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Jill Stein: Winning labor’s battles requires independent politics

From the Jill Stein for President Campaign, approaching Labor Day:

I welcome and endorse the AFL-CIO’s campaign to finally fulfill President Roosevelt’s 1944 call for a second, Economic Bill of Rights, including the rights to jobs, living wages, labor unions, voting rights, health care, education, and retirement security.

As the Green Party candidate for President, my Green New Deal platform already has specific proposals to secure these rights.

● Jobs: Employ the unemployed in public works projects and federally-supported community-controlled cooperatives and other enterprises; create 25 million green and pink jobs.

● Living Wages: Raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage.

● Labor Law Reforms: Repeal the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act, outlaw permanent striker replacements, and authorize majority card check union recognition.

● Voting Rights: Pass the Right To Vote Amendment to establish an affirmative constitutional right to vote and accurate vote counting.

● Corporate Power: Pass a constitutional amendment to repeal the corrupting court-ordered doctrines that corporations are people and money is speech and establish that corporations and election campaign finance can be regulated.

● Health Care: Enact single-payer Medicare for All.

● Education: Forgive student debt and provide tuition-free public education from pre-school through graduate school.

● Retirement Security: Eliminate the cap on Social Security taxes for high incomes in order to secure Social Security’s indefinite fiscal sustainability.

The AFL-CIO leadership is demanding that the two corporate-financed parties, the Democrats and Republicans, adopt the Economic Bill of Rights in their platforms at their conventions this year. They must know this a lost cause with the openly anti-union Republicans. They should know that a real commitment to an Economic Bill of Rights is as much a lost cause with the Democrats, who have taken labor’s political support for granted for many decades with no significant pro-labor reforms to show for it.
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UAW Endorses Mark Miller in Massachusetts State Rep Race

Mark Miller is the Green Party candidate for Massachusetts State Representative. From the campaign:

Mark Miller has won the endorsement of the United Auto Workers (UAW), a major industrial labor union, in his bid to become the new state representative of the Pittsfield district.

Willie Desnoyers, president of the UAW Massachusetts State CAP Council, said: “I’m proud to report that the UAW MA State CAP Council has endorsed Mark Miller for state representative for the 3rd Berkshire District. We are looking forward to working with Mark in the state Legislature. It is important to us that Labor endorses candidates that will respect collective bargaining rights and job creation in Massachusetts. We feel Mark is the best choice for Labor.”
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Green Party of York County, PA demonstrates in solidarity with Wisconsin workers

From the York Daily Record:

York, PA – Demonstrators supporting Wisconsin unions waved and shook their signs at drivers who beeped their horns as they passed U.S. Rep. Todd Platts’ office in Springettsbury Township at rush hour Friday.Signs reading “Stand with Wisconsin workers” and “Support a teacher” were held by some in the group who decided to participate in the rally organized by Stephen Baker of the Green Party of York County.

“We’re here to protest Republicans trying to take away years of work on labor rights,” Baker, a Springettsbury resident, said.

A bill eliminating most collective-bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public-employee unions was passed Thursday. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law Friday.

Friday’s protest in York County was one of several planned by the Green Party. One was held last week in Harrisburg, Baker said, where about 1,000 demonstrators showed support for Wisconsin unions seeking negotiation rights.

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Green candidates win key endorsements from unions and labor organizations

While Dems take labor support for granted and cave in to corporate lobbies, Greens fight for working people; Greens say “We don’t have a shortage of work ethic in America, we have a shortage of work”

WASHINGTON, DC — Green candidates for Congress and other public offices have drawn important endorsements from unions and labor organizations, as well as union leaders and rank and file members throughout the US.

“Unions and working people are waking up to the fact that they have a party willing to fight for them — the Green Party,” said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for Governor of New York (http://howiehawkins.com/) and a member of Teamsters Local 317 (see below).

“While Democratic politicians take labor votes for granted, Greens are pushing for the creation of millions of Green jobs, public works programs, and the right to organize in the nation’s workplaces. While Democrats cave in to wealthy corporate lobbies and campaign contributors, Greens are promoting Medicare For All and opposing plans by the White House’s ‘Catfood Commission’ to cut Social Security. When Democrats and Republicans sent Wall Street billions in bailouts, Greens demanded help for working people suffering under the economic meltdown. The Green Party says: we don’t have a shortage of work ethic in America, we have a shortage of work,” said Mr. Hawkins.

Recent labor endorsements for Green candidates: Continue Reading

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California Greens and San Francisco Greens Endorse Labor Teach-In

On May 9th workers in the San Francisco Bay Area will be gathering to discuss the recent economic crisis and will plan the moves ahead for a unified effort for the difficult days ahead. The gathering was initiated by the San Francisco Labor Council, South Bay Labor Council, and Workers Emergency Recovery Campaign. It was endorsed by the Green Party of California and the San Francisco Green Party. The effort is being organized by labor unions, community organizations, student groups, single payer healthcare advocates and various political organizations in the region.

In a letter the Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council Tim Paulson wrote:

“Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I want to urge you and your members to participate in a teach-in and mobilizing meeting scheduled for May 9, 2009 at the Plumbers’ Hall (1621 Market Street, between Franklin and Gough) from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. This event is being co-sponsored by Bay Area Labor Councils. This event is of special importance because it will highlight an action plan developed by the San Francisco Labor Council that includes the following goals:
• No layoffs. Massive job-creation programs.
• Tax the rich—don’t bail out the banks.
• Pass the Employee Free Choice Act.
• Single-payer healthcare for all.
• Affordable housing for all. Moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
• Funding for jobs, social services and infrastructure, not for war.
• Stop the ICE raids and deportations. Legalization for all.
This May 9 event will propose large public actions to promote this action plan. We believe this plan is not only good for working people in San Francisco, but for the country as a whole since we cannot get out of this deepening recession unless working people are working at union jobs with union-scale wages, they enjoy good health, and they have the security of a home.” (excerpted)

The people of California continue to pay for the consequences of the financial manipulations of the large multi-national corporations and investment banks. Unemployment in California has risen to 11.2%. 135,000 default notices on mortgages were sent out in the first three months of the year in California, an 80% increase from the fourth quarter of 2008 and a 19% increase from the previous year period.

In a Press Statement released April 1, 2009 Laura Wells, Green Party candidate for California State Controller in 2002 and 2006 declared: “Anger over the unprecedented transfer of public money to private corporations must be channeled into political pressure on Mr. Obama and Congress members, and into electing candidates who stand for people instead of powerful lobbies.”

The Green Party stands with working people not just on election day, but every day. From this event there will be a plan developed for a Solidarity action that begins to unify the various social forces of our community towards  common action with a common agenda. Greens in the Bay Area have been urged to attend the Teach-In and to visibly demonstrate our solidarity and our commitment to the cause of social justice.

Those in the region who plan to attend are urged wear Green Party T-shirts and can help hand out brochures from the Green Party presenting our support. Green public officials and candidates for public office in past years and years to come are invited to join and speak at the open mike. Coalition leaflets for the Teach-In are online in PDF format here

People wishing to help out the day of the Teach-In should contact Martin Zehr at 415-337-5773. people wishing to donate to the San Francisco Green Party can do so online at:  this page.