Reminder: Protest Goodyear Today

If you're going to be near the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan after work or passing by on your commute then stop and show your support for striking steelworkers protesting Goodyear's shoddy treatment of America's workers, retirees and communities.

WHAT: Show your support for striking Goodyear workers
WHEN: Friday, December 1st, from 5pm to 7pm
WHERE: outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan, between 49th and 50th Streets
If you can't be there in person then be there in spirit: take a moment to show your support online at http://www.workingfamiliesparty.org/take action/

I'll have an update (with pictures) after the protest.

UPDATE:pictures are up.

New York City Call to Action: Help Striking Steelworkers

Back in October, Goodyear forced 15,000 trained and unionized workers on strike so it could replace them with lower-paid scabs.  Since 2002, Goodyear has seen a billion dollar turnaround in their bottom line because of concessions union members and retirees made in their 2003 contract.  But a billion dollars wasn't enough for Goodyear, where management wants to drive salaries lower and close more plants.

Striking Goodyear workers will be protesting at the NASCAR Awards dinner this Friday, December 1st, outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue in New York City from 5 to 7pm.  (Goodyear is the  sole supplier of tires for NASCAR.)

If you work or live in Manhattan, please stop by this Friday after work and show your support for striking Goodyear workers.  And everyone can help by spreading the word about how untrained workers lead to unsafe Goodyear tires.

There's more...

For Unions, It's All About the Members

This week's post is by Teamsters Organizing Director Jeff Farmer.

Unions are about members helping members, unlike advocacy groups such as the AARP, or professional organizations like the American Medical Association.

Yes, there are similarities -- such as national lobbying efforts, member publications and affinity credit card offers -- but for unions, these are ancillary, not primary functions.

I've never had someone come up to me when I'm wearing my Nature Conservancy T-shirt and say "Hey, I give to the Nature Conservancy too!" But when I'm traveling and people see my Teamster lapel pin, they will often comment that they are Teamsters too, or that their father was a Teamster or that they belong to some other union. That's because, as Mike said last week, unions are personal.

Our strength comes from our members, not how much money we raise or how many lobbyists we can field. It's about Teamsters standing with Teamsters, whether we're going up against an employer for better pay and working conditions or chipping in to help another member when times are tough.  

But you don't need to hear me preach about solidarity. I'll let our members tell you themselves. The following comments are from real Teamsters in their own words.

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Send Quinnipiac U. a Labor Day Letter

Cross-posted from Free Exchange on Campus. If you were to take a poll of the climate at Quinnipiac University these days, the results would be bleak. The private institution in Connecticut, best known for its public policy Polling Institute, now has a new label: Union Buster.Earlier this year, when the Quinnipiac Faculty Federation was due to return to the bargaining table, the administration moved to decertify the union. QFF has represented the faculty at the private university continuously since 1975.

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Politics in the Bedroom

Last year, Grover Norquist told a New York Times reporter that he had little trouble getting the culture warriors over at the Eagle Forum to stand with the auto industry in opposition fuel efficiency standards because "it's backdoor family planning. You can't have nine kids in the little teeny cars." Certainly, leaders on the modern American right, as well as the left, struggles with how to keep its constituent movements working constructively together, or at least keep them from actively undercutting each other.  But those struggles seem to turn out better on the right.  Arguably, that's because the right has real power to mete out amongst the groups and individuals who make it work and can therefore keep them in line.  But there's as strong a case to be made that being out of power is more unifying - that's why, in the fall of 2004, well-justified and broadlyy shared anti-Bushism made it so much easier to imagine that there really was a coherent, unified left in this country.

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