labor

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Truth to Tell: Monday, July 5, 2014 — 9 a.m.

On-air date: 
Sat, 07/05/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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In honor of the 80th anniversary commemoration of the strike on July 20th, Truth to Tell explores the dynamics of this history-changing struggle.  What was life like for workers in Depression-era Minneapolis?  Why was Local 547 successful in defeating the all-powerful employers group, the Citizen’s Alliance, when other efforts had failed?  What were some of the struggle’s defining moments?  And what was the impact of the ’34 strike on the city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota, and the nation as a whole?


On-air guests: 

  Bryan Palmer is author of Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Teamsters    Strike of 1934

 

 

 Mary Wingerd is an associate professor of history at St. Cloud State University, with  a focus on working class and community history and is the author of North Country:  The Making of Minnesota

 

 

 Dave Riehle, is the retired chair of Local 650, the United Transportation Workers,  labor historian and active member Remember 34.    www.facebook.com/Remember1934

TruthToTell, Monday July 30-9AM: REGULATING MINNESOTA POLLUTERS: Impossible?; TruthToTell, July 23: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Things have not improved since a year ago April when TTT presented a two-week series on the ravages of sulfide mining to come if PolyMet and other mining companies have their way with us – us being Minnesotans of all sorts.

While some delays have been invoked over the applications for DNR-issued mining permits, the political powers that be continue to pressure the relevant state and federal agencies regulating Minnesota industries of all sorts to look past the potential harms bubbling up into our environment – our water, air and food – by industries given too much deference and pitting economic benefits against human health and other natural resources and animals.

Here are some questions we posed last year for our guests – and you, the public – last year in the face of local area legislators and St. Paul regulatory authorities pushing through permits to further pollute those resources we rely on to give life to all living things:

What more are we willing to sacrifice in terms of what we’re able to eat, drink and breathe in order to provide some – perhaps a lot – of short-term construction work – along with far fewer full time, permanent jobs?

These are but a few questions that require some deep and introspective thinking and evaluating by millions of people who surely want clean air and water and unadulterated food, but who have, through no fault of their own, found themselves unemployed, limited in their training and education to the work they did before and eager to earn a living for themselves and their families.

That’s what makes projects like the PolyMet Copper-Nickel Mine project well north of the Twin Cities such a seductive venture. The mine would be dug smack in the middle of the Superior National Forest, in what is called the Duluth Complex – a relatively untapped lode of these metals – the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation.

All local and statewide politicians, several labor groups and the Chambers of Commerce are one in arguing this issue: create the jobs – and forget the environmental damage their work may cause in both the long and short term. They claim this all-new, non-ferrous mining operation will produce the important copper and nickel used in a variety of products we use every day – with an interesting emphasis on renewable, rechargeable and critical-use tools – like batteries, hybrid vehicles, and pollution-reducing catalytic converters. Clever marketing.

Some local state representatives, senators, mostly Democrats last year, and joining them this year – Republican majorities - and even Amy Klobuchar and Jim Oberstar, endorse the project and angrily dismiss worried environmental groups and the Fond du Lac tribe’s arguments and even the Environmental Protection Agency’s lowest environmental rating as just so much (as if job-killing were an active agenda for clean water and food). The company isn’t much talking, so we can only consult their website for what is little more than a marketing pitch.

It would be easy to keep our focus on mining and the sulfuric acid aftermath of mining copper and nickel in Minnesota’s copper-rich Duluth Complex.

But this time we want to spread our wings a bit and remind our listeners that regulation in Minnesota may be silo-ed – isolated, that is – by agencies like the DNR (whose job includes the promotion and enabling of mining in the state, not just the protection of fish and wildlife); like the MN Pollution Control Agency, whose job has evolved to actually permitting pollution in greater quantities, then turn around and issue warnings when that pollution becomes dangerous to human health – but never shut down a polluter, whether a dangerous coal-fired utility, an animal or dairy feedlot with dangerous wastes overflowing into ditches and waterways feeding the rivers, or a waste-burning plant in the middle of the city threatening the breathing of residents; and like the Minnesota Health Department, which talks a good game, but is powerless to step in and actually require revisions in business practices that would save lives and ensure safer operations for the public health. Years of agency staffing with corporate sympathizers has left us bereft of real regulation.

