Wednesday, March 23, 2016


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.

42nd African American History Celebration: Keep on fighting!

“Struggle, it never stops. It moves on. We make progress but we have to keep on fighting.” declared Jarvis Tyner, chair of the New York Communist Party to a standing ovation in the packed auditorium at Troup School during the 42nd Annual People's World African American History Month Celebration.

Emphasizing the necessity for all-out unity to make sure Donald Trump does not become president, Tyner's impassioned remarks placed the 2016 elections in the context of the on-going African American freedom struggle from slavery to reconstruction, to the Civil Rights movement and the election of President Barack Obama.

Recalling how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began to doubt himself after his house was bombed during the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in 1955, Tyner said that it was the people that inspired Dr. King to keep fighting. He concluded, “Leaders are wonderful but it’s really the people that are the greatest leaders we have. The people will lead the way.”

The multi-racial audience, including many young people, union members and elected officials enthusiastically welcomed Tyner who was a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party ticket in 1972 and 1976.

Tyner spoke at five venues in New Haven and Hartford during the weekend themed around the 65th anniversary of the presentation of the “We Charge Genocide” petition to the United Nations in 1951 by William L. Patterson and Paul Robeson. The petition, which details lynchings, racist terror and crimes against African Americans, is being re-issued this year by International Publishers with an introduction by Jarvis Tyner.

Addressing the still pervasive structural racism in this country, Tyner singled out the water crisis in Flint, Michigan saying, “They can kill you with a gun and they can kill you with chemicals.” He said the crisis goes beyond Flint and that “90% of coal refineries are near Black and Latino neighborhoods.”

Pointing out that Republican presidential candidates deny climate change because of their ties to the fossil fuel industry, Tyner emphasized, “If the voters are inspired and mobilized, the right-wing extremists can’t win!”

During the Hartford event, held at the King-Davis Labor Center, Tyner passed around a photograph too painful to look at of a child chain gang in the South following the violent overthrow of Reconstruction, and quoted W.E.B. DuBois, “The slave went free, stood a brief moment in the sun, then moved back again towards slavery.”
The New Haven event included African drumming led by Brian Jarawa Gray and a welcome from the Troup School principal. Some members of the school choir led the audience in “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Alfred Marder, president of the Amistad Committee spoke of the acquittal of the Amistad captives by the Supreme Court 175 years ago. He concluded, “Black lives matter in 1839 and black lives matter now!”

The winners of the People's World African American History Month High School Arts & Writing Competition read their poems and displayed their artwork centered around the question, “What Lessons from Reconstruction Era for 2016?”
Ice the Beef Youth put on a multi-genre performance culminating in the chant, “We Gotta Stop the Violence with Peace!”

The events gave voice to the outrage at institutionalized racism, and offered hope and inspiration. “We've got to win this one and hand our children a beautiful future,” concluded Tyner.