Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prof. Gerald Horne interview on WPKN


The Resistance panel interviews Dr. Gerald Horne, author and professor of African American Studies at the U. of Houston, about lessons to be learned from the Civil War Reconstruction and the national conversation about Reparations for slavery.

Monday, July 15, 2019

CPUSA: 100 Years of Struggle

Sat September 14, 2019 in New York

CPUSA: 100 Years of Struggle

Join us for an afternoon celebration of politics, poetry and song commemorating the 100th birthday of the Communist Party USA.

To reserve your seats send a message to ct-cpusa@pobox.com
Departs Hartford 11 am and New Haven at noon to New York City (235 W 23rd St) Event from 2 to 5 pm with light dinner

Roundtrip Full Price: $50 ~ Limited income: $10 ~ Scholarships available Send contributions to: CP of CT / PO Box 1437 / New Haven CT 06511
(Checks payable to CP of CT)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May Day 2019: When We Fight We Win!

It was a packed house at the Peoples Center for May Day 2019: 100 Years of Struggle for Workers' Rights. The annual People's World rally greeted Pat Valdez, UFCW steward at Stop & Shop with cheers. In the epic 11-day strike, workers won increased pay and protected pensions and health care. "This was about more than us, this was about corporate greed." she said to loud applause, thanking the community for their support.

Marches on all continents were included in the May Day Around the World slide show, with common themes for migrant and women workers rights. Massive May Day marches in the working class sections of Venezuela stopped an attempted coup backed by Trump against the Maduro government the workers elected.

The crowd enjoyed stories about how throughout its 100 years, the Communist Party USA has shown leadership for union organizing and workers' rights.

New Haven Rising's Jaime Myers-McPhail told of his nine months in Colorado during the successful union drive by food service workers at United Airlines. The company had capped wages at $11 an hour and required heavy lifting that resulted in miscarriages for seven women. Now the Unite Here members are making $15 an hour and have health care coverage for the first time.

Lena Eckert-Erdheim, co-president of Unite Here Local 33 at Yale said they are fighting for equity on campus, and have joined with the community to demand Yale police get off New Haven streets after Yale and Hamden police shot up a parked car in Newhall injuring Stephanie Washington and Paul Witherspoon.

Participants learned about the fight of 1199 nursing home workers for increased state funding and a raise for the first time in three years. John Jairo Lugo told of Unidad Latina en Accion's organizing against deportations including for Nelson Pinos living in sanctuary for 520 days at the First and Summerfield Methodist Church. Chaz Carmon invited everyone to support Ice the Beef youth at a march to stop the violence on May 26.

A grand finale of labor songs led by Carol Vinick included a special May Day Song written 70 years ago and led by Edie Fishman. The chant of the day was, "When We Fight We Win"

Monday, April 15, 2019

May Day 2019 - 100 Years of Struggle for Workers' Rights

The annual Connecticut People's World rally for International Worker's Day will highlight union organizing today and in history.

Themed "May Day 2019: 100 Years of Struggle for Workers Rights," the rally will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 3 pm at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street.

The event, held during the 100th anniversary year of the Communist Party USA, will include a brief history of labor organizing by the Communist Party since its founding in 1919 and continuing today.

The experience of organizing food service workers who won a union last year at United Airlines will be shared by Jaime Myers-McPhail who lived in Colorado for several months working on the campaign, and his colleague Charlie Delgado who participated for a shorter time. Myers-McPhail is an organizer in New Haven with New Haven Rising and Unite Here. 

The rally will stand in solidarity with Stop & Shop workers forced on strike for wages, benefits, healthcare and fairness. 

"May Day Around the World" slide show will show workers' protests and actions from every continent including many demands for equality for immigrant workers.

The afternoon will be capped off with labor songs led by some of those who participated in the newly formed labor chorus at the Women's March in Hartford this year.

On May 1, 1886 thousands of workers marched in Chicago to demand relief from brutal 12- and 14-hour workdays. A few days later, a suspicious bomb killed several Chicago police and protesters in Haymarket Square. Four of the march leaders were framed up and executed. In their memory, May Day was set as a day of international workers’ struggle and solidarity.

