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In Memoriam: Well-Loved Mediator Bill Usery Dies at 92

Image via Wikimedia

On Saturday, Dec. 10, we lost America’s premier labor negotiator, William Julian Usery Jr. He died in Eatonton, Georgia. He was 92.

Usery has forgotten more about collective bargaining than most people will ever know. He understood deep in his veins how essential collective bargaining is to the American economy. He was a good man, and a good and well-respected friend of mine, and a man who taught me immensely about how to unravel tension and bring two warring sides together to reach a workable relationship.

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Holiday Spotlight—Spend a Union Holiday in the City of Angels

Holiday Spotlight—Spend a Union Holiday in the City of Angels

Despite a November election that has left the country bitterly divided, the 2016 holiday season is no occasion for bitterness. As we near the end of another successful year in the ongoing fight for better wages, hours and benefits, our dedicated union members in Los Angeles have reason for celebration. Highlights from 2016 include: More than 50,000 grocery store members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) reached a great new contract with their stores; the creation of the Los Angeles Reentry Workforce Collaborative; the passage of the affordable housing and local jobs ballot measure, Prop. JJJ; and citywide participation in the Day of Disruption, in support of union rights and a higher minimum wage for workers across a spectrum of industries. Whatever the season, we can count on LA’s unions to stay hawkish for positive change throughout the city and nationally.

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Holiday Spotlight: Seasonal Favorites in the Nation’s Capital

Holiday Spotlight: Seasonal Favorites in the Nation’s Capital

After surviving a game-changing national election that will change the landscape of our nation, Washington, D.C., gears up for the final holiday season of the Obama administration. From a union perspective, 2016 has been a year of action and progress. A few of the many highlights include supporting our brother and sister service workers in their continuing fight for a living wage at National and Washington Dulles airports, seeing the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) approve new contracts with Safeway and Giant and our continued participation in the ongoing Fight for 15. We salute the work of all our union brothers and sisters in their fight to build a strong middle class.

   
As anyone who has visited D.C. during the holiday season knows, our nation’s capital represents when it comes to displaying some serious yuletide spirit. When you’re not hunkering down against the cold with family, friends and loved ones, we invite you to take advantage of some of the enchanting holiday offerings. 

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Made in America: Union-Made Hanukkah

Image courtesy abakedcreation on Flickr

Hanukkah begins this year at sundown Dec. 24 and runs through Jan. 1, 2017. Here are some union-made-in-America recipe ingredients and drinks you may want to include in your holiday observances. This information comes from our friends at Labor 411, the union business directory from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Food and drink include those brought to you by the Machinists (IAM), United Farm Workers (UFW), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Teamsters (IBT).

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Native American Heritage Month: Will You Help?

Native American Heritage Month: Will You Help?

Audre Lorde famously concluded that “there is no hierarchy of oppression.” Yet, disenfranchised groups and social justice movements often compete against each other over who is more oppressed. They compete for resources, media attention or simply for a seat at the table. This competition often does more harm to these communities than good and only draws away from the important issues of representation.

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Stay in a Fair Hotel This Holiday Season and Support Working Families

Stay in a Fair Hotel This Holiday Season and Support Working Families

The holiday season is one of the most travel-intense parts of the year, and many people will be visiting and sharing valuable time with loved ones. Your ability to travel and participate in these holiday traditions is, in many ways, a product of the hard work of people who have their own families and holiday traditions to try to enjoy. With our decisions each year, we can go a long way toward not only helping ourselves, but helping those around us, too. One key way to do this is to make sure that when you spend your money, it goes to responsible companies that do the right thing on behalf of their workers.

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Latina Equal Pay: Campaigns for Economic Justice Continue Beyond Single Day of Action

Latina Equal Pay: Campaigns for Economic Justice Continue Beyond Single Day of Action

One month ago, scores of organizations and individuals came together to register our outrage about the enormous gender wage gap that Latinas face in the workplace. Nov. 1 marked the 11 additional months that it would take the average Latina worker, or trabajadora, to work to earn what a white, male non-Hispanic worker in the same job was paid in just one year. This is how long it takes when you get paid 54 cents to the dollar paid to white, male workers. Collectively we sounded an alarm marking both our discontent and our commitment to close this gap and win equitable wages for Latinas and all workers.

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Union-Made in America Holiday Gift Ideas

Union-Made in America Holiday Gift Ideas

It's not too late yet to find that perfect holiday gift that carries a union label and is made in America. Below is a wide range of gift possibilities, from clothes to games to sports equipment and more, made by members of UNITE HERE, Boilermakers (IBB), Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), Machinists (IAM), United Steelworkers (USW), Teamsters (IBT), UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW (RWDSU/UFCW) and United Farm Workers (UFW).

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

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