Bahrain Center for Human Rights names individuals facing trial by military courts. Full Text

Reblogged from 2011 protests in Bahrain

Rawlin'sView Blog

The following article describes the 21 individuals facing trial today in Bahrain. The trials are closed to the public. Four young men have already been sentenced to death in Bahrain. The individuals facing trial could potentially also face a death sentence according to an article by AFP. For a link to current AFP article describing the trials in Bahrain today Follow This Link Bahrain opposition leaders appear in court martial

Complete Text of Statement from Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Important information about the trial of prominent Bahraini’s on Sunday

Dear Friends,To give you a quick overview on tomorrows case:

There are several things worth mentioning. The people going on trial are of very diverse backgrounds and from different political societies and/or organizations. Some of these detainees were in detention during the beginning of the mass pro-democracy protests after they were arrested during the previous crackdown in…

View original post 1,612 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UAW Local 833 Strikes Wisconsin Kholer plant

Many hundreds of workers have rejected a two-tier contract and are on strike against the Kholer company based in Wisconsin. Kholer produces plumbing fixtures, electrical generators and other basic products. Links for more information on the strike can be found below.

Workers Walk Picket on rainy Thanksgiving Day

The Militant Reports on UAW Kholer Strike

Wikipedia history of labor militancy at Kholer plant

US News Article on Pickets at Kholer Plant

Link to website of UAW local 833, the members of which are on strike against Kholer.

Donations and support to the workers on strike at Kholer
“We are currently accepting material & cash donations. Donations to the ‘Strike Fund’ help defray our Locals expenses & operating costs. The “Kohler UAW Local 833 Workers Relief Fund” helps our members who are most in need. We are working on donation buttons, which will be set up in the next week. You can also mail or drop off donations at:

Emil Mazey Hall
C/O either strike funds name
5425 Superior Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53083

Posted in Labor Movement, US. Labor History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Characteristics of Mature Capitalism v. 4

Rawlin'sView Blog

by Rawlinsview –New York Jan 29, 2014

– –  The Current Situation – –

Every child knows, too, that the masses of products corresponding to the different needs required different and quantitatively determined masses of the total labor of society. That this necessity of the distribution of social labor in definite proportions cannot possibly be done away with by a particular form of social production but can only change the mode of its appearance , is self-evident. No natural laws can be done away with. What can change in historically different circumstances is only the form in which these laws assert themselves. And the form in which this proportional distribution of labor asserts itself, in the state of society where the interconnection of social labor is manifested in the private exchange of the individual products of labor, is precisely the exchange value of these products.[1]

The history of the…

View original post 4,599 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Microsoft customer service telephone hack?

Is anyone aware of a situation in which the Microsoft Corporation telephone customer support network has been hacked.  This issue was raised to me by a technical support person who answers their publicized telephone number. The effective information provided was that when calling Microsoft one could not be sure whether or not one is speaking to an authorized representative of their company.

I am inevitably concerned about the security of my computers and I found this surprising and disturbing.

–RV

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Hours Trap: How overwork contributes to the waste of social resources and the degredation of personal time.

One of the tricks that capital plays on the worker is entrapment into excessive hours of work. The worker is enticed into overtime by time and a half schemes and other financial incentives. Wages are held low so the cost of a “comfortable” existence is not possible without excessive hours at work.

The resulting lack of leisure time is also a deprivation of time that a working person would otherwise spend to have comfort in their own existence by means of their own efforts.

Man with snowblower

Man with snowblower

We eat fast food take out in the car on the way to work because we lack the time to make a decent breakfast. “Labor saving” and electronic entertainment devices are sold to us as compensation for the deprivation of our personal time. The devices are only affordable to us if we work extra hours.

It is worth considering that the working class in the current age has lost a battle that was fought for and to a certain extent consolidated in the last century. That is the fight for the eight hour day and 40 hours work week.

