Category Archives: Unions

Seattle socialist council member Kshama Sawant wants to give city employees May Day off

sawant always screaming

Socialist Sawant…always screaming about something.

Of course, it’s a “right.”

Update: The day off was granted. From MyNorthwest.com:

Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant urged her peers to give city employees the option to take May Day off. They obliged Monday afternoon by unanimously voting to make it official.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant is urging her peers to give city employees the option to take May Day off.

On Monday afternoon, Sawant will introduce a resolution proclaiming that city workers have the “right to take the day off on May 1, 2017, without retaliation.” The resolution also asks that city departments inform non-emergency workers that they have the right to request the day off to attend the “celebrations.”

“I urge councilmembers to approve this May Day resolution, which explicitly recognizes the right of city workers to take the day off and provides protection to city workers who may otherwise worry about retaliation,” a statement from Sawant says. “May Day has historically been an important day of action for worker and immigrant rights. It’s especially significant this year, with immigrants, working people, labor unions, women, and the LGBTQ community under attack from Donald Trump. If Seattle is truly a Sanctuary City that supports immigrants and working people, then it should lead the way by enabling City employees to stand in solidarity with immigrants and all workers on May 1.

“Further, I call on everyone who opposes Trump’s bigoted, anti-worker agenda to participate in peaceful May Day activities, particularly the official May 1 Action Coalition march. Join our growing Resist Trump Coalition to actively organize and build the fightback against the billionaire class.”

Prior to a vote on the resolution, Sawant is calling for a rally at City Hall around 1:30 p.m. The resolution will be voted on during the 2 p.m. city council meeting.

Every year on May 1, a workers’ rights march is held in Seattle as part of International Workers’ Day. The march, attended by thousands, is typically peaceful. Other marches, unrelated to the workers’ march during the day, typically occur in the evening and into the night. Those have become known for antagonism, violence, and damage.

According to the Seattle Times, Sawant’s resolution notes that a state law gives public employees in Washington state the right to request two unpaid holidays per year for a reason of faith or conscience or an organized religious activity.

The law says an employee must be allowed to take off the days he or she wants unless the employee’s absence would impose an undue hardship on the employer, or the employee is necessary to maintain public safety.

DCG

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After losing 2016 election, Democrats are defecting to Communist Party USA

People’s World, the bilingual news site of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), reports on April 19, 2017, that CPUSA “has been receiving membership requests ever since Donald Trump was elected President.”

Emile Schepers, CPUSA’s International Secretary and an anthropologist by profession who was born in South Africa, told Granma International that “Although the phantom of the McCarthy era still looms across the U.S., there is growing interest in communist ideas. The global financial crisis affected many people and left the sense that today’s youth are worse off than their parents. Neither recent Democratic nor Republican administrations have been able to resolve the serious problems affecting the majority of the country’s citizens. Although the United States is in no way experiencing a pre-revolutionary situation in the communist sense, capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide.”

What Schepers neglected to say is that Marxist intellectuals have been insisting that “capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide” for more than a century.

But how to explain the 2016 U.S. election that voted uber capitalist Donald Trump as president?

Schepers attributes that to an “ideological manipulation” that unleashed a right-wing upsurge because “popular discontent doesn’t always take a progressive route.” Even in his current home state of Virginia, not only the wealthy, but also many poor whites with “false class consciousness” voted for Trump. Schepers blames Americans’ “false class consciousness” on the corporate mass media and “local news stations in the interior of the country [that] only broadcast preachers announcing the end of the world.”

Schepers is convinced that if Bernie Sanders had been Trump’s opponent, Sanders would have won — the same avowed socialist Sanders who is a millionaire with three homes, including a $600,000 lakefront estate purchased just five days after the 2016 Democratic National Convention that selected Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate.

Schepers admits that the great challenge for CPUSA continues to be organizing American workers and trade unions.

