Five Union Presidents Oppose TPP Treaty

by Paul Garver


Presidents of the IBT [Teamsters], USW [Steelworkers], UFCW [Food & Commercial Workers], IAM [Machinists] and CWA [Communication Workers] all issued statements today urging continued opposition to the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] treaty. Full statements follow.
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Labor for Bernie Meets with Sanders Before Boston Rally

by Paul Garver

Before addressing over 20,000 at a rally at the Boston Convention Center, Bernie Sanders met with several dozen members of Labor for Bernie.  The meeting was organized by Rand Wilson, a leader of Labor for Bernie and its SEIU wing.

Arrests in Atlanta at Stop TPP protests

Daniel just out of 3Photographs by Steve Eberhardt.stop TPP

(APN) ATLANTA  — Protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue in Atlanta, as negotiators from twelve countries work to finalize this latest, controversial proposal for an international free trade agreement.

Advocates from civil society organizations concerned with labor, the environment, health care, food, and other issues are worried about a new, free trade agreement that would further entrench corporate interests.

As of Friday evening, October 02, 2015, four activists have been arrested for civil disobedience including a DSA member.

On Wednesday, September 30, Zahara Heckscher, a breast cancer patient, was arrested for confronting TPP negotiators, while hooked up to an IV.

On Thursday, October 01, Daniel Hanley went down to the floor where negotiations were taking place and handcuffed himself to a railing.  Pictures that have surfaced of his arrest appear particularly brutal.  One of the officers was aggressive and hurt Hanley’s wrist while trying to remove the handcuffs, Hanley said.

Today, Friday, October 02, Nina Roark and an activist who goes by the name, “Scout,” were arrested for putting their bodies in the doorway of the meeting and refusing to leave.

The contents of the TPP are not being made public; however, an earlier version was leaked on WikiLeaks.

“Based on what we know about the TPP, this massive free trade agreement would let corporations unravel hard-won protections for health, working conditions, and the environment,” Nina Dutton, lead TPP organizer with the Sierra Club, said. Continue reading

Local CWA Leaders Support Bernie in Union’s Membership Poll

by Paul Garver

cwa votes

While local union members and local leaders have to scramble to discourage their national leaderships from an early endorsement of Hillary Clinton without adequate consultation of their memberships, the Communication Workers of America {CWA) is trying a different method – MEMBER DEMOCRACY.

Could this become a model for the NEA, SEIU, AFSCME and other unions whose national leaderships would prefer to endorse Hillary now before the primaries even begin?

Four leaders of CWA locals have issued the following letter encouraging CWA members to vote for Bernie Sanders in an online presidential preference poll initiated by CWA national leadership.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,We are writing to other CWA Labor for Bernie supporters to help turn out the vote in the online poll our union is now conducting on presidential candidates.

We are very proud that our union, unlike so many others, is giving all members the right to vote on presidential candidates and encouraging our activism regardless of candidate.

But we are also so proud to have a candidate that represents our values and beliefs as working Americans and not more business as usual.  As Bernie says, “Enough is enough of corporate and billionaire politics!”

  • Bernie will soon introduce the Workplace Democracy Act, which like the Employee Free Choice Act provides for union recognition when a majority joins, and provides a definite path to a first contract including arbitration.
  • Bernie has introduced Medicare for All as well as legislation to repeal the so-called excise or “cadillac” tax
  • Bernie has helped lead the fight against the Trans Pacific Partnership

The list goes on and on: $15 minimum wage, no tuition at public colleges, end super pacs, $1 trillion for infrastructure….(and so much more).  Learn more about Bernie Sanders and contribute to his campaign here.Most importantly, we now have a chance to make a real difference by voting online and encouraging our co-workers to do the same.  Just click here now to vote.  For more information, positions on issues, flyers to download, go to  Join the CWA conversation building support for Bernie on Facebook by clicking here.

Please click here now to vote in CWA’s online poll and forward this message to other CWA members to encourage them to do the same!

Steve Abbott, President

CWA Local 7108

Waterloo, IA

Ken McNamara, President

CWA Local 1037

Newark, NJ

Anita Jwanouskos, President

AFA-CWA Local 22061

Baltimore, MD

Steve Flores, President

CWA Local 6222

Houston, TX

Organizations are listed solely for identification purposes not organizational endorsement

Mass. Teachers say #NoEarlyEndorsement for Hillary.

Originally posted on Fred Klonsky:


Massachusetts Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni sent the following message to MTA members on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015:

As some of you know, NEA President Lily Eskelsen García is pushing for the NEA to recommend Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary. A motion to support this proposal will be made on Thursday, Oct. 1, at a meeting of the NEA Fund PAC Council. If the motion is approved by the PAC Council, the NEA Board of Directors will vote on it the next day.

In conversation with President Eskelsen García, I have expressed my concern that an early endorsement does not allow members to be active participants in the kinds of discussion and debate that are central to a democratic union.

At the MTA All Presidents’ Meeting this past weekend, the tone of the room strongly opposed an early endorsement of any candidate. I am hearing the same viewpoint from…

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Broad Plan : How To Take Over Public Schools in Los Angeles

Billionaire’s Secret Plan: A ‘Hostile Takeover’ of LA Public Schools

BroadDeirdre Fulton
September 23, 2015    Common Dreams

Last week the Los Angeles Times obtained a secret 44-page proposal drafted by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates, that according to one critic would “do away with democratically controlled, publicly accountable education in LA.” With the aid of a billionaires’ club of supporters, the plan is designed to charterize 50% of LA public schools.

