SAN FRANCISCO — It was clear from the starting gavel: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees convention here, July 28-Aug. 1, would be about reclaiming America for working people after eight years of the Bush administration.
In an unlikely team-up, impartial investigators from the Government Accountability Office joined a low-income workers’ advocate at congressional hearings July 15 to tell lawmakers that President Bush’s Labor Department has failed to enforce minimum wage and overtime laws and that low-wage workers are routinely being robbed of their earnings.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Thousands of service workers returned to their jobs on University of California campuses July 21, after a week-long strike to protest the university’s stonewalling of their demands for fair compensation in contract negotiations dragging on since last year.
CHICAGO — “Can you imagine a federal law that promoted community schools — schools that serve the neediest children by bringing together under one roof all the services and activities they and their families need?
The nation’s capital played host to over 10,000 elected delegates of the National Education Association’s 87th annual representative assembly July 1-6. Teachers, educational support and administrative personnel were joined by thousands of other allied professionals and trade unionists and guests at what was billed as the world’s largest democratic deliberative body. The assembly’s festive atmosphere did not diminish the fact that teachers were acutely aware that public schooling and its future is a main item on the nation’s domestic agenda, especially in this presidential election year.
The United Steelworkers union made history with its convention just held in Las Vegas. That’s history with a capital H. The kind of history that can forever change labor and our country. The kind of history that was made in 1935 when the CIO — Committee for Industrial Organization — was formed.
HARTFORD, Conn. — Lightening storms may have kept national AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s plane from landing here in time for the Connecticut AFL-CIO convention June 23, but nothing could stop the delegates’ determination to prepare for their strongest mobilization ever in the 2008 elections.
Teamsters Union president James Hoffa and Jorge Gamboa, president of the National Petroleum Workers Union of Colombia, warn that ratifying the U.S.-Colombia “free trade” agreement would continue the long civil war that results in hostage-taking there.
HOUSTON — 200 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents swept up and arrested 166 workers at Action Rags,U.S.A., June 25, just north of the Houston Ship Channel here. Seventy were detained and the rest had to be released because they were U.S. citizens. Reports indicate that as many as 70 percent of those detained were women, 10 of whom were pregnant and most of whom were working to feed families.
Only a handful of auto workers at the Lordstown, Ohio plant showed up for a meeting that management arranged for those who wanted to meet Republican presidential candidate John McCain when he toured the plant June 27.