Posted on April 14, 2016 by dcampbell1
Bernie Sanders for President
Yesterday the CEO of Verizon said that I was “contemptible.” He doesn’t like that yesterday I walked the picket line with striking Verizon workers, or that I think Verizon needs to pay its fair share in taxes.
Verizon’s attack reminded me of what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in New York City in 1936:
“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
“They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”
Like FDR, I welcome the contempt of Verizon’s CEO. I welcome the hatred and contempt of every Wall Street banker, hedge fund manager, pharmaceutical lobbyist and fracking executive trying to stop our campaign.
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Labor History, Politics | Tagged: Solidarity, Strike, Verizon | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 18, 2016 by dcampbell1
By David Bacon
As freelancers, we know we do the work. And while the way we work is what defines us, it’s also the root of many of our problems.
We provide the content, but because we don’t have a traditional employer-employee relationship with the publications that run our articles or photos, we don’t get regular paychecks.
Some of us used to be staff writers or photographers or graphic artists. Maybe we took a buyout, or got downsized and laid off. Others of us are just beginning our careers as digital natives, and never had the chance to work on staff.
We’ve always had to sell what we produce, article by article, photo by photo, drawing by drawing. And at some publications, we have to ask to use our own words or images because we’re forced to surrender all copyright claims in order to work.
Many of us are also living without a parachute. Continue reading
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Organizing, Uncategorized | Tagged: digital, Freelance, Guild, unions, writers | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 16, 2016 by dcampbell1
The most important election in Virginia this year has no candidates on the ballot.
On February 2nd, the Republican-dominated General Assembly passed the two-session threshold needed to put the open shop before the Commonwealth’s voters in November. You might be asking yourself, “Wait. I thought that Virginia was already an open-shop state?” Your inclinations would be correct: legislation barring union membership as a condition of employment was signed into law by Gov. William Tuck (a later adherent to Massive Resistance in response to Brown v. Board of Educationas a member of Congress) in 1947. As a result, Section 40.1-58 of the Code of Virginia reads:
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of Virginia that the right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization.
So why do this? The easy answer is that Virginia Republicans are fearful that, should the open shop meet a legal challenge in state court, Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring would not seek to defend it. The sponsor of the bill and defeated 2013 nominee for Attorney General, State Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), stated as much in the deliberations on the bill. In addition, should the Assembly find itself in pro-labor hands in the future, they could overturn the open shop with a simple majority vote. Never mind that the extreme amounts of gerrymandering in the Assembly (particularly in the House of Delegates) makes a unified Democratic state government unlikely for decades to come.
The vote this November will be the first popular referendum on the open shop since 54 percent of Oklahoma voters approved State Question 695 on September 25, 2001. In this, an opportunity presents itself to the labor movement in this country, and it is one that labor unions must take. Continue reading
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Labor and Democracy, Politics, South | Tagged: "right to work", Labor Movement, Open shop, Politics, Virginia | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 14, 2016 by paulgarver
by Paul Garver
The Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM) produced this video to promote its campaign to save the jobs of 600 workers at the Nabisco plant in Chicago.
The global food conglomerate Mondelez International, which now operates five Nabisco factories in the USA. has a history of relocating production of its bakery products from the USA and Europe to lower-wage countries.
Mondelez is opposed by a global coalition of unions cooperating through the International Union of Food Workers (IUF), which includes the BCTGM. Last year the international union network issued a consensus statement demanding that Mondelez stop outsourcing production as part of a Screamdelez campaign demanding justice for Mondelez workers.
Normally international union coalitions have difficulty in supporting appeals to Buy American, which might pit workers in one country against those in another. But there are special circumstances in this case. Production from the two Nabisco Mexican factories in Salinas and Monterey is dedicated entirely to the North American market. The Mexican Nabisco plants have no autonomous union to represent the workers. Moreover Mondelez has used blackmail tactics against the BCTGM Chicago local demanding concessions that would amount to 60% pay cut as the condition of not shifting several production lines from Chicago to Salinas. .
The BCTGM’s campaign is being supported by prominent Mexican-American Chicago politician Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and by a rally addressed by former CWA president Larry Cohen, now a leader of Labor for Bernie. However only vocal and continued consumer support for the campaign might put enough pressure on Mondelez to save several hundred crucial industrial jobs in Chicago.
