Posted by Jack Stephens on December 9, 2008
T’S A BIT INFURIATING to see the same old dynamics play out in the country, especially with a brand new set of circumstances. That is to say, the top dogs get away with murder and the little gals and guys take the blame and get the shaft. So it was with a Chicago factory and its workers until they decided to get all united about things and flip the script, 1930s solidarity style:
Chicago – Workers who got three days’ notice their factory was shutting its doors voted to occupy the building and say they won’t go home without assurances they’ll get severance and vacation pay they say they are owed.
Posted in Capitalism, Union Issues | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 17, 2008
Hossam blogs on the latest of the Mahalla detainees in Egypt. Over the past two years strikes have been cripling the Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak; these strikes have been lead by the workers in Mahalla, Egypt, the industrial center for Egypt. Of those strikers and protesters three prominent leaders have been arrested due to their actions during the April 6th strikes. They recently released a letter:
A week has passed on our hunger strike and we are extremely weak. We are appealing to you as the last and only resort for all who have suffered injustice in Egypt.
We would like in the beginning to correct certain information which has reached the press about our (the three of us) having been transferred to the prison hospital as a result of our hunger strike.
The truth is that we are still in prison after the administration refused to call an ambulance to take us to hospital, and as a result of the inability of Karim el-Beheiry and Tareq Amin to stand on their feet – as a result of their extreme weakness. Instead, a “nurse” was summoned to examine Karim, whose condition has seriously deteriorated.
We would like to know the reason why we remain in detention. We will continue the hunger strike until we either die or receive this information.
Kamal El-Fayyoumy, Tareq Amin, Karim El-Beheiry
Detained workers from Mahalla
Borg el-Arab Prison
Wing 22, Cell 5
Posted in Class, Government, International, Organizing, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 8, 2008
If your hero is Justin Timberlake or Santa Claus, Madonna or the Tooth Fairy… or any such legend or fluff merchant you’re wrong. Your hero is actually Hossam el-Hamalawy, currently reporting the uprising in Egypt, led by the textile workers of Mahalla.
The Textile Workers’ League activists Kamal el-Fayoumi and Kareem el-Beheiri, as well as a number of the Mahalla detainees, are currently undergoing interrogation at the Tanta Prosecutor’s Office. I have a report from an activist, which I couldn’t confirm yet, that Kareem was subject to severe beatings in police custody. The activist I spoke with said he heard this from one of the recently released detainees. We should know soon whether Kareem and the others were abused in custody or not when the lawyers who are attending the interrogation come out…
For continuous updates on the detainees, please follow Tadamon, April 6th Strike, Abna2Masr and the HMLC blogs, especially as reports are coming out that those ordered by the prosecutor to be released in Alexandria and Mansoura, remain in police custody… Shehab Ismail also called me from NYC yesterday to say his sister Sarah who had been detained earlier in Cairo was still in police custody despite a release order…
Posted in Blog, Class, Communism, Empowerment, International, Marxism, Media, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on January 14, 2008
Cross-posted from The Ghost of Tom Joad.
I haven’t been blogging lately because I injured my back at work. Not a serious injury, just a back sprain. I’ll blog more on that latter. In the mean time, some workplace safety issues I just read up on regarding miners. UPS has a lot of safety issues itself and I should know since I’m the union representative on the local safety committee. More on all of that latter though:
The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA’s) foot-dragging on developing new mine safety rules mandated by the 2006 MINER Act and other legislation has caught up with it. Now, the agency is begging for help.
Posted in Corporations, Government, Union Issues | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 11, 2007
Mike Hall blogs about Robert Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, which owns the mine of the six trapped (or possibly dead) Utah miners. The mine was a non-union mine and used an extremely unsafe method of mining called “retreat mining:”
Murray has also used the spotlight to:
- Deny reports that a type of mining called retreat mining, that many safety experts warn adds danger to an already dangerous underground workplace, was being used at the Utah mine. But federal safety officials confirm retreat mining has been used at Crandall Creek.
- Dispute scientists who say that seismographic readings at the time of the collapse came from the magnitude of the collapse, not an earthquake that caused the collapse.
- Attack reporters and accuse them of posing questions provided by the Mine Workers (UMWA).
- Rant against the UMWA and its leaders, saying the union wants organize his workforce and “want to damage Murray Energy, Utah American and the United States coal industry for their own motives.”
It’s not the first time Murray has drawn down on the UMWA. The relationship between Murray and the UMWA goes back to1988 when Murray purchased an Ohio coal mine that came with a 300-strong UMWA-represented workforce.
Posted in Corporations, Media, Union Issues | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 14, 2007
Which was a frustrating microtrend in politics once, frustrating like heat rashes and shoes with heels. However, good news everyone! The federation of oil worker unions in Iraq have won their battle with the puppet government. Despite having their leaders arrested on the charge of ‘sabotaging the economy’, despite being threatened with the army, the oil workers, it seems, have won.
Posted in Class, International, Neo-Liberalism, Occupation, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 19, 2007
Tiffany, of the blog The Personal is Political, writes about the recent work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers:
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is moving quickly to get more of the fast food industry on board with their quest for fair food and dignity for tomato pickers. The CIW just announced that Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, is extending their agreement with Taco Bell to the rest of their brands, which include A&W, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Long John Silvers.
Originally linked by Critical Bloggers.
Posted in Empowerment, People of Color, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 3, 2007
charliethechulo writes in the blog Shiraz Socialist:
As the Zimbabwe Conress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) continues its two-day “stay away”, demanding a minimum wage and other basic workers’ rights, Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs have resorted to their usual tactics in an attempt to intimidate the unions and break the strike.
Posted in Integration, Radicalism, Union Issues | Leave a Comment »