Weekly Update: There's Cake on the Football Field.
Labor Around the Country
Wisconsin – Walker’s Law Struck Down
Workers in Wisconsin breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as a judge struck down nearly all of Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union law that limits collective bargaining rights for public employees. Walker’s law has made him a celebrity among extreme right-wingers who tried to pass pieces of his policy across the country.
The law was found to be unconstitutional.
According to the ruling, sections of the law "single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and United States Constitutions." Ultimately, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will have to decide whether Walker’s law is constitutional or not. For now, workers in Wisconsin and their allies are celebrating the return of hard-earned collective bargaining rights.
Chicago - Teachers and Students Go Back to School
Teachers in Chicago are back in the classroom today after reaching a tentative agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools. This was the first teachers’ strike in 25 years in Chicago. The strike is suspended until teachers vote on the agreement, which Mayor Rahm Emmanuel called a “true compromise.”
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten spoke about what the strike means for education: “It was heartening to see the level of support for CTU members from parents and community members who share the simple yet powerful belief that education is more than tests and test prep, and that the people who educate our children should be respected and involved in decisions affecting what goes on in our schools.”
Click here to learn more about the strike in Chicago.
Nationwide - National Football League
National Football League referees are still locked out of their jobs, and some of football’s biggest voices are speaking up about the NFL’s lack of effort to make things right. The NFL has brought in refs from lower tier college divisions and commentators such as Steve Young don’t like what they’re seeing on the gridiron: “Everything about the NFL now is inelastic for demand. There’s nothing they can do right now to hurt the demand for the game. The bottom line is they don’t care. Player safety doesn’t matter in this case. Bring in the Division III officials – it doesn’t matter. In the end you’re still going to watch the game, we’re going to all complain and moan and gripe but … it doesn’t matter. Go ahead gripe all they want. I’m going to rest. Let them eat cake.”
In short: until we tune out, the refs won’t gain the leverage they need.
9 /21 - Rally to Save Oregon’s Schools
Join fellow union members, activists and community members on Friday to rally in support of Oregon’s public schools! The rally starts at 3:30pm on Friday, September 21st in Grant Park (NE 33rd and US Grant Place) in Northeast Portland. Learn more about the rally here.
9/25 - National Voter Registration Day
Make sure everyone’s voice is heard on Election Day by participating in National Voter Registration day on September 25th. Head to http://nationalvoterregistrationday.org/ to find events in your area or to create your own voter registration event!
Check on your own voter registration status at www.oregonvotes.org – especially if you’ve moved recently or didn’t receive a ballot in May for the Primary Elections.
9/30 - YELL Conference
If you’re a young worker and interested in getting more involved in the labor movement, don’t miss the 3rd annual Young Emerging Labor Leaders Conference at 1:00pm on Sunday, September 30th at Holocene in Southeast Portland. Click here for all the details.
9/30 Yes Works – Free Comedy event
Political humorist and corporate infiltrator Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men will be in Portland for one free labor-sponsored event, complete with music from DJ Short Change! The event is 21 and over and will be held at Holocene in Southeast Portland starting at 7:30pm. Click here to RSVP.
Canvasses & Phone Banks
Labor 2012 has begun! Make sure your local turns out volunteers to a canvass, sponsors a phone bank or helps spread the word a worksite flier.
The next canvass will be held on Sunday, September 30th at 10:00am at the Oregon AFL-CIO Portland office at 3645 SE 32nd ave.
Email Jess (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get involved!