Labor Advocate Online

Week In Review

A Weekly Column by Bill Onasch
January 23, 2007

News Back Up
We resumed posting of the
Daily Labor News Digest this morning. If you looked for it early and didn’t find it it wasn’t because the webmaster over slept; our host server was down for about a half hour.

Send ‘em All a Message Saturday
Over the weekend hundreds of Iraqis and 25 GIs were killed in Iraq—and the “surge” has barely begun. The new congress has accepted the surge escalation as the frame of the debate about war. It appears unlikely that they will be able to agree on even a “nonbinding” resolution about this. Some favor increased troop levels for Afghanistan instead of Iraq. Proposals to cut off funding for the war are going no where.

This Saturday, January 27, will be an opportunity to reinforce the message that many tried to deliver in last November’s election. There will be a labor contingent, assembling at CWA headquarters, in the March On Washington to Bring the Troops Home Now . There will be local demonstrations in areas too far away to make it to DC, including a major rally in San Francisco.

I urge you to plug in to one of these actions forcefully reiterating our message to the politicians—Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar, Not One More Day—Bring All the Troops Home Now!

Labor and Sustainability Conference
The break in our news updates was due to my attendance at the
Labor and Sustainability Conference in St Paul this past Friday-Saturday. The principal coordinators of the event, Lynn Hinkle from UAW Local 879, and Christine Frank from Climate Crisis Coalition - Twin Cities (3CTC), did an excellent job in both assembling the program and building attendance. More than 150 were on hand at the opening plenary Friday evening and dozens more participated in one or more of the Saturday workshops. The gathering was a good mix of trade unionists and environmental activists. I’ll have more to say about the conference, and will post my prepared “responder” remarks, before the next Week In Review.

Concerned About Your Health?—Pay Attention To the Nurse
Last week SEIU president Andy Stern, aka Chairman Andy, was posing for photo ops with the heads of the Business Roundtable and AARP. A story in the Washington Post explained, “They put aside their usual differences to deliver a clear, simple message to President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties: We stand ready to give you the political cover you need for a centrist, bipartisan fix for a broken health-care system.” Sounds like the approach that “fixed” Medicare prescription costs a couple of years ago. President Bush purportedly will throw out some new tax incentive proposals in his State of the Union speech tonight that will fix health care real good.

But those pesky nurses at the CNA just won’t get with the program. CNA president Deborah Burger has been writing articles in California papers promoting single-payer bills in congress and the California legislature. And the union has produced an excellent fact sheet explaining why single-payer is the only fair and rational solution to the health care crisis. You might want to download it and keep it handy to help maintain your sanity as Chairman Andy continues his rounds at the Mad Hatters Tea Party with the bosses and AARP sell-outs.

That’s all for this week’s truncated review.

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