Anyone who believed there was going to be a bipartisan effort in Congress to reflect the voters’ views got doused with a bucket of cold water last week when GOP senators tried to block a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 over two years.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — In response to Eve Enseler’s feminist “Vagina Monologues,” a series of theatrical vignettes on the theme of contemporary women’s gender and social oppression, South Asian Sisters, a California-based group, developed “Yoni Ki Baat” (“Talks of the Vagina”).
Folks were still eating turkey sandwiches when the AFL-CIO issued its call for a Dec. 8-9 labor summit and march in Washington, D.C., to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, a top legislative priority for labor. Among the summit’s goals is training 250,000 “trusted messengers,” worksite-based labor activists, to force veto-proof enactment of EFCA.
Do you think they heard us this time? Although the Bush administration and its congressional allies have done a very good job of ignoring working families for six years, I think they must have heard us Nov. 7.
NEW YORK CITY — In 2001, New York State Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse ruled that New York State was in violation of its own Constitution which guarantees every child the right to a “sound, basic education.” Since then, education activists, teachers and parents have been fighting — in the courts and in the court of public opinion — to remedy the gross inequities in public school funding.
On Oct. 29, the rightist lame duck president of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quezada, sent in 4,000 Federal Protective Police armed with tanks, helicopters, water cannons and high powered rifles to clear the southern city of Oaxaca (population about 275,000) of the protesters who have held it since May.
The Communist Party of China has just ended its annual central committee meeting, vowing to rebuild and renew its public health system and other social safety nets. It also emphasized efforts to improve education and raise the living standards for workers while narrowing the income gap between city and countryside
Is Andy Stern right that class struggle trade unionism is outdated and a leftover from the heyday of industrial unionism? Is he right that corporate globalization is inevitable and all that unions can do is go along to get along? I think not.
What has changed in our schools? Well the toilet paper dispensers at the special education headquarters in Brooklyn, have changed — three times in one school year — while the city closed down 800 seats for the most needy in public education. Go figure!
May 1, a day of worker celebration, began in the United States around the struggle for the eight-hour day. Now it is honored across the world, but largely ignored in the United States. How fitting then that this year, immigrant workers from across the world have revived the day, marching to defend their dignity — and energizing an entire movement for social justice.