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PORTSIDELABOR  March 2011, Week 1

PORTSIDELABOR March 2011, Week 1

Subject:

Protest-Union busting-poll on bargaining

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 4 Mar 2011 19:55:08 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (182 lines)

1) CWA Announces Nationwide Day of Action
2) Ohio Union-Busting Bill
3) Poll-Strong Support for Bargaining Rights




CWA ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE DAY OF ACTION

http://www.cwa-union.org/news/entry/cohen_announces_nationwide_day_of_action_april_4


Mar 3, 2011

'We Have the Opportunity to Plan and Build Something
Enormous'

The voice of the labor movement and its allies will roar
louder than ever on April 4, the anniversary of the
death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when "it will not
be business as usual at workplaces and communities
across this nation," CWA President Larry Cohen said
Wednesday.

Speaking to 10,000 CWA members on a nationwide phone
call, Cohen said the AFL-CIO Executive Board had adopted
his proposal for "movement-wide dramatic action" to
honor King and the workers fighting for their rights
today.

King was shot to death while he was in Memphis to
support 1,300 striking city sanitation workers. "Their
fight was about recognition, respect and dignity," Cohen
said. "Dr. King called it a moral struggle for an
economic outcome, much like the fights in the states and
at the bargaining table and in every one of our
organizing drives."

Cohen urged CWA locals and members to begin
brainstorming ideas and making plans for April 4,
challenging them and all Americans to "create events at
every workplace in America."

It could be as simple as everyone wearing red that day,
having workers meet outside and march into work together
or standing up at noon and shouting, "Workers rights are
human rights!" Cohen said.

Other ideas include candlelight vigils in parks,
meetings of church congregations, rallies at statehouses
and protests in front of corporate offices. Cohen said
CWA locals and activists will receive an e-mail shortly
asking them to submit their ideas and plans, and another
town hall-style phone call will be held in advance of
the events.

King's murder while fighting for city workers spurred
public organizing drives across the United States. Cohen
said there is no better way to honor that and King than
by doing what he would do, "create a new movement for
economic justice."

"We need to combine offense and defense," Cohen said.
"We need to take it to every workplace, union and non
union, private and public sector. We have an opportunity
to plan and build something enormous."


Ohio Union-Busting Bill Likely to Go to Statewide Referendum in November

By: David Dayen Friday March 4, 2011 8:05 am

http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/03/04/ohio-union-busting-bill-likely-to-go-to-statewide-referendum-in-november/

It's only a matter of time before the Ohio House passes
the anti-union SB 5, which would eliminate the right to
strike for public employees, put local officials in
change of arbitration and limit collective bargaining on
a variety of fronts. Democrats and union leaders have
basically no hope that they can stop the House, which
has a 59-40 Republican advantage, from passing the bill.

However, that will not be the last word for the bill. As
I've mentioned previously, the bill can get to the
ballot in a referendum, and it appears Democrats and
labor are willing to do just that. Evan McMorris-Santoro
explains the process:

Union leaders and Democrats have already begun shifting
their focus to a referendum fight, which would require
union supporters to gather hundreds of thousands of
signatures in the days following an expected signing of
SB 5 by Gov. John Kasich (R) [...]

Even if Kasich sings SB 5 next week as many expect he
will, it will be at least 90 days until the law goes
into effect. That period will give the opponents of the
bill the chance to gather the 231,147 signatures (based
on 6% of the vote total in the 2010 gubernatorial race,
as state law requires) they'll need to put a repeal
referendum on the ballot. They can start the process
with just 1,000 signatures. The entire process is
outlined here.

Just when an SB 5 repeal could appear on the ballot also
depends how quickly the Republicans can get the bill
signed. If the 90 days expire before July 6, the repeal
referendum would appear on a Nov. 2011 ballot, when
local elections are contested across the state. If the
90 days expire after July 6, the referendum would appear
on the Nov. 2012 ballot - a presidential election year.

I don't think the Democrats can hold off the bill for
over a month, so the most likely outcome is a November
2011 ballot measure. And this would be a test for the
youth-labor-progressive alliance to reject Republican
union-busting, in a measure that will probably draw a
lot of action from both sides. Given the intensity
around the issue, and how right-leaning police and
firefighters have completely broken with Kasich and the
Ohio GOP, Republicans have reason to worry.

"Anybody who thinks that the November elections of
Republicans was a mandate misread the tea leaves," said
Tim Grendell, a Republican senator from the Cleveland
suburbs who was one of six from his party to vote
against Senate Bill 5. "It was a mandate against the
overreach of Obama and [Rep. Nancy] Pelosi and [Sen.
Harry] Reid in Washington. And now there's going to be a
backlash in Ohio. People in the public believe that this
collective-bargaining bill was a Republican overreach,
and now you're going to see a sort of slap-back
reaction." [...]

"Taking on the fire and police, from a political
perspective - it's illogical," Grendell said. "The ad
that is going to be fatal to Republicans is going to be
the fireman carrying the baby out of the burning
building."

Democrats are extremely confident that they can beat
this at the ballot box, and energized about how that
organizing victory will help in what is a key swing
state in 2012. What's more, they will fight in service
to an idea, a principle of collective bargaining and
workers' rights, rather than an individual. This will
have a much more lasting impact.

You have to wonder if Republicans are talking amongst
themselves about how they awakened a sleeping giant.



WSJ/NBC Poll: Strong Support for Bargaining Rights

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/03/02/wsjnbc-poll-strong-support-for-bargaining-rights/tab/print/

Americans strongly oppose efforts to strip unionized
government workers of their rights to collectively
bargain, even as they want public employees to
contribute more money to their retirement and
health-care benefits, the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC
News poll shows.

____________________________________________

PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

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