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In January 2014, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, responding to the introduction of the latest “Fast Track” legislation, said, “It is past time for the United States to get off the corporate hamster wheel on trade.”

On the issue of trade, investment and global economic rules, America’s workers—and our brothers and sisters overseas—certainly are on a hamster wheel.

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The Waltons are the richest family in the US, worth $150 Billion, which is a staggering 43% of all the wealth owned by the ENTIRE AMERICAN PUBLIC. They made $16 Billion in profits last year alone. The majority of Walmart workers earns less than $26,000 a year. Plans are underway for protests at Walmart stores around the US, including South Carolina, set for the Friday following Thanksgiving, typically one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Members of all unions in South Carolina, and non-union workers as well, are asked to give just a few hours on that day in order to call for an increase in wages for Walmart workers. Read more >>>


Please take a few minutes to watch and important video and spread the word
The Obama Administration and certain members of Congress have come under attack for their support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP). The President visited Australia recently in the last of his meetings with foreign leaders and trade officials, as negotiations continue in a deal under pending US legislation that began almost a decade ago. Supporters call it a free-trade agreement. Critics say there is nothing "free" about it and say it will not only make life more difficult for foreign workers affected by the power grab but will make life more expensive for Americans, noting that its current provisions would affect, among other things, drug prices. Read more >>>


SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee talks about "misclassification," how some companies cheat their workers and their competitors
Supporters of the SC Progressive Network met for their Fall Retreat, to discuss the results of the mid-term elections, described by one pundit as a Republican "blood bath" that left many Democrats wondering about the future. The SC AFL-CIO was represented, and President Erin Mckee talked about labor issues including "misclassification," when a company uses workers to do the same jobs as better-paid workers, but pay them less and often deny them benefits. Read more >>>

Before you put together your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, check our list of union-made in America food and other items that are essential to a traditional family Thanksgiving feast. Speaking of thanks, a big “thank you” to the Union Label and Service Trades Department (ULSTD), Union Plus and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor's resource site, Labor 411, for compiling their extensive catalogs of union-made products. Read more >>>

Wasting no time after the midterm elections, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka immediately stepped back into the policy arena, calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action on immigration. Executive action is particularly important now that a historically obstructionist Congress is likely to be followed by one that takes even less action on issues important to working families. Read more >>>

In the biggest election for paid sick days in history, voters in four locations – Massachusetts; Montclair and Trenton, New Jersey; and Oakland, California – all passed ballot initiatives guaranteeing paid sick days to a million additional workers.  The victories cap a historic year in which the number of locations and workers with access to paid sick days has nearly tripled.  Read more >>>

There were no surprises in the November 4th South Carolina elections and Democrats were left wondering what they might have done better.   Only 44% of registered voters went to the polls Tuesday.   As often is the case a better turnout by Democrats and potentially Democratic voters migh have grabbed some seats.  But SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee says the problem is not just apathy and a failure to get off the couch.  

McKee says she knows that it's often a situation of people voting for a candidate without good reason, due to an influence of the many millions of dollars that are spent on advertising.  "Why do working people vote against their best interest?," she asks..  

(Read ahead for a run-down of races involving many of the AFL-endorsed candiidates)

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The resignation of SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell substantially increases the chances that one of his opponents, namely Democrat Mary Tinkler, would be elected to the 114 House seat. Tinkler was among the list of candidates endorsed by the SC AFL-CIO months ago, well before Harrell's resignation. But Republican's are trying their best to stop the Democrat from having a sure thing. The SC Election Commission had said that the election would go forward as planned even though some voters had already cast absentee ballots for Harrell. But Charleston and Dorchester county Republican leaders filed paperwork seeking to have the election postponed, allowing other Republicans to file for the seat. To facilitate that, Harrell has filed an affidavit with the SC Election Commission. Read more >>>

Union members have been busy calling other union members to let them know how important the November 4 election is for South Carolina workers and their families. SC AFL-CIO Executive Director Erin McKee says, "This year we have a chance to elect candidates that know there are unions in SC, and they are proud to be endorsed by the members of the SC AFL-CIO!" Read more >>>


Dwight James(forgive poor sound quality--turn volume up)

Executive Director of the SC NAACP Dwight James is starting a state-wide effort to get people to the polls.  The civil right's agency will be promoting the importance of voting in this mid-term election as an opportunity to make a difference in the Confederate flag issue, as well as the Medicaid issue. Opponents want state lawmakers to remove the Confederate flag from the monument in front of the Statehouse.  And critics say that conservatives in state govwernment who have refused to accept federal Medicaid funds for some of the state's neediest citizens will cause the deaths of approximately 1300 residents this year alone, according to a study by Harvard University. Read more >>>

