On the Count, Using, Not Doing Time:
A Truly Amazing, Authentic African American History Lesson
Marshal "Eddie" Conway
Marshal "Eddie" Conway a veteran of The Black Panther Party
was held as a political prisoner for four decades in a government
frame-up. But whether behind the walls or now back in the
community after his recent release, Convey exemplifies the
power of love. He is a theoretician, who melds his knowledge
with activism, to prove that the educational key to self-growth
and realization lies within the collective process of striving for
human rights and fundamental change wherever you are.
WHO WE ARE
WORKERS OF THE WORLD TUNE IN! Introducing "Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report"
Our beat is the labor front, broadly defined, both geographically and conceptually. We examine the world of work and workers on the job as well as where they live. We examine the issues that affect their everyday lives, with a particular sensitivity towards human rights abuses, environmental concerns and the U.S. drive for global domination. We record their global struggles and provide analysis of their efforts to empower themselves and transform society to provide greater democratic, human, social, political and economic rights. Each program consists of feature stories, generally interviews, within a historical context, often accompanied by sound from demonstrations, rallies or conferences, and complemented and enhanced by poetry and instrumental or vocal -- people's culture.
Over the years Building Bridges has produced a weekly one hour program, Mondays from 7-8 PM EST, covering local, national and international labor and community issues over radio WBAI-Pacifica 99.5 FM in New York. We also produce half hour version, Building Bridges National, which is distribtued to over 40 broadcast and internet radio stations.
For more information you can contact us at email@example.com
In Struggle Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash Follow @bbridgesradio
On the Count, Using, Not Doing Time:
Darden Restaurant Workers Facing Layoffs Fight Back; Eliminating NY's Tipped Sub-Minimum Wage - 28'
Facing Thousands of Layoffs , Olive Garden, and other Darden
Workers Prepare to Take Direct Action
Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director, ROC United
Starboard Value, a hedge fund continuing to increase its control over the Darden restaurant chain, just released a 300 page presentation on the future of Olive Garden, franchising out the company, increasing part-time scheduling, and thousands of lay-offs.Starboard Value and Darden Restaurants have continued to ignore the requests of a petition, singed by thousands of Darden employees to meet with leadership from both the hedge-fund and restaurant company. The petition also calls attention to problematic labor practices, including the company’s elimination of auto-gratuities on large parties, unpredictable scheduling, and wages that
are unable to sustain a family. Darden Restaurants’ Inc employs more than 130,000 people across the U.S. The company’s annual shareholders’ meeting is confirmed to take place on October 10th in Orlando, Florida. Employees are planning direct action in New York City before the shareholders’ meeting .
Eliminating NY’s Tipped Sub-Minimum Wage
Paul Sonn, General Counsel, Ntl. Employment Law Project (NELP)
Marking a new front in the fight for fair pay for low-wage workers in NY a new coalition of women’s leaders, food delivery workers, and low-wage tipped workers are calling for an end to the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers by the Cuomo administration’s Wage Board charged with recommending an increase in the state’s tipped sub-minimum wage. A new report by NELP finds that a Wage Order eliminating the tipped sub-minimum wage would benefit an estimated 229,000 low-wage tipped workers. The minimum wage for thousands of tipped food service workers remains stuck at just $5.00/hr. (tipped hotel workers earn slightly
higher at $5.65 per hour). In many states the tipped minimum is far lower
Posted in Cuomo minimum wage, Darden Workers, Layoffs Olive Garden, National Employment Law Project, Paul Sonn, ROC New York Darden, Saru Jayaraman darden, tipped minimum wage new York » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Exciting Labor Highlights From Sunday's Peoples Climate March
With our future on the line and the whole world watching, labor and community groups joined forces to take a stand to bend the course of history. And as the people took to the streets to demand that the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities, we were there. Building Bridges was there to now bring you labor voices from the Peoples Climate March .
SOS, Save Our Planet: The Peoples Climate March and Beyond
Christian Parenti, professor of sustainable development at the
School for International Training, Graduate Institute. He is a
contributing editor to the Nation and the author of four books,
the most recent being Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence
Mary Sweeters, Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner and Coordinator in the Global Climate March. She has spent the last seven years at Greenpeace organizing numerous communities around climate change. She participated in an action hanging a giant banner on Mt. Rushmore to call out Pres. Obama to take action on climate change and especially to raise awareness of the meltdown of the Arctic ice caps and the dangers of Arctic oil drilling.
