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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4:19 PM Eastern - Thursday, July 31, 2014

President Obama's Contracting Order Is a Win-Win-Win #default

An executive order issued today by President Obama will have huge, positive consequences for the 26 million Americans working for companies that do business with the federal government. The executive order affects all of those companies, as a result, all of those workers.

SEIU members joined President Obama at the July 31, 2014 signing of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

PHOTO: 32BJ member Helen Avalos shakes hands with President Obama immediately following the signing of the Executive Order.

What does the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order do? It says if you're a company that wants a federal contract, you have to disclose your labor law violations from the past three years, from wage theft and safety violations to civil rights abuses. If you've got a contract but violate labor laws repeatedly, your shoddy record will be reviewed by a compliance advisor and may be flagged for "lack of integrity or business ethics."

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9:53 AM Eastern - Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tell House Representatives to Defend Refugee Children #default

Just a few days ago, many of us called our Senators and told them to support shelter and help for the thousands of refugee children who have come to the United States recently from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. 

Now, we must act again.

Some members of Congress are proposing extreme measures that would weaken the law and immediately deport thousands of refugee children without giving them a fair chance to show whether they would be harmed if sent back. 

Call 877-848-8289 and tell your House representative to vote no on H.R. 5230 and to defend refugee children.

Thousands of unaccompanied children of all ages have fled for their lives from Central America and have come to the US to request refuge. The countries they come from have the highest murder rates in the world, and the gangs in those countries target children. Our laws provide a process to evaluate children like these who have thrown themselves at our mercy, to ensure we don't deport true refugees who might be harmed or even killed. 

Yet, Republicans have introduced H.R. 5230, a bill that would strip these legal protections. Under new procedures, designed to deport instead of protect, almost all of the children would be immediately returned regardless of how much danger that would put them in. 
This is unconscionable. 

Call your Representative and tell him/her to OPPOSE H.R. 5230 and to OPPOSE any change in the law that would deport children immediately: 877-848-8289

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9:44 AM Eastern - Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sen. Dick Durbin Introduces Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act #default

With advanced degrees, adjunct faculty are well-prepared to teach. But with such degrees often comes significant debt, and few options for keeping the student debt burden manageable. A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate reflects the momentum adjunct faculty have created in the past year toward making big changes in their workplaces while helping shape the future of higher education.

dick durbin.jpg

Yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation that will help adjunct faculty access the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). The Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act would make a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of adjunct and contingent faculty, who now make up a majority of America's college instructors and more than half of whom work part-time.

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Darleen HenryDarleen Henry of Rosemount, Minn., isn't your typical 24-year-old. Three years ago, her mother had a series of small strokes that turned life upside down for both of them.

"The doctors considered them minor, but to us they changed everything," said Darleen. "Most people my age don't expect to care for their mother. But how can you look at your parent and tell them no?"

Darleen was with her mother during every hospital stay for the strokes - "and there were many." Darleen's mother qualifies for home care services through Medicaid, and very quickly they decided it would be best if Darleen became her homecare provider.

"I could have easily suggested her going into a nursing home, but I knew if I were in her shoes, leaving my own home before I needed to would be heartbreaking, let alone extremely expensive. She was in assisted living for two weeks after a surgery and hated it. She'd never been so miserable in her life."

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7:22 PM Eastern - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Members of Congress to end week of living on minimum wage #default

AmericaNeedsARaise-banner.pngOn Thursday, July 31th at 12:30 p.m., a joint coalition of DC minimum wage workers, members of Congress, religious leaders and community supporters will join together to share their experience of living on the minimum wage.

A caravan of 100 plus workers will drape shoes around their necks and present them to Congress on the East Front Capitol Steps urging members to stop walking away from millions of struggling minimum wage workers during recess.

Several members of congress, including Reps. Mark Takano, Jan Schakowsky, Tim Ryan and Barbara Lee took the Walk a Mile in My Shoes "Live the Wage" Challenge with sobering results. Congressmen Ryan tweeted "Going to get some sardines and crackers tonight for dinner;" then his his newborn's unexpected illness knocked $24 off his weekly budget to buy prescription medication.

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6:46 PM Eastern - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Single mom Shemethia Butler: "I work hard and I deserve better for my hard work." #default

Worker-ShemethiaButler-sm.jpgWorking full time to support a family shouldn't ever mean living below the poverty line, but that's true for too many Americans today--and I'm one of them.

I'm a mother of two children who works at McDonald's in Washington, DC, earning $9.50 an hour. It's ironic because when I was 16 years old, I worked at McDonalds making $4.25 an hour. And almost 20 years later I find myself working there again, earning only four dollars more an hour.

Because of my low pay, I get TANIF and food stamps. I work odd jobs and beg my family and friends for money to keep things going.

When I get home from work and walk down the halls of my apartment, I smell food cooking that I can't afford to make for my own family. At times it's brought tears to my eyes. But I have to buckle up when I get to door, hold back my tears...smile at my son and daughter and do the best I can with rice or noodles. Plenty of days we have no meat or fresh vegetables.

My son wants to go to college but I can't help him; my daughter wants a nice dress that I can't afford. I want to make meals for my family instead of standing in line for handouts. I work hard and I deserve better for my hard work.

Any raise in the minimum wage will help put food on my table. I recently earned my food handlers license and hope to get another job. But if it pays minimum wage, it will have been a lot of work for nothing.

Don't take away hope, raise the minimum wage.

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5:46 PM Eastern - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tell Your Senator: Protect children fleeing violence #default

RefugeeKids.jpgIn the last few months we have witnessed an unprecedented number of unaccompanied refugee children arriving at our southern border from El Salvador, Guatamela, and Honduras. With thousands of unaccompanied children arriving, Republicans have shown their true colors in how they have responded.

Rather than protect the children, Republican lawmakers they have tried to strip children fleeing violence of their legal protections and expedite their deportations, regardless of the facts.

Children arriving at the border should not be deported immediately. Instead, they should be given shelter and support while their situation is evaluated.

Call 877-848-8289 to be connected to your Senator right now. Tell your Senator to SUPPORT the supplemental funding request that ensures adequate funds to provide shelter and support for the children. Tell him/her to OPPOSE any change in the law that would deport children immediately.

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