WIN Week In Review October 17-19, 2008
By Doug Cunningham
GM announced on Thursday it plans to cuts 1500 jobs; 400 in Delaware, and 700 in Michigan. The three plants being targeted for cuts produce large sedans and pick-ups. The automobile industry saw it’s sharpest decline in 17 years during September as sales plummeted 27 percent. GM is in serious discussions with the owners of Chrysler, talking about a possible merger.
PepsiCo announced on Tuesday that it plans to cut 3300 jobs and close six plants. The company, which is the world’s number two drink producer, plans to make the cuts both in and outside the United States. Announcements as to which plants will be shuttered will be made in the coming months.
Sen. John McCain, meet Joe the plumber. Unlike Samuel Wurzelbacher, Joe’s given name is…Joe.
And, unlike Wurzelbacher, he’s a licensed plumber.
Joe Moenck, a plumber in Zumbrota, Minn., is a member of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) Local 6—which, like all building and construction trades unions, has high professional standards for its members—such as making sure they hold a license to practice their craft.
Natasha Pranger of AFSCME, Alan Kilar of UAW and Mark Butler of UA are joining millions of other active and retired union members in working to elect Barack Obama as president.
“We need change now more than ever, and I’ve never been more enthusiastic about an election,” says Pranger. “The possibility of a President Obama in the White House excites me because he understands and cares about the issues that matter to me, like better wages, quality health care, safe working conditions and on-site day care in the workplace. We need to seize this moment and fight for our future. This is our time to make a difference.”
Kilar is a state employee and a member of UAW Local 6000 in Lansing, Mich. Speaking to UAW’s Solidarity magazine, he says he supports Obama because Obama understands the economic crisis is hurting workers across the spectrum.
“Public-sector workers understand that when auto and manufacturing plants close, it is not long before public jobs and services are affected,” he says. “I believe Barack Obama has a real solution to revitalize our manufacturing base and stop the flow of jobs overseas, a plan to restore the foundations of hardworking, middle class Americans.”
Members of the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union are launching a national political mobilization tour, kicking off this weekend, to help energize union members and send Sen. Barack Obama to the White House.
The “Army of Black and Gold,” including IUPAT President James Williams, will set off on a bus tour of key states through the election. At every stop, IUPAT members will take part in rallies, door-to-door walks and worksite visits. Williams says IUPAT members are committed to getting out every vote.
This election is the most critical since the Great Depression to the future of working Americans. The IUPAT has always been one of the most politically active unions in this country, so we’re hitting the road to visit with working families to get them excited about this election and show them how important their vote is this year.
The U.S. Supreme Court today vacated a temporary restraining order sought by Ohio Republicans that would have required Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to update the state’s voter registration database before Election Day. The decision means thousands of voters who might support worker-friendly candidates will be allowed to vote without being challenged on Election Day. Had the politically motivated lawsuit, which included the restraining order, been allowed to proceed, some 200,000 eligible Ohio voters could have been forced to use provisional ballots.
The Ohio Republican Party filed suit against Brunner, claiming she should be required under federal law to match new voter registrations against certain state databases. After a federal circuit court ruled in the Republicans’ favor, Brunner appealed to the high court, saying simple errors such as data entry mistakes and unnecessary software codes could lead to erroneous mismatches and deny eligible voters the right to vote.
John Lawson from USW Local 261, reports on a successful event in Bangor, Maine, in which union members and community allies turned out to protest a visit by vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
As the parking lot started to fill with protesters, we knew we had done our job getting the word out to people to join us in protesting a visit to Maine by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Union members included were those from the Communications Workers of America (CWA), United Steelworkers (USW) and SEIU, while allied partners represented the Maine Fair Trade Campaign and students from the College of the Atlantic. USW members from several unions took part: Locals 4-00009, 4-00080, 4-00261 and 4-01188 as well as family members.
Between 175 and 200 people marched to the crossroads at the Bangor International Airport to let the McCain/Palin vice presidential nominee know we are not going to stand for four more years of the same failed policies and lousy trade deals that have cost the workers in Maine more than 24,000 manufacturing jobs.