As demand returns to the labor market and the capitalist measure of “unemployment” approaches 5% –of course not counting millions driven out of the work force in the recent crisis and millions more of younger workers who have not been provided the skills and education to enjoy meaningful employment, and the millions working multiple simultaneous part time jobs who are counted as “employed.” Further pressure to increase working hours should be resisted.

We should as well resist the temptation to fill the void in our lives created by excessive work and a deprivation of personal, family and creative leisure time with compulsive consumption.

Posted in Analysis of Mature Capitalism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ferguson, Mo., lawsuit exposes debtors’ prisons for traffic tickets : from The Militant

The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 79/No. 8      March 9, 2015

 
(front page)
Ferguson, Mo., lawsuit exposes debtors’
prisons for traffic tickets

 
BY BRIAN WILLIAMS  
Six months after Michael Brown was killed by cop Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and after ongoing protests spread nationwide over police abuse there, a class-action lawsuit was filed Feb. 8 in federal court challenging city rulers’ practice of jailing low-income workers for outstanding traffic tickets or other infractions and the subhuman conditions they’re subjected to while incarcerated.

“The City’s modern debtors’ prison scheme has been increasingly profitable to the City of Ferguson, earning it millions of dollars over the past several years,” the suit says. “It has also devastated the City’s poor, trapping them for years in a cycle of increased fees, debts, extortion, and cruel jailings.” The suit seeks damages and an injunction against these practices.

The suit was filed on behalf of 11 plaintiffs by Equal Justice Under Law, ArchCity Defenders and St. Louis University School of Law. A similar lawsuit was filed against nearby Jennings, Missouri.

Last year cops and courts in Ferguson, a city of 21,000 residents, two-thirds of whom are African-American, issued more than 3.6 arrest warrants per household, nearly 2.2 warrants for every single adult. Most were in cases involving unpaid debt for tickets. Court fines and fees have become Ferguson’s second-largest source of income, netting the city $2.6 million in 2013.

“They’re robbing us blind,” Markese Mull, a friend of Brown’s family in Ferguson, told the Militant in a phone interview Feb. 23. “They’ll ticket you for a $10 traffic violation and then tack on $100 in warrant delivery fees and another $100 in court costs.

All links to the original article at The Militant.com

Posted in Civil Rights, U.S. Civil Rights | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

REUTERS reports on Teamster Freight Rail Strike in Canada.

CP Rail’s train engineers, conductors go on strike in Canada: union

TORONTO Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:59am EST

A Canadian Pacific Railway crew works on their train at the CP Rail yards in Calgary, Alberta, in this file photo taken April 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files

A Canadian Pacific Railway crew works on their train at the CP Rail yards in Calgary, Alberta, in this file photo taken April 29, 2014.

CREDIT: REUTERS/TODD KOROL/FILES

(Reuters) – Canadian Pacific Railway’s train engineers and conductors walked off the job on Sunday as a midnight deadline to reach agreement on a new contract passed, setting the stage for back-to-work legislation to be enacted by the government.

Canada’s No. 2 railway had reached a last-minute deal with another union, Unifor, which represents safety and maintenance workers minutes before the deadline.

But it did not agree terms with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represent more than 3,000 locomotive engineers and conductors.

“Canadian Pacific workers are now on strike,” Teamsters Canada said on its Twitter feed. A spokesman confirmed the workers had walked off the job.

The Teamsters and Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, had both set a Feb. 15 strike deadline.

CP, which also has a substantial U.S. network, said last week that its managers will be ready to take over if engineers and conductors go on strike.

Chief Operating Officer Keith Creel said the Calgary-based company has been preparing for a strike for two years. He said that if one goes ahead it would reduce earnings per share by about one cent per day.

CP earned C$2.63 a share in the fourth quarter.

The Canadian government joined contract talks between CP and unionized staff on Friday to help stave off a potential strike but it also began laying the groundwork to introduce back-to-work legislation.

The Conservative government put the legislation on Parliament’s notice paper for Monday, meaning it could pass it into law soon after any strike.

In recent years, the government has intervened or threatened to intervene in several major labor disputes in the transportation sector.

