Tuesday, April 27, 2010


[Photo above: Part of the crowd that gathered at the New Haven People's Center on Sunday to honor activist in Connecticut.] Click on photo for full screen.

It was an overflow crowd with inspiring presentations and music at the People’s Center in New Haven on April 25 for the People's World/Mundo Popular Newsmaker Awards and panel discussion around the theme: "A Call to United Action to Create Jobs for All with Equality and Peace."

Kit Salazar-Smith, vice president of the Waterbury Labor Council, chaired the afternoon event. The crowd was welcomed by Joelle Fishman, Chair of the Connecticut Community Party USA, whose state convention, geared to the struggle for jobs and the 2010 elections, preceded the event.

IAM Local 1746-A in Cheshire Connecticut was recognized for a decades-long and continuing struggle to win and enforce contract language that holds Pratt & Whtiney (UTC) accountable and stops the loss of jobs. President Wayne McCarthy described the union's courageous fight which resulted in a court order preventing the giant multi-national corporation from moving jobs overseas during the life of the contract.

The Greater Hartford Labor Council received their award for broad outreach and involvement of organized workers and the community in the 2008 elections and for a pro- worker agenda for health care, job creation and workers' rights. President Peggy Buchanan announced the Council is opening a street front headquarters for more outreach.

The Asociaciion de trabajadores de New Haven is an organization of immigrants that represents unorganized workers in their struggles against extreme exploitation. The award was presented to immigrant workers who defended their rights on the job and for mobilizing the March on Washington.Organizer John Lugo stood with three immigrants whose wages had been withheld on a nearby farm, and described their struggle for justice which ended with partial pay recovered.

The audience was entertained and inspired by the music of Frank Panzarella, the poetry of Boub Bidon and several Latin songs by the dynamic quartet Beto Castillo, Jeff Fuller, Richard Hill, and Marco Castillo.
Posted and photo by Tom Connolly

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