At the AFL-CIO labor convention, teabaggers, birthers and other haters seem a world away. Firefighters, ironworkers, teachers and office professionals all took the floor making the case for a labor movement fully engaged on fighting for racial and gender diversity within the labor movement's ranks and leadership.
Tucson for EFCA
Tucson, Arizona, became the latest city to endorse passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Tucson’s Republican Mayor, and the all Democratic city council voted unanimously to pass a resolution extolling the proposed legislation which will make organizing unions fairer and simpler for U.S. workers. The resolution urges Arizona’s congressional delegation to support the Bill. The action was taken at the initiative of the Tucson Chapters of the United Steelworkers Association and Jobs with Justice.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, textile workers in North Carolina inspired labor and workers everywhere with their successful assault on the Southern, non-union fortress, built by JP Stevens. In 1967, the Steven’s sweatshop empire included 44,000 workers in 85 plants, mostly in the Carolinas. The critical union victory came when 3,000 textile workers at Stevens’ flagship Roanoke Rapids mills won union recognition in 1974.
At every political gathering, it seems, there are those who decide to go off in some strange direction.
The incumbent mayor of New York City, opposed by Democrat Bill Thompson in the upcoming mayoralty election, is multi billionaire business tycoon Bloomberg. The recent endorsements of Bill Thompson by two powerful New York City unions, TWU Local 100 and DC37 of AFSCME, have given a big boost to the Bill Thompson campaign just as pools show more and more New York voters swinging towards Thompson.
I was ecstatic at the temper and pitch of President Obama's health care address. I accept in principle the president's position that the political instability arising from too dramatic a shock to the existing complex US health care system argues strongly for exerting every effort to avert the spread of panic or fear. The crazy, racist, Christian or theocratic right is playing hard on these fears, and it is important that they be isolated.
The relentless attacks on ACORN’s members, its staff and the policies and positions we promote are unprecedented. An international entertainment conglomerate, disguising itself as a “news” agency (Fox), has expended millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, in their attempt to destroy the largest community organization of Black, Latino, poor and working class people in the country. It is not coincidence that the most recent attacks have been launched just when health care reform is gaining traction. It is clear they’ve had these tapes for months.
Like a Samurai sword catching a silk scarf full of dung, President Obama eloquently separated the silk from the shinola in his speech to Congress on health care reform. To the Joseph Goebbels style slanders and phony hysterics fomented by creepy talk show hosts and Republican leaders like Sarah Palin, he “called them out”. And he promised to keep it up until much needed reform is enacted.
The circumstances that led to the resignation of Van Jones should be strongly protested. Mr. Jones was a victim of the current racist and red baiting attack aimed at bringing down the Obama administration.
Armed attendees have been allowed at town hall meetings and public rallies where the President and other national officials were speaking. Paradoxically, Cindy Sheehan wore an anti-Bush t-shirt to a Bush rally and was arrested! Other protesters were herded off to remote protest areas.