HAVANA, Cuba — Over 1,300 delegates from 58 countries, representing 271 organizations, congregated here on May 2 to celebrate the “International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba and Anti-Imperialism – 200 Years After the Monroe Doctrine.” The conference at the Palacio de Convenciones was the closing event in a series of gatherings that, beginning on April 25, brought union activists and other friends of Cuba from outside the island together with workers and other Cuban citizens. The goal was to acquaint international visitors with the growing systemic difficulties faced by the Cuban people due to the economic, commercial, and financial blockade the U.S. government has imposed for 61 years and to give them an opportunity to see first-hand the creative resilience with which many ordinary Cubans face the resulting scarcities and continue to resist.
U.S. Agents Detain Youth Returning from Cuba
On May 3, U.S. Homeland Security agents at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airport detained three young activists returning from their first trip to Cuba. The three were released four hours later with just enough time to catch their connecting flight to Los Angeles. In a violation of constitutional rights, the agents took the travelers’ phones and presumably inspected them. The cops offered no reason for the detentions. A handful of other people returning from Cuba were also detained at the Miami and Newark airports, so the Florida detentions were not an isolated incident.
On Plea Bargaining and Prevailing Ideas
This discussion-with-our-readers column takes up questions on plea bargaining and where do the prevailing ideas in society come from. These questions from World-Outlook readers arose from facts and opinions expressed in the news analysis “Trump Indictment: What Are the Issues?”
Railroad Workers United: ‘We Would Never Concede Our Right to Strike’
In this article, Ron Kaminkow answers claims by U.S. representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that she voted to approve the anti-labor contract President Biden and Congress imposed on freight rail workers in late 2022 at the request of Railroad Workers United (RWU). Kaminkow is a railroad engineer working at Amtrak, a founder of the RWU and a member of its steering committee.
Trump Indictment: What Are the Issues?
The April 5 grand jury indictment of Donald Trump announced by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg marks the first time a former U.S. president has been charged with a felony. The decision, prosecutors claimed, reinforces the “rule of law.” Many who oppose Trump welcomed the charges, arguing Trump would finally be “held accountable” for some of his actions. Many hope it might derail Trump’s campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination for which he is the front runner. Yet for the moment it appears the indictment has put wind in the sails of the right wing in U.S. politics. In fact, Trump’s indictment threatens to undermine established constitutional protections. These include those related to statutes of limitations, the separation of powers between federal and state governments, and provisions of the Sixth Amendment.
US-Cuba Normalization Conference: ‘End US Blockade’
NEW YORK CITY, March 12, 2023 — About 200 people from across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico gathered at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus here March 11-12 for the fourth International U.S.-Cuba Normalization Conference. They came to discuss and plan this year’s activities around three demands: 1) Removing Cuba from Washington’s spurious list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism” (SSOT); 2) Ending Washington’s more than six decades long economic, commercial, and financial blockade of Cuba; and 3) Revoking all U.S. travel and economic sanctions against Cuba. More than 100 organizations from the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico endorsed the gathering. It was the second such in-person event since the Covid-19 pandemic.
After One Year of War, Ukraine Fights On
Russian president Vladimir Putin’s bloody invasion of Ukraine has now entered its second year. The war has developed quite differently from what many expected. The resistance of Ukraine’s people, determined to defend their right to self-determination, has been fierce and shows no sign of ebbing. The Russian military has proven far weaker than many supposed it to be. A year later Ukraine has fought Putin’s invasion to a stalemate.
Help US Workers Visit Cuba on May Day
This is an appeal to encourage donations to help workers from the United States, involved in union organizing efforts at Amazon warehouses, participate in an upcoming trip to Cuba. The Los Angeles US Hands Off Cuba Committee is organizing the delegation, which will coincide with May Day celebrations on the island.
My Experience with Memphis Police: Justice for Tyre Nichols!
This is a story by James Mac Warren. “I would like to share a personal encounter with the Memphis police department that had a profound impact on what I would set out to accomplish in my young life. I’ve never told this story publicly. I think my reason was to avoid giving the impression that I committed my life to fight to change the world because I was brutalized by the police. My case against the Memphis police department is more than fifty years old, unlike most cases coming to light today. Brother Tyre Nichols’s horrific murder has opened up a can of worms the MPD is working frantically to shut down.”
