Labor News

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Workers with rights, not guests who are slaves

Growing up in western Texas as the daughter of cotton sharecroppers, I spent my summers weeding cotton, five days a week, 10 hours a day, in 95-degree heat. As grueling as this workload was, others had it even worse. For foreign workers toiling as “guest workers” (or “braceros”) alongside us in the cotton fields, the five-day workweek was an impossible luxury.

Bush campaigns to revive immigration bill

In his June 9 national radio address, President Bush strongly endorsed the “Grand Bargain” immigration bill, S 1348. What kind of “improvements” Bush is after, and what he gets, will be critical to whether the bill, or a close version of it, becomes law. The question is: How far to the right can Bush help shepherd the bill through the Senate and House?

Smithfield worker dies

Smithfield Packing livestock worker Emmanuel McKoy, 27, died June 1 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Buried alive: a terrible way to die

Being buried alive is a terrible way to die. If you are working in a trench and it caves in with just your head sticking out it makes great news. The drama of the rescue operation draws the news media like bees to honey. However, if you are buried alive it does not make much news and is listed in the back pages.

Wall Streets role in the immigration debate

President Bush, with Wall Street backing, is pushing hard for a policy that would legalize undocumented workers but keep them in a subservient status for more than a decade. His proposals would also relegate future “lower-skilled status workers” to perpetual servitude.

Dont go to Farmer Joes, unionists urge

OAKLAND, Calif. — When a business has a growth spurt and expands its workforce tenfold, one might think the owners would appreciate the workers’ role in their success. But last summer, as the organic grocery Farmer Joe’s Marketplace opened a second outlet in a former Albertson’s supermarket, a very different picture emerged

Court to women: Equal pay, no way

Question: What court ruled recently that paying women less is OK as long as you don’t get caught for 180 days? Answer: The Supreme Court of the United States.

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Arrested over health care

Twenty-two union leaders were arrested at the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn., June 1, as they called for universal health care.

Michigan labor reflects on its history

DETROIT — The Michigan Labor History Society held its annual meeting May 19 at the hall of Local 22 of the United Auto Workers union here. One of the recent accomplishments of the society has been the establishment of the Michigan Labor Legacy Project, which resulted in the building of the “Transcending” monument in downtown Detroit as a memorial to labor’s past struggles.

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Workers rally to build justice at Pulte

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — Led by several Latino construction workers from the Southwest and by Robert Masciola of the national AFL-CIO, an informational rally was held outside of the shareholders meeting of Pulte Homes, Inc., at the Community House in this upscale suburb of Detroit, May 10.

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