All posts by carldavidson

Green Jobs 2009: Steelworkers Meet Hip-Hoppers and Tree-Huggers

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Photo: AFLCIO’s Richard Trumka at Green Jobs 2009

Blue-Green Insurgency
Gets Fired Up at the
DC Green Jobs Conference

By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue

When you walk into a large and stately Washington, DC hotel lobby and find it teeming with thousands of smiling, buzzing people-half in labor union jackets and ball caps, the other half dressed in 30-something hip-hop causal-you know some special is happening.

This was the lively, energized scene for three cold wintry days this Feb 4-6 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, as nearly 3000 activists and organizers gathered for the “Good Jobs, Green Jobs” National Conference. The gathering was convened by more than 100 organizations, representing every major trade union and every major environmental group in the country, among others. Continue reading Green Jobs 2009: Steelworkers Meet Hip-Hoppers and Tree-Huggers

Beaver County’s Recovery in the 1930s

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Photo: Lodge at Raccoon Creek State Park Today. The park was built in the 1930s by CCC teams of unemployed young workers, like the Western PA CCC camp above.

Impact of 1930s
WPA and CCC
Still Seen Locally

By Bob Bauder
Beaver County Times

Feb.1, 2009 – President Barack Obama’s plan for putting Americans to work by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure is an old idea, dating back to the Great Depression and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Among the alphabet soup of agencies created during the New Deal, the Works Progress Administration stands out as one of the most successful.

From 1935 to 1943, the WPA spent about $10.5 billion (about $159 billion in 2008 dollars) and employed about 8.5 million Americans who would have otherwise been on relief rolls. Continue reading Beaver County’s Recovery in the 1930s

First Victory for Aliquippa Hospital Workers!

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Photo: Protest at CMC in Aliquippa During Sit-In

Bridge Finance
Backs Down,
Agree To Pay

SEIU Press Release
Jan 27, 2008

In a victory for laid-off employees of Commonwealth Medical Center (formerly Aliquippa Hospital) who have been fighting for unpaid wages, the Medical Center and its chief lender, Bridge Finance Group, agreed to pay part of the wages owed immediately and to work toward full payment within three weeks.

The agreement reached on Tuesday provides that the former employees will receive a portion of the wages owed by 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, January 28, with a commitment to ensuring full compensation in the next few weeks.

“This is a tremendous first step, and we are going to keep fighting to make sure everyone is paid in full for our work on behalf of patients and our community,” said Kathie Marino, RN and former Commonwealth employee. “Amidst this economic crisis, working people need to stick together so our voices are heard.”
Continue reading First Victory for Aliquippa Hospital Workers!

Aliquippa Labor Battle Heats Up:

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Photo: Hospital workers demanding justice

SEIU Workers Stage Sit-In
to Demand Justice, Unpaid Wages

By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue

Aliquippa, PA, January 26, 2009–Seven labor activists—four Registered Nurses, a union secretary and two priests—staged an occupation of the medical library in the Commonwealth Medical Center in Aliquippa, PA to demand backpay for employees who lost their jobs when the hospital closed in December. After several hours, the seven were escorted off the property by officers arriving in six police cars. Continue reading Aliquippa Labor Battle Heats Up:

No Shame: Hospital Workers Robbed in Court

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Photo: Closed Hospital in Aliquippa

Injustice In Aliquippa:
New Labor Battle
Over Hospital Shutdown

By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue

Hundreds of fired hospital workers are awakening the historic spirit of class struggle in Beaver County, as they confront an effort by heath industry financiers and a bankruptcy court to steal their wages after destroying their jobs.

That was the message made loud and clear at a rally of over 100 Commonwealth Medical Center workers and their allies at the Serbian Club on a snowy afternoon, January 9, in Aliquippa, Pa. The members of SEIU Local 1199 are organizing for further action at the US Bankruptcy court in downtown Pittsburgh on Jan.27, as well as at the offices of Bridge Finance Group in Chicago.
Continue reading No Shame: Hospital Workers Robbed in Court