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Weekly Round-Up: Philly Taxi Drivers Protest, Kentuckians Fights McConnell

Audrey McLain

Every Saturday, we offer quick summaries of strikes, protests and labor campaigns from around the country that we didn’t have room to cover during the past week.

Calif. budget cuts incite more protests

Dozens of men and women with disabilities were present at a demonstration against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget cuts. His plan, which slashes funding for human services, would also cut into In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), the program which enables the elderly and disabled to live in their own homes rather than in nursing homes. IHSS serves more than 450,000 Californians and provides jobs to approximately 350,000 caregivers. Read more here.

Philly taxi drivers protest members’ detention

Nearly 200 members and supporters of the Philadeplphia Taxi Workers Alliance gathered Wednesday outside of the headquarters of the Philadelphia Parkers Authortity, protesting an immigration sting that resulted in the indefinite detainment of four of the alliance’s members.

On June 30, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 23 Philedelphia taxi drivers because the drivers were allegedly in the country illegally. 19 of the drivers were released, although 4 still remain in custody. According to Taxi Workers Alliance President Ron Blount, the demonstration’s goal was to protest the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s intrusion into immigration law enforcement, an area where Blount believes they have no jurisdiction. Read more here and here.

Kentuckians rallies against McConnell

A large group of Kentuckians rallied outside Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office Wednesday. Many blame McConnell for unemployment benefits running out for thousands of people. A group earlier in the day tried a different tactic and held a prayer vigil on the frontsteps of McConnell’s office. It is expected that the Senate will vote again next week on extending the federal unemployment benefits. Read more here and here.

Rite Aid rallies for management improvements

More than 75 Rite Aid workers from the Southwest Distribution Center in Lancaster, CA marched off the job on Tuesday, joining dozens of other units also protesting that Rite Aid management negotiate a good contract. The workers first began organizing with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to improve their wages and working conditions over four years ago.

Several dozen ILWU Local 30 members from the Rio Tinto mine in Boron, California came to support the Rite Aid workers. Their recent contract victory against the global mining giant has inspired Rite Aid workers not to give up. Along with supporters from ILWU Local 30, members from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Auto Workers, California School Employees Association, International Association of Machinists, Warehouse Workers United, ILWU Local 13 and 13A, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO participated in Tuesday’s rally

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