During the past few weeks of waning daylight, waxing chill, and growing holiday spirit, the Chicago Transit Authority has been busy installing new signage at rail terminals on the CTA ‘L’. The message on the signs is clear, and a bit ominous: they demand an additional fare from any rider who wants to depart the terminal in the opposite direction from which they arrived. Are the signs aimed at the homeless?
During Election 2006, I had the good fortune to participate in 7 Days @ Minimum Wage, a video diary of working Americans struggling to keep their families afloat on minimum-wage pay. I interviewed Jessica, a single mom in Chicago. Her searing answers and barely contained sorrow made her, much to my surprise, the centerpiece of the entire project. I wonder whether if we had spoken during Election 2008, the current economy would have removed even what little hope she expressed back then for her children’s future.
Monday, the Laborer’s Union International of North America (LiUNA) is hosting a 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Forum at the Chicago Sheraton Hotel & Towers. I’ll be live-blogging from the event.
You never know the characters you’ll run into in a Rego Park laundry room. Doing my mid-trip laundry with Jen of the mountainous bosoms, I ran into two of New York City’s most storied types of inhabitant. Neither one of which you can shoo away with a broom.
A couple of days ago, the right-wing wonks at the inaptly monickered ‘Center for Union Facts,’ an arch-conservative national front group, took me to task for supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. When the national opposition sees fit to criticize the little guy, that’s pretty good evidence he’s on the right track.
Now that I’m back to labor blogging, some of you may be wondering why I care so much of late about the Employee Free Choice Act. It’s not that I march in lockstep with my fellow Progressives across the country. But I’ve seen many friends and colleagues get treated unfairly when it comes to labor-management issues and in the line of work I’m in, and I’ve heard far too many horror stories.
‘Every day, corporations deny workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions to bargain for a better life. They routinely intimidate, harass, coerce and even fire workers who try to form unions and bargain for economic well-being.’ (–AFL-CIO) And that’s why we need the Employee Free Choice Act.
Frequently, my friends and colleagues in D.C. turn me on to stories that they think I’ll find socially important. This one was enough to help break me out of a momentary funk: a beneficial alliance between a major California hospital and its labor union.
Today, a momentary hop back onto the labor movement bandwagon to talk about the Employee Free Choice Act–and why you should care about it.
The project team behind the national video blog I helped work on with AFL-CIO and ACORN, ‘7 Days @ Minimum Wage,’ sent out this press release to celebrate successfully raising the minimum wage in six states on election day. Woo-hoo!