February

Longshore union honors struggle against apartheid

SAN FRANCISCO — Local 10 members and friends jammed the Henry Schmidt room at the union hall Dec. 3 to remember the union’s historic struggle against racism in South Africa.

Want to strengthen Social Security? Provide good jobs for youth!

King George II says he truly wants to strengthen Social Security. So do we! To us, strengthening Social Security means raising not only the benefits, but also the economic security and living standards of retired and disabled people. The productive capacity to do so already exists — one-third of U.S. productive capacity is currently sitting idle for lack of paying demand.

For a stronger labor movement: Half-price tools wont do the job

“Shit!” I hollered at the top of my lungs. When you work in a sewage treatment plant like I did, this four-letter word is not always a curse. In fact, some of my smart-aleck co-workers used to delight in grossing out high school students on field trips by declaring solemnly, “Shit is our bread and butter.”

WORLD NOTES

Colombia: Thousands protest trade talks / Canada: UFCW continues to back Wal-Mart workers / Mozambique: Refugees receive identity cards / Vietnam: Peace fund will take up Agent Orange/ Nicaragua: Nicotex unionists rehired

Togolese political crisis spurs regional concerns

The Togolese people are resisting an extra-constitutional power grab initiated by the son of the late president, Gen. Gnassingbe Eyadema, who died of a heart attack on Feb. 5 at the age of 69. Gnassingbe Eyadema led the Togolese Republic for 38 years, making him Africa’s longest ruling leader.

Massive conference boosts world literacy drives

Cuba News A conference titled “Pedagogy 2005” was held in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, in conjunction with the first World Congress on Literacy. Over 5,400 people from 51 nations were on hand, 1,300 of them from Venezuela, to talk about educational goals and methodology for teaching millions of people how to read and write.

Kyoto treaty, spurned by Bush, goes into effect

The Kyoto Protocol, a 1997 international treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, went into effect on Feb. 16 — without the participation of the United States, the world’s main greenhouse gas producer.

Arnold going after our pensions

Workers’ Correspondence California is saddled with Groper Arnie, an incompetent governor. Being a former steroid-using bodybuilder does not qualify a person to run the sixth largest economy in the world.

Saginaw says no to privatization

SAGINAW, Mich. — Eric Friedman walked into a hornet’s nest. The district director for Michigan Republican Congressman Dave Camp was taken aback by the wrath of angry constituents. Calling President Bush’s claim that Social Security is bankrupt “a lie,” they demanded that Camp work to raise the cap on payroll taxes so upper-income people pay their fair share into the Social Security fund.

Parents, unionists demand funding for NYC schools

NEW YORK — Celebrities Susan Sarandon and Cynthia Nixon joined more than a hundred parents, union leaders, education and community activists, and elected officials on the steps of City Hall Feb. 16 to call on Republican Gov. George Pataki to implement a court order requiring the state to increase funding to the city’s schools to over $5 billion per year. Pataki has refused to comply, saying he will appeal.

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