In other words, we want to talk about regulation and its effectiveness – or lack of it – in protecting the public welfare over the economic benefits of deferring to corporate interests with the excuse that jobs are somehow in jeopardy if regulation imposes restrictions on those corporations…or, perhaps, denies them the authority to open shop at all without proving first that an enterprise will be safe for human and animal exposure.

After all, wasn’t regulation instituted to PREVENT harm to living beings? Why can’t we require an industry claiming to be safe for the environment to PROVE IT FIRST??

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with those who are feeling slightly less powerful than the companies, politicians and state agencies turning the notion of regulation on its head and forcing victims to do the proving.

GUESTS:

 PAULA MACCABEE – Attorney, Water Legacy and Sierra Club North Star Chapter


 ROBERT DESJARLAIT (Ojibwe-Anishinabe) – Co-Founder, Protect Our Manoomin (Wide Rice); Of the Red Lake Anishinaabe Nation; Visual artist, historian, educator and traditional dancer.


BRUCE JOHNSON – Retired MPCA Regulation Staff and Northern Minnesota resident.

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, July 23, 2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIO has adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)


  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian


  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian

TruthToTell, Monday July 23-9AM: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?; TruthToTell, July 16: NICK COLEMAN THE SENATOR: Right Up There with Fritz and Company

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIOhas adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)

  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian

  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

 

 

 LINDA HAMILTON – President, Minnesota Nurses Association

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, July 16, 2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nick Coleman.

Who? That writer from the Strib? The columnist who used to write for the Pioneer Press?

No. That Nick Coleman is the son of the Nicholas David Coleman who left a significant mark on Minnesota’s political landscape for well over 30 years and would likely have kept it up for another 20 or 30 had he survived the leukemia that killed him in January of 1981.

Like Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Don Fraser, Rudy Perpich, Wendy Anderson, Al Quie and Elmer Andersen and probably about two dozen other truly prominent political movers and shakers from the 1960s onward, Nick Coleman was, for his time in Minnesota’s recent history (that being the last 50-75 years) a rock-solid political animal and a flawed personality who charmed the hell out of friends and enemies alike.

Nick served as the Minnesota Senate’s Majority Leader for a major part of his political life – almost 20 years. He presided over Senate passage of the original Minnesota Miraclewhich  marked the shift in education financing from the very regressive property tax to the very progressive (and most say fairer) income tax.

It says something about the state of the state’s slide toward a much more conservative tenor and rancorous political climate that the Minnesota Miracle eroded before our very eyes to where we once again fork over more in property taxes to fund education than we do in fairer income taxes. People bitch a lot more over property taxes than the small slices they pay in income taxes, so conservatives (of both parties) have successfully shifted the burden to a tax that knows no downward income limits: it penalizes the poorest of us and forces school districts to run a-begging to residents who have watched their property taxes rise either by rate increases or based on rising property values.

Nick didn’t hang around long enough to see this erosion and the decided disappearance in political civility that has accompanied the emergence of a wholly radical right wing in Minnesota.

Still, Nick’s was a life of color, of ups and downs, of marriage, divorce, remarrying and the raising of yet another generation of five men and a woman, most of whom have made their marks in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on the Twin Cities’ and Minnesota’s political and cultural scene. Nick Coleman, the Younger, made his mark as a wry observer of the  passing scene in sports, culture and politics. Brother Patrick is a steward of the state’s historical collections, the younger Chris Coleman has risen to be a two-term mayor of St. Paul, the one to truly follow in his father’s footsteps.

It took another former state Senator, John Watson Milton, a former colleague of Nick’s, six years to research the nooks and crannies of Nick’s life and history. For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981 (Ramsey County Historical Press, 2012) is Milton’s lengthy tome in which junkies like yours truly can really become immersed, but it’s also a completely thorough historical treatise on Coleman’s Irish roots in an Irish town like St. Paul became while tracing Nick’s fascinating life as a human and political animal.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will talk with the author and a couple of those closest to Coleman throughout his life. (We'll also chat for a time with Brian Kaller, who's back in the Cities to talk about his new homeland - Ireland – and its survival in the face of austerity. Brian's writing for several blogs - his own and other publications about his observations of Irish culture and economies.)

