Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

MN Home Health Care Workers Win Historic Victory

On Tuesday, Minnesota’s home care workers etched a new chapter in the state’s history, alongside the miners who organized the Iron Range, the truck drivers who shut down Minneapolis in 1934 and the women who led landmark strikes by teachers in 1946 and 1970 and by nurses in 1984.

Ballots were mailed to 26,000 home care workers Aug. 1 in the largest union election in Minnesota history. When the state Bureau of Mediation Services counted the ballots Tuesday, 60 percent of those voting (3,542 out of a total of 5,872) chose SEIU Healthcare Minnesota to represent them.

“Despite every obstacle put in our way, we stuck to our promise to keep fighting until we were able to exercise our democratic right to let home care workers decide for themselves whether to form a union,” said Sumer Spika, a home care worker from St. Paul.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Petitions for Janitor Jobs Delivered to UWS Chancellor

Today there was a welcome back event at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for faculty and staff. In solidarity with the janitors whose jobs are threatened with outsourcing, supporters handed out hundreds of leaflets and stickers to what proved to be a very receptive audience.

During the "Town Hall" session of the event we delievered the 5,000 petition signatures, that we've gathered on behalf of the janitors, to the embarassed UWS Chancellor. 

A big thank you to everyone who helped to today, and to the hundreds who proudly wore the solidarity stickers!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Douglas County Board Opposes Outsourcing of UWS Janitors

WHEREAS, the University of Wisconsin system, one of the leading university systems in the nation and world, provides a wealth of quality education and prominent research that benefits the health and well-being of the world population, and

WHEREAS, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, with 2,700 students, is home to important environmental, transportation, and economic research and development centers, and

WHEREAS, the University of Wisconsin-Superior is a regional campus offering quality higher education for both traditional and non-traditional students at an affordable cost, and

WHEREAS, the University of Wisconsin-Superior is a significant cultural and economic contributor to the region, and

Friday, August 15, 2014

Justice for Michael Brown!

“I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” — Michael Brown, Rest In Power, killed by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer on Aug. 9. Unarmed, Michael had already been shot in the back once when—according to witnesses—he turned around, raised his arms in the air to surrender, and pleaded for his life. Brown, an African American, was then shot to death by a reportedly white police officer.

Thousands of people in over 100 communities held vigils on Thursday in remembrance of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was killed by Ferguson, Missouri, police on Aug. 9. Protesters demonstrated their solidarity with a moment of silence, told stories of police brutality, chanted demands, and raised their arms as Brown had done, among other things (use hashtag #NMOS14 to search the powerful photos). Events took place in towns and cities from London to California.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Love Water Not Oil

'Love Water Not Oil' - A Northern Minnesota Tour to STOP the Sandpiper Pipeline, the Development of a New Pipeline Corridor through the Northland, and Fracking in the Region

From August 13th to the 28th, Honor the Earth will sponsor an organizing and outreach tour in northern Minnesota, aimed at engaging communities and summer residents along the Enbridge preferred route for the Sandpiper pipeline, one of many tar sands and fracked oil pipelines proposed to cross the North Country.

The tour will inform local citizens and increase political and social pressure on the regulatory agencies. The outreach tour is combined with an extensive policy and regulatory intervention strategy undertaken by Honor the Earth, with allied organizations like Friends of the Headwaters.  Michael Dahl, organizer with Honor the Earth comments, “Political and social participation will be the driving force that protects the waters of the North Country.”

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rents on the Rise in Minnesota

Finding an affordable place to rent has gotten more difficult, and not just in the Twin Cities, a new set of county-by-county housing profiles finds.

Minnesota Housing Partnership's 2014 County Profiles reveal that affording rent is now more difficult for renters than it was in the year 2000 in all but three of Minnesota's 87 counties. Rising rents and falling incomes for renters are to blame.

Since 2000, Minnesota's median rents have risen by 6%, while incomes for renters have fallen by 17%.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Remember the Past But Work for the Future

August 6, 1945 we dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The world changed forever. We came under the shadow of a nuclear mushroom cloud that is still with us 69 years later.   

We should remember the dead and wounded from the horrific events of that time. At Hiroshima we killed an estimated 166,000 and, three days later, 80,000 in Nagasaki. Most of these dead were non-combatant civilians of all ages.

