The social network for trade unionists - a LabourStart project.


Solidarity 69

The purpose of this group is to create solidarity among the left & to take action by any means necessary.

Location: The frontline is everywhere!
Members: 75
Latest Activity: Sep 14, 2014

Discussion Forum

How to Promote Solidarity? 1 Reply

I think this group is a great idea and a worthy goal, but the question is how do we achieve this or at least how do we take practical steps to it?I know of many different attempts to unify various…Continue

Started by Rhys Harrison. Last reply by Joe Balkis Sep 30, 2012.

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Comment by Joe Balkis on February 26, 2012 at 4:36
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UE Occupies Chicago Window Plant Again, and Wins Reprieve   

Members of the United Electrical Workers won another reprieve for a Chicago window factory, re-occupying the plant they famously held in 2008. UE took over the plant yesterday after local management said it would close immediately.  

Michigan Unions Look to Amend Constitution to Block Anti-Labor Bills

Michigan's top union leaders are deciding whether to attempt to amend the state constitution to block emergency managers and a "right to work" law through a ballot initiative this November.

Sign Up Now and Save!
Labor Notes Conference May 4-6

The next Labor Notes national conference will be held May 4-6 at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare in Chicago.

Sign up for the conference now and save: Early-bird registration is just $95. Ends March 2! Come participate in discussions about: 

Going on Offense. Targeting corporate handouts, pushing new taxes aimed at banks and other scofflaws, and bird-dogging financiers and the politicians who love them, many unions are putting the 1% in the crosshairs.
The Short-Strike Strategy. Several unions have emphasized limited strikes as part of their bargaining strategy. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the tactic?


These are just two of nearly 100 sessions in planning. Don't delay:...  

A Shallow Victory on Living Wages
In New York City 

After New York's retail union announced a living wage deal with the city council, activists greeted the news with mixed feelings. Only a small number of workers will be affected, but activists think the campaign helped change the conversation on low wages.

Chicago Occupation Challenges Corporate School Agenda    

Parents raised the stakes in the battle over the corporate takeover of education when they occupied a Chicago school last Friday. They didn't reverse the school board's "turnaround," but they did crack a wall of silence from city leaders.

Unions Rally to Protect
Contraceptive Coverage    

While Catholic bishops are organizing to get religious-affiliated institutions exempted from providing contraceptive coverage, some unions and women's organizations are counter-mobilizing

Help Us Blow Out the Candles
Hard to believe, but a scrappy rank-and-file magazine and organizing institute turns 33 this week. Founded in 1979 to bring together leaders from an inspiring string of wildcat strikes and union reform caucuses, Labor Notes is still going strong.

Keep up the momentum by helping Labor Notes grow with your tax-deductible donation today. 
In This Email
UE Occupies Chicago Window Plant Again
Michigan Unions Plot 'Right to Work' Defense
Tackle Big Issues at Labor Notes Conference
Shallow Victory in NYC Living Wage Deal
School Occupation Challenges Ed Agenda
Unions Rally to Protect Contraception
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Comment by Joe Balkis on February 26, 2012 at 4:34
Take Action!
Clicking here will automatically add your name to this petition to Transcanada CEO Russ Girling:
"It is unconscionable that TransCanada is trying to confiscate land...
Automatically add your name:
Take action now!

Learn more about this campaign

CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

Tell TransCanada: Stop seizing land for the rejected Keystone XL pipeline!

The arrogance of TransCanada is shocking, even for an oil company.

The company is threatening to seize the property of American landowners and start construction of its Keystone XL pipeline — even though President Obama last month rejected the permit to build.

Tell TransCanada: Stop using eminent domain to confiscate private p...

The pipeline path includes the 600 acre working farm that Julia Trigg Crawford's grandfather bought in 1948, on the Texas Oklahoma border, where the Red River meets Bois d'Arc Creek, which waters the farm.

Fearing for the safety of her farm and it's water source, Julia Trigg rejected TransCanada's offer to buy an easement on her land.

TransCanada announced it was seizing her land under eminent domain and would begin digging, but Julia won a temporary restraining order,1 at least until this Friday when the court will hear the case challenging Transcanada's status as a "common carrier" under Texas law.

It's bad enough that TransCanada expect landowners like Julia Trigg to accept permanent damage to their land and possible oil spills. But it's beyond arrogant for this foreign oil company to trample on private property rights and start construction on a project whose permit has just been denied!

Tell TransCanada: Stop using eminent domain to confiscate private p...

Under eminent domain, the government can force landowners to accept monetary payment for the use of their land for certain public-good projects like highways and railroads.

