Ex-UAW President Williams set to plead guilty in union embezzlement scheme
DETROIT — Former United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams is scheduled to plead guilty on Sept. 30 and become the second retired union leader convicted of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on personal luxuries.The plea hearing was set Wednesday in federal court, two weeks after Williams became the 15th person charged in a years-long crackdown on corruption within the U.S. auto industry.The embezzlement scheme involving Williams and his successor, former UAW President Gary Jones, has revealed labor leaders and auto executives broke federal labor laws, stole union funds and ...
The Detroit News
Commentary: US food system needs reform
According to the USDA, Americans spend less on food as a percent of their incomes than anyone else in the world.This may seem like a good deal, especially for people who struggle to make ends meet. But, in fact, our cheap food economy is really a crooked one, with family farmers and food system workers underwriting a system that disproportionately benefits corporations.The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this into focus more than ever, by highlighting how the system cheats rural and urban working people out of a decent life.Mario Ramirez, the lead organizer of the Voces de la Frontera Essential ...
Tribune News Service
UAW suddenly adds 1,700 PhD medical researchers, scientists as members
The UAW is aggressively pushing beyond the auto industry, now breaking new ground to include postdoctoral researchers from a top private university — the brightest minds from medicine, climate science, chemistry, engineering and computation.This is not your father’s labor union.The Detroit-based union known for fighting to protect pay and benefits of hourly factory workers employed by Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles just added 1,700 new researchers from Columbia University, most of them working to eradicate cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and other diseases.All th...
Detroit Free Press
On Labor Day, supporters optimistic about completing work on Chicago's Pullman National Monument
CHICAGO — A Labor Day celebration was held Monday to commemorate another stop along the journey of the Pullman National Monument to full-fledged attraction.State and local officials, as well as project stakeholders, spoke near the clock tower building and sprawling factory grounds, a fitting location for a holiday spurred by the labor movement.Monday’s small gathering, more than a century after the 1894 strike and landmark unionization and labor victory of the African American Pullman porters, marked the groundbreaking of more site work under the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which...
Philadelphia is still very much a labor town. Here's how workers are fighting back
PHILADELPHIA — In June, a coalition of labor unions and organizations won a first-of-its-kind whistleblower protection law that made it illegal for Philadelphia employers to fire or otherwise discipline workers for speaking out against unsafe coronavirus conditions.In July, after more than a year of organizing, Free Library of Philadelphia workers ousted the organization’s director, whom they said had failed Black employees.In August, after a spreadsheet listing thousands of salaries forced workers to confront inequity in their industry, workers at the 144-year-old Philadelphia Museum of Art v...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Emmett Till House takes first step toward landmark status as questions are raised about its future
CHICAGO — The Chicago house of Emmett Till, whose brutal slaying in Mississippi helped spark the civil rights movement, took the first step Thursday toward becoming an official city landmark as questions arose about the owner’s plans for the building.The Commission on Chicago Landmarks unanimously approved a staff recommendation that the red brick two-flat at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. be granted preliminary landmark status. That begins a multistep process that would protect the building from significant changes or demolition.The vote came days after the 65th anniversary of Till’s slaying on Au...
Dak Prescott wants Dallas Cowboys to have individual freedom to protest during anthem
FRISCO, Texas — Owner Jerry Jones has yet to make an official decision on whether he will allow the Dallas Cowboys to have the freedom to protest social justice and police brutality during the national anthem.Jones has outlawed the players from doing anything considered disrespectful of the flag in the past, saying “they will stand with toes on the line or not play.”He still believes the players should stand for the anthem. But he has seemingly softened his stance in light of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody in May and the renewed push to protest by requesting grace in trying...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Commentary: Labor Day 2020: Workers need power
Labor Day 2020 doesn’t have much for us everyday wage earners to celebrate. We’re struggling to pay bills and keep safe as COVID-19 runs its odious course. Our nation has bungled its response to the crisis, and we are paying the price.In July, the U.S. unemployment rate stood just above 10%, down from a more-than-70-year high of 14.7% in April. More than 51 million people have filed for unemployment benefits, over 16 million lost employer-provided health insurance and 26 million are hungry.Lack of federal leadership and scattershot “reopen” plans in states are driving COVID-19 spikes all over ...
Tribune News Service
Naomi Ishisaka: Wikipedia falsely said I was convicted of attempted murder. I expected online abuse, but not this
I knew when I took this job it would come with online and offline slings and arrows.Online blowback is par for the course when writing a column on race and social justice for a general audience. I also knew that my gender, ethnic background and sexual orientation would make me a target for identity-based abuse, and that has definitely proved true. In addition to the feedback that questions my intelligence and viewpoints, there are race-based comments such as ones asking me to atone or apologize for the actions of the Japanese government during World War II, using racist language I would not wa...
The Seattle Times
Emmett Till house in Chicago poised to take first step toward official landmark status
CHICAGO — The Chicago house of Emmett Till, whose brutal murder in Mississippi helped spark the civil rights movement, is expected to take the first step toward official city landmark status Thursday.The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider a recommendation for the house, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave., beginning a multistep process that would protect it from significant changes or demolition.The expected vote will take place days after the 65th anniversary of Till’s murder on Aug. 28, 1955, and against the backdrop of nationwide unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapo...