SAN FRANCISCO — A thousand workers from unions throughout the Bay Area joined in a march and rally on this city’s historic waterfront Dec. 9. The action supported union workers who lost their jobs when ferry service to Alcatraz Island was taken over by a nonunion company.
CHICAGO — The Illinois Legislature wasted no time heeding the national voters’ mandate, overwhelmingly passing a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.50 an hour to $7.50 effective next July. The bill, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he looks forward to signing, will make the Illinois minimum wage one of the nation’s highest.
WASHINGTON — “Union power’s on the rise, now’s the time to organize!” More than 1,000 union members took up that chant as they marched to Capitol Hill, Dec. 8, still riding high from labor’s huge victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections.
There will be a 40th anniversary reunion of the people who participated in and led the historic farm worker’s strike in Starr County, Texas, in 1966-67 and those who helped organize and mobilize to aid the struggle on Dec. 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express in Rio Grande City, Texas.
Attend a rally or march these days and your spirits will likely be lifted by a labor chorus singing songs, some old and well-loved, but also new ones full of fightback against Wal-Mart’s union-busting or the Bush-Cheney war on working people at home and abroad.
New York City’s rapidly increasing cost of living makes residency within its five boroughs unaffordable. During recent contract negotiations between the city and AFSCME DC 37 moves were made toward giving public workers the right to live in six counties outside of the city.
PITTSBURGH — Mining is a basic industry, not given to fluff or mounds of paper. Despite the history-making call by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin to halt coal production in the state in the wake of the Jan. 2, 2006, Sago Mine disaster, which took the lives of 12 miners, there are few changes in the mines to protect the men and women who work in them to help keep the lights on.
The race for the 23rd Congressional District Seat is as hot as a San Antonio jalapeño pepper. Labor-backed Democrat Ciro Rodriguez is pitted in a Dec. 12 runoff election against Bush Republican Henry Bonilla, who has close ties to disgraced former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
OAKLAND, Calif. — In a pre-Thanksgiving outpouring of solidarity, over 200 union and community activists gathered at Oakland International Airport Nov. 22 to demand union rights and fair treatment for workers who provide Southwest Airlines passengers with curbside check-in, baggage handling and other services.
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”).