Labor - USA

Emergency Press Conference Wednesday

Nurses Protest Chicago’s 11th Hour Bid to Quarantine RN Protest. Will Challenge Mayor Emanuel’s 11th Hour Demand: ‘Nurses and Musician Tom Morello are Not a National Security Threat.’ National Nurses United, May 8, 2012 Nurses will hold an emergency press conference Wednesday outside Chicago City Hall to protest an 11th hour move by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to quarantine a long-planned rally May 18 by nurses, joined by other activists. ... Emergency

Chicago pulls permit for nurses rally planned for NATO summit

David Heinzmann, Chicago Tribune, May 8, 2012 The city of Chicago today yanked a permit for the first demonstration planned for the weekend of the NATO summit in a dispute over where the National Nurses United can hold its rally May 18. The organization says it has begun talks with American Civil Liberties Union lawyers about a challenge to the city’s about-face. "If the nurses are a threat to Rahm Emanuel, then heaven help the US," said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United. ... Chicago

Everybody likes Robin Hood, right?

National Nurses United, May 8, 2012 Well, almost everybody – weeks after granting NNU a permit for a march to and rally at Daley Plaza, the city of Chicago now wants to change our march route and move the rally from Daley Plaza to Petrillo band shell at Butler Field. Either NNU agrees, or else. 

National Nurses United called the event to present an innovative solution to the economic crisis and austerity measures plaguing the G-8 countries: a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street financial speculation to raise critically needed funds to heal the US and global economies. 

The G-8 meeting has been re-located 700 miles away so what’s all the fuss? ... Everybody

They Call Themselves the Troublemakers Union

BobboSphere, Daily Kos, May 7, 2012 Over the weekend of May 4-6, 1500 union members, workers’ center activists and working class rebels gathered at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont, IL for the biennial Labor Notes Conference. Labor Notes is the monthly magazine for labor activists who “want to put the movement back into the labor movement.” The publication grew out of the rank and file labor revolts of the 1970s and for the past 33 years has reported on key labor struggles and issues. Not satisfied with just writing about labor insurgencies, Labor Notes also convenes special organizing workshops in addition to their regular national conferences. ... They

Robin Hood Joins Nurses’ Campaign to Heal America

Join the Movement for a Robin Hood Tax to Heal America. Donna Smith, National Nurses United, May 7, 2012
 What in the world? The registered nurses of National Nurses United cannot wait to welcome one of the world’s leading defenders of common people to their uncommon May 18th march and rally in Chicago. It’s time for Robin Hood to lend his legendary fame of days gone by to help with the nurses’ campaign to heal the modern-day financial traumas faced by real people at the hands of Wall Street. 

It won’t be Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood and the nurses will be marching and rallying but through the streets of downtown Chicago ... Robin

Endorsers of May 18 Demonstration in Chicago for a Financial Transaction Tax

National Nurses United, May 7, 2012 8th Day Center for Justice, ACT UP New York, ACT V: The End of AIDS, AFL-CIO, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Federation of Government Employees District 7, American Postal Workers Union, Americans for Financial Reform, ARISE Chicago, Building and Wood Workers’ International, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions ... Endorsers

France, Okay - but Could a Socialist Gain Power in the US?

Greg Mitchell, The Nation, May 6, 2012 French voters on Sunday elected a Socialist, François Hollande, to head their government, the first time that has happened in two decades. Could this happen some time soon in America, or ever? A stray Socialist might get elected to Congress - see Sanders, Bernie - and strong progressives, with our without the capital P, have occasionally taken the reins in a major city or small state. But for perhaps the leading example of a near-takeover in a giant state one has to go back nearly eighty years. It's an important example, too, as a new debate simmers over whether Occupy Wall Street activists ... France

Out of the Margins, Into the Fray

The Vermont Progressive Party wields outsized influence on state politics. Steve Early, In These Times, May 3, 2012 The VPP's politically savvy and flexible approach ha helped it struggle against what Party Director Morgan Daybell calls 'the negative perception of third parties in general.' In this presidential election year, millions of voters find themselves caught, once again, between a Republican rock and a Democratic hard place. Because of the primacy of the two-party system, only major party candidates have the funding, organization and media visibility to be competitive in most federal, state and local elections. ... Out

May Day 2012: Remembering Why

The story of May Day begins with the struggle to make the eight-hour workday the legal and economic norm for wage workers. In the older industrial countries, this struggle was largely successful, though, as we have seen the last thirty years of apparel work has brought old abuses back. Here in the United States we work more annual hours than almost all of our Western European counterparts, according to the OECD. It makes sense to think about this history carefully.

