Category Archives: trade unions

Solidarity Is More Than Shouting Slogans, So Lend a Hand!

THE BATTLE FOR UNIONS IN WISCONSIN:

HOW YOU CAN HELP

THE BATTLE FOR UNIONS IN WISCONSIN
HOW YOU CAN HELP

Folks from outside Wisconsin are contacting me and asking how to help with the battle to save collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin.   (Additional information on the current status of things here is at the end of this letter.)

YOU CAN PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
People of generally modest means, including many college students, are continuing the occupation of the Capitol and the daily picketing in resistance to the Governor’s plans. Most teachers have had to/have chosen to return to their classrooms, but many other union members remain, people from private sector unions and public unions including police and firefighters.  There are many private citizens, often seniors.  Those remaining in the capitol and on the picket lines need food, water, transportation, housing. The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is coordinating much of that support. No matter how small, financial support is welcome:

ONLINE:  The AFL-CIO is accepting donations online through PayPal or any major credit card. Please go to  http://wisaflcio.org  for the link.

Continue reading Solidarity Is More Than Shouting Slogans, So Lend a Hand!

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General Strike? Wisconsin Workers Prepare to Up the Ante vs. the Far Right

Photo: Afl-CIO President Richard Trumka at Madison Protest

Madison Area AFL CIO Votes to Prepare For General Strike

By Mike Elk

Beaver County Blue via michaelmoore.com

This evening in a press release from IBEW Local 2304 President Dave Pokilinski, I received word that the 45,000 member Southern Central Federation of Labor, the local chapter of the AFL-CIO for the Madison and Southern Central Wisconsin area, has voted to make preparations for a general strike.

The press release reads as follows:

Around 10:50PM Wisconsin Time on February 21st the South Central Federation of Labor endorsed the following motions:

Motion 1: The SCFL endorses a general strike, possibly for the day Walker signs his “budget repair bill,” and requests the Education Committee immediately begin educating affiliates and members on the organization and function of a general strike.

Motion 2:  The SCFL goes on record as opposing all provisions contained in Walker’s “budget repair bill,” including but not limited to, curtailed bargaining rights and reduced wages, benefits, pensions, funding for public education, changes to medical assistance programs, and politicization of state government agencies.

Continue reading General Strike? Wisconsin Workers Prepare to Up the Ante vs. the Far Right

Battle Against GOP Union Busters Spreads to Ohio

Ohio: Collective Bargaining Union Protesters Clash at Statehouse with Tea Party Supporter of anti-Union Bill

Vociferous throngs attend hearings on Senate Bill 5

Thursday, February 17, 2011

By Jim Siegel
The Columbus Dispatch

Supporters of Senate Bill 5 rallied today outside the Statehouse . . .

JONATHAN QUILTER | DISPATCH Photos

Supporters of Senate Bill 5 rallied today outside the Statehouse . . .

. . . as the bill's opponents rallied inside.

. . . as the bill’s opponents rallied inside.

Thousands gather for Senate Bill 5 hearing

More than 3,000 enthusiastic supporters and opponents of the Senates proposed collective-bargaining overhaul enveloped the Statehouse this morning with cheers of kill the bill and yes on 5, prior to the latest hearing on Senate Bill 5.

The spacious Statehouse atrium was packed mostly with public union workers outraged at efforts to end collective bargaining for state workers and significantly weaken the ability for local workers to bargain for their pay, benefits and working conditions.

Unions made a strong showing for the bill’s first two hearings, and they were joined today by more than 200 red-shirt clad tea party activists pushing for the bill’s passage. The mix verbally clashed in the Statehouse rotunda, where each side did its best to drown out the other.

Continue reading Battle Against GOP Union Busters Spreads to Ohio

Power of Egypt’s Workers Moves To Center Stage

Egyptian Workers Hold Key to Uprising, New Union Association Issues Call for General Strike

By: Jeff Kaye

Beaver County Blue via Fire Dog Lake

While much analysis has focused on the youth-social network driven aspects of the recent uprising in Egypt, or on diplomatic and political maneuvers that thus far have left President Mubarak in office, and given even more power to the state repressive apparatus through the appointment of Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman to the Vice Presidency, it is the Egyptian working class that holds the future of its country in its hands.