The massive Peoples Climate March is a turning point in the
demand for an economy that works for people and the planet; a
world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good
jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities, we’ll dialogue
with Christian Parenti and youth activist Mary Sweeters who has
helped build support for the march and beyond to incorporate an
environmental justice agenda in all of our endeavors. To change
everything, we need everybody!
Hundreds Arrested as Fast Food Workers Strike
for Living Wage and Unionization
Jeanina Jenkins - a McDonalds Worker in Ferguson, Mo. who
joined the NYC protests and was active in protesting the police
killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO
Thousands of fast food workers across 150 U.S. cities walked off the job recently and nearly 500 of them willfully committed civil disobedience as part of their protest and were arrested. In NYC 34 fast food workers were arrested. Protesting fast food workers have insisted that they were willing to do “whatever it takes” in order to earn union recognition and a higher wage. The NYC fast-food workers were also joined by over 20 St. Louis area fast-food workers, including many from Ferguson, who were among the first in the country to join the Fight for $15, and have been on strike as
many as six times. Jeanina Jenkins, a McDonald’s employee in Ferguson, said “I’m willing to do whatever it takes because I’m barely surviving on the $7.97/hr. I make at McDonald’s. After everything that’s happened here in my community during the last month, I know that if I don’t stand up and fight for what I believe in, for what’s right, that nobody else will and nothing will
The Death and Life of American Labor:
Toward a New Workers’ Movement
Stanley Aronowitz In the 1950s, Aronowitz was a factory metalworker. In the ’50s and ’60s, he directed organizing with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers. In 1963,he coordinated labor participation for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Ten years later, the publication of his book False Promises: The Shaping of American Working Class Consciousness was a land-mark in the study of the U.S. working-class and workers’ movements.
Union membership in the United States has fallen below 11 percent, the lowest rate since before the New Deal. Labor activist and scholar of the American labor movement Stanley Aronowitz argues that the movement as we have known it for the last 100 years is effectively dead. And he explains how this death has been a long time coming—the organizing and political principles adopted by U.S. unions at mid-century have taken a terrible toll.
In his new book The Death and Life of American Labor, Aronowitz draws on this long personal history, reflecting on his continuing involvement in labor organizing, with groups such as the Professional Staff Congress of the City University. He brings a historian’s understanding of American workers’ struggles in taking the long view of the labor movement. Then, n a survey of current initiatives, strikes, organizations, and allies, Aronowitz analyzes the possibilities of labor’s rebirth, and sets out a program for a new, broad, radical workers’ movement.
Building Bridges: Food Manufacturing Workers Struggle; Rev. Barber - Fast Food Wages? Bad Fruit - 27:41
Feeding New York:
Food Manufacturing Workers Struggle Against Raw Deal
. Daniel Gross, Ex. Dir., Brandworkers
. Richard Merino, Member, Brandworkers
. Manuel Estevez, Member, Brandworkers
Food production industry workers prepare and deliver food across the city. With $5 billion in annual sales, New York City’s food manufacturing industry is slated to become a major economic driver in the coming years. Now,a new report, “Feeding New York”details workers' experiences in the city's growing food manufacturing industry, from the perspective of those employed in it. It exposes pervasive wage theft, discrimination,
Fast Food Wages? Bad Fruit!
Rev. William J. Barber, III
As fast food workers rallied, marched and struck all over the country recently, NAACP President William Barber III, joined workers in Raleigh NC to help communicate the message that their low wages, the fruit of their own labor, is bad fruit
From Ferguson to Staten Island
Building Resistance to Police Terror
withMichael McPhearson, Ex. Dir. of Veterans for Peace,
Carl Dix, co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West of the Stop Mass
Shahid Buttar, Exec. Dir., The Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Arguably the most significant uprising in many years in this country, in response to the national phenomena of police terrorizing communities of color has been taking place in Ferguson Missouri. Ferguson residents, despite a virtual military style occupation, by local, state and federal law enforcement, in the aftermath of the police shooting death of Michael Brown simply won’t back down even in the face of military tactics and weapons which are being used to suppress dissent in violation of constitutional rights.
