JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One morning, a week before Labor Day, a dozen volunteers were working the phones to elect union longshoreman, Tony Hill, to the Florida Senate.
Not since the massive drives to organize the basic industrial unions of the CIO in the 1930s, has there been such general agreement about the need to bring millions of new members into unions. We won’t go into all the facts and figures; we don’t have to. The big business media constantly blasts us with the declining union membership numbers and declining union density figures.
As the battle over the longshore contract with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) intensifies, corporate America is chomping at the bit at the prospect of even greater profits, if it can bust the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) currently in contract negotiations.
Following are brief excerpts from the communique issued by the Iraqi Communist Party after its Aug. 15 meeting. The meeting paid exceptional attention to the mounting dangers threatening our people and country, in connection with the escalating political-information and military campaign of the U.S. administration, which – as repeatedly declared – is aimed at demolishing the dictatorial regime.
Today, many unions are beginning to realize the need to organize unorganized workers. Some are still learning how to organize. Only a few have had marked success. Perhaps only the Service Employees International Union has had the mass organizing successes we look for in the rest of the movement – and those wins came after years of effort.
Even a brief look at the make-up of the 107th Congress helps explain why workers are catching hell these days. Yes, it is true that there are “friends of labor” who have 100 percent AFL-CIO voting records, but they find themselves out-gunned in a Congress whose 535 members include 150 millionaire lawyers, bankers and other business people.
Responding to the demands of the drug monopolies, the Bush Administration killed the demand to give seniors on Medicare an affordable prescription drug benefit. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund and Tufts Unviersity-New England Medical Center found that nearly one-quarter of seniors cannot afford and therefore do not take medical doses prescribed by their physicians. The study also found that one in four seniors spend $100 or more per month on prescription drugs.
LOS ANGELES – Thousands of demonstrators protested here Aug. 20, in a massive march against the closing of hospitals and community health clinics by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The five-million-strong Ohio Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs is “fed up with legislative stonewalling.” An “Initiative Petition,” filed July 2, has lain in limbo with no action for over a month in Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery’s office.
Job security, classifications, promotions and pensions are at stake when 4,000 Yale workers take a strike authorization vote on Sept. 4, as well as the right of graduate teachers and hospital workers to organize. But for many members of Locals 34 and 35, HERE (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union), the bottom line is the bottom line: there’s just not enough money in their paycheck.