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Great Lakes Environmental Law Center Sends Gives Notice of Intent to Sue Regarding Incinerator Violations

East Michigan Environmental Action Council - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 4:01pm
The Detroit trash incinerator, operated by Detroit Renewable Power, has been repeatedly cited for violating the Clean Air Act. The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center has submitted a notice of intent to sue letter to Governor Snyder, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Detroit Renewable Power announcing their intent to file a citizen suit for over 40 violations of the Clean Air Act dating back to 2015.
East Michigan Environmental Action Council joins the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center and other Michigan organizations in this important next step for community environmental protection. For more information about the Detroit trash incinerator, please see our Detroit Incinerator Fact Sheet.


From the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center Press Release, October 17: 

In 2015, over 650,000 tons of household garbage was burned at the incinerator. However, very little of that garbage actually comes from Detroit households. According to records, 66% of the household garbage burned at the incinerator comes from Oakland County while only 19% originates from Wayne County. Household garbage from Ohio, Illinois, and Canada is also burned at the incinerator. “It is not acceptable that as Detroiters move toward city-wide recycling and reducing the amount of their waste that goes to the incinerator, that they are subject to poor air quality and respiratory health issues due to waste from other communities and Detroit Renewable Power’s repeated failure to control its air pollution as required by law,” said Sandra Turner Handy, the community engagement director for the Michigan Environmental Council. 

The incinerator places a substantial environmental and public health burden on Detroit residents. Since the start of 2015, the incinerator committed 21 violations for strong odors wafting from the incinerator and 19 violations for emitting carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter above legally allowed limits. According to the EPA, 7,280 residents live within 1-mile of the incinerator, 87% being people of color. The surrounding neighborhood is an asthma hotspot, with rates much higher than the Michigan average. 

“The incinerator is an outdated facility and the owners of the facility have shown no concern for the negative health and environmental impacts that the incinerator has on the nearby community, as evidenced by its recent air quality violations,” said William Copeland, the climate justice director for the East Michigan Environmental Action Council. “Given the environmental injustice and health challenges that nearby residents continue to face because of the incinerator, it’s important that the Clean Air Act be aggressively enforced against the facility.” 

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality or the Environmental Protection Agency now have 60-days to commence an enforcement action. If no enforcement action is pursued by either agency, then the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center may file a citizen suit on behalf of local residents and organizations to enforce the Clean Air Act. “Detroit should not be the dumping ground for the State, the Midwest, or Canada and every Detroit residents has the right to breathe clean air free from odors and harmful pollutants,” said Nick Leonard, a staff attorney with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center. “It’s bad enough that over 80% of the household garbage that is burned at the incinerator comes from outside of Wayne County. It’s even worse that the incinerator continues, with alarming frequency, to fail to comply with the laws that are in place to protect the public health and that Detroiters are suffering an environmental injustice a result.” 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

DON'T MOURN, ORGANIZE: Statement of the UE National Officers on the Election of Donald Trump

UE - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 2:09pm
14 November, 2016Pittsburgh

The election of Donald Trump, while very disturbing, should not come as a complete shock. For the past several decades the political establishment in both parties has advanced a set of policies known as neoliberalism that has made life harder for working people. Neoliberalism includes free trade, deregulation, privatization, and dismantling the social safety net, and it has been pursued aggressively by Republican administrations since Reagan, and Democratic administrations starting with Bill Clinton. This election year brought rebellion in both parties against what Bernie Sanders called “establishment politics and establishment economics.” That rebellion took the form, in the Democratic primaries, of the inclusive progressive populism of Sanders, and on the Republican side, the authoritarian, bigoted populism of Trump.

By rigging the process to block Sanders and nominate Hillary Clinton, the ultimate insider and establishment figure, the Democratic Party leadership, aided by the corporate media, sowed the seeds of Trump’s victory. Neither Clinton nor any other candidate from her wing of the Democratic Party could have credibly addressed the concerns that were central to working people of all backgrounds: the loss of economic security, in particular good-paying jobs at the hands of globalization and runaway corporate power. 

