Posted on December 6, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
DETROIT – The UAW released the following statement on the passing of Nelson Mandela:
“The UAW deeply mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela, one of the most influential civil rights and social justice leaders of our time. Nelson Mandela demonstrated how commitment to core principles and social justice can change the world. His actions freed millions from the chains of racism. From his humble beginnings to his imprisonment for fighting against the apartheid system in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the world.
“It was an incredible honor for the UAW, through the leadership of then-President Owen Bieber, to play a role in supporting Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s. President Bieber traveled to South Africa to support Mandela and other activists, and when Mandela toured the United States in 1990 after his release from prison, he insisted on celebrating with UAW Local 600 in Dearborn, Mich. During that trip, Mandela invited Bieber to be at his side during a rally at Tiger Stadium.
“Nelson Mandela will be missed by those who believe in civil and human rights for all people. The best way to honor his passing is to continue to work for his ideals. We are committed to doing so.”
Filed under: Solidarity | Tagged: Mandela, Nelson Mandela, UAW | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 30, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Mike Elk
Anti-union conservatives are worried that if the UAW successfully organizes Volkwagen’s Tennessee plant, it will create a domino effect in the South. Here, protesters lift a sign supporting a UAW organizing campaign at a Nissan plant in Canton, Miss. (Photo from United Auto Workers on Facebook)
After Volkswagen issued a letter in September saying the company would not oppose an attempt by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to unionize its 1,600-worker Chattanooga, Tenn., facility, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was flabbergasted.
“For management to invite the UAW in is almost beyond belief,” Corker, who campaigned heavily for the plant’s construction during his tenure as mayor of Chattanooga, told the Associated Press. “They will become the object of many business school studies—and I’m a little worried could become a laughingstock in many ways—if they inflict this wound.”
Corker isn’t the only right-winger out to halt UAW’s campaign. In the absence of any overt anti-union offensive by Volkswagen, conservative political operatives worried about the UAW getting a foothold in the South have stepped into the fray.
Leaked documents obtained by In These Times, as well as interviews with a veteran anti-union consultant, indicate that a conservative group, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, appears to be pumping hundred of thousands of dollars into media and grassroots organizing in an effort to stop the union drive. In addition, the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation helped four anti-union workers in October file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that Volkswagen was forcing a union on them. (more…)
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Organizing, The enemy | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, Tennessee, UAW, United Auto Workers, Volkswagen | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 30, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Micah Uetricht
Jerry Tucker’s time of advocacy is over, but the organizing strategies he pioneered are still very much alive in movements all over the country. (Brad Perkins / Flickr / Creative Commons)
In January, an obituary of Jerry Tucker, who died of pancreatic cancer a year ago at age 73, characterized the longtime labor activist as “the man who could have saved organized labor.”
Tucker might have balked at the suggestion that he himself could have been the savior of organized labor. He fervently believed that workers could save themselves—through democratic, militant unionism led by rank-and-file members. Earlier this month, Tucker’s vision was remembered and debated in his hometown of St. Louis, Miss., as about 100 unionists from throughout the country gathered at the “Jerry Tucker: The Person, The Mission, The Legacy” conference at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. (more…)
Filed under: Labor History, Organizing | Tagged: Jerry Tucker, UAW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 21, 2013 by dcampbell1
Remarks for DSA Youth Conference August 9, 2013 Jack Clark.
This morning’s session focuses on the future of the labor movement. That’s proper. For all its flaws and its current weakness, labor remains the largest and most strategically important social movement fighting for ordinary Americans. It’s difficult to imagine a revitalized liberal-left coalition without a strengthened labor movement. It is impossible to imagine the development of an American democratic socialist current in the absence of a strong working class movement.
With that said, I am not beginning my presentation with a look at labor itself. Rather I want to start by looking at attacks on labor and particular one influential attack that uses the crisis in Detroit as the reason to attack unions. . I’ll take a provocative look at a large question posed by one of labor’s foes and suggest a large theme that might inform our struggle, and I’ll end by suggesting some specifics on what we want to fight for as allies and participants in labor’s cause. (more…)
Filed under: Conferences and Events, Economy, Labor History, Politics, Youth | Tagged: BMW, Charles Darwin, Detroit, Ichneumonidae, UAW, United Auto Workers, United States, Walter Reuther | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 19, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Bruce Vail
Bayard Rustin (left) and union leader Cleveland Robinson
Unions are strongly backing a march in Washington, D.C., next week to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech. Participating unions are heralding King’s strong ties to labor, and many are using the opportunity to renew the original march’s call for jobs and freedom.
AFSCME [American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees] is one of at least 15 unions who are financially sponsoring the August 24 rally and bringing members to participate. AFSCME has chartered about 100 buses and plans to bring 3,000 to 5,000 marchers, says spokesperson Chris Fleming.
