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News :: Education & Youth : Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics : Media Criticism : Transportation

Students and Workers Teach Republicans a Lesson in Solidarity

On Thursday, UCSC's College Republicans held a rally against the striking Metro bus drivers. While publicized all over campus, only a handful of students showed up to join them.

However, having heard of the anti-worker rally, students from the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) and the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ), who have been very active supporting the bus drivers, were quick to react. They carpooled down to the rally and had far outnumbered the Republicans even before they arrived. While the mainstream media jumped at the opportunity to discredit the bus drivers' union (UTU Local 23), the pro-worker students showed that UCSC is overwhelmingly in solidarity with the bus drivers.

On Monday at UCSC, over 50 students and workers walked into Mike Rotkin's office, resulting in his acknowledgement that the Transit Board made a bad decision. On Friday, students and workers from UCSC will march at 4pm from the base of campus to the downtown Metro Center to show their solidarity.

Photos: Striking Bus Drivers, College Rupublikkkans and Student Solidarity || Evening Rally: Union and Student Solidarity at the Santa Cruz Metro Center

Audio: SC Metro Strikers Meet Anti-Strikers || Rockin' the Boat: Metro Strike Heats Up

see also: Bus Drivers to Follow in Cesar Chavez’ Footsteps: Watsonville-Santa Cruz March for Public Transit Set for Sunday || March Friday to Support Bus Drivers & Get Buses Rolling! || Students and Workers Visit Rotkin to Demand an End to the Bus Strike || Support The Bus Drivers, Upcoming Actions, Bike Campaign

previous coverage: Santa Cruz Bus Drivers on Strike

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News :: Labor & Economics

Parent Leaders Support Head Start Workers' Vote to Strike Over Non-Economic Issues

The Santa Cruz County Community Counseling Center (SCCCC), the parent corporation for the Head Start Program, publicly expressed disbelief that workers would be willing to strike over non-economic issues. Parent Leader Paola Rojas says she understands easily.

According to Rojas, elected parent leaders who make up the Parent Policy Council have submitted no fewer than three petitions to the agency in the past twelve-months. Federal mandates require that parents have a say in how the program is run along with the agency’s Board of Trustees. “But SCCCC has done everything it can to stop us? says Rojas. Not only have petitions been ignored but Administrators have attempted to intimidate us and walked out of meetings when confronted.

Workers, too, say the agency is not listening. Last week, they voted to give their negotiators strike authorization. The message to SCCCC is that time is running out. For workers, the long negotiation process has deepened divisions with the agency. Workers voted for a union because of heavy-handed agency actions; the difficult negotiations have only strengthened the workers’ resolve. Agency non-responsiveness to workers and parent leaders has convinced workers that they must hold out for binding arbitration to assure fairness when grievances arise.

Audio: WIN: Head Start Workers Poised to Strike

Photos: Rally Held to Support Head Start Workers

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics : Poverty & Urban Development

Students and Workers Demand a Sweat-Free UC

As part of a national anti-sweatshop campaign taking place at over 40 colleges and universities in the U.S., students and workers from UC Santa Cruz held a rally and march to demand that UCSC apparel no longer be produced in sweatshops.

The marchers, a few of whom had family members currently working in sweatshops overseas or have had personal experiences themselves, initially educated the many passerbys in busy Baytree Plaza before marching to the Chancellor's office where a list of demands was presented to an administrative representative. Their follow-through will be closely watched.

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: Students Rally for Sweat-Free Campus

Photos: UCSC is in Violation of their Code of Conduct || 25 Cents Makes a Difference: Wash Out the Sweat

[ United Students Against Sweatshops ]

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News :: Labor & Economics

All Quiet on the Southern Front

A Report from the Santa Cruz Minute Maids

On Saturday, September 17, Friends of the Border Patrol (FBP)'s plans to begin border activities were preemptively shut down as activists from across the state banded together for a mass disruption. Caravans swept through border regions surrounding Calexico and Jacumba in search of vigilantes, focusing on areas of high border activity and previous Minuteman sightings, but found all to be quiet on the southern front.

At 8:00 am, protesters met prospective trainees for the self-appointed civilian border policing group, Friends of the Border Patrol, at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in San Diego. They banged pots and pans, held banners, obstructed entrances, and called for an end to racist violence. Aspiring border patrollers attempted two citizen’s arrests against protesters. One arrestee, a white male, was released immediately. The second, a Latino, was held inside a cop car for about an hour before being released with a citation for battery. Although this protest had seemed to be merely a prelude to the main event, it turned out to be crucial: Friends of the Border Patrol’s failure to mobilize significant numbers for their planned launch that weekend was blamed in part on intimidation by the morning’s resistance.

Audio: Jen Discusses Resistance to Border Vigilantes

San Diego IMC coverage: Breaking Border Paradigms

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News :: Labor & Economics

Santa Cruz Bus Drivers on Strike

UTU Local 23, the bus operators for the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District, are going on strike beginning Tuesday, September 27th.

A State mediated agreement had been reached with the Transit District and was signed by Les White, the District's general Manager, and our Union. Our Union agreed not to go out on strike while we tried to resolve some of the other issues we had with the Transit District. However, on Friday, September 23rd, the Transit Board reneged on this agreement - they voted it down. Instead they chose to once again impose their last, best and final offer.

By vetoing this agreement, the Transit Board has shown no concern for the public or our passengers. The drivers have tried to preserve the public transit system in this county but the Board is making this impossible.

see also: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

Photos: Where are all the People? Where are the Buses?

Audio: WIN: Metro Drivers Strike!

previous coverage: Santa Cruz Bus Drivers Threaten Strike

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Commentary :: Labor & Economics

U.S. Trade Deficit Devastating Economy

The U.S. economy is being sold to the highest bidders in world trade markets and our trade deficit is destroying our economy. Americans risk losing everything due to poor leadership in Washington D.C..

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Commentary :: Alternative Media : Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics

Justice for Chiquita and Banadex

Earlier today, someone on the other side of the Potomac
(visitors I.P., US Dept of Justice)
did a Yahoo! search for Banadex (a division of Chiquita Brands), and read my coverage of their corporate impunity enjoyed at expense of US taxpayers. One would expect the Department of Justice would already know about the the case history of Banadex: they've been fined as recently as 2 years ago for their crimes in Honduras. Journalists who have publicly challenged Chiquita in the past have been dogged by lawyers and stalked on the internet, especially the award winning "journalist in exile" Ignacio Gomez, who eventually found refuge in Cuba.

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Labor & Economics : Poverty & Urban Development

The Housing and Poverty Review for 2005

The Best Housing & Poverty Review of 2005: A day-by-day chronicle of the pitiful state of human need in the United States of America.

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News :: Animal Rights : Environment & Food : Labor & Economics

Boycott Canadian Seafood to Save the Seal Pups!

Ask your favorite restaurant to boycott Canadian seafood to save 300,000 defenseless seal pups! Go to to find out more and help!

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News :: Labor & Economics

Charles Schwab Chooses Nasdaq because it's more corrupt.

James Angel earlier this year even made a video infomercial for what appears to be a criminal stock manipulation group whose only 'official' address as it turned out was a lap dance club in Las Vegas called the Cheetah Club !!! The only lap dance club to ever be investigated by the FBI under the Patriot Act......

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