From: The Massachusetts Whistleblower
Non Profit Corporations Must be Held Accountable
Verizon Strike: A Teachable Moment?
Why Health Care Strikes Should Demand “Health Care For All,” Not Just “Hands Off My ‘Middle Class’ Benefits”
For two weeks in August, thousands of Verizon strikers provided an inspiring display of picket-line militancy and resistance to contract concessions. From Massachusetts to Virginia, members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) reached out to labor and community allies to help counter the barrage of mass media and company propaganda about the strike. Throughout the U.S., other workers showed their solidarity by joining consumer-oriented protests at Verizon Wireless, which operates retail outlets nationwide.
Boston Is Not a Military Training Ground
On July 28th in Jamaica Plain, a heavily populated neighborhood of Boston, MA, a surprise military exercise took place involving a helicopter landing and a commando raid. As a resident of JP I cannot begin to express my outrage and shock that this could be thrust upon us. JP is a diverse, cultural, and politically progressive community and this is an affront to our security and dignity. The supreme irony of the event is that it took place at a shuttered school. It shines truth on the simple fact that we live in a society where the military is valued more than education.
The America Verizon is Crafting
On August 6, the contract between Verizon and their unionized employees in the northeast region expired, unleashing one of the largest labor strikes in years. Despite numerous attempts at the bargaining table with union leaders, Verizon is persistent with their agenda that harms tens of thousands of their middle class employees. While this is nothing new on the American corporate stage, Verizon is further contributing to a dangerous trend that harms the majority of Americans while benefiting a select few.
Sen. Brown’s Invite-Only “Jobs Tour” Can’t Hide His Anti-Jobs Voting Record
Since he took office February 4, 2010, US Senator Scott Brown has yet to host a public town hall or open forum. His schedule has included more than 250 stops for ribbon cuttings, groundbreaking ceremonies and photo opportunities – even a slew of book signings to market his autobiography. But Brown has yet to offer a single opportunity for Massachusetts taxpayers to gather in an open, public setting and ask questions of their senator.
So when aides to Brown announced he would tour the state to share his agenda and interact with constituents on job creation and economic development issues, it made headlines. After 18 months of private, scripted events, the commonwealth’s junior senator was finally coming out of his shell to discuss important issues at the forefront of everyone’s mind – or so we thought.
Third Time’s A Charm? Verizon Hopes So.
Verizon’s third attempt to undercut local authority over cable and broadband operations in Massachusetts has ignited a spirited defense of franchising procedures that have served the state for nearly thirty years. Senate bill 1687, known to opponents as the Verizon bill, was introduced on Verizon’s behalf earlier this year by state senator Michael Rodrigues of Westport.
Named “An Act Promoting Consumer Choice and Competition for Cable Service,” the bill would radically curtail the ability of local governments to negotiate with cable and telecom giants to ensure that community priorities—including those of local businesses—are met.
Why Gov. Patrick Should Say NO to “Secure Communities”
The misleadingly named “Secure Communities” is a secretive deportation program launched in 2008 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under this deeply flawed initiative, the biometric fingerprints of everyone who is arrested – not convicted - for any offense whatsoever are automatically matched against FBI and ICE databases. ICE then decides who should be detained and deported.
The government says that the program makes communities more “secure” by deporting violent criminals. But in fact, only a small percentage of those detained under the program have committed serious offenses. Most are minor offenders, or have committed no crimes at all but have problems with their immigration status.
In Boston, which is currently the only Massachusetts jurisdiction to participate in the program, 54 percent of those who have been deported under S-Comm are classified by ICE as “non criminals.” A further 15 percent have committed only minor offenses, like driving without a license.
Major Mass. Temp Agency Signs Groundbreaking Agreement for Labor Reforms
Today, temporary employees rejoiced, knowing that this will be the last they will be cheated out of pay and vacation hours, or subjected to unsafe working conditions. What was first planned to be a protest by workers and their allies instead resulted in an unusual alliance between workers and management, jointly championing rights for a traditionally marginalized workforce and sending shockwaves throughout an historically rogue industry.
The former EDA Staffing employees had organized for over a year with the Chelsea Collaborative to end workplace practices that cheat workers out of their pay and rights. Over the coming months, their simple plea for just working conditions gained the support of community, labor, safety, and faith groups throughout the region.
Verizon Techs Gain Benefits of Union Contract and a New Voice on the Job
A group of twenty Verizon technicians and two other employees who formerly worked for Verizon Select Services (VSSI) have voluntarily gained union recognition from Verizon management.
Concerned about security and the lack of any "say so" in their future, the former VSSI techs began signing union cards several months ago. Once they established that a strong majority desired collective bargaining rights and union representation, union leaders requested recognition from Verizon management.
Microsoft bill would increase liability for Massachusetts companies
A bill currently under consideration in the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary could lead to increased liability for Massachusetts companies.
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