Labor - USA

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Will Recall Vote End Wisconsin's Nightmare?

Jim Cavanaugh, Labor Notes, June 4, 2012 Tomorrow’s Wisconsin recall election will be a replay of November 2010 - Governor Scott Walker versus Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. If the million voters who signed recall petitions, plus another half million, come out and vote for Barrett, Walker will be toast. If they don’t, the nightmare will continue. One GOP assemblyman told a town hall meeting that three pieces of right-to-work legislation are ready to be tossed into the legislative hopper. And, despite claiming no interest in right to work, Walker himself supported such legislation when he was in the Assembly. ... Will

There's class war in Wisconsin, yet the Democrats sing Kumbaya

A vote to recall the state's Republican governor has huge implications for US politics, but the liberals have missed their cue. Gary Younge, Guardian, June 3, 2012 There is a degree of hyperbole one comes to expect from American activists around election time. Given the level of polarisation, this is hardly surprising. Every vote, you're told, is about liberty, justice, the American dream, the constitution or the world one wants to leave your children or grandchildren. Then, often, half the eligible voters stay at home and, regardless of who wins, not an awful lot changes. So when activists on both sides of the effort to recall Wisconsin's governor insist ... There

Do Nurses Have an Rx for Our Ailing Economy?

Bob Simpson, Salon, May 27, 2012 They became a Chicago media sensation after they streamed into Chicago’s Daley Plaza on the morning of May 18, wearing the now familiar National Nurses United (NNU) red scrubs. Many of them had the green caps and masks you've seen in nearly every Robin Hood movie ever made. The NNU is the largest union of nurses in the USA and one of the more progressive unions in the AFL-CIO. In addition to improving working conditions for nurses, the NNU has taken on the role of trying to nurse our sick economy back to health. ... Do

Chicago, Picasso, Bucket Lists: View From Outside the Ropes

Donna Smith, Protest In The USA, May 31, 2012 Thinking back to the 1967 controversy surrounding Picasso’s sculpture in Daley Plaza in Chicago, I am fascinated by the life moments punctuated by being in proximity to the landmark piece. And it was amazing hearing Grammy award-winning musician Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman, say that playing in the shadow of the Picasso was on his “bucket list” and he could cross that off after he played the May 18th National Nurses United rally for the Robin Hood Tax. I’ll admit I thought about my bucket list that day too as I gazed at the Picasso, but perhaps in a different way since the cancer struggle in which I am now engaged ... Chicago

Nurses, Patients Voice Frustration Over Avoidable Hospital Staffing Crisis

Michelle Chen, In These Times, May 30, 2012 It's a universal health care frustration: the emergency room. Endless waits and doctors who treat patients like products on an assembly line. A new study confirms the exasperation: A large portion of patients believe they’re being treated poorly by an overstretched system. According to the survey, conducted by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, about one in every three patients, who spent at least one night in a hospital in the past year, reported that “nurses weren't available when needed ... " Nurses

Nurses call for 'Robin Hood Tax'

Workday Minnesota, May 21, 2012 Chicago - More than 3,000 nurses and activists gathered at Daley Plaza to rock out with musician Tom Morello and call for a tax on financial speculation - a Robin Hood tax. This small sales tax on Wall Street trades could raise up to $350 billion a year to fund health care and other needs. “It's time for Wall Street to start paying what all the rest of us pay,” Karen Higgins, RN, told a cheering crowd, many wearing red nurse scrubs and green Robin Hood caps. Higgins, who works as a registered nurse in Boston, is co-president of National Nurses United, the country’s largest registered nurses’ union, which organized the rally, held in Chicago on Friday. ... Nurses

Tom Morello, Nurses Union gather in Chicago

Blake Deppe, People’s World, May 21, 2012 Chicago - "Corporate malfeasants have caused hardship for millions of working families while they line their pockets. NATO is not welcome here. This town is our town." Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello said these words as he wrapped up a day of action on May 18 with the National Nurses United. They gathered at Daley Plaza on a sun-filled afternoon to note the problems caused by the one percent, and to highlight the fight against austerity measures hurting families worldwide. ... Tom

