A Fight for Civil and Labor Rights: Union Vote Looms at Nissan

united-autoworkers-auto-worker-nissan

A meeting with autoworkers in a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi. (Photo: Maina Kiai / Flickr)

“Our only hope is to control the vote.”

Mississippi civil rights leader and NAACP icon Medgar Evers said those words over 50 years ago about the fight for voting rights. He believed, like many activists, that voting enabled dignity in the control of one’s political and economic destiny.

Decades later, a new generation of Southern activists is renewing that vision.

On August 3 and 4, a 14-year campaign to organize the Nissan Motors plant in the small southern city of Canton, Mississippi will come to its climax. The workers at Nissan will finally have their say and get the opportunity to vote for a union, the United Autoworkers (UAW), to represent them on the job.

The vast majority of the nearly 4,000 workers who will be voting at the Nissan plant are African Americans, a population that has historically faced severe economic exploitation due to racism.

The UAW promises it will help the workers grow in strength and negotiate better working conditions, hours, wages, and benefits at the plant. Additionally, the workers have made a broader call for more dignity and respect on the job.

A victory for the workers at Nissan would be historic. It would represent one of the largest successes for labor in decades and one of its largest triumphs in the South.

Read the full article on NBC News.

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This City Just Came Up With a Novel Way to Fight Inequality. It Starts With Bold Grassroots Action.

(Photo: Timothy Krause/Flickr)

(Photo: Timothy Krause/Flickr)

Portland has just opened up a new front in the struggle against inequality. On November 7, local officials voted to slap a surtax on corporations that pay their chief executive officers more than 100 times what they pay their typical workers.

The Portland move will be the nation’s first tax penalty on corporations with extreme CEO-worker pay gaps. But it’s unlikely to be the last. Much like the Fight for $ 15, this bold reform could well spread like wildfire.

Indeed, we may look back at the Oregon vote as the dawn of a new “pay ratio politics.” Thanks to a new Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, publicly held corporations will this year have to start calculating the ratio between their CEO and median worker pay. The first of these ratios will go public in early 2018.

These federally mandated pay ratio disclosures will make it easy for states and cities to adopt Portland-style surtaxes—if they have the political will to do so.

In Portland, local officials had that will, and their deliberations showed just how broad the potential political support may be for leveraging the public purse against corporate pay practices that increase inequality. Each council member who voted for the surtax did so for slightly different reasons.

For the bill’s champion, Steve Novick, this was all about striking a blow against our nation’s skyrocketing inequality. “CEO pay is not just an eye-catching example of, but a major cause of, extreme economic inequality,” he said in a statement after the council vote. “Extreme economic inequality is—next to global warming—the biggest problem we have in our society.”

Read the full article on The Nation’s website. 

The post This City Just Came Up With a Novel Way to Fight Inequality. It Starts With Bold Grassroots Action. appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy project at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Government Must Lead Fight Against Child Labour – GhanaWeb


News Ghana
Government Must Lead Fight Against Child Labour
GhanaWeb
Child labour and trafficking has gained prominence ever since fishing became an economic activity along the coastal belt of Ghana. According to the United States Department of Labor (USDL) in 2010, it is estimated that there are over 2.7 million child …
Child labour, trafficking gained prominence in GhanaNews Ghana

all 2 news articles »

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Government Must Lead Fight Against Child Labour – GhanaWeb


News Ghana
Government Must Lead Fight Against Child Labour
GhanaWeb
Child labour and trafficking has gained prominence ever since fishing became an economic activity along the coastal belt of Ghana. According to the United States Department of Labor (USDL) in 2010, it is estimated that there are over 2.7 million child …
Child labour, trafficking gained prominence in GhanaNews Ghana

all 2 news articles »

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Government Must Lead Fight Against Child Labour – GhanaWeb


News Ghana
Government Must Lead Fight Against Child Labour
GhanaWeb
Child labour and trafficking has gained prominence ever since fishing became an economic activity along the coastal belt of Ghana. According to the United States Department of Labor (USDL) in 2010, it is estimated that there are over 2.7 million child …
Child labour, trafficking gained prominence in GhanaNews Ghana

all 2 news articles »

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Climate Justice: A Fight between Rich and Poor

