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The Oakhurst Baptist Church will host the annual visit of the Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan to Atlanta.
The featured speaker will be Cheryl LaBash of Detroit who has been involved with US-Cuba matters since 1985. Cheryl is a co-chair of the National Network on Cuba, is working with Doctors4Detroit supporting the Latin American Medical School Scholarship program , and has been a long time advocate for lifting the blockade on Cuba. She will speak on US-Cuba relationships.
There will also be an opportunity for donations to the work of Pastors for Peace.
The gathering will be a potluck dinner, so please bring a covered dish to share. Oakhurst Baptist Church will provide beverages.
For further information you may contact Wayne Grinstead at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you!
Address: Oakhurst Baptist Church, 222 East Lake Drive, Decatur, 30030
Date: Sunday, June 16th, at 6:00 PM
Dear Friends of The Labor Forum,
Last Wednesday, May 29, a national strike brought Argentina to a standstill.
The labor Forum has reported in the past of the broad resistance to austerity measures implemented by the right-wing government of President Mauricio Macri.
Workers are struggling with escalating costs for necessities as well as job cuts in public and private sectors, fees for public services and elimination of subsidies and attacks on labor and civil rights.
The action was called by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the largest trade union in the country.
This was the 6th national strike since Macri’s time in office began in 2015.
On Wednesday, the public transportation system came to a halt as subway services did not run and airports shut down. Sea ports critical to export and import didn’t operate. Banks, schools, government buildings and hospitals were closed. Stores and restaurants were shuttered.
Instead of normal traffic, the avenues and squares were filled with the people whose suffering had reached the breaking point. They marched, chanted and sang, demanding the restoration of jobs and public services, higher wages to counter the rampant inflation and the end to all policies dictated by the IMF.
Presidential elections are scheduled for Oct.
And to add to the many areas of dissatisfaction with the status quo, the day before on May 28, massive demonstrations of women marched in Buenas Aries in support of legislation to legalize abortion up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The proposed law would provide “women and other identities with the ability to gestate” access to legal, safe and publicly funded abortions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Currently, women can be jailed for terminating a pregnancy. This legislation would decriminalize abortion. A similar measure passed the Argentinian House last year but was defeated in the senate.
Abortion now is only allowed in cases of rape and danger to the woman’s life and then only with the permission of a judge. This requirement often means a lengthy delay or denial of the procedure.
An estimated 500,000 unsafe, illegal abortions are performed annually in Argentina.
Switching to US news, although the similarity of the issues impacting the working class are so similar that the labor slogan “An Injury to One is an Injury to All” should lead to ongoing displays of international solidarity, I think.
In New York, on May 23, an appellate court has ruled that farmworkers cannot be excluded from a state law that protects workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain without fear of employer retaliation.
Crispin Hernandez, a member of the Workers Center of Central New York had been fired from his job at Mark Dairy in 2016 for organizing his fellow workers after hours.
Agriculture is a big business in New York State and thousands of farmworkers labor long hours, often is unsafe conditions and exceedingly low pay.
The NY legislature is considering legislation that would grant farmworkers the same minimum wages as other hourly workers as well as overtime pay and a day of rest.
Also on May 23, workers at McDonald’s in more than a dozen cities held a national job action to continue the fight for $15 an hour and a union. In addition, they elevated the struggle against sexual abuse and harassment on the job and workplace violence.
These low-wage workers who often make $7.25-10 an hour, working for the world’s most profitable fast food chain but denied full-time work in many cases, regular work schedules and other benefits, have none the less initiated a movement that has energized millions to stand up for their rights.
The McDonald’s stockholders meeting which has always been held in Chicago, the corporate Headquarters, moved to Dallas, Tx this year, perhaps thinking they could avoid the large and noisy demonstrations of recent years.. Undaunted, the workers showed up with banners, signs and chants, making clear that their demands for $15 an hour minimum wage, other benefits, a union contract and no tolerance for sexual abuse and harassment on the job were non-negotiable.
Although Atlanta was not part of the striking cities, on Saturday, June 1, a Workers’ Solidarity Action was held at the Ponce de Leon McDonald’s to show visible support for their struggle.
There are plans to have a solidarity event on the first day of every month with a workers’ struggle. For additional information, the local e-mail is atlworkersolidritynetwork.com.
MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2019
The yellow Vest movement took to the streets of France for the 23rd consecutive weekend to continue its demands for economic and political rights for workers, students, pensioners and the poor in general.
Over the last five months pf resistance to the Macron government’s stripping of labor rights, cutting social programs and granting huge financial breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals, thousands have been arrested or injured by the tear gas, stun grenades and physical beatings by police.
Anger has increased by the $1 billion in pledges for the rebuilding of Notre Dame cathedral, so publicly donated by some of France’s elite who have rejected any attempts to use public monies to alleviate poverty.
While the corporate media dismisses the Yellow Vest Movement as unorganized trouble-makers, in fact they have delegated meetings including one that took place Ap. 5-7 with 200 separate, elected delegations from across the country composed of 2 delegates and 2 observers. Also in attendance were volunteers, journalists and others who saw the serious discussion and debate on how to press forward not only with their opposition to this society so filled with inequities and injustice but to develop a real alternative program to the capitalist model that has engendered the misery of the masses.
The Yellow Vest Movement has a message for all working and poor people to learn from, I think.
31,00 workers at the huge grocery chain, Stop and Shop, declared victory in their one week strike yesterday.
The tentative agreement preserves healthcare and retirement benefits, provides wage increases for all employees, spousal insurance and maintains time and a half pay on Sundays for current employees.
You might remember last Monday’s Labor News segment when we reported on the beginning of the strike by United Food and Commercial Workers Union members in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The company’s offer had included a tripling of their healthcare co-pay, cuts in pensions, no raises for three years, the exclusion of spouses from health insurance coverage and loss of time and a half pay on Sundays for part time workers.
Strong picket lines at the 240 stores with support from other unions and community groups despite days of rainy and cold weather produced empty stores with no customers during the week before Passover and Easter.
Our congratulations to the strong union women and men who defended the gains of the past and preserved them for the future.
Here in Atlanta, last Thursday, some 400 members of Teamsters local #528 went on strike for 2 days to protest their boss’s unilateral changes in working condition at the SYSCO College Park distribution Center.
The workers; contract expired March 31 and while negotiations continue, a new local management team ended without any notice a long-standing practice that allowed the union to speak as a part of orientation for new employees.
According the Maurice Cobb, president of #528, as quoted in the AJC, “we were told if we mention anything about the union, we’d be escorted off the property.”
Workers understood this to be an Implicit threat that discussions about demands they wanted in the contract or anything about why they were union members would be censored.
SYSCO is a global distributor of food products and supplies to restaurants, health care and educational facilities as well as hotels and other segments of the hospitality industry.
Atlanta customers were told they could come to the warehouse to pick up their orders since their supplies would not be delivered on time. No doubt raising huge problems for many businesses.
The strike although intended to be of short duration nevertheless gave SYSCO a taste of worker power.