Posted in Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Carl Dix, Eric Garner, Ferguson Missouri, Michael Brown, Michael McPhearson, Shahid Buttar, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Veterans for Peace » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Standing Against Israel’s Ongoing War Crimes
Against the People of Gaza
Laila El-Haddad, author of Gaza Mom blogger & journalist
Ilan Pappe, historian/activist/author The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Fida Qishta, Film maker, Where Should the Birds Fly?
Ares Mansour, Gaza Journalist
Josh Ruebner, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, author
"Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace"
Highlight’s of the World Can’t Wait’s extraordinary event bringing together diverse voices of dissent, with varied perspectives, but all of who are determined to seek justice for the people of Gaza. Join us and listen to people across the globe to hear how unjust and intolerable the occupation of Gaza is, and how impossible all that would be were it not backed by the U.S. government.
NYC Rallies with International Community to Stand with Gaza!
Millions of people have decried Israel’s crimes against humanity and marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza. In Europe, activists have turned out in 12 countries, including in France, where thousands defied a government ban. One hundred and fifty thousand were reported to have marched in great Britain. Tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in the Occupied West Bank in solidarity with their Gaza sisters and brothers. Inside Israel 5,000 rallied in Tel Aviv, while 700 marched in Haifa and others in Jerusalem. Some 50 Israeli reservists refuse to serve in the military’s invasion of Gaza. Elsewhere in Asia, demonstrators came out in many countries, and Australians and New Zealanders marched too. Protests have also occurred throughout Northern Africa and several cities in South Africa, where government expelled the Israeli ambassador and 50,000 marched in Cape Town. Several Latin American countries have broken diplomatic relations with Israel. Now in New York we’ve come together with the international community to say we too Stand with Gaza!
The Peril for Postal Workers and Post Offices, Why We’re Boycotting Staples and Opening a Window for "Postal Banking”
Mark Dimondstein, Pres. American Postal Workers Union (APWU)
In the battle to save the Post Office and good union jobs, protests have escalated into a national boycott of Staples for the proposed deal with the Post Office to privatize retail postal services. Internal USPS documents reveal that the Staples deal is an attempt to reduce the cost of “traditional” postal union labor and shift it to low-wage labor. While the Post Office tries to save money by degrading their workers' remuneration, it ignores a proposal by its own Inspector General - postal banking. President Dimondstein said "basic, non-profit banking would be a great and real benefit to the people of this country,and a good answer to what I call "the Wall Street Banksters,' who devastated the economy and with it the lives
of millions of people."
Danny Glover Joins the Battle to Save the Post Office
Danny Glover gave an impassioned speech on the final day of the APWU’s Convention, declaring that he would be part of the fight to keep the Postal Service in the hands of the people. As the son of postal workers, Glover described how his parents’ involvement in the union influenced his life, pointing out that they became postal employees shortly after the U.S. armed forces and federal employment were integrated in the midst of a great movement in the country. He said the fight against turning over postal duties to Staples and the campaign to use the USPS “for the many varied services it has the capacity to perform” are important. “We, the
people, own our post office, And we’re going to fight for that and we will win.”
“Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”
Max Blumenthal, journalist, and blogger, formerly a writer for The Daily Beast and Al Akhbar, author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party and the New York Times best-selling Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
In Goliath, Max Blumenthal takes us on a journey through Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens. He tells the story of Israel in the wake of the collapse of the Oslo peace process.Through his far-ranging travels, Blumenthal illuminates the present by uncovering the ghosts of the past—the histories of Palestinian neighborhoods and villages now gone and forgotten and how that history has set the stage for the current crisis.
Mahmound Abu Rahma, the Communications and International Relations Director at the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights - Gaza
Mahound Abu Rahma recently wrote "Understanding Israel’s Actions," in which he states: "It is essential that U.S. citizens understand that this conflict should not continue to be viewed as a symmetrical one anymore and while they largely do not hear about it there are vicious violations of international law against Palestinians every day; including closures/blockades, settlement activities (population transfer on our land) displacement, killings, detention and torture."
