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Albany - Today is the culmination of a decades-long fight centered upon one simple premise: that farmworkers deserve fairness, equality and justice.

This month, we celebrate LGBTQ History Month; a time to honor all who have come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally and the contributions to culture, arts, and civic engagement. Yet during this celebration, we must not ignore the fact that LGBTQ rights are under attack at the federal level. Now, more than ever, we need to protect those rights here in New York State, where we have some of the strongest protections in the country for LGBTQ people.

Some 275 volunteers – pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and other workers – took off from Newark International Airport on October 4 on a union-sponsored relief mission to hurricane-smashed Puerto Rico, the AFL-CIO announced. Some 50 unionized registered nurses, members of National Nurses United, flew in from San Francisco the day before to join the mission.

The unionists headed for the island commonwealth, whose 3.4 million residents lack power, food, drinkable water and other resources, two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.

In a powerful illustration of the ability of grassroots activists to challenge corporate power, United Students Against Sweatshops, the nation’s leading student organization focused on issues of worker rights and economic justice, has just scored a crucial victory over the world’s biggest sports apparel and footwear brand: Nike.

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Let's call it what it is; an attack on the freedom of working men and women to have a voice in the workplace. Well-funded powerful corporations are behind this case and are out to destroy the American dream. Here in New York, we are ready, we are organized, and we are making sure our members, the general public, and all elected officials understand that the labor movement is the backbone of the middle class. Without the middle class, our state and national economy collapses. We will not allow that to happen.
The last thing an injured or ill worker wants to think about is bureaucracy and red tape. Recovery should be the only thing on their mind. Unfortunately the bureaucracy at the Workers' Compensation Board is proposing changes to its guidelines along with regulatory proposals that will result in drastic benefit cuts for injured workers. Please tell the Board what you think about these planned cuts. It will only take a moment. We've provided a letter that you can use.

Working people are tired of hearing how tax giveaways for Wall Street billionaires and corporations will supposedly trickle down to the rest of us. Too many politicians and pundits want us to believe our country is broke, and we have no choice but to demand sacrifices from working people, yet they have no trouble finding trillions of dollars to waste on tax giveaways for people who do not need them. They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and infrastructure to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

Last week, the Republican-led House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on H.R. 3441, the so-called Save Local Business Act -- a bill that has almost nothing to do with saving small and local businesses. According to its sponsors, the legislation was introduced to overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) 2015 decision in Browning Ferris Industries.

Tomorrow, one of the nation's top labor champions, Governor Cuomo, and national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will join thousands of union members in support of IBEW Local 3 against Charter Communications/Spectrum in their fight for a fair contract.