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Monday, February 28, 2011


Israeli Flag Flying @ Steves' Deli - Brownwood, Texas







OPINION
Op-Ed: Wis. governor’s plan threatens workers and Jewish values

By Laurie Zimmerman · February 28, 2011

MADISON, Wis. (JTA) -- More than 100 Jews from all three Madison synagogues gathered Feb. 25 to celebrate Shabbat with services in the Wisconsin State Capitol. Four Madison rabbis led the services for the community members who had crammed into the North Gallery.

Below us, the Capitol Rotunda was teeming with energy -- protesters from all over the state were waving signs of opposition to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget repair bill.

Singing Shabbat psalms and reciting prayers, we had found a Jewish expression for our deepest values -- values of community, education and justice; values of respecting the elderly and caring for the poor, the sick, the mentally ill and the disabled; values of discussion, debate and compromise.

The governor’s legislation threatens these values.

His budget repair bill has nothing to do with solving an emergency budget crisis, nor does it have to do with curbing the excesses of labor unions. This is about political power: Destroy the unions and you have destroyed a key institution representing the interests of the middle and working class.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/02/28/2743125/op-ed-wis-governors-plan-threatens-workers-and-jewish-values

Saturday, February 26, 2011

All injustice is local

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while supporting the striking sanitation workers.

http://www.thenorthwestern.com/article/20110215/OSH0603/110215040





"What happens in Wisconsin affects every man, woman and child in America. Nothing less than the fate of our middle class is at stake,"

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/25/usa-wisconsin-idUSN2518026020110225

"We have a common enemy, which is right-wing corporations that want to bust unions and attack gay, lesbian, bi and trans rights. " Comanche's Morris Kight

http://www.workers.org/ww/kight.html

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world.” -The late people’s historian Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 – January 27, 2010)

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20110216014753778

GOP's War on Labor Unions Will Backfire
Markos Moulitsas

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2011/02/23/gop039s_war_on_labor_unions_will_backfire_250972.html

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wisconsin: Green Bay Packers Join Solidarity Movement for Worker's Rights to Unionize by Dave Zirin



Wisconsin: Green Bay Packers Join Solidarity Movement for Worker's Rights to Unionize by Dave Zirin

Is Herbert Kohler’s Union Deal a Possible Blueprint for Wisconsin?

Last November I wrote a story about Herbert Kohler, Jr., the chairman and chief executive of the $4.7 billion (revenues) private plumbing company in Wisconsin that bears his name. The story focused on how the 72 year-old had grown his family business into a global powerhouse, and how his own love of golf had turned him into one of the game’s leading men, with his Whistling Straits courses, property in St. Andrews, Scotland, and more golf-related ventures on their way.

But a smaller part of the story has come into sharper relief, thanks to Wisconsin’s ongoing union strife.

During my reporting of the story, Kohler was in intense negotiations with the 4,000 union employees at the company’s flagship plant in the pretty Wisconsin town named after his family. Kohler has gradually transformed the town from an industrial site to a resort town, with high-end American Club Resort Hotel, and the nearby golf courses at Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. But a large part of the town’s charm lies in the fact that a portion of the company’s manufacturing still takes place right there. Tours of the plants—in which visitors can see the making of the toilets and baths that have anchored the company—are a must-do for all visitors.

But when Kohler spoke of the negotiations with the unions, he said, bluntly, that he was “worried about it.” The Kohler plant with its 4,000 employees is the company’s most expensive by far. (Employees made an average hourly rate of $22.54, one of the highest union wages in the country; most of Kohler’s 30,000 employees work overseas.) Kohler told me that he desperately wanted the plant “to become viable.”

Perhaps adding to his anxiety was the fact that the Kohler company is no stranger to union troubles. From 1954-1960, the company endured the longest industrial labor strike in American history. Herb Kohler himself was attacked by a handful of teenagers during that strike and escaped only when he struck one of his assailants with the butt of a pistol.


http://blogs.forbes.com/monteburke/2011/02/23/is-herbert-kohlers-union-deal-a-possible-blueprint-for-wisconsin/

Hearing in the matter of the Kohler Company, Federal Union no. 18545, Kohler Workers Association. - Wisconsin Historical Society

Hearing in the matter of the Kohler Company, Federal Union no. 18545, Kohler Workers Association. - Wisconsin Historical Society

Wednesday, February 9, 2011