Posted in Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, Gaza invasion Israel, Gaza Israeli shelling, Israel Palestine human rights, Israel Palestine international law, Mahmound Abu Rahma » Email Post » Links to this post » 1 comments »
Detroit Cuts Water Service To Thousands Who Can’t Afford To Pay
Demeeko Williams, Detroit Water Brigade
Tom Stephens, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management
“This is everybody's fight, water is a human right!” the protesters chanted. In recent weeks, activists in Detroit have mobilized against the city's efforts to cut off the water supply to 120,000 delinquent accounts, or over 300,000 city residents. From June until September, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department(DWSD) will be cutting off citizens' water supply at a rate of 3,000 per week. According to the DWSD, 4,500 households have already been turned off. Further, in the past ten years Detroit residents have seen water rates rise by 119 percent. The city council apporved an 8.7% rate increase just last month. Many believe the rate hikes and the imminent shut-offs are an attempt by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevin Orr to make the DWSD more appealing to potential investors in a bid to privatize the city's utilities. As news of the water shut offs spread the United Nations issued a statement last week that said that the city's plan "constitutes a violation of the human right to water."
Scenes from an Endless Dinner in Detroit Part 1
by Kate Levy
Levy provides background and analysis of Detroit's bankruptcy crisis by resenting misconceptions about Detroit as well as the logic some local activists bring to the table.
Posted in Demeeko Williams, Detroit Bankruptcy water, Detroit Water Brigade, Detroit Water Cuts, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, Tom Stephens » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
What’s At Stake: The Supreme Court Ruled on Two of the Most Important Worker-Rights Cases In it’s History
Nicole Berner, SEIU Associate General Counsel
Richard Blum, Employment Law Project The Legal Aid Society
Join us and our experts to analyze two of the most significant decisions by the Supreme Court ever regarding workers rights. The U.S. Supreme Court decided Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, that
employers can impose their religious beliefs on their workers through their business policies. Hobby Lobby, a for-profit, private, nationwide chain of arts-and-crafts stores, objects to providing
contraception to its employees as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The implications of this case for women’s reproductive rights and its potential for licensing discrimination in the workplace masquerading as freedom of religion are frightening. And then there’s Harris v. Quinn, a “First Amendment” case involving home-care workers in which the Supreme Court decided that they do not have to pay “fair share” fees to the union who represents them. This case pitted public employee unions against labors longstanding foe, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which helped bring the case. This case has been characterized as an attempted kill shot aimed at public-sector unions with serious spill over implications for private sector workers as well.
Posted in birth control rights supreme court, Harris v Quinn, Hobby Lobby, home care workers, public employees agency shop fees, public employees fair share fees, Service Employees Union Home Care Workers » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
U.S. Government's $1.3 Trillion Purchasing Power Could Lift
8 Million Workers Out of Poverty
Robert Hiltonsmith, Demos Policy Analyst & co-author of new
Demos report Underwriting Good Jobs
Eight million workers rely on low-wage jobs supported by the federal government’s $1.3 trillion in annual spending according to a new report by the public policy organization Demos . Building on Pres. Obama’s executive order that raised the minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of federally contracted workers, it calls for raising labor standards more broadly. The Good Jobs Executive Order advocated in the report would apply to the entire workforce of federally-supported employers significantly benefiting women and minorities – who make up a large percentage of low-wage workers in the federal purchasing footprint. It advocates for
spending agencies to incorporate higher workforce standards when
evaluating and awarding federal contracts including collective bargaining rights, living wages and good benefits, compliance with workplace protection laws and other applicable business regulations, and limits on excessive executive compensation.
Army of New Rosie the Riveters on Strike in Nation’s Capital
Low-Wage Women Call on President Obama to Allow Collective Bargaining for Federal Contract Workers
Hundreds of low-wage federal contract workers working for fifty companies doing business at federal sites – like the National Zoo, Pentagon and Union Station – walked off their jobs . Led by an army of working women dressed like Rosie the Riveter, they marched through the Smithsonian National Zoo, where workers are joining the Good Jobs Nation campaign for the first time. This is the 8th strike by low-wage federal contract workers in the past year.
Progressive Caucus Supports Good Jobs Policy
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Representative Ellison said the progressive caucus of the House supports these actions and plans to submit a proposal to the White House that would focus on low-wage workers employed by federal contractors. Ellison said he is unsure of how the President would respond to a proposal for executive action, but the representative pointed to President Obama’s past actions as evidence that he would likely be sympathetic.Ellison underscored that he supported “Good Jobs Policy” as means of significantly reducing gender
inequality in the workforce.
