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  • On EFCA, Specter changes views...constantly

    September 19, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH -- Before the first full day session of the 26th AFL-CIO convention opened here last Monday the federation's officers met privately with a group of reporters who asked them about reports that Sen. Arlen Specter, D, Pa., was now in favor of passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Specter, when he was still a Republican last year, was one of the bill's sponsors in the Senate.

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  • Two of top three posts go to women in AFL-CIO election

    September 19, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH -- In a session packed with emotion, delegates to the 26th AFL-CIO Convention yesterday elected a historic leadership team. Two women, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker join the new president, Richard Trumka, as the federation's top three leaders.

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  • Unite-Here rejoins AFL-CIO

    September 19, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH — The last day of the AFL-CIO Convention opened on a high note as newly elected federation President Richard Trumka announced that Unite-Here is re-affiliating with the federation. The 250,000 member Unite-Here was one of the unions that left the AFL-CIO in 2005 to join the Change-to-Win federation.

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  • A building trades union re-invents itself

    September 19, 2009By John Wojcik

    It was lunchtime at the 26th Convention of the AFL-CIO here yesterday and the painters, like everyone else were hungry. They had a makeshift “lunch room” off the convention floor near where labor journalists had their workspace and they invited two hungry Peoples World reporters to join them for a break and some food.

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  • Obama raises the roof at labor convention in Pittsburgh

    September 18, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH– As President Obama walked to the podium to address the AFL-CIO convention it felt like a prolonged earth tremor had begun. Three thousand people jumped to their feet and began almost five solid minutes of applause that only became louder every time the president begged them to be seated.

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  • Labor movement 'fired up' in Pittsburgh

    September 18, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH – Fourteen hour days, five hours of sleep maximum, grabbing a bite of fast food only now and then – it's no problem, so far, for 3,000 delegates, guests and supporters well into their second day here at the 26th Convention of the AFL-CIO.

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  • A labor convention like no others opens in Pittsburgh

    September 18, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH - A labor convention different in more ways than one from any prior gathering of the labor movement in U.S. history opened here yesterday.

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  • AFL-CIO forsees victory on public option, EFCA

    September 15, 2009By John Wojcik

    PITTSBURGH – Leaders of the U.S. labor movement, during interviews an hour before the 26th Convention of the AFL-CIO began its first full day of business here, expressed certainty that, before the year is out, the nation will have a new system of health insurance that includes a public option and that the Employee Free Choice Act will become the law of the land.

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  • Future for the Mon Valley? ‘Hell doesn’t have to last forever!’

    September 15, 2009By John Wojcik

    On Friday, I and three other labor journalists paid a visit to the mayor of a town some folks in the Monongahela Valley call “Hell.”Braddock is the poorest town in Allegheny County and John Fetterman, 39, its chief executive, presents himself quite differently than do most mayors. Among the first things that strike you about this young white mayor of a largely African American town are his 380 lbs., six...

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  • An EFCA majority sign-up “trigger”?

    September 13, 2009By John Wojcik

    Some Blue Dog Democrats, fearful of a public option in a health care bill, have signaled that they might be willing to support a compromise measure that allows for creation of such an option once insurance companies show, under the president’s new plan, that they are continuing to charge customers too much. They are saying the “threat” of a public option might, by itself, force insurance companies to charge less.

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