PARIS — During France’s powerful public workers’ strikes of November-December 1995, the political waters were somewhat muddy. On the one hand, President Jacques Chirac had based his recent election campaign on the theme of opposing “social fracture” and disharmony. On the other, newly appointed Prime Minister Alain Juppé had just launched a violent attack on welfare and on public workers’ pay and retirement benefits.
If your Oreo didn’t have the sugary white middle, wouldn’t you notice? If, over time, your car tire middles collapsed, you would notice. So why for so long has our country’s middle been allowed to disappear without notice or correction?
In his June 9 national radio address, President Bush strongly endorsed the “Grand Bargain” immigration bill, S 1348. What kind of “improvements” Bush is after, and what he gets, will be critical to whether the bill, or a close version of it, becomes law. The question is: How far to the right can Bush help shepherd the bill through the Senate and House?
Excerpts from the remarks of Roger Toussaint, president of New York City’s Transport Workers Union Local 100, on the occasion of its Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration, Jan. 15.
Anyone who believed there was going to be a bipartisan effort in Congress to reflect the voters’ views got doused with a bucket of cold water last week when GOP senators tried to block a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 over two years.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — In response to Eve Enseler’s feminist “Vagina Monologues,” a series of theatrical vignettes on the theme of contemporary women’s gender and social oppression, South Asian Sisters, a California-based group, developed “Yoni Ki Baat” (“Talks of the Vagina”).
Folks were still eating turkey sandwiches when the AFL-CIO issued its call for a Dec. 8-9 labor summit and march in Washington, D.C., to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a top legislative priority for labor. Among the summit’s goals is training 250,000 “trusted messengers,” worksite-based labor activists, to force veto-proof enactment of EFCA.
Do you think they heard us this time? Although the Bush administration and its congressional allies have done a very good job of ignoring working families for six years, I think they must have heard us Nov. 7.
NEW YORK CITY — In 2001, New York State Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse ruled that New York State was in violation of its own Constitution which guarantees every child the right to a “sound, basic education.” Since then, education activists, teachers and parents have been fighting — in the courts and in the court of public opinion — to remedy the gross inequities in public school funding.
On Oct. 29, the rightist lame duck president of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quezada, sent in 4,000 Federal Protective Police armed with tanks, helicopters, water cannons and high powered rifles to clear the southern city of Oaxaca (population about 275,000) of the protesters who have held it since May.