GRASSROOTS POWER New York City Transit Workers Union Local 100 members boarded buses bound for the presidential electoral battleground state of Pennsylvania Oct. 9.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Pat Highsmith spent her day off last Saturday traveling 150 miles to Bethlehem, Pa., to discuss the presidential election with fellow union members. One of 3 million industrial workers whose plants closed during the last four years, Highsmith now works as a certified nurse’s assistant, with less pay and no benefits.
Undaunted by the challenge of four high-stakes contract struggles on two coasts, the union representing hotel and casino workers has revved up its solidarity machine.
Commentary When Dick Cheney boasted during the vice presidential debate that he had “carried a ticket with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for six years,” he didn’t impress many IBEW members.
HIBBING, Minn. — The 2004 presidential election is “historically far more important than any other … in my lifetime,” Steelworkers District 11 Director David Foster told a get-out-the-vote training session in the heart of Minnesota’s Iron Range Oct. 2.
Presidential candidate John Kerry visited the picket line in front of the RMI Titanium plant in Niles, Ohio, Oct. 3 before he proceeded to a town hall meeting in nearby Warren. For a half hour he marched with the locked-out steelworkers, talking with them about the hardships they are going through.
LOS ANGELES — Labor history was made Sept. 30 as the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, held U.S. labor’s first-ever central labor council congress.
San Francisco hotel workers walked out Sept. 29 as part of a three-city struggle to force giant hotel chains to agree to a common contract expiration date.
CHICAGO — The Teamsters trucked it up from downstate. The Chicago Federation of Labor had lobbied for the funding from the state of Illinois. The Illinois Labor History Society campaigned tirelessly for it.
Hundreds of thousands of South African public workers held a one-day strike Sept. 16 over the government’s rejection of their demands for a 7 percent wage hike, an across-the-boards medical aid and housing allowance, and review of a provision linking salaries to inflation for the next two years.