Of course, TransCanada's massive fuse to the carbon bomb of the tar sands shouldn't qualify as one of these projects — it does great harm and only helps the profits of a foreign corporation. But regardless, the company doesn't even have the permit to build it, because the White House just rejected their application. But that hasn't stopped TransCanada.

According to The New York Times, the company has at least 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas, and 22 in South Dakota.2 And their threats to landowners in Nebraska3helped spark massive public opposition and a special legislative session that were key in the decision to consider a different route.

Many of these landowners are being sued by the company, and told that if they don't take the small monetary offering — sometimes less than $10,000 in exchange for the permanent damage to their land, and huge risk of spills — their land will be condemned and TransCanada will seize the easement.

Julia Trigg and others are fighting back and doing everything they can to oppose TransCanada's land grab.

Everyone from environmentalists to Tea Partiers in Texas are showing their support for Americans' property rights.4As these court challenges unfold, we need to build pressure against TransCanada and spread the word about their reprehensible tactics.

Click below to automatically sign the petition:

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Keystone XL Pipeline: Texas Farmer Wins Temporary Restraining Order Against TransCanada," Huffington Post, February 14, 2012
2. "Eminent Domain Fight Has a Canadian Twist," New York Times, October 17th, 2011
3. "TransCanada Keystone XL Eminent Domain Threat Letter ," Dirty Oil Sands
4. "Texans rally against Keystone XL oil pipeline easement," LA Times, February 17, 2012

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 26, 2012 at 4:31
***forward widely***

No Power Greater: Marxism & the Working Class

Thursday, March 1, 7pm
1831 S. Racine AveChicago, IL 60608

The Occupy Movement has brought class politics to the front and center of the national discussion about what is wrong with society, and how it can be changed. What do Marxists say about class? Who is in the working class, and why does it matter? Do unions still matter? How can workers organize today? 

Shaun Harkin, socialists and veteran activist, will give a presentation that aims to answer the questions above. Join the Pilsen branch of the International Socialist Organization for a presentation and a discussion. 

Invite yourself and others to the Facebook page.
Or, take some time and read up on the topic. Here are some suggested readings:

For more information:
Legacy of a revolutionary: Malcolm X

Saturday, March 10, 2012
4:00pm until 6:00pm

Columbia College Chicago • Hokin Hall, room 109 • 623 S. Wabash Ave

Author of Black Liberation and Socialism, and editor of International Socialist Review, Ahmed Shawki will present on the legacy of one of the most well-known revolutionaries in the United States. Join the International Socialist Organization in a discussion and public forum on the well-known, yet misunderstood history of Malcolm X. 

Prepare for this discussion by listening to this talk on Malcolm X, given by NYC teacher and socialist, Brian Jones: http://wearemany.org/v/2011/07/malcolm-x

Or, check out this interview with Manning Marable: http://www.isreview.org/issues/63/feat-malcolmx.shtml

For more information about meetings hosted by the International Socialist Organization, check out:
Comment by Joe Balkis on February 23, 2012 at 6:42
Matteo Parlati stood up to the fascists.  Now, he needs us to stand up for him.
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Matteo Parlati stood up to the fascists. Now, he needs us to stand up for him.
Matteo Parlati.Matteo Parlati is a shop steward who works for Ferrari Auto in Italy.  

He's an activist in FIOM-CGIL, the Italian metal workers union.  
Last October, when local neo-fascists decided to celebrate Mussolini's infamous March on Rome, Matteo and his colleagues staged a counter-demonstration which was attacked by police.  

He was then charged with resisting the police and bearing 'moral responsibility' for the clash.  

(Photos and videos confirm that Matteo was the victim, not the criminal.)  
Matteo's fellow shop stewards have unanimously called for an international protest campaign demanding that the charges against him be dropped.  
What Matteo did was resist fascism -- this is a basic responsibility of all trade unionists and is not a crime.
Please take a moment and send off your message of protest today - and spread the word!
Thank you.

Eric Lee
Copyright © 2012 LabourStart, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this message because you opted in at our website (http://www.labourstart.org) - most likely when you signed up to support one of our online campaigns in support of workers' rights.
Our mailing address is:
4 Alexandra Park Road
London, England N10 2AA

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 22, 2012 at 17:15


Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports

Imagine being subjected to daily doses of scare tactics and veiled threats about job security and loyalty to your boss. Or being forced against your will into a weekly mandatory meeting where you are divided into random groups and forced to watch anti-union videos. And this happens despite the fact that you’ve signed your name to several petitions demanding union representation.

Tell the Bosses at Toll to Stop the Union-Busting and Agree to a Fa...