Relentless Profit Drive Behind Ohio Rail Disaster
The February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern (NS) train carrying hazardous chemicals caused an inferno and the release of enormous plumes of toxic black smoke over East Palestine, Ohio. It has brought into sharp focus the danger the railroads’ relentless drive for profit poses to public safety. That profit drive is the same motive that led the rail barons, backed by the federal government, to compromise safety by refusing to include paid days off for railroad workers in contract negotiations last year. Workers advocated for paid days off for times when they are sick, or too exhausted from long and unpredictable hours of work, to operate trains safely. In December, President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress backed the railroad owners, imposing the new national rail contract the owners insisted on.
U.S. and African American History Are Inseparable
On February 1, the first day of Black History Month, the College Board unveiled its curriculum for a new Advanced Placement (AP) class in African American studies. The course generated controversy prior to its release. Conservative politicians and pundits attacked its content based on a preliminary draft of the curriculum leaked last August to conservative publications, including the Florida Standard and National Review. The attacks on the course aimed to limit how the history of Black people in the United States can be taught and discussed. Subsequently, the College Board made substantial changes to the course prior to its final release. In response to the changes many academics, as well as liberal groups, journalists, and others then accused the board of succumbing to right-wing pressure. Last year, World-Outlook published a three-part series titled, “Critical Race Theory — What Are the Issues?” These articles go to the heart of the debate now under way on how to teach U.S. history. For these reasons we are providing here the links to these articles as a contribution to the current debate.
Open Letter to BLET President Hall from Railroad Workers United
In the wake of the recent imposition of a new national rail contract, over widespread rank-and-file opposition, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) elected a new national president. Edward A. Hall, a working engineer on the Union Pacific Railroad and a local officer in Division 28 in Tucson, Arizona, won 53% of the vote. Hall ousted long-time BLET president Dennis Pierce in national balloting during November. Many rank-and-file workers want the unions to fight more effectively the next time around, a sentiment that was expressed in the open letter from Railroad Workers United (RWU) to Ed Hall, which World-Outlook is publishing here for the information of our readers. RWU is a rank-and-file group that brings together members of all rail unions.
Amazon Labor Union Wins Certification in NY
January 15, 2023 — On January 11, nine months after the historic victory at Amazon’s JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 28 director overruled Amazon’s objections and certified the election results. The election took place March 25-30, 2022. There were 8,325 eligible voters. Of the nearly 5,000 ballots cast, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) won by a margin of 523 votes. “Amazon’s workers won fair and square,” ALU president Chris Smalls said in a statement. “It’s now time for Amazon to quit stalling, obey the law, respect their workers, and sit down at the bargaining table.”
Marty Boyers, ¡Presente!
Marty Boyers, a friend and long-time fighter for the interests of the working class, passed away unexpectedly in November. Marty joined the socialist movement while a high school student in 1970. For his entire life he remained true to the ideas that initially inspired him. He was an early reader and supporter of World-Outlook, contributing to our coverage and making a regular monthly donation. He participated in and sent us reports and photos of local demonstrations in Pittsburgh on issues that included defense of women’s right to choose abortion. Marty devoted his life to fighting with others for a better world.
How to Follow Comments on World-Outlook Posts
World-Outlook subscribers are notified by email when a new article is published. However, readers are only notified of comments on an article if they themselves post a comment and check the box provided to be informed of other comments. We would prefer readers were made aware of all comments as they appear, but WordPress, our host, does not allow for that. If a reader chooses to post a comment on an article, that reader can enable notifications of comments posted by others, on that specific article, so they can follow the discussion.
Working-class Political Consciousness Today
A reader has asked World-Outlook for our view on “the state of consciousness” of the U.S. working class today. This “Discussion with our readers” column includes his letter, in response to the December 15, 2022, article “What Do U.S. Midterm Elections Reveal?,” and our reply.
Why Bonapartist, Not Neo-Fascist
In two letters to the editor a reader asked World-Outlook to clarify our use of the term “Bonapartism” in the December 15, 2022, article “What Do U.S. Midterm Elections Reveal?” This “Discussion with our readers” column includes the letters and our reply.
What Do U.S. Midterm Elections Reveal?
