Worker Rights At Home and Abroad
Conference Update—March 11
registrants; the KC Labor List; KC Labor Party List; the KC Labor Against War
List; panelists; and those requesting additional information.
One Week Mark
Worker Rights At Home and Abroad
conference begins just a week from tomorrow. Here’s a quick review of where we
stand on the program.
We expect most participants will not register in advance. We need a table
with three volunteers to have people sign in, pay their money, pick up a name
tag and program. The name tag will indicate which session[s] they have paid for,
along with lunch. Those registering at the site will be paying five dollars per
session, or twenty dollars for the whole event.
volunteers for the registration table; donations of name tags.
Friday EveningLabor Party New England Organizer Ed Bruno will review the discussion,
position paper, that launched the
Campaign for Worker Rights. This is a
fundamentally new strategic approach to the question that should provoke a lot
of thought and discussion. We also expect to have representatives from the
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), and Teamsters at Duggan, and
perhaps others, speaking about their labor rights case histories.
director Judy Ancel, and
Kansas Workbeat webmaster Stuart
Elliott, will examine how the issue of worker rights in countries such as Mexico
and China is at the heart of the drive by American bosses to "offshore" jobs.
Ed Bruno will make some introductory remarks about
Against the War’s campaign for worker rights in occupied Iraq. He
will be followed by our special guest speaker Amjad Al-Jawhary, speaking for the
Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq.
There will be
at least a half-hour, probably more, allotted for discussion from the floor
after each panel presentation.
Working Lunch On Saturday
All sessions will be seated at tables. There is an excellent kitchen
attached to the meeting hall. We plan to take a short break for people to go get
their food, returning to their tables for the "working" part of lunch. Our
tentative plan is to prepare at least two kinds of chili, have some chopped
vegetables, and bottled water, preparing for about fifty meals. If it looks
bigger than that on Friday evening we will have to do some additional
hands for serving lunch; volunteers to prepare vegetables or desserts; donation
of plastic ware and suitable paper products.
KC Labor Party
will have banners in the auditorium. Any other endorsing organization is welcome
to have a banner up as well.
Post Conference March and Rally
After the conference officially adjourns—somewhere between 3-3:30—we urge
folks to march a few blocks over to the rally at the 47th & Main
Fountain, commemorating the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Ed Bruno
and Amjad Al-Jawhary will be among the speakers there as well.
In addition to
the KCLAW, KC Labor Party, and any other banners, we also plan to have at least
a dozen poster board signs, displaying appropriate slogans, available.
sign makers. Otherwise we’ll go with last minute slap-dash. Donation of blank
poster board would also be helpful.
Our rent and air fare expenses add up to about 700 dollars. Those have
to be paid. So far I have contributed the printing of leaflets. We can only
guess at food expenses but we have been pricing the lunch at five bucks.
After we have
paid those who are out of pocket for major expenses we should aim to have some
money left over for a modest honorarium for our Iraqi guest speaker. To ensure
we get enough we can:
a low key collection, asking for 5-10 dollar donations, after Amjad speaks. We
can’t really do much more than that with our crowd without cutting into the
financial needs of the rally in the park.
unions, and other groups not yet contributing, for 50-100 dollar donations. We
can acknowledge their contribution in the printed conference program—unless they
prefer to remain anonymous. (I have a sample letter and talking points for such
appeals if needed.)
A semi-final press release goes out tomorrow. We will have some time on
Heartland Labor Forum radio show. If
anyone could use leaflets to distribute at an event in the coming week please
let me know.
I have emphasized the great number of tasks remaining to make the
conference a success. It’s a lot of work but I’m sure many of you will be able
to pitch in here and there to ease the burden and pull it off.
Of course we
are not doing all this just to work hard. We have able speakers from whom we can
learn much. And we have an opportunity to tap some synergy from a rare
convergence of the labor, peace, and global solidarity movements. I look forward
to an informed discussion that can lead to some informed action in advancing the
cause of worker rights here and everywhere.