September

Lawyers fight Bush judicial nominee

MILWAUKEE – On Aug. 30, phone calls, e-mails and faxes came in and out of the downtown office here that houses the city’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, in preparation for a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Wisconsin is the only state with two senators on the committee, and both were considered swing votes in the fate of the nomination of Priscilla Owen, which was defeated Sept. 5. George W. Bush nominated Owen in May to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and she received a confirmation hearing in July.

The disappearing jobs of summer

This summer in New Haven, Conn., my neighborhood block watch held a meeting in response to a series of car break-ins. The police lieutenant told us he talked with 16 kids who were likely to cause trouble in the neighborhood, and they all needed jobs. The lieutenant called all the local businesses, but only two jobs came through.

Workers flush restrictive bathroom policy

Workers at the Jim Beam Distillery have backed the company down from its policy that restricted toilet breaks for workers on the bottling line at its Bullitt County, Ky., bourbon distillery. The workers and union there had been challenging the year-old policy since its inception.

Black farmers picket USDA

About 100 African-American farmers picketed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington Aug. 22 to protest stalling on delivery of restitution payments for thousands of Black farmers who were denied government crop loans because they are Black.

International notes

Britain: Broad opposition to Iraq strike / Kenya: Police attack protesting teachers / Indonesia: Court orders trade union leaders to pay $2.34 million / France: Union says 35-hour workweek at risk

Corporate crime goes unpunished in Bhopal

NEW DELHI – It started in the middle of the night on Dec. 2, 1984. That was the fateful night when poisonous methyl isocyanate (MIC) spread as a deadly blanket over the city from the rusty big tanks of Union Carbide India, Ltd. (UCIL), a subsidiary of Union Carbide Inc. During that night, about 50 tons of MIC from UCIL’s pesticide factory in Bhopal, leaked into the surroundings.

Cleveland: Put miners back to work!

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland City Council, at its Sept. 9 meeting, unanimously passed a resolution demanding that “Cargill Deicing Technology restore former strikers to their rightful jobs”, and urging “the Mayor of the City of Cleveland to refrain from buying Cargill salt until the former strikers return to their jobs.”

Longshore workers find more support

SEATTLE – On August 27, Governor Gary Locke sent a letter to President Bush to help keep federal troops off the docks and out of the longshore labor dispute happening on the West Coast.

9/11: Mourn the dead, organize for the living

News Analysis The first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks was marked by vigils, rallies, marches and memorial services. But those who live and work in lower Manhattan – as well as the 30,000 workers who cleaned the World Trade Center (WTC) site – have many unanswered concerns and questions about their health and environment.

Vieques protests continue as bombing resumes

Commentary If the U.S. Navy thought that, in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and the USA Patriot Act, the people of Puerto Rico would curtail their protests and acts of civil disobedience against the military maneuvers in Vieques, they were sadly mistaken.

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