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Plumbers, Unite Here endorse Obama

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won the backing Jan. 9 of the 60,000-strong Culinary Workers Union in Nevada. The endorsement followed announcements by the 450,000-member parent union, Unite Here, and the national Plumbers and Pipefitters Union that they were backing the Illinois senator.

Labor leaves no stone unturned

Organized labor is flexing its muscles, showing that it is tired of taking it on the chin. If the unions have their way, between now and Election Day 2008, even the ultra-right lock on the White House and Congress could be broken.

Solidarity talks, phonies squawk

As soon as aspects of the proposed contract with General Motors were revealed, activists’ e-mail boxes began to fill up with the opinions of armchair socialists. “Sellout” and “backroom deal” were the usual characterizations. All of them blasted the union; none of them criticized GM. All of them were full of shrieking condemnation; none of them had any positive suggestions as to how we could help.

Judge OKs minor fine on terror-sponsor Chiquita

Colombia’s right-wing paramilitaries are terrorists. Washington named them as such in September 2001. But the AUC, as they are known from their Spanish initials, rule the roost in Urabá in northern Colombia. So what should a U.S. corporation have done when much of its annual $4.5 billion income depended upon free rein there?

A must-see play, union-made

I recently attended a reading of “Buried: The Sago Mine Disaster” as part of the San Diego 6th@Penn Theatre’s Resilience of the Human Spirit Festival. Lately the news has been filled with stories of mining disasters, so I felt this was a must-see performance. I wasn’t wrong.

Labor/equality alliance lives

It is appropriate that Chicago, where the fight for the 8-hour day began so dramatically at Haymarket Square 120 years ago, is the site of this year’s Coalition of Black Trade Unionists convention.


Army Sgt. Irving Taffler, stationed at a big American base in Italy after World War II, was ordered by his colonel to go out and hire 200 Italians to staff the facility. Taffler, a proud member of the Communist Party USA, went to the local Italian party office and put out the word. A week later the base was staffed by 200 Communists and supporters.


Save lives, save jobs

Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, opposes drastic Cook County budget cuts at a rally of hundreds in Chicago, Jan. 29.

We made some noise

Gov. Matt “Baby” Blunt — the jackass himself — will do anything to win the support of right-wing, anti-union forces in Missouri. This year he’s going to try to lay off state workers left and right. Currently, there are over 300,000 state workers. He wants to cut us down to 65,000.


Dear Santa

About 200 demonstrators participated in a holiday-themed picket line and rally at the Woodfin Suites Hotel in Emeryville, Calif., Dec. 18.

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