Thursday, June 18, 2009

UFCW vs BUILDING TRADES on bill 2 let Giant build 6 new stores...#philadelphia #unions
N City Hall awaitng Joanna's SMS signal Tehran! #Curecvs

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

marchng w/ 2nd line band + ROC United in the Big Easy w/ @eduardo_soriano

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Eduardo + me are off 2 New Orleans 4 the ROC United conference

Thursday, June 11, 2009

EFCA: The Sermon

Sermon on the Employee Free Choice Act
By Bishop Dwayne Royster
Living Water United Church of Christ
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 7, 2009
Exodus 1:8-11A

Many have gathered this day to hear a word about the Employee Free Choice Act. This legislation that many are hoping to pass will have a dramatic effect on worker’s rights within this country; to organize unions to bargain with employers for better working conditions, wages, benefits, etc…

I have to admit this has been somewhat of a daunting task for me. As a Christian Minister I am always reminded that I need to ground my sermons in that which is foundational to my faith in this case the texts of the Church. Go with me briefly to the text and a story that I believe addresses God’s fundamental desire for workers to organize and have rights of self determination.
In Exodus 1:8-11a “8Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. 10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor.”
The people of Israel found themselves in a dilemma. During the days of Joseph and Jacob the founding nation of Israel found refuge in Egypt during a time of famine in all of the fertile crest (that is the middle east). Much could be said about Joseph’s story in Egypt but we will save that for another time.
Nevertheless, things went well for the Israelites in Egypt during the days of Joseph but sometime after Joseph died the text says a Pharaoh arose in Egypt that did not know Joseph. I would imagine that the story of Joseph was fading into pages of the history of Egypt. The new King of Egypt looked out and saw the Israelites had prospered in the land. Fear gripped the new Pharaoh and a plan was put into place to oppress the masses and bring greater wealth to Egypt.

I want to jump into the story here to make a point. I don’t think most business owners start business to oppress workers and subject them to unreasonable conditions. I think many business owners start out to not only make a living for themselves but others as well. However, in today’s business climate there are those that are sinister and evil in regards to making a buck. Their objective to is make as much money as they can, as quickly as they can, climbing over whomever they can and as fast as they can. In this environment, care for workers is not as important as making money. When takeovers, mergers and sales take place ---when a new pharaoh enters the scene and looks out over the land and sees the workers, generally, somebody is in trouble and it will not be the new owners.

Let me jump back into the story.

As time passes, under this new pharaoh, things get progressively worse for the Hebrews in Egypt. What was once a Godsend during the famine has become a curse. The people are oppressed, they live in less than ideal conditions and they cry out to God for help. After a period of time God hears their cries responds to their calls and sends the world’s first Union Organizer: Moses. Moses after some trials and tribulations is sent by God back to Egypt to tell Pharaoh let his people go. As it is with negotiations it is a back and forth struggle of give and take however the Israelites have God on their side and Moses as a negotiator eventually are freed from their oppressive working conditions.
I am sure that some are thinking what does this have to do with the Employee Free Choice Act.
1. I believe that God desires for us as human beings to have some say in our own destinies. Currently, when workers want to organize themselves into a union or collective bargaining unit the process for how to do that is not left in their hands but that of their employers. EFCA would allow workers the right to choose how they wanted to have their Union certified (which means recognized by the government) either by a simple majority of workers who sign up for the union or they could choose to hold their own elections.

2. The battle between Moses and Pharaoh took awhile and during that time the Egyptians used intimidation to get Moses and the Hebrews to stop pressing for their release including making it such that the Israelites had to make bricks without straw. In addition, they used Israelites within the ranks to report on others and offered them wealth for doing so. When the Employee Free Choice Act is passed, there will be stiff penalties for interfering with the workers’ rights to organize in much the same way God used the 10 plagues to punish Egypt for not negotiating in good faith.

3. With this new legislation once the NLRB has certified the union bargaining can begin on contracts almost immediately and if the process takes too long, help is available via a mediator. This will insure that a contract is settled within a reasonable amount of time

Workers and employers can find ways to work together. We can create a workforce that is more invested in their industries and production, more satisfied with their work and businesses that are more profitable. We have the opportunity to live out the best of our democratic ideas where all of us together have a say in our collective destiny.

When the people of our communities and neighborhoods have the ability to live out their dreams of a great job, great families and great communities we will see the world transformed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

will PMA guards get union wages?
going 2 City Hall for Cure CVS hearing then mtg W/ Steve Masters

Trumka to head the AFL-CIO

June 8 (Bloomberg) -- AFL-CIO President John Sweeney was briefing union leaders gathered in a conference room lined with portraits of the labor federation’s past leaders. He turned a page in his notes, looked up and made an announcement: He was backing his lieutenant, Richard Trumka, as his successor.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

no union people came 2 sermon 2day. Wheres the receprocity.
biking 2 the EFCA sermon @ Living Water UCC

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fabricio's comments from rally

Mark Schweiker, the President of the Chamber of Commerce is publically saying that the Employee Free Choice Act would take away workers ability to have a union election.

David L Cohen says that workers must be protected from unions by the government.

It is strange to hear business leaders like Mr Cohen, who has fought unions with all of their power, who have used the worst strong arm, intimidating tactics to frighten and harass their workers to prevent them from joining a union of their choosing, warning about worker intimidation.

