Red Springs, N.C. — North Carolina is one of the most industrialized states in the country. Yet it still has one of the lowest percentages of workers in unions, though not from lack of trying by labor.
Supporters of immigrant rights are reacting with anger to last week’s large-scale immigration raids, and calling for all raids and deportations to be stopped and for legislation legalizing undocumented workers to be supported.
Hundreds of Mexican federal and state police stormed the Sicartsa steel plant in western Michoacan, April 20, to remove striking steelworkers who had occupied the plant since April 2. The police opened fire on workers with teargas and bullets. When the smoke cleared, the police had killed two workers, one of them a representative of the National Union of Mine and Metallurgical Workers of the Republic of Mexico.
Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters against the autocratic rule of King Gyanendra continued to fill the streets of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, and cities and towns throughout the country this week despite brutal government repressive measures, including a daytime curfew and orders to shoot on sight.
While Delphi CEO Steve Miller has proposed in bankruptcy court to cancel labor agreements, slash the company’s hourly workforce by approximately 75 percent and phase in a wage cut from $27 an hour down to $16.50, it has sung a different song to its executives.
NEW YORK — On April 10 Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Theodore Jones sentenced Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, to 10 days in jail for leading his union on a pre-Christmas three-day strike. Seven days later, Jones slammed the union again, fining it $2.5 million and crippling its ability to collect dues
Seventeen University of Virginia students were arrested on the Charlottesville campus April 15 because they staged a four-day sit-in at the university president’s office. The students demanded the administration accept its “moral responsibility” and commit to paying a living wage to university workers.
SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio School District students walked out of classes April 10 along with students from Alamo District to protest the immoral Sensenbrenner bill, HR 4437, which would criminalize many immigrants as “illegals” and anyone who would try to help them. The students chanted, “No immigrant is illegal.”
French President Jacques Chirac bowed April 10 to the pressure of millions of students and workers marching across France and withdrew a hated law granting employers the right to fire a young worker at will for up to two years after he or she is hired.
Saying huge numbers of on-the-job injuries from lifting and turning patients causes ever-increasing legions of nurses to quit, American Federation of Teachers’ nurses division launched a drive for state legislation mandating that hospitals install devices to help cut the injury toll — since the institutions won’t install them voluntarily.