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News ::
Teach-In on the Right to Organize, Dec. 2nd @MIT (english)
24 Nov 2003
Modified: 28 Nov 2003
Speakers include:

-John Sweeney; President, National AFL-CIO
-Elaine Bernard; Director of Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School
-Workers, Students, and Faculty from Boston and New England
i'll be speaking (briefly) at this. come heckle me...

Teach-in on the Right to Organize
Workers’ Rights are Human Rights
What We Can Do to Take Back the Power!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003
MIT Room 54-100
(Near the Kendall Red Line Stop)

Speakers include:

-John Sweeney; President, National AFL-CIO
-Elaine Bernard; Director of Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School
-Workers, Students, and Faculty from Boston and New England

· More than 25,000 workers are victimized every year for organizing and union
· 25% of employers illegally fire employees for union activity.
· 44% of US workers would join a union if they could.
· 92% of employers force workers to attend anti-union presentations.
· In 25% of NRLB elections workers are fired for seeking a voice at work.
· The presidents of more than 25 top universities serve on corporate boards.
· CEOs are the largest single group of trustees of universities.
· Universities are beginning to follow the corporate model by denying a living
wage & decent work benefits to workers.

Workers are not tools!
Students are not products!
Our world is not for sale!

Sponsored by Jobs With Justice and Amnesty International.

For more information contact Jobs With Justice at (617) 524-8778 or
jwj (at)

"We haul your trash. We connect your calls. We drive your ambulances. We
guard you while you sleep. Do not fuck with us." -Tyler Durden, Fight Club
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Kickin' Ass (english)
25 Nov 2003
The Univerity of Virginia is a wonderful school. A top 100 hospital. Historical, beautiful, a good place to work. Mr. JEFFERSON'S university. Great benefits. A good STATE job. HOWEVER, THE EMPLOYEES HAVE NO VOICE. Racism is rampant. Unions are unheard of. People are afraid. Folks say it is illegal to join a union in Virginia. No collective bargaining or striking. A Republican legislature. A Democratic governor who tries. A right to work for less state. Sound impossible?

The Staff Union at the University of Virginia/Communications Workers of America

is kickin' some administrative ass. Administrators are waking up and seeing that SUUVA/CWA is the new sheriff in town. Holding them accountable for their actions. For their MANAGER'S actions. Lobbying, picketing, speaking up. Speaking up about the racism. About the good ole' boy network. About the favortism. About no raises. About benefits going away. About healthcare premiums increasing with a decrease in benefits. About arrogance. About elitism. About not enough nurses. About million dollar administrators. About no living wage.
See also:
This dish needs less weasel (english)
25 Nov 2003
John Sweeney on workers rights? Then why did the AFL's international department work with the CIA and the Venezuelan bosses recently to try to overthrow Companero Chavez and crush the power of the Bolivaran Circles?
good point about chavez (english)
26 Nov 2003
only goes to reinforce my suspicion of power concentrated in a small number of hands, democrat or republican, wolf or sheep, union or scab. the giant unions, esp in this country are not democratic and the MEN on top generally wield way too much power over their fellow workers, and make lots more. they are bought and sold just like all the others who claim to work for the people but take scraps from the high rollers. it's up to US to take control over our own lives and safeguard our best interests from those whose goals are driven by ego and ambition...
Being a UNION worker half my life... (english)
26 Nov 2003
To the above comments...
I've belonged to 4 different unions in my lifetime. United Steel Workers of American. United Auto Workers. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and UNITE. ALL are very democratic. ANYONE can run for any office.
I've been a shop steward. And now, Chief Steward.
The only time a union is weak? Is when NO ONE wants to "grab the bull", (company,)by the horns, and ride it down. In other words? Have some balls. Tell your employer they are wrong. Too many gutless wonders out there. I know. I deal with them every week. (If it's grievable? I'll file it anyway. Without anyones signature.)Sometimes you have to step up to the plate. Want a strong union? Step up!
You and me both, but. . . (english)
26 Nov 2003
The unions the previous poster mentions may be somewhat democratic at the lower levels, and even somewhat progressive at the higher levels, but even though "anyone can run" for any office in these institutions, not anyone can win.

Only a certain kind of person with a certain kind of background can become president of most national unions--and said background need not have anything at all to do with being pro-democracy. More to do with having an Ivy League education, and working one's way through the headquarters staff ranks before running for high elected office. Some union leaders actually come from the rank-and-file, but that is increasingly unusual and no guarantee that they will do the right thing for all workers within and outside their unions. More likely they were just good at the machine politics which virtually always dominate unions, and curried the favor of the old leadership in their union, and eventually won that leadership's blessing to replace them.

In any case, none of this has anything to do with my point which was, if Sweeney is willing to help overthrow a democratically elected pro-worker government in another country, how seriously can we take his committment to workers rights here? This is also a guy who has all us union members throw over $30 million dollars into backing the Democrats every 4 years--for which we get precisely nothing significant in terms of advances in terms of strengthening of labor laws, or, gosh forbid, national health care.

And how does he explain that one?
Location Change (english)
28 Nov 2003
The location has been changed to Bldg 35, Room 225.