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Talking Union

by Bob Simpson

National Nurses United(NNU) took up the cause of Robin Hood at Chicago’s downtown J.P. Morgan Chase building on June 19. With its merry band of tax reforming nurses, the NNU held a lunch hour rally to press for a financial transactions tax (FTT) or as it is more commonly called, a “Robin Hood Tax”. Chicago was among 15 cities where similar rallies were held.

Easily recognized by their red scrubs along with their Robin Hood hats and masks, NNU  members described the Robin Hood tax in signs that read,”It’s Not a Tax On the People. It’s a Tax For the People.”

It's not a tax on the people

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Talking Union

By Josh Eidelson

Workers at Palermo’s Pizza have been on strike for two weeks. They say they chose to strike after Palermo’s met their efforts to form a union with threats and retaliation, including the use of immigration enforcement as a weapon. Slogans include “No Justice, No Piece.” On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) set a union election for July 6.

“We want Palermo’s to treat us as a person,” striker Orlando Sosa said as he picketed Palermo’s Milwaukee factory.

In interviews last week – some on a picket line, others following a Get Out the Vote Rally led by Jesse Jackson – Palermo’s workers said the strike was caused by years of abusive work conditions and weeks of anti-union intimidation.

“From my point of view, there’s been a lot of exploitation,” says Roberto Silva (he and other Palermo’s workers were interviewed in a mix of English and…

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Talking Union

by Bill Fletcher

I was recently asked to participate on a panel regarding the Left and electoral politics.  I declined.  For many people this may seem strange since I have been a very strong proponent of the Left looking at electoral politics strategically.  Well, that is all true but I have encountered a problem and maybe you can help me resolve it.

Most Left “debates” on electoral politics take a very predictable route.  It looks something like this:

.                Electoral politics will not bring about socialism and freedom.

.                The Democrats have consistently sold us out. They are the party of the rich.

.                The Republicans and the Democrats are two wings of the same evil bird of prey.

.                We need an alternative.

.                Therefore, either:

Abstain from electoral politics and wait till the masses, in their millions rise up against capitalism, or…

Create a pure, anti-corporate (if not…

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Lansing Workers' Center

Thanks to an enormous outpouring of solidarity and support from our friends around the world, managers at Peckham Vocational Industries have backed off from SOME of their aggressive anti-union tactics. But they are still attacking workers in an insidious and mean-spirited way. As workers are setting up production lines to produce items for new incoming contracts, management continues to LAY OFF workers en masse. 70 more workers are scheduled for lay-off by the end of the week. We know for certain that Peckham has the work, but they want to “clean house” by getting rid of current staff. We ask that you contact Peckham management and demand that they rehire these men and women they have layed-off without reason. This is just another UNION BUSTING move on the part of the twisted bastards running this outfit.

Call: 517-316-4000

(Peckham CEO)



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Talking Union

by Mike Elk

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last month, the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election. About a week later, Congress passed the “Jumpstart Our Business Startup,” or JOBS Act—a bill backed by President Obama and his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, and strongly opposed by organized labor. President Obama signed it into law last week.

“President Trumka is personally outraged by the JOBS Act and the implication that this administration thinks that it’s going to be good for the country to re-inflate a stock market bubble,” a top AFL-CIO official told In These Times Monday night, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

Developed by the Jobs Council—the chair of which, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, said late last month he wouldn’t endorse anyone for president—the JOBS Act would rollback many of the measures enacted to protect investors and stockholders in the wake of the bubble and Enron scandal. It would allow companies with less…

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NALC Activist Alert

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has gained some more allies in his fight to save the Postal Service.

Writing in today’s New Orleans Times-Picayune, Bruce Alpert reports on a press conference held Monday by Sanders, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Landrieu told the press that she supports exploring ways USPS can boost revenue by offering new products and services.

Landrieu said the Postal Service’s proposed cuts would not only result in major job losses, but they also would hurt rural postal customers who rely heavily on local post offices.

Some of the suggested postal offerings she noted included notary and copying services, as well as the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. And she lent her voice to the call for Congress to relieve the burdensome requirement to pre-fund 75 years’ worth of future retiree health benefits within just 10 years.

Landrieu also labeled H.R. 2309…

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