December

Transit workers urge calls to MTA, Gov. Pataki

In a statement released this week, Transport Workers Union Local 100, the union representing New York’s bus and subway workers, called on the public to telephone the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Gov. George Pataki to urge them to “get things rolling” and settle with the union.

Transit workers show determination, high morale

34,000 NYC bus & subway workers strike for themselves & families, for all working class families

NYC transit workers forced to strike!

NEW YORK CITY - With a one billion dollar surplus, contract between the MTA and Transport Workers Union Local 100 should have been a no brainier. Sadly that has not been the case.

Germany: Another step toward left unity

BERLIN — There was virtually untroubled joy in September, when the new “Left,” consisting of two cooperating parties, received 4.2 million votes, 8.7 percent of the total, enabling it to send the unprecedented number of 54 representatives to the Bundestag. But the road to unity of the two had many bumps to overcome, and the weekend congress of the Left Party-PDS in Dresden aimed at overcoming many of them. The going was not always smooth, but a big step forward was taken all the same.

Sailor, peace activists outraged by Pentagon spying

Navy sailor Pablo Paredes and San Diego peace activists said they were outraged to learn of the domestic spying by the Department of Defense. NBC News revealed the Pentagon spying last week. A rally in support of Paredes, who was denied Concientious Objector status, court martialed and later received a general discharge, for his opposition to the Iraq war, was one of the events targeted for spying by the Pentagon.

NYC heads for a transit strike

On the evening of Dec. 15, just one hour before the contract expiration deadline, MTA board chairman and billionaire real estate developer Peter Kalikow arrived at the negotiations. Kalikow presented what he later characterized as a “final offer” to 34,000 NYC transit workers. This offer provided for a wage increase of 3 percent in each of the contract’s three years, but included give backs aimed, primarily, at new hires. Under the MTA proposal medical co-pays would increase, and, new hires would have to pay 1 percent of their salary as a premium for basic benefits that are now free. New hires would also receive an inferior pension that would increase retirement age from 55 to 62.

Chilean Communists hold election balance

After its central committee met on Dec. 14, the Communist Party of Chile (CPC) put forth a number of minimum demands to the plurality-winning candidate Michelle Bachelet as a condition for support. Bachelet, candidate of the Socialist Party, got 46 percent of the vote, followed by the millionaire center-right candidate Sebastián Piñera, whom she will face in a second round in January 2006, with 25 percent.

U.S. Senate rejects reauthorization of Patriot Act; a huge defeat for Bush

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate on Friday rejected attempts to reauthorize several provisions of the USA Patriot Act as infringing too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the U.S. administration and Republican leaders. In a crucial vote early Friday, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a threatened filibuster by Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.

Human Rights Week around the nation

What follows is but a small sampling of the scores of actions that took place across the country the week of Dec. 3-10. Look to “Online Extra” on the PWW’s web page, www.pww.org, for additional reports.

Berkeley honors longtime City Councilmember

BERKELEY, Calif. — It was like a big, loving family reunion as community leaders and activists streamed into St. Paul AME Church Dec. 10 to pay tribute to Maudelle Shirek, now 94, who left the City Council last year after 20 years of service. Speaker after speaker recounted the ways Shirek had profoundly affected the course of their lives.

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