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JP Forum: Keeping JP Business Independent
Local_businesses.gifJamaica Plain is one of Boston’s most dynamic neighborhoods, thanks in part to the unique variety of independent businesses. Yet main streets in other communities are losing their uniqueness to national chains and mega-retailers. What can JP do to preserve our strong locally-owned business community?

The Jamaica Plain Forum, JP's new community-based lecture series, presents Stacy Mitchell, author of "Big Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight of America's Independent Businesses". Thursday, June 28th at 7:00pm. Free
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21 Jun 2007 | Filed under: Announcement / Globalization : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare
Unions challenge effort to muzzle Verizon employees from speaking out about sale of northern New England landlines
Verizon managers issued a memo on June 18 warning all employees in New England that, “…employees should not make public statements which speculate about either the operations of northern New England before or after the FairPoint transaction, or the success or future performance of FairPoint.”
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21 Jun 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor : Media : Politics : Technology
Proposed program for Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration in August 2007
sv_2.jpgAfter a few meetings initiated by last year's Sacco and Vanzetti Parade from the Stony Brook Park to the Forest Hills Cemetery, the organizers of this year's commemoration events have come up with a proposed program. They have also decided to formalize an organization to take on this task for this year and beyond: the Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society. The society is open to all those individual and organizations that believe that it is important to keep the memory of these two working class anarchist organizers framed up and killed by the State of Massachusetts on August 23, 1927.

While the program becomes firm we have developed promotional flyers for people to save the date and to start raising awareness about the commemoration coming up. You can download them from our website http://saccoandvanzetti.org
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20 Jun 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor
Enterprise Rent-A-Car workers unite for a voice on the job and respect at work
STP61539.JPGEnterprise Rent-A-Car shuttle van drivers, car drivers and car prep workers who work in East Boston are forming a union with IUE-CWA Local 201 of the Communications Workers of America to improve their wages and working conditions.
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18 Jun 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor
Victory to the Quincy Teachers: The Fight for a Just Contract is Our Fight as Well
DSC_0051.jpgI must apologize at the outset for not having posted a solidarity statement with the Quincy, Massachusetts Education Association (QEA) before today, June 11, 2007 the second day of their walkout. This is doubly egregious as I was born in Quincy-the City of Presidents (John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams). The Quincy teacher walked out on Friday June 8, 2007 after taking a vote. From the news that I had heard I believed that their action was a one day affair a fairly familiar way to deal with stalled contract negotiations. However, these brothers and sisters are for real and seem determined to make their point and get a just contract. This in the face of a state Labor Relations Board decision that their walkout is illegal and the determination of the Quincy School Committee to seek a court injunction to force the teachers back to work.
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11 Jun 2007 | Filed under: Commentary / Labor
Hundreds March for Mumia Abu-Jamal Outside Court Hearing in Philadelphia
070517 Phila Mumia demo.jpgOver 500 people turned out to demonstrate on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal outside the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia May 17. Inside the packed courtroom another 200 observed the proceedings in which the justices peppered prosecution and defense lawyers with questions about the deliberate exclusion of blacks in jury selection during Mumia’s 1982 trial, the instructions to the jury on the death sentence, and evidence of judicial bias against Mumia. In court, the prosecution demanded that the death sentence against Jamal be reinstated while defense lawyer Robert Bryan asked for a new trial. Outside, hundreds of demonstrators circling the courthouse chanted over and over, “Brick by brick, wall by wall, We’re gonna free Mumia Abu-Jamal.” While some had illusions that a new trial could be fair, many declared that the entire “justice” system was racist to the core.
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20 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Race : War and Militarism
Harvard Hunger Strike Ends
DSC_0225.jpgDon't consider this post exhaustive, because I don't think I can do it justice, but the hunger strikers broke their fast today.

At the 1 PM rally today, we heard from a couple of members of the guards' bargaining committee who thanked the hunger strikers for everything they'd done and asked them to keep their health in mind. Then Michael read parts of a public statement issued today after the strikers' meeting with Marilyn Hausammann, the University's vice president for human resources. It affirmed Harvard's commitment to a living wage (in sort of ambiguous terms - I believe the phrasing was that the wage should ensure a "minimally decent" standard of living) and stated that Harvard does not intend to use outsourcing as a means for busting unions or lowering wages. The University will publicize the results of its audit of AlliedBarton's compliance with the parity policy sometime next week, probably Monday, and meet with SLAM representatives and other community members shortly after.

VIDEO: Watch interviews, the end of the strike, and more at (thanks to Aaron Tanaka):
http://youtube.com/profile?user=freedomisnot
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11 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor
Students Hunger Strike at Harvard Forces AlliedBarton to Negotiate with Workers Union
IMG_0110.jpgCambridge, Mass—Today is the seventh day of the student hunger strike at Harvard University, where as many as 11 students are protesting the administration’s lack of involvement in wage negotiations between security guards and an outsourced contractor, AlliedBarton. One of the students, Javier Castro, was hospitalized Tuesday for dangerously low sodium and electrolyte levels; a second student was not allowed to leave the hospital premises and is currently under medical supervision.

“The strike has made an extreme difference,” said Milton Scope, a security guard at Harvard’s Longwood Campus. “The contractor was just going in circles. It’s only now that they are trying to seriously sit down at the negotiating table.” Nine guards came personally to thank the students for their sacrifice and confirmed that negotiations with AlliedBarton that same morning were moving along, although the main issue of wage increases was not addressed and re-tabled for tomorrow morning.
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09 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor
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