Had Bernie Sanders or someone like him been the nominee, the outcome of this election would have been very different. Polling has consistently shown that Sanders would easily defeat Trump, and he did especially well last spring in crucial states like Michigan and Wisconsin. But instead, we have the cruel irony that Donald Trump, a man born into great wealth who has shafted working people throughout his business career, was able to cast himself as a rebel prepared to bring down globalization and create new jobs, and to use that message to defeat the establishment wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Trump’s scapegoating of Latino immigrants and Muslims and his open appeals to racism and sexism are extremely troubling. Racists as extreme as the Ku Klux Klan and so-called “white nationalists” embraced Trump as their candidate and are emboldened by his victory. Trump chose as his running mate Mike Pence, who made his name politically as an extreme homophobe. Trump’s lifelong disrespect and abuse of women is now well known, and he fully embraced his party’s anti-women agenda.  

Our response must continue to be an aggressive rejection of all forms of bigotry and divisiveness everywhere, while fighting all attacks on human and civil rights by the incoming administration. We must stand up against hate crimes and acts of racial and sexual harassment. Solidarity is our only recourse in the face of the bosses’ attempts to divide us and is needed now more than ever. UE’s founding principle to defend all people regardless of age, sex, nationality, race, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political beliefs is just as important today as when it was enshrined into the UE Constitution more than 80 years ago.

Make no mistake about what we face. Donald Trump, who in the first Republican debate said, “Wages are too high,” has endorsed “right-to-work” laws which severely weaken labor unions.  We believe Trump will revoke every pro-labor executive order that Obama signed, and appoint anti-union executives to run the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board, as well as anti-labor federal judges. Early in his primary campaign Trump said he was against cutting Social Security or Medicare, but the 2016 Republican Platform calls for attacking both programs, and House Speaker Paul Ryan is again sharpening his knife to slash Medicare, which has long been one of his goals.

When Ronald Reagan fired 14,000 air traffic controllers at the start of his presidency in 1981 and destroyed their union (PATCO), the leadership of the AFL-CIO rejected rank-and-file calls all over the country for a general strike and instead called for a big rally. PATCO was busted and it signaled the beginning of the epidemic of union-busting that has plagued workers ever since. What will be the labor movement’s response to renewed efforts to wipe out unions? 

Anti-worker Republicans are emboldened on the national stage and in state capitals as well. UE will fight on behalf of our members to preserve their rights, in Iowa and elsewhere.

This election is a major setback in the fight to preserve the Earth as a habitable planet for humans and other species. Trump has embraced the extreme right-wing fiction that climate change is a “hoax”, and says he will remove all restrictions on extracting and burning fossil fuels.  He is expected to do nothing to bring about a just transition to renewable energy. UE rejects any attempts by Trump to dismantle environmental protections or to sell off the national parks and hand over public lands to corporate control.

This crisis, however, provides new opportunities for the labor and progressive movements. With neoliberalism discredited and the political establishments of both parties defeated, we must offer real solutions on employment, economic inequality, and labor rights by organizing a grass roots, democratic rank-and-file movement, larger and more powerful than Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. We have two years until the Congressional mid-term elections. UE is prepared to work with organizations and individuals who are interested in building a progressive political movement that can advance the interests of all working people. 

It’s time to build broader, unite stronger, and fight harder than we’ve ever done before.

Peter Knowlton, General President   Andrew Dinkelaker, General Secretary-Treasurer   Gene Elk, Director of Organization

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

DON'T MOURN, ORGANIZE: Statement of the UE National Officers on the Election of Donald Trump

UE - Mon, 11/14/2016 - 2:09pm
14 November, 2016Pittsburgh

The election of Donald Trump, while very disturbing, should not come as a complete shock. For the past several decades the political establishment in both parties has advanced a set of policies known as neoliberalism that has made life harder for working people. Neoliberalism includes free trade, deregulation, privatization, and dismantling the social safety net, and it has been pursued aggressively by Republican administrations since Reagan, and Democratic administrations starting with Bill Clinton. This election year brought rebellion in both parties against what Bernie Sanders called “establishment politics and establishment economics.” That rebellion took the form, in the Democratic primaries, of the inclusive progressive populism of Sanders, and on the Republican side, the authoritarian, bigoted populism of Trump.

