November 2007

Faye Herald – Anti War Demonstration

End the War Now Bring the Troops Home
National Day of Action

On Saturday, October 27, 2007 I attended an Anti-War rally organized by the Labor Contingent Assembly. 

We gathered at the Federal building located at 450 Golden Gate Ave. in San Francisco, CA.
In attendance were members from several organizations, including Veterans For Peace. This organization
became active following the Vietnam War. I spoke with Don, one of the group’s members who was a
veteran of World War II. Don informed me that his group consists of veterans who, after being in combat, have changed their views on war. They no longer feel that killing innocent people is a viable solution to this country’s problems. As a result, they now fight for peace.
The Berkeley College Republicans did not share that opinion. They were out there in support of Israel, the war in Iraq and the decisions made by the President concerning the war effort. Ross Lingenfelder says that his organization gains support by inviting speakers to keep them informed. They also have debates on the issues surrounding the war.
Bill Morgan is a 3rd grade teacher and a member of the Bay Area Labor Coalition. He feels that taking money from so many other much needed programs to support killing is wrong. There are so many things in this country that are a higher priority such as housing and education, he says.
Pat Sanchez, the Secretary-Treasurer of OPEIU has a grandson who will be deployed to a war zone in
November for the second time. He is in the Navy she and her  fellow union members are against the war.
They support efforts that will bring our troops home.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee was also in attendance. I asked her for suggestions on what unions could do to help put an end to this war.
Her response was the following:
1) Mobilize our membership
2) Provide regular messages to legislators and the media
3) Voice our opposition to this war
4) Reveal the actual cost of war to our members as well as the general public.
She also said that there were other issues of higher priority such as: healthcare, housing costs and mortgage rates.
Among the other speakers were various talk show hosts, bishops and commissioners.
The rally was very well organized and informative. I received so much information from people that are against the war and from people that support the war.
I came away from it all with this thought: On the one hand, we have to protect our country and its interests, but at what cost?

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Nursing Home Workers Take to Picket Lines for Fair Contract

Hundreds of nursing home workers from former Pleasant Care Corporation homes have taken their message to the streetswoman with mega and turned up the heat on new facility owners making one thing clear: we won’t stand for anything less than a
fair contract and affordable healthcare.

Workers at six former PCC facilities have been embroiled in a contract fight with the owners since theytook over the facilities in October. Th e new owners immediately slashed worker healthcare, and proposed to freeze and cut wages and strip employees of their pension and seniority. The owners were repeatedly cancelling bargaining sessions and refusing to bargain in good faith. But as pickets have progressed – workers have held demonstrations at Emmanuel Health and Rehab Center in Maywood, Glendora and West Covina, and Ember Care Center in Pomona – the owners are starting to feel the pressure.

“I’ve been working at this facility for more than 20 years,” said
Teresita Ramirez, a housekeeping employee at Emmanuel of West Covina.
“Now, they want to cut our seniority? I’ve been so loyal to this
company. Now I fear for my job.”

At a bargaining session on Nov. 30, the owners said they are ready to settle this fight and pledged to
bargain in good faith. The next session is scheduled for mid-December.

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