July 2021 caught many on the US left slipping. While the US exploited relatively small protests in Cuba for round the clock coverage of what was being called “the day of reckoning for the Cuban revolution”, true colors were exposed as so-called leftists in the imperial core struggled to model what anti-imperialist solidarity actually looks like. For more than 50 years, the call from revolutionary Cuban citizens and organizations has been to end the US blockade on Cuba. For more than 50 years, this has been the most important contribution that the US left could make toward the island. But in the face of protests encouraged by conditions created by the blockade, across the board there was a failure to attack the primary contradiction.Continue reading
It’s going to be a very good year for the top dogs and shareholders at Deere & Co. The Iowa-based equipment manufacturer says it earned more in the first nine months of its fiscal year than during its best year in 2013. The corporation’s third-quarter results are nearly $4.7 billion. John May, the company’s CEO, made over $14.7 million in total compensation in 2020. Reports are that his salary increased 160 percent during the pandemic while laid-off manufacturing workers saw “incentive” pay cut.
On October 14, 10,000 unionized skilled manufacturing employees at Deere & Co. initiated their right to bargain by rejecting the contract put forth by management and going on strike. Does it surprise anyone that skilled workers went on strike after the company agreed to bump pay by little more than $1 per hour over the next 6 years?Continue reading
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) President Anthony Shelton issued the following statement in support of 1,400 BCTGM members in Battle Creek, Mich. (Local 3G), Omaha, Neb. (Local 50G), Lancaster, Pa. (Local 374G) and Memphis, Tenn. (Local 252G) who are on strike against the Kellogg Company:
“The BCTGM International Union stands in unwavering Solidarity with our courageous Brothers and Sisters who are on strike against the Kellogg Company.
“For more than a year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kellogg workers around the country have been working long, hard hours, day in and day out, to produce Kellogg ready-to-eat cereals for American families.Continue reading
On the heels of its defeat in Afghanistan, the United States government has made it clear it is now once again setting its sights on anti-war activists in the United States. Their latest target is Joe Lombardo, a leader of the country’s largest anti-imperialist coalition. Joe Lombardo is 73 years old and has been an organizer in the anti-war movement for decades. He is a cofounder and lead organizer for Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, a local anti-war group based near Albany, New York.Continue reading
The independence of Mexico and of Cuba, got a big hearing in Mexico City on September 16. On that day in 1810, in Dolores, Mexico, Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo called upon parishioners to join him in rebelling against Spain’s viceregal government. Mexico finally gained independence in 1821. Every year, at 11 PM on September 15, and on September 16, Mexicans and their presidents pay homage to Hidalgo’s iconic Cry of Dolores (Grito de Dolores).
This year, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, commemorating that important day, had a surprising guest. Cuba’s president Miguel Díaz-Canel was at his side and they both spoke. Shared goals and strong friendship were evident. The extraordinary encounter may portend new substance and heightened commitment for efforts to free Cuba, at long last, from aggressive U.S. interference with Cuba’s sovereignty.Continue reading
The Group of Friends in Defense of the United Nations Charter held its first ministerial meeting at Venezuela’s UN Mission in New York City on Thursday, September 23 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting. The 18-country group adopted a declaration which outlines a policy in favor of respecting the UN charter.
The statement says, “The UN Charter and its purposes and principles remain timeless, universal, and that all are indispensable, not only to preserve and promote international peace and security, the rule of law, the economic development and social progress, but also human rights and to achieve a more peaceful, prosperous, just and equitable world.”
The group’s members currently are Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Nicaragua, Palestine, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Syria.Continue reading
The Global South Response against Israel’s apartheid and annexation plan was launched in July 2020, endorsing the Palestinian civil society demands of UN investigation into Israel’s apartheid, ending business ties, supporting the ICC probe and imposing a military embargo on it. Challenging Israel’s de jure annexation plans, this call located itself in the shared history and commitment to anti-colonialism between Palestinians and the Global South.
It was received widely, and endorsed by 10 ex-Presidents including Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, Dilma Rousseff, Lula da Silva, Evo Morales and José Mujica. Over 700 MPs, diplomats, legal and political figures from Asia, Africa and Latin America endorsed it as well. It has paved the way for an ongoing mobilization in the global south to support the Palestinian struggle for ending Israel’s apartheid, with the urgent steps towards a UN investigation into it.Continue reading
Every few months, a prominent person or publication points out that McDonalds workers in Denmark receive $22 per hour, 6 weeks of vacation, and sick pay. This compensation comes on top of the general slate of social benefits in Denmark, which includes child allowances, health care, child care, paid leave, retirement, and education through college, among other things.