By rigging the process to block Sanders and nominate Hillary Clinton, the ultimate insider and establishment figure, the Democratic Party leadership, aided by the corporate media, sowed the seeds of Trump’s victory. Neither Clinton nor any other candidate from her wing of the Democratic Party could have credibly addressed the concerns that were central to working people of all backgrounds: the loss of economic security, in particular good-paying jobs at the hands of globalization and runaway corporate power. 

Had Bernie Sanders or someone like him been the nominee, the outcome of this election would have been very different. Polling has consistently shown that Sanders would easily defeat Trump, and he did especially well last spring in crucial states like Michigan and Wisconsin. But instead, we have the cruel irony that Donald Trump, a man born into great wealth who has shafted working people throughout his business career, was able to cast himself as a rebel prepared to bring down globalization and create new jobs, and to use that message to defeat the establishment wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Trump’s scapegoating of Latino immigrants and Muslims and his open appeals to racism and sexism are extremely troubling. Racists as extreme as the Ku Klux Klan and so-called “white nationalists” embraced Trump as their candidate and are emboldened by his victory. Trump chose as his running mate Mike Pence, who made his name politically as an extreme homophobe. Trump’s lifelong disrespect and abuse of women is now well known, and he fully embraced his party’s anti-women agenda.  

Our response must continue to be an aggressive rejection of all forms of bigotry and divisiveness everywhere, while fighting all attacks on human and civil rights by the incoming administration. We must stand up against hate crimes and acts of racial and sexual harassment. Solidarity is our only recourse in the face of the bosses’ attempts to divide us and is needed now more than ever. UE’s founding principle to defend all people regardless of age, sex, nationality, race, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political beliefs is just as important today as when it was enshrined into the UE Constitution more than 80 years ago.

Make no mistake about what we face. Donald Trump, who in the first Republican debate said, “Wages are too high,” has endorsed “right-to-work” laws which severely weaken labor unions.  We believe Trump will revoke every pro-labor executive order that Obama signed, and appoint anti-union executives to run the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, as well as anti-labor federal judges. Early in his primary campaign Trump said he was against cutting Social Security or Medicare, but the 2016 Republican Platform calls for attacking both programs, and House Speaker Paul Ryan is again sharpening his knife to slash Medicare, which has long been one of his goals.

When Ronald Reagan fired 14,000 air traffic controllers at the start of his presidency in 1981 and destroyed their union (PATCO), the leadership of the AFL-CIO rejected rank and file calls all over the country for a general strike and, instead called for a big rally. PATCO was busted and it signaled the beginning of the epidemic of union-busting that has plagued workers ever since. What will be the labor movement’s response to renewed efforts to wipe out unions? 

Anti-worker Republicans are emboldened on the national stage and in state capitals as well. UE will fight on behalf of our members to preserve their rights, in Iowa and elsewhere.

This election is a major setback in the fight to preserve the Earth as a habitable planet for humans and other species. Trump has embraced the extreme right-wing fiction that climate change is a “hoax”, and says he will remove all restrictions on extracting and burning fossil fuels and not make the massive investment necessary for a just transition to renewable energy. UE rejects Trump’s attempt to dismantle environmental protections or to sell off the national parks and hand over the control of public lands to corporate control. This crisis, however, provides new opportunities for the labor and progressive movements. With neoliberalism discredited and the political establishments of both parties defeated, we must offer real solutions on employment, economic inequality, and labor rights by organizing a grass roots, democratic rank-and-file movement, larger and more powerful than Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. We have two years until the Congressional mid-term elections. UE is prepared to work with organizations and individuals who are interested in building a progressive political movement that can advance the interests of all working people. 