December 15, 2022— The U.S. midterm elections unfolded last month in the not-so-faint shadow of January 6, 2021. That day, a rightist mob of thousands, instigated by then President Donald Trump, stormed the U.S. Congress. It was a bloody but unsuccessful attempt — unprecedented in more than a century — to overturn the results of the 2020 elections. Trump and his allies endorsed, financed, and campaigned for hundreds of candidates, including many outspoken ultra-rightists who beat moderate Republicans in the primaries and represented the GOP in the November general election. A majority of these “election deniers” lost their bids for office in competitive races. This was a blow — at least temporarily — to those who promote or condone a form of dictatorial rule in which a “savior” is anointed to “rescue the nation” in perilous times. Such a regime, as World-Outlook has explained, would accurately be described as Bonapartist.
Thanks for a Successful Fund Drive!
World-Outlook extends its heartfelt thanks to all those who made our fall fund drive a success. Thirty-one contributors donated $1,810, exceeding expectations. Of that amount, $190 comes from ongoing monthly donations from five new sustaining contributors, boosting recurring pledges to $270 per month. We plan to use this money to improve the quality of the web site — including Spanish-language translations of all articles on Panorama-Mundial — and to expand our reach and readership.
Join Rail Union Rallies Dec. 13!
Railroad Workers United (RWU), a national organization of rank-and-file rail workers from all rail unions, is urging rail labor and its allies to join rallies on Tuesday, December 13. RWU has expressed its support for these actions in the post we are sharing here. It includes a link from the rail union SMART-TD, offering information on the time and place of rallies in various cities. World-Outlook encourages our readers to join these actions.
Rail Contract Shows Unions Need New Leadership; Workers Need Our Own Party
At the “urgent appeal” of President Biden, the U.S. Senate voted 80 – 15 on December 1 to impose a contract settlement previously rejected by four unions representing a majority of railroad workers and by thousands who voted “No” in eight other unions. The House of Representatives approved a similar measure, which Biden swiftly signed into law on December 2. A separate bill would have added seven days paid sick leave to the new national rail contract. It was no surprise that it failed. Biden firmly opposed any changes to the contract that his administration brokered in September on the eve of a national strike deadline. Rail workers are angry and frustrated by this outcome. Rank-and-file rail workers refused to accept Biden’s deal that top union leaders claimed was the best contract possible. The ranks of the unions spoke out, explained the intolerable conditions of work and life they face every day, and won support from millions of working people. Without rank-and-file resistance, no resolution on sick pay would have been considered. Without rank-and-file resistance, those brutal conditions would have remained unknown to other working people.
Railroad Workers United Open Letter to Congress and the President
This is an open letter to U.S. president Biden and Congressional leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties. The Railroad Workers United (RWU), which describes itself as “an inter-union, cross-craft solidarity ‘caucus’ of railroad workers, and their supporters, from all crafts, all carriers, and all unions across North America,” sent the letter in response to Biden’s initiative to ban a railroad workers strike. RWU is asking railroad workers and their allies to sign it.
Biden Stabs Rail Labor in the Back
November 29, 2022 — On Monday, November 28, President Biden called on Congress to impose a national contract on railroad workers that has been rejected by four unions that represent a majority of rail union members. He claimed there is “no path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table.” He then sanctimoniously described himself as a “proud pro-labor president.” The facts show otherwise. Biden’s action flies in the face of the reasonable demands of union members. His action is anti-democratic, seeking to deny railroad workers the right to use their unions to fight for their interests.
Washington’s Dirty Campaign of Lies
After the November 3, 2022, UN vote overwhelmingly favoring the resolution introduced by Cuba on ending the U.S. blockade, U.S. representative John Kelley took the floor to defend his government’s position. Alleging Washington’s commitment to the well-being of the Cuban people, Kelley tried to justify U.S. policy by charging Cuba with human rights violations, pointing to supposed U.S. aid to the Cuban people, and claiming the U.S. Agency for International Development was poised to send “$2 million in funding for emergency relief to those in need in Cuba.” In a 10-minute rebuttal on the floor of the UN General Assembly, Yuri Gala López, Cuba’s alternate permanent representative to the United Nations, rejected Kelley’s allegations. Gala’s rebuttal follows.
