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.
Eight thousand farm workers won union recognition Sept. 16 with the signing of what the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) called the largest union contract in North Carolina history.
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. — “We’re out here for the patients,” said Mary James, a medical-surgical nurse at Mount Clemens General Hospital. “We can’t give them proper care. Money is not an issue — just give us more help,” she said.
News Analysis These days, with Bush in the White House and Congress locked down under Republican control, a legislative victory for workers is rare.