ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

December 18, 2008

2008.12.18: Antiwar Bulletin: Student Occupiers at New School Ask Support

Filed under: Antiwar,Austerity and Budget Cuts,International Human Rights — nyclaw01 @ 11:03 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 11:03 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: Student Occupiers at New School Ask Support

[Inspired by the Republic workers in Chicago who occupied their factory, and student protests in Greece, students have occupied the New School Graduate Faculty Building at 65 Fifth Ave., Manhattan, to demand an end to tuition increases, removal of the Bob Kerrey regime, and end to university complicity with the war, student control and other changes (see below). They urgently ask New Yorkers to come out and support them.]

—————-

Check also

http://www.newschoolinexile.com/

from message below…

“Please, come out to the New School and support us! Join us! We are at 65 5th avenue (between 13th and 14th St.). The building will be open to all consortium students at 7:30am, we invite you to come any time tomorrow, but particularly at 10:30 when there will be a rally and press conference. The morning hours will be crucial, and the student-occupiers need to know that we are not struggling alone!”

or see demands and various other sources below…

Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 03:15:13 -0500

From: jesse goldstein <jesseg1026 {AT} gmail.com>

Subject: [cuny_movement] New School Occupied! 10:30am Press Conference/Rally – CUNY Students statement – Distribute widely!

To: cuny_movement {AT} lists.riseup.net, CCU – discussion <cuny-contingents-discussion {AT} googlegroups.com>, adjunct-l <ADJUNCT-L {AT} gc.listserv.cuny.edu>, GSOC Group <gcsoc {AT} yahoogroups.com>, militant-inquiries {AT} googlegroups.com, gcspacepubs {AT} googlegroups.com < mailto:sympa@lists.riseup.net?subject=subscribe%20cuny_movement <mailto:sympa@lists.riseup.net%3Fsubject=subscribe%20cuny_movement>  >

We write this statement from an occupied New School University. (WHAT WHAT)

At 8pm, December 18th, over 75 students reclaimed the cafeteria at the New School University as an autonomous student center. Students from several Universities commandeered this space. Students of City College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center are here participating in this struggle. This is every student’s occupation.

If this can happen at the New School, through the organized activity of 75 dedicated students, it can happen at CUNY. And we certainly have reason to be upset:  On the first day of the Fall 2008 semester, the CUNY budget was slashed $50.6 million.  Massive layoffs plague all our schools. We are now being told of a looming $600-per-year tuition hike and more colossal budget cuts to CUNY students and teachers, in a school that was once FREE.

We will continue this campus occupation until our demands are met. While the demands tonight are specific to The New School we will not be satisfied until the students and faculty of CUNY, NYU, all the consortium schools and beyond, have control over their universities. Education should be free, student debts should be cancelled, students and workers should work together to achieve our goals, and we start here.

Please, come out to the New School and support us! Join us! We are at 65 5th avenue (between 13th and 14th St.). The building will be open to all consortium students at 7:30am, we invite you to come any time tomorrow, but particularly at 10:30 when there will be a rally and press conference. The morning hours will be crucial, and the student-occupiers need to know that we are not struggling alone!

Our next stop? CUNY.

–       CUNY students at The New School in Exile

Contact:

Frank at 718.314.2328, fmanning {AT} gc.cuny.edu Conor Tomás Reed at 979.204.9253, cocoreed {AT} gmail.com

—-bel ow we attach the communiqué from all of The New School in Exile—–

An Open Letter: Come Occupy a Building with Us…Now

Dear Friends,

We are writing to you from the inside of the New School Graduate Faculty Building on 65 5th Ave.  We are occupying it. Right now. Literally.

Students of the New School University, along with our partners from other universities and groups  like NYU, Hunter College, City College of NY, CUNY Graduate Center, and Borough of Manhattan Community College, have organically risen up to demand the resignation of President Bob Kerrey, Executive Vice President James Murtha, and Board Member/torturer Robert B. Millard (he multi-tasks). We have come together to prevent our study spaces from being flattened by corporate bulldozers, to have a say in who runs this school, to demand that the money we spend on this institution be used to facilitate the creation of a better society, not to build bigger buildings or invest in companies that make war. We have come here not only to make demands, but also to live them. Our presence makes it clear that this school is ours, and yours, if you are with us.