It’s time to build broader, unite stronger, and fight harder than we’ve ever fought before.

Peter Knowlton, General President   Andrew Dinkelaker, General Secretary-Treasurer   Gene Elk, Director of Organization

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Continue to fight for rights and justice!

NNIRR - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 7:28pm
Subtitle:  Information, links and downloads Link Path:  http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/post-election-resources Sort Order:  1
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Trump's election brings immigration fears

NNIRR - Sat, 11/12/2016 - 3:00am
Story Type:  In the News Story Author:  Tom Kisken Story Publisher:  Ventura County Star

With or without a wall, barriers to illegal immigration are almost certain to grow when Donald Trump is sworn in as president.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Straight Outta Compton: Local 1021 Unity Boosts Wages

UE - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 4:27pm
11 November, 2016Local 1021 bargaining committee members Javier Aguilar, Jose Orozco and Granville Noel.Compton, CA

UE Local 1021 members reached agreement on a new contract with their employer KRACO Enterprises on June 8, the day after the California primary election.  The two-year includes hourly wage increases of 60 cents each year, improved job security language, retirement benefits, improved work schedules etc. 

Bargaining was conducted at the plant and went fairly smoothly. The company’s initial proposal was for a 35 cent raise and did not include an attack on health benefits, which has become such a common feature of bargaining these days. But members felt they needed a substantial raise, and also wanted to improve their healthcare and lower costs.

The union did its own research on health plans available in the area, and proposed a new plan, a PPO, that would have lowered the company’s costs by $150,000 over two years with equivalent or better benefits. The union wanted those savings to be applied to wage increases. This health plan has received positive reviews from experts, but the company was reluctant to agree to it, offering the excuse that the company offering the plan is relatively new. The company also admitted that it is not in the habit of sharing cost savings with the workers.

Members took action in the shop to press their demand for a bigger pay raise. First they did a petition. Then the union purchased red union T-shirts and scheduled union shirt days every week. At least 90 percent of the members wore these shirts on the designated days. The company president, who likes to tour the shop and talk with the workers, was visibly nervous when the plant turned into a sea of red shirts.

Union members took a final action the day before the deadline set by the parties for completing negotiations. They sent a delegation of workers into the president’s office, demanding that he conclude negotiations the next day by agreeing to the union’s final offer. Out of a workforce of 50 employees, 25 to 30 went on the delegation to the president’s office. This time the boss was very nervous, apparently fearing that the workers were going to occupy his office. But the next day, the company agreed to the union’s proposal and the contract was settled. The last bargaining session took only 10 minutes.

While the company did not accept the union’s healthcare proposal, it did agree that the union and company will return to the bargaining table before the end of the year to consider alternate health plans, and the company agreed to share any resulting savings with the workers, 50-50.

In other gains, workers improved the just cause language in the contract. The company has offered a 401(k) retirement savings plan, but with no company match of employees’ contributions. The 401(k) plan was not part of the contract and very few people use it. The union succeeded in putting it into the contract, with the hope of adding an employer match and other improvements in the future.

Recently a worker has suffered a foot injury in the warehouse area, which led to an OSHA inspection. OSHA told the company that the aisles are too narrow, and that workers should have safety shoes. So in negotiations, the union added a new benefit, a safety shoe allowance of $75 per year.

The bargaining committee consisted of Javier Aguilar, Jose Orozco,  and Granville Noel, assisted by Field Organizer Fernando Ramirez.

UE members at KRACO have a proud history behind them. Workers there, mostly Latino, began organizing in the late 1970s, but faced stiff resistance from the company. In May 1979 they walked out in what proved to be one of the most important strikes in the Los Angeles area in that period. The company hired armed thugs to physically attack the pickets, and bought the support of the Compton police by giving them a helicopter. The cops arrested strikers, but the union won support of the community by marching on city hall to demand an end to police violence and that KRACO hire more black workers from the community in which it operated. After the company thugs shot a striker, the bad publicity forced the company to settle.

