February

China defends Wal-Mart workers

OPINION Just as George W. Bush and the Republicans — who worship at the altar of corporate greed, gleeful at deepening poverty for working families — were basking in the glow of Bush’s re-election, the Chinese government and the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) announced that laws protecting workers’ rights to organize would be enforced at Wal-Mart operations in their country.

EDITORIALS

Who killed Rafik Hariri? / Make ’em responsible

Black Political Struggles in the Rural South

Book Review A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration By Stephen Hahn Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2003 Hardcover, 624 pp., $35 (Soon to be released in softcover)

Law to restrain Peeping Tom bosses

WASHINGTON (PAI) — It’s no secret employers spy on workers during organizing drives, and often set up cameras in bathrooms, changing rooms and locker rooms to ferret out pro-union activity.

Pentagon says veterans benefits hurtful to national security

Funding for programs like veterans’ education and job training, health care, pensions, VA housing and the like are “hurtful” to national security, Pentagon official David Chu said. Chu was defending a new round of cuts during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Angry veterans forming new group

CLEVELAND — Veterans in Ohio are fighting for a new Patriot Act. The difference is that this one is actually patriotic. The vets are lobbying the Republican-dominated Legislature to pass a bill that will block evictions, foreclosures and discharges from their jobs when soldiers are called into service.

Scrap the cap

Several readers have asked, “How much money could we raise if we get rid of the cap on payroll taxes, and make the rich pay their fair share? Would it be enough to save Social Security?”

Hands off our lunch!

SAN FRANCISCO — “Governor Schwarzenegger, I’d like you to put yourself in my shoes and work eight hours a day in the rain, with mud up to your knees, without a break,” said Salinas Valley farmworker Liliana Sanchez.

WORLD NOTES

Europe: Call for withdrawing U.S. nukes / Haiti: Emergency forum warns on press freedom / Canada: Wal-Mart to close union store / Guatemala: Trial halted in massacre case / Nigeria: Union warns vs. attacks on workers

Argentinas unemployed continue their struggle

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The cries from the street, “Piqueteros Unidos!” could be heard all over town. On Dec. 20, over 50,000 “piqueteros” (picketers), unemployed workers known for organizing highly effective roadblock protests, filled the streets of the nation’s capital. They were marching on the third anniversary of a popular uprising that forced the resignation of four presidents in a span of two weeks.

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