Labor News

Standoff continues in Oaxaca, Mexico

After a brutal police attack against a radio and television station, a tense standoff continues in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, where striking teachers and popular organizations are demanding that right-wing Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz resign.

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Katrina profiteering, war on workers

One year after Hurricane Katrina, one thing is clear: the term “masters of deceit” could be accurately applied to the Bush administration for its handling of the Gulf Coast reconstruction. Despite the president’s photo-op appearances in the region on Aug. 29, his promises ring hollow when compared to the facts on the ground

Exposing the myths: Why Wal-Mart can pay a living wage

Chicago made national news the last week in July when it became the largest city in the country to set minimum wage and benefit standards for retail workers. Many lies and myths have been perpetrated about the wage law. Principal sponsors Alderman Freddrenna Lyle, from the 6th Ward, responded to many of these myths in her speech from the floor of the City Council, as did Alderman Joe Moore from the 49th Ward. The following are abridgments of their speeches.

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Stop playing games with minimum wage

A Republican bill that hid a huge, wolfish tax break for the wealthy inside the sheep’s clothing of an increase in the minimum wage crashed and burned in the Senate on Aug. 3.

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Giant tollway to bisect Texas

DALLAS — Although a conspiratorial secrecy shrouds much of the plan, Texans are beginning to find out that tens of thousands of acres will be taken from them to create an incredibly wide transportation corridor running the length of the state from north to south.

Locomotive engineers cite safety concerns

Safety concerns on the trains they run dominated the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’s conference in Las Vegas in late June. Topping the list were railroads’ plans to cut the crew members per train down to one and the issue of transportation of nuclear waste.

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This 4th of July, which side are you on?

Florence Reece, wife of a rank-and-file organizer for the old National Miners Union in Harlan County, Kentucky, was at home one day in 1931 when High Sheriff J. H. Blair and his gun-toting “deputies” invaded her home looking for Mrs. Reece’s husband. They poked their rifles into closets, under beds, even into piles of laundry before they left.

Congress rejects minimum wage hike

WASHINGTON — The House and Senate refusal to approve a small increase in the minimum wage proves that the Republican majority is “morally bankrupt” and should be removed from office next Nov. 7.

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For green jobs: Time for an oil change in America

WASHINGTON — When Exxon Mobil reported 2006 first quarter profits of $8.4 billion, it put the energy giant on track to outstrip its record $36 billion profits in 2005. Last week’s “Take Back America” conference here noted that while Exxon Mobil is a big winner, millions of Americans are the losers in an economy based on fossil fuels and denial of the human and environmental damage it causes.

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