Home2020 Elections4/8 “Why Wouldn’t I Speak up for Working People?” Bernie Sanders @ Machinists & Aerospace Workers Conference + Afternoon OT
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On Saturday, March 30, 100 union members, labor activists, and allies met in Detroit for a Troublemakers School: a day of skill-sharing and strategizing about workplace organizing.

Though it was gray and drizzling outside, the energy at the Troublemakers School was strong all day, closing out with a call from Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to keep up the fight. Tlaib is pushing for a Green New Deal that would create millions of jobs by converting our economy to sustainable energy and transportation.

Detroit could “be the engine of a Green New Deal,” said Sean Crawford, a member of the Auto Workers (UAW) at GM. “We have the know-how, we have the facilities, we can make solar panels, we can make wind turbines. Why not make it here?”

Tlaib reminded us that in Detroit, “we are on the front lines of what it means to do nothing,” and that though people say we have 12 years left, the crisis here has already arrived.

Unifor 222 member Rebecca Keetch, who works at the plant that GM plans to close in Oshawa, Ontario, called for the nationalization of GM, and urged unions to think big.

The morning began with a few words from unionists who’d been involved in labor victories for Verizon workers in New York and teachers in Chicago. Matt McCracken, an executive board member of Electrical Workers (UE) Local 506, joined the school from Erie, Pennsylvania. He spoke to attendees about the nine-day strike he and his 1,700 coworkers had just waged at the Wabtec locomotive manufacturing plant, where they successfully fended off company efforts to impose two-tier wages and mandatory overtime, for now, with a 90-day agreement.



Blame it on the unions. When corporations, governments, or public agencies are facing financial challenges, this is often the default explanation.

We saw this knee jerk response at a recent Senate hearing on the U.S. Postal Service. The Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs called the March 12 hearing to discuss recommendations from a task force appointed by President Trump that include cutting or privatizing various postal services, increasing delivery prices, and — you guessed it — eliminating employees’ rights to collective bargaining.

Committee Chair Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, seized on the anti-union proposals. He repeatedly inquired about the wages and benefits that USPS employees enjoy compared to private sector employees and questioned whether postal workers should be allowed to continue to collectively bargain over wages.


Orange imbecile and his GOPuke buddies better trod carefully regarding the USPS. Who is their champion? The Bernster, of course. 🙂 T and R, Benny!!


You can throw Johnson in with your 2 in Fla and you wouldn’t know the difference Orl!!!



Residents who were wrongly accused of defrauding Michigan’s unemployment program won a major ruling Friday as the state Supreme Court set a favorable deadline for people to sue over decisions spit out from a disastrous computer system and enforced by staff.

The court said victims qualify if they filed a lawsuit, or notice of a lawsuit, within six months of losing wages or tax refunds. The justices unanimously overturned an appeals court decision that had dashed the hopes of thousands of people with a different interpretation of the six-month window.

“The case was dead and now it’s alive,” attorney Jennifer Lord said.

An automated computer system used by then-Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration was a mess. People were accused of cheating to get jobless aid based solely on computers. They were forced to repay money, along with substantial penalties, and some were even forced into bankruptcy.

Although apologies and approximately $21 million in refunds were made, the state still is the target of lawsuits by people who said their constitutional rights were violated during the nerve-wracking saga. Lord said 40,000 fraud determinations were ultimately overturned.


My God. I wonder if a large portion of them were Democrats.



Flight attendants played a crucial role in forcing an end to the government shutdown. Now the survival of their unions is being quietly threatened by Trump appointees on the National Mediation Board (NMB), an independent agency that was established in 1934 to resolve labor-management disputes in the airline and railroad industries.

Since November 2017, the three-member panel that oversees the NMB has been controlled by Republicans, as the Senate confirmed both of Trump’s nominees, Gerald W. Fauth III and Kyle Fortson. Trump was also required to nominate one Democrat by law and he chose Linda Puchala, an Obama appointee who has served on the NMB since 2009.

The board is currently targeting the Railway Labor Act (RLA). That’s a federal law that was established in 1926 to govern labor disputes in the railroad industry and give workers the right to engage in collective bargaining. Although originally created specifically for railroad workers, it was extended to cover the airline industry in 1936. According to the RLA, any employee who wants to decertify their union must first get signatures from half of the workforce. After the signatures have been obtained, a “straw man” is established to run against the union. Workers then get to vote either for the union, for the straw man, or for no representation at all. The rule is designed to give workers the option to vote for new representation if they have an issue with the direction of the union, as opposed to getting rid of the union altogether.


If you live in Madison, WI; Warren, MI; or Pittsburg, PA you are in luck. Bernie is coming to your town this weekend! See his fb, etc for details.



On Monday, in a speech delivered to a Las Vegas conference of the International Association of Machinists union, Sanders called on 2020 candidates and elected officials to practice a deeper level of solidarity.

“Corporate America and the billionaire class have been waging a 40-year war against the trade union movement in America.… What the billionaire class understands is that if they can destroy the trade union movement in America there is nothing to stop them in their never-ending quest to have it all,” declared Sanders.

For workers and their unions to win the war, he said it will be necessary “to rebuild, strengthen and expand the trade union movement in America.” This, explains Sanders, is going to require an all-in commitment—not just from workers and their unions, but from Democratic politicians.

“We need elected officials and candidates at every level to get serious about forcefully speaking out for unions. It’s not good enough for candidates to say they like ‘workers’ or the ‘middle class.’ We need to specifically and explicitly support trade UNIONS,” says the senator. “We need political leaders who don’t just say nice things about unions, and then sell out to corporate campaign contributors. We need political leaders who don’t just talk the talk, but who walk the walk—by standing with our union brothers and sisters on the picket lines, by standing with them in their organizing drives and by standing with them in their fight for economic justice.”.

The bolder course that Sanders has charted is a big deal. It has the potential to transform not just presidential and party politics but the governance that will extend from the 2020 election.

“My administration will make no apologies about it. We will be an administration for the working families of this country, not for the 1 percent. A Bernie Sanders administration will make it easier for workers to join unions, not harder. For the last 40 years in this country there has been a massive transfer of wealth that has gone from our working class to the very wealthiest people in this country. Well,” says the presidential contender, “together we’re going to end that.”


Beto was right about Trump and Nazis


President Donald Trump has been pushing to reinstate broader family separation policies and sought to close the US-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas, as his conflict with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reached a boiling point.

Two Thursdays ago, in a meeting at the Oval Office with top officials — including Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, top aides Jared Kushner, Mercedes Schlapp and Dan Scavino, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and more — the President, according to one attendee, was “ranting and raving, saying border security was his issue.”

According to multiple sources, the President wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers. The President wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.

Sources told CNN that Nielsen tried to explain they could not bring the policy back because of court challenges, and White House staffers tried to explain it would be an unmitigated PR disaster.

“He just wants to separate families,” said a senior administration official.


Nothing like having a POTUS who is stupid. crooked. and. crazy. Thanks $hrill. 🙁


And another joins the gang. But like Harris he is a former prosecutor.


But even the most generous readings of a path forward for Swalwell seem tenuous. He’s not the only Californian in the race; Harris, a much more well-known statewide office holder with a more robust fundraising structure in place, is already running. He’s not even the most well-known young guy in the race; Buttigieg has increasingly taken up that mantle. Swalwell has made several trips to Iowa, as well as Kansas, Nevada, and Texas, but still isn’t registering any support in early Iowa polls.

TONIGHT: California Representative @EricSwalwell announces on @colbertlateshow that he is running for President! #LSSC pic.twitter.com/bvzBPIkSnz

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) April 8, 2019




I found a great picture in my phone from our new member orientation when we were members-elect. We were up at Harvard for the new member orientation and sitting in the dugout of Fenway Park because we had done like a bonding tour. And it’s me, Tulsi, and Beto sitting together—just the three of us. And I thought, boy, who would have thought in that moment that all three of us, who had kind of not taken a straight line to Congress, and seven years later would be in the same primary together.


Where’s the experience?

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