“No Borders, No ICE” – Health Workers Rally for Immigrants!

By Linda Green, 11-20-2019

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA over 80 members at the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting and several local activists from Puentes de Salud (Bridges of Health, an NGO) protested detention centers, deportations and borders with a spirited march to the ICE office four blocks from the Convention Center, chanting “No Borders!” to recognize that borders only help the capitalists and divide workers. Thirty (30) marchers signed up to be contacted in the future to strengthen the fight against racist deportations and ICE.

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Chicago Teachers Strike October 2019


By Karyn Pomerantz

November 14, 2019

Chicago teachers struck for 2 weeks in October 2019, adding to the 373,000 teachers who walked out in six states in 2018 to demand better wages and conditions and improved education for their approximately 400,000 students. The strike of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and SEIU Local 73 of school staff raised the bar for the labor movement.  This article covers its demands, significant support, and lessons learned.

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On the Picket Line with UAW Strikers

by Ellen Isaacs

October 13, 2019

Today a group of about 35 UAW members  and other unionists took a bus from New York City to join the picket line at the GM parts distribution center in Langhorne, Pa. We spent several hours with the six or so strikers, who were occupying a space filled with chairs, tents, food and a firepit donated by many supporters who have come from local schools and other shops. They were in high spirits and very glad to see us, and we learned a lot about their situation. We also learned that 3000 Mack truck workers struck last night at midnight in nearby Allentown – strke fever may be spreading.

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Maternal Mortality-Racism Kills

by Karyn Pomerantz, October 13, 2019

Washington, DC has the highest rate of maternal death in the country, and deaths of black mothers and pregnant women are three times higher than white women. The  maternal mortality rate is 33 deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to the national rate of 17 and Maryland’s 12 deaths. This huge disparity persists no matter what the level of income or education.

So what does the DC government do? Rather than improving and reopening an obstetric service at United Medical Center (UMC), which was closed because of poor quality, the City wants to replace it with a for-profit, union-busting hospital that will take years to build, leaving women far from hospitals for delivery and emergency care. UMC (formerly Greater Southeast Hospital) serves residents of Wards 7 and 8, primarily black families, where there are high rates of poor housing, poverty, unemployment and displacement as developers ravage historic neighborhoods to enrich the rich. Housing insecurity and homelessness multiply the stress for pregnant women and new mothers dealing with inadequate income and a new life to support. 

At this writing, there will be 2 community meetings to organize and protest this attack on women’s health (see below for URLs):

October 21: City Paper Community Conversations – HEALTH & WELLNESS: The State of Maternal Health in D.C., 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT), The Outrage – 1722 14th Street NW DC

October 25: Health Public Oversight Hearing, 11:00 am, Wilson Building Room 412, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, DC, 20004.  Come testify for a public 

The DC Health Justice Coalition, a coalition of anti-racist activists, health care advocates, and community organizations, have mobilized to fight these plans. They organized community forums and a social media presence (DC Health Justice Coalition on Facebook), and plan to testify before community and City Council hearings. Other NGOs have produced analyses and recommendations for years. In 2018, the City established the Maternal Mortality Review Committee to ascertain the reasons for the high rates in order to implement solutions. It will initiate meetings and hearings soon.

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United Auto Workers (UAW) Strike Update – October 9, 2019

by Al Simpson, Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The UAW-GM strike is now over 3 weeks old. The UAW has not given out much information regarding the sticking points in the negotiations. Below is the publicly available information on these negotiations. 

Health Insurance Payments by Workers Increase
GM wanted the health insurance payments by the workers to increase from 3 percent to 15 percent. According to the Detroit Free Press, this demand has been rescinded.

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GM Strike – An Important Struggle Long in the Making

Fiat Chrysler workers join GM strikers at shuttered Warren Transmission plant in suburban Detroit. wsws.com

by Al Simpson

September 26, 2019

Since the bankruptcy of General Motors (GM) in 2009, the United Auto Workers (UAW) misleaders allowed GM to reduce wages, health benefits and job security. GM retirees have had to endure pension cuts and healthcare reductions. The reduction in wages was mostly accomplished through a tiered pay system.

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MICROSOFT CONTRACT WITH ICE EXPOSED: ONE STEP IN DEFENSE OF IMMIGRANTS

by Ellen Isaacs

September, 2019

On September 14, members of Close the Camps (closethecamps.us) in New York City occupied the showy Microsoft store on 5th Ave. to protest Microsoft’s $19.4 million contract with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Some protestors entered the store, dropped banners and fake bloodstained money and occupied the main floor. Another three rows of demonstrators blocked the front door with signs and banners, while chanting against collusion with ICE, border walls, racism and fascism. Although the police arrived quickly, Microsoft told them to back off, and the action continued unabated for two hours. Meanwhile, other demonstrators took up residence across the street after marching across midtown. Eventually, the occupiers moved to block traffic on Manhattan’s central 5th Ave. and were arrested, 76 in all. The ensuing publicity forced Microsoft, whose store was closed for the entire day, to issue a statement. They tried to appear innocent by denying involvement in locking up children and claiming to be multiracial and multinational, but they were forced to admit that “our current cloud engagement with ICE is supporting legacy mail, calendar, messaging and document management workloads.”

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