POSTVILLE, Ia. — The people of this town will never forget what happened here a year ago, today. At first, there was confusion. There were so many helicopters in the sky and, one by one, they seemed to be landing everywhere. Men, armed to the teeth like commandos, jumped out and grabbed people on the streets.
Clarence Thomas, executive board member of CBTU Northern California and executive board member of ILWU Local 10, read Danny Glover’s greetings to the CBTU convention.
SAN FRANCISCO – A defiant William “Bill” Lucy, president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), blasted the policies of the Bush administration in his keynote speech to the more than 1,400 delegates attending the organization’s 32nd Convention, May 21-26.
NEW YORK – “Health care is a life or death question,” said Scott Marshall, Communist Party USA (CPUSA) Labor Secretary, at a recent national meeting here. “Sixty million people are without health care each year, and that number is growing. People are being turned away from hospitals, being denied medicine – people are dying because of this crisis.”
DETROIT – Last week Chrysler Group announced the sale of its 60 percent stake in its New Castle, Ind., parts plant to Metaldyne Corporation. Along with the sale, it was announced that plant workers will be forced to take a pay cut from $28 to $18 an hour.
The decades’ long fight by U.S. workers for an eight-hour day began in earnest with strikes and parades on May 1, 1886, and culminated in victory more than 50 years later with enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in July 1938.
TYLER, Texas – On April 26, a bell tolled here for workers who had been killed on the job during the past year. Leaders of the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) read a name, then waited for the sad, piercing song of the bell, then read another name. The bell rang more than 40 times while the crowd of 300 silent unionists attending a Workers Memorial Day commemoration stood silently in remembrance of the dead, the injured and to rededicate themselves to ending workplace tragedies.
CLEVELAND – In a powerful display of unity, union salt miners have twice in three weeks beaten back an effort, led by the head of David Duke’s local white supremacist organization, to decertify the Teamsters at Cargill Corp.’s facility beneath Lake Erie.
OAKLAND, Calif. – After an outraged cross section of Oakland residents took to the streets on April 26 to protest and then made their case at an emotionally charged hearing, the Oakland City Council voted 7-1 on April 29 to hire an independent panel to investigate the unprovoked police attack on peaceful anti-war demonstrators and on dock workers waiting to go to work April 7. Dozens of protestors and nine workers, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), were injured when police opened fire using wooden dowels, rubber bullets and concussion grenades.
SAN FRANCISCO – Delegates to the 32nd Convention of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), celebrated their recent contract victory and targeted the 2004 elections as the next major battle facing their members.