February

Dangerous drugs

Celebrex. Vioxx. Bextra. Celecoxib. These so-called cox-2 drugs became household names because of the fortune our pharmaceutical companies spent selling their wares to America’s households on primetime TV. Now they are even more in the public eye, but certainly not in the way intended.

Ohio newspaper strike enters 12th week

The Vindicator newspaper strike here in Youngstown continues into its 12th week. Workers on the picket line have grown hardy against the winter.

Another look at Reuther and pensions

Unions are rightly proud of the outstanding former leaders. The Mine Workers venerate John L. Lewis, Teamsters love Jimmy Hoffa, and the Auto Workers are outright devoted to the memory of Walter Reuther!

African Americans and Social Security

Social Security plays an exceptionally important role in the economic life of African Americans: Social Security is the main source of retirement income for most elderly African Americans, and the only source for 40 percent.

WORLD NOTES

Israel/Palestine: Struggle continues over E. Jerusalem / Germany: 5 million unemployed / S. Africa: ‘Victory’ over layoffs / Cuba/Venezuela: Working to end illiteracy

Irish peace process at the crossroads

The failure in December to secure an agreement on reviving the Good Friday institutions and unsubstantiated police allegations of Irish Republican Army involvement in the $50 million Northern Bank heist have combined to place the Irish peace process in the coldest corner of the political freezer it has occupied in over two years.

Californians protest vs. Wal-Mart

The giant retailer Wal-Mart has set its sights on Rosemead, Calif., a small working-class city on the east side of Los Angeles. What concerns the labor movement most is that this time Wal-Mart seeks to build a “supercenter” that will sell groceries as well as clothing and hardware, competing with union retailers in the food industry. Wal-Mart was a major factor in last year’s supermarket strike.

Dont ask, dont tell challenged

On the heels of a State of the Union address supporting a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, the Bush administration has asked the U.S. District Court in Boston to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. However, gay and lesbian activists had reason to celebrate this week as a New York judge held that the state’s constitution does not permit the exclusion of same-sex couples from civil marriage.

New Yorkers rally for affordable housing

NEW YORK — On Feb. 2 more than 5,000 people took part in a “Housing Here and Now!” rally outside of City Hall. It was the largest show of support for affordable housing the city has seen in decades. Union members and leaders, city residents, religious groups and elected officials came together to demand city leaders enact a five-point program to put an end to New York City’s housing crisis.

Social Security and Calif. pensions facing very similar threats

As California labor and community organizations mobilize to uphold Social Security, they are seeing a related development in the concerted drive by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to privatize new state workers’ pensions and eliminate state contributions to teachers’ retirement.

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