GUESTS:

JOHN WATSON MILTON – former State Senator and Ramsey County Commissioner; Author, For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981 and several other books and novels.

PATRICK COLEMAN – Second Eldest of Nick Coleman’s sons and Manager of Collections for the Minnesota Historical Society.

JOHN KAUL – Former Chief of Staff to the Majority Leader under Nick Coleman, legislative affairs specialist for several organizations and a photographer and videographer/documentarian.

 

 

 

TruthToTell, July 23: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?-AUDIO Podcast Up HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 07/23/2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIO has adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)


  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian


  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian


53:28 minutes (48.96 MB)

TruthToTell, Monday, May 16-9AM: LABOR'S UNTOLD STORIES: History Belies Successes:First Person Radio: May 11: CROW BELLECOURT: Lead Singer-Midnite Express with Comic Tito Ybarra

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on Facebook pages – TruthToTell’s or Andy’s

Watch us in Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many of us know and understand the struggles working people fought when corporations and managers abused their workers, the 100-year effort to improve wages and working conditions, to organize craftsmen and laborers, the police-supported thugs hired to prevent them from it. We know how labor unions that emerged from all that conflict gave us the 8-hour day, the 40-hour week, paid vacations, toilets at the work site, lunch breaks, coffee breaks, holidays off – all of it union-made.

But other stories lie underneath all of those successes, stories that provided hope, but have failed to fulfill their promise.

Monday night (May 16), the next in a long line of presentations on Labor’s Untold Stories organized by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, a panel of speakers on discrimination in and against union workers and workers of color and the birth and work of theFair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). The panel will present at Rondo Community Library in St. Paul at 7:00PM. And we have

Labor pioneers in the Twin Cities pushed for similar laws in Minnesota, including the late Katie McWatt of the old North Central Voters League, A. Philip Randolph, the St. Paul Urban League and one of its activists, Monsignor John J. Gilligan of St. Mark’s Parish.

Thus do the issues of race, class and labor merge once again into a classic untold story – because we do not openly discuss those discomfiting matters in this state or this nation. We want to believe it never happens, that race and class don’t matter, especially when we have human rights commissions and civil rights commissions and fair employment practices commissions and employment discrimination rulings and settlements and all the rest. Still, the pathology of racism and classicism plague our society and our labor unions.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with Twin Cities and national labor activists, scholars and writers to discover some of Labor’s Untold Stories.

GUESTS:

MAHMOUD EL-KATI – Professor Emeritus of History, Macalester College, Essayist, Speaker, Honoree of Macalester’s Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies and Author, Haiti: The Hidden Truth (2010)

ANDREW E. KERSTEN – Professor of History, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay; Author, Race, Jobs, and the War: The FEPC in the Midwest, 1941-1946 (Illinois, 2000) and Clarence Darrow – an American Iconoclast

TOM BEER –  Retired Business Agent and Political Director, AFSCME Council #6 (Minnesota); Labor Union Director, Paul Wellstone 2002 re-election campaign; co-author of biographical article on Very Rev. Msgr. John Gilligan (to be published soon)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First Person Radio: May 11: CROW BELLECOURT: Lead Singer-Midnite Express with Comic Tito Ybarra – Audio HERE

Midnite Express commemorates the release of its 10th recording in honor of one of their elders and teachers, Jerry Dearly, Sr.– Sutapi – which means “Sharpshooter” in Lakota Sioux. Jerry has been a guiding influence to the Midnite Express singers as well as many others. His knowledge of the Lakota language and traditions is evident throughout this album culminating with the title track, composed by his son, Jeremy.