While the organized workers movement saw its unions gutted by state privatization and the gutting of union independence though the hated Law No. 100, which guaranteed that union representation would be strongly controlled by the state, recent events, particularly in strategic Suez, have shown that when the social weight of the workers is thrown into the balance, even all the machinations of Hillary Clinton’s State Department will not be able to patch together Mubarak’s state apparatus. The question then will be, what will follow it?

Continue reading Power of Egypt’s Workers Moves To Center Stage

UE Workers Want to Takeover Gasket Plant

Boston-Area Union Will Block

Factory Auction to Save Jobs

By Jane Slaughter
solidarityeconomy.net

via Labor Notes

Nov. 29, 2010 – In a move to save factory jobs that evokes shades of the ’30s, the United Electrical Workers [1] are asking supporters to block a December 14 auction of presses and equipment from a plant south of Boston. The UE is calling for mass picketing and blockading of entrances to the 80-year-old plant if necessary.

Esterline Technologies Corp. of Bellevue, Washington, has refused to hold off on selling the equipment till another buyer can be found. The union’s request to buy the closed plant, which would create an employee-owned factory, has been ignored.

“They told us a year ago they did not want the presses or equipment,” said UE Local 204 President Scott Marques. “But they would rather junk them than sell them to us.”

The plant makes crucial door-seals and silicone gaskets for aircraft. Esterline is consolidating operations in Southern California and in Mexico.

Continue reading UE Workers Want to Takeover Gasket Plant

Why Finance Capital Is Making You Sick of Voting

What To Do Nov 2?

Follow the Money…

By Robert Creamer
Huffington Post

In the movie version of the story of Watergate — “All the President’s Men” – the Nixon administration source who met Bob Woodward in the underground garage to provide him clues — “Deep Throat” — famously tells Woodward to “follow the money.” Apparently those lines were never uttered in real life, but it’s good advice in politics nonetheless.

The other day, California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger – with whom I rarely agree – said something that should be repeated over and over between now and the mid-term elections. Schwarzenegger was referring to oil company financial support for California’s Proposition 23 that would shelve the state’s four-year-old climate legislation until the state’s unemployment rate hits 5.5% when he said:

“Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of the goodness of their black oil hearts, are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs?” He continued. “….It’s not about jobs at all, ladies and gentlemen. It’s about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.”

Continue reading Why Finance Capital Is Making You Sick of Voting

Huge Attendance at Rally in DC for Jobs, Justice, Education and Peace

‘One Nation’ March Shows the Tough Fight

Ahead for the Emerging Progressive Majority

By Carl Davidson

Beaver County Blue

If you wanted to know what a dynamic and emerging progressive majority of Americans looked like, the place to be was the National Mall at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on the beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon of Oct. 2, 2010.

It was a sight to behold. Pulled together by the ‘One Nation Working Together’ coalition of some 400 groups, an estimated 175,000 people filled the area. They were the country’s trade unions, civil rights, women’s rights, and community organizations, peace and justice groups, and many more. The focus was jobs, justice and education, with sizable contingents against the wars as well.

“I hope they look at the mall today,” stated the Rev. Al Sharpton from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, referring to the GOP and the Tea Party right, “because this is what America looks like, not just one color or one gender.”

A rainbow of nationalities, men and women, young and old, and with a solid core from all sectors of the working class filled the area. The crowd’s mood was upbeat and militant, and they let it be known with a range of voices, from old-fashioned liberals to the socialist left, that they were fed up with the right wing assaults from Tea Party, the GOP neoliberals and the Blue Dog Democrats going along with them.

“This gathering is a wakeup call for the American people,” declared Harry Belafonte, in one of the strongest and most critical speeches of the day. “”Do we really believe that sending 100,000 troops to kill innocent men and women in Afghanistan and Pakistan makes any sense?” he continued, clearly and sharply criticizing Obama’s concession to the war machine. The actor-singer went on to attack the “crippling poison of racism” and “the undermining of the Constitution and the systematic attack on our most inalienable rights….At the heart of this danger is the Tea Party which is coming close to achieving its villainous ends. On November 2, in the millions, we must overburden our voting booths, and vote against those who would have us become a totalitarian state.”

Continue reading Huge Attendance at Rally in DC for Jobs, Justice, Education and Peace