Labor - USA

California’s Health Care Wars

Nurses are Facing an Unprecedented Attack. Cal Winslow, CounterPunch, June 19, 2012 California’s healthcare workers’ wars continue, in the streets, in collective bargaining and in the courts, at a level of conflict not often matched in the US today. More, in these California conflicts, healthcare workers and their unions are as often as not on the offensive. The new National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) has struck the huge healthcare chain Kaiser Permanente four times now in the past year, twice with support from California Nurses Association (CNA-NNU) RNs. ... California

NLRB launches webpage describing Protected Concerted Activity

Portside, June 18, 2012 The National Labor Relations Board today made public a webpage that describes the rights of employees to act together for their mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union. The page, at www.nlrb.gov/concerted-activity, tells the stories of more than a dozen recent cases involving protected concerted activity, which can be viewed by clicking points on a map. Among the cases: A construction crew fired after refusing to work in the rain near exposed electrical wires; a customer service representative who lost her job after discussing her wages with a coworker; an engineer at a vegetable packing plant ... NLRB

Ghosts of PATCO and the Coming Battle for Teachers

Alan Morse, Common Dreams, June 18, 2012 I've been there. Your ears ring so badly the sound of a spoon stirring coffee hurts. You can't sleep past dawn, but you can't prop your lids open through dusk. Your exhaustion runs so deep the next 75 days seem over before they start ... filled as they'll be with summer jobs to pay bills, workshops to stay certified, planning for the fall - and dare I say it? - family. You love your work, though it's the hardest thing you've ever done and never gets easier ... and you won't get rich on what they pay you ... yet those who've never done it are actually jealous of you in June. ... Ghosts

Why Jamie Dimon and his Wall Street buddies need to pay a Robin Hood tax

A modest tax on speculative financial transactions would be some restitution for the human costs of this bank-made crisis. Rose Ann DeMoro, Guardian, June 19, 2012 As JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon showed up to Congress on Tuesday to try to explain how his "too big to fail" bank could mysteriously lose $2bn in risky trades, he was suddenly diverted to a back entrance. Why? Because Robin Hood was waiting.

Nurses, healthcare and community activists were in the hallways ready to send him and the rest of his Wall Street gang a message: it's time to pay up for the damage you have done to our communities and our nation. ... Why

US campaigners launch Robin Hood tax plan to outlaw Wall Street excess

Mark Ruffalo among stars calling for tax of less than 1% on Wall Street transactions because the 'government is robbing our people'. Adam Gabbatt, Guardian, June 19, 2012 Actor Mark Ruffalo and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello have launched a new US campaign for a "Robin Hood tax", a small levy on Wall Street transactions that organisers say could generate hundred of billions of dollars a year. The campaign, backed by National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the US, has already launched in 14 countries, including the UK, France and Germany. ... US

AFSCME Challenger Alice Goff on Politicians, Concessions & Defending Public Workers

Theresa Moran, Labor Notes, June 18, 2012 AFSCME delegates will vote Thursday at their convention in Los Angeles for a new president to replace 30-year incumbent Gerry McEntee. Both Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders, McEntee’s heir apparent, and Danny Donohue, president of a big AFSCME local for New York state blue-collar workers, have chosen women as their running mates. Labor Notes interviewed Alice Goff, running for secretary-treasurer with Donohue. Goff began her activist career as a shop steward in Local 3090 while working for the Los Angeles Police Department. She has been president of her local since 1994 ... AFSCME

Robin Hood Comes to Town - First Stop: JP Morgan Chase!

Join us for a nationwide kickoff of the Robin Hood campaign to tax Wall Street. Next stop in your town, JPMorgan Chase, the latest national symbol of Wall Street excess that has harmed so many communities and families. We will be visiting JPMorgan Chase offices and branches across America to step up our campaign to tax Wall Street to heal America. Here's where Robin Hood will be on June 19 ... Robin

Major New Campaign for Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street Launches in US Today with Celebrities, Economists & Activists

National Nurses United, June 19, 2012
Tax on Wall Street Transactions Could Raise Hundreds of Billions in the US for Education, Jobs, Health Care and to Address AIDS, Climate Here and Around the World.
As JP Morgan Chief Jamie Dimon Testifies in Congress, Nationwide
 Rallies in Major Cities & Online Video Launched in Support of Campaign.

