Columbus Lecturers “Sickout” Strike – ICE Union Final Minute Deal Hurts Immigration Reform

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Greetings from the Burgh, where we face another cloudy, polluted day that is terrible for asthmatics.

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Strike by the Columbus teachers “sick” with still high Covid cases

A week after schools in Columbus, Ohio returned for face-to-face classes, teachers at three elementary schools refused to return to face-to-face classes as COVID cases were still high.

The teachers declined to comment directly on the strike and the union denied coordinating it directly.

Further information can be found in Columbus shipping.

NYC taxi drivers close the Brooklyn Bridge

In New York City, cab drivers have closed the Brooklyn Bridge and are demanding state and local relief from the excessive debt they have amassed by purchasing the medallion certification required for driving cabs around the city.

While a group of cab drivers gathered outside Senator Chuck Schumer’s home in Brooklyn, Schumer announced his support for the federal legislation that was being requested by drivers.

“The drivers took direct action today and sent an SOS to Congress, and Senator Schumer heeded our call.” said Bhaivari Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Worker Alliance. “We are very grateful for Senator Schumer’s support. The mayor has no more excuses. “

Further information can be found in the Taxi Worker Alliance.

ICE Union freezes with Trump’s immigration policy

A New York Times bombshell shows that an employment contract signed on the last day of the Trump administration can limit the Biden administration’s ability to change immigration policy.

The Trump administration has even made concessions that would give the Border Patrol Union more money and federal support. From the New York Times:

For example, one of the agreements states: “No changes need to be made to policies, hours, functions, alternate work schedules, resources, tools, allowances and the like, or granted employees or contractors,” written by the union without prior approval.

The complaint also characterized the agreements as granting “oversized” “official time” – compensation for time spent on union activities – well in excess of what other public sector unions received, it says the complaint. Mr. David Silk, [a lawyer representing the whistle-blower], appreciated that these concessions from Mr. Cuccinelli, [the former Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security] would cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year.

The agreements also provide for the government to pay union-related travel expenses and grant them a benefit that Trump banned in 2018.

See the New York Times for more information.

John Nichols recalls Anne Feeney’s role in the Wisconsin uprising

On the 10th anniversary of the start of his anti-union attack on the right to collective bargaining in Wisconsin by former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, John Nichols, associate editor of the Capital Times, examined the role of the late folk musician Anne Feeney in the cast of the Capitol.

From the Capital Times:

The workers constantly thanked Feeney, who died last week at the age of 69. The songwriter-turned lawyer picketed the US and around the world to sing the union songs of Ralph Chaplin, Florence Reece, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Josh White, along with compositions of his own like “Were You In Jail for justice? “

Feeney’s song about the pride she and her comrades had when they were arrested for resisting injustice – “The more you study history, the less you can deny it / A rotten law stays on the books until people like us challenge it “- became a favorite of solidarity singers who kept the spirit of the Wisconsin insurrection alive with daily singing lessons at the Capitol. The singing enraged Walker and his right-wing allies, and the governor pressured Capitol Police to arrest the members of this warm-hearted Ragtag ensemble. So Feeney returned to Madison and added her voice to the choir, in joyful defiance of the governor and his henchmen.

Walker was eventually voted out by the people of Wisconsin, and the Solidarity Singers ended their long career in the Capitol Rotunda. But Feeney found plenty of protests during the Trump years advocating for labor rights, civil rights, women’s rights, and any other crusade of economic, social, and racial justice that needed a song to get people going and march.

See the Capitol Times for more information.

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