NEW YORK – If you happened to be in downtown Manhattan on Election Night, you might have seen a 20-by-50-foot demonic specter of John Ashcroft overtake the giant billboard at the corner of Houston and Lafayette, usually splashed with slinky models in tight jeans.
CHICAGO – Democrats swept nearly every statewide office and won majorities in both houses of the state legislature in Illinois. Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin was easily re-elected over a little known Republican, Jim Durkin. Durkin excoriated Durbin for having voted against war with Iraq, but this made no difference to voters.
PUEBLO, Colo. – The locked-out steelworkers from United Steel Workers of America Locals 2102 and 3267 gathered here at the state fairgrounds in October to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the strike at the CF&I steel mill in Pueblo. Over 700 union members and supporters turned out to renew their pledge to last one day longer than Oregon Steel in its continuing war on its workers.
SAN ANTONIO – On October 26 a coalition of political, religious and peace groups marched against the idea of attacking Iraq, The march started in the downtown area, and wound its way to the Alamo, several blocks away. It grew to approximately 700 participants.
LOS ANGELES – Agreement on pension benefits is the decisive issue now confronting the West Coast International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and their employers, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), as both parties headed to the negotiation table Nov. 13 after a one-week recess.
While the general trend of the 2002 elections favored the Republicans, Latino Democrats made a number of gains. Latinos will gain three more seats in Congress, bringing the total to 18 Democrats and four Republicans. Except for Cuban-Americans, most Latinos favored Democrats. Three of the four GOP Latino representatives live in Florida.
On Nov. 21, working families in all 50 states will join with community, student, civil rights, environmental and consumer activists for a National Day of Action at Wal-Mart stores. Jill Cashen told the World The Day of Action is part of the ongoing People’s Campaign for Justice@Wal-Mart. “We will be demanding that Wal-Mart become a responsible corporate citizen that provides good jobs, equal opportunity, fair business and trade practices and respects the rights of workers.”
TWIN CITIES, Minn. – “If the election is lost today, we’ll still grieve for Paul and the movement. We’ll have to collect ourselves. Someone will rise up and we will rebuild. The energy today will help through the process, “St. Paul Trades and Labor Assembly President Sharyle Knutsen told the World Nov. 5.
Bobby L. Harnage, president of the 600,000-member American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), denounced a so-called “compromise” version of George W. Bush’s Homeland Security bill as a “Trojan Horse” that would destroy union rights for 170,000 federal workers in the new agency.
CHICAGO – Defying intimidating police presence, 2,500 demonstrators protested a meeting of the Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) here, Nov. 7. The spirited rush hour march through the Downtown Loop took place just two days after the Republican takeover of the Congress and showed there will be no let-up in the fight for worker’s rights, peace and environmental justice.