The outside doors have been closed now, so we can’t exactly invite you in…sorry… We know you wanted a piece of the action, but we’ll be around for quite some time. Join us at 7 AM tomorrow when the doors open again, or come now to stand outside with a sign in solidarity. You are cordially invited to join us in any way you can. We are not going anywhere. In the meantime, check out our Web site: www.newschoolinexile.com <http://www.newschoolinexile.com/> . We have all night to make things interesting, and the website will continue to be updated. Stay tuned for the musical pieces, doctoral dissertations, and creative finger-paintings that seem to be the natural result of 150 students locked into a building together for a night.

We are here, making decisions collectively, doing teach-ins, listening to music, studying, singing. We’ve got an upright bassist, guitarists and vocalists (If anyone can volunteer a drum-set we’ll be well on our way…). We’ll be here until this university changes, or until the party gets boring (but it doesn’t seem likely that will happen). We’re not going anywhere. We hope to see you soon, and if you really can’t wait a few hours  what the hell  occupy your own universities or work spaces.

Come use your voice to declare loudly that this school and this world are yours. Come use your mind to think up a better world. Come use your body to create it, one all-nighter in the university cafeteria at a time. Come stand in solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff of this university. Come to write letters of support to the people of the village of Thanh Phong whose parents were murdered by the current President of the New School during his service in Vietnam. Come join the struggle with the people of Iraq who are being tortured and killed by a company funded by this university and represented on the New School Board of Trustees. Come here to join the uprisings and outpouring of passionate resistance currently taking place all over this country, and all over the worlds  from factory workers in Chicago to students in Greece. Come for yourself. Come for all of us.

In solidarity,

The New School in Exile

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

from various sources Wednesday night…

New School Building Occupied

To members of Campus Antiwar Network

Ian Chinich

Today at 12:54am

I am currently sitting inside a barricaded room with a large number of students at the New School. The students have occupied the building and are refusing to leave until their demands are met. They want the resignation of the director of L-3 Communications from their board of governors in addition to stopping tuition increases, and divulging investment information.

We need support. We need food… we need media support… we need help spreading the word… we need you to occupy your schools and your work places… A number of students from other schools in the area have come to help us hold this space.

So far the police have not forced their way in….. security has padlocked the fire escape to prevent more of us from getting in…a security guard attempted to enter over our barricades in the front to listen in but he was surrounded…… we are holding our ground and we are holding out…. we shall see what happens in the morning…

Come to 14th street and 5th ave….. NOW!!!!…

Maria Lewis sent a message to the members of TAKE BACK NYU!

——————–

Subject: Come Join the SIt-In at the New School!

Greetings from liberated space! Come join us at the New School sit-in and demand student democracy and an end to school-sanctioned war profiteering! Like Take Back NYU!, New School students are fighting for student power and an end to campus complicity in systematic injustice. Let’s stand by our allies!!!

We are currently occupying 65 5th Ave. btwn. 13th and 14th street. Call me at (415)240-9441 and I will get you in. Please come join us, we need every heart, mind and body we can get. I have pasted a full explanation and list of demands below.

What We Want:

The removal of Bob Kerrey as President of our university

The removal of James Murtha as Executive Vice President of our university

Election of the president, EVP, and Provost Students, faculty, and staff.

Students as voting members of the interim committee to hire a provost.

The removal of Robert B. Millard as treasurer of the board of trustees.

Intelligible transparency and disclosure of the university budget and investments.

The creation of a committee on socially responsible investments.

The immediate suspension of capital improvement projects like the tearing down of 65 fifth Ave.

Instead, money towards the creation of an autonomous student space.

Instead, money towards scholarships and reducing tuition.

Instead, money for the library and student life generally.

——————–

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 22:40:47 -0800 (PST)

From: dan vea <dan_vea  yahoo.com>

Subject: [NYMAA] some new school occupation resources

http://www.newschoolinexile.com/

http://openanthropology.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/occupation-of-the-new-school-university-nyc/

http://www.newschoolinexile.com/media.html

http://www.queerswithoutborders.com/wpmu/blog/2008/12/17/we-have-just-occupied-new-school-university?referer=sphere_search

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/18/nyregion/18newschool.html?ref=nyregion

on kerry

http://www.fair.org/blog/2008/12/12/bob-kerrey-moderate-war-criminal/?referer=sphere_search

http://www.counterpunch.org/gibson.html

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December 17, 2008

2008.12.17: Antiwar Bulletin: Urgent Action for Imprisoned Iraqi Journalist & Israeli Draft Resisters

Filed under: Antiwar,International Human Rights,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 1:40 pm

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:40 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Antiwar Bulletin: Urgent Action for Imprisoned Iraqi Journalist & Israeli Draft Resisters

The following is protected speech under ALAA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement*

Free Muntather al-Zaidi

The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for Muntather al-Zaidi

Ziadi

Sign the the petition below at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/iwffomuntatharalzaidi/

The 50,000 Signatures Campaign for Zaidi

The campaign will proceed in demand of the release of the Iraqi Journalist, Muntather Al-Zaydi who hurled a pair of shoes at George Bush on 12/14/2008 in Baghdad in reaction to Bush’s immoral invasion of Iraq and the war-crimes committed by the occupying forces with the aid of local warlords.

We hereby sign below to demand the immediate release of the Journalist Montadhar Al-Zaydi, without any constraints or conditions. We also hold Al-Maliki’s government and the Bush administration accountable and responsible for his life, dignity, and well-being.

———————————————-
Free the Shministim — Israel’s Young Conscientious Objectors
To Watch Their Video & Sign the Letter: http://december18th.org/

goldman

Name: Omer Goldman
Age: 19
Location: Tel-Aviv
Why I am one of the Shministim:
“I believe in service to the society I am part of, and that is precisely why I refuse to take part in the war crimes committed by my country. Violence will not bring any kind of solution, and I shall not commit violence, come what may.”
First Sentence: 22nd Sept. – 10th Oct. 2008 (18 days)
Second Sentence: 12th – 24th Oct. 2008 (10 days)

The Shministim are Israeli high school students who have been imprisoned for refusing to serve in an army that occupies the Palestinian Territories. Join Howard Zinn, Rela Mazali, Ed Asner and Aurora Levins-Morales and show your support by contacting the Israeli Minister of Defense using the form below. Israeli peace activists will hand-deliver your message on December 18th, the Shministim Day of Action. 15,000 LETTERS AND COUNTING!

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*“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed.” – § 3.5

December 15, 2008

2008.12.15: TOMORROW – Holiday Card Writing Party For Prisoners!

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Racism,Sentencing — nyclaw01 @ 12:33 pm

From:  Kurti, Rebecca
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 12:33 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: TOMORROW – Holiday Card Writing Party For Prisoners!

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty

Invites you to. . .

A HOLIDAY CARD-WRITING PARTY (see flyer below)

Tuesday, December 16, 7:00PM

Yippie Museum Cafe
9 Bleecker Street, New York

(Take 6 to Bleecker, or B,D,F,V to Broadway-Lafayette)

***

This holiday season, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is writing cards to those who are behind bars.

From Mumia Abu-Jamal — a political prisoner still held on Pennsylvania’ s Death Row after a quarter century — to Troy Davis — an innocent man fighting for his life on Georgia’s Death Row — to many right here in New York who are fighting to have their stories heard, we know that the prison system is riddled with injustice, and victimizes the poor and people of color. In the spirit of solidarity, join activists and former prisoners in bringing holiday greetings to those who need them most.

December 13th marks the 3rd anniversary of the execution of Stan Tookie Williams by the State of California. We will be commemorating this date with a short screening of Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story.

There will be food, music, books for sale, raffles, and a call-in from a death row prisoner!