Unpredictable schedules and fatigue problems have been key issues in the Teamsters negotiations. CP Rail has said union demands were unreasonable.

Scheduling has been an ongoing labor issue at both CP Rail and at Canadian National Railway Co, Canada’s largest rail operator.

CN reached a tentative deal with the Teamsters union on Saturday and is still in talks with Unifor. Unlike CP Rail, it had not faced a strike deadline from either union.

(Reporting by Amran Abocar; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Posted in Canada, Labor Movement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Port labor dispute is big concern for railroads Union Pacific, BNSF – Omaha.com: Money

The following article indicates the concerns amongst the major rail shippers engendered by an evidently successful port slowdwown amongst longshoreman working at the port of Los Angeles.

Port labor dispute is big concern for railroads Union Pacific, BNSF – Omaha.com: Money.

Posted: Monday, January 26, 2015 1:00 am

By Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writer

With rail network congestion improving in some of the nation’s grain belt, Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway are facing another prospective headache: a shutdown of the port complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the country’s largest.

Omaha-based Union Pacific Railroad says a work slowdown by the the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on the California waterfront is hurting international volumes of cargo containers that travel by ship, rail and truck.

BNSF Railway, owned by Omaha’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said the labor dispute needs to get resolved before the economy begins to register damage.
Click above link for full article text.

Posted in Labor Movement | Tagged | Leave a comment

U. S. National Railroad Workers Contract Negotitations Begins in January 2015

In the context of expanded production in the US economy, increased hiring amongst the major “Class 1” railroads and an industry expansion driven by increased oil production in the United States. Industry-wide contract negotiations have opened between the major US  rail carriers and the trade union organizations that represent the workforce in the rail transportation industry.

As reported in industry periodical Progressive Railroading U.S. Class I workforce widened again in December”  The ranks of working employees in the six class one railroads increased overall by nearly 5 percent including an over 8 percent increase in “T&E” employees–the trainmen and engineers who operate the moving equipment. This hiring activity remains active into 2015.

Below is an aggregation of articles covering still the developing negotiations between the rail carriers and the various employee unions.

NRLC statement

Unions and Craft Employment Figures for 2015 Rail Contract Bargaining round.

The Militant (logo)

Vol. 79/No. 3      February 2, 2015
(front page)
Rail workers discuss fight against
bosses’ attack on safety, crew size

As union contracts expire, freight rail workers in U.S. and Canada face bosses’ demands for speedup, cuts in crew size. Above, July 31 protest in Seattle against one-man crew.

BY ANNE CARROLL
AND R.V. SMALLWOOD

CHICAGO — More than 140,000 workers are in the middle of contract negotiations with the wealthy owners of freight railroads throughout the U.S. and Canada who are driving to increase profits at the expense of safety.

http://railroadworkersunited.org/us-unions-in-national-bargaining/

Posted in Labor Movement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

James P. Cannon: A Blood Transfusion

Because Cannon was not, in the way of some, an “intellectual” he is so often underestimated. In Cannon’s veins ran the blood of the militant workers movement of the United States. A Wobbly, a founding member and first secretary of the Workers Party, and then of the SWP(US) Cannon ranks among the great revolutionaries of history. His legacy is as yet unfinished.

Shiraz Socialist

Claiming rights as Americans

Back in March, the sometime-socialist Seymour posted this piece of far-right apologia (and rank anti-Semitism) on his blog. He has since received a resounding rebuke, and replied – characteristically- with childish, yah-boo petulance  predicated upon the idea that long words equal serious thought. If I thought it would do this buffoon any good, I’d dedicate the following elementary lesson in the socialist attitude to race, to him:

The veteran Trotskyist James P. Cannon, writing in the US Socialist Workers Party’s paper The Militant, in May 1947:

Things are not exactly what they used to be in South Carolina. The mob of 31 white men who lined the Negro Willie Earl, and admitted it with ample detail in signed statements, were put to the inconvenience of a trial in court. That is something new. But it turned out to be a very small point, for the lynchers were all triumphantly acquitted…

View original post 711 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment