Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Thank you for writing this article, Mr. Davis. People need to know the depth of this struggle. When the LA Federation got wind of the situation in Boron, people were moved to action, because they saw this mineworker struggle as fundamental. A food delivery and solidarity caravan was quickly organized, and unions went up to deliver sustenance and support.

We put together a short "fanvid" to remember the event, and, hopefully, spread some knowledge about the situation for the mine workers. It's set to the music of Bruce Springsteen. Please share this.

John Kawakami

Los Angeles, CA

Mar 22 2010 - 7:15pm

Web Letter

The real story is the continuing war on working-class Americans and their unions.

This is the third Democratic president who has made no difference in this class war. The National Labor Relations Board lacks a quorum because the Republicans have stopped any new "pro-labor" appointees. The president could have appointed all of them during the recess but didn't.

The Democrats know they do not have to deal with organized labor's issues because American unions have bought into the system and support the bosses' political and economic system without question. The Democrats are part of that belief system.

Workers need their own party and their own candidates. If the Democrats lose, so be it. All they do now is slow the final economic disaster from hitting.

Labor should have been in the streets years ago. FDR did not pay attention to unions until they started beating the cops and the National Guard in street fights. When labor starts shutting things down, they will start being listened too. Capitalism cannot operate in labor turmoil.

William F. Johnston

Tacoma, WA

Mar 16 2010 - 6:20pm

Web Letter

I am not a supporter of Rio Tinto, nor strip mining and do not know the details of this particular labor issue. I wish that the highest good be represented in this affair.

A thought came to mind, however, of why I never read any articles about unions that make more than management.

For example, in my case some union categories reporting to me make more than I, their boss, have much better benefits, much better job protection, much less stress, much less responsibility, much fewer hours.

Even my janitors have better healthcare than I do (with a university degree plus ten years in business management), and I work for a large corporation with better benefits than small businesses.

All this to say that nothing is black and white and there is plenty of gray to go around.

I would enjoy reading more about the gray areas, I think it would make us better citizens.

Chris Alexander

Los Angeles, CA

Mar 15 2010 - 7:49pm

Web Letter

They talk about Rio Tinto in the business news, and they seem to do well on the stock market. In their online website, they are advertising jobs in Australia, the United States, Canada and South Africa, so they recruiting workers from all over the world.

Driving down wages is the main purpose for "free trade," and Rio Tinto's union-busting activites in the Mojave are no surprise. I just read in the local paper that the city of Corona (California) laid off some full-time employess and hired temporary workers. Governor Schwarzenegger is attacking state employees in California. We are looking at the destruction of the middle-class lifestyle in the United States.

However, the IWLA does know how to play hardball and they can shut down ports all over the world. If they can combine with the Teamsters, they could shut down transportation within the United States.

If the government and the law stops protecting ordinary people's jobs, then it does not deserve our respect or support. Who knows, Cockburn's political viewpoint might be reborn, and the use of force cannot be taken off the table. We are dealing with some very ruthless sociopaths. These people are also very stupid, because the middle class supports 70 percent of the American market. They are destroying their own wealth!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Mar 13 2010 - 4:05pm