Over the past 36 years KRACO went through changes of ownership and downsizing. In 2014, after bringing in many new workers, the company tried to get the union decertified. But the union prevailed and since then, younger workers have stepped up into the leadership. Earlier this year, the local voted to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, and members campaigned for Sanders – an indication of the revived activism in this shop.

 

 

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Straight Outta Compton: Local 1021 Unity Boosts Wages

UE - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 4:27pm
11 November, 2016Local 1021 bargaining committee members Javier Aguilar, Jose Orozco and Granville Noel.Compton, CA

UE Local 1021 members reached agreement on a new contract with their employer KRACO Enterprises on June 8, the day after the California primary election.  The two-year includes hourly wage increases of 60 cents each year, improved job security language, retirement benefits, improved work schedules etc. 

Bargaining was conducted at the plant and went fairly smoothly. The company’s initial proposal was for a 35 cent raise and did not include an attack on health benefits, which has become such a common feature of bargaining these days. But members felt they needed a substantial raise, and also wanted to improve their healthcare and lower costs.

The union did its own research on health plans available in the area, and proposed a new plan, a PPO, that would have lowered the company’s costs by $150,000 over two years with equivalent or better benefits. The union wanted those savings to be applied to wage increases. This health plan has received positive reviews from experts, but the company was reluctant to agree to it, offering the excuse that the company offering the plan is relatively new. The company also admitted that it is not in the habit of sharing cost savings with the workers.

Members took action in the shop to press their demand for a bigger pay raise. First they did a petition. Then the union purchased red union T-shirts and scheduled union shirt days every week. At least 90 percent of the members wore these shirts on the designated days. The company president, who likes to tour the shop and talk with the workers, was visibly nervous when the plant turned into a sea of red shirts.

Union members took a final action the day before the deadline set by the parties for completing negotiations. They sent a delegation of workers into the president’s office, demanding that he conclude negotiations the next day by agreeing to the union’s final offer. Out of a workforce of 50 employees, 25 to 30 went on the delegation to the president’s office. This time the boss was very nervous, apparently fearing that the workers were going to occupy his office. But the next day, the company agreed to the union’s proposal and the contract was settled. The last bargaining session took only 10 minutes.

While the company did not accept the union’s healthcare proposal, it did agree that the union and company will return to the bargaining table before the end of the year to consider alternate health plans, and the company agreed to share any resulting savings with the workers, 50-50.

In other gains, workers improved the just cause language in the contract. The company has offered a 401(k) retirement savings plan, but with no company match of employees’ contributions. The 401(k) plan was not part of the contract and very few people use it. The union succeeded in putting it into the contract, with the hope of adding an employer match and other improvements in the future.

Recently a worker has suffered a foot injury in the warehouse area, which led to an OSHA inspection. OSHA told the company that the aisles are too narrow, and that workers should have safety shoes. So in negotiations, the union added a new benefit, a safety shoe allowance of $75 per year.

The bargaining committee consisted of Javier Aguilar, Jose Orozco,  and Granville Noel, assisted by Field Organizer Fernando Ramirez.

UE members at KRACO have a proud history behind them. Workers there, mostly Latino, began organizing in the late 1970s, but faced stiff resistance from the company. In May 1979 they walked out in what proved to be one of the most important strikes in the Los Angeles area in that period. The company hired armed thugs to physically attack the pickets, and bought the support of the Compton police by giving them a helicopter. The cops arrested strikers, but the union won support of the community by marching on city hall to demand an end to police violence and that KRACO hire more black workers from the community in which it operated. After the company thugs shot a striker, the bad publicity forced the company to settle.

Over the past 36 years KRACO went through changes of ownership and downsizing. In 2014, after bringing in many new workers, the company tried to get the union decertified. But the union prevailed and since then, younger workers have stepped up into the leadership. Earlier this year, the local voted to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, and members campaigned for Sanders – an indication of the revived activism in this shop.

