On Feb. 12, workers across the country marched in Fight for $15 demonstrations held to commemorate the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike and Dr. King’s visionary, multi-racial Poor People’s Campaign. It is a struggle to realize labor’s full potential.
The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.
A participant reports on demonstrations in St. Louis and Memphis over the killing of Michael Brown and others by police.
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Regarding “New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, police show pattern of violence against Black people” (Aug. 11 N&L web statement): In 2009 in the UK we saw something similar. Police officers killed a man in the vicinity of a political protest, then told the press [=>]
New York—Last year, when thousands of fast food workers walked off their jobs defying their corporate bosses and marched and rallied for a $15 minimum wage and the right to organize a union, many people who have spent their lives fighting for justice in the workplace were excited.
The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.
A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.
Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.
News and Letters Committees has posted its
OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2014-2015
February 23, 2014
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
The sharpness of revolution and counter-revolution contending now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end, cries out for a philosophical [=>]
McDonald’s walkout in Oakland. Photos by David M’Oto.
NY rally demands $15 minimum wage, fast-food workers’ right to organize a union without fear of being fired.
On Dec. 1, Aramark Correctional Services will begin running Food Service for the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), creating another sector of low-wage workers in Michigan. In a state struggling with a high unemployment rate and flooded with low-wage dead-end jobs, 60,000 in the fast-food sector in the metro Detroit area alone, why would the state government choose to add to these statistics?
Whenever you go to demonstrations, whether it is fast food workers demanding a living wage and a union where they work, or immigrants demanding total legalization now instead of a phony 14-year “path to citizenship,” or marches after the Trayvon Martin verdict, young people are playing a major role in the struggles for social justice and equal rights.