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.
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.
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.
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.
Levees ‘in name only,’ says report AFL-CIO invests $1 billion for affordable housing Extend jobless benefits for 80,000 workers Public housing residents reclaim apartments Undocumented face abuse, hazardous conditions
CHICAGO — Over 100 community supporters, including religious leaders and elected officials, rallied here in front of the immigration court building June 1 as about two-dozen former employees of IFCO Systems, who were arrested as part of a nationwide raid by federal agents in April, went to their first deportation hearing.
Because Congress has refused to raise the $5.15 an hour minimum wage since 1997, coalitions of labor, religious and community groups are organizing voters to do so, one state at a time. So far 21 states and Washington, D.C., have done so. Similar campaigns are under way in another dozen states.
HOUSTON – Enron workers who lost billions in pension benefits when the company collapsed are voicing satisfaction that at last top Enron executives have been found guilty of a long list of crimes that plunged the company into bankruptcy.
“I think it’s a crisis right now,” said Tony Oppegard, former top lawyer for Kentucky’s Mine Safety and Licensing Office. “When we have 31 coal miners killed in less than five months, that’s a crisis and it needs to be treated as a crisis and dealt with. We need to stop this fiction that all coal operators are good guys and all you need to do is talk them and they’ll do the right thing, which is the cornerstone of the Bush administration philosophy. We need to crack down on operators instead of trying to babysit them.”
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.