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Spotlight Newsletter

January 18, 2013

Volume 1., Issue 261


Take Action Today to Fix the U.S. Senate Filibuster Rules

In just the last year alone, a handful of GOP obstructionists in the US Senate blocked 385 bills from being debated without ever having to explain why, which is nearly twice as many filibusters compared to the year before. It’s clear that the current filibuster system is being misused and abused, and reform of the system is absolutely necessary for Congress to do its job.

On Day 1 of the new term (which begins next week), a simple majority vote in the Senate could change the rules of the filibuster process by bringing back the 'talking’ filibuster, which would require Senators to stand up and publicly explain their position on the bill, instead the current ‘silent’ filibuster system which allows Senators to block bills quickly and quietly simply casting a vote. Taker action to fix the rules by calling Senators Boxer and Feinstein today and urging them to support real reform of the Senate filibuster.

Call your Senators today at 1-866-937-5062.



Cal/OSHA Cracks Down on Walmart Warehouse Contractors

In response to numerous health and safety complaints filed by workers who move goods at a Walmart-subcontracted warehouse in the Inland Empire, Cal/OSHA has cited the warehouse operator, NFI, and the staffing agency, Warestaff, with several serious violations. The citations came shortly after a series of strikes and pickets at the warehouse last fall, where the workers protested their dangerous working conditions as well as the retaliation they faced from the management for speaking out.

“Cal/OSHA has determined in its investigation that safety conditions at the Walmart-contracted warehouse are not safe or legal,” said Guadalupe Palma, a campaign director for Warehouse Workers United. “This vindicates the workers who were punished when they raised concerns.”

Learn more.



Working Families Thank Hilda Solis for her Commitment to Workers as Labor Secretary

After four years in President Obama’s Cabinet, Hilda Solis recently announced she’s stepping down from her position as Secretary of Labor. Secretary Solis grew up in a California union family, and has been a lifelong champion for workers. During her four years in the Labor Department, Solis worked to advances workers’ rights in many ways, winning huge victories for workers on issues ranging from wage theft to job training to workplace health and safety.

“As Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis made us proud. Thanks to her hard work and dedication, millions of working families are closer to achieving the American Dream,” said California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski. “We extend our deep gratitude to Hilda for her service, and look forward to continuing our partnership with her in the future to build a better life for all workers.”

Learn more.



Apply for the Jack Henning Graduate Fellowship in Labor Culture and History

In honor of the late labor leader and champion for all workers, Jack Henning, the Archie Green Fund for Labor Culture and History has established a graduate fellowship for Masters and PhD candidates to encourage innovative study of the problems, identities, philosophies, and the expressive cultures of working people in the United States.

Graduate students undertaking research related to laborlore, labor history, occupational folklife, trade union traditions or workers’ expressive culture are all eligible to apply, with special attention paid to students who are exploring important, innovative topics related to the lives of working people that may fall outside of the parameters of traditional academic research and funding.

Learn more and apply.



This Week on “Labor’s Edge”

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