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Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill Tuesday that will make life much harder for North Carolina's unemployed workers. Beginning July 1, new claims will be reduced from $535 to $350 as the maximum benefit per week. And while current recipients can get unemployment insurance payments for 26 weeks, that number will be cut to a maximum of somewhere between 12 to 20 weeks, the duration varying depending upon the state's unemployment rate. If the maximum fell below 19 weeks, North Carolina would offer the lowest maximum number of weeks in the country. The bill also rejects extra benefits allowed under federal law, which means that 170,000 residents will lose $780 million in current weekly payments.

T-Mobile, the telecom company that last year closed seven call centers in the United States and shipped more than 3,300 jobs overseas, is running its remaining U.S. call center operations with abusive and intimidating tactics, T-Mobile workers at the company’s Charleston, S.C., call center told a workers' rights hearing (see video, below) last week.Workers at a number of T-Mobile (owned by Deutsche Telekom) call centers are mobilizing to win a voice at work with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and have been met with a fierce anti-union campaign.

Voters from across the state of Missouri wrote letters to their state senators this week, urging them to reject "right to work" for less and paycheck deception legislation. Both proposals are currently before the state's General Assembly.

Several hundred union, immigrant and community activists rallied in Seattle on Monday and called for comprehensive, commonsense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for more than 11 million aspiring citizens.The Seattle action was one of more than a dozen events that are the kickoff of the AFL-CIO’s immigration reform campaign.