 Midnite Express Singers

Joseph Rainy, Buffalo Campbell, Chris Whipple, Crow 
Bellecourt, Opie Day-Bedeau, Carlos Day, Marcus Denny, 
Jason Kingbird along with John Teller, Jr. from Bear Traks 
and Myron Pyawasit from Smokeytown Singers

Crow Bellecourt is one of the lead singers/manager for the Midnite Express drum group from the Twin Cities. They represent the Ojibwe, Lakota, HoChunk and Menomonee and Pueblo. Last year, ‘MNX’, as they are known, were the winners of the Best Powwow album, at the Nammy’s (Native American Music Awards) for their album, “Band of Brothers” CD. Four times in the past 10 years they have won as world class Northern Singing Champions at Gathering of Nations powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are also the first group ever to win this award three years in a row. They enjoy singing for the people and representing their Twin Cties Indian community. Crow began singing traditional music when he was a student at Heart of the Earth in Minneapolis.

“Midnight Express is a group of Ojibway, Menominee Sioux & Ho-chunk Nations. We travel to powwows & gatherings all year round singing every where we go...we’ve recorded over nine albums & one DVD. Our most recent CD’s are called MIDNITE EXPRESS BAND OF BROTHERS and SHARPSHOOTER."

The sounds of Midnite Express, originating from the Twin Cities in Minnesota, have grown from local Great Lakes area favorites to renown across Indian country. MNX, as they are often referred to on the powwow trail, have traveled from coast to coast competing and hosting as one of the most prominent drums on the circuit today. This drum group has proven to be one of the most powerful drum groups on the powwow trail today. They have captivated powwow arenas from coast to coast with their unique original style of singing. Coming from the twin cities of Minnesota, they have taken numerous singing championships along with various host drum jobs at some of the most prestigious powwow in Indian Country.

FIRST PERSON RADIO's  RICHARD LaFORTUNE (with Andy Driscoll) talks with Crow Bellecourt and Comic Tito Ybarra and listen to the Express' latest CD.

GUESTS:

CROW BELLECOURT - lead singer, Midnight Express, Native American singers.

TITO YBARRA – Native Comic and Singe

TruthToTell May 16: LABOR'S UNTOLD STORIES: History Belies Successes - Audio Below-Video in Archive.

On-air date: 
Mon, 05/16/2011

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on Facebook pages – TruthToTell’s or Andy’s

Watch us in Studio 5! TruthToTell is now seen live on Livestream and later on Blip.tv.

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Many of us know and understand the struggles working people fought when corporations and managers abused their workers, the 100-year effort to improve wages and working conditions, to organize craftsmen and laborers, the police-supported thugs hired to prevent them from it. We know how labor unions that emerged from all that conflict gave us the 8-hour day, the 40-hour week, paid vacations, toilets at the work site, lunch breaks, coffee breaks, holidays off – all of it union-made.

But other stories lie underneath all of those successes, stories that provided hope, but have failed to fulfill their promise.

Labor’s Untold Stories organized by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, a panel of speakers on discrimination in and against union workers and workers of color and the birth and work of the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). Labor pioneers in the Twin Cities pushed for similar laws in Minnesota, including the late Katie McWatt of the old North Central Voters League, A. Philip Randolph, the St. Paul Urban League and one of its activists, Monsignor John J. Gilligan of St. Mark’s Parish.

Thus do the issues of race, class and labor merge once again into a classic untold story – because we do not openly discuss those discomfiting matters in this state or this nation. We want to believe it never happens, that race and class don’t matter, especially when we have human rights commissions and civil rights commissions and fair employment practices commissions and employment discrimination rulings and settlements and all the rest. Still, the pathology of racism and classicism plague our society and our labor unions.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with Twin Cities and national labor activists, scholars and writers to discover some of Labor’s Untold Stories.

GUESTS:

MAHMOUD EL-KATI – Professor Emeritus of History, Macalester College, Essayist, Speaker, Honoree of Macalester’s Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies and Author, Haiti: The Hidden Truth (2010)

ANDREW E. KERSTEN – Professor of History, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay; Author, Race, Jobs, and the War: The FEPC in the Midwest, 1941-1946 (Illinois, 2000) and Clarence Darrow – an American Iconoclast (Kersten will be reading and signing his Darrow book at Common Good Books in St. Paul at 7:30PM Tuesday evening)

TOM BEER –  Retired Business Agent and Political Director, AFSCME Council #6 (Minnesota); Labor Union Director, Paul Wellstone 2002 re-election campaign; co-author of biographical article on Very Rev. Msgr. John Gilligan (to be published soon)