U.S. Blockade of Cuba: ‘A Permanent Pandemic, a Constant Hurricane’
In early November, representatives to the United Nations (UN) debated U.S. policy toward Cuba, and — as they have done every time for the last 30 years — overwhelmingly condemned the decades-long U.S. embargo. Speaking before the UN General Assembly on November 3, Cuba’s foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla presented a resolution titled, “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba. Rodríguez explained the toll that the U.S. economic war — in place for more than six decades — takes on the Cuban people. When the resolution came to a vote, 185 UN member states registered their agreement with Cuba. Only two — the United States and Israel — opposed the resolution; two more — Brazil and Ukraine — abstained. The entire speech by Rodríguez follows.
World-Outlook Takes Two-Week Break
World-Outlook is taking a two-week break between November 15 and November 30, 2022. We will return in December. Thank you for your understanding.
Why 98% of UN Voted to End US Embargo of Cuba
On November 3, 2022, the United Nations General Assembly voted 185 – 2 to approve a resolution introduced by the government of Cuba. The resolution called on the U.S. government lift its six-decade-old economic, commercial, and financial embargo against the Caribbean nation — what many refer to as the “blockade.” The only UN member states voting no were the United States and Israel. Brazil and Ukraine abstained. It was the 30th year in a row the international body demanded the end of Washington’s economic war against Cuba. To mark this important occasion, we publish here the link to a YouTube video. This Breakthrough News documentary provides a brief but informative overview of how and why the U.S. government launched its economic war against Cuba, the impact the blockade has had on the Cuban people, and why the overwhelming majority of the world stands with Cuba in the battle to end this cruel and inhumane U.S. policy.
Amazon Labor Union Withdraws Election Petition at California Warehouse
November 4, 2022 — On October 21, less than two weeks after filing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a union representation election, United4Change withdrew its petition for an election at Amazon’s ONT8 warehouse in Moreno Valley, California. United4Change is affiliated with the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). To hold an election supervised by the NLRB, a union must show it has gathered signatures of support from at least 30% of workers eligible to vote. United4Change initially estimated there were 800 workers in the proposed bargaining unit. But Amazon formally challenged that number in a filing with the NLRB saying the actual number is 2,645. The labor board accepted the company’s assertion without comment. The ALU has not released an official statement as to why the union withdrew the petition. But since Amazon claimed the number of employees is three times larger than the union’s estimate, it is clear that the 30% threshold — as defined by Amazon and the NLRB — was not reached. In an October 30 interview, ONT8 worker and lead union organizer Nannette Plascencia described the withdrawal of the petition as a temporary setback. She said the union is continuing to collect more signatures.
Oct. 29 Actions: ‘Cuba Yes, Blockade No!’
On the last Saturday of October, rallies, marches, and other actions took place in dozens of U.S. cities as well as Canada and other countries. Organizers called these actions to coincide and highlight the annual vote scheduled at the United Nations (UN) for November 3 on a resolution introduced by the government of Cuba. The resolution demands the U.S. government lift its economic, commercial, and financial embargo against the Caribbean nation — what many refer to as the “blockade.” About 100 organizations endorsed the call for these actions. We are publishing here reports from two of the most prominent of these activities — in New York and Los Angeles — that organizers sent World-Outlook.
Build NY, LA Oct. 29 Actions: ‘End US Blockade on Cuba!’
The United Nations General Assembly’s annual vote demanding an end to the “the Economic, Commercial and Financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba” — the blockade — will take place November 2 and 3, 2022. This is the 30th consecutive vote in which the world community overwhelmingly condemns the cruel, unjust, & illegal US blockade! We are publishing here flyers for actions on Saturday, October 29, in New York City and Los Angeles to demand: Take Cuba off Washington’s list of state-sponsored terrorism; End all US Anti-Cuba economic, trade, travel sanctions; End the US blockade against Cuba. World-Outlook encourages its readers to build and participate in the October 29 actions, as well as related activities around the world between October 27 and November 3.
California Amazon Workers Petition for Union Election
On April 1, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) won a historic union representation election at JFK8, the Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island, New York. It was the first time workers at one of the retail giant’s U.S. facilities voted to unionize. Since then, the ALU — a group led by rank-and-file workers with no affiliation to any established national trade union — has been collaborating with Amazon workers across the country trying to organize themselves into a union. The following is based on a September 30 World-Outlook interview with Nannette Plascencia, a worker at the Amazon ONT8 fulfillment center in Moreno Valley, California, and a lead organizer of United4Change — an affiliate of the ALU.
Amazon Labor Union Loses Vote at ALB1 Warehouse
ALBANY, New York, October 18, 2022 — Workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in New York’s capital district region voted by a margin of 2-1 against representation by the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). According to the results released by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today, the vote was 206 in favor of union representation to 406 against, with 31 challenged and 4 void ballots. The challenged votes are not enough to affect the outcome. About 68% of the 950 workers eligible to vote took part in the election. While recognizing the huge resources Amazon put into pressuring workers into either voting “no” or not voting at all, it is important to face the lopsided character of the final tally. The 2-1 vote against the union, however, is not the only noteworthy fact. If a broader rank-and-file leadership can be forged over the coming months among those who voted for the union, steps forward can be taken to counter this setback. Some of the pro-union workers at ALB1 are pointing into this direction. “Despite all the union-busting and unfair labor practices, we recognize that a union election is just one step in a much longer struggle,” Sarah Chaudhry, who started working at ALB1 two months ago, told World-Outlook. “I will continue to fight for my fellow workers’ rights until we have our union at ALB1 and until all Amazon workers secure their right to a union.”
New Cuban Family Code: A Revolutionary Achievement
On September 25, at 24,000 polling stations across the Caribbean island, Cuban citizens voted on a new “Families Code,” replacing existing statutes regulating family relationships. The old code — in place since 1975 — has been rendered obsolete by new family structures and the deep social changes that have occurred in Cuba in the ensuing decades.Ratification of the new code is a truly revolutionary achievement. The process of its passage also showed the strength of working-class democracy in Cuba. The referendum was the culmination of years of activism, discussion, and an evolving consensus across the country that ultimately broadened the concept of what the Cuban family looks like today, in its growing diversity.The Code redefines “family” as an association that may take different forms, but is based on values of love, respect, and solidarity. This represents a further break from the traditional “father family” — a heterosexual couple with children and sometimes elders, in which the father is dominant in both financial and social matters. That was the model in pre-revolutionary Cuba. With this new definition, the Code legalizes gay marriage and civil unions, as well as the adoption of children by same-sex couples. The new law also strengthens the rights and protections of children and adolescents, further ensures the rights of women, and promotes equality in sharing domestic rights and responsibilities between parents — regardless of sex or gender. It also strengthens the progress that Cuba has made in addressing domestic violence and codifies the rights of the disabled and the elderly within the family.
Railroad Track Maintenance Workers Reject Proposed National Contract
October 15, 2022 — Members of the third largest U.S. rail union rejected the tentative agreement (TA) for a new national contract. The Biden administration had brokered the deal in last-minute talks with railroad management and the 12 unions representing railroad (RR) workers. The ranks of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED) said “No” by a vote of 6,646 rejecting ratification and 5,100 approving it. The union represents workers who build and maintain tracks, bridges, buildings, and other structures on U.S. railroads.
Ukrainian Counteroffensive Prompts Desperate, Dangerous Moves by Russia
As Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine enters its eighth month, the war shows no sign of ending. However, there is growing evidence that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s belligerence is not matched by Russian military success.To the contrary, Ukraine’s resistance has begun to bear fruit with a series of recent military advances. It seems clear those advances were made with the support of Ukrainians in the most affected areas, and throughout the country.The Ukrainian army is fighting for something it believes in and has popular support. The Russian army — or significant parts of it — is not, while popular support for the war in Russia seems to be on the decline. Ukrainians are fighting for self-determination and independence from Moscow. Russian soldiers have been sent to deny those rights.In response Moscow has taken what seem to be desperate — and increasingly dangerous — steps. They include “annexing” more Ukrainian territory, threatening to use nuclear arms, calling up hundreds of thousands of reservists into military service, ramping up repression against Russian citizens and soldiers opposing its murderous war, and launching new deadly missile strikes into civilian areas in Kiyv and other Ukrainian cities.
Review: ‘Inside the Second Wave of Feminism’
This is a review of the book by Nancy Rosenstock Inside the Second Wave of Feminism: Boston Female Liberation, 1968-1972 an Account by Participants, which was recently published by Haymarket Books. The review first appeared on Goodreads on August 13, 2002. We are re-publishing it here with the author’s permission. We also publish below the link to an online teach-in, a public discussion about this title, scheduled for October 13, which we encourage World-Outlook readers to attend.
Sept. Caravans: ‘Lift U.S. Blockade of Cuba!’
On the last weekend of September, local coalitions organized car caravans and other actions demanding an end to Washington’s economic war against Cuba. The activities took place in cities across the United States, as well as other countries. Organizers of these actions in two U.S. cities sent World-Outlook the reports that follow.
NY Amazon Workers Protest Life-Threatening Job Conditions
This is an Amazon Labor Union (ALU) press release about an important job action by workers at JFK8, Amazon’s giant warehouse in Staten Island, New York. The ALU won a landmark union representation election at JFK8 on April 1, 2022. In a TikTok video, JFK8 workers can be seen demanding to be sent home with pay after fire breaks out releasing toxic fumes into the warehouse.
‘Let Cuba Rebuild!’ Urgent Appeal to President Biden
On September 27, 2022, hurricane Ian made landfall in Cuba. Despite Cuba’s well-known preparedness for natural disasters, the damage from this hurricane has been immense. In the western province of Pinar del Rio, famous for its tobacco production, over 5,000 farms were destroyed. In small towns like San Luis, the storm left damaged 80% of all homes. The hurricane affected Cuba’s power grid and the country’s electrical system collapsed. Concerned organizations and activists in the United States issued an urgent appeal, published in the Sunday, October 2, 2022, edition of the New York Times. The appeal demands that Biden temporarily lift sanctions and allow Cuba to purchase urgently needed supplies for reconstruction after Hurricane Ian. We publish here an article about this appeal that appeared in Spanish in the Cuban news publication CubaDebate; CubaNews translated the article and published it into English. We also publish below the text of the appeal to Biden as it appeared in the Times, along with a link on how people can donate to help Cuba’s recovery effort.
World-Outlook Readers Respond to Subscription/Financial Appeal
The following are notes two readers sent World-Outlook in response to the appeal to our readers for help with expanding the number of subscribers and for financial assistance in covering the costs of maintaining and improving the site. We want to express our gratitude to both readers for their notes, which we are publishing with their permission.
An Appeal to Our Readers & Thanks to Contributors
Dear Friends, World-Outlook needs your help! To continue to maintain our website and expand our list of subscribers, we are need our readers to assist with covering our costs. Over the last year, we have taken steps to improve the content, reach, readability, and functionality of our website. World-Outlook sent reporters to provide eyewitness coverage of important developments in the class struggle, such as the union organizing efforts at Amazon warehouses; we purchased software to allow rapid and accurate transcription of videotaped interviews and sought publishing permission for articles and photos; we fully integrated the English and Spanish sides of the website; and we increased World-Outlook’s visibility on social media. Please help us build on these successes by encouraging your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to subscribe to the site. Equally vital is your financial support.
ALB1 Amazon Workers to Vote on Unionizing
ALBANY, New York — Amazon workers at ALB1, the company’s warehouse in Schodack, New York, will vote in October in a union representation election. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced September 14 the election will take place 8am-noon and 8pm-midnight on October 12, 13, 15, and 17. Workers will vote in a tent at ALB1’s parking lot in front of the warehouse.
Railroad Workers Will Have Final Word on National Contract
September 15, 2022 — A national rail strike has been postponed for now. Under enormous pressure from the Biden administration and threats in Congress to impose onerous conditions, leaders of the two largest rail unions and the National Carriers Conference (representing railroad (RR) owners) announced a tentative agreement on a new national rail contract this morning.
Details concerning the most important issue fueling the anger of RR workers are only beginning to emerge. That issue is relief from draconian attendance policies that deny workers adequate time off for rest, family, and medical needs. Whatever concessions the billionaire RR owners may have made at the last minute were only the result of the strike deadline that was set for 12:01 am September 16. Until RR workers themselves can read and discuss the proposed contract, nothing is settled.
August Caravans in U.S. & Canada: ‘End Cruel U.S. Blockade of Cuba!’
