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KC Labor Newsletter
The Week In Review, Monday, February 2, 2004

California Strike/Lockout Still Has Life
On Saturday some say as many as 20,000 workers rallied at an Inglewood Von’s store. The California Attorney General has announced he will sue the grocery employers for violating antitrust laws in their collusion against the UFCW.
Students Against Sweatshops, with 158 campus chapters across the country—including 21 in California—have taken up the cause and are sponsoring a National Labor Day of Student Action this Thursday. Of course financial support for the strikers remains an urgent need. You can contribute here.

Tyson Defeat
Unfortunately the strike at Tyson in Jefferson, Wisconsin ended last week in defeat. Under threat of imminent decertification, a contract was approved that gave the company virtually all of their draconian takeaway demands and placed the "permanently replaced" strikers on a preferential hiring list. The Tyson workers put up a hell of a fight and had the backing of their home town community. They won some interesting victories such as getting the state to back off forcing parolees to take jobs as strikebreakers. But, as is too often the case these days, the fight between one small local union and a global corporate giant was just a mismatch. Broader struggles are needed.

Worker Rights Conference Shaping Up
The upcoming
Worker Rights At Home and Abroad, in Kansas City, March 19-20, is shaping up. I’m pleased to report that Ed Bruno—wearing two hats—will be coming in to speak. I’ve known Ed since we worked together on a successful UE organizing campaign at Litton Microwave’s plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1980. Soon after, Bruno went on to serve a stint as national Director of Organization for the UE. Now the New England Organizer for the Labor Party he has played a central role in the LP Worker Rights Campaign. He has also been deeply involved in US Labor Against the War and the USLAW campaign in support of worker rights in occupied Iraq. Bruno will be the lead speaker at both the Worker Rights At Home and the Worker Rights in Occupied Iraq sessions. Judy Ancel, director of the Institute for Labor Studies and president of the Cross Border Network, will be the lead speaker for the Worker Rights Where American Bosses Offshore session. Other panelists are being lined up and we are hopeful we may get a representative from an Iraqi trade union group.

Chili For Choice A Big Success
I don’t have any official figures but I would estimate that over one hundred braved a winter storm warning to plunk down five bucks for a bowl of home made chili. This was a fund raiser to help send folks from Kansas City to the
March For Women’s Lives in Washington, DC April 25. KC Labor is an official endorser of the march and we put our chili where our mouth is.

Overtime Protest
The Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO and the
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists are sponsoring a protest against the Bush administration’s change in overtime rules. We’re to meet at the Bolling Federal Building, 601 E 12th Street, 4:30-5:30, Thursday, February 5.

Some Changes To Our Picks At Powell’s
We’ve done some freshening of our top thirty picks at
Powell’s books. We got tired of looking at Michael Moore and have added instead two recently published works giving a working class analysis of foreign policy issues:

Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance (the American Empire Project)
by Noam Chomsky

Bush in Babylon: Recolonizing Iraq
by Tariq Ali

Any purchases made through our links to Powell’s helps us to pay our bills at kclabor.org

In closing let me apologize for the late posting this week—we’ll try harder next week.

Bill Onasch
webmaster, kclabor.org

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