57:47 minutes (26.45 MB)

TTT This Week: March14-9AM: THE WAR ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: Myths and Realities - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

CALL AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION Monday morning: 612-341-0980

The ultimate example of what can happen when wealthy owners and managers ignore the human condition and exploit their workers to the maximum happened in many venues, but one of the worst was the fire at Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City 100 years ago this month, trapping garment workers, mostly young immigrant women, many of them Jewish, needing to escape and killing 146 of the 500 who worked there. Managers had locked the exits to prevent theft by employees, who worked six days a week, weekdays for nine hours a day. The foreman who held the key escaped another way. This week’s show honors this anniversary even as public employees across the country are fighting to save their bargaining rights – even after agreeing to share in the pains of cuts to benefits and pensions Republicans claim are necessary to balance state budgets.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So. Now it’s done – by a contrivance of excising the provisions requiring Democratic participation in the legislation, Wisconsin’s senatorial Republicans have passed their long-held-up bill essentially dumping collective bargaining for public employees. The state’s Democratic senators had skipped for weeks to prevent this very vote and it worked as long as it was tied to the budget bill. They've gone home now.

This week's guests:

PETER RACHLEFF  - Labor Historian and Professor of History, Macalester College

GLADYS MCKENZIE – Business Representative, AFSCME Council 5 and affiliates

BARB KUCERA – Editor Workday Minnesota; Director, Labor Information Office, UofM

MARY CATHRYN RICKER – President, St. Paul Federation of Teachers

The astounding thing about all this is the entrenched arrogance behind this nationwide rightwing effort to kill unions. Wisconsin is but one of the more volatile battlefields in this war on unions (and I hate military metaphor). Fifteen other states are out to do the same thing. This is what raw nerves in a declining economy hath wrought – and the wealthy backers of this tsunami of cultural division between middle-class working groups – pitting public workers – including teachers, police officer, firefighters and any number of those who serve us – against each other in a scramble for equity know all to well how easy this has been. Setting one worker against another is a long-time practice by corporate managers and powerful politicians who know that dividing and conquering is the way to hold onto the levers of power and the money that goes with it.

Contempt for public employees among unemployed and private sector workers whose pensions and health care have disappeared in the phony shortages created by the same rightwing giving tax breaks to the wealthy is now running rampant through the culture. The wealthy right is surely rubbing its hands with glee as Fox News and other right wing talk shows serve as the megaphone for assertions that all public workers are leeches on society, unwilling to work or given benefits and perks no one else receives.

Public educators have long been under assault from a public told to be suspicious that these union workers work just nine months of the year and earn amazing sums when their salaries are combined with their benefits.

The facts bespeak the lies perpetrated by these forces whose divisive rhetoric successfully placed them in office by the frustrations of a public needing scapegoats for their economic hardship. Public employees, including teachers, even after figuring in benefits have total compensation levels falling far short of comparable private sector jobs. But, of course, not many comparable private sector jobs even exist anymore – not to mention the fallout of 50 years of corporations and politicians convincing the middle class that these workers, along with immigrants and people of color, are out to kill them and their kin, denying them the jobs that have actually been shipped overseas or replaced by technology.

The uprisings in all of the states out to scuttle their public employee unions and to discredit public education even further are testament to the power of people who have finally had it with all of this. It may not unite them with their private sector brethren right away, but the underlying power of showing people that their neighbors are part of this may turn the political games to their advantage.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL talks with a labor scholar, reporter/analyst and those on the front lines of public employment about why this has come to a head. Did we actually need the arrogance of a Scott Walker and a John Kasich (Ohio) to bring this seedy business out in the open? How might public sector advocates link with Tea Party activists and others who rail against them to come to a meeting of the minds? What role has mainstream media – and that includes the networks as well as Fox News – added to the plight unions and public workers face these days?

Race and gender play a critical role in this, as well, women and people of color, not surprisingly, making up more a percentage of public employees than they do the private sector.

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First Person Radio March 9: GEOFFREY BLACKWELL, FCC - Audio is UP - HERE

 

First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune with Andy Driscoll talk with Geoffrey Blackwell, a recognized expert in Tribal economic and critical infrastructure development.