Posted in Demos, Good jobs executive order, Obama jobs executive order, Robert Hiltonsmith Demos, Rosies demonstration, Underwriting Good Jobs, White House Summit on Working Families » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
New York’s Extreme School Segregation:
Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future
Gary Orfield, Co-Dir., Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles
In a report released by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project its Co-Director said “in the 30 years I have been researching schools, New York State has consistently been one of the most segregated states in the nation -- no Southern state comes close to N.Y. Decades of reforms ignoring this issue have not produced strategies that have succeeded in making segregated schools equal. It is time to adopt creative school choice strategies to give more New York children an opportunity to prepare to live and work effectively in a highly multiracial state.”
Reverend William Barber III, President of the North Carolina NAACP, and leader of Moral Mondays Movement
Reverend Barber’s effectiveness of organization has lifted him into the ranks of national civil rights leadership. He is helping transform the political landscape of North Carolina and sparking progressive activism in other states as well. He provides the rationale and inspiration for calling this nation to justice, equality and compassion through his extraordinary coalition building skills.
You’ll find that his is one of the voices we’ve been waiting to hear for a long time - Rev. Dr. William Barber on Palm Sunday from the historic Riverside Church in NYC
Fast Food Wages? Bad Fruit!
Rev. William J. Barber, III
As fast food workers rallied, marched and struck all over the country recently, NAACP President William Barbar III, joined workers in Raleigh NC to help communicate the message that their low wages, the fruit of their own labor, is bad fruit
Demand Fairness and Equality
Immigrants and social justice supporters demonstrated in the streets of New York City, as they did in cities across the country in a nationwide mobilization which demonstrating the power of the immigrant’s rights movement and demanding lawmakers at the city, state and federal level enact policies that promote immigrant rights, provide a pathway to citizenship and end deportations.
Fighting for Immigrant Rights at the Frontlines
Isabel Garcia is co-chair of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based organization, and a legal defender of Pima County, Arizona
Report on the thousands demonstrating and organizing for immigrant rights in this border state They protest not only the immigration laws, but the harsh local, state and federal law enforcement, harassment and detention of Arizona’s immigrants, as they demand that stalled legislative reforms in Congress proceed and Obama act to halt deportations.
Posted in Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Immigration Arizona, immigration protests new york city, immigration reform, Isabel Garcia Pima County, Obama immigrant detentions » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
Vanishing Pearls: Generations-Old African American Fishermen Fight for Existence
Nailah Jefferson, filmmaker Vanishing Pearls
Following the worst environmental disaster in American history, the 2010 Deepwater oil spill, Nailhah Jefferson’s Vanishing Pearls chronicles the untold story of personal devastation in Pointe a la Hache, a close-knit fishing village on the Gulf Coast and the fight of this community of African American fishermen for justice, accountability and their way of life.
Posted in African American fishermen gulf coast, BP oil spill, Deepwater oil spill, Gulf coast British Petroleum, Nailah Jefferson, Pointe a la Hache fishermen, Vanishing Pearls » Email Post » Links to this post » 0 comments »
The Economy of Race and Class Inequality: A Dream Deferred
Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy. Prior to joining EPI she was the vice president of research at the National Urban League’s Washington Bureau. She’s written extensively on issues of wealth disparities and access to higher education and was selected to deliver the keynote address at an event on Minority Economic Empowerment at the Nobel Peace Center
Manuel Pastor is professor of Geography and American Studies &
Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He’s the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and professor Pastor currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC and is co-director of USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. He’s co-authored Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future and authored This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America
For workers the recession exacerbated their economic hardship. But, for corporate America it created the opportunity to mold the economy into something approximating the Third World model: vast wealth, power and privilege for those at the top, and chronically high unemployment, falling wages, and limitations on benefits and inadequate or nonexistent public benefits entitlements for the rest of society. The new normal for America is that it has become a sweatshop nation.While we have experienced generations long wealth inequality the gaps are widening and particularly so for people of color. Our discussion will tackle the development of capital during this period and complementary government policies that have led to a decline in the fortunes of the working class and the super exploitation of people of color. And then our discussion will explore what is required to change course and bring about a greater redistribution of wealth for the 99%.
Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice
Jessica Gordon Nembhard, economist, author, Prof. of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Dept. of Africana Studies at John Jay College
Jessica Gordon Nembhard’s research & policy analyses connect community- based economic development with community based approaches to justice. Her multi-dimensional research now fills a particularly glaring gap in our understanding of the significance of the African American cooperative movement in the U.S., one of the largest in the world. She explores the practice of community economics; cooperative economics and worker ownership and liberates our imagination for better ways to organize
our economic lives
Immigrant Cleaning Women Themselves Start Worker-Owned Green Cleaning Coop Pa’lante
Members of Pa’lante Forward Green Cleaning
Make the Road a community organization that seeks to empower Latino and working class communities just celebrated the opening of Pa’lante Green Cleaning. Pa’lante’s fifteen cleaning women, now worker-owners with the assistance of Make the Road joined together to solve the common issues they faced as workers in the cleaning industry, such as the starvation wages, job insecurity, and poor health and safety conditions. Now they have become the city’s 25th worker cooperative business and are part of a growing coop movement that is proving how workplace democracy can address issues of income disparity, create quality jobs and support local economic development.
Washing Out Industry Wage Theft,
Demanding Dignity on the Job and Union Representation
Mayor Bill de Blasio
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
Carwasheros are the thousands of workers who shampoo, wax, dry, and detail cars and who are among some of the most exploited workers in New York. They frequently work in appalling conditions for low or, in many instances no wages. Too often car wash owners flout labor laws, health and safety regulations and environmental protections in their single minded drive for profits. But carwash workers throughout New York have come
together in the Wash New York campaign and have succeeded in voting to unionize eight workplaces and have won contracts at six of them. They’re a part of the trend of low-wage workers organizing throughout the country and breathing life into the cause for workers justice and we'll hear all about their organizing for workers’ rights.
National Union of Metal Workers
Fighting the Class Struggle in South Africa
Mphumzi Maqungo, Treasurer, National Union of Metal Workers
On May Day 2014 Building Bridges Building Bridges spoke with one of South Africa’s foremost leaders of the workers movement as their national election approaches. The National Union of Metal Workers, South Africa is South Africa’s largest trade union with more than 339,000 (339,567) members. It is an active affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the biggest trade union federation in South Africa. The union considers itself to be Marxist-Leninist and has had a fraught relationship with COSATU and the African National Congress for its silence on controversial ANC policies, especially its promotion of privatization and its failure to end the wealth
United Automobile Workers Sets Its Sight on Mississippi Nissan Plant to Break the Back of Nonunion South
Sheila Wilson, autoworker, Canton Mississippi Nissan Plant
Raphael Martinez, autoworker, Canton Mississippi Nissan Plant
It is just more than a month since the UAW suffered a bruising defeat at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, with workers voting not to join a union in an election widely seen as a test of whether labor unions will gain a foothold in the rapidly growing auto factories of the South. But, now the attention has now shifted to the more than 5,000-worker Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., where another union effort is gaining steam. This time, union organizers have help from clergy and students across this part of central Mississippi who have joined the campaign, championing cause of the workers and condemning management's intimidation campaign From pulpits, at leafleting campaigns outside Nissan dealerships and at auto industry events in Brazil, Geneva, Detroit and New York, these new organizers have a message we support the workers. The success or failure of this new tactic could be crucial for the labor movement as it seeks to organize new workers in a region that has become one of the most important battlegrounds for new manufacturing in the U.S. . The UAW also hopes to organize a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama, and has requested another vote in Chattanooga. Other unions have their sights on a 7,000-worker Boeing plant in South Carolina.
Waiting for Justice, The Scottsboro Boys Case Then & The Central Park Five Case Now
Prof. Kwando Kinshasa, author The Scottsboro Boys in Their
Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, and Omowale Clay, activist with the December 12th Movement
The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words - the prison letters of nine African American youth facing the death penalty, and what they teach us and today's manifestation of Scottsboro the case of the Central Park Five. Nine African American’s were indicted in Scottsboro, Alabama in 1931 falsely accused of rape. Though most of the defendants were barely literate and all of them were teen-agers when incarcerated, over the course of almost two decades they learned the basic rudiments of effective letter writing and in doing so forcefully expressed a wide range of perspectives on their circumstances, the nature of the case, and falsity of the charges against them. Now Prof. Kwando Kinshasa author of The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, his latest work in his trilogy on the case talks about their survival,
courage, resistance and political growth, in their own words through their extraordinary letters, and those of their families and attorneys. Prof. Kinshasa is also joined by community activist Omowale Clay to discuss the contemporary parallel to Scottsboro, the case of the Central Park Five, both ensnared by a racist system, both still waiting for justice!