September

EDITORIAL: The auto strike

As we go to press, the United Auto Workers has called a time out in its strike against General Motors pending membership ratification of a new contract. It’s expected that the contract will be ratified quickly. While we do not yet know the full terms of the contract, it most likely contains concessions. In today’s political climate, and in the face of capitalist globalization, the balance of class forces often makes it a victory if unions can just hold on.

U. Minn. workers to vote on contract

As union leaders emphasized that the struggle will continue, the AFSCME negotiating committee at the University of Minnesota decided last week to call off the union’s strike and submit the administration’s contract offer to the membership without a “yes” recommendation.

Conn. AFL-CIO stresses worker unity

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Defending immigrant rights, ending the war in Iraq, winning quality health care and organizing the unorganized topped the agenda of the 50th anniversary convention of the Connecticut AFL-CIO here last week.

Mexico City poised to adopt jobless insurance

MEXICO CITY — The Federal District (DF), the area that encompasses Mexico City, continues to be in the forefront of progressive social change in Mexico, as the district’s left-wing government has announced plans to set up an unemployment insurance program. And its passage in the Legislative Assembly here seems likely.

Solidarity and Mexican truckers

The U.S. Senate voted 75-23 Sept. 11 to ban Mexican trucks from U.S. highways. The vote rejected a Bush administration program that would allow Mexican truck drivers to operate beyond commercial zones near the Mexican border.

Striking loggers, environmentalists unite

PITTSBURGH — In front of 100 Home Depot stores in Canada and the United States, members of the United Steelworkers and environmental activists from the Sierra Club and the Rainforest Action Network will be distributing flyers, Sept. 29, asking shoppers not to buy wood products with Western Forest Products, Interfor and Weyerhaeuser (Cedar One) logos. More than 7,000 loggers and sawmill workers from five local unions affiliated with USW have been on strike in the Canadian northwest since July 21

Meatpackers union sues on immigration raids

Mike Graves, a 21-year veteran at the Swift & Co. plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, stood in front of a crowd of reporters in Washington, D.C., Sept. 12 and held a pair of handcuffs high over his head. Graves is a U.S. citizen who moved from his home in Mississippi 22 years ago and went to work as a meatpacker in Iowa.

EDITORIAL: Age of anxiety

Saying that the 130 million workers in the U.S. are worried about the economy is like saying Barry Bonds can hit home runs or Peyton Manning can throw a football.

Students and teachers back university strike

MINNEAPOLIS — Members of four locals of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) representing 3,500 clerical, technical and health care workers at the University of Minnesota walked out Sept. 5 over pay issues.

BP weighed costs of refinery blast

HOUSTON — In the ongoing litigation against BP following the March 2005 blast at the company’s Texas City oil refinery that killed 15 workers, a lawyer for some of the victims has produced an internal memo showing BP did a cost-benefit analysis that concluded it would be cheaper to not make structures blast-resistant than it would be to absorb the costs of a possible explosion.

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