Friday, February 24, 2023

antiracismdsa: Don't Buy Greenwood Mushrooms

antiracismdsa: Don't Buy Greenwood Mushrooms: Ostrom Mushroom plant sold, but the workers’ fight continues. Help us track how mushrooms move across North America. We wrote to you earlier...

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Rail Workers Call for the Nationalization ( Public Ownership) of the Railroads

 Dear Friends and Fellow Workers:

In face of the degeneration of the rail system in the last decade, and after more than a decade of discussion and debate on the question, Railroad Workers United (RWU) has taken a position in support of public ownership of the rail system in the United
States. (see Resolution attached). We ask you to consider doing the same, and announce your organization’s support for rail public ownership.

While the rail industry has been incapable of expansion in the last generation and has become more and more fixated on the Operating Ratio to the detriment of all other metrics of success, Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR) has escalated this
irresponsible trajectory to the detriment of shippers, passengers, commuters, trackside communities, and workers. On-time performance is suffering, and shipper complaints are at all-time highs. Passenger trains are chronically late, commuter services are threatened, and the rail industry is hostile to practically any passenger train expansion. The workforce has been decimated, as jobs have been eliminated, consolidated, and contracted out, ushering in a new previously unheard-of era where workers can neither be recruited nor retained. Locomotive, rail car, and infrastructure maintenance have been cut back. Health and safety have been put at risk. Morale is at an all-time low. The debacle in national contract bargaining last Fall saw the carriers ±after decades of record profits and record low Operating Ratios—refusing to make even the slightest concessions to the workers who have made them their riches.

Since the North American private rail industry has shown itself incapable of doing the job, it is time for this invaluable transportation infrastructure—like the other transport modes—to be brought under public ownership. During WWI, the railroads in the U.S. were in fact temporarily placed under public ownership and control. All rail workers of all crafts and unions supported (unsuccessfully) keeping them in public hands once the war ended, and voted overwhelmingly to keep them in public hands. Perhaps it is time once again to put an end to the profiteering, pillaging, and irresponsibility of the Class 1 carriers. Railroad workers are in a historic position to take the lead and push for a new fresh beginning for a vibrant and expanding, innovative, and creative national rail industry to properly handle the nation’s freight and passengers.

Please join us in this historic endeavor. See the adjoining RWU Resolution in Support of Public Ownership of the Railroads, along with a sample Statement from the United Electrical (UE). If your organization would like to take a stand for public ownership of the nation's rail system, please fill out the attached form and email it in to RWU. We will add your organization to the list. Finally, please forward this letter to others who may be interested in doing the same. Thank you!

In solidarity,

The RWU Committee on Public Ownership

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Choosing Democracy: Teacher Pay: A national Issue

Choosing Democracy: Teacher Pay: A national Issue:   Earlier this week I held a town hall meeting to discuss the teacher pay crisis in America, what's going on with education today, and w...

Monday, January 16, 2023

MLK; Saving the Soul of America


We have posted the piece by Maurice Isserman on MLK on our blog. 

You can read the piece and the valuable videos at the Democratic Left site.  We thank Democratic Left for sharing this with us.



MLK: Saving the Soul of America





On Martin Luther King Day, leftists remember that his heart was with democratic socialists, mainstream writers talk about his dream and today’s realities, and rightwingers contort themselves to claim something of his legacy. Even if you;re a person who knows nothing about King, you’ve probably heard about his “I have a dream” speech and may even have read it or listened to it in school. Chances are that you’re less familiar with another speech, the one that, as Maurice Isserman asserts, “changed the conversation,” about the war in Vietnam and in doing so helped change the mind of an entire country. Delivered from the pulpit at the Riverside Church in Manhattan a year before he was assassinated, this sermon helped turn the tide of public opinion. As we honor King’s life, let’s remember the power of moral witness. Below is Isserman’s column from the Democratic Left series on events that changed our national conversation.–Eds.

Fifty years ago, on April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an impassioned speech at the Riverside Church in Manhattan. In eloquence and power, it matched the one he gave at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Unlike that earlier (and better remembered) effort, his topic was not civil rights but the war in Vietnam, an ever-escalating conflict that had killed nearly 20,000 American servicemen since 1963, along with hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, North and South, military and civilian.


With video. 

We thank Democratic Left for this post and link.

About Maurice Isserman

Maurice Isserman, a founding member of DSA, a member of North Star, and is the author of The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington, and the foreword to the 50th Anniversary edition of The Other America.