Saturday, December 24, 2005

Great family times

I hope you are having a great family holiday. I am taking a posting break from this blog, to spend time with my family. I will be posting some of these holiday activities and you are invited to follow along at the Sloan family blog [Link].

Thursday, December 22, 2005

NYC subway strike settled, what's next?

War has been declared on public employees
If you have not noticed, we public workers have been under constant attack and have been on the defensive for quite some time. The push to move more of the cost of retirement benefits from the agency to employees is just one shot of what has been a campaign of attack on public employee unions. As organized labor fights for its survival and battles to redefine itself in a flat global economy we are having to fight for rights and benefits we used to take for granted. We fought and won against proposition 75 this year, but what about next year? We public employees cannot sit on our laurels. We cannot afford apathy in our ranks. If we don't stand together we will fall apart. That is more than a slogan, it is a reality.

That is just the way it is for all of labor, organized and unorganized. Let us not forget, if it were not for a fairly paid workforce there would be no consumers driving our economy. Do we really want to live in a society where nobody can afford to retire and/or go to see a doctor when we are sick? Think about it. That is where we are headed.

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Labor unions to face takeaway contracts

Public Employees on Strike in NYC
It is having a well paid workforce that has driven the American economy since the great depression. Henry Ford doubled the wages of his factory workers because he wanted them to be able to afford the cars they built. Now, with globalization, the labor movement is challenged to react to an economic climate where even companies that desire to do good are forced to find the lowest price for production. Only by globalizing themselves will unions have a chance to respond. Meanwhile, unions in all sectors are going to be faced with take away contracts, automation, layoffs and further off-shoring of the work we do.

Transit workers on strike

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fatal car crash gives personal lesson in perspective

Marie Grimes Roby & Kirk Roby

The news of the death of our dear friend Marie's sister  near Lincoln, CA [Map Link] in a tragic Thanksgiving Day car crash [Link to family blog post] really puts all of this in perspective. We are mortal and vulnerable [Link to news report summary.] What we do as union activists, in my opinion, has value to the extent that it enriches and improves the lives of people. We only have a limited number of days and if our efforts do not somehow improve those days, what value is there to our efforts?

Friday, December 02, 2005

San Jose area union news

From the Southbay AFL-CIO Labor Council

Workers at Stanford Hospital and University have voted to reject the employers' last, best, and final offer - meaning that unless Stanford is willing to come back to the negotiating table workers will be going out on strike. Join Stanford workers in demanding a fair contract at a rally next Thursday. Workers are fighting for fair and equitable wages and benefits, for representation, and for job security. Stanford should live up to its name as a first class university and treat all its workers with dignity and respect. Come show your support to the workers!

  • Thursday, December 8, 4:00 PM
  • Stanford Hospital
    300 Pasteur Dr
    Stanford, CA
  • For more information or arrange a carpool call 408-266-3790 x585.

Candelight Vigil at Wal-Mart
Join thousands of Americans as we expose Wal-Mart for the greedy corporation that it is. Join clergy and community leaders as we hold a candelight vigil in front of Wal-Mart to highlight the moral and ethical issues related to the Wal-Mart's business practices. Walmart employs 600,000 people without health care, 2 million women are suing them for discrimination, they have repeated child labor law violations, and pay poverty-level wages. In cities and towns all across the nation, hundreds of thousands of Americans are standing up to corporate greed and demonstrating the amazing power all Americans have to change Wal-Mart for the better.

  • Saturday, December 10, 5:00 PM
  • Wal-Mart
    777 Story Rd, San Jose
  • For more information, call 408-266-3790.