CPUSA stopped offering its own candidate in US presidential elections years ago. Instead, CPUSA has endorsed Democratic Party presidential candidates in every election since 1988, beginning with Michael Dukakis to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The CPUSA opposes U.S. militarism and supports the Palestinian cause, the Cuban Revolution and more recently the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela — the same corrupt regime that mismanaged and destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and ignores and suppresses the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who protest and march against the government. Way to go, CPUSA!

Unlike Emile Schepers, the Democrats who have gone over to the Communist Party USA at least are honest, as the Democrat Party long ago had morphed into the communist party in all but in name. See:

~Eowyn

Of course: A community organizer and BLM supporter is going to run against the progressive Seattle mayor, Ed Murray

nikkita oliver

Just what Seattle needs…another radical proggie

I wouldn’t bet $100 that she has no chance. Because if you know anything about Seattle, you know there’s a good possibility that the proggies will elect her.

From Seattle Times: Nikkita Oliver, an attorney, community organizer and spoken-word artist who’s been active in Seattle’s Black Lives Matter movement and in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, will run for mayor against Ed Murray.

Oliver is seeking office under the banner of the Peoples Party of Seattle, “a community-centered grass roots political party led by and accountable to the people most requiring access and equity,” says a website for Oliver and the party.

South Seattle Emerald and Crosscut first reported her candidacy. She is Murray’s highest-profile challenger so far. In an interview Wednesday, the 31-year-old said Donald Trump’s inauguration as president and conversations with community members inspired her to run.

Oliver said she was “feeling stuck, not having a voice in the process and not knowing how we change things at the federal level” before she decided to become a candidate. “We have to get involved locally, because that will begin to shift the narrative and the policy,” she said.

The Indianapolis native, who moved to Seattle for college, said her campaign will focus on housing, education and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

She said officials should reassess the “area median income” benchmark they use to define affordable housing. The Seattle area’s median income is much higher than what the average working person actually makes.

Many of us in the Peoples Party have been forced from our homes by unmanageable rent increases. But we are not alone. In fact, displacement has become the story of so many Seattleites. Construction cranes, blocked roads, and rerouted buses are the status quo. Developer-driven rezones and growth are swallowing our city whole!” Oliver’s campaign website says.

“The residents who made the Emerald City the innovative and cultural gem it is today are being pushed out and replaced with murals, cultural relics, and colorful crosswalks. Seattle is quickly becoming a museum of our contributions, a place we can visit but we cannot live.”

The party is running Oliver “to break down barriers and open doors for collective leadership that is willing, able, and experienced in divesting from practices, corporations, and institutions that don’t reflect the values and interests of our city,” the website says.

“Whether on stages and in classrooms as a teaching artist, or in the courts and streets as a lawyer and legal observer, her track record, experience, and selfless dedication as a truly progressive servant of the people speaks for itself.”

Oliver works as a teaching artist and mentor in Seattle Public Schools and through Creative Justice, a nonprofit that uses art to work with court-involved youth. She holds law and education degrees from the University of Washington, was the 2015 grand champion of the Seattle Poetry Slam, and received the 2015 artist human-rights leader award from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights. She’s been a leader in efforts to stop the city from building a $160 million North Precinct police station and King County from building a new youth jail.

Oliver said her work in schools and with court-involved youth would help her craft better policy as mayor. She said Murray talks about aiding young black men in Seattle but hasn’t been engaging enough with community activists.

Murray has raised $272,376 and has been endorsed by a number of labor unions. Another candidate, safe-streets activist Andres Salomon, has raised $2,886.

Oliver told the Emerald, “We’re going to lack financially. But what we lack in funding we’ll make up in actual, real community relationships. If you see pictures of me with young people, it wasn’t a photo op. It’s not because I went down to Rainier Beach High School to have a fake conversation with young people and take a picture and say it happened. It’s because I actually spend time at Rainier Beach.”

She added, “If you ask those young people about who I am they’ll say I’ve seen Nikkita in the community. You’ll see pictures of me with young people, but they were taken in community, not just some transactional stuff that politicians do.”

