Giving workers a voice
This year has been one of fear, uncertainty and exploitation for many Rhode Island workers. Near the end of last year, thirty-five Guatemalan dock workers at Town Dock, Inc., a fish processing plant in Narragansett, RI, lost their jobs after speaking out at a town meeting about their working conditions: sub-minimum wage salaries without overtime pay, sexual harrassment and lack of respect.

Their right to speak out is protected under the National Labor Relations Act, but the plant owners chose to ignore this.

Union workers at New England Gas, after demanding safer work conditions and an acceptable contract in January, were locked out by the company.

Their struggle to have some kind of control of their working conditions continues, as does the lockout.

At Providence College, the janitors have been working without a contract since January. Although cleaners at most other Rhode Island universities and colleges receive at least $11 an hour with benefits, PC janitors must make due with $8.06 an hour without benefits.

Local students and labor activists have spoken out about the situation, demanding justice from the Providence College administration.

The situation for working men and women in Rhode Island is much like the situation for workers all over the country. It is important that these struggles be told and that workers around the country and the world see that it is time for a change. I would like to thank the PWW for giving workers around the country a voice.

Eric PelkeyNarragansett RI

Stop funding the carnage
It seems that the only bright spot in the Mideast tragedy is the probability that George Bush won’t nuke Bethlehem.

Sharon’s merciless assault on the Palestinian people is an outrage. It is Israel’s unceasing repression and indignities against Palestinians that have created people despearate enough to resort to suicide bombings.

Few U.S. citizens can imagine the hopelessness and despair that would lead a young person to make such a choice. Perhaps only Native Americans or African Americans can look back to the history of genocide against their people to be able to visualize how certain death might seem a necessary choice against unendurable oppression.

The only chance for peace in the Middle East is for Israel to return the Occupied Territories and recognize a sovereign Palestinian state with the right of return for all Palestinian refugees. We in the U.S. can help make this happen by forcing our government to stop funding the carnage. Under no circumstances should U.S. armed forces set foot in Palestine.

Helen GilbertSeattle WA

The best analysis
I always look forward to receiving the paper out here where things are so different from New York City.

However, the issue of Feb. 2 was just super, and in particular the spread by Tim Wheeler about Enron. This was the most informative, the most clear and concise analysis of any I’ve read. And of course, given the Marxist understanding, which we need to be reminded of constantly.

This article should really be reprinted as a flyer for general distribution.

Clara KrellDenver CO

Connect the dots
Though many are beginning to see the light when it comes to Bush and his cronies being in tight with the corporate execs, a lot more has to be done by the PWW and the other alternative press to connect the dots.

The dots go from corporate domination of elections through the money they pour into campaigns to the need for a government that has proportional representation in Congress of workers, minorities, small businesses and environmentalists, all those who are against the corporate control of every aspect of life.

So it would be important to have articles that explore why and how we can get from where we are to where we need to be to have more democracy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the World but I think we need more on that issue.

Connie Kesey El Reno OK