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Statement by Connecticut AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Treasurer Lori Pelletier on the Department of Labor proposal to expand overtime protections:

“American workers need a raise now more than ever, and President Obama’s expansion of overtime protections is a critical boost in pay for an estimated 40,000 Connecticut workers. Connecticut workers are working longer hours and still not getting ahead. Grossly unfair federal overtime regulations are one factor holding them back, so we applaud the President’s action.

“As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, let’s remember that financial independence comes with the security of a living wage. The overtime provision is a critical step in the right direction to raising wages.”

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Last week, Congressman Jim Himes publicly declared his support for Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, and then accepted an invitation to join the President on Air Force One this past weekend as he traveled to the G7 Summit in Germany.

After learning about Himes’ trip to Europe, the Connecticut AFL-CIO called on the Congressman to instead tour the abandoned factories in his district.

“Instead of flying with the President to the Bavarian Alps, we wish Congressman Himes took a tour of the abandoned factories in Bridgeport to witness the devastation these trade deals have wrought on his district,” said Lori Pelletier, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

With Himes out of the country, the state AFL-CIO decided to assist the Congressman by recording a short video that shows the damage done to the 4th Congressional District by previous trade deals:

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Celebrate International Workers Day – Friday May 1st

4:30 Music and Rally on the New Haven Green at Temple and Chapel Streets
Join hundreds for Immigration Reform, Safe Jobs with Fair Wages Worldwide, and Peace!

5:30 March to protest wage theft and demand stronger legislation that will create incentives for employers to provide fair wages.

The event is endorsed by the Connecticut AFL-CIO, AFT-CT, Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, Carpenters Local 24, CWA, Colombia Action CT, Junta for Progressive Action, Mexico Solidarity Committee, New Haven Labor Council, New Haven Peace Council, New Haven Peoples Center, New Haven Rising, SEIU 32 BJ, UE Northeast Region, UE Locals 243 and 222, Unidad Latina en Accion,UNITE/HERE Unions at Yale, Connecticut Working Families. The list is in formation.

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While much of the Internet this week was focused on escaped llamas, figuring out what color a dress is or mourning the loss of SAG-AFTRA member and Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy, we can forget that legislation is still being pushed that would make the lives of working families worse. Whether it is the "right to work" policies pushed by the allies of Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), who likes to compare workers to terrorists, and in other states like New Mexico and West Virginia, or the ongoing negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) using the Fast Track process, we need to stay alert. Read more >>>

Working CT is the newest addition to the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s digital platform. On here, we will blog about elections, the legislative session, organizing drives, and issues important to workers across our great state.

www.workingct.com

Friends of the Feathered

As part of the Union Sportsmen's Alliance's (USA's) Work Boots on the Ground project, New Jersey union members built and painted 52 pheasant and 10 quail transport boxes to support the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which raises and releases some 50,000 pheasants and 11,000 quail annually across the state. Read the full article>>>

Share of Households Earning Middle-Class Income

Income inequality became a hot topic of economic conversation in 2014, and publications like The Atlantic have taken notice. In 17 Things We Learned About the Economy in 2014, the authors explore the growth of low-income jobs, stagnant wages for families and shrinking wages for younger workers, the racial and gender wage gap, taxes and the dwindling middle class.

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It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>

When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>

The AFL-CIO has endorsed the Postal Workers’ boycott of the office supply giant Staples over the U.S. Postal Service’s privatization of retail operations by contracting mail services to Staples, with “postal counters” staffed with low-wage, high-turnover Staples employees rather than postal employees. Read more >>>

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