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  • Josh Eidelson has more on planned Black Friday Walmart protests.
  • How does inequality in U.S. cities compare with other countries? New York is like Swaziland, Los Angeles is like the Dominican Republic.
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Ai-Jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, respond to California Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights:
    In the U.S., the labor movement continues to forge new partnerships with day laborers, taxi workers, domestic workers and other worker centres built around the dignity of all work.

    Communities around the country are joining together in our fight to reestablish opportunity and fairness.

    The governor can veto a law, but he can't veto a movement.

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  • I have such a writer's crush on Josh Eidelson:
    Like Obama’s canvassers, those for Working America tout the president’s accomplishments and assess public support for him. But they also probe grievances, swap stories and promote engagement. Working America wants to be a voice for these voters’ frustration, a challenge to their cynicism and an avenue for their mobilization. In the former steel towns of western Pennsylvania, where many have soured not just on this president but on all politics, Working America is trying to do something unions once did: bind working-class voters to progressive populism and to each other. [...]

    In 2003, Koehler’s brother lost his job and his health insurance when the electronics company where he worked shut down. “We called every insurance company,” said Koehler, but none would insure him because of his heart condition. The last time her brother saw a doctor, he was told he needed to have his defibrillator replaced. He got a new job, without insurance, delivering pizzas. While working for the pizza place, Koehler’s brother received a card in the mail for state-provided health insurance. “He was so excited, and he said, ‘Look! I can make all my doctors’ appointments,’” Koehler remembered. “But then they sent him a letter the very next day saying the card was a mistake…. He made too much money.” She said a state employee suggested that her brother get his boss to fire him, and she urged him to do it as well. But he wouldn’t do it, “because that would be gaming the system…. I said to him, ‘Well, you know big business games the system all the time, and no one seems to have a guilty conscience about it.’” In 2009, shortly before his fifty-eighth birthday, Koehler’s brother died of cardiac arrest after his defibrillator gave out.

    After that, Koehler threw herself into activism to support healthcare reform. But when she attended meetings of liberal organizations, she often found that “unless you’re a particular kind of person—like well-dressed, well-educated—you’re sort of ignored.” Since joining Working America, she said, “I’ve always felt that I belonged.” Koehler called November’s election the most important in her lifetime. But she’s channeling her efforts into Working America, not Obama for America. “I think Working America is family,” she said. “And campaigns, on the whole, are pretty much business.”

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Progressive Hippie.

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