27,000 home care workers are united in SEIU Healthcare Minnesota after years of fighting for a voice on the job. Today, home care workers, their clients and families celebrated an overwhelming victory.

27,000 home care workers are united in SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

"Despite every obstacle put in our way, we stuck to our promise to keep fighting until we were able to exercise our democratic right to let home care workers decide for themselves whether to form a union," said Sumer Spika, a home care worker from St. Paul. "When given the right to decide for ourselves, home care workers clearly are ready for change and with our union will have a unified voice to fight for better conditions for ourselves and better care for those we serve."

The Bureau of Mediation Services tallied the votes earlier in the day and certified that workers voted decisively join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota.

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1:25 PM Eastern - Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tragedy Shows Airlines Should Use Influence--for the Public Good #default

When Ulbita Ramirez said farewell to her partner of 23 years on February 21, neither of them knew that it was their final farewell.

Cesar Valenzuela was killed that day working at LAX airport for a contractor called Menzies Aviation. He was thrown from the baggage truck he was driving, which rolled over him, leaving him dead. The truck had no seatbelt.

Today, the California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued citations related to the tragic death of Cesar Valenzuela. They found that his seatbelt wasn't working, that the company discouraged the use of seatbelts and that proper inspections weren't carried out.

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2:16 PM Eastern - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Houston's Underpaid Workers Talk High Costs of Low Wages #default


Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez shared a special breakfast in Houston this morning with janitors, fast food, domestic and restaurant workers as part of a five city tour in advance of Labor Day. The breakfast was held at the private Northside Houston residence of SEIU Texas member and Houston janitor Austraberta Rodriguez.

As the group shared a meal, janitors, fast food, domestic and restaurant workers also shared stories of their daily struggles to survive and raise families on low wages.

"It shouldn't have to take two strikes to receive respect and dignity," said Rodriguez, who's been a janitor for more than 30 years. "Before my co-workers and I went on strike in 2005 to form our union and stand up for good jobs, I didn't know what it was like to take to take a day off with pay. Everyone who works hard deserves to be able to feed a family and put money in the gas tank."

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Two months ago, a group of airport workers, passengers with disabilities and their allies raised their voices together at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

Today (Monday August 18), the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs the airport, is discussing how to address these problems.

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1:07 PM Eastern - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Minnesota Homecare Workers Rising: "I Am Only One Person, What Can I Do?" #default

Shaquonica JohnsonShaquonica Johnson of Brooklyn Park, Minn., wanted to work in the health care field for most of her life. As a teenager, she decided to go into nursing to help those around her live healthier, longer lives.

As pursues that degree, she has come to see how home care also allows people facing significant health challenges to keep their independence and dignity.

"I watched my own uncle go through this after heart surgery and thanks to a PCA [personal care attendant], he remained in his home, in control of his life, until he passed away," she said.

As a PCA herself now, she considers the program a "blessing" - when it works. "I help people who live with disabilities live as productively and independently as possible," says Shaquonica. "But in my years as a PCA, I see that most of the time it's not working very well because of the high turnover and the lack of training opportunities."

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2:12 PM Eastern - Friday, August 8, 2014

Home Care Workers: We're Ready to Fight for $15! #default


Home care workers across the country are uniting to raise wages and improve care. In July, union and nonunion home care workers across the country showed they are more determined than ever to build a movement to fight for $15 and make the long term care system better for everyone.

Home care workers in Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, and Washington brought people together with a "BBQ on My Budget," highlighting how hard it is to get by on low wages. Attendees pledged to Fight for $15 for home care workers and to make sure home care is an issue talked about in their communities and in the coming election.

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9:04 AM Eastern - Friday, August 8, 2014

Healthcare Law Tax Credits Still Alive and Well #default

What a busy summer 2014 has turned out to be! Our work to protect, defend and educate our patients and communities about the Affordable Care Act is more important than ever.