We should remember that war has always been destructive. But with the atomic age we reached a new level of destructiveness. During the arms race of the cold war we build arsenals with the power to literally destroy the world. When you destroy the world no one wins.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How the Fashion Industry Oppresses Women

Tansey E. Hoskins clearly loves art, understands the impulse to body modification and sartorial statement, and can imagine a socialist society where the creativity of the vast majority will be unleashed to spectacular ends in clothing and many other spheres. She has also written the most devastating deconstruction of the fashion industry, as well as of the “ethical fashion movement,” to date. Her new book, “Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion” (London: Pluto Press, 2014), leaves no negative impact of the fashion industry unexamined. She expertly lays out the industry record regarding class differentiation, worker exploitation, imperialist underdevelopment, racial stereotyping, female self-loathing, environmental degradation, gender oppression, and artist cooptation.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Protest Against Outsourcing of Jobs at UWS

It was a hot day on Saturday, July 26, but that didn't stop 175 people from marching through Superior. The protest was held in support of the 27 custodians and grounds keepers whose jobs the University of WI-Superior is considering outsourcing. The march and rally was part of an ongoing campaign consisting of letter writing, petitioning, protesting and getting local groups and government bodies to pass resolutions of support - all geared to show UWS that we will not stand for them tossing these hard working men and women to the curb. 

The University says that it is considering outsourcing as a way to get out of their current budget crunch, but at the same time the top administrators just gave themselves 12% raises. We cry foul, and reject their proposal to make the lowest paid of their workers pay for a budget crisis that was caused by those at the top, not those at the bottom.

Below is a series of video clips of the July 26 protest, along with some links to local media coverage of the event. If you haven't yet, please contact UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter And stay tuned here at the Northern Worker for announcements regarding future actions!

Marching through the UWS campus

Janitor Glen Khalar addressing the protest

Prof. Joel Sipress addressing the protest

Singing "Solidarity Forever!" at the end of the rally

-WDIO's coverage of the protest
-Northland News Center's coverage of the protest
-AFSCME Blog: Outsourcing Fight Involves Community

Friday, July 25, 2014

An Urgent Call from Gaza Civil Society

We Palestinians trapped inside the bloodied and besieged Gaza Strip call on conscientious people all over the world to act, protest and intensify the boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel until it ends this murderous attack on our people and is held to account.

With the world turning their backs on us once again, for the last four days we in Gaza have been left to face massacre after massacre. As you read these words, over 120 Palestinians are dead now, including 25 children. Over 1,000 have been injured including countless horrifying injuries that will limit lives forever –- more than two thirds of the injured are women and children.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Enbridge Energy's Black Gold Rush

Enbridge Energy is on track to create the largest pipeline of tar sands crude oil in the country. By the end of next year, the company expects to expand Line 61, which runs from Superior, Wisconsin, to Flanagan, Illinois, to 1.2 million barrels per day—50 percent more than Trans–Canada’s controversial Keystone XL. Line 61 was built in 2007 to carry up to 400,000 barrels per day. It’s now undergoing the first phase of a two–part expansion.

The Keystone XL, which would carry up to 830,000 barrels per day, has met staunch resistance from climate change groups in the US and Canada, who have made it a focal point of the environmental movement.  <continue article . . . >

Runaway Train: The Reckless Expansion of Crude-by-Rail in North America

This report tracks the rise of crude-by-rail in North America, detailing where crude trains are being loaded and unloaded, how many trains carrying crude oil are crossing the North American continent, and who is involved in this burgeoning trade.

This report is the first in a series covering North America’s booming crude-by-rail industry and is being published in conjunction with a unique interactive online map of crude-by-rail
terminals and potential routes.

Friday, July 11, 2014

How the Tribe Got Swindled by Duluth Over the Fond-du-Luth Casino

As we understand it today, the conflict over Fond–du–Luth Casino started in 2009 when the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa stopped paying the City of Duluth a 19 percent share of the casino’s gross slot machine revenue. What’s rarely examined is why the Band was making those payments in the first place.

The 19 percent revenue sharing dates back to 1994, when the City and the Band negotiated the second of two casino agreements. Prior to that, the City had received 24.5 percent of total casino revenue under an agreement when the casino opened in 1986.