The SC AFL-CIO has endorsed seven candidates for US congressional offices, either for the House or the Senate. There bios follow. BRAD HUTTO, US SENATE Hutto is running as a Democrat and a member of the Working Families Party for the US Senate against Republican Lindsay Graham, a long-time incumbent. Hutto says he wants to change a government that’s spending too much on large corporations and foreign countries, and not investing enough in South Carolina jobs, schools, and roads. As our Senator, he will focus on Abbeville and our other 45 counties — not Afghanistan and 45 other foreign countries. He has the endorsement of the The National Education Association’s political action committee, the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, as well as the SC AFL-CIO. Read more >>>


SC Progressive Network Leader On Labor Movement and Haley "Dismantling Civilization"
The SC AFL-CIO plans constant Get-Out-the-Vote efforts between now and election day in November, to include a series of phone banks, drawing upon labor volunteers from around the state, who will place calls to labor supporters around the state. Read more >>>


SC lawmaker says it's imperative that everyone vote!
Democratic candidate Bakari Sellers spoke to the Central Labor Council(CLC) of the Midlands during a meeting in Columbia. The state representative from Bamburg County, who was recently endorsed by Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts as well as the SC AFL-CIO, told the small group of labor leaders that he and gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen want to get at least 30% of the African-American voters to vote in the general election. That, he said, could win the election for Democrats and make a giant different for the state. Read more >>>

The SC AFL-CIO Labor Person of the Year was named during that organization’s annual convention held in Georgetown, SC earlier this month.
Leonard Riley, Jr. of Charleston is a member of the International Longshoreman Association(ILA). Riley was nominated by his brother Kenneth Riley, President of ILA Local 1422, who described his older brother as “a 21st century freedom fighter"
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Gov. Haley's new video

Governor South Carolina Nikki Haley has begun airing her new television campaign ad, which not only attacks Democratic opponent Sen. Nick Sheheen, but also the labor movement.

You’ve heard of the multi-billion dollar political colossus known as the Koch Brothers. The AFL-CIO is introducing “The Koch Sisters” to the American electorate – a national project featuring two women, Karen and Joyce, who share the same last name, but not the same values.

www.kochsisters.org

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Sept. 6th was the 80th Anniversary of Textile Industry Massacre in Honea Path, SC. When a documentary on the subject was first produced, SC ETV chose not to run it, but the state network has aired the program several times this month. The final showing will be September 25th, 10pm.

On the morning of Sept. 6, 1934, in the tiny town of Honea Path, friends and neighbors came to blows in a labor dispute. When it was over, seven people were dead and 30 others wounded....

 

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Check this out!  Great story about SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee-- a perfect way to recognize Labor Day by one of the region*s largest newspapers, Charleston's Post and Courier, which has statewide distribution.  Read it here !


Charles Brave with the ILA leading a chant at the 2014 SC AFL-CIO Convention

 The SC AFL-CIO held it's annual convention in Georgetown, as it has done for eight years in a row, drawing more union representatives from all around South Carolina and other states than the event has in recent years, according to group president Erin McKee.

The group heard from numerous guest speakers, including Mark Dimondstein, International President of the American Postal Workers Union, who told attendees that the US postal service has served the public everywhere in the country for 239 years and still supports itself from its profits. "But those who want to make money off of it for themselves are trying to privatize the organization, and that would affect mail service," he said.

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Sen. Sanders speaks on education in America in Columbia, SC before a large crowd including union members

US Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, longtime known for his pro-labor stance, spoke several times in Columbia, SC, meeting with union leaders and supporters. Sanders indicated that he was open to a possible presidential bid in 2016 but stopped short of saying what ticket he would run on. Sanders has been counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments but does not belong to a formal political party and appears as an independent on the ballot. He did indicate during a question and answer period that running as a Democrat was not out of the question. Sanders chairs the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs and had been in Charlotte the day before receiving the prestigious Patriot Award from the American Legion during that organization's national convention. Read more >>>

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 SC AFL-CIO were among those participating in the Annual Spring Meeting of the SC Progressive Network, which deals with issues affecting working families around the state. The event was held in a local union hall near Columbia. Around 80 activists from across the state spent a recent Saturday debating and refining strategies for the rest of the year. Continuing the Network's strategic focus on the state's refusal to accept Medicaid funding, and the generally sad state of democracy in South Carolina, they are preparing tools that can be used to organize efforts in local areas. They can now map the location of registered, inactive and unregistered voters by neighborhood who have been denied Medicaid coverage. Read more >>>

More than 40 protesters stood on busy roads in Charleston (Thursday 5/15/14) calling for a $15 minimum wage.  A 6am demonstration took place in front of a Burger King, and one later that morning was conducted in front of a McDonalds(check out the SC AFL-CIO on Facebook for a collection of photos!)