DCG

NYC Public advocate wants to blacklist firms that help build Trump’s wall

Public Advocate Letitia James Hears From Parents

Letitia James: You have a choice – her way or the highway

From NY Post: Companies that help build President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border would be banned from doing business with the city under a proposal announced Tuesday by Public Advocate Letitia James (an elected official).

James, a trustee of the city’s largest pension fund, said she would introduce a bill prohibiting the city from signing contracts with firms involved in the wall project. She’s also planning to examine divesting pension funds from the companies.

“Companies have a choice — help build the wall, a monument to racism and xenophobia, or do business in New York City. We won’t allow you to do both,” James said at a press conference in Foley Square. “The same cranes President Trump uses for his wall, cannot simply be turned around to build our schools.”

James’ bill wouldn’t just include companies directly involved with construction, but also those handling its “maintenance and management.”

Any company partaking in construction “will be subject to massive protests, negative publicity, and possible litigation,” James’ office said in a written statement.

Hundreds of companies have expressed an interest in being a part of the Trump wall project.

Eighteen companies, with more than $800 million in past and current contracts with the city, responded to a pre-solicitation notice from the Trump Administration for the “design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico,” according to the public advocate.

DCG

Seattle to offer employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave

murray

Progressive Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

Guess who is vying for re-election?

Update: This was unanimously approved by the council, of course.

From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council is set to vote Monday on whether to offer city employees up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, rather than the four weeks they are offered now.

Mayor Ed Murray is asking for the change. It was less than two years ago that the council approved the existing benefit for new parents, making Seattle the first city in the Pacific Northwest and one of the first cities in the country to offer paid parental leave.

Employees would become eligible for 12 weeks after working for the city for six months. The benefit would apply not only to births but also to placements of children into homes through adoption, foster care and legal guardianship.

When Councilmember Kshama Sawant proposed 12 weeks of paid parental leave last year, her proposal was voted down.

Monday’s legislation would also give city employees a new benefit — up to four weeks of paid leave to care for family members with serious health conditions. The four weeks would be available every 12 months and employees would need to first use some sick leave and vacation leave.

Extending the parental-leave benefit to 12 weeks would cost the city an additional $2.6 million per year, according to the legislation’s fiscal note. Offering the new family-care benefit would cost an additional $436,000 per year, for a total of about $3 million.

Rather than refer Murray’s legislation to a committee for review and discussion, the council has chosen to take action on it immediately. Seattle has more than 11,000 employees.

DCG

School teacher compares student’s ‘Build the Wall’ shirt to a swastika

jack-fischer-build-the-wall-tshit

The “offensive” t-shirt Jack wore to school

From Tri-City Herald: A Kennewick middle school teacher landed in hot water when she pulled aside a student wearing a “Build the Wall” shirt. The language arts teacher at Chinook Middle School compared the shirt’s message with wearing a swastika.

Now, the young teen’s mother is hoping her son’s experience shines a light on political bullying. “It does happen,” said Michelle Fischer. “I think (politics) should be taught in our schools, but only in a two-sided positive way.”

Fischer posted her outrage over the teacher’s handling of the issue on Facebook and the story went viral. Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity shared her story to his 2.8 million followers, contributing to more than 100 comments on Fischer’s original post.

Fischer said she hoped her seventh-grade son’s experience makes it easier for other children to talk about feeling bullied for their political views.

Her son Jack told her that the teacher had appeared opposed to Donald Trump since the beginning of the school year, including the way she’d handled discussions of the presidential election and candidates in class.

Jack had worn other pro-Trump shirts to school but it wasn’t until he wore the “Build the Wall” shirt on Inauguration Day that the teacher pulled him aside. “She asked, ‘How would you feel if someone wore a T-shirt with a swastika on it?’ ” Fischer told the Tri-City Herald. “He said, ‘You can’t compare my shirt to wearing a swastika. They aren’t the same thing.’ ”

Fischer said the teacher asked Jack to stay in her class during lunch to talk about the shirt. Kennewick School District officials said the boy wasn’t forced to stay in the classroom during lunch as some social media reports said.