In these discussions, relatively little is said about how this all came to be. This is sad because it’s a good story and because the story provides a good window into why Nordic labor markets are the way they are.
McDonalds opened its first store in Denmark in 1981. At that point, it was operating in over 20 countries and had successfully avoided unions in all but one, Sweden.Continue reading
Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) working for Nabisco/Mondelez in Portland, Ore., Aurora, Colo., Richmond, Va., Chicago, Ill. and Norcross, Ga. have voted overwhelmingly to accept a new collective bargaining agreement. Approval of the contract ends the BCTGM’s strike against Nabisco which began on August 10, 2021.
In commenting on the membership vote to ratify the new contract, BCTGM International President Anthony Shelton stated, “This has been a long and difficult fight for our striking members, their families and our Union. Throughout the strike, our members displayed tremendous courage, grit and determination.Continue reading
The staff of a burrito restaurant in Georgia quit by posting a sign claiming they had worked seven days a week for a month with “barely any time off.”
Employees at the Barberitos restaurant on New Street in Macon, central Georgia, said they quit over “pay” and “lack of appreciation,” per a photo of the sign shared on Facebook that was first reported by WGXA News.
“We have worked 7 days a week for the past month and barely any time off. We are so sorry and love you all! old Barbs family, out,” the sign read.
A spokesperson for Barberitos, which has 50 branches across southeastern states, confirmed the sign’s existence to WGXA, and said the staff’s claim that they’d worked seven days straight for a month was “simply not true.”Continue reading
According to Humberto Pérez, coordinator of the Asociación Martiana de Cubanos Residentes en Panamá, organizer of the shipment, the donation is part of the campaign Rompamos el Bloqueo, in which organizations present in more than 28 Latin American, Caribbean and European countries participate.
In a few days, the first of five containers will arrive from China with the aid collected to support the anti-COVID-19 vaccination, an effort supported by trade union organizations and young graduates of Cuban educational institutions.
From the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) headquarters, Perez highlighted the speed and magnitude of the response obtained since the launching of this campaign last February, which allowed the arrival of eight of these loads to date.Continue reading
Today’s world is complex and messed up. All the suffering among the great majorities for many people is just one more number while an increasing number of human beings are or feel isolated, depressed and alone, burdened down by the social consequences of decadent capitalism. However, in this hostile context Nicaragua, physically small but morally gigantic, is making real efforts to rebuild the country’s neighborhoods as social and political units, a mutual support network based on solidarity.
Many people who have grown up within the walls of residential or prestigious districts the world of the barrios is a distant, hostile and even scary place. However, for those of us who grew up and live in these neighborhoods, the barrio is our native territory, the place where we all know each other and greet each other, eye to eye, the place where there are no secrets because people have natural journalistic insight.Continue reading
Oregon – A strike that began at the Nabisco bakery in Northeast Portland on Aug. 10 has spread to five other facilities across the United States and gained national attention with both politicians and celebrities voicing support for the workers.
Workers at the Nabisco distribution center in Norcross, Georgia, on Monday became the latest group of employees to go on strike. Approximately 1,000 members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union are now on strike across six Nabisco bakeries and distribution centers nationwide.
The strike began in Portland earlier this month when about 200 workers walked off the job after Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, proposed scheduling changes during contract negotiations that workers say would limit overtime pay and proposed providing new hires with a more costly healthcare plan.Continue reading
“It’s solidarity, not charity,” said Grace Kindeke, who helps people recently released from immigration detention with housing, food, legal and health services in her community of Concord, New Hampshire.
Immigrants come to the United States looking for safety and stability. But instead, many find confusion navigating the complexity of the immigration system, said Kindeke, who works with the nonprofit American Friends Service Committee.
Language barriers, limited cash and the federal government’s reliance on detention can prevent recently arrived migrants from getting a lawyer, understanding their legal obligations and settling into a new community, especially if they’re dealing with trauma, Kindeke said.
In her experience, immigrants are highly motivated to comply with government requirements, as long as they understand what’s being asked of them and have the basics to get by.Continue reading
That’s the idea. In 2019, more than three quarters of U.S. households were holding some type of debt. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, 1 in 4 adults are now struggling to pay household bills. But debt in U.S. culture is typically treated as an individual liability or a personal failure. The idea of a debtors’ union turns that experience on its head — reframing indebtedness as a shared problem and a source of collective power.
Think of a saying attributed to 20th-century industrialist J. Paul Getty: “If you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” Toppling the financial architecture of late capitalism is indeed a tall order. The most prominent organization of its kind, the Debt Collective, organizes on several fronts.Continue reading