 

 

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Post Election Immigration Resources: Continue to fight for rights and justice!

NNIRR - Fri, 11/11/2016 - 3:43pm

As we emerge from the November elections, we want to share critical and useful information, as well as commentaries and reflections. For now, these will be shared here.

Thanks to the many organizations providing legal support and information, so important for those who may be directly affected by decisions President-elect Donald Trump intends to make during his first 100 days in office -- including his promise on his first day to cancel all of President Obama's executive actions, including DACA.

We will post resources as they become available.

 

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

We will continue the fight for rights and justice

NNIRR - Thu, 11/10/2016 - 12:07am
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

The election to the presidency of the U.S. of a person who launched a run for that office by demonizing immigrants is not just hugely disappointing, but it could mark yet another frightening stage in U.S. immigration policy. A stage that greatly expands the already-repressive "deterrence" framework and reaches new lows in the criminalization of immigrant and refugee populations.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

The national election is (finally) here...and more

NNIRR - Tue, 11/08/2016 - 11:59am
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

...and immigrant communities are making a difference, in more ways than one!

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Non-Election Night Party

East Michigan Environmental Action Council - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 2:14pm

Does this election season have you feeling sad, isolated, angry, or hopeless? Join us for a night of celebrating community, movement, and struggle at the Cass Corridor Commons!


Instead of spending the election disappointed, frustrated, and alone we will come together to remind each other of why we fight and will continue to fight. This event is open to all those who believe in justice, liberation, freedom, and love. 

There will be a separate space for election monitoring, an org fair with food vendors and ways to get involved, and an open mic followed by a dance party featuring local DJs. Come for part or stay all night.

We're asking for a $5 donation at the door, but no one will be turned away! This is a fundraiser for the Cass Commons, a space where movement work never ends.

See you at the Cass Corridor Commons November 8th 7.30 pm - 11.30 pm

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/648755775301310/
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Workers' Center Condemns Attack on School in Brazil

VWC - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 4:55pm

Yesterday morning, police and military forces raided the National School Florestan Fernandes (ENFF) in Brazil, an agro-ecology school where a Workers’ Center Coordinating Committee member is currently studying, along with other grassroots leaders from the US and around the world. We are relieved to report that our member is fine, but are asking our members to join us in speaking out against this assault on the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), who are hosting the leadership development school that our fellow member is attending.

Please take a moment to call the Brazilian Embassy and the US State Department to demand that the police and military stand down, stop their attack on the MST and ENFF, release any activists who have been arrested, and cease intimidation tactics:

Brazilian Embassy: (202) 238-2700

U.S. State Department: (202) 647-6575

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Workers' Center Condemns Attack on Social Movements in Brazil

VWC - Sat, 11/05/2016 - 4:55pm

Yesterday morning, police and military forces raided the National School Florestan Fernandes (ENFF) in Brazil, a school for social movement leaders where a Workers’ Center Coordinating Committee member is currently studying, along with other social movement leaders from the US and around the world. We are relieved to report that our member is fine, but are asking our members to join us in speaking out against this assault on the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), who are hosting the leadership development school that our fellow member is attending.

Please take a moment to call the Brazilian Embassy and the US State Department to demand that the police and military stand down, stop their attack on the MST and ENFF, release any activists who have been arrested, and cease intimidation tactics against social movements and human rights activists:

Brazilian Embassy: (202) 238-2700

U.S. State Department: (202) 647-6575

In 2015, Workers' Center Vice-President Avery Book attended a 6-week political training course for political education at the National School Florestan Fernandes. "I studied and worked with social movement and trade union leaders from over 20 different countries. This experience has been invaluable for me, as I have worked to strengthen the Workers’ Center’s political education and leadership development programs.

"Then as now, our hosts were beginning to come under attack, but they continued their commitment to building and training an international, bottom-up movement that can fight the global 1% and create a more just world. This school, built by the volunteer labor of over 1,000 MST members, is unique and critical, we need to stand with the MST and the Brazilian social movements against these attacks."