Geoffrey Blackwell is the Chief of the Office of Native Affairs and Policy (ONAP) at the Federal Communications Commission.  On June 22, 2010, Mr. Blackwell was appointed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to lead the Commission's efforts to work with Tribal Nations and Native communities. One of Mr. Blackwell’s first duties was to lead the FCC’s effort to establish ONAP, which was officially established by the Commission on August 12. Mr. Blackwell directs efforts to develop and drive a FCC-wide agenda to bring the benefits of modern communications technologies to Indian Country, including telecom, broadcast, and broadband internet services. The Office works with the FCC Commissioners, bureaus, and offices, as well as with other government agencies, private organizations, and the communications industries, to develop and implement FCC policies regarding Tribal Nations and Native communities, and ensure that Native concerns and voices are considered in all relevant Commission proceedings. 

Mr. Blackwell previously worked as the Senior Attorney/Liaison to Tribal Governments at the FCC from 2000 to 2005, where he played a central role working throughout the agency in the FCC’s development of its 2000 Statement of Policy on Establishing a Government-to-Government Relationship with Indian Tribes, adoption of the Enhanced Lifeline and Link-Up support for residents of Tribal lands, and creation a new programmatic agreement rules for cultural preservation review and protection of Tribal sacred sites in the siting of communications towers. 

Mr. Blackwell is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is also of Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Omaha heritage.

LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK RECEIVES THE FARR AWARD

Minnesota Journalism Center, Premack Board announces winners of 2010 Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Awards

MINNEAPOLIS (March 5, 2011) — The winners of the 2010 Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Awards include the Star Tribune, Twin Cities Daily Planet, St. Cloud Times and the Bemidji Pioneer. Winners will be honored at the Frank Premack Public Affairs Journalism Awards program at 5 p.m. April 18 in the A.I. Johnson Room at McNamara Alumni Center, located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.

The 34th annual awards program will celebrate the winning works and best practices of public affairs journalism, and also will feature the presentation of the Graven Award to Gary Eichten of Minnesota Public Radio and the Farr Award to Laura Waterman Wittstock of Wittstock and Associates, a media and education consulting firm. The winning journalists and award winners will have the opportunity to speak about their work.

TruthToTell, March 14: THE WAR ON PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: Myths and Realities - Program Below

On-air date: 
Mon, 03/14/2011

The ultimate example of what can happen when wealthy owners and managers ignore the human condition and exploit their workers to the maximum happened in many venues, but one of the worst was the fire at Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City 100 years ago this month, trapping garment workers, mostly young immigrant women, many of them Jewish, needing to escape and killing 146 of the 500 who worked there. Managers had locked the exits to prevent theft by employees, who worked six days a week, weekdays for nine hours a day. The foreman who held the key escaped another way. This week’s show honors this anniversary even as public employees across the country are fighting to save their bargaining rights – even after agreeing to share in the pains of cuts to benefits and pensions Republicans claim are necessary to balance state budgets.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So. Now it’s done – by a contrivance of excising the provisions requiring Democratic participation in the legislation, Wisconsin’s senatorial Republicans have passed their long-held-up bill essentially dumping collective bargaining for public employees. The state’s Democratic senators had skipped for weeks to prevent this very vote and it worked as long as it was tied to the budget bill. They've gone home now.

The astounding thing about all this is the entrenched arrogance behind this nationwide rightwing effort to kill unions. Wisconsin is but one of the more volatile battlefields in this war on unions (and I hate military metaphor). Fifteen other states are out to do the same thing.

Public educators have long been under assault from a public told to be suspicious that these union workers work just nine months of the year and earn amazing sums when their salaries are combined with their benefits.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL talks with a labor scholar, reporter/analyst and those on the front lines of public employment to talk about why this has come to a head. Did we actually need the arrogance of a Scott Walker and a John Kasich (Ohio) to bring this seedy business out in the open? How might public sector advocates link with Tea Party activists and others who rail against them to come to a meeting of the minds? What role has mainstream media – and that includes the networks as well as Fox News – added to the plight unions and public workers face these days? Race and gender play a critical role in this, as well, women and people of color, not surprisingly, making up more a percentage of public employees than they do the private sector.

