April

SOARs George Edwards: Sparkplug for rank & file activism

George Edwards points out he’s the only unpaid worker at the Steelworkers’ Gateway Center headquarters in Pittsburgh. The 87-year-old veteran of the Lorain, Ohio, US Steel mill now wields a phone and a keyboard instead of a pair of calipers, but he’s working just as hard on the class struggle as he did throughout his 39 years in mill. He is putting his energy into building what he calls “probably the most activist organization in the Steelworkers” — the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.

National Clips

BASILE, La.: Women inmates petition for reform; SPRINGFIELD, Ill.: Gov. orders pharmacists to provide birth control; INDIANAPOLIS: Demand full funding for schools; BURLINGTON, Vt.: Health care for every resident; MADISON, Wis.: Voting rights under attack

Cesar Chavez 78th birthday celebrated

Across the nation, gatherings honored the 78th anniversary of the birth of labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers of America and a leader in struggles for political and economic rights and peace.

NYC considers law for day labor

On a typical New York morning, thousands of workers can be seen congregating on sidewalks throughout the city, waiting to be taken to worksites. Called day laborers, these workers are among the most exploited in the nation.

Zimbabwe vote results draw mixed reactions

The March 31 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections resulted in a victory for ZANU-PF, the ruling party led by President Robert Mugabe.

Bush team blinks as Venezuela advances

Venezuelan President Chavez asked Feb. 25, “If not capitalism, then what? I have no doubt, it’s socialism. … But what kind?” Change is the rule now in Venezuela, and the forces of popular struggle there are causing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to look over her shoulder. Hugo Chavez himself is coming under similar pressures.

World Notes

Colombia: Army kills 3 trade unionists; Brazil: IMF loan won’t be renewed; Korean Peninsula: Protest vs. U.S. nuclear sub; Nigeria: Oil workers set ‘warning’ strike; India: ‘Just say No’ to F-16s

Jobs, wages and the Goldilocks economy

In the business pages of newspapers last month, there was cautious talk of a Goldilocks economy: “neither too hot nor too cold, but just right for steady growth.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics had just released employment figures for February, showing an “unusually strong” gain of 262,000 jobs, according to a New York Times story. Another story quoted the chief economist at Bank of America Securities saying the job growth shows “the U.S. economy is growing solidly.”

Bush offers retirees option of serving in Iraq

After receiving only muted support for his sweeping proposals to overhaul Social Security, President George W. Bush attempted to sweeten the pot today, offering all retirees the opportunity to serve in Iraq.

Motorcycle clubs oppose Patriot Act

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Northern California Confederation of Clubs, representing 41 motorcycle clubs — including the Hell’s Angels and the Vagos — is asking its members to send letters to their senators opposing the USA Patriot Act. They also oppose California’s Gang Abatement Act and a similar measure now before Congress (S 155, HR 970).

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