During the lunchtime conversation, the teacher reportedly told Jack it wasn’t appropriate to wear clothing with a political message. Jack noted that he’d seen a math teacher wearing a shirt with Barack Obama on it.

After school, when Jack shared what happened with his mother, she was upset and posted her concerns on Facebook with a picture of her him wearing the shirt along with a message that his teacher “compared my shirt to wearing a swastika.”

Later, Fischer spoke with Chinook’s Principal Kevin Pierce, and was told there wasn’t anything wrong with the shirt.

“My goal is not to get this teacher into trouble,” Fischer said. “I made it clear to him. She’s a nice person. I just haven’t agreed with the way she’s taught the class.”

On Friday, school district officials said in a statement that Pierce investigated the incident and took appropriate action. Details were not released because it’s a personnel issue.

The district said students expressing themselves is an important part of education in a democratic society. District policy allows them to express their opinions as long as it doesn’t disrupt the education of others.

“I think most parents would agree with me,” Fischer said. “If this was the other way around, I guarantee there would be some parents that were pretty upset.”

DCG

President Trump fulfills more promises: build wall, defund sanctuary cities, rebuild infrastructure & manufacturing, work toward energy independence

On his first full day of work as President of the United States of America, Donald Trump fulfilled three of the promises he had made to us:

  • End government funding of International Planned Parenthood and other overseas pro-abortion groups.
  • Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which immediately won Trump unanimous approval and support from labor unions.
  • Freeze all hiring in the federal work force.

Today, January 25, on his third full day on the job in the White House, President Trump fulfilled more campaign promises — those concerning the wall and illegal immigration.

maga

Reuters reports that during an appearance at the Department of Homeland Security, now under new management of retired General John Kelly (gone is Obama’s Jeh Johnson, hooray!), President Trump signed two executive orders:

  1. An executive order on building a wall along the roughly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, President Trump said planning for the construction will begin immediately; construction would start within months; and that Mexico would pay back to the United States “100 percent” of the costs.
  2. An executive order to strip federal grant money from “sanctuary” states and cities, e.g., San Francisco, often governed by Democrats, which violate federal immigration laws by shielding illegal migrants, including those with a violent criminal history. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, “The American people are no longer going to have to be forced to subsidize this disregard for our laws.”

For a more detailed account of the above two executive orders, see “U.S. bishops oppose President Trump on border wall and illegal immigrants“.

Yesterday, his second full day on the job, President Trump fulfilled his promises on rebuilding America’s infrastructure, restoring manufacturing jobs, and achieving greater energy autonomy by signing:

  1. An executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects, such as improving the U.S. electric grid and telecommunications systems and repairing and upgrading critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges, and highways.
  2. A presidential memorandum streamlining permitting and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing so as “to support the expansion of manufacturing in the United States”.
  3. A presidential memorandum regarding construction of American pipelines, “under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.”
  4. A presidential memorandum regarding construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline: “In accordance with Executive Order 11423 of August 16, 1968, as amended, and Executive Order 13337 of April 30, 2004, the Secretary of State has delegated authority to . . . issue a Presidential permit for any cross-border pipeline project that ‘would serve the national interest.'” Accordingly, pursuant to the authority vested in him as President “by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,” President Trump hereby invites “TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (TransCanada), to promptly re-submit its application to the Department of State for a Presidential permit for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, a major pipeline for the importation of petroleum from Canada to the United States.”
  5. A presidential memorandum regarding construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline: Believing that “construction and operation of lawfully permitted pipeline infrastructure serve the national interest,” President Trump hereby directs the Secretary of the Army to “instruct the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers . . . to review and approve in an expedited manner, to the extent permitted by law . . . requests for approvals to construct and operate” the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, more than 90% of it is completed, which would “carry approximately 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to oil markets in the United States.”

In the coming days, President Trump is also expected to take action to secure U.S. national security by blocking the issuing of visas to “refugees” from Muslim-majority Middle Eastern and North African countries including Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.

jesus-guiding-trump

God bless President Donald John Trump.

Please pray for his safety.

Please pray for America.

~Eowyn