Union leaders praise Obama on immigration decision

by Laura Clawson

English: Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice Preside...

English: Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union, testifying on immigration reform before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, April 30, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The AFL-CIO and the SEIU are applauding President Obama’s decision to give work permits to young, law-abiding undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, rather than deporting them.

“President Obama showed leadership and courage,” according to SEIU Secretary Treasurer Eliseo Medina, on a “common sense move [that] is fiscally responsible and widely supported.”

“President Obama is showing great courage in taking this action, and it presents a stark contrast with the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee who has vowed to stop the DREAM Act if elected. In Congress, polarizing partisan politics kept the DREAM Act from becoming law in 2010.

“Through President Obama’s courageous leadership, DREAM eligible students can get relief from the immediate threat of deportation. The president has now done all he can do, but the kind of relief he is able to grant is temporary. It is now up to Congress to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, which is the only way that the dreams of these productive Americans can be realized.”

[note: Eliseo Medina is an Honorary Chair of DSA]

“We are thrilled,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.

The President’s actions bring much-needed security and encouragement to our nation’s youth who can finally live without fear of separation from their families and deportation to a country they barely remember. […] The AFL-CIO commends the Administration for its courage and leadership in taking an important step towards a more just America. Continue reading

Dolores Huerta given Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 29:  Civil rights and wom...

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 29: Civil rights and women’s advocate Dolores Huerta is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event May 29, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Not accepting tales of its  own demise, in May of 2012 the UFW celebrated its 50th. anniversary at a convention in Bakersfield, California, with over 3,000 farm workers  in attendance.   President Arturo Rodriguez announced new contracts with improved wages and benefits in tomatoes fields  and in lettuce. On the final day, U.S.  Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta co founder of the UFW and a DSA Honorary Chair.  President Barack Obama send a video message of support to the convention and awarded the prize at a White House ceremony on May 30.    The convention planned its next decade of work.  That’s pretty good for an organization that some writers are  arguing  failed.

For a video on the award to Huerta see


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Save Our Schools March !

Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action

by Duane Campbell

Parents, teachers  and families from around the country say they are fed up with so-called school  “reform” policies that falsely label more than 80% of U.S. public schools as failures.  A  coalition of individuals and organizations is mobilizing for a national day of action in support of public schools. 
On Saturday, July 30, 2011, thousands of people will gather at the White House in Washington, DC and at locations around the nation for   “Save Our Schools” marches.   The  events are being organized by a network of teachers, parents and community activists. 
  You can contact the march efforts and locate your regional demonstration at  http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org,

“For too long, public school stakeholders have been treated like second class citizens in our own communities,” said Sabrina Stevens Shupe, a former Colorado teacher, who is a member of the March’s organizing committee. “Teachers’ knowledge has been dismissed because we are falsely presumed to be self-interested and incompetent.  Students and parents who vocally oppose the disruption and destruction of their schools are often entirely ignored.  At the same time, ideologues with little to no experience in public schools have made misguided decisions that devastate educational quality and equal opportunity.”

The Save Our Schools March is being held in response to recent destructive “reform” efforts which have undermined our public educational system, demoralized teachers, and reduced the education of too many of our children to nothing more than test preparation. Something must be done – and it must be done now!

The Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action is calling on Americans everywhere to demand: Continue reading

Columbia Free Trade Agreement ?

AFL-CIO Mike Hall. May 17, 2011.

Until Congress acts on renewing an enhanced Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (TAA) for workers who have lost their jobs because of outsourcing, offshoring and unfair trade deals, the Obama administration will not submit three pending trade deals to Congress, the White House announced yesterday.

Capitol Hill observers said Boehner and Republicans held the TAA extension hostage to force a commitment from the Obama administration to send three pending trade deals— Korea, Panama and Colombia—to Congress.

The AFL-CIO has long-backed TAA. In February, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called it a “lifeline for working people trying to get the skills necessary to change careers after their lives have been turned upside down.”

But the AFL-CIO remains firmly opposed to the Colombia, Korea and Panama free trade agreements.

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Vodpod videos no longer available.

White Board, posted with vodpod
And see the post below.  The persistent high levels of employment.
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Jobs for teachers, police, firefighters

President Barack Obama meets with White House ...
Image via Wikipedia

by Duane Campbell

I think that this is a good move.  The White House should be pushing for jobs, jobs, jobs. That is what the AFL-CIO has been asking for.  Saturday the White House released a letter Obama sent Congress asking for nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments to prevent off “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters” and to prevent a possible double-dip recession. Read the letter here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/president_letter_6-12-10.pdf

Meanwhile economist Dean Baker argues in the Guardian Unlimited (June 7,2010):

“Unfortunately, the deficit cultists are making it likely that the country will follow the path of high unemployment. This will mean an enormous amount of unnecessary pain for millions of workers and their families. These people will be out of work not because they lack the necessary skills or don’t have a willingness to work – they were working just two years ago.

No, today’s unemployed are out of work because the people who are managing the economy don’t have the skills necessary to do their job. And the incompetents who are managing the economy are all getting very well paid for their work. That is not good economic policy.”

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