Tag Archives: afl-cio

Finally Left Leverage on Healthcare

Niagara FalSenator Bernie Sandersls, Ontario           Maybe progressives and liberals are finally willing to exercise some leverage rather than watching painfully as conservatives and moderates strip every bill that arises down to the bone with health care reform being the latest front page casualty?  There are signs of a stirring.

            SEIU and Andy Stern after having seemed for so long to have been a White House annex office at their headquarters on Dupont Circle finally is snapping back at the evisceration of health legislation.  Trumka and the AFL-CIO are unhappy and balking at the compromises.  MoveOn which has been indistinguishable from Obama’s Organizing for America is sending out emails targeting Lieberman and praising Senator Bernie Sanders and his threats to NOT vote for the health care bill’s Senate version.  There are real discussions everywhere that people gather where folks are trying to find a way to still rationalize supporting so little at this late date in the fight.

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Sweatshops Alive and Well

sweatshopNew Orleans In the prevailing wisdom and the back pats that we like to sometimes hope are well earned and deserved, in speaking with students on university campuses about organizing chapters to support ACORN International’s organizing in various countries I have occasionally used cited the effectiveness of the anti-sweatshop movement as exhibit one for why all of this makes sense and matters.  A series of recent emails from Jeff Ballinger and several conversations have forced me to step back and swallow that example.

I have a lot of respect for Ballinger that dates to the time the Organizers’ Forum delegation visited Indonesia several years ago and heard the stories of his expulsion for too aggressively doing his job with the AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center and insisting on US and other companies paying fair wages in just conditions.  Nothing in subsequent visits every did anything but add to his reputation.

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