Nurses Lead Chicago Rally for Robin Hood Tax

Mike Hall, AFL-CIO, May 21, 2012 Thousands of National Nurses United (NNU) activists and others called for a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street in a massive demonstration in Chicago. Said NNU co-President Karen Higgins, during the rally in Daley Plaza: We are watching and seeing Wall Street throwing our money away as we see people suffer and die. It will not continue. We pay sales tax. It is time for Wall Street to start paying back what they owe the rest of the country and they need to pay sales tax. ... Nurses

Nurses Lead NATO Protest for ‘Robin Hood Tax’

David Moberg, In These Times, May 19, 2012 Chicago - In the labor movement's main contribution to protests at NATO's meeting in Chicago this weekend, a thousand members of the National Nurses Union - joined by several thousand supporters - rallied Friday on behalf of their campaign to "heal America." They urged governments around the world to tax financial sector speculation, which caused the ongoing crisis, and use the proceeds to preserve and expand government's role in reducing inequality, providing for health and other public needs, and creating a healthy economy with full employment. ... Nurses

Power of healing, as lead by Anna Deavere Smith for National Nurses United

Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2012 Anna Deavere Smith has, in essence, combined a career doing serious, interview-based theater work like "Fires in the Mirror" and "Twilight: Los Angles" with more lucrative acting gigs on TV shows like "The West Wing" and, currently, "Nurse Jackie." Watching her perform for - and rev up - a couple of thousand nurses in Chicago Friday night, though, suggested that Smith might well be a good leftist candidate to run for office. Few think of her that way. Perhaps they should. At one point in the colossal main ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers ... Power

Chicago Protests Draw Thousands Before NATO Event

Monica Davey & Steven Yaccino, New York Times, May 19, 2012 Chicago - Several thousand demonstrators, many of them nurses, filled a plaza in the heart of downtown Chicago on Friday for the first major rally in what is expected to be a weekend of protests as President Obama and foreign leaders gather in the president’s hometown for a NATO summit meeting. In a plaza named for former Mayor Richard J. Daley, members of the National Nurses United union, wearing green felt caps, called for a “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street. ... Chicago

Nurses Support Financial Transactions Tax

Linda Beale, Business Insider, May 19, 2012 Perhaps the JPMorgan Chase debacle has caught enough attention to alter the debate. JPMorgan of course claimed to be entering a type of hedge that would be permitted under the Dodd Frank reforms. (Apparently there were hedges on overall portfolio positions, and then those hedges were themselves hedged writing credit default swaps.) The authors of the legislation beg to differ, noting that the statute was drafted to permit hedges of specific asset but not portfolio-wide hedging practices that become almost indiscernible from speculative "bets" on the direction of markets. ... Nurses

In Chicago, Nurses Rally for "Robin Hood" Tax - video

National Nurses United calls for international campaign for financial transaction tax. The Real News, May 18, 2012 On Friday, May 18th, several thousand nurses belonging to the National Nurses United union rallied in downtown Chicago’s Daley plaza to host what they have dubbed the people’s G8. The action coincides with a number of mobilizations planned over the weekend in Chicago, which was set to host both the G8 and NATO summits. The federal government decided to move the G8 Summit to Camp David in a remote part of Maryland, citing security concerns over the large protests planned against the economic and military conferences. ... In

Nurses unite at first major NATO protest

Steve Schorn, Columbia Chronicle, May 18, 2012 More than 3,000 protesters gathered for a rally Friday organized by the National Nurses United group in Daley Plaza. It was the first major protest in advance of the NATO Summit this weekend. Karen Higgins, one of the co-presidents of National Nurses United, said the nurses want to fund healthcare instead of warfare. “We will not go away,” Higgins said. “This is the beginning. We are not turning our backs on this country. We do not accept this in this country.” ... Nurses

As the G8 Opens at Camp David, Thousands Rally in Chicago for Tax on Wall Street

Rebecca Burns, In These Times, May 18, 2012 As the G8 got underway today at Camp David, an estimated 2,500 held a "Peoples' G8" in Chicago's Daley Plaza to call for a Financial Transaction Tax. Last fall [sic: in early June, actually], National Nurses United (NNU), the chief organizer of the rally, began demanding a so-called “Robin Hood Tax” in coordination with National Peoples’ Action and other labor and community groups. NNU has been a close ally of many local Occupy groups, and today hundreds of nurses dressed in Robin Hood costumes descended on the plaza along with newly-arrived members of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy LA ... As

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