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Tell Ohio State: Stop the Sellout!

USAS - Thu, 11/03/2016 - 4:14pm

The Ohio State University is one of the largest public universities in the country. So what do we do when the administration tries to sell our campus away to corporations? We fight back.

OSU President Drake is attempting to sell important public resources to corporate greed through a massive privatization plan. First it was the parking lots, now its the energy systems, and we don’t know what he has planned next. We can’t let corporations take over our public university so they can drive down wages and threaten union jobs.

Ohio State USAS has been leading the fight to #StopTheSellout alongside the campus workers of CWA Local 4501. They have been campaigning for almost two years, and President Drake is still refusing to respect the needs of workers and students. Will you take action and support?

Call President Drake today!

(614) 292-2424

WHAT TO SAY:

Hello, my name is ________. May I speak with President Drake? I have a message for him. Please let him know that I do not support Ohio State’s attempts to sell our energy to a private corporation. This plan will be detrimental to the workers on OSU’s campus. This deal is not in the interest of sustainability or transparency. The possibility of a fossil fuel corporation taking control of Ohio State’s energy systems is terrifying. President Drake, STOP THE SELLOUT.

 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

USAS 20th National Conference: The Ohio State University

USAS - Thu, 11/03/2016 - 4:01pm

Save the Date! We’re converging in Columbus, Ohio on February 24-25th for our 20th Annual National Conference. Yes, you read that right. This is our 20th national conference, which means this is going to be a big one!

Ohio State is one of the largest public universities in the country, but the admin is preparing to let corporate greed take over campus through massive privatization schemes. What happens at OSU will impact public higher ed across the country. USAS at Ohio State has been leading a campaign to #StopTheSellout for the past two years, and they need our help. Get ready to converge on Ohio State’s campus February 24-25th as we join together as a national movement to fight for public education.

Save the date and stay tuned for a link to register. It’s never too early to start fundraising to get your local and all your friends to Columbus.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

LA Metro End Your Attack on the Black community—End LA Metro’s Transit Apartheid

Labor/Community Strategy Center - Wed, 11/02/2016 - 6:17pm
For LA Metro Black Lives, Don’t Matter. LA Metro criminalizes black riders who are only 19% of riders, but make up over 50% of all LA Metro fare citations, fines and arrest are Black riders on Metro rails – Black riders are stopped, check, profiled, harassed, frisked, cited, fined, jailed, and beaten all forms of dehumanization of Black life to ensure a sterile lily white rail experience for LA Metro imaginary and non-existing choice rider.

read more

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

5 Things you can do to Stand with Standing Rock

It Takes Roots - Wed, 11/02/2016 - 12:01pm

State violence is escalating against the Indigenous Water Protectors on the frontlines of the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Join us in responding to the call for national and international solidarity:

  1. GO TO STANDING ROCK and stand with the Indigenous-led water defenders on the frontlines.
  2. DONATE to indigenousrising.org or ocetisakowincamp.org to support the legal team and the ongoing infrastructure needs.
  3. DISRUPT BUSINESS AS USUAL at the Army Core of Engineers Offices in your local community and demand that they deny the permit to bore under the Missouri River. Demand a full Environmental Impact Statement be completed.
  4. ORGANIZE LOCAL ACTIONS targeting the funders of DAPL, including the banks
  5. CALL THE WHITE HOUSE and urge President Obama to step in and reject the DAPL (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414

The Indigenous-led struggle in Standing Rock, North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline is a turning point in the climate justice movement. The proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, if completed, would carry a half a million barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Shale Fields. The route the pipeline would take lays under multiple bodies of water, including the Missouri River that supplies drinking and irrigation water that more than 10 million people depend on.

What began with Oceti Sakowin youth running 2000 miles from North Dakota to Washington DC in April of 2016 has now grown into a powerful grassroots movement that is forcing an injunction against one of the largest pipeline projects in North America.

#StandWithStandingRock #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

The post 5 Things you can do to Stand with Standing Rock appeared first on It Takes Roots.