***

$7 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
(all money goes to continuing the work of the CEDP)

If you have any questions please contact:

December 11, 2008

2008.12.11: Victory for Chicago factory occupation

Filed under: Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 10:08 am

From:  Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 10:08 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Victory for Chicago factory occupation

Wow, there are some pretty inspiring quotes in this article.  What’s really amazing is how much support these workers got from unions across the country.  (I heard that 1199 pledged a donation at our delegate assembly on Tuesday night.) Local politicians were apparently falling over each other to go down to the plant and pledge their support.  The State of Illinois even threatened to pull all their money out of Bank of America if they didn’t provide the loans needed for the company to meet it’s legal obligations to the workers.  Anyway, one for our side.

********************
http://socialistwor ker.org/2008/ 12/11/victory- at-republic

ANALYSIS: LEE SUSTAR
Victory at Republic!

Lee Sustar reports on the workers’ big win in a factory occupation that made headlines across the U.S. and inspired union members and activists everywhere.

SocialistWorker. org | December 11, 2008

WITH A unanimous vote, workers at the Republic Windows & Doors plant in Chicago ended their six-day factory occupation late on December 10 after Bank of America and other lenders agreed to fund about $2 million in severance and vacation pay as well as health insurance.

“Everybody feels great,” said a tired but beaming Armando Robles, president of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) Local 1110.

Melvin Maclin, the local’s vice president, agreed. “I feel wonderful,” he said. “I feel validated as a human being. Everybody is so overjoyed. This is significant because it shows workers everywhere that we do have a voice in this economy. Because we’re the backbone of this country. It’s not the CEOs. It’s the working people.”

Pointing, he continued, “See that sign up there? Without us, it would just say ‘Republic,’ because we make the windows and doors. This shows that you can fight–and that you have to fight.”

The settlement was a resounding victory for union members who were told a little more than a week earlier that the factory would be closed in less than three day’s time–and that, contrary to federal law, they would get no severance pay.

So to pressure the company to make good on what it owed them, the workers voted to stay put after the plant ceased production on December 5.

By deciding to occupy their factory–a tactic used by labor in the 1930s, but virtually unknown in this country since–the Republic workers sparked a solidarity movement that forced one of the biggest banks in the U.S. to pay two months of wages and health care, even though the bank had no legal obligation to do so.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WHAT BEGAN as a resolute act of some 250 workers quickly became a national symbol of working-class resistance in a crisis-bound economy. Hundreds upon hundreds of union members and officials–not only from Chicago, but around the Midwest–came to the Republic factory to express their solidarity and bring donations of food and badly needed funds.

But support for the Republic struggle went beyond the ranks of organized labor. The fightback crystallized mass anger about the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Even though Bank of America–Republic’s main creditor–is in line receive $25 billion in taxpayer money, the bank refused to finance the 60 days’ pay due to workers under the WARN Act if a plant closes without the two-month notice required under the law.

Democratic politicians, from President-elect Barack Obama down to Chicago aldermen, felt the pressure to declare their support for the struggle.

Press coverage was affected as well. For once, the media not only highlighted the issues in a labor struggle, but also used its resources to investigate the employer. The Chicago Tribune reported that Republic’s main owner, Rich Gillman, was involved in the purchase of a nonunion window factory in Iowa to move to. Journalists also uncovered evidence that Bank of America refused repeated requests to extend more credit to Republic, despite its infusion of bailout money.

Thus, when UE decided to make Bank of America the target of a December 10 rally, there was a ready response–about 1,000 people turned out on short notice.

“Since we’re down here in the financial district, let’s do a little mathematics,” said Rev. Gregory Livingston of Rainbow/PUSH. “Bank of America got $25 billion. Citibank got $25 billion. Republic workers got how much? Zero.

“That’s why we’re here in the financial district. It’s where the money is. The people work, and guess whose money is in these banks? Guess whose money is in the market? Guess whose money is in their pockets? It’s our money.”

But what was noteworthy about the picket wasn’t the anger against the banks, but a palpable sense of workers’ power. Members of a dozen different unions were on hand, as were student groups, socialists and community groups, all inspired by the Republic workers’ bold stand.

Larry Spivack, regional director of AFSCME Council 31, summed up the mood in his speech. “Look around you,” he told the crowd, naming the main financial institutions nearby. “Who created all their wealth?” he asked–and was answered by the chant, “We did!” “Who has the power?” “We do!”

Spivack continued: “This is a beginning, like when the Haymarket struggle took place in 1886,” a reference to the Chicago martyrs in the struggle for the eight-hour workday. He concluded with a shout, “Power to the workers!”

A few hours later, back at the Republic plant, after workers heard the terms of the agreement and voted, Bob Kingsley, the national director of organization for UE, made a similar point in assessing the victory:

The significance of this struggle for the labor movement is that at a time when millions of American workers are facing greater and greater economic turmoil, and with it more and more instances of unfairness, there needed to be a clear symbol of resistance.

What the workers at Republic are is the face of that resistance. They personify the challenge that the working class faces in today’s economy, but they also symbolize the hope that if we, as workers, stick together, if we fight together, and if we’re willing to push the limits, we can achieve incredible things. And their victory comes at a time when the labor movement needs it.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Material on this Web site is licensed by SocialistWorker. org, under a Creative Commons (by-nc-nd 3.0) [1] license, except for articles that are republished with permission. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and SocialistWorker. org.

December 10, 2008

2008.12.10: Today: Support Workers Fighting Back in Chicago and NYC

Filed under: Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 7:57 am

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 7:57 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Today: Support Workers Fighting Back in Chicago and NYC

12 Noon:

Support Chicago workers taking over their plant!

KEEP THE PLANT OPEN!

Jobs at a Living Wage are a Right!

Demonstrate

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 12 Noon

Bank of America, 261 Broadway

(by subway – R or W train to City Hall; 1, 2, 3, A or C to Chambers Street; or 6 train to Brooklyn Bridge)

map

Over 250 heroic workers—overwhelmingly immigrants—at the Republic Windows & Doors factory in Chicago are fighting

Bail Out the People Movement

Organizing Meeting

Wednesday

Dec. 10

6:30 pm

Join us for:

* updates on solidarity actions to support the Republic Windows & Door Workers in Chicago

* reports on the ongoing struggle of teachers and students to stop tuition increases, layoffs, and cutbacks at CUNY and the struggle to stop fare hikes, layoffs, and service cuts at the MTA

* plans for the January 17 Fightback Conference on the 80th Anniversary of the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

back! These members of Local 1110 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) have taken over their plant until they get their jobs back.

Their workplace was suddenly shutdown when Bank of America withdrew a line of credit. No 60 days notice was given to these workers, as required by the WARN (Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification) Act. Their vacation pay was stolen, too.

George Bush gave $25 billion of our money to his pals at the Bank of America. This financial octopus already has over $1.7 trillion in assets. With all this dough, they go ahead a nd steal the jobs of these Chicago workers.

Another victim of Bank of America—the country’s biggest mortgage lender—is Lorene Parker of Detroit, who’s had heart and liver transplants. She fell behind on her payments because of large medical bills. Bank of America has scheduled a sheriff’s sale of Ms. Parker’s home on Dec. 11. Let’s tell Bank of America that they can’t steal workers’ jobs and homes.

The struggle of the Chicago workers fighting for their jobs and Lorene Parker fighting for her home is our struggle. Join the fight back against layoffs, foreclosures, racism, immigrant bashing, tuition and subway fare hikes!

Sponsored by: Bail Out the People Movement and the May 1st Coalition for Worker and Immigrant Rights.  (212) 633-6646;  e-mail: bailoutpeople@safewbmail.com;   www.BailOutPeople.org  www.may1.info

——————————–

3-6 p.m.

Support Striking Stella D’Oro Workers!

Come to the picket line on Wednesday December 10 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

BOYCOTT STELLA D’ORO PRODUCTS!

The 135 workers of Stella D”Oro biscuit company have been on strike since August 13. They are involved in a bitter fight for their jobs and union. The company wants to destroy their union and their spirit!

The workers are determined to win but they need our solidarity as the cold weather moves in and four months without a solid income begins to hurt everyone.

Most are Latino and the majority women. They are represented by Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 50.

The company is trying to:

·       Slash wages by as much as 25%

·       Impose crushing premiums on health insurance

·       Eliminate holidays, vacation and sick pay

·       Eliminate extra pay for working Saturdays

No union busting in New York City!

Come to the picket line

Wednesday December 10th 

3:00 PM until 6:00 PM

Place: 237th Street and Broadway

Take the #1 train to 238th Street and Broadway

December 8, 2008

2008.12.08: Labor News: workers in Chicago occupy factory for back pay

Filed under: Labor Solidarity — nyclaw01 @ 9:29 am

From: Herschel, Lucy
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:29 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Labor News: workers in Chicago occupy factory for back pay

I got this on Saturday, but I believe it’s still going on today.

http://socialistwor ker.org/2008/ 12/06/republic- window-occupatio n

Chicago factory occupied

Lee Sustar reports from Chicago on an occupation by workers who want what’s theirs from management and the Bank of America.

December 6, 2008

WORKERS OCCUPYING the Republic Windows & Doors factory slated for closure are vowing to remain in the Chicago plant until they win the $1.5 million in severance and vacation pay owed them by management.

In a tactic rarely used in the U.S. since the labor struggles of the 1930s, the workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, refused to leave the plant on December 5, its last scheduled day of operation.

“We decided to do it because this is money that belongs to us,” said Maria Roman, who’s worked at the plant for eight years. “These are our rights.”

Word of the occupation spread quickly both among labor and immigrant rights activists–the overwhelming majority of the workers are Latinos. Seven local TV news stations showed up to do interviews and live reports, and a steady stream of activists arrived to bring donations of food and money and to plan solidarity actions.

Management claims that it can’t continue operations because its main creditor, Bank of America (BoA), refuses to make any more loans to the company. After workers picketed BoA headquarters December 3, bank officials agreed to sit down with Republic management and UE to discuss the matter at a December 5 meeting arranged by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill), said UE organizer Leah Fried.

BoA had said that it couldn’t discuss the matter with the union directly without written approval from Republic’s management. But Republic representatives failed to show up at the meeting, and plant managers prepared to close the doors for good–violating the federal WARN Act that requires 60 days notice of a plant closure.

The workers decided this couldn’t go unchallenged. “The company and Bank of America are throwing the ball to one another, and we’re in the middle,” said Vicente Rangel, a shop steward and former vice president of Local 1110.

Many workers had suspected the company was planning to go out of business–and perhaps restart operations elsewhere. Several said managers had removed both production and office equipment in recent days.

Furthermore, while inventory records indicated there were plenty of parts in the plant, workers on the production line found shortages. And the order books, while certainly down from the peak years of the housing boom, didn’t square with management’s claims of a total collapse. “Where did all those windows go?” one worker asked.

Workers were especially outraged that Bank of America, which recently received a bailout in taxpayer money, won’t provide credit to Republic. “They get $25 billion from the government, and won’t loan a few million to this company so workers can keep their jobs?” said Ricardo Caceres, who has worked at the plant for six years.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

THE MEMBERS of Local 1110 have a history of struggle. In 2004, they decertified the Central States Joint Board–a union notorious for corruption and sweetheart contracts with management– and brought in UE, a far more democratic organization.

In May of this year, Local 1110 mobilized for a contract by organizing a “practice” picket, and 70 workers used their lunch break to confront the boss with a petition listing their demands. The workers were able to turn back company’s effort to win major concessions and won solid pay increases.Now, management is trying to get revenge by pocketing money that belongs to the workers.

UE officials and workers acknowledge that it will be difficult to stop the plant from closing. But they’re determined to get the money owed to them–and they believe that by fighting, they can set an example for other workers facing layoffs and plant closures as the recession deepens.

Negotiations are set for Monday, December 8. Whatever happens, however, the workers have already sent a message to employers that if they violate workers rights and the law, they can expect a fight.

