Posted on October 21, 2014 by dcampbell1
Globalization and NAFTA Caused Migration from Mexico
By David Bacon, Political Research Associates
Rufino Domínguez, the former coordinator of the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, who now heads the Oaxacan Institute for Attention to Migrants, estimates that there are about 500,000 indigenous people from Oaxaca living in the U.S., 300,000 in California alone.1 
In Oaxaca, some towns have become depopulated, or are now made up of only communities of the very old and very young, where most working-age people have left to work in the north. Economic crises provoked by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other economic reforms are now uprooting and displacing these Mexicans in the country’s most remote areas, where people still speak languages (such as Mixteco, Zapoteco and Triqui) that were old  when Columbus arrived from Spain.2  “There are no jobs, and NAFTA forced the price of corn so low that it’s not economically possible to plant a crop anymore,” Dominguez says. “We come to the U.S. to work because we can’t get a price for our product at home. There’s no alternative.” Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Fair Trade, Global organizing, Immigrant Workers, Politics | Tagged: California, George H.W. Bush, Mexico, NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, Oaxaca, Ronald Reagan, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 14, 2014 by dcampbell1
By Leo Casey on October 9, 2014 8:45 AM
Leo Casey of the Albert Shanker Institute replies to Deborah Meier again today.
Deb: To practice genuine democracy in our schools, our unions, and our communities, we need a different understanding of what it means to be political.
When I taught at Bard High School Early College in New York City, one of my favorite questions on my mid-year exam was: What did Aristotle mean when he wrote that “man is a political animal?”
For most Americans, the term “political animal” would invoke the worst of American political culture: the paranoid ranting of talk radio, the political television shows modeled after wrestling entertainment, the election campaigns dominated by negative attack ads, and the gridlock of a Congress where narrow partisan advantage is everything. No wonder so many Americans run in the opposite direction when they hear “political.” Continue reading
Filed under: Education Reform, Politics, Solidarity | Tagged: Albert Shanker Institute, Ancient Greece, Aristotle, Bard High School Early College, Deborah Meier, Greek, New York City, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 12, 2014 by dcampbell1
Amid Soaring Profits, Walmart to Cut Off 30,000 Workers From Health Insurance
Largest private employer in U.S. announces elimination of insurance for part-time workers and across-the-board hikes in premium costs
by Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams
Walmart, the largest retailer in the world and the biggest private employer in the United States, announced Tuesday it is eliminating health insurance for 30,000 of its workers and hiking the costs of premiums across the board.
The cutbacks to coverage, which many charge was insufficient to begin with, were met with immediate criticism.
“Our schedules and hours are all over the place, and I often find less than I expected and less than my family needs when I see my paycheck,” said Nancy Reynolds, a member of OUR Walmart and worker at a Merrit Island, Florida Walmart store. “Taking away access to healthcare, even though many of my co-workers couldn’t afford it anyway, is just another example of Walmart manipulating the system to keep workers like me in a state of financial crisis.” Continue reading
Filed under: Health Care, Low wage workers, Organizing, Solidarity | Tagged: Convenient care clinic, Health insurance, Home Depot, Merritt Island Florida, United States, Wall Street Journal, Walmart | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 28, 2014 by dcampbell1
10 Ways President Obama Can Take Executive Action on Immigration to Protect Workers’ Rights Now An Important statement from the AFL-CIO
President Barack Obama should advance the rights of workers by taking executive action on immigration. Emilio said: “I’m here because it is important that while the president considers taking administrative action to protect many of our families from being deported, he also has to consider that we are all workers and will remain as easy prey of exploitative companies if we do not count with any relief.”
Here are 10 ways Obama can take executive action right now to provide relief to workers:
Sign the AFL-CIO’s petition calling on President Obama to take executive action now.
Filed under: Immigrant Workers, Low wage workers, Politics | Tagged: AFL-CIO, Barack Obama, immigration, Obama, Richard Trumka, United States, United States Congress | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 1, 2014 by dcampbell1
by Duane Campbell
Cesar Chavez at the Delano UFW rally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Monday, as Californians celebrated Cesar Chavez Day the Real News Network has recorded an excellent two interviews with persons presently engaged in farmworker organizing. Both had worked with Chavez-
Marc Grossman and Rosalinda Guillen. They give current testimony to conditions in the fields, the role of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, and two different views of the issues of immigration reform. Guillen describes the current largely indigenous labor force in the fields
I encourage all friends of labor to inform themselves and these important struggles.
Filed under: Immigrant Workers, Labor History, Low wage workers, Politics | Tagged: California, California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, cesarchavez, Chavez, Farmworker, Marc Grossman, United Farm Workers, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 11, 2013 by dcampbell1
by Duane Campbell
The Congressional negotiators have announced a deal for the budget- a bad deal. The proposal includes not extending the unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed. This is an outrage. Corporate agriculture gets bailed out, the banks get bailed out, but the unemployed get pushed aside.
The crisis was caused by finance capital. The unemployed should not have to pay for their crisis.
From The Coalition on Human Needs. Important issues.
Some are saying that since the unemployment rate went down in November, we don’t need any more federal unemployment insurance for those out of work more than six months.
But wait: long-term unemployment ROSE last month. In November, 37.3% of the jobless had been out of work for six months or more, up from 36.9% in September. The proportion of long-term unemployed is double the rate in 2007 (before the recession hit). (Source: Economic Policy Institute.)
Congress has never let long-term UI benefits expire unless the long-term jobless were no more than 1.3 percent of the labor force. Now, they are double that – 2.6 percent. Continue reading
Filed under: Economy, Low wage workers, Solidarity | Tagged: Congress, Paul Krugman, Rand Paul, Unemployment benefits, unemployment rate, United States, United States Congress | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2013 by dcampbell1
A review by Duane Campbell
The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration by David Bacon is a well written, well informed book that explains political and economic currents shaping the US immigration experience.
The U.S. public is engaged in a sustained and divisive debate over immigration. Unfortunately, at the same time , most U.S. do not recognize that U.S. economic policy, particularly NAFTA created many of the conditions that produce the very immigration of some 8 million people that many on the Right and the Tea Party so oppose.
The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 accelerated a neo-liberal form of economic growth in Mexico that drove poor farmers, particularly in the indigenous south to lose their farms and their livelihood. In response young men, and increasingly the young women, made the dangerous trek to the U.S. in search of work and an income to feed their families and keep their families from losing their farms. Continue reading
Filed under: Book Reviews, Fair Trade, Global organizing, Immigrant Workers, Solidarity | Tagged: Cananea, David Bacon, Mexican migration, Mexico, NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, Smithfield Foods, United States | 1 Comment »