On the last weekend of August, local coalitions organized car caravans and other actions demanding an end to Washington’s economic war against Cuba. The activities took place in more than 20 cities across Canada and the United States, as well as other countries. Organizers of these actions in five Canadian and two U.S. cities sent World-Outlook the reports that follow.
Inside A North Carolina Amazon Union Organizing Drive
Amazon’s massive two million-square-foot warehouse, called RDU1 Fulfillment Center, is located in Garner, North Carolina (NC), a few miles from downtown Raleigh. It opened in 2020 and employs some 6,000 people. Carolina Amazonians United for Solidarity and Empowerment (C.A.U.S.E.), founded in January 2022, describes itself as “a worker-led movement defending workers’ rights & organizing to battle the corruption and exploitation by Amazon.” It is not affiliated with any established union but seeks to form one. This article is based on an interview with Destiny Blackwell, a 25-year-old worker at RDU1, member of the C.A.U.S.E. Steering Committee, and chair of the Publicity Committee. She is a stower, which entails putting items into inventory. She works a twelve-hour shift, from 6:00 PM to 6:30 AM.
Are Railroad Workers Heading Toward a Strike?
August 26, 2022 — Some 100,000 workers on the nation’s freight railroads are one step closer to a decision on whether to go on strike or not. That’s the result of the recommendations made August 16 by Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) Number 250, established by President Joe Biden in June of this year. The government’s intent is to resolve an impasse between the railroad owners and all of the 12 unions representing rail workers organized into the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition and BMWED/SMART MD Coalition (Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division and Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — Mechanical and Engineering Department). The national freight contract expired almost three years ago. The impasse is largely a result of policies imposed by the railroad owners that make working and living conditions for workers increasingly intolerable. This includes imposing draconian attendance policies coupled with the carriers’ demands to cut the workforce even further by altering work rules.
Puentes de Amor Denounces Senator Rubio’s McCarthyite Smears
MIAMI — Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love) leader Carlos Lazo condemned the call by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the FBI to investigate him as an unregistered agent of a foreign power — a violator of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Lazo was speaking at an August 13 news conference here, organized by the Miami Caravan Against the U.S. Blockade of Cuba. The group is another target of Rubio’s smears, along with the well-known Cuba solidarity organization Pastors for Peace. Univision’s Channel 23, a major Spanish-language TV station here, broadcast a report on the event the next evening. The Miami Caravan received numerous statements of support in response to Rubio’s threats.
ALB1 Amazon Workers File for Union Election
ALBANY, New York, August 17, 2022 — “Today, Amazon workers at the ALB1 warehouse in Schodack, New York, have officially filed to have a union election,” Connor Spence told the media at a press conference outside the Federal Building here.The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) sponsored the event. Spence is ALU’s secretary treasurer in New York City. The ALU leader addressed the media alongside two ALB1 workers: Heather Goodall, a lead organizer at Amazon’s Schodack fulfillment center, and Kenneth Arrington. “We are looking forward to going up against the company again, in another union election,” Spence continued. “We’re really proud of our fellow workers in upstate New York. They are very dedicated even in the face of Amazon’s anti-union campaign, which, as a JFK8 worker, I’m very familiar with. ”ALB1 workers partnered with the New York City-based ALU two months ago in their effort to organize the Schodack warehouse, located in a small town 10 miles southeast of Albany.
In Response to Matanzas Fire, Solidarity Groups Appeal for Aid to Cuba
Heroic efforts by Cuban firefighters and other emergency personnel, aided by colleagues from Mexico and Venezuela, have brought under control a major fire at a vital oil facility in Matanzas, Cuba, that began August 5. However, as a statement by six North American organizations explains, “A province and country already suffering from acute shortages of medical supplies and power cuts due to the US blockade has now suffered a major further blow.” The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), Global Health Partners, and other organizations have launched an emergency appeal to send badly needed supplies to Cuba, says a statement by these North American solidarity groups, which World-Outlook is republishing here.
July Caravans: ‘End U.S. Blockade of Cuba!’
On July 31, local coalitions organized car caravans and other actions demanding an end to Washington’s economic war on Cuba. The activities took place in a number of U.S. cities, as well as other countries. Organizers of these Cuba solidarity activities in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles sent World-Outlook the three reports that follow.