Posts Tagged ‘Union’

Solidarity with our ILWU Brothers and Sisters

Posted in Commentary, News on February 20th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

A dispute between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association has drawn the attention of President Obama, who has now sent Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to meet with the sides. It is not yet known what specific message was conveyed to the negotiators. Some have speculated that the Obama Administration is threatening to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act to reopen the ports in the event of either a strike or a lockout.

A Department of Labor press release on the matter stated the following. “On behalf of President Obama, Secretary Perez made clear that the dispute has led to a very negative impact on the U.S. economy, and further delay risks tens of thousands of jobs and will cost American businesses hundreds of millions of dollars.” It also said that the two sides must come to “immediate agreement to prevent further damage to our economy and further pain for American workers and their employers.”

This sort of talk seems a far cry from Obama’s campaign rhetoric, where he pledged to “put on a comfortable pair of shoes” himself and “walk on that picket line with you, as President of the United States of America.”

The PMA, an association of the owners of the 29 ports on the West Coast, has stepped up a media campaign to draw attention to the harm that the dispute may be doing to the larger U.S. economy. The President of the ILWU, Robert McEllrath, fired back two weeks ago, accusing the PMA of distorting the facts, threatening to close the ports and bargaining in the media instead of at the table.

“What the ILWU heard yesterday is a man who makes about one million dollars a year telling the working class that we have more than our share,” said McEllrath. “Intensifying the rhetoric at this stage of bargaining, when we are just a few issues from reaching an agreement, is totally unnecessary and counterproductive.”

The PMA on Wednesday distributed letters directly to workers at major ports from Los Angeles to Washington state that detailed what they called their last, best and final contract offer, apparently in hopes that the rank-and-file will pressure union negotiators to make concessions.

As the situation unfolds, we may get an opportunity to see whether or not the Obama Administration truly stands with the workers.

For nearly a century, the West Coast longshore and warehouse workers have stood, time and again, on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice. They deserve our attention, our respect and our support.

A Grand Alliance

Posted in Video on February 12th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

In this superb two-minute video, actor- activist Danny Glover champions the need for a vibrant public Postal Service and asks the public to join with him in A Grand Alliance to save it.

Danny Glover: Our Postal Service from A Grand Alliance on Vimeo.

Railroad Workers Reach Out

Posted in Curated Links on January 22nd, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

With public attention focused on the railroads in a way it hasn’t been for decades, the cross-craft solidarity group Railroad Workers United is seizing the opportunity to teach the general public “railroading 101”—and teach rail workers “environmental politics 101.”

Read More: Rail Workers and Environmentalists to Teach Each Other | Labor Notes.

Solidarity Forever Centennial

Posted in Curated Links on January 17th, 2015 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

On a windblown, gray Chicago day 100 years ago, January 17, 1915, Ralph Chaplin left his home on the South Side for a raucous, poor person’s rally at the city’s famous women’s center, Hull House. He asked a visiting friend he’d met organizing coal miners with Mother Jones to listen to the lyrics of a new tune he had been working on. Here’s the story behind one of the most beloved Labor Hymns.

Read the article: ‘Solidarity Forever’ Written 100 Years Ago, Today | Labor Notes.

Stanley Aronowitz on a Post-Political Labor Movement

Posted in Curated Links on October 16th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

In These Times has an interview with Stanley Aronowitz on how the labor movement falters and how it might recover.

Post-political means that the union movement may endorse candidates or run its own, but essentially does not rely on electoral politics and public officials—that is, the state—to fulfill its goals. Instead, unions should rely on their own resources, on their own members and on their own imaginations to create conditions to make their members’ lives better, in the way that unions, especially in the early-to-mid-20th century, once established and ran very good, moderate-cost cooperative housing.We’ve been relying for so long on politicians to solve problems that the union membership no longer really relies on its own power. The proper word is really “post-electoral” or “post-state,” and it once had a tremendous resonance among large numbers of workers.

Read the interview: A ‘Post-Political’ Labor Movement – In These Times.

Things That Caught My Eye – Week of August 4th, 2014

Posted in Curated Links on August 7th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

Here are some links to articles that caught my eye this week.

6 Ways Wall Street Is Hosing Chicago Teachers - Matthew Cunningham-Cook unpacks how the country’s biggest investment firms are endangering the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.

We Need to Fight for Equality – William Spriggs reflects on how the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement must be united.

Catholic Social Teaching and Adjunct Faculty Organizing – John Russo writes about Catholic Universities and the Social Teaching of the Church.

Some Facts That Poverty-Deniers Don’t Want to Hear – Three-quarters of conservative Americans think poor people have it easy. Paul Buchheit shows that they don’t.

Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society – Professor Reich imagines.

Films that Debunk Corporate Education Reform – A list of must-see videos from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.

Israel/Palestine FAQ - Who are the Palestinians? Who are the Israelis? Is Folk Singer David Rovics a self-hating Jew? Find out in this FAQ.

Do Palestinians Really Exist? – When he was nine years old, Dean Obeidallah finally learned about his father’s people.

Lies My Postmaster General Told Me

Posted in Curated Links on May 13th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

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.

Read More: Why is the Postmaster General Understating Postal Revenue Gains? | Talking Union.

Working Class History in the New Century

Posted in Curated Links on May 12th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

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.

Read it: Taking the fire forward | SocialistWorker.org.

May Day 2014

Posted in Curated Links, Pictures, Poetry on May 1st, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

we want to feel the sunshine
we want to smell the flowers
we’re sure that god has willed it
and we mean to have eight hours

we’re summoning our forces from
shipyard, shop and mill
eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
eight hours for what we will

What is May Day?

Remember Ludlow!

Posted in Curated Links on April 24th, 2014 by Noebie – Be the first to comment

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.

Read More: The story of the Ludlow miners | SocialistWorker.org.