“At AFSCME, we have a special connection to Dr. King,” says Fleming. “Many will remember that he died in Memphis in 1968 when he went there to support the sanitation workers who were organizing with AFSCME. The same struggle for economic justice continues today, so we are proud to honor him by continuing the struggle.”
Filed under: Conferences and Events, Economy, Politics | Tagged: AFL-CIO, CWA, March on Washington, March on Washington 50th Anniversary, UAW | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 7, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Street Heat
While encouraging, the recent uptick in discussions regarding the future of the labor movement will be limited in its impact unless the strategic nature of the U.S. south is included in the exchange.
It is somewhat mystifying that while acknowledging the urgency of labor to address its shortcomings, the critical role that the U.S. south plays in stymieing labor’s ascendancy has received little to no attention. More concerning is the fact that the south’s centrality to labor’s resurgence and ultimate survival is not even acknowledged in this increasingly vigorous discussion.
The combination of anti-worker laws, repression against people of color and reactionary politics has allowed the enemies of labor to define an entire geographic area as a bulwark against movements for social justice. The south provides the critical majority of electeds who have held the line against pro-worker reforms (along with most other progressive legislation) and its laws have provided a template for laws passed in the “war on workers” in northern states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and New Hampshire.
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: #1ufuture, Nissan, Savanah port workers, Smithfield, South, Teamsters, UAW, UFCW, Working America | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 23, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Bruce Vail
Several hundred labor activists gathered last week in Lansing, Mich., for a frigid but boisterous protest of Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address. Their intention was not to disrupt the speech, but to remind Snyder that he has awakened a deep and abiding anger among the state’s labor leaders and their allies. Snyder can count on many more such reminders in the coming months, Michigan labor sources say, as unions carry out plans to reverse the anti-worker initiatives Snyder has sponsored in the last six weeks, and push back against the big business forces that stand behind him. (more…)
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: "right to work", Bob King, Indiana, Michigan, UAW, USW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Eric Lee
Danny Glover, the star of Lethal Weapon and other Hollywood blockbusters, delivered a message to the LabourStart conference which opened yesterday in Sydney, Australia.
I’d like to ask you to take a minute to watch the video:
Then please sign up to the online campaign, here:
Filed under: Global organizing, Organizing | Tagged: Danny Glover, LabourStart, LabourStart Global Solidarity conference, Nissan, UAW | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 16, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Review of Greg Shotwell’s Autoworkers Under The Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011) 237 pp. $17 (paper).
By Steve Early
The tradition of radical pamphleteering in North America is as old as Thomas Paine and his distinguished predecessors in the struggle for democratic rights in a world dominated by monarchs and theocrats. More than a few modern-day purveyors of “common sense” have penned their denunciations of the powers-that-be in rank-and-file newsletters, the shop-floor alternative to official labor publications. Their critique of the workplace status quo has been no less welcome than the writings of the immigrant corset-maker, who dared to challenge illegitimate illegitimate authority, in England and its colonies, in the late 1700’s.
During his three decades as a machine operator in Michigan, Gregg Shotwell was never once asked to contribute to his national union magazine, Solidarity, which serves as a glossy mouthpiece for the United Auto Workers (UAW). So Shotwell, a brilliant wordsmith and working-class humorist, launched a lively shop paper called Live Bait & Ammo for the edification of his co-workers at General Motors and Delphi. It contained all the news and commentary that Solidarity didn’t see fit to print. Thanks, to the inter-net (and much to the chagrin of UAW leaders), Live Bait & Ammo was soon circulating in UAW plants far and wide. This made Shotwell widely read, if not very popular, at Solidarity House, the now sadly mis-named headquarters of a labor organization more devoted to dividing and conquering its own members than uniting them in fights against major employers.
Filed under: Book Reviews | Tagged: autoworkers, Autoworkers Under the Gun, UAW | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 7, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Tonight, working families across the country celebrate the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden – and breathe a sigh of relief that our country will move forward on the path of sanity and shared prosperity. Nothing about the last four years has been easy, from the Great Recession to Hurricane Sandy, from unrelenting partisan obstruction by Republicans to the greatest onslaught of negative ads ever unleashed against an American president.
Throughout the tumult, President Obama and Vice President Biden have been steadfast allies of working men and women and the values we cherish, focused on repairing the economy, rebuilding the ladder to the middle class and investing in our shared future. That’s why workers and their unions made an historic effort on their behalf, bringing home the vote for the President from Nevada to Ohio, from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania.
With “Osama dead and GM alive” and the economy beginning to pick up steam, we are ready to work together with the President and all willing parties to win greater equality and economic opportunity for all – starting with ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and opposing any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits.
Below are statements from the AFT, UFCW,UAW , AFGE , UFW, SEIU, IBEW, and IAM
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: AFGE, AFL-CIO, AFT, IBEW, Obama, SEIU, UAW, UFCW, UFW | 2 Comments »