Vermont Workers' Center releases report on "Inequality in Vermont"

VWC - Tue, 11/01/2016 - 4:06pm

Today the Vermont Workers' Center released a new report, entitled Inequality in Vermont, which highlights personal stories of the human rights crisis against the backdrop of growing inequality in our state. Focusing in particular on health, workplace, and discrimination-related injustices, the report makes a moral case for ensuring economic and social rights for everyone in Vermont through universal, public goods and dignified work.

Read Inequality in Vermont by clicking on the link below.

AttachmentSize 2016 Report: Inequality in Vermont199.01 KB
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Vermont Workers' Center releases report on "Inequality in Vermont"

VWC - Tue, 11/01/2016 - 4:06pm

Today the Vermont Workers' Center is releasing a new report, entitled Inequality in Vermont, which highlights personal stories of the human rights crisis against the backdrop of growing inequality in Vermont. Focusing in particular on health and workplace-related injustices, the report makes a moral case for ensuring economic and social rights for all people in Vermont through universal, public goods and dignified work.

Read Inequality in Vermont by clicking on the link below.

AttachmentSize 2016 Report: Inequality in Vermont199.01 KB
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Wage Increases, Language Improvements Negotiated by Local 120 at Locke Insulators

UE - Tue, 11/01/2016 - 3:36pm
01 November, 2016Local 120 President James Cook addresses a union rally outside the plant.Baltimore

On October 1, members of UE Local 140 overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year agreement with Locke Insulators, Inc. The contract brings pay increases of 2.25 percent, 2.5 and 2.5, as well as a ratification bonus of $500 for each member. The union also won classification upgrades for the extrusion department, a pay upgrade of $1.14 for the affected workers. There were no major changes in healthcare.

The union also achieved a number of contract language improvements. With the power generation industry, which Locke supplies, in a global recession, and with the company facing financial problems, members were concerned that the plant could be sold. So the union pushed for adding a successor clause that would require any new owner to recognize the union. The company fought hard against this provision, but the union fought harder and won.

New language requires management to meet twice a month with union productivity process leaders to review productivity data. This will help prevent unjust discipline of union members for productivity problems caused by factors beyond their control.

Another new contract clause on time clocks will help prevent unjust discipline of workers accused of failing to punch in or out. Since punching in is now electronic with no paper trail of physical time cards, some supervisors have manipulated records to go after certain workers.  A new inclement weather policy added to the contract will prevent the company from giving worker absenteeism points for failing to get to work during a government-declared weather emergency.

Other new language will allow works to use up to five vacation days per year to cover medical absences. Also, vacation pay will be compensated in a separate check to prevent bumping members into a higher tax bracket.

The union also added a new annual maintenance evaluation process. This will address the issue of former production workers who have bid into maintenance jobs, but are stuck at the lowest pay rates in maintenance. It follows from the union’s goals of getting Locke to promote from within and to increase diversity in skilled trades.

Local 120 enjoyed community support in these negotiations. UE’s reputation, particularly in Baltimore’s African-American community, was enhanced by the union’s 74th National Convention in 2015, which included a march on Baltimore City Hall, with community groups and other unions, in support of local labor struggles in Baltimore and Black Lives Matter, in the wake of the death of Freddy Grey in police custody. Community leader Nnamdi Scott, who is running as an independent Ujima Peoples Party candidate for city council on a strong working class platform, addressed a local membership meeting in support of the union’s contract fight. The Local 120 executive board bargaining committee reached out to the other Baltimore UE members in Local 121, and to working class community organizations like the UPP. Since Locke is owned by the Japanese corporation NGK, so the local also contacted UE’s Japanese labor ally Zenroren.

The Local 120 bargaining committee consisted of President James Cook, Vice President Dante Rogers, Recording Secretary Tim Lumber, Chief Steward Richard Ervin, and Second Shift Chief Steward Mike Rogers. They were assisted by UE Field Organizer Dennis Orton.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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