“We couldn’t be more certain about our decision to form a union,” said Julio Ortega a truck driver at Toll Group. “All we want is to exercise our right to vote. Instead we are forced to waste our time in anti-union captive audience meetings. That’s time that I could be on the road doing my job, or – even better – at home with my family.”

Nearly a month has passed since truck drivers at Toll demanded a fast and fair election, but under the direction of their union-busting boss the company has used every tactic in the book to detour truck drivers and delay the vote.

Just the other week Toll used a hearing at the National Labor Relations Board to delay a union vote and to try to stuff the bargaining unit with non-driver staff in an attempt to dilute the current yes votes.

Tell the Bosses at Toll to Stop the Union-Busting and Agree to a Fa...


The Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports is an unprecedented alliance that is united against pollution and poverty at our nation's ports. You're receiving this message because you asked to receive updates from us.

Learn more about the coalition: visit our Web site

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 22, 2012 at 17:14

Join the conversation:
National Conference Call Tonight, Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 5:30pm PT/6:30pm MT/7:30pm CT/8:30pm ET
Register here!

Read our
International Women's Day
Call to Action

and Create an Action with your local Occupy!

Show your support
with an “I Heart the 99%” tee

Connect with us on twitter at @womenows


February 22, 2012

What do Women Occupy, CODEPINK, Rainforest Action Network, and Public Citizen have in common? We all have national, women-led campaigns targeting Bank of America, and we’re all teaming up to go after the B of A behemoth on March 8th, International Women’s Day!

Will you join us on March 8th to occupy a Bank of America in your town?

Of all the big banks, Bank of America leads the pack in home foreclosure, predatory lending, and irresponsible economic and environmental policies that are destroying our families and communities.

Find out more, get tools for your action (like how to become a Super Shero, how to set up a Really Really Free Market, and more), and check out our calendar to find or post an event in your area!

On last week’s Women Occupy conference call we were honored to have Amanda Starbuck, Director of Rainforest Action Network’s Energy and Finance Program, join us to discuss strategy and talking points. Tonight, the amazing Lisa Fithian will give a brief training in direct action and share some of her over 20 years of activist wisdom!

Register for tonight’s call with Lisa Fithian at 5:30pm Pacific / 8:30pm Eastern!

And stay tuned next week -- same time, same call -- when we will be joined by media strategist Celia Alario for a crash course in press skills and how to market your event!

Women Occupy

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 22, 2012 at 6:20
Social Security has not added one cent to our national debt and the majority of Americans oppose reducing the federal deficit by cutting cost-of-living increases. If you believe that Congress should never put Social Security benefits on the chopping block, please stand with the National Committee to Preserve Social Securit...

Don Hazen
Executive Editor, AlterNet

National Committee logo National Committee logo
National Committee logo
Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustments Aren’t Accurate for Seniors
Join Now
Join Now
We need your help to send a nonpartisan message to Congress that COLA calculations must change!
70% of Americans across parties are against any cuts in Social Security. Thanks to the support of concerned citizens like you, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare recently waged a successful Hands Off — No Cuts grassroots campaign. We put a stop to proposed cuts that would have been harmful to older Americans. Working together, we proved the silent majority can make a difference.
The fight is not over! Yes, we stopped back-door benefits cuts, but seniors are still facing devastating reductions unless we change the way COLA calculations are made. The annual COLA was intended to offset rising costs due to inflation, and ensure that Social Security beneficiaries can keep up.
We must save critical benefits. The current basis for determining the COLA is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which fails to reflect the rapidly rising health care costs faced by our elder population. These costs are increasing at a much faster pace than general inflation, diminishing retiree’s Social Security benefits the longer they live.
Join the fight to protect our oldest citizens from poverty! The National Committee believes that, to be fair to seniors, the COLA should be based on the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). The CPI-E’s formula is a better measure of the real-world costs of living on a fixed income.
We need YOUR Support NOW!
Please let Washington know you support the CPI-E formula by joining the National Committee in its efforts today.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare is not affiliated with any political party or any branch of government.
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  National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare
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Washington, DC 20002


© 2012 Independent Media Institute
All Rights Reserved
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San Francisco, CA 94105

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 22, 2012 at 6:18
Support sacked agricultural workers in Peru.  New book about Wisconsin uprising. 
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Is it right to sack someone for joining a trade union?