“This is a message to the workers of America,” said Vicente Rangel, the shop steward. “If we stand together, we will prevail until justice is done, and we get what we’re due.”

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

What you can do

If you live in the Chicago area, come to a rally on Saturday, December 6, at 12 Noon at Republic Windows, 1333 N. Hickory in Chicago, on Goose Island. If negotiations with Bank of America fail to resolve the issue, there will be a picket of BoA’s Chicago headquarters at 231 S. LaSalle on Tuesday, December 9 at 12 noon.

Members of Local 1110 need your support. Make checks payable to the UE Local 1110 Solidarity Fund, and mail to: 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607. Messages of support can be sent to leahfried@gmail. com [2]. For more information, call UE at 312-829-8300.

At the Jobs with Justice Web site, you can send a message of protest to Bank of America [3].

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Material on this Web site is licensed by SocialistWorker. org, under a Creative Commons (by-nc-nd 3.0) [4] license, except for articles that are republished with permission. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and SocialistWorker. org.

  1. [1] http://socialistwor ker.org/departme nt/Labor
  2. [2] mailto:leahfried@ gmail.com
  3. [3] http://www.unionvoi ce.org/campaign/ bankofamerica/
  4. [4] http://creativecomm ons.org/licenses /by-nc-nd/ 3.0

 

2008.12.08: Sean Bell Update: Charles Barron Refuses to Accept Hynes’ Offer of ACD

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:01 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Sean Bell Update: Charles Barron Refuses to Accept Hynes’ Offer of ACD

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=4&id=24985

Brooklyn Councilman Demands Sean Bell Protest Charges Dropped by Brooklyn Eagle (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 12-04-2008

Charles Barron Refuses to Accept Hynes’ Offer of ACD

By Samuel Newhouse

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

SCHERMERHORN STREET – Councilman Charles Barron (D-East New York, Brownsville) was scheduled to appear in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday for disorderly conduct charges stemming from his arrest during the Sean Bell protests.

Although protesters arrested in Downtown Brooklyn were offered an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) by Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes as part of their plea bargains, Barron has refused and insists on going to trial unless charges are dismissed.

“Charles Hynes should be ashamed of himself,” Barron told the Eagle. “I’m not a boy of his at the plantation; he should dismiss the charges.”

Barron was one of the prominent African-American leaders who led protests on May 7, after the three police officers charged in connection to the Bell shooting were acquitted by a Queens judge.

Rev. Al Sharpton organized protests in several locations in Manhattan, and Barron and Rev. Herbert Daughtry led protesters that met at the House of the Lord Church on Atlantic Avenue and marched to Flatbush Avenue and Tillary Street.

After being blocked by police from accessing the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, protesters who wanted to be arrested sat down in front of the 84th precinct police station.

“We have a First Amendment right to protest,” said Barron. “No property was damaged, no one was inconvenienced for very long. Sean Bell’s family has been damaged forever. And they offer us ACDs like common criminals.”

An individual charged with a crime can receive an ACD for six months or a year, and if they do not get cahrged with any further crimes or criminal violations, the initial charges will be dismissed.

Explaining his decision to refuse the offer of an ACD — which he said Hynes dropped from six months to 30 days — Barron said, “Something inside me wouldn’t let me do it.”

“[Hynes] acted like its some little boys and girls on the plantation that have to behave for 30 days, which is so disingenuous,” he continued. “Why do we have to wait? What if I want to protest again within 30 days? That’s that master of the plantation mentality.”

Although Barron himself did not appear yesterday in criminal court, he said his defense attorney, Roger S. Wareham, was requesting an adjournment from Judge Dena Douglas in AP6.

Barron told the Eagle that he wants charges against him dismissed, and will continue with his trial for as long as necessary. Due to the lack of seriousness of the disorderly-conduct charge, if the case proceeds to trial, Barron will only be entitled to a bench trial, with the judge as the fact-finder instead of a jury.

Additional reporting by Don Evans of the Brooklyn Eagle.

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