Labor Advocate Online

KC Labor Newsletter
Week In Review, July 5, 2004
by Bill Onasch, webmaster, kclabor.org


A Watershed Anniversary
This year marks the seventieth anniversary of a watershed event in American labor history—the 1934 Minneapolis Truck Drivers Strikes. Along with the Toledo AutoLite Strike, and the San Francisco General Strike during that same year, the Minneapolis Teamsters put an end to a long unbroken string of defeats for the working class during the early years of the Great Depression. These victories gave all workers hope again and prepared the way for the great upsurge that later organized most basic manufacturing into the CIO. An all day celebration will take place in Minneapolis on Saturday, July 24. You can find all the details at: http://www.1934strike.org/ I’m planning to go up to Minneapolis and will bring back a report.

The Legislature Giveth and the Judge Taketh Away
You’re not going to believe this but a state legislature actually screwed up. A pro-boss state senator in Virginia introduced a bill eliminating old restrictions on Sunday work. But, through an oversight, when the day was done a law was on the books requiring a full 24 hour rest day every week for all non-management workers. And, if they claimed religious observance of the Sabbath, workers could demand their rest day be on Saturday or Sunday, depending on their faith. Convenience store, fast food, and strip mall bosses were beside themselves with fear and anger. But the employers finally found a judge who granted an emergency 90-day injunction against workers using the law while the sheepish legislators planned how to fix it.  The judge acted reluctantly, saying he believed he was encroaching upon the legislature's prerogative.

A Nominee for News Of the Weird
The Portland [Maine] Press Herald reported “Pat LaMarche, the Green Party's newly nominated candidate for vice president, said Tuesday that her top priority is not winning the White House for her party, but ensuring that President Bush is defeated. She is, in fact, so determined to see Bush lose that she would not commit to voting for herself and her running mate, Texas lawyer David Cobb.”

Go Figure
Reuters reported “Drug firms raised the prices of some medicines as much as 10 percent since the Bush administration enacted the new Medicare law late last year, making it hard for some patients to afford them, a new report said on Wednesday.” The author of this report? None other than the AARP—the seniors group that stunned everyone by supporting Bush’s Medicare “reform.”

As We Have Said
I’ve repeatedly urged readers of this list to abandon Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser as well as their Outlook e-mail software. Now the government agency Computer Emergency Readiness Team is finally issuing a strong warning about IE. It is riddled with security gaps that put users credit card and other personal data at risk If you are using both IE and Outlook I recommend that you replace them with the Mozilla suite, combining both browser and e-mail programs. If you’re already using a non-Microsoft stand alone e-mail program then switch to Mozilla’s Firefox browser. Both of these open source alternatives are available for free download.