As I was writing this blog post on Sunday morning, news came from the Associated Press about the real human cost of our Black Fridays:
“DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — At least 112 people were killed in a fire that raced through a multi-story garment factory just outside of Bangladesh's capital, an official said Sunday. Bangladesh has some 4,000 garment factories, many without proper safety measures. The country annually earns about $20 billion from…
Added by Bob Simpson on November 27, 2012 at 11:52 —
“I make $10.50 an hour, which is not a living wage here in Chicago, but due to the new victory which we won...in a year I’ll be making a living wage. This is a huge victory not only for me but for my family and my coworkers and their families as well. I will be able to move my kids into a safe neighborhood and with the new contract I will be able to afford health insurance.”---Tamekah Shivers, O’Hare Airport concessions worker who recently gained a union…
Added by Bob Simpson on November 26, 2012 at 19:28 —
Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) organizer Brandon Johnson, who is a black man, recently spoke about a conversation he had with veteran black educator Dr. Grady Jordan about racism in the schools today. Jordan told him, “Black teachers fought hard. This is a direct retaliation to what we built in the 60's and 70's. They're trying to kill you, son. What are you going to do about it?”.
Black teachers did fight hard in Chicago, a city with a violent racial history that included a… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on October 26, 2012 at 15:37 —
"The CTU is teaching the USA a lesson in working class love and solidarity. It’s a transformational moment for the membership of the CTU and its allies. How can they transform the horn honks, the raised fists, the friendly waves and the kind words of encouragement into a political force to be reckoned with?"
It was of course, more than a Chicago teachers' strike; it was a city-wide working class protest. Parents and concerned community members walked the… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on October 2, 2012 at 19:30 —
The free exchange of ideas is critical to representative government and was one of the reasons why the US Postal Service(USPS) was created. At its founding the Postal Service had a deliberate policy of subsidizing the mailing of newspapers and other periodicals, precisely to encourage the communication of ideas. The importance of this was understood by President George Washington who signed the bill authorizing the US Postal Service in 1792. The idea of a postal service is enshrined in the… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on August 13, 2012 at 17:47 —
“When America’s great crisis is a story in the pages of history, there will be a significant chapter devoted to the unfailing sacrifice of the Chicago teachers, who are now carrying on under inconceivable difficulties, far beyond the point which might be fairly considered the limit of human endurance.” ---The NEA Journal April 1933 (NEA: National Education Association)
On the eve before the Great Depression, what the NEA called “America’s great… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on August 3, 2012 at 11:00 —
It's true! The big money people want to put the rookie squad into our classrooms. Corporate funded attacks on public education and teachers’ unions have portrayed higher paid, more experienced teachers as the villains of the current financial crisis. It’s good-bye, Mr. Chips and sayonara, Ms. Frizzle.
In 1987-88 the typical primary or… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on July 24, 2012 at 10:21 —
Added by Bob Simpson on July 15, 2012 at 4:30 —
State governments across the USA have been cutting Medicaid and health care-related funding faster than Smithfield butchers hogs. These programs were supposed to help low income people, many of whom already suffer from the poor health that often comes with poverty.
When care is restricted or cut off altogether, some people are going to die prematurely. They will mostly likely die quietly, perhaps mourned by their families and friends. Some will die alone.They may die in great pain or… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on July 6, 2012 at 5:11 —
National Nurses United(NNU) took up the cause of Robin Hood at Chicago’s downtown J.P. Morgan Chase building on June 19. With its merry band of tax reforming nurses, the NNU held a lunch hour rally to press for a financial transactions tax (FTT) or as it is more commonly called, a “Robin Hood Tax”. Chicago was among 15 cities where similar rallies were held.