I want to make sure that nurses know that tax credits to help people pay for their healthcare coverage are alive and well despite a divided ruling from a panel in the DC Court of Appeals in July. A similar panel in the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond came to the opposite conclusion and upheld the financial assistance that is improving the healthcare of millions in federal marketplace states. These lawsuits--along with the House GOP's lawsuit against President Obama--are just extremists' latest desperate attacks on the healthcare law and the millions of American families benefiting from it.

It continues to be important that we speak out about grounding women's healthcare in sound policy and not ideology in the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling. Last week the Obama administration said that employers who stop covering birth control must disclose the change to their employees.

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11:29 AM Eastern - Thursday, August 7, 2014

GOP = "Get Out" Party #default

Whether they are trying to deport DREAMers by ending DACA or passing legislation to deport children at the border without giving them a fair process to make their case for refugee status, Republicans have taken their attacks to a whole new level over the past week.

Not one--but TWO--anti-immigrant bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week thanks to the Republicans.

Let's remind elected officials that they work for us: download the toolkit and join us at a town hall this August.

The first bill requires the immediate deportation of unaccompanied children who have come to the U.S. border seeking refuge and safety--although they could qualify to stay under current laws. House Republicans passed the bill, heartlessly turning away vulnerable children who risked their lives to escape the violence in their home countries.
The second bill (known as the "No New DREAMers Act") would end DACA--deferred action for DREAMers--essentially, pushing more than 550,000 DACA recipients back into the shadows, while also blocking President Obama from taking further action. By a margin of 216 to 192, this bill passed as well.

The message they are sending to us is crystal clear: the Republican Party has completely turned its back on immigrant communities and American values and has once again become the party that supports deportation for all as the only solution rather than working in a bipartisan manner to fix our broken immigration system.

Now that they have shown their true colors, it's time to for us to take action.

Don't let Republicans off the hook: download the toolkit and attend a town hall with us.

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9:59 AM Eastern - Monday, August 4, 2014

So-Called 'Child Tax Credit Improvement' Act Fails to Put Working Women or Kids First #default

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a bill that claims it would improve a tax credit for working families. In reality, this bill, that the House GOP is calling "The Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014" would actually give additional tax credits to higher-income families -- leaving millions of hard-working women and their families behind.

Consider this: A family with two kids, making $160,000 a year would receive a new tax cut of $2,200, while a single mom making just $14,500 a year at a full-time minimum wage job would see her $1,725 Child Tax Credit disappear to $0 in 2018.

This isn't a bad joke. It is an outright assault on working women and families. It also ignores the scheduled 2017 expiration of a child tax credit expansion that benefits the lowest-income households. And while Congress can take steps now to extend this critical provision, some members of Congress are willing to push 12 million people, including 6 million children further into poverty.

We can't stand by and watch some members of Congress pass another tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of working families. They may be on recess, but we're using the coming weeks as a time to raise our voices.

Click here to email your Senators and urge them to:

Vote NO on the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014 because it would hurt working families, women and children.


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5:33 PM Eastern - Thursday, July 31, 2014

President Obama takes executive action to protect workers and taxpayers alike. #default

President Obama is helping ensure that all hardworking Americans get the fair pay and safe workplaces they deserve

Good news for working people: President Obama took bold action today to protect the wages and safety of millions of American workers.

The executive order he signed will help alleviate wage theft in our federal contracting system and protect taxpayer dollars from going to companies that consistently break the law.

Tell your friends, colleagues and family members on Facebook why today is a great day for workers.

More than one in five workers in the U.S. today are employed by companies that do business with the federal government. Far too many have been routinely denied leave, placed in harm's way, discriminated against and cheated out of pay by federal contractors.

As workers around the country stand up to demand a living wage and a union, President Obama is doing his part to make sure employers treat their workers with the respect they deserve, support collective bargaining and have clean labor records.

As Rep. Keith Ellison put it, "If you are a federal contractor and you want to do business with the United States, you should be fair to your workers." Amen!

Share this good news for working people on Facebook now.

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