The ten richest per cent of the population produce almost half of all global greenhouse gas emissions whereas the poorest half is responsible for only ten per cent. Unless we can tackle inequality and climate change together, you won’t solve either of them, says Tim Gore of Oxfam. The carbon footprint of the richest 10 per cent of the population must shrink dramatically, says the renowned climate scientist Kevin Anderson. According to the World Health Association, droughts, floods, hurricanes and diseases related to climate change are already killing at least 150.000 people each year. With proceeding global warming there are risks to overstep certain tipping points in the climate system, for instance the permafrost which could melt and set free the greenhouse gas methane. To have a chance to stay below 2 degrees Celsius temperature rise developed nations have to reduce their emissions by 80 per cent until 2030. The EU has pledged only 40 per cent, the U.S. even less.

Watch the broadcast on Kontext’s website.

The post Climate Justice: A Fight between Rich and Poor appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Janet Redman directs the Climate Policy program at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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What’s at Stake in Apple’s Privacy Fight

(Image: Wikipedia)

(Image: Wikipedia)

Civil liberties fans in the United States recently got an unlikely champion: the CEO of Apple.

In a high-profile spat with the White House, Tim Cook has emerged as a leading spokesperson against the Obama administration’s efforts to weaken Americans’ constitutional protections and civil liberties.

In particular, Cook is fighting a federal order that would force Apple to create software to bypass the iPhone’s security features — and give the FBI access to the phone and everything on it. He sent a letter to all Apple users explaining the company’s position and promising to keep up the fight.

Here’s what’s at stake.

The FBI is investigating last December’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. It wants access to the iPhone used by suspected terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the shooting together with his wife Tashfeen Malik.

But here’s the controversial part: The feds basically want Apple to create a software “backdoor” that would allow the FBI to access the phone’s information remotely.

The FBI insists this is a one-off request. But that’s ridiculous: Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. Indeed, the FBI is already seeking access to iPhones in nine other cases.

The constitutional implications are chilling. If the government gets its way, nothing would be private. With a secret order from a judge, your phone company or manufacturer could have to provide all the information on your phone to the FBI, including call logs, text messages, emails, chat transcripts, and even photos.

They won’t just find out if you’re talking with “terrorists,” of course. Are you calling a secret girlfriend or boyfriend? Are you talking with an abortion provider — or a psychiatrist? What kind of porn do you look at?

If it’s on your phone, the government would get to know about it. Nothing would be private. Nothing would be sacred.

And worse yet, those same tools the FBI wants could easily fall into the hands of hackers, criminals, or even foreign intelligence services. Once Pandora’s box opens, there’s no closing it.

There’s another issue at play here, too: The FBI dropped the ball on Syed Rizwan Farook months ago, so now it’s trying to cover its mistakes.

Federal law enforcement officials told CNN in December, for example, that Farook had been in touch with “more than one terrorism suspect” the FBI was already investigating. That was well before he carried out the shootings.

Why wasn’t the FBI intercepting his communications then, when they could’ve gotten a warrant? Why was there no authorized surveillance? It’s because the FBI botched the case, and now they’re trying to make up for it by turning Apple — and privacy — into the bad guys.

We should support Apple and its efforts to protect our privacy. We’ve already lost many of our civil liberties since the September 11 attacks. It’s time to turn the tide.

Our privacy is worth fighting for.

The post What’s at Stake in Apple’s Privacy Fight appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

John Kiriakou is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Using new tools to fight human trafficking – TribTalk


TribTalk
Using new tools to fight human trafficking
TribTalk
But we do know that because of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, and the increased authority given to the U.S. Marshal Service, that child is home today, safe and sound. … As someone who has spent more than 40 years studying, managing and

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On Hannity, Ted Cruz Praises Right-Wing Media For Leading The Fight Against … – Media Matters for America


Media Matters for America
On Hannity, Ted Cruz Praises Right-Wing Media For Leading The Fight Against
Media Matters for America
Darksnark. Ask yourself that question the next time you go to the market and you realize that you're not paying three times as much for fruit, vegetables, or dairy products. … Even then we had migrants, legals, coming in to pick crops, etc. 12

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Fare fight – trouble on the streets – New Zealand Herald

Fare fight – trouble on the streets
New Zealand Herald
The firm's safety standards have also been called into question after Uber drivers were accused of abduction and sexual attacks of female passengers in India and the United States. … "Taxi drivers, all right – they've got big mouths – but normally

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