If you look at the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, it looks like a hall of fame of workers rights violators. It includes representatives from Walmart, Verizon, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and Allied Barton.

These companys have spent years perfecting the art of preventing workers from freely using their right to collective bargaining. These same companys, under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce and front groups like the Alliance for Worker Freedom are trying to pass a resolution in our state legislature opposing the Employee Free Choice Act.

We are here to say that you can’t hide behind front groups Marc Schweiker and David Cohen, Chamber of Commerce. If you want to rob workers of the rights, you are going to have look us right in the eye. We are here to say that we will not stand by while you lie in the media about the Employee Free Choice Act. We are here to say that we are going to fight you and we are going to win!

Schweiker, no lies. Workers rights no compromise!
Schweiker, it’s not true. We know it and so do you!

We are here to inform the new members of the Chamber of Commerce that this organization is trying to harm workers in our city. The Chamber of Commerce is trying to prevent us from using our rights. You should raise this with the leaders of the Chamber. Tell them to stop lying about the Employee Free Choice Act!

PSOU independent union speaks out for EFCA

One of the speakers at the protest was Thomas Robinson, a security guard at Penn and a leader of Philadelphia Security Officer Union (PSOU). He summarized the crowd’s message when he said, “They’ve chosen to support business over people. I’m not with that.”

Read more from the Philadelphia Weekly here....

Non-Union and Union Workers Protest Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Activist Call Chamber Actions a “Campaign of Lies” Against the Employee Free Choice Act.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- About one hundred labor activists had a loud protest that coincided with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Network meeting a 5:30 p.m. yesterday at the Bellevue Hotel.

The protest was organized by Jobs with Justice, a local community organization, and the Philadelphia Security Officers Union, a start-up independent labor union for security guards.

“We are out here to tell the new members of the Chamber of Commerce to oppose the lies and rhetoric that the organization is spreading about the Employee Free Choice Act.” Says event organizer Eduardo Soriano-Castillo.

The protesters pointed out the Chamber of Commerce President, Mark Schweiker has publicly opposed the Employee Free Choice Act because it would take away the secret ballot election, which the law would not do.

The union supporters chanted, ”Schweiker, no lies. Workers rights no compromise!
Schweiker, it’s not true. We know it and so do you!” to the members of the Chamber of Commerce as the entered the hotel.

“Mr Schweiker should know that his lies affect real people like us.” Says Cecelia Lynch a security guard at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“If our right to form a union was respected right now, like it will be when we pass the Employee Free Choice Act, then we would be a union,” states Cecelia Lynch.

Cecelia Lynch and her coworkers founded and organized the Philadelphia Security Officers Union at the Museum of Art in 2008 and have signed up a majority of the workers at the facility.

Under the Employee Free Choice Act, they would be able to choose to be recognized as a union upon signing up a majority of the workers or they could also opt to have a National Labor Relations Board supervised election.

Read the KYW report here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009



EFCA protest today!

Mark Schwieker and the Chamber of Commerce are trying to prevent the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act with a campaign of lies!

WHAT: Protest the Chamber of Commerce's Campaign of Lies Against the Employee Free Choice Act

WHEN: Wed., June 3, 2009 at 5 pm SHARP!

WHERE: The Bellevue Hotel, 200 S. Broad St.

Mark Schweiker and the Chamber of Commerce are actively fighting the Employee Free Choice Act. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion about how people should form a union, but lying about what the Employee Free Choice Act will do is another.

Mark Schwieker and his friends at the Chamber of Commerce like David L Cohen (known for leading anti-union activity for years at Comcast Corp.) are campaigning against the Employee Free Choice Act in such a dishonest way that it must be hard for them to keep a straight face at times. Here is a sample of what they have been saying:

"By taking away the workers' freedom to choose...would compromise the very foundation of our democracy." Mark Schwieker

Mr. Schweiker is highly-educated and well-informed and KNOWs that this claim is overblown and untrue. Mr. Schweiker and the Chamber of Commerce knows that the Employee Free Choice Act would:

* Guaranteeing that if a majority of workers wants a union, they can have one, allowing them to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation;
* Providing mediation and arbitration for first contract disputes; and
* Establishing stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first contract negotiations.

Mr. Schweiker and the Chamber of Commerce through their front group, "Alliance for Worker Freedom," are currently pushing an anti-Employee Free Choice Act resolution through our state legislature. The Chamber of Commerce is also lobbying Sen. Arlen Specter to oppose allowing the bill to be debated in the Senate.

The Chamber of Commerce has a campaign of lies that it tells to its members about this bill. We want business leaders in our city to know the truth. The Employee Free Choice Act will improve the lives of thousands of workers across our city. The Employee Free Choice Act is an economic stimulus package for workers and businesses!

On June 3 at 5 pm, please join us to inform new members of the Chamber of Commerce (the Young Professionals Network and new member meeting) that they are about to be spoon fed some lies about this important law.

Members of the Philadelphia Security Officers Union, Thomas Robinson and Cecelia Lynch will be there educating these new business leaders about how if the Employee Free Choice Act were passed today, the guards at the Museum of Art, who have signed up a majority of their co-workers, would be a union.

Please come out and support the PSOU and the Employee Free Choice Act!!!