What Have Our Two Wars Cost Americans? And What Have We Gained for Our Efforts?

Harry Kelber, Thinking of Labor’s Future, May 1, 2012 The average American has little understanding of why the United States went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, except to be told that it was essential we use our military to wipe out Al-Qaida, the Taliban and other world-wide militants that were threatening the security of the United States and its people. Without the public’s actual consent, the Bush administration spent hundreds of billions of dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to crush Al-Qaida in Iraq, and President Obama continued the fight in Afghanistan, where the Taliban remains as a powerful military presence, despite the addition of US troops there. But questions persist. ... What

Killing Democracy One Vote at a Time

Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers, Huffington Post, April 30, 2012 Corporations, 1 percenters and Republicans want to take America back. And by that, they mean all the way to the 1780s when wealthy white men controlled the nation. Because only they could vote. In the intervening 230 or so years, America became increasingly democratic, eventually awarding the vote to white landless males; Quakers, Jews and Catholics; black men; women; Native Americans, and 18-year-olds. The wealthy are nostalgic for the power they enjoyed when most states limited voting to landed gentry. Republicans are helping them return America to those plutocratic days ... Killing

The US Labor Movement and China

A Time for Honest Self-Reflection. Alberto C. Ruiz, CounterPunch, April 27, 2012 The statistics are chilling. In a country where workers have no real right to organize a union, they face an ever falling standard of living. The workers’ attempts to organize independent unions are faced with repression – 25% of the companies illegally fire workers who try to organize; active union supporters indeed have a 1 in 5 chance of being fired; over half of the companies threaten to have undocumented, foreign laborers deported during organizing campaigns ... Of course, this country is not China, but rather, is, according to the AFL-CIO, the United States. ... The

Reverend Jackson's endorsement of NATO protest strengthens bond between anti-poverty, anti-war groups

Yana Kunichoff, Chicago Muckrakers, April 24, 2012 Since plans for the NATO summit in Chicago were announced, advocates working on issues of poverty in Chicago have found increasingly common cause with anti-war protesters. The endorsement of the May 20 march against NATO earlier this month by Reverend Jesse Jackson, along with support from Reverend Phil Blackwell, National Nurses United and members of the Service Employees International Union, represents the latest stage in this collaboration. Lauren Love, a spokeswoman for Rainbow PUSH, told The Chicago Reporter that this alliance has been a fairly recent move. ... Reverend

What Will the Next Generation of Unionists Do for Millions of Workers Still Unemployed?

Harry Kelber, Thinking about Labor’s Future, April 23, 2012 

In his last “State of the Union” address, President Barack Obama claimed that, as a result of his job-creating policies, “in the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs.” Obama, early on, pushed through a $787 billion stimulus package through Congress to spur job growth - and that added another two-to-three million jobs, it is said.

 And then there was the bailout of the auto industry that saved or added  a million new jobs for auto workers. But the bailout of the nation’s top banks yielded less than nothing in providing jobs for the unemployed. 

Let us accept Obama’s claims for job-creation ... What

Six Sigma, 10 Years on: Was "the Promise" Realized?

Ian R. Lazarus, Becker’s Hospital Review, April 6, 2012 In October 2001, an article appearing in Managed Healthcare Executive announced the arrival of Six Sigma methodologies in the healthcare sector. While manufacturing industries had verified significant gains from Six Sigma, service industries like healthcare were only beginning to understand what Six Sigma was all about. Moreover, the healthcare industry had grown weary from a series of performance improvement methods that were tantamount to the flavor of the month. ... Six

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