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What is a worker center? – a video tutorial

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Louisville Activists Tow the Line for Big Labor

While members of the Metro Council deliberate the merits of a minimum wage increase, Louisville residents should know that the lead group advocating for the increase, Kentucky Jobs with Justice (KYJWJ), has less than altruistic motives. A closer look at KYJWJ reveals that the organization is part of a national network of union-backed groups spanning the country under the Jobs with Justice banner.  JWJ chapters, like KYJWJ, focus their efforts on localizing issues important to organized labor’s overarching, national agenda, and national unions fund and support these groups to create the illusion of a spontaneous groundswell of local, grassroots activism….

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Breaking Bad: ROC Restaurant Takes the “High” Road

The Washington Post reported this week that Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) High Road Partner Inspire BBQ was at the center of a coast-to-coast drug trafficking network that would make Gustavo Fring jealous.  With “a shipment a month” ranging from “1.5 kilos, or more than three pounds, of cocaine” to potentially as much as “20 pounds of heroin” arriving mostly to ROC’s High Road Partner location it’s no wonder that the restaurant could afford to pay employees an above average wage and offer extra benefits, earning it top marks in the 2014 ROC Diner’s Guide.The restaurant was a regular showpiece for ROC and was routinely featured as one of ROC’s…

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AFL-CIO Staffs Up for Worker Center Coordination

In 2013, the AFL-CIO took the unprecedented step of allowing worker centers to affiliate with the AFL-CIO.  The resolution faced opposition from some unions.  Most notably the International Association of Fire Fighters whose President stated, “I’m concerned about a formal partnership and a formal structure,” commenting on the AFL acronym—American Federation of Labor, “I don’t see it as the American Federation of Progressive and Liberal Organizations.”   AFL-CIO Head Honcho Trumka, however, cast aside their members’ concerns and pushed the resolution through, which, in effect, bestows union membership rights to an affiliated worker center.  The clever dodge creates a path by which the AFL-CIO…