International Day of Action against TPP today

Executive Committee decides not to take a stand against “NAFTA on steroids”

At the Jan. 25 meeting of the PMWG Executive Committee, a resolution was introduced to support today’s International Day of Action Against the Trans Pacific Partnership (January 31). In spite of the fact that CWA President Larry Cohen and just about everyone else on the planet opposes the TPP, Executive Officer Carl Hall and Vice President for California Rick Knee were joined by three other officers in defeating the resolution.

The TPP will further subjugate the peoples and lands of of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Chile, Canada, Mexico and Peru to the unrestrained plundering and exploitation by transnational corporations, with no higher authority than the God of Profit.

The only unit that considered this extremely important issue was the Guild Freelancers Unit, which may be the only unit that has regular worker-run meetings. The freelancers voted to recommend that the local endorse the day of protest, but that endorsement was killed by the EC.

Knee argued strongly against taking a position on TPP, citing “journalism-ethics concerns.” These concerns are nowhere to be found in the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists, and exist only in his imagination.

However, as if not wanting to look like a Thomas Friedman (the discredited journalist who made a career promoting global capitalist expansion) Knee belatedly sent out an email “encouraging relatives, friends and associates: Tell your senators and House representatives to vote against the fast-track legislation.”

Despite the conservatism of the five PMWG officers, workers are encouraged to join the broad international alliance of environmental, human rights, labor and pro-democracy groups fighting to defeat the TPP. Check out

Board of Supervisors’ vote for immigrant rights resolution unanimous

From Socialist Organizer

By Alan Benjamin

JAN. 29 — Yesterday afternoon, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution that calls upon President Obama to (1) stop the deportations, (2) extend DACA [Deferred Action] to all undocumented immigrants, and (3) end the firings of undocumented immigrants by means of  I-9 audits, E-Verify and employers’ sanctions. The resolution — which was initially adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council — was introduced by Supervisors David Chiu, David Campos and Scott Wiener.

Earlier in the day, the San Francisco Labor Council and numerous immigrant rights and community-based organizations in the city held a rally / press conference on the steps of City Hall to convey the urgency of approving this resolution. Speaker after speaker decried the more than 2 million deportations under Obama and the tens of thousands of workers fired — with their families torn apart — because of lack of papers.

Rally chair Olga Miranda, president of SEIU Local 87 (Janitors Union) and secretary-treasurer of the San Francisco Labor Council, quoted Los Angeles Council member Gil Cedillo, who, at a luncheon the day before hosted by Local 87, took strong issue with Obama for being the main deporter of immigrants in the nation’s history, stating, “How can Obama claim to support the DREAMers, when he is deporting their mothers and fathers?”

Rally speakers included workers who had been fired from their jobs under E-Verify, two young DREAMers [see statement below by Itzel], representatives from community organizations, members of the clergy, and Supervisors Chiu and Campos.

All speakers underscored the importance of adopting this resolution and sending a resounding message to Washington that working people and their organizations in San Francisco and across the country will not stand by idly while Obama continues to deport and separate families, and while workers everywhere are fired from their jobs for lack of papers.

[Read more…]

SF Board of Supervisors to pass resolution calling on Obama to stop deportations, end firings

Rally at City Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 28

Friday, January 24, 2014

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We call on you to join us on the main steps of City Hall in San Francisco next Tuesday [Jan. 28] at 1 p.m. to support a resolution that will be voted on later that afternoon by the Board of Supervisors. The resolution, which was submitted by SF Bd. President David Chiu and by Supervisors Scott Wiener and David Campos, calls for a moratorium on deportations and firings of undocumented immigrants. This resolution was based closely on a resolution adopted by the San Francisco Labor Council on January 13, but also includes language from the report on the hearings last April by the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission.

