budget to pay for the first three years of the bill, while the remaining two years are not paid for.  I am a strong supporter of efforts to utilize revenue from international tax reform to fund our highway programs over the next several years and I look forward to working with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to ensure that we act soon to fulfill the funding promises made in this legislation.”

AFL-CIO President Richard released a statement prior to today’s vote:

This bill represents a significant and long overdue milestone that will help create jobs and move our nation’s transportation system forward.

The common-sense, long-term funding in this bill provides the certainty working people need to help grow our economy. It proves how good faith, bi-partisan efforts can get things done that are good for everyone. Let’s finish the job and move America forward.

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