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AFL-CIO Now Blog -- Recent News Stories
The job numbers came out for February this week. The preliminary numbers show that private-sector employment grew by 162,000, meaning it is very likely that in March, private-sector employment will top its previous peak of 115.9 million in January 2008. That is the good news. The bad news is we will still be down 666,000 jobs from the employment peak in January 2008. While private-sector jobs will recover in March, public-sector jobs will not.
The Professional Referee Organization, the company created by Major League Soccer owners to employ its referees, announced today it will lock out its referees for the start of the season because the collective bargaining negotiations with the union have not been completed. Instead, the league will use replacement officials this weekend instead of working with the union to iron out the remaining contract disagreements.
A group of five U.S. senators have joined the growing chorus of influential voices, telling the Kellogg Co. to end its nearly five-month lockout of more than 220 workers at its Memphis, Tenn., cereal production facility.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have released important research about the economy in the past few weeks. Here's a look at some of the key pieces they have uncovered about the U.S. economy.
People who oppose raising the minimum wage are out of touch. That's the key message to be taken from a new poll released Thursday. The poll, conducted on behalf of Small Business Majority, shows that 57% of small business owners support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Most of the respondents said that the higher wage would increase consumer demand and make them more competitive with large chain retailers like Walmart.
Mary Battle, a cement mason with more than 30 years of experience, made history in 2011 when she was unanimously elected as business manager of Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA) Local 891 in Washington, D.C. Battle was the first woman in the union’s history to hold that post.
Text WOMEN to 235246 for Women's History Month facts. (Standard data and message rates may apply.)
Here are some headlines from the working families news we're reading today (after the jump).
The economy added 175,000 jobs in February—62,000 more than the January job gain but still far below what is needed for recovery—and the nation’s unemployment rate was nearly unchanged at 6.7%, compared with January’s 6.6%, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A new study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows that Hispanics and those who make less than $20,000 a year are the workers least likely to have paid sick days. Overall, slightly more than 60% of Americans have paid sick days, a number much lower than most developed countries, and the evidence shows that the amount of paid sick days Americans get is declining in recent decades. The new study shows that less than half, only 47%, of Hispanic workers get paid sick days. Even worse, less than 28% of workers who make under $20,000 a year have paid sick days, compared to 83% for workers who make more than $65,000 annually.
"If you're not rich in America, college costs more," says Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) "It costs more because you have to borrow the money and pay and pay and pay. And not just pay the cost of the education, not just pay over time the cost to borrow, but pay to produce a profit for the United States government."
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