Hundreds of thousands marched in New York City this past weekend to demand change.
The Postal Service has been reporting revenue increases for five straight quarters. So why is Postmaster General Donahoe minimizing that winning streak? Over the last few years, faced with falling revenue, postal management has closed post offices, slashed rural office hours, sold historic buildings, cut jobs, and consolidated processing plants. It continues to seek closings and service cuts, such as eliminating Saturday delivery; but some of these moves have been delayed or curtailed by pushback from the public, from employees, and from legislators.
Sharon Smith, author of Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States, has written a new introduction for a forthcoming Spanish edition of the book, which expands on the history through the last decade. It appears today on Socialist Worker in English, with the permission of the publisher.
From Trish Kahle:
Remembering only the massacre at Ludlow obscures the vital fact that a group of coal miners–most of them immigrants–managed to organize a strike across racial and ethnic lines, and brought southern Colorado to the brink of revolution. It also obscures the tremendous courage with which miners and their families faced down the power of capitalism and the state–and conceals the role socialists and other radicals played in organizing the strike and rebellion. Finally, it sidelines the incredible–and immediate–solidarity expressed by other workers with the strikers in the Colorado coalfields.
It was one of the pleasures of my life to join together with union sisters and brothers on Saturday to protest the plan to outsource mail services to Staples stores.
Several hundred of us came to the Staples in Elmwood Park for the protest.
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Here’s another brilliant piece of reporting from Mike Elk.
During the nearly two years he worked at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., Ed Hunter, 43, spent his days bent over, crawling in and out of cars on the assembly line. He believes the posture slowly destroyed his body and led to an accident he suffered in June 2011. “When I got into the car I felt something go,” he says. “I just lost my foot—I couldn’t feel it.”
When he went to the doctor the next month, Hunter learned that he had ruptured several disks in his back. Despite this, Hunter says, his team leader called him a “pussy” for taking light duty. So Hunter sucked it up and worked through the pain.
Newly elected APWU President Mark Dimondstein is determined to oppose creeping privatization by the Postal Service.
“If you put post offices in Staples stores and pay the workers $8 or $9 an hour, it’ll lead to closing post offices and a shift to non-union poverty-wage jobs from living-wage union jobs.”
The middle has to care about the bottom because it represents how far our society will let someone fall.
Read the article: A Real Movement of the 99%—Don’t Look Down | Talking Union.