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Working In These Times

Friday, Mar 26, 2010, 1:48 pm

Weekly Workers’ Round-up: Students Stand Up to Nike, Protesters Try to ‘Make Wall Street Pay’

BY Jennifer Braudaway

Movement to make Wall Street pay marches on

Union and community members rallied in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Wednesday as part of the continuing “Make Wall Street Pay” initiative organized by the AFL-CIO. The delegation marched to Morgan Stanley bank demanding that it pay its fair share to create the jobs that it destroyed. The nationwide action initiative, comprised of 200 protests over two weeks, continues until the end of this week. To read more about Wednesday's protest go here . To read more about the movement's success, check out the New York Times article.

Union members picket Mayor Bing

Around 100 AFSCME and Detroit Public Schools union members picketed at Mayor Dave Bing’s State of the City address in Detroit, Mich. on Tuesday. Union members voiced opposition to Bing’s proposed 10 percent salary cut in the form of 26 furlough days for up to three years, which would qualify many city workers for welfare benefits. The protesters also called on the mayor to stop layoffs and privatizing city services, and to bring jobs to the city through a federal work program. Read more here.

Honolulu residents call for tax instead of layoffs

More than 200 people gathered at the state capitol in Honolulu, Hawaii on Tuesday, calling for a one percentage point increase in the general excise tax imposed on goods and services. Advocates say that the GET tax will help recoup budgets cuts that have resulted in reduced social services and layoffs for hundreds of public employees. Read more here.

State workers rally against pay freezes and retirement changes

Also on Tuesday, over 200 state employees rallied outside the state capitol in Lansing, Mich. to protest proposed pay freezes and a new retirement plan that is designed to urge state workers into retirement. In exchange for a slightly higher pension, the new system would force workers with 30 years or more of service to contribute three percent of their salary toward retirement and would eliminate their retirement vision and dental care if they refuse. Read more about it here.

Hollywood workers stand up to film school union-busting

In Calif. on Wednesday, around 150 people from Hollywood unions showed up to protest Los Angeles Film School’s alleged union-busting efforts. Protestors say the school is requiring faculty to attend anti-union meetings, and fired union supporter Brandii Grace after organizing efforts to become part of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) began in February. CFT field representative Peter Q. Nguyen said the union has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB over the firing. Read more about it here.

University students tell Nike to honor its contracts, pay workers

The Student Labor Action Coalition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison held a musical protest last Friday, calling for the university to cut its apparel contract with Nike for violating UW-Madison’s code of conduct for companies that manufacture its apparel. Nike owes $2 million in back wages to workers of two closed factories in Honduras. UW-Madison ended a similar contract with Russell Athletics in February 2009 for closing a factory in Honduras when workers tried to unionize. Read more here.

Jennifer Braudaway is a Winter 2010 Web intern.

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