Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for September, 2016

Bernie Sanders makes appearance at CMU, campaigns for Katie McGinty

Posted by carldavidson on September 21, 2016

Senatorial candidate Katie McGinty campaigns  with Bernie Sanders at Carnegie Mellon University. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer

Senatorial candidate Katie McGinty campaigns with Bernie Sanders at Carnegie Mellon University. John Hamilton | Staff Photographer:Amina Doghri / For the Pitt News

Amina Doghri / For the Pitt News

Add Sen. Bernie Sanders to the list of high-profile Democrats lining up behind Katie McGinty.

The former presidential candidate stumped for McGinty, the Democratic Pennsylvania Senate candidate, at Carnegie Mellon University Friday night.

“Our job is to elect Katie, our job is to elect Secretary Clinton our job is to transform the United States of America,” Sanders, D-Va., said.

McGinty, who’s running against standing Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, spoke to a crowd of about 800 people about Planned Parenthood, education reform, environmental protection and equal pay — issues she’s focused on more intensely since the close of the Democratic National Convention in July.

“None of this is politics or academics,” McGinty said about equal pay. “This is about families.”

After a post-DNC bump in the polls, the Pennsylvania Senate race has tightened in recent weeks as out-of-state funding and support pours in.

A Muhlenberg College/Morning Call poll released Sept. 16, for example, placed McGinty five points ahead of Toomey, a lead that’s shrunk since her late July high. In recent weeks, the two candidates have traded leads in the polls ––  as recently as a Sept. 7 Quinnipiac poll, Toomey had a lead over McGinty by one point. Across all polls, McGinty maintains a 0.2 lead, according to Real Clear Politics.

Sanders’ support for McGinty comes after both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorsed her run in March, one month before the April primaries.

Also joining Sanders and McGinty at the event were Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, who ran against McGinty in the primary election, and Pittsburgh City Council member Dan Gilman, who stressed the need for Democratic unity.

Since Sanders lost the Democratic primary, he’s done the same, encouraging his steadfast supporters — including members of the “Bernie or Bust” movement — to get behind the Democratic candidates still in the race.

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Save the Date! Join Us for Breakfast on Oct 8!

Posted by carldavidson on September 12, 2016

PROGRESSIVE BREAKFAST
…with food for thought…

Saturday October 8th – Doors 8:30am – Serving 9:00am

Penn Bistro, 615 Penn Ave., New Brighton

Full buffet breakfast
$10.00

The Democratic Party Platform

-issues worth fighting for-

One of the most important outcomes of the 2016 Democratic Party primary contest is the Democratic Party platform. The Sanders delegates along with union and minority delegates worked together to craft a progressive platform. How can we make this platform our common cause to organize for justice, equality, and dignity for all Americans?

Speaker: Mr. Don Siegel, International Vice President
IBEW – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

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RSVP by Wed. October 5th

Tina Shannon: 724-683-1925, tinabshannon@gmail.com
Sponsored by: PA 12th CD Chapter, PDA
Labor donated

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Ten Men vs. J&L Steel: How a Supreme Court case rooted in Beaver County forever changed America’s labor movement

Posted by carldavidson on September 4, 2016

By Jared Stonesifer
Beaver County Times

Many battles have been fought in western Pennsylvania in the last 300 years, but one in particular had far-reaching consequences that forever shaped the labor and workers-rights movement in the United States.

Indeed, workers’ rights might not even exist today if it weren’t for a U.S. Supreme Court case that unfolded in Aliquippa in 1937. The case was the last to challenge the legality of labor unions, mostly because the Supreme Court had the final word and deemed the practice constitutional.

Generations of workers have benefited since, but many have forgotten the significant role played by Beaver County workers to ensure those rights.

While residents celebrate Labor Day, it’s important to remember and pay homage to those who came before us, those who fought for their rights and won them in the highest court in the land.

Rededicating the monument

Ten men vs. Jones & Laughlin

It was in 1935 when Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act, commonly referred to as the Wagner Act. Among other things, the legislation guaranteed the basic rights of private-sector employees to organize into unions, to engage in collective bargaining and to strike.

The act also created the National Labor Relations Board.

But just because Congress passes a law doesn’t mean everyone adheres to it. Such was the case with Jones & Laughlin Corp., the gigantic steel company located along the Ohio River in Aliquippa.

Less than a year after the Wagner Act passed, a group of J&L employees decided to join the emerging Steel Workers Organizing Committee, a group of steelworkers who organized in Pittsburgh in 1936.

That action didn’t go unnoticed by J&L officials, who promptly fired the 10 employees who worked at the Aliquippa plant.

However, the newly formed National Labor Relations Board was there to advocate for the workers and ruled the company had to reinstate the fired employees while also giving them back pay.

J&L officials vehemently rejected that opinion, however, and said the company would not conform to the laws laid out in the Wagner Act, because those officials considered the act unconstitutional.

So set the stage for a court battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court. It didn’t take long for the court to hear the case in 1937, and it also didn’t take long for the justices to return their verdict.

The court ruled by a 5-4 vote that the Wagner Act was indeed constitutional. The Steel Workers Organizing Committee flourished, and in 1942 it disbanded and became the United Steelworkers of America.

It was the birth of a labor movement that still exists and is stronger than ever today.

Ramifications of the decision

For Hopewell Township resident Gino Piroli, the 1937 Supreme Court decision was more than just a blurb in history books. It changed his life, and the lives of countless other Beaver County residents.

Piroli was only 10 years old when the decision came down, meaning he remembers a time before labor unions were even legal.

“It gave the working man dignity,” Piroli, 90, said. “Companies had abused workers ethnically, by race when it came to job promotions. That was a big thing.”

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Posted in Aliquippa, labor, Steelworkers | Leave a Comment »

 
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