UNITE HERE–The Great Debate
The internal union debate within UNITE HERE is no “distraction,” as characterized by David Moberg in “Unions, Disunited” [March 9]. It’s about union democracy, upholding union standards and organizing millions of new members.
The Hotel Workers Rising (HWR) campaign of 2004-06, which Moberg mentions, is a great example. Contrary to UNITE HERE general president Bruce Raynor’s assertion, our union has organized more hotel workers (seventy-five new hotels) in the past three years than in the previous five, in addition to winning the best contract in years.
In 2004 thousands of San Francisco hotel workers went on strike, eventually broke a fifty-three-day lockout and endured two years without a contract to win the right to organize through card check–all on behalf of workers they didn’t even know. Moreover, during HWR, tens of thousands more union members in eight cities across North America demanded, fought for and achieved card-check rights in 2006. If that campaign was not about organizing, Raynor evidently does not know what is.
MIKE CASEY, president
UNITE HERE Local 2
Iraq’s Refugees: The Other Side of War
Scotts Valley, Calif.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and all members of Congress who voted to approve the invasion of Iraq and who support the continued occupation thereof should be required to read aloud before an international tribunal the entire article by Ann Jones, “Iraq’s Invisible Refugees,” in your March 9 issue.
HOWARD F. SOSBEE
Ann Jones’s “Iraq’s Invisible Refugees” was heartbreaking. The Nation could do another service by informing readers about the condition of Iraqi refugees who have been resettled in the United States. Jones asks, “What is to be done?” One answer might be to support resettlement agencies working here to help refugees (Catholic Charities, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, World Relief and International Rescue Committee, among others). These refugees are now our neighbors.
The Life Cycle of the Mall
Grants Pass, Ore.
Re “The Parable of the Shopping Mall,” by Alexander Cockburn [“Beat the Devil,” March 9]. Cockburn is right about the life cycle of malls. When the mall in Eureka, California, was built, I said, correctly as it turned out, that someday it would be a bunch of boarded-up stores. But one feature is still a drawing card: older folks use the mall for walking exercise. It is out of the rain and safe.