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Posts Tagged ‘strikes’

The idea that public school teachers need to go on strike in order to get livable wages and benefits is spreading, much to the dread of the billionaires who control both major political parties.

Early in March 2018, striking West Virginia teachers declared victory with a 5 percent raise and returned to their classrooms. Their organizing and their 13-day strike not only forced the legislature to raise their rock-bottom pay; it backed off corporate-linked education “reformers” on a host of other issues: charter schools, an anti-seniority bill, and preventing payroll deduction of union dues, and the rich who control the corporations that would benefit from these things are not happy state money went to impoverished public school teachers.

Emboldened by the success of the teachers of West Virginia, teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Kentucky are now striking, sicking out, rallying, and Facebooking to push officials to raise their salaries and defend their benefits.

Teachers in Oklahoma are set to strike on April 2 if the legislature doesn’t grant a $10,000 raise for teachers and a $5,000 raise for school support staff. It’s been a decade since Oklahoma teachers got their last raise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pay for educators there ranks last in the country, with high school teachers averaging $42,460.

Like the case in West Virginia, Oklahoma teachers are emboldened by a shortage of qualified educators. “Teachers are fleeing the state,” said Molly Jaynes, a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma City. “You can go to Arkansas and make $15,000 more; you can go to Texas and make $20,000 more”—as did Oklahoma’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. The state issues hundreds of emergency certifications every year to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. (It should be pointed out there is a teacher shortage throughout the United States)

Arizona teachers signed up in droves for a new Facebook group, “Arizona Educators United.” Thirty thousand joined in its first 10 days. Teachers there are building a grassroots “Red for Ed” movement, spreading photos of themselves wearing red T-shirts to school every Wednesday and assembling en masse at legislative hearings at the Capitol.

The latest state to join the strike talk is Kentucky, where the fight is about pensions and funding cuts to schools. Having systematically underfunded pensions for over a decade, the legislature is now pushing to cut cost-of-living adjustments for teachers and other employees. Like teachers in 14 other states, Kentucky teachers do not collect Social Security, so they rely entirely on the state pension system.

These four states; Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and West Virginia are dominated by the Republican Party, which is controlled by billionaires. Strong labor unions can often help defeat the billionaires in state and local elections. Keeping the memberships in poverty and financially starving public education has been a political strategy, effectively waging war against children, the poor and the middle class.

On the other hands, the billionaires of the Democratic and Republican parties have to a large degree gutted the tax base of the United States by voting to export tens of millions of US jobs over the last twenty-five years in order to redistribute the massive difference between the old higher wages and benefits of tens of millions of US workers and the new poverty third world wages of the exported jobs.

Democrat politicians such as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ron Wyden and Earl Blumenauer have joined hands with Republicans such as George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and John Boehner to export those jobs, and creating the highest income and wealth inequality in US history.

On the state and local levels, the rich control contracting corporations that feed on useless public projects and services. Giving the teachers raises and higher benefits means that some public money will need to be diverted from those tax guzzling projects to the teachers, which may negatively impact the share prices of corporations.

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The Walmart Workers strike is spreading across the nation, in at least twelve states. The Walton family, the primary owners of Walmart, are among the most anti-Americans in the world, along with the Koch Brothers. These people continue to support legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent. click the link below for the complete story.

Walmart's First Strike

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“More than a decade after George W Bush launched it, the “war on terror” was supposed to be winding down. US military occupation of Iraq has ended and Nato is looking for a way out of Afghanistan, even as the carnage continues. But another war – the undeclared drone war that has already killed thousands – is now being relentlessly escalated.”

The drone wars are all about raising corporate profits, for General Dynamics and other master’s of war. They have President Obama on a leash. He is their good little boy in the white house, ordering the murder of innocent people for profits. Sure, there might be a terrorist that he gets now and then, but the terrorists aren’t his targets; Wall Street analysts tell corporate CEO’s what their profit targets will be every quarter, and every drone strike is intended to push up those profits to reach Wall Street expectations. The more drone strikes, the more drones need to be built, the more profits are obtained, and all at tax payer expense.

That means the drone wars are all about redistributing income from working people to the rich via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends and soaring share prices. The drone wars also mean the president, like President Bush before him, is the terrorist.

America's murderous drone campaign is fuelling terror

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Tens of thousands Strike In Greece

More than 60,000 protesters marched in Greek cities on Wednesday, police said, as a two-day general strike began against a new austerity bill demanded by Greece’s international creditors to avert bankruptcy.

The highest turnout was in Athens where over 52,000 people converged on central Syntagma Square, where parliament is located, in separate protests organized by unions but also joined by unaffiliated Greeks fed up with austerity cuts.

“I work in the private sector and I’m in danger of losing my job,” said a 45-year-old woman who declined to be named.

“Our bosses are taking the opportunity of the crisis to cut wherever they can. I’m desperate. The government’s measures are going from bad to worse without benefit for the country. We are all terrorized,” she told AFP.

Another 15,000 people demonstrated in the second city of Thessaloniki, local police said, and another protest was held in Heraklion on the island of Crete, where vandalism on bank branches was reported.

Authorities in Athens threw a cordon of riot police buses and a steel fence in front of parliament and shutting down two metro train stations in the area.

“Forward people, it’s now or never to throw out the government, the IMF and the EU,” said a banner carried by leftist demonstrators.

“The government must fall now,” said another borne by Communists.

Some 3,000 officers were stationed around the capital, with additional forces guarding possible targets of violence such as embassies and government buildings.

A police motorcycle patrol was pelted with stones in the working-class district of Kaisiariani as the central Athens protests kicked off, and one of the riders was hurt, a police source said.

Most of the country’s professional classes joined the 48-hour walkout including civil servants, tax collectors, doctors, teachers, sailors and taxi owners while traders, petrol station operators and bakers also shut down their businesses in protest against the government’s economic policies.

Many government buildings were blocked by public sector staff outraged by new pay cuts and layoffs on top of a prior state payroll trim last year.

“Take the memorandum and get out of here,” read a sign strung across a health ministry building in central Athens, referring to the loan bailout deal with the EU and the IMF that saved Greece from default in 2010.

Air traffic controllers were also to stage a 12-hour work stoppage on Wednesday, forcing airlines to scrap or reschedule several flights.

The main unions, GSEE for the private sector and Adedy for civil servants, were heading demonstrations in Athens and Thessaloniki.

The new austerity bill includes collective wage amendments, a new civil service salary system and temporary layoffs for thousands of public sector staff.

The new cuts are demanded by the EU and IMF in return for the latest loans from a 110-billion-euro ($151-billion) rescue programme agreed last year.

The Greek state has enough money to pay its bills through mid-November.

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