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New numbers reveal the harsh reality for Texas construction workers: a majority work over 40 hours each week yet 52 percent still live in poverty.  The construction industry in Texas is said to be booming, especially when compared with the industry in other regions, but the uptick in projects and funding does not seem to be making its way down to the (often undocumented) worker.  

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When will enough be enough, huh?

When will taking every. possible. harmful. action to attack workers, wages and the welfare of the average American no longer be en vogue?

When will being so certain of the benefits of lower standards, less oversight, and a next-to-nothing future start getting lawmakers in trouble?

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With all southern Midwest labor eyes on Kansas' paycheck deception fight, a series of anti-worker bills are quietly making their way through the Missouri legislature that could could turn The Show Me State into a new battleground for controversial labor laws.  

It’s no coincidence that the Americans for Prosperity agenda is being thrust upon Missouri, one of the purplest states in the union, as the Tea Party scrambles to work their radical policies into shape in what is becoming a "now or never" moment for the fading Right-Wing movement.

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It should come as no surprise to anyone that Fox News slander-monger Sean Hannity was working hard last week to demean union protesters in Michigan.  What should come as a surprise, however, is that Hannity has both a background as a construction worker and is a loyal member of the AFL-CIO.  Yes, Sean Hannity has lived the life and knows what the fight is about, but chooses to turn his back on personal history in order to please the powers and pocketbooks that be.

Hannity’s defamation of Michigan union members relied on commonplace fallacies such as the “thugs” label.  Nothing to see here.

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In their now infamous “lame duck” session, Michigan Republicans have pushed a heavily partisan agenda that has upset a massive portion of constituents.  Now, the opportunity to express that displeasure is being revoked via a watered down and handcuffed recall process.  

New legislation, once again wedged through in the middle of the night, makes it harder for elected officials to be recalled.

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Third quarter numbers show that U.S. corporate profits have hit a record high while workers' wages are now at their lowest share of GDP (again).  Why again?  See, corporate profits are like Batman movie ticket sales.  Every time the new numbers come out they're bigger than the last ones.

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An interesting scenario is playing out in Milwaukee as local residents, rallying around the efforts of the Media Action Center (MAC), are fighting the renewal of FCC licenses for 620 WTMJ and News/Talk 1130 WISN due to their biased political leanings.  

The fight started in May during the lead up to the Wisconsin Recall election.  Since then, community members have been monitoring the time allotted to each political demographic in an effort to restore balance to the public airwaves.  

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Staying ahead of the game is essential to the longevity of any business.  Union construction work is no different.  As green energy continues to flourish, many local Iron Workers unions are stepping up their efforts to prepare their members for the construction jobs of the future.  

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In Michigan, a Judge in the U.S. District Court has placed a preliminary injunction on a state law that prohibits public sector Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).  

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The Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council (PABCTC) is urging its members and supporters to contact Gov. Tom Corbett’s office to voice concerns about an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) sponsored plan to lower the ratio of journeymen to apprentices on job sites to 1:1 for non-union contractors.  

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It is widely known that in the past year anti-worker groups have used illegal text message spam to influence voters during the Wisconsin recall election and, more recently, the Presidential election.  Some of the messages were extreme and ugly.  In the Wisconsin race, Tom Barrett's headquarters was flooded when a text message went out accusing him of being a "union puppet" with a link to call his office.  More recently, people were hit with messages such as: "Obama believes killing children is a right until the umbilical cord is cut," as well as "Obama stole $716 Billion in Medicare. We cant [sic] trust Obama to protect our seniors,"  and "VP Biden mocks a fallen Navy Seal during memorial. Our military deserves better."

This has grown in recent years and will continue to do so, but there is action you can take by visiting the FCC website and  posting a comment in support of putting an end to this type of behavior. The FCC needs to hear from us all. The comment period ends on November 24th.

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Hockey has had a hard time climbing out of the "niche sport" shadow in the U.S.  Of the four major professional sports it ranks fourth in the heart of sports fans. In the South, where Nascar is king, hockey falls to 5th at best.  This, combined with a natural lack of empathy for relatively large professional athlete salaries, has resulted in little attention being paid to the fact that NHL players are being locked out by management for refusing to accept major concessions.  

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