Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Fighting for Our Future" Rally Inspires Struggle

Big changes require big struggles, and May Day 2016 -- "Fighting for Our Future" set a powerful and inspiring framework for the labor battles and elections this year.

An enthusiastic and diverse crowd at the King Davis Labor Center in Hartford gave a standing ovation to People's World editor John Wojcik who quoted extensively from Albert Parsons last statement made in 1886 before being hanged on a frameup charge following a huge rally for the eight-hour work day in Chicago's Haymarket Square. Parsons exposed the corporate owned media for trying to discredit the workers' movement by creating hysteria around the lie that he threw a bomb at a time and place where he was not even present.

Wojcik made the connection to the role of the mass media today in promoting the interests of giant corporations and politicians like Donald Trump, emphasizing the great need and role of the People's World to tell the workers' side of the story.

The annual People's World celebration included a panel discussion which called upon the Connecticut State Legislature to reject an austerity budget with layoffs and cuts in public services and instead increase taxes on the top 1%. A large scroll petition signed by all present was delivered to the Speaker of the House the next day.

The panel also called on the Legislature to pass a bill adding security guards to the labor standards act.

Panelist Alexandra Marks, a New Haven high school student, received a standing ovation after presenting the work of the YCL and New Elm City Dream in the Jobs for Youth - Jobs for All campaign and calling for participation in the Yale Unions' rally on May 5 for job security.

A slide show "May Day Around the World" showed common workers' struggles in Latin America, against corporate right wing attacks; and in Europe where workers and young people are battling years of austerity imposed by powerful bankers.

Also highlighted were the low-wage workers' April 14 demonstrations for decent pay and work schedules, taking place in dozens of countries and in 320 cities in the US including Hartford.

The concluding message was that t
he international solidarity this May Day gives hope for the future.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tuesday April 26
Get out the vote !
Sunday May 1st
International Workers Day

Fighting for
Our Future
Sunday, May 1st at 6 pm
77 Huyshope Ave, Hartford

Hosted by Connecticut People's World

Special Guest: JOHN WOJCIK
Editor People's World and Vice President International Labor Communications Assn

Panel: Today's Struggles
May Day Around the World - buffet
$5 or what you can
Rides: ct-pww@pobox.com or 203-624-4254

Sunday, April 17, 2016

John Wojcik, editor People's World and vice president ILCA to visit Connecticut

John Wojcik, newly named Editor-in-Chief of People's World, will visit Connecticut April 28 to May 2, 2016. During his stay, in addition to keynoting the Connecticut People's World May Day celebration on Sunday, May 1 (6 pm at King-Davis Labor Center, 77 Huyshope Ave, Hartford) he will attend Workers' Memorial Day and meet with labor and community leaders.

Wojcik came to People's World in Chicago in 2007 as labor editor. Previously, he worked as a union meat cutter in New Jersey where he served as shop steward, member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee and was active in the union's campaign to win public support for Walmart workers. 

In 2010 he received an award from the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) for his feature story "Steeler Nation fights its way back," which traced the personal tragedies of laid off steel workers and their heroic comebacks. 

John Wojcik was elected vice president of ILCA in 2013, an organization of more than 100 union publications and media production departments of national and local affiliates of the AFL-CIO and independent labor-oriented newspapers. 

Wojcik had previously worked for the Daily World and People’s Daily World in the l970s and 1980s as a reporter covering electoral, civil rights and labor battles, and was active in electoral politics during that time in Brooklyn, New York.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

MAY DAY 2016 -- FIGHTING FOR OUR FUTURE!

People's World May Day Celebration
Sunday May 1 at 6 pm at King-Davis Labor Center
77 Huyshope Ave, Hartford

We are honored to have John Wojcik, new editor-in-chief of People's World and labor leader visit Connecticut for International Worker's Day and other activities around that time.

May Day Around the World slideshow
Panel (to be announced) - Today's Struggles
Homemade Buffet

$5 or what you can afford
This event is a fundraiser for the CT People's World. Contributions welcomed. Checks to CT People's World Committee / 37 Howe St / New Haven CT 06511

'Local 33 Must Be!'

Enthusiasm was high as Yale graduate student teachers were granted a Unite Here Local 33 charter in the presence of 1,000 members of other unions at Yale, elected officials, New Haven Rising and undergraduate students.

D. Taylor, national president of Unite Here, thanked all the elected officials, many of whom were Alders and union members alike. “We told Yale we stand one hundred percent behind Local 33. The charter makes clear this is permanent – it's not going away,” he said recalling that “ Locals 34 and 35 were born of fights and hardship.”

Addressing Yale University Taylor said, “If you want to have warfare we know how to do warfare. If you are smart you will recognize Local 33 and negotiate a contract and we will have peace.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Attorney General George Jepson announced they had counted the ballots in lieu of university presence, and there was a good majority voting yes.

“Unions enable people to fight for themselves and their families,” said DeLauro to loud applause. “You are continuing that legacy today.”

The graduate student teachers (GESO) have been organizing over a 25 year period, and held previous elections, but the university administration has refused to recognize them as a bargaining unit on campus, claiming they are students not teachers.

The National Labor Relations Board is expected to make a ruling soon that would recognize the rights of grad students at private universities to union recognition.

Local 33 president Aaron Greenberg, who also represents Ward 8 on the Board of Alders, called on the University for a no-intimidation vote for union recognition, to loud chants “Local 33 Must Be”.

The pressure on the university for a fair election comes as clerical workers (Local 34) and service and maintenance workers (Local 35) begin negotiations for new contracts. Among the issues is a plan by the university to move 980 positions in the Medical School now covered by Local 34 to Yale New Haven Hospital which has no union representation.

In December the university agreed to hire 1,000 New Haven residents over the next three years including 500 from neighborhoods of need, following an intensive campaign to “end the jobs crisis” led by new Haven Rising.