Thursday, September 29, 2005

Labor journalists ignored by media

Press Advisory: Sept. 27, 2005

Teachers and public sector unions mobilize to defeat Schwarzenegger initiatives.
Sacramento State Conference; Wed. Sept. 28.

Speakers and organizers from the union backed campaigns to defeat Prop. 74, 75 & 76 served to educate, agitate and organize faculty and students at Sacramento State University on Wed. Sept. 28, at the conference Democracy and Divisions in the House of Labor.
Last year the California governor fought to a draw with the legislature on his plans to re-shape the budget process including the funding of schools and universities. He blames the public sector unions for electing the majority Democrats who resisted his budget cuts. In response, the governor and his allies have placed Prop. 74 , 75, & 76 on the ballot to punish the unions and to reduce their political power.
Prop. 74 targets teachers as the problem in our public schools.
Prop. 75 severely restricts the ability of public employee unions to gain funds to fight political campaigns. It targets only unions- although corporations outspent unions 24 – 1 in the last election.
Prop. 76 gives the governor new powers to cut the budget without the permission of the legislature. It alters the Prop. 98 requirement that loans from school funds be repaid and allows the governor to raise tuition fees without further legislative votes.
While California unions mobilize their forces for this special election, the national union movement is deeply divided, with the AFL-CIO splitting into two opposing camps at their convention in July.
These divisions and the political clout of labor unions was a central focus of the conference “Democracy and Divisions in the House of Labor” set for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. - Wednesday, Sept. 28 in the Orchard Suite of Sacramento State’s University Union. Two labor journalists Harold Meyerson and David Bacon were featured speakers.
Background papers are at

Over the last 22 years, national labor union membership has been on the steady decline. In 1983, more than 20 percent of all U.S. wage and salary workers were union members. In 2004 that statistic had fallen below 13 percent. Today, California holds the highest union membership in the United States with more than 2.4 million members, in both private sectors and government employment. In Sept.l2005, the politically savvy California Nurse’s Association voted to affiliate with the AFL-CIO.

The first session of the conference on Wed. made clear that the divisions in labor are a product of the economic crisis for working people; a crisis we all share. A crisis which the families of your students share.

The evening session;
Participants heard a major journalist report on the founding of the Change to Win Federation on tues. This is a history making event. You heard a direct report from history. This is a significant shift in political and economic power.

The conference was not covered in the press. This was not an accident nor an over sight.
The media and the press were notified repeatedly. No PSA’s were printed.
What was covered in yesterday’s news?
A Play area for disabled students was built;.
The Florin High Principal took a new position with Sac. City Unified.
Tom DeLay was indicted. ( we talked about that in the evening session)
A school hacking suspect was charged.
Fires raged in 4 counties.
A panel backed offshore gas drilling.
And many more.
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