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If you haven't heard yet, elections are coming, and they're coming fast. Nov. 4 is right around the bend, and if we don't get some help from you, we're never going to win.

Get fired up to vote for candidates who will support working people, not CEOs and corporations, this fall by listening to this song from AFL-CIO's Kirk Brungard (also a member of Electrical Workers [IBEW]). Music is by the infamous Johnny Cash, who was also a card-carrying American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) member.

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In the latest video from the Koch Sisters, Karen and Joyce express their outrage that the Koch Brothers are attacking the minimum wage, saying that billionaires trying to control how much the lowest-paid workers in the country get is "almost evil."

The Senate is poised to vote on the minimum wage this week. Call your senators at 888-492-8867 and tell them to vote "yes" on raising the minimum wage.

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Training Up Down Under

In 2012, the Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) and Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) entered into a unique affiliation agreement to combat global climate change by sharing industry best practices, particularly around alternate forms of energy generation, such as biofuels and geothermal technology. The affiliation allows for joint skills training and employment initiatives in the United States, Canada and Australia. Read the full article>>>

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 >>>

Thousands of union members and working families around the tri-state area are struggling to recover from the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy. There are numerous city, state and federal agencies offering all kinds of assistance, from meal delivery and pet rescue to mortgage relief and low-interest loans. In addition, disaster assistance is available for those who lost wages due to Sandy, lost jobs, or lost personal possessions, whether they own a home or rent one.  ANYONE who suffered any kind of damage due to Hurricane Sandy is encouraged to REGISTER immediately with FEMA and NY State. There is help available, but you MUST ask for it. Click read more for details on how to apply.

Union members living in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, who participate in Union Plus programs may be eligible for financial assistance. Union Plus Disaster Relief Grants of $500 are available to help participants in the Union Plus Credit Card, Insurance or Mortgage programs who are facing financial hardship due to the recent severe weather. The money does not have to be repaid. Funds are limited to the nearly $370,000 available in the Union Plus Disaster Relief Fund.

2012 LABOR PARADE

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