Washington - Dozens of national organizations, celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, renowned economists including Jeffrey Sachs, and former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs executives and global leaders such as Desmond Tutu joined today for an unprecedented coalition, calling for a “Robin Hood Tax” on Wall Street.

G20 told voters want banks to put something back into the global economy

Global poll shows 63% support Financial Transactions Tax. ITUC, June 18, 2012 Support for a financial transactions tax - often called the Robin Hood Tax - to make banks and financial institutions pay back to society is at 63 % according to a new 13- country global poll commissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation. Strongest support found in France 88 %, Germany 82%, UK 76 %, USA 63%. Unions will deliver the polling to world leaders at the G20 summit in Los Cabos. In a bid to push the FTT back on to the G20 agenda, French President Francois Hollande plans to raise the issue with fellow world leaders at the first G20 since his election. ... G20

Thousands March Silently to Protest Stop-and-Frisk Policies

John Leland & Colin Moynihan, New York Times, June 18, 2012 In a slow, somber procession, several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march on Sunday down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents. Two and a half hours after it began, the peaceful, disciplined march ended in mild disarray. As many marchers dispersed, police officers at 77th Street and Fifth Avenue began pushing a crowd that defied orders to leave the intersection, shoving some to the ground ... Thousands

Will Wisconsin Wake-Up Call Lead to Shake-Up in AFSCME?

Steve Early, Labor Notes, June 14, 2012 Last week’s election day was a bad day for public workers. Voters in San Diego and San Jose, California, cut retirement benefits for their city employees. In Wisconsin, labor and its allies failed to oust Republican Governor Scott Walker, who had stripped his employees in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and other unions of their 50-year-old right to bargain contracts. Within AFSCME, the nationwide rollback of collective bargaining gains and, in Wisconsin, the virtual elimination of bargaining itself, has given some activists a new sense of urgency about shaking up the leadership of their 1.4 million-member union. ... Will

Update from yesterday's hearing at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Cal Winslow, Fund for Union Democracy, June 14, 2012

What Went Wrong in Wisconsin & Where Does Labor Go from Here?

Emergency Labor Network, June 13, 2012

When Wisconsin workers occupied the Capitol and took to the streets by the hundreds of thousands in February and March, 2011 to defend their unions and living standards, the effect was electrifying. Workers throughout the US and the world were elated to see American workers taking such militant actions, reminiscent of the 1930s. Messages of solidarity poured in. “We are all Wisconsin!” was heard around the globe. The fight against the bosses’ union busting and austerity offensive was at last being joined by masses of US workers.

Wisconsin’s recall election proves no substitute for a social movement

Peter Dolack, Systemic Disorder, June 13, 2012 Walking home on election night in 2008, my partner and I waded into a street celebration. Young people, primarily, had taken over an entire block to joyously celebrate Barack Obama’s trouncing of John McCain. Veteran activists that we are, we talked to many of the celebrants, cautioning them that the work of progressive change had only begun: If there is no strong pressure from President Obama’s supporters, he would be taken off the hook and feel himself free to not do what he said he would do. ... Wisconsin

Lesson for the Left: How the Tea Party Organized Wisconsin

The Tea Party Impact in Wisconsin. Devin Burghart, Progressive America Rising, June 13, 2012 On Tuesday, June 5, in a hotel meeting room two thousand miles away from a recall election that was being watched coast to coast, the Washington State coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, Woody Hertzog, regaled a small group of Tea Partiers assembled in the Puget Sound town of Silverdale with tales of his recent campaigning trip in the Wisconsin trenches. Hertzog told the group that he and other Tea Party activists from across the country poured into the state, becoming a door-to-door army in support of Governor Walker. ... Lesson

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