Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Re-Scheduled > Walmart: We can't afford it in our communities

Thursday, February 3rd, 9:00 a.m.

West side of City Hall


This Thursday--a UFCW national day of action--join JwJers, NAACP, and UFCW to push City Council to let Walmart know that Philadelphia wants good, family-sustaining wages--not poverty wages. While unions have spent their time from Day 1 pushing for fair wages and working conditions ("Unions: from the people who brought you the weekend"), Walmart spends millions every year actively union-busting, hiring experts to prevent organizing and reverse the hard-won victories of working people's movements.

Walmart execs are always trying to sell us the line that new Walmarts mean new jobs. What they won't tell you is that for every 100 jobs a new Walmart creates, 50 community jobs disappear within a year--and 20 jobs within the Walmart disappear within 5 years due to "vertical integration" (Basker, University of Michigan 2004).

Join us Thursday, and make it clear to Council: our communities need real, lasting jobs--not poverty wage jobs that disappear as soon as the permits are signed and Walmart settles in.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A little good news!

In the wake of Corbett's inauguration--a.k.a. the official launch of an all-out, Christie-style war on public sector workers, healthcare, state liquor store employees, and more--we could all use some cheering up.

So here it is--a big worker-led organizing victory! Down in Florida, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers just won an exciting victory--a penny more a pound of produce picked (say that three times fast!), which will add up to thousands each year in additional income for this traditionally exploited immigrant workforce. CIW is a great reminder that dedicated organizing and solidarity really work.

And in other labor-related news...

In Harrisburg, thousand of Pennsylvanians urge Corbett to preserve adultBasic, which delivers affordable health insurance to many thousands of working folks in the state.

Meanwhile, Trumka is giving the DC establishment and Obama a little pushback in hopes that Obama will use 2011 to make a real push for what working people (and people who want work) need:
“So let me get this straight,” Mr. Trumka says, according to excerpts of remarks obtained by The Caucus. “We need to slash retirement and health benefits for the elderly because we are on the brink of fiscal crisis — but we can afford to squander hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts for the super-rich? Only at the Mad Hatter’s tea party does this make sense.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PDA hosts: "Healthcare not warfare," 1/28

Remember our amazing Save our Jobs rally back in September? JwJers across the country mobilized to let big business know that it was time for workers to see some kind of return on the bailouts that we paid for with our taxes.

Well, you may also remember that Progressive Democrats for America (PDA) co-sponsored and mobilized for many of those rallies and brown bag vigils across the country. This month, PDA is set to host a forum/potluck called "Healthcare not Warfare" next Friday at the William Way Community Center here in Philadelphia at 1315 Spruce Street. The panel will include two amazing ladies and longtime JwJ supporters: Kathy Black (AFSCME District Council 47, President of CLUW, co-convenor of US Labor Against the War) and Alice Hoffman (Social Security Works advocate, labor history badass). I'll also be joining the panel--here's the full speaking list:

Tim Carpenter, national director, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
Chuck Pennacchio, Ph.D, executive director of Health Care for All Pennsylvania
Gwendolyn Snyder, director of Philadelphia Jobs with Justice
Bill Deckhart, coordinator of Coalition for Peace Action
Kathy Black, co-convenor of USLAW
Alice Hoffman from Social Security Works

I'd love to see any JwJ'ers who are able to make it out! If you're interested in attending, you can register online at the PDA website.


Friday, January 14, 2011

It's time to end fire station brownouts

Today's post is written by intern Olivia Natan.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost their homes Monday in West Philly, the students and teachers who have lost the Global Leadership Academy Sunday in two five-alarm blazes. We also want to take just a moment to recognize the brave firefighters who battled the fires and rescued reside
nts of the apartment complex.

These fires are a tragedy, but they also are a reality that must be dealt with. The Philadelphia Fire Department has been forced to conduct rolling brownouts since August. That means, in plain English: the city is closing down firehouses--and slowing down response time.

As a result, the cost is one to public safety, in property, and even in lives, as Bill Gault, the President of the Philadelphia Fire Fighter’s Union points out in this Fox News 10 video.

Putting budgetary issues before public safety is a poor choice; budgetary changes should be made without sacrificing safety.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bad spirits: Corbett's attack on state liquor stores

Philly JwJ extern Allison Roseberry-Polier reports!

As state budget crises continue nation-wide, state governments are looking for new cuts and new scapegoats. Particularly as new governors and state legislators come into office, attacks on unions, especially those in the public-sector, are rising. Incoming Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker is threatening to prohibit state workers from unionizing. Ohio’s new Republican governor wants to take away the right of public school teachers to strike. Even Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is proposing a one-year pay freeze for public workers. Across the country, workers are under attack.

Pennsylvania is no exception. Incoming Republican Governor Tom Corbett is proposing to save $2 billion by privatizing state liquor sales. It is not the first time that Pennsylvania government has made such a proposal. Governors in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s have tried and failed to end state ownership of wine and liquor shops. Corbett, however, has the advantage of having both the state House and Senate in Republican hands. Corbett has no reservations about capitalizing on the current fiscal crisis in order to attack a state-run system that maintains fair working standards and consistently generates much-needed revenue for the state.

United Food and Commercial Workers are fighting back to save their jobs. In an Inquirer op-ed this week, UFCW Local 1776 President Wendell W. Young IV explained that the state system currently “provides 4,500 family-sustaining, tax-generating jobs held by Pennsylvanians. The alternative, under privatization, would be part-time jobs with no benefits.”

Corbett is joining the nation-wide trend of busting unions and good jobs in the name of closing budget gaps. We must prevent Corbett and his allies from succeeding.

Take action! Let the media know that working Pennsylvanians want to keep good jobs by keeping wine and spirits shops state-run. Vote NO on PCN TV's poll about privatization!

Back to blogging!

Thanks to everyone who donated during our 2010 end-year appeal, and to all our sponsors and guests who made our Labor Law reception a success!

Our books are kept, we've had great support on our fundraising efforts, we've already gotten started on some of our exciting program plans for the year. In all the rush, though, one thing we haven't done is much blogging.

But no fear, gentle readers. We are back on track, ready to keep you informed and up to date. So--only a bit belatedly--Happy New Year!