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Global organizing, Organizing, Politics, Solidarity, Uncategorized | Tagged: BCTGM, Chicago, Mondelez, Nabisco | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2016 by dcampbell1
And, An Even Grander Scheme to Destroy Unions
Conservatives had a great plan in motion to decimate unions. If Justice Antonin Scalia hadn’t died in his sleep, they almost certainly would have pulled it off.
First they got the Court to rule their way in 2014’s Harris v. Quinn, which targeted home healthcare unions. Like “right to work” laws, the case sought to gut unions’ funding and diminish solidarity by saying that union members can’t be required to pay dues. The Court agreed, holding that the First Amendment does not allow the collection of fair share fees from home healthcare workers. The decision, written by Justice Alito and signed by the Court’s four other conservatives, also not-so-subtly invited further attacks on the funding and membership of unions.
Next came Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which sought to expand Harris to impose right-to-work on all public sector employees. The conservative Center for Individual Rights (CIR) rushed Friedrichs to the Supreme Court by essentially conceding at every lower court that under current law, it should lose. Friedrichs could only win if the Supreme Court overturned 39 years of precedent that date back to the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education decision.
When the Court accepted Friedrichs, there was some hope that Justice Scalia might provide the critical vote to save public-sector unions. This was not because Scalia had any great love for labor—he did not—but because he understood the basic economic theory of free riders: Just like any other enterprise, it can be difficult for a union to get its members to pay dues when they can get all the benefits of the contract for free. Scalia had said as much in a 1991 concurrence-dissent, and many were hoping that he would exercise consistency with Friedrichs. Continue reading
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Labor and Democracy, Politics | Tagged: Constitutution, Friedrichs, Labor, Scalia, unions | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 3, 2016 by dcampbell1
Urge Congress to Oppose the Just-Signed TPP
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is in New Zealand right now joining other trade ministers from throughout the Pacific Rim in signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Signing is not the same as ratifying. What the signing means is that the negotiations are concluded; the text is done; and that the TPP can now be submitted for a Fast Tracked vote in Congress at almost any time.
It’s critical that Congress is hearing strong constituent opposition to the TPP right now. Please write your Members of Congress and urge them to come out publicly against the TPP.
For the better part of a decade, we have told our representatives we want a “Fair Deal or No Deal” on Trans-Pacific trade. Now that the text is finalized and changes are all-but-impossible, it’s clear that — while a handful of well-connected corporations got a more-than-fair deal for themselves — for everyone else, the TPP would be a disaster for the economy, the environment and public health.
The TPP Is Bad for Jobs & Wages
As you would expect from a deal negotiated with hundreds of corporate advisors, while the public and the press were shut out, if enacted, the TPP would offshore good-paying American jobs, lower wages and increase inequality by forcing Americans into competition with highly-exploited workers abroad paid less than 65 cents an hour. Continue reading
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Economy, Fair Trade, Global organizing, Politics, Solidarity | Tagged: Congress, environment, TPP, Trade, Trade union | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 28, 2016 by dcampbell1
MT. PLEASANT, SC – DECEMBER 7:
Unique Working America report finds issues, information and a trusted messenger help counter right-wing rhetoric among white working class voters – many of whom are still up for grabs in 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new Working America report finds that key white-working class voters have not made up their minds yet in the 2016 presidential race, but of those who have, Donald Trump is the strongest choice. The unique “Front Porch Focus Group” report used qualitative and quantitative data from 1,689 face-to-face conversations held over five weeks in Ohio and Pennsylvania to paint a picture of voters’ mood and appetite for engagement.
The report found that Trump drew more supporters than all other GOP candidates combined, and was also the choice of 25% of Democrats with a candidate preference. When asked why they like him, nearly half of voters said it was his personality – not his policies – that factored into their decision.
“The growing appeal of a hard-right agenda in communities where we’ve worked for a decade meant we needed to drive straight into the storm to connect with our membership and hear their perspectives,” said Executive Director Karen Nussbaum (@knussbaum). “We reached out through our strongest tool: face-to-face conversations on people’s doorsteps.”
On the issues, the report found that good jobs (29%) was still the top concern for the Working America “focus group” – a trend consistently seen over 13 years of engagement at the doors. Only 5% cited immigration as their top priority, but 48% of those people supported Trump. Continue reading
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Labor and Democracy, Politics, Solidarity | Leave a comment »