Easily recognized by their red scrubs along with their Robin Hood hats and masks, NNU members described the Robin Hood tax in… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on June 21, 2012 at 9:30 —
Dale Burnett stood in the lobby of a Chase bank in downtown Chicago the morning of June 7 and explained why Chase and other big banks need to stop gouging millions from the city’s public transit system. A home care worker who cannot afford a car, Burnett’s job pays her poverty wages and she cannot afford fare increases or service cuts. In contrast, Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase, has a $23 million compensation package this year. Nationally, 43% of transit… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on June 11, 2012 at 12:30 —
He fell 120 feet to the ground while dismantling an unused communications tower in Lincoln, Illinois on June 8, 2005. Although identified only as employee #1 in the official OSHA report, he was 43 year old Toby Wheale of Glendale, AZ. Wheale’s employer, Wireless Horizon Inc. of Lincoln IL, was fined $750. The head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) once called tower climbing “the most dangerous job in America.” Apparently $750 was the worth of this…
Added by Bob Simpson on June 5, 2012 at 18:30 —
"Caterpillar has work plans, processes, policies and people ready to be deployed in the event of any business interruption, whether it is a tornado, fire or a strike."---Caterpillar spokesperson Rusty Dunn: April 30, 2012
Thanks for nothing, Rusty Dunn. You just equated 780 striking Caterpillar workers to a potentially disastrous tornado or fire. The strike began on May 1 with peaceful picketing by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Lodge 851. A… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on May 17, 2012 at 1:30 —
May 30th 1937: Thirty-one year old Hull House social worker Guadalupe “Lupe” Marshall stood amongst the crowd in front of Sam’s Place on a warm afternoon. Approximately 1500 people were there to rally support for Chicago steel workers. Marshall was researching Mexican workers in the labor movement. Formerly a popular Southeast Side Chicago dance club, Sam’s Place had become a strike headquarters for the young CIO Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC). … Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on March 22, 2012 at 13:47 —
Phillip Wilson is a foot soldier in the war against our economy recovery. It’s not a one man war, Wilson has help from politicians like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker(Republican) and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel(Democrat), from powerful corporate leaders like the Koch Brothers and the Pritzker family, plus organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.
His weapons are not guns or remotely piloted drones, but his laptop, his books and his… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on March 11, 2012 at 23:11 —
Aynalem Moba doesn’t want to kill anyone. He doesn’t want to injure anyone. He certainly doesn’t want to poison anyone. No, he is not a draftee in a horrible war he doesn’t believe in. He is an American truck driver who drives loads at the Port of Seattle.
“Every day, I haul two or three loads that are overweight, possibly putting myself and others at risk. The truck could tip over. I’m afraid I might kill myself or someone else. Sometimes we’re carrying hazardous materials,… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on February 23, 2012 at 14:59 —
“They’re telling workers they’ve got to step back and do with less. What does that mean? Not having a car? Not being able to make the payments on their house? Not being able to send their kids to college? Not having any money for recreation? I thought that what’s it all about–to make the life of the worker decent and with dignity and the ability to enjoy… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on February 12, 2012 at 13:05 —
Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB---- from the song "Respect" by Otis Redding
If you drive down I-55 or I-80 out of Chicago toward Joliet, they are hard to miss. Sprawling boxy-looking buildings, often windowless, but with constant activity as semi's pull up to disgorge their contents. These are the warehouses of Will County, where goods meant mostly for North America's big box stores are routed… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on January 26, 2012 at 1:51 —
Republicans are very good at confusing people about the economy. Our economic problems are variously blamed on immigrants, blacks, liberals, environmentalists, unions, China, Democrats, women, government regulation or whatever else is the GOP flavor of the week. Conspicuously absent from this are the very wealthy who actually dominate the US economy.
Republicans say that if we only stick to the tried and true policies of their dear departed Ronald Reagan,… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on January 20, 2012 at 21:36 —
“No poor man ever gave me a job.” How many times have you heard that one? Sadly, these words are often spoken by a working class person who should know better. It’s always said with a self-satisfied sneer, sometimes accompanied by some racial or gender slurs. Maybe you’ve heard people repeating the cruel sound bites from TV about how lazy and irresponsible poor people supposedly are.
I’m not much good at snappy comebacks, so here is what I would like to say in response… Continue
Added by Bob Simpson on December 16, 2011 at 20:23 —