Blogger Joe Bertoni Honored in 2013 IAFF Media Awards

Blogger Joe Bertoni Honored in 2013 IAFF Media Awards
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Blogger Joe Bertoni, a retired Fairfax County firefighter and member of the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters & Paramedics was honored by the International Association of Fire Fighters 2013 Media Awards. His blog post " Six Ways to Keep Active Retired Members Engaged " was awarded in the Best Blog Post category. Joe is a contributor to the IAFF Frontline Blog. The blog post provided gre...
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Pink Heals Tour Makes Athlete's Village Appearance

Pink Heals Tour Makes Athlete's Village Appearance
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Fairfax County Firefighters were on hand to support women battling cancer. The event was held at the proposed Athlete's Village for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games - the Reston Town Center.   Both firefighters and law enforcement officers joined the national Guardians of the Ribbon, Pink Heals Tour and the local chapter right here in Virginia. The Pink Heals is a national nonprofit wit...
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A Free-Speech Victory at the ‘University of Nike’


The University of Oregon's 'Football Performance Center,' which was paid for by Nike founder (and U of O alum) Phil Knight. (Photo by Wolfram Burner via Flickr )   The “University of Nike” sounds like an institution straight out of a dystopian novel. But that moniker has actually been embraced by the University of Oregon, where Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight is one of the school’s most impo...
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New York City Immigrants Test a New Economic “Bridge”


Lady Liberty welcomes immigrants to New York City, but in reality it's hard for skilled workers to get their foot in the door. (Sgt. Randall. A. Clinton / Flickr   For all the supposed potential of the "American Dream," immigrants in New York City often have a terrible time redeeming its promise. Many arrive in the United States with no financial grounding or burdened by a heap of debt; others can...
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Off the Rails: How a Lack of Oversight Doomed Lac-Megantic

When a runaway train slammed into the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic in July, incinerating the city’s core and killing 47 people, it may have marked the end of the line for the perilous, profit-maximizing model of railroading that has enthralled corporate and government officials across North America and the globe. The principal proponent of this laissez-faire template for railroading—raising i...
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Treasury Rejects Labor’s Top Obamacare Demand


Unions initially applauded the signing of the ACA in 2010, pictured here, but implementation of the new law has been a more complicated matter. (Pete Souza / Wikimedia Commons )   On Friday afternoon, following a major labor convention at which many union leaders forcefully advocated revisions in the Obama administration’s interpretations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Treasury Department r...
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A New Blue-Green Coalition?

It may be difficult to imagine unions and environmentalists burying the hatchet. The high-profile divide over the Keystone XL pipeline is only the latest example of bruising blue and green conflict, fueled by a jobs-vs.-environment push-and-pull. But last week’s AFL-CIO convention, where labor formally embraced new partnerships with the Sierra Club, as well as worker centers and other progressive ...
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D.C. City Council Defeats Living Wage Bill


On September 17, supporters of LRAA gather to urge the city council to overturn the mayor's veto.   (Respect DC / Facebook ) On Tuesday, the D.C. City Council failed to overturn Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA)—a bill that would have raised the minimum wage at large retail stores in the district from $8.25 to $12.50. The seven votes in favor (with six oppos...
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A 98-Year-Old Labor Reporter Who Loved Avant-Garde Music

This week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka ran unopposed for the presidency of the AFL-CIO—but only because his opponent, labor activist Harry Kelber, died before the election. While foul play is not suspected (he died from natural causes in late March), the death of 98-year-old union dissident Harry Kelber still came as a shock to me. Harry had gotten so good at living, and at finding beauty and...
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Unite Here and Hyatt Hit Hiccups in Peace Process

A widely heralded union peace agreement  that would end a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels Corp and usher in a new era of better labor relations at the sprawling lodgings chain is hitting some potholes on the road to completion, but both sides are still expressing confidence in its ultimate success. Announced July 1, Hyatt's "national agreement" with the Unite Here union was advertised as the way to...
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Ban Ki-Moon Accused of Union-Busting at UN


An UN security officer stands at a cell entrance of a jail in Bunia in the DRC. A new policy by Ban Ki-Moon would curtail security officers' ability to negotiate safer working conditions, even though their work brings them to high-risk areas.   (UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti) United Nations workers spend their time on the front lines of the global struggle for human rights, but now they are battling fo...
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Nurses Taste Victory in Battle That Shook New York Politics


Nurses and supporters marched over the Brooklyn Bridge this summer to protest the closure of the Long Island College Hospital. (Photo from NYSNA).   The momentum in the fight to save Brooklyn's hospitals seems to have shifted decidedly to the side of the community, not the bosses. Not only did the fight over the hospitals prove central to the mayoral primary , helping sweep Bill de Blasio from the...
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D.C. Mayor Vetoes Bill To Lift Wal-Mart Wages


Respect DC is fighting to ensure a living wage for employees of six planned Wal-Mart stores in Washington, D.C. (Respect DC / flickr )   District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray disappointed labor supporters Thursday when he vetoed a bill that would have boosted the minimum wage for some retail workers at a time when Wal-Mart is moving forward with a major expansion in the nation’s capital. The bil...
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Following in Janitors’ Footsteps, Miami Cafeteria Workers Walk Off the Job


Nicole Berry is one of the 321 cafeteria workers at the University of Miami who joined 32BJ SEIU in May. (32BJ SEIU)   Food-service workers at the University of Miami walked off the job today during the noontime rush hour, accusing the university’s food service subcontractor, Chartwells’, of bargaining in bad faith. A yearlong organizing campaign culminated in 321 cafeteria workers joining the Ser...
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Mexico City Erupts Over Neoliberal Education Bill


Teachers have gathered en masse in Mexico City to protest President Nieto's new education reform legislation. (Viral MediaNews/Youtube)   In Mexico City, school teachers are meting out some serious discipline to a government gone awry. For the past several weeks, the metropolis has pulsed with a labor insurrection . There have been fierce union-led rallies, clashes with police , and mass demonstra...
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