Yesterday [Thurs., Jan. 23] members and supporters of SEIU Local 87 (Janitors Union) — along with supporters from LIUNA Local 261 and other unions and community organizations — held a very successful Lobby Day at City Hall to urge support for the resolution from all Board of Supervisors members. Many of the more than 20 members of Local 87 in attendance shared their experiences about losing their jobs due to the I-9 raids and the aftermath, which included facing homelessness and domestic violence.

The result was that nine out of the eleven supervisors committed to pledging their support for the resolution. This was terrific. Only six YES votes are needed for it to pass. And it is not out of the question that this could be a unanimous vote by the Supervisors in support of the resolution.

Please join us at the rally at 1 pm this coming Tuesday and, if you can, please stay on and join us in the Bd. of Supervisors chambers, where many of our union members and community supporters will make brief statements in support of the resolution.

Many thanks, in advance.

Olga Miranda, President SEIU Local 87

Secretrary Treasurer, San Francisco Labor Council

[Read more…]

PMWG must oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership now

Local 51 of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA) has voted to submit a resolution to the San Francisco Labor Council endorsing the International Day of Protest Against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on January 31, 2014.

tpp5The SF Labor Council meets this Monday, Jan. 27. The PMWG should endorse the resolution by our fellow workers and speak for it at the Labor Council meeting on Monday.

Text of Local 51’s resolution:

Resolution of Solidarity in Support of an International Day of Protest Against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on January 31, 2014

Whereas, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which is now being “fast tracked” in Congress has been composed and negotiated secretly and,

DayofAction_FactSheetWhereas, the TPP (known as NAFTA on steroids) will force more deregulation, privatization and union busting on an international scale and,

Whereas, TPP like NAFTA is likely to lower wages for US workers, degrade health and safety conditions for Mexican workers and the public and allow for destruction of unionized jobs on both sides of the border through privatization and outsourcing and,

Whereas, banks and other corporate interests have used TPP style deregulation to threaten national resources and to destroy human and labor rights for greater profits and,

Whereas, much of this TPP agreement has been written by corporate interests and negotiated in stealth to the point where even US Senators have been prevented from getting information on the effects of this agreement and,

Whereas, labor, human rights advocates and environmentalists have all united to oppose the Congressional fast track process which prevents any real debate and discussion on the effects of this legislation which also overrides US environmental laws and regulations and,

Whereas, TPP will lead to the ruination of national health care in Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand and is being pushed by big Pharma to keep drug prices high in Asia and the Americas through expected TPP drug patent extensions and other means and,

Whereas, TPP will force its participating countries to accept pesticides and GMO products that will threaten the health and safety of their people and also threaten our health and safety and,

Whereas, unions in South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other countries are also opposed to this agreement for many of the reasons listed above and,

Whereas, the TPP is harmful to all working people in the US and in all countries and is opposed by the AFL-CIO, CWA, Teamsters, AFSCME and the entire US labor movement,

Therefore be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council calls for our US Senate and US Congressional Representatives to publicly oppose the TTP and the fast track process created to railroad it into law.

Therefore be it further resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council supports the International Day of Protest against the TPP on Friday, January 31, 2014.

[End of resolution]

CWA President Larry Cohen has also testified in Congress against the TPP and fast track.

All working men and women must join together to fight against this further transfer of sovereignty from local governments to the transnational corporations. Join your local protest on January 31.

Pacific Media Workers Guild Feb. 8 agenda problematic

The local officers have sent out a proposed agenda that has some serious problems of process:

Please join us on February 8, 2014
Pacific Media Workers Guild special membership meeting
Pickwick Hotel
85 5th Street
San Francisco, CA

9:30 am to 10 am – check-in and snacks/coffee
10 am – Noon – Introduction, visioning and open dialogues
Noon – 12:45 pm – catered working lunch with small group discussions
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm – Re-group, goal-setting and memorialize action items with timelines

The agenda doesn’t appear to have any of the elements of a union business meeting. Missing are reports, old business or new business, which is where proposals are made and voted on. [Read more…]