January 24, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
Charleston, SC- Fight For $15 activists fed up with poverty wages went on strike at a McDonald's in Charleston, South Carolina in advance of the Democratic presidential primary debate. More actions are expected throughout the presidential primary season as the Fight For $15 movement works to mobilize the 64 million American workers who earn less than $15 an hour.
Raising wages is a potentially huge presidential election issue. Democratic presidential contender Senator Bernie Sanders showed up in solidarity with a Fight For $15 rally hours before the South Carolina debate.
[Senator Bernie Sanders]: "Let me thank you not only for what you are doing here, but for what your fellow workers are doing all over this country….We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. People should not have to work for starvation wages!"
Illinois's anti-union wealthy governor has declared an impasse in labor negotiations with AFSCME. Governor Bruce Rauner's efforts to force his agenda on the state over the state legislature's has created a budget impasse. AFSCME says the public workers represented by the union in Illinois have worked hard to reach a fair agreement and are prepared to continue trying. The union rejects the claim that the bargaining process is at an impasse. AFSCME says Rauner's choice of confrontation is damaging to the public interest in Illinois. The union says the governor is holding the budget hostage demanding his way or no way.
Detroit teachers calling in sick closed 88 schools Wednesday – the biggest "sickout" so far. They want to draw attention to the public education crisis in Detroit. With inadequate school funding, high debt and crumbling school buildings Detroit teachers are refusing to just pretend it's business as usual. As President Obama visited the International Auto Show in Detroit, teachers were doing informational picketing about the city schools' crisis.
Detroit Federation of Teachers President Ivy Bailey says teachers decided on their own to have their "sickout". She says having drawn some attention to the issue teachers want to keep the fight to save Detroit public schools going.
[Ivy Bailey]: "We want to keep it goin' where we have the community involved, we have other stakeholders involved and where the teachers can feel comfortable and secure that, you know, maybe somethin' is really going to happen. People are gonna come in and they're gonna help us to turn this thing around."
Twenty-four thousand flight attendants at the merged United Airlines want a contract and they want it now. Even though United merged five years ago with Continental and Micronesia airlines there is still no joint merged contract for the flight attendants represented by AFA-CWA. Union spokesperson Taylor Garland.
[Taylor Garland]: "United flight attendants have been negotiating their joint contract for over three years now. And they are simply ready for a joint contract so that they can share in the profits that they help create." To hear the audio click the following link labor