Viewed by many as the most serious assault on labor organizations in recent history, the Supreme Court decision in Janus vs AFSCME is a call for the unions and worker organizations to adopt more militant and aggressive tactics in dealing with employers. Following is a statement by the Southern Workers Assembly (SWA) with an analysis and ideas on the way forward.
U.S. SUPREME COURT DEALS BODY BLOW TO PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS, HURTS ALL
“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as ‘right to work,’” Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1964. “It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. “Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions for everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer, and there are no civil rights.”
May 19 marks the 91st anniversary of the birth of Malcolm X, the great 20th Century leader of the African American struggle for freedom, justice and equality; for self-determination and liberation. His assassination in 1965, at the hands of those working in the interest of white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism, marked a horrible chapter in our history of struggle and the beginning of the modern Black Power Movement.
“On Sunday May 1, 2016, International Workers Day, ILWU Local 10 for the second consecutive year will be shutting down all Bay Area ports for 8 hours. This year we will commemorate a National Day of Mourning in memory of the Black and Brown lives that have been taken by racist police and vigilante killings across the country”
At the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King Support for Labor Banquet two individuals and two organizations were awarded the Black Workers for Justice’s Self-Determination Award. North Carolina based Muslims for Social Justice and Charleston’s Healthcare Workers United were the group recipients. The individual award went to two trade union activist. ILA Local 1422 activist Leonard Riley received an individual award. The second was awarded to Clarence Thomas a labor activist, member of ILWU Local 10 and longtime freedom fighter. Thomas was unable to attend but submitted this statement to share with the participants. Note his call for action on May Day. Continue reading
North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Attacks LGBTQ Community, Workers, Women and People of Color
The hateful and shameful legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor McCrory after only three hours of debate is the most recent attack on democracy and the rights of the people of North Carolina. Taking the lead, along with Mississippi, North Carolina lawmakers have implemented yet another component of the reactionary agenda supported by the wealthy 1% and its most racist sectors. The state legislature is playing a master game of Divide and Conquer. It is attempting to play us against each other while cutting the rights of all. Continue reading