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America's Next Top Role Model

As a 14-year-old, Sara Ziff faced situations most adults find difficult to manage. But as a model barely out of middle school, sexual harassment and fighting for wages owed to her were all too common. She found out she wasn’t alone. Other models faced the same challenges, and many were pressured to drop out of high school to make the most of a short-lived career.

They banded together to address these concerns collectively, to establish fair and ethical standards in the workplace. In 2012, Ziff formed the Model Alliance to bring dramatic and lasting change in the fashion industry. We spoke with Ziff this month about the fashion industry and the initiatives at The Model Alliance. Read the full article>>>


  The Texas AFL-CIO continued its long-time advocacy for mandatory workers' compensation coverage in Texas at an interim hearing of the House Business & Industry Committee.

  Texas AFL-CIO Legislative/Political Director René Lara said that as the only state that does not require companies to insure their employees against on-the-job injuries, Texas also has refused to gather data on injuries in workplaces that decide not to carry workers' comp.

  Most business witnesses defended the current system, but some business owners who conscientiously carry insurance said they operate at a disadvantage when forced to compete against employers who decline to buy the insurance.

  The state federation's written testimony is below.



  Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller offers commentary on the Ludlow Massacre, a bleak tragedy in union history that occurred 100 years ago to the day of this year's Easter.

  Perhaps the saddest takeaway from the event is the knowledge that in many parts of the world, union advocates remain in grave peril, Moeller suggests.

 The column, which has been published in the Austin American-Statesman, appears below.

All this is fine as far as it goes. But we need to be more ambitious. We should be raising the federal minimum to $15 an hour. Here are seven reasons why: 1. Had the minimum wage of 1968 simply stayed even with inflation, it would be more than $10 an hour today. But the typical worker is also about twice as productive as then. Some of those productivity gains should go to workers at the bottom. 2. $10.10 isn’t enough to lift all workers and their families out of poverty. Most low-wage workers aren’t young teenagers; they’re major breadwinners for their families, and many are women. And they and their families need a higher minimum. Read more >>>

It’s good to be a CEO, at least paywise. According to the 2014 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, released today, it’s 331 times better to be a CEO than an average worker. PayWatch finds that the average CEO of an S&P 500 company pocketed $11.7 million in 2013, while the average worker earned $35,293. The gap between CEOs and minimum wage workers is more than twice as wide—774 times. Read more >>>

  Scoring a big union organizing win in a tough environment, 450 LE employees who maintain military helicopters and other machinery at the Corpus Christi Army Depot have voted by a landslide margin to join the International Union of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

  The 68 percent endorsement of representation by IAM in an April 2 election sets the stage for contract talks and further organizing at the military facility, IAM spokesman Bob Wood said.

  The Machinists' account of this organizing victory is below. For more information, including a video that discusses implications for organizing in the South, go to the IAM Texas web site: http://goiamtexas.com

  The Texas AFL-CIO COPE has endorsed Dr. David Alameel for the U.S. Senate.

  COPE made no endorsement in a five-candidate field for the March 4 primary. The endorsement of Alameel through the November election is effective immediately. See the news release at the link for more information.




  Here is a list of 2014 Texas AFL-CIO COPE endorsements for statewide, congressional and legislative elections.

  The list will be updated as Central Labor Council and Texas AFL-CIO COPE actions warrant.

The 2014 Texas AFL-CIO Scholarship  Program Application has expired. Read more >>>

The political arm of the Texas AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed Wendy Davis for Governor and Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor, along with a slate of other statewide candidates.

The endorsement vote came after a two-day convention that included candidate speeches and discussion of labor’s strategy for the 2014 election cycle. Both Davis and Van de Putte drew prolonged ovations from more than 350 delegates and guests meeting in downtown Austin.

“Political change is in the air in Texas,” Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller said. “With today’s endorsement of history-making candidates, the Texas AFL-CIO COPE will be fully geared up to work for a Texas that believes in fair opportunity for everyone, not just an elite few.”

The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of approximately 240,000 affiliated union members. The Committee on Political Education (COPE) is the organization’s Political Action Committee, making endorsements and donating funds in state races.


Learn more about the attack on pensions and how you can pledge to stop it! Read more >>>

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