More than 1,000 teachers, students, parents, and community members protested at the opening of the Broad museum in downtown Los Angeles Sunday. , Mayra Gomez/UTLA Facebook photo,

A California billionaire is enlisting other wealthy backers in a $490 million scheme to place half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District into charter schools over the next eight years—a plan at least one critic says would “do away with democratically controlled, publicly accountable education in LA.”
The Los Angeles Times obtained a confidential 44-page proposal, “The Great Public Schools Now Initiative,” drafted by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates.
“Los Angeles is uniquely positioned to create the largest, highest-performing charter sector in the nation,” the executive summary reads. “Such an exemplar would serve as a model for all large cities to follow.”

The document outlines the following three objectives that would serve to overthrow the current public system:
to create 260 new high-quality charter schools;
to generate 130,000 high-quality charter seats;
to reach 50 percent charter market share.
The initiative seeks to accomplish these ambitious goals between by 2023. As the LA Times reports:
Organizers of the effort have declined to publicly release details of the plan. But the memo lays out a strategy for moving forward, including how to raise money, recruit and train teachers, provide outreach to parents and navigate the political battle that will probably ensue. Continue reading

Time to Break the Class Ceiling – Elect Bernie Sanders

byRoseAnn DeMoro


Noting his issues “align with nurses from top to bottom,” National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of nurses, endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President in August, 2015. (Photo: NNU/flickr/cc)

Let’s make history. The 2016 election offers a rare moment to crack a barrier that can truly transform our nation – the opportunity to shatter the Class Ceiling.

As an organization of nurses, 90 percent of them women, we’d love to break the glass ceiling as well. But with declining social mobility, our children for the first time in history facing less opportunity and a lower standard of living than their parents, and a rapidly shrinking promise of the American dream, smashing the Class Ceiling is our most pressing priority.

Sen. Bernie Sanders presents our best opportunity to bust through that bar. He offers the most comprehensive solutions – and understands it will take all of us, a “political revolution,” to stand up to the power of Wall Street, big corporations and the billionaires who have corrupted our political and economic system.

Here’s a few reasons why lifting the Class Ceiling must be our first target.

The wealth and income gap. As Sen. Sanders notes, since 1985, the share of wealth owned by the bottom 90 percent in the U.S. has plummeted from 36 percent to 23 percent, a loss that equates to over $10 trillion, nearly all of it going to a tiny sliver of the wealthiest. Over the last 30 years, the top one-tenth of one percent have seen its share of our nation’s wealth more than double from 10 percent to 22 percent. Meanwhile real median family income is almost $5,000 less than in 1999. Wages have flat lined for many workers; since 1973, worker productivity has climbed 72 percent but hourly compensation increased just 9 percent.

Poverty. Today, 46.7 million Americans live in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. The U.S. has far greater childhood poverty than any major industrialized country. Nearly 50 million Americans live in food insecurity households. Some 11 million tenants spend half their income on rent and as many as 39 percent of households have housing insecurity.

Health care. Even with gains made under the Affordable Care Act, 33 million Americans remain without health coverage. Last year, 35 million Americans could not get their prescriptions filled because they could not afford it. A Commonwealth Fund study documented that the U.S. ranks last among 11 developed countries on the quality of our health system, including shorter life spans than comparable countries.

Education. Students who live in wealthier communities had lower-student teacher ratios, more up to date computer and science equipment, better libraries, more current textbooks, and more guidance counselors. A result, affluent students have higher high school graduation rates, higher test scores, and more job opportunities when out of school. College student debt totals more than $1.2 trillion leaving many in debt for much of their life.

Racial disparities. African-Americans and Latinos have higher rates of unemployment, infant mortality, chronic illnesses, shorter lifespans, and are far more likely to be turned down for home loans than whites. African-Americans and Latinos, one-fourth of the population, comprise 58 percent of those incarcerated, and the loss of life of unarmed African-Americans in police shootings and while in custody has become a national scandal.

Women’s equality. The gender gap bridges the economic and social landscape. Women earn less than men, and female-headed households experience a poverty rate 6.9 percentage points higher than men. The U.S. is among the very few industrialized countries that fails to offer paid maternity leave, spends far less on child care, and provides less sick time or flexible work schedules which affect women in greater numbers.

Pollution and climate change. Due in part to where power plants and refineries are placed, environmental pollution has more exposure in low-income communities and among people of color. One study found people of color breathe air with 38 percent more nitrogen dioxide, one reason for a growing asthma epidemic. The climate crisis in the form of droughts, which cut crop yields and add to hunger, and extreme weather events also have a more deadly impact on low income communities in the U.S. and globally.

Reversing these disastrous trends is a tall order, but Sen. Sanders’ program is a good place to start.

His agenda includes boosting the minimum wage to $15 an hour, pay equity for women, a $1 trillion jobs program to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure that would create millions of jobs, sweeping criminal justice reform, expanding Medicare to cover everyone, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and robust action on climate change. Needed revenue would come by putting people to work, improving health outcomes, making the wealthy pay their fair share, and taxing Wall Street speculation.

For our children and our future, there’s no time to waste.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

RoseAnn DeMoro is executive director of the 185,000-member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, and a national vice president of the AFL-CIO. Follow Rose Ann DeMoro on Twitter:


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