LABOR HEADLINES–MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019
This past Saturday, thousands marched in DC to denounce US attempts to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. Videos and pictures of the national protest called by the ANSWER Coalition can be found on the internet as well as photos from other cities in the US and other countries. The pictures from South Africa are quite impressive, showing workers, mobilized by COSATU, the South African trade union organization, all wearing red t-shirts, vigorously marching and chanting their support for the Bolivarian Revolution
Meanwhile a US Peace and Solidarity delegation is still in Caracas as of this morning since American Airlines abruptly canceled flights in and out of the country, ostensibly because of dangerous civil unrest. The group includes at least two people who have been interviewed on this program in the past, Ajamu Baraka of Black Alliance for Peace and Sara Flounders, co-ordinator of the International Action Center.
They have met with community groups, students, and workers; had meetings with government officials including President Maduro; have walked through many neighborhoods of Caracas, speaking with people on the street and videoed open stores, restaurants, schools, clinics, operating transit subways and buses and people going about their daily lives, repudiating the dire images of chaos presented by the US media.
Delegation members have also filmed several of the huge pro-government demonstrations that occur frequently to warn US imperialism to stop threatening their country.
March 30 will see another anti-war, solidarity with Venezuela mobilization in DC when the members of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, meet in DC to celebrates its 70th anniversary of military aggression and intervention in eastern Europe, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc.
Unbelievably, the NATO summit will officially assemble on Ap. 4, the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. A perfect example if the relevance of King’s warnings about the dangers of militarism.
For more information on the activities surrounding the protests against NATO and solidarity with Venezuela, the website is No War on Venezuela.org
10,000 nurses who work at four large NYC hospitals have told management that they will strike on Ap. 2 to win safe staffing ratios.
A press conference by the NY State Nurses Association made this announcement this morning at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
In the almost five months since their contract expired Dec 31, 2018, negotiations have produced no progress on the nurses’ key concerns of working conditions, staffing ratios and health benefits.
Montefiore, Mt. Sinai, NY Presbyterian Columbia and Mt. Sinai West/St. Luke’s are among the most profitable private hospitals in the city yet the joint management team only offered a 3% raise (not even retro active to Dec. 31) but contingent on the hospitals receiving state funds in the upcoming budget.
It is common for nurses t work 12 hour shifts in departments that are chronically understaffed. Resulting in reduced patient care. Nurses suffer from high rates of occupational injuries and even workplace violence.
Nurses at Brooklyn Hospital center are voting this week to join the strike and other hospitals are expected to follow.
Teachers and nurses, two fields of work largely populated by women have used their power to mobilize, grow and inspire the labor movement.
The Labor Forum applauds their bold determination and spirit of fightback as they loudly declare, “Time’s Up on concessions, stagnant wages and benefit cuts as they fight for their students and patients.”