Oakland, Calif., community commemorates Oscar Grant

By January 9, 2014
Family members of victims of police killings at Jan. 1 rally.WW photo: Terri Kay

Oakland, Calif. — The mall area of the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit Station here reverberated with the speeches and sounds of the “Oscar Grant 5th Year Vigil Celebration” on New Year’s Day. Family members, clergy, union activists, musicians, poets, rappers and supporters all gathered to commemorate the life of Oscar Grant and to demand […]


Message from Lynne Stewart & Ralph Poynter: ‘The movement has persevered’

Lynne Stewart & Ralph Poynter in Texas.Photo: Flavia Fontes

The following message was emailed on Jan. 4. To the International Movement to Free Lynne Stewart: We are elated to announce: Federal Judge John G. Koeltl ordered Compassionate Release on Tuesday, December 31st, for renowned attorney Lynne Stewart. Judge Koeltl’s order was in response to the request from the Director of the Federal Bureau of […]


City bankruptcy one of many attacks on Detroiters


Jan. 5 — The new year began with the swearing in of Detroit’s first white mayor in 40 years and a city council elected in geographical districts. What is notable about Mayor Mike Duggan is how quickly he came to a working agreement with Kevyn Orr, the city’s appointed emergency manager, and how thoroughly and […]


Solidarity protests in several cities: ‘We see our future in Detroit’

By January 8, 2014
Raleigh, N.C.

Demonstrations were held on Jan. 3 and 4 in several cities coast to coast in support of the people of Detroit, who are facing loss of their pensions, city services and city assets. As a result of a deal made by Detroit’s emergency manager with Bank of America and United Bank of Switzerland, the residents […]


Boeing gets its contract — but by narrowest margin


Seattle — Workers in the Machinists union, District Local 751, expressed shock and disbelief at their main union hall here on Jan. 3. A Boeing-dictated union contract, which robbed the workers of benefits they had fought for decades to hold on to, was approved by a very narrow 51 percent of the members in a […]


Virginia struggle to defend Black history: ‘No stadium in Shockoe Bottom!’

By January 6, 2014
Community protests plans to build baseball stadium at site of former slave jail.Photo: The Virginia Defender

Charleston, S.C.; New Orleans; England’s Liverpool; Senegal’s Goree Island — all these places played major roles in the U.S. slave trade and all have museums that tell those stories. But here in Richmond, Va., once the capital of the slavery-defending Confederacy and for decades the center of this country’s internal slave trade, a small group […]


Detroit hotel workers picket for higher wages


“The poverty-level wages paid to workers at the Fort Shelby Doubletree Hotel are unacceptable,” charged UNITE HERE Local 24, which held a spirited picket on Dec. 20. The local has been picketing the nonunion downtown Detroit hotel on a regular basis. Several similar hotels have been targeted for their unwillingness to meet with the union […]


Small Supreme Court victory for unions, big challenges ahead


The legality of card-check neutrality was recently raised in the highest body of the U.S. government, the Supreme Court. Taking it very seriously, Harvard labor law professor Benjamin Sachs told the New York Times that Mulhall vs. UNITE HERE Local 355 could be “the most significant labor case in a generation.” (Nov. 10) There are […]


On the picket line


Calif. Walmart workers win back millions Nearly 600 workers at a Walmart warehouse in California have been ­awarded $4.7 million in compensation for wage theft by a federal judge on Dec. 16. The workers, many of whom are Mexican immigrants, worked through the contractor Schneider Logistics to move Walmart goods in a facility partly owned […]


Organize for stable school busing

School bus parents and unionists rally outside
Department on Dec. 17.Photo: PIST NYC Facebook

Relatives and supporters of New York City school bus riders ended 2013 expressing their determination to gain improvements for children and workers, despite the destructive chain of events set in motion by the billionaire class. A year ago, a four-week school bus drivers’ strike was provoked when billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Department of […]