In the United States, May Day took on new life when immigrant workers from Latin America held mega marches for their rights in 2006. May Day 2019 is part of the resistance against the anti-people Trump/Republican white supremacy agenda, and the rising movements to put peace, planet and people before profits.

Donation is $5 or what you can afford. A fund appeal for the People's World will be made.

For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com or call 203-624-4254.

Solidarity with Stop & Shop Strikers

 From the moment workers at Stop and Shop started walking the picket line at 43 stores on April 11, there was a spontaneous outpouring of support from other unions, elected officials, customers and the community. As drivers honked their car horns in support and many refused to go into the store, the courageous workers knew they were not alone.

The 31,000 members of United Food and Commercial Workers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are striking as a last resort to win wages, benefits, healthcare and fairness. The multiracial workforce includes many women and youth. They are courageously fighting for their livlihoods against a greedy multi-national company with profits last year of $2 billion.

"We have been at this for months," said one member of the negotiating committee who works at the Whalley Avenue store in New Haven. "We serve the community and we need to be able to support our families. They just don't care."

The Stop and Shop workers are part of a national rising tide of working class militancy and unity.

At the Dixwell Avenue store in Hamden, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal stood arm in arm with a striker named "Richie" and pledged support along side Lt Governor Susan Bysiewicz who was representing the Governor. Blumenthal told the striking workers, "This is bigger than you. This is about corporate greed."

Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV, operator of supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant, is merging with its Belgian counterpart Delhaize Group, creating a company that will serve more than 50 million customers in the United States every week.
Delhaize forced the strike by refusing to back off of the profitable company's proposal to cut pay and pensions and substantially increase healthcare coverage premiums for Stop and Shop workers. The company's final offer at the bargaining table represents a massive step back that cuts workers earnings.
Scott Barry, produce manager and shop steward at the West Hartford store told the People's World that for his family "the co-pay on my weekly check for my family insurance is going to go from $30 to $140 a week and they want to drop our pension benefit about 30%."
Barry added, "It seems like the company is taking dignity, decorum, integrity and fairness and dragging it through the mud while claiming that they are offering a good contract when in truth they are not."
The response to the Stop&Shop strike is inspiring.

When they got news that the workers had walked out, Local 34 UNITE HERE activists recessed their day-long conference and headed straight to the picket line on Whalley Avenue in New Haven.

At the same time, Local 34 and 35 retirees were finishing their monthly executive board meeting. They fanned out to Stop & Shop stores in New Haven and surrounding towns, bringing solidarity and the high spirits learned on their own picket lines over the last 40 years. At least 19 participated, and gleefully shared photos of the picket lines by text and facebook.

Solidarity was hardly limited to the large Yale locals. Members of the railroad unions, CWA, teachers, carpenters and operating engineers were among the many union members who spontaneously came by to show support.

The evening following the walkout, the New Haven Democratic Town Committee met. A resolution pledging to honor the picket lines and support the workers was adopted with enthusiastic support.
The next day, many State Representatives and Senators, as well as New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, walked the picket lines.

Unidad Latina en Accion, an immigrant rights organization in New Haven, is planning a support rally.

Parking lots at area Stop & Shops are empty. On Palm Sunday, the Hamden Shop-Rite, a union store which competes with the Stop & Shop across the street, was jammed, while the Stop & Shop parking lot was almost empty. Two customers said they live next to a Stop & Shop five miles away, but they came to Shop-Rite because "We have to support our neighbors on strike."

An AFSCME retiree in Waterbury who lives within walking distance of Stop & Shop drove across town to a different store. It was so jam packed the supervisor had to call in more workers. Standing in long lines, customers explained, ' I usually shop at Stop and Shop but I don't cross picket lines'.

The Connecticut AFL-CIO has called on all members and families to support the strikers in three ways:
  1. Sign UFCW's petition to Stop & Shop. Click here to sign the petition to Stop & Shop management to let them know you stand with the workers as they fight for a fair contract.
  2. Join the workers on a picket line. The workers need your help and solidarity as they picket at over 90 stores across Connecticut. Join them whenever you have time and bring them coffee and doughnuts.
  3. Continue to shop union. UFCW represents workers at a number of other grocery stores across the state. Click here for a list of union grocery stores in Connecticut. If you can't shop at a union store, please shop elsewhere, but do not cross the picket line at Stop & Shop.