Delegates flocked from around South Carolina for the state's annual Democratic Convention held in Coluimbia.  It was kicked off by the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner Friday night, as well as Congressman Clyburn's World Famous Fish Fry, which has become an institution over the years.   Read more >>>

 Check this out !!

Check out this story from Live5 News!!

click here

 US Senator Bernie Sanders and congressional hopeful Gloria Bromell Tinubu addressed a large crowd in Charleston, calling for fair wages for working people, and issuing a call to arms against conservative big business forces that may require a wake up from the “American Dream.” Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the longest-serving independent in congressional history. He said that the US middle class is quickly disappearing. He said workers are producing more, earning much less, and that people are getting really angry. Read more >>>

 It's not a recognized holiday for many, and you won't see it on most calendars.

But this year marks the 25th anniversary of Workers Memorial Day in the United States. It is also the 43th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the right of every worker to a safe job. This is a hats off, a Thank You, to all those workers, over the decades and throughout the centuries, who have paid the ultimate price, just trying to support their families. Workplace fatalities and injuries have declined, but that progress isn't due purely to the OSHA law.

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Here's Gov. Haley expressing her love for the labor movement, SC Auto Summit in Greenville.  View Interview

 Labor delegates came from around the state for the SC AFL-CIO's annual Legislative Conference held at the organization's conference center, endorsing candidates for congressional races as well as those running for state offices and local house districts. Approximately 40 attendees also heard from a day-full of speakers concerning political issues.

Congressman James Clyburn addressed the group on the issue of raising the minimum wage, saying that the US was built on the backs of those who were willing to work hard. A federal bill would raise the minimum to $10.10 per hour.

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 Members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) from Columbia SC Local 807 protested Thursday(April 24th) at a Staples store against what they called a sweetheart deal between the U.S. Postal Service and a retailer that is privatizing postal retail services and replacing postal jobs with lower-wage jobs. They were joined by members of the Columbia Central Labor Council and representatives of the SC AFL-CIO. Read more >>>

Anti-ALEC Letter Draws Comparison Between Ideals of Different Groups

In April The State Newspaper published a letter focusing on SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee's statements at a January Statehouse rally, where she drew attention to the dangers of ALEC.   The letter received many comments on the paper's website as well as on Facebook.

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 "Political subdivision's authority to set minimum wage or other benefits": Derailed! This bill would have amended a 2002 law (brought to SC by ALEC)  that prevents any local government from setting a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum. The amendment would have prohibited ANY required employee benefits, like sick leave. The bill, which passed the House last year, was heard in the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee March 26. It was voted out, but Sen. John Scott (D-Richland) attached a minority report on the bill and placed an objection that moves it to the bottom of the Senate's calendar. Scott said he was "surprised at the amount of heat he took" for stopping the bill. Below is an op ed piece written by Brett Bursey with the SC AFL-CIO:

Can being too business-friendly make you sick?

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 Immediately after SC Governor Nikki Haley appeared at an automotive industry conference in Greenville and attacked unions, saying that new companies were not welcome in South Carolina if they plan to bring a union with them, SC AFL-CIO President issued a letter to the editors of news publications around the state. Haley said, “Unions are trying to come to South Carolina...My wearing heels is not a fashion statement...we're kicking them everyday and we'll continue to kick them.” Her comments came days after UAW failed to organize at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee.

"She is lying when she says there are no unions in South Carolina and she knows she is lying," McKee said.

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Support Mission

Transport Workers (TWU) Local 527 provides support services for U.S. troops as they train and learn signal command at the Fort Gordon military base in Augusta, Ga. TWU members do everything from issuing and repairing equipment and vehicles to making sure the well water is safe to drink and the facilities are heating and cooling properly. Read the full article>>>

 SC AFL-CIO President Erin McKee participated in a panel discussion held by the Democratic Women's Council, which conducted a day of events at the State House encouraging more women to run for political office. McKee discussed the AFL-CIO's support of candidates, “who support unions and aren't afraid to say so, but also those people who are going to be strong, viable candidates.” She talked about Governor Nikki Haley's attack on unions and how during a conference concerning the automotive industry in Greenville, Haley stated that there were no unions in the state... Read more >>>

The South Carolina AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor representing more than 130 unions throughout the state.

The mission of the South Carolina AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation.

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 Vice President Joe Biden promoted needed improvements at the Port of Charleston from its Columbus St. Terminal on the early afternoon of Monday, Sept. 16.

About 40 members of local labor unions, including the International Longshoremen’s Association that serves the port, attended the event by direct invitation from the White House, and made up the largest collective group amongst the 240 attendees.

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A South Carolina labor group said it will air its objections today to a local business seminar about “stifling the use of social media” by unions trying to organize workers. Read more >>>

Several union leaders spoke out against a Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce event at a news conference today in downtown Charleston. Read more >>>

Erin McKee was elected president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO at its 57th annual convention in Georgetown on September 6.

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