May 4th Dallas newspaper carries a NY Times Article saying “Slim majority backs Arizona law (Pg 7a) “51 percent said that the Arizona law was ‘about right’ in its approach to the problem. Thirty-six percent said it went too far and 9 percent said it did not go far enough.” The pollster claim a margin of error of plus or minus 3%, so the "slim majority" might actually be a minority of 48%. Nevertheless, poll results like these generate concern. Does it mean that we're basically racists, or have we simply not had access to meaningful information and analysis? Are Americans responding to pollsters from their own analysis of material conditions and expectations, or are they only responding to the idealistic "right" versus "wrong" shallow kind of thinking being perpetuated throughout our culture?
While the front pages rage about the largest oil spill in history, oil companies still haven't cleaned up their older ones. A tiny paragraph on page 6A of the May 3 Dallas newspaper says that "work continues" by diving crews trying to clean up oil from a 1952 shipwreck near Juneau, Alaska. They have removed 10,000 gallons in these 58 years, but "work continues."
The National Nurse's Organizing Committee has strived for several years to give Texas nurses a tiny bit of dignity on the job. Hospital administrators have grouped around their class interests and deftly used the anti-worker laws and procedures developed under the law since 1980. Over a year ago, the union succeeded in organizing their first hospital, in Cypress-Fairbanks outside Houston. As is often the case, management was able to avoid seriously negotiating a first contract while a year went by. Then, management filed for decertification under the federal law. They thought they had broken the back of this first and very important organizing drive. But they were wrong! The nurses won the decertification election and are now demanding fair negotiations! The National Labor Relations Board, recently strengthened by the Obama Administration, may be a little be less tolerant of management's shenanigans this time!
Some people think so, but People's World editor Teresa Albano says they are being incautious, as many people are, throwing around such poisonous words. The New York Times revealed some common characteristics of Tea Party backers in a poll of April 14 titled, "Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated." According to the leading capitalist newspaper, the right-wing group is about like everybody else except for their fanatic hatred of the Obama Administration and, well, a little racism. They admit to being twice as likely as the general population to believe that the government helps African Americans more than Anglos. While the article features income level, it says nothing about class, which is not based on income but on people's relationship to the means of production.
The largest class action lawsuit in history has received an okay from authorities. Women employees of Wal-Mart joined together to fight discrimination on the job some years ago, and the case has just passed a milestone!
Since American worker protections began their colossal degeneration in 1980, employers have conducted an onslaught against the concept of full-time employees with benefits. They have, instead, twisted jobs into a part-time, temporary, or contract jobs. Congress is now considering a bill that would stop employers from mis-classifying employees as "contract labor." The Department of Labor has also improved safety law enforcement and moved against discrimination on the job since President Obama appointed Hilda Solis Secretary of Labor.