Monday, April 30, 2007

[olympiaworkers] May Day events

May Day - Tuesday!
International Workers Day / Immigrant Rights Day

Carnival and Celebration in Sylvester Park (downtown Olympia) from 12 noon
until 3pm. Baloons, bubbles, speakers, C.I.R.C.A. Boredom Patrol (a
border-busting traveling circus from San Diego), cake walks, puppets, face
painting, music.

March starts at 4pm for immigrant and workers rights.

Brought to you by members of the Poor People's Union, Inmigrantes Unidos
de Shelton, Students for a Democratic Society and Industrial Workers of
the World.

also, there will be a pancake breakfast starting at 9am where camp Quixote
used to be (behind the Brotherhood downtown). PPU members eat for free.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

[olympiaworkers] Spanish Workers Protest Plant Closure

Tuesday April 24, 2007

Spanish Workers Set Up Burning Barricades to Protest at Car Plant Closure

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Hundreds of workers set up burning barricades and
piled up rocks to cut off a highway in southern Spain Tuesday in the
latest protest against the planned closure of a U.S.-owned car parts

Workers shouting, "If Delphi closes, war, war, war," and wearing matching
T-shirts, shut down a stretch of a road leading from the Delphi Corp.
plant to the coastal city of Cadiz.

"This is about maintaining industrial activity. It's for the future of the
bay, our children and grandchildren," said Juan Jose Herrera Andres, a
Delphi worker and union activist, referring to the broader Bay of Cadiz
area, which includes 14 towns that would suffer from the plant closure.

Delphi, based in Troy, Mich., announced in March it would close the plant
in Puerto Real with the loss of 1,500 jobs, blaming high costs for
operating losses of 150 million euros ($196 million) over the past five

Unions say that the closure of the factory, which produces steering
equipment, suspension gear and bearings, will cause severe hardship for
4,000 people who live in the Cadiz region, which already suffers from

Over the past month, Delphi employees have been striking for four hours
every Tuesday and Thursday. Last Wednesday workers from each of the 14
towns in the Cadiz area organized a one-day general strike -- the first
coordinated protest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

[olympiaworkers] Employees of American-Owned Car Parts Company Strike in Cadiz

Wednesday April 18

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Workers waving banners and handkerchiefs went on
strike in southern Spain Wednesday to protest plans to shut down an
American-owned car parts factory at a cost of 1,500 jobs.

Unions said workers honored the one-day stoppage in 14 towns in the
coastal Cadiz region over the plan to close the Delphi Corp. plant in
Puerto Real.

Across the region bus service halted, factories were idle and many shops
closed, union officials said.

About 300 people gathered outside the Interior Ministry office in Cadiz
and chanted.

Protesters staged similar demonstrations outside city hall buildings in
other towns. The Spanish union Workers Commissions said a total of 300,000
people took part in the rallies, which were peaceful.

Unions say that the closure of the factory, which produces steering
equipment, suspension gear and bearings, will cause severe hardship for
some 4,000 people who depend on the 1,500 jobs that will be lost at the
money-losing factory.

Delphi announced in March that it would close the plant, blaming high
costs for operating losses of 150 million euros ($196 million) over the
past five years.

Over the past month, employees in the Cadiz region have been striking for
four hours every Tuesday and Thursday, but this was the first coordinated,
general strike.

Delphi employs about 4,000 workers in six plants around Spain. A former
subsidiary of General Motors Corp., Delphi filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Isidro Jimenez, a member of another union, the General Labor
Confederation, who works at the Delphi plant, said young people in the
Cadiz region are desperate for work.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

[olympiaworkers] Pressure mounts as rotating strikes hit CN Rail

By Allan Dowd Wed Apr 11, 2007

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway faced
picket lines on Wednesday, but the union said it does not plan this new
job action to be as disruptive as the strike that hamstrung Canada's
largest railway in February.

In response, CN Rail told the United Transportation Union (UTU) it would
lock out workers in the areas where picket lines have been set up,
including Vancouver, Canada's largest port.

Canada's labor minister warned on Wednesday of possible Conservative
government intervention if the latest labor action was seen as too
disruptive to the economy. The opposition Liberals called for the House of
Commons to end its Easter break early to deal with the dispute.

The union that represents 2,800 Canadian National workers launched
rotating strikes late on Tuesday after workers overwhelmingly voted down
the tentative contract deal that had ended February's 15-day walkout.

Union officials said they were still waiting to hear from CN Rail on a
return to the bargaining table. A company spokesman has said it is willing
to resume talks, but has not set a timetable on when that will happen.

Picketing by the conductors, brakemen and switch yard employees initially
began in Vancouver but soon spread to three switching yards in Ontario,
including Oakville.

The picketing at each location is expected to last for only a short time,
but could resume later in the week. February's walkout was a general
strike by CN's 2,800 UTU members.

"We're not planning a full shutdown of the railroad," said Bob Sharpe, a
UTU vice-president.

But the company said its lockouts would remain in place until the dispute
is resolved.

"The rational is that CN is a scheduled railroad, and we can't run a
scheduled freight operation without scheduled manpower," spokesman Mark
Hallman said.

The sides are at odds over wages, but many employees have said they are
more concerned about issues such as work rules and rest breaks.

February's walkout caused layoffs at CN customers in the auto and forestry
industries and disrupted grain exports through Vancouver on both Canadian
National and smaller rival Canadian Pacific Railway.

The Canadian Wheat Board warned on Wednesday of new problems even if the
strike is more limited in scope.

"This is a really bad time, from a farmer perspective, for there to be any
delays in grain movement because they're in the pre-seeding period," said
Maureen Fitzhenry of the CWB, Canada's largest grain shipper.

Canadian National is using management crews to replace striking workers,
but Chief Executive Hunter Harrison warned customers on Tuesday there
would be service delays.

Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn urged the sides to resume
negotiations, and said he was concerned the dispute could disrupt the

The federal government had threatened to order an end to February's
walkout, but the back-to-work legislation was put on hold during the
contract vote.

Blackburn said he could revive the bill quickly if needed, although
Parliament is not scheduled to return until April 16. Federal officials
have said a decision on whether to revive the legislation will depend on
the level of disruption.

"The back-to-work legislation remains on the order paper ... ready to be
passed if necessary," Blackburn said in a statement.

The Conservatives would need unanimous consent of the three opposition
parties to push the bill quickly through the legislative process, and the
pro-union New Democratic Party is unlikely to support such a measure.

The main opposition Liberal Party said rail service was vital, and it
wants the government to call lawmakers back to Ottawa by Friday to begin
work on legislation.

The strike does not involve CN's operations in the United States, and the
union has said it has no plans to disrupt commuter passenger service in
Toronto or Montreal. Via Rail passenger trains are also not involved.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Winnipeg, and Louise Egan in

Friday, April 06, 2007

[olympiaworkers] May Day planning meeting (sat)

There will be a May Day planning session this saturday at 3pm at the Bread
and Roses Advocacy Center (1009 4th Ave E.) during the Poor People's Union
meeting. It's open to everyone.