UAW’s Bob King: Expanding the Fight Against Michigan’s Anti-Worker Forces

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. Continue reading

Jobs, Jobs, and Cars

Paul Krugman.  NYT. Jan. 26,2012.

English: Paul Krugman at the 2010 Brooklyn Boo...

Image via Wikipedia

“Mitch Daniels, the former Bush budget director who is now Indiana’s governor, made the Republicans’ reply to President Obama’s State of the Union address. His performance was, well, boring. But he did say something thought-provoking — and I mean that in the worst way…

Clearly, Mr. Daniels doesn’t have much of a future in the humor business. But, more to the point, anyone who reads The New York Times knows that his assertion about job creation was completely false: Apple employs very few people in this country.

A big report in The Times last Sunday laid out the facts. Although Apple is now America’s biggest U.S. corporation as measured by market value, it employs only 43,000 people in the United States, a tenth as many as General Motors employed when it was the largest American firm.

Apple does, however, indirectly employ around 700,000 people in its various suppliers. Unfortunately, almost none of those people are in America.” Continue reading

New ad: ‘What’ Exposes Indiana Gov. Daniels on ‘Right to Work’

Working families in Indiana have launched a new television entitled ‘What,’ that features Governor Daniels in his own words opposing Right to Work for Less. In his speech to the Teamsters in 2006 Daniels opposed any changes to Indiana’s labor laws and said, “…certainly not a Right to Work law.”

The ad will run following Governor Daniels’ response to the State of the Union on broadcast networks in Indiana and nationally on CNN and MSNBC.

Indiana Senate Passes RTW Despite Broad Public Opposition

by Cathy Sherwin

 Despite overwhelming opposition throughout Indiana to the so-called right to work (RTW) bill, the state Senate yesterday passed its version of the bill by 28-22, while House Speaker Brian Bosma continued to use strong-arm tactics to force RTW down Hoosiers’ throats. The Senate chose to vote even as 10,000 Hoosier workers packed the statehouse—and even though working families have been holding town hall meetings, making thousands of phone calls and signing postcards.

Throughout the day, Democratic amendments to the House version of RTW (House Bill 1001) were rejected on party lines. Even the hugely popular amendment calling for a public referendum that would allow voters to decide on RTW went down to defeat. Then Bosma shut down the discussion on amendments, cutting off further debate. In protest, House Democrats left the chamber and went to caucus.

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Class War Rages in Indiana

Indiana is a WAR ZONE . . . specifically, a CLASS WAR ZONE. The “1%” launched an all-out war against the working men and women of Indiana. Last year, the Indiana General Assembly was a battleground due to an avalanche of anti-labor legislation being pushed by Republican legislators on behalf of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Tea Party, and a laundry list of business groups, bankers, over-paid lawyers, and Lord knows how many other right-wing flunkey organizations. THIS YEAR, THEY’RE BACK — they mean to have a clean-up operation to win the battles they failed to last year. The crown-jewel of their efforts is to invoke Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act and outlaw collective bargaining agreements that include union/agency shop clauses. The aim of this so-called “right-to-work” legislation is to bust unions by destroying their resources, by playing divide-and-conquer between workers, weakening unions at the bargaining table and in grievance procedures. This way, the 1% hopes to “cut costs” so that corporations make more money, and to limit the ability of working people to have an impact in the political system. And Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly have proclaimed union-busting “right to work” legislation as their “top priority” for the legislative session.

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Thousands Rally in Sacramento


Sacramento Rally

by Duane Campbell Updated 2/23.

Over 2500 union members and supporters rallied at the State Capitol in Sacramento  on Feb. 22,2011, in a candle light vigil to support the working people in Wisconsin in their struggle to defend their  union rights. The financial crisis that began  2007  is an assault on organized  labor, working people, and our democracy.  To date the corporate class is winning.

While Wall Street has recovered and returned to profitability, working people continue to suffer  15 million unemployed with at least 10 million more under employed.   It is more than a crisis – the reality is that the financial class has looted the U.S. economy.  The Oligarchs  took 13 trillion dollars  out of the economy and caused 4 million people to lose their homes and  another 4.5 million to fall into foreclosure.   Now they want you and I to pay for their greed by forcing budget cuts on the states.

In 2010-2011 the crisis is hitting state and local governments hard.  The AFL-CIO is tracking this assault at    Responding the  messaging of the Right many liberals stayed home on election day. Republicans and the Tea Party  won a majority in the House, took control of several state houses, elected governors, and now dominate the main steam media with their messages.  Conservative forces, the Republicans, the Tea Party, and others use the crisis in the states to launch aggressive campaigns against public sector unions and the salaries and pensions of public sector workers.

The Sacramento response, like rallies in other states condemned the anti union campaigns of Republican governors and legislators.  In Wisconsin Governor Walker’s immediate attack is aimed directly at some 200,000 public workers in Wisconsin.

As Rose Ann DeMoro Executive Director,  California Nurses Association said in a well distributed letter,

“Working people did not create the recession or the budgetary crisis facing federal, state and local governments, and there can be no more concessions, period.

It should be apparent that the right wants to scapegoat workers and their unions, and is trying to exploit the economic crisis for an all-out assault on unions, public employees, and all working people in a campaign that is funded by right-wing, corporate billionaires like the Koch brothers.

Who caused the economic crisis? Banks, Wall Street speculators, mortgage lenders, global corporations shifting jobs from the U.S. overseas. Continue reading

Right-to-Work: Union Busting in Indiana

by Marvin Williams

Republican members of the Indiana House of Representatives have just introduced a bill deceptively captioned “Employee’s right to work.” The title misrepresents the bill’s true intent which is to do just the opposite. The bill’s real purpose is to stop working people from organizing themselves in unions so they can truly exercise their right to work.

The House bill no. 1043 was introduced January 5, 2011 by Representatives Torr, Culver, Kubacki, and Turner; received first reading; and was referred to the Committee on Employment, Labor, and Pensions. Interestingly, when asked December 26, 2010 by an Indianapolis Star reporter about the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s drive to put “right-to-work” on the legislative agenda, Republican Governor Mitch Daniels said, “I don’t think it should be a subject of debate and vote in this particular General Assembly.” In the Governor’s 2011 State of the State address the words “right-to-work” were unmentioned.

In summary, the right-to-work bill would make “it a Class A misdemeanor for an employer to require an individual to: (1) become or remain a member of a labor organization; (2) pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor organization; or (3) pay to a charity or another third party an amount that represents dues, fees, or other charges required of members of a labor organization; as a condition of employment or continuation of employment. Establishes a separate private right of action for violations or threatened violations.”

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Illinois/Indiania SEIU merger

Bob Roman
New Ground 117
Chicago DSA

The boards of SEIU Locals 4, 20, and 880 have voted to merge, forming “one big healthcare union,” so to speak, in Illinois and Indiana. This is part of yet another round reorganizations and mergers within the Service Employees International Union. You could think of this ongoing process as Andy Stern’s version of the Cultural Revolution, and it’s proving to be about as controversial within the larger labor movement and in some places within SEIU. Not here. This merger is subject to ratification by the membership, however the only uncertainty is how many members will vote.

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