Ten union leaders - eight of them women - have been fired because they dared to organize.  
They work for Euro S.A. in Ica, Peru, a profitable agricultural export plantation.  Euro S.A. is owned by Agricola Athos, which operates in five different regions in Peru and supplies produce to countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.  
The firings of these workers is part of a pattern of union-busting in Peru.
We've been asked by the  Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (CGTP), the largest national trade union center in the country, help get these workers their jobs back and to get their union recognized.
Please take a moment to send off your message - click here:
And please spread the word in your union.
In brief ...
  • Last week we announced preliminary results of the Second Annual Survey of Trade Union Use of the Net -- results which we'd like to share with you and your union.  I think we learned some interesting things which will help us as trade unionists make better use of the new technology.  Read our report here.
  • And here's a book we think many of you will want to own and read: Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.  In it, author John Nichols recounts the gripping story of the more than 100,000 public employees, teachers, students, and their allies who descended on the capital in Madison, Wisconsin in 2011 after Republican Gov. Scott Walker announced his plan to eliminate the right of public sector employees to unionize.   If you buy the book through our unionised partner bookshop, you help support LabourStart as well.  Click here to learn more.
Have a great weekend.

Eric Lee
Copyright © 2012 LabourStart, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this message because you opted in at our website (http://www.labourstart.org) - most likely when you signed up to support one of our online campaigns in support of workers' rights.
Our mailing address is:
4 Alexandra Park Road
London, England N10 2AA
Comment by Joe Balkis on February 22, 2012 at 6:17
Celebrating African American History Month 2012

Tea Party Congress can't
stop fight for equality

Featuring: Congressman Danny K. Davis

Sunday, February 26, 2 pm
Unity Center, 3339 S Halsted St., Chicago

Hear the dynamic Congressman from Illinois's 7th district discuss the challenges facing us in 2012.

Hosts: PeoplesWorld.org, South Halsted Unemployed Action Center, Workers Education Society

For more info: 773-446-9925


As most everyone knows, the Beverly Unitarian Church has been our host and "god-parent" for almost ten years.  Next week the church is hosting a forum on the issues of crime, justice, and reconciliation.  This should be an interesting and provocative event. There are still seats available.
 Please RSVP to: http://anyvite.com/zwf0pxte5v.                            
                 Or call 773.239.1439

Concrete, Steel and Paint

The first forum will explore our understanding of crime, justice and reconciliation and begins with a showing of the award-winning film, Concrete, Steel, and Paint (55 min). After the film the audience will be invited to share their thoughts and reactions to the film in leader-led circle discussions. Circle discussions will be facilitated by trained circlekeepers: Linda Cooper, member of the Beverly Unitarian Church; Bob Koehler, syndicated peace journalist with the Huffington Post; and Sheila Murphy, retired judge and adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School. Decision-makers throughout Chicagoland will be invited to learn more about our understanding of these complicated issues that so impact all our lives
     .Date & Time: Sunday, February 26 at 3:00 PM (CST)
      Location:       Beverly Unitarian Church
                           10244 S Longwood Dr, Chicago, I
Get Map & Directions

Comment by Joe Balkis on February 20, 2012 at 18:02

Rally and March to Defend Civil Liberties

Saturday, March 10th

12:00 Noon

Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street

No to Indefinite Detention without a Trial

-        Stop Islamophobia

Defend Immigrant Rights

-        End Deportations

Stop FBI Repression of Anti War Activists

-        Solidarity is Not a Crime

Support Freedom of Dissent

-        Defend the Right to Protest Against NATO/G8

March 10th is the 6th anniversary of the massive march for immigrant rights that launched the national movement.  Now those mostly Latino communities are facing up to 400,000 deportations annually.  Arab and Muslim communities are targeted by government policies driven by the so-called “war on terror.”  Repression of First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly have seen 6000 arrests of Occupy Wall Street protestors, and anti-war and international solidarity activists such as Carlos Montes are being criminalized. 

Join us.  Add your voice.  Tell President Obama, the Department of Justice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the City of Chicago that we know our rights and we will defend them.

Sponsored by:

Arab American Action Network

Coalition to Protect People’s Rights

Committee Against Political Repression

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

Council on American Islamic Relations

Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition

To endorse:  Phone: 773 250-7335 or E-mail: defend.dissent@gmail.com   




  The U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange conferences in Tijuana, Mexico focus on
theses themes specifically related to workers. Please welcome Cuban
Ambassador Bolanos at this excellent and informative forum! For more
information on the Tijuana Conferences, bookmark:

Forum on ALBA:

Latin America and the Continental Integration of the Peoples
The achievements of ALBA-TCP (alba-tcp.org) and the integration of
the continental social movements

Thursday, March *22* and Friday, March 23

5:00-8:00pm DePaul University

Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) Room *154**

*2320 N. Kenmore, Chicago

Thursday, March 22:

Conference on the Social Movements of the ALBA-TCP Nations
*Luther Castillo*, Spokesperson for the Honduran People’s Front
forNational Resistance; co-coordinator of Cuba’s Latin American
School of Medicine's international team of physicians working in Haiti
after the earthquake
Rummie Quintero, LGBT activist, Venezuela
José Aguilar, Free Software Movement, Venezuela
Amenothep Zambrano, Executive Secretary of ALBA-TCP
Jose Pertierra, represents Venezuelan government in the case to
extradite Luis Posada Carriles

Friday, March **23*:

Conference with Diplomats of the ALBA-TCP Nations
Francisco Campbell Hooker, Nicaragua Ambassador in Washington
Jorge Bolaños Suárez, Chief of the Cuban Interests Section in
*Angelo Rivero,* Presiding Officer of the Embassy of Venezuela in
*Freddy Bersatti Tudela*, Presiding Officer of the Embassy of the
Plurinational State of Bolivia in Washington
*Amenothep Zambrano,* Executive Secretary of ALBA-TCP

Organized by: DePaul University, General Consulate of Venezuela in
Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5, La Voz de los de Abajo.

For more information: Jesús Rodríguez Espinoza
a href="http://us.mc1123.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=ven.chicago@gmail.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ven.chicago@gmail.com <mailto:ven.chicago@gmail.com>
>; Stan Smith, uscubachi@yahoo.com <mailto:uscubachi@yahoo.com>
, 773-376-7521

* *

What is ALBA?

The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America - Trade
Treaty of the People (ALBA-TCP) presently consists of Venezuela, Cuba,
Bolivia, Ecuador, Dominica, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Antigua and
Barbuda, and Nicaragua.

“ALBA’s fight is for a second true independence for Latin
America and Caribbean; to free ourselves from poverty and illiteracy
and achieve development for our people,” explains Amenothep
Zambrano, Executive Secretary of ALBA.
ALBA is a trade agreement that mutually benefits all parties based
on the strengths and weaknesses of each of the members. It builds
Latin American unity and solidarity through mutual economic
development, fair trade, joint development projects and South-South
coordination. This is a radical break neo-colonial history based upon
imperial exploitation, the fiction of a free market, and domination by
the United States.

Why was ALBA created?

ALBA was created as a direct response to the attempt by the United
States to impose the Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty on the
entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean. Implementation of
the FTAA would have imposed intensified neo-liberal economic policies,
increasing crushing levels of poverty, unemployment and
foreign-imposed debt.

Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro formally created ALBA on Dec. 14,
2004, at the celebration of the 180th anniversary of the victory of
Ayacucho, the day Simón Bolívar’s army won independence from Spain
The need for alliances such as ALBA is demonstrated by the more than
50-year-long war waged by the United States against Cuba, the 2002
failed U.S.-coup attempt against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the
2009 U.S. coup against the democratically-elected pro-ALBA president
of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, the 7 new U.S. military bases in Colombia,
and the failed U.S. coups in Bolivia and Ecuador.ALBA countries have
recently condemned foreign intervention in Libya and Syria, and have
recently strengthened their ties with Iran.

What Has ALBA Accomplished?

ALBA initiatives include: the ALBA Bank, funding the different
development projects in their countries, working towards independence
from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other
exploiting global institutions; the creation of 12 public companies to
strengthen national economies in agriculture, infrastructure,
telecommunications, industrial supplies and cement production;
PetroCaribe, which greatly increases access to energy resources; and a
diverse array of health and education programs.

ALBA’s social achievements include the elimination of poverty for
11 million people in only five years, through free universal
education, food programs, and health programs. Unemployment has
dropped to 8.7%, lower than in the U.S. Literacy rates have risen from
84% to 96%; now Bolivia and Nicaragua join Cuba and Venezuela in being
free of illiteracy. Infant mortality rates have been reduced by 32%;
life expectancy increased to 73 years. 1,899.808 people have had their
vision restored or improved through Mision Milagro. 2,294,666
handicapped persons have received health care service for their
problems. Hundreds of their countries students are enrolled in
ALBA’s Latin American School of Medicine to develop still more
critically-needed medical workers.

The leading official of the Venezuela Embassy recently noted that
U.S. media routinely demonizes ALBA and its programs as threats to its
own system. He disputed that, saying that ALBA and its programs are
“not threats but opportunities taken by Latin American and Caribbean
countries to develop their own people with their own resources….We
have changed and we aren’t going back. If U.S. representatives
understand this, we will be able to go forward, if not, we will defend
what we have created!”


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