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Labor news around the nation

LOS ANGELES (PAI)--Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has sided with the joint Teamsters-environmentalist “clean trucks” campaign at the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach, Ricardo Hidalgo reports in the Southern California Teamster.

Lawmakers introduce bill to renegotiate NAFTA or dump it

WASHINGTON (PAI)--Reps. Nancy Boyda (D-Kansas), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and five others have introduced legislation ordering the government to renegotiate the controversial U.S.-Mexico-Canada “free trade” treaty, NAFTA. If bargaining fails, their bill orders the U.S. to dump the pact.

Unemployment jumps to 5 percent;Thousands of jobs lost in construction, manufacturing

WASHINGTON (PAI)--The nation’s unemployment rate ended 2007 by jumping 0.3 percent in December to 5 percent, 0.1 percent higher than in December 2006. Almost 500,000 more people lost their jobs last month. Factories and construction shed thousands of jobs. AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney called it “the latest in a series of troubling signs that our economy may be slipping into recession.”

Federal worker unions win big in defense bill

WASHINGTON (PAI)—Federal workers and their unions racked up two big wins in what is, for now, the final version of the Defense Department’s authorization bill.

Organizing the unorganized: What do you do if they need unions but they're not interested?

SILVER SPRING, Md. (PAI)—In all the discussion at the two-day AFL-CIO-sponsored conference on organizing worldwide, there was at least one big topic that went almost unmentioned: what do you, an organizer, do if you see that workers need the union….but they don’t want it?

Obama double digit lead in New Hamphire: Another win for the politics of hope

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has surged to a double digit lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and seems sure to best the New York senator in this latest contest for the Democratic nominee for the White House. A Gallup-USA today poll shows Obama leading by 13 points with CNN estimating 10 point spread. Think blowout or landslide. Think stunning unrecoverable upset. Think tsunami.

Movie Review: Four stars for The Great Debaters

This movie is about the fact that African Americans and their progressive allies had that courage to make a difference then and it inspires us to make the difference now. A great movie with a well deserved four stars. Go see it you’ll be glad you did.

Diverse construction workforce in sight in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — A landmark agreement reached last month could open the way to diversifying the construction workforce here. Pending approval by the City Council, contractors, the Convention Center authority, and the building trades unions, new major Center City projects could be affected.

Necessity and law: getting past illegality

The anti-immigrant movement sets great store by “legality.' “What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?” is one of their favorite taunts.

Keep your eye on disabled Americans struggle for benefits

As the economy as a whole continues its downward trends, those of us who are disabled due to service in Iraq or other wars, getting old, workplace accidents, illness or other reasons are being hurt hard. This group of people should be a focus for all of us who struggle for social justice, as they are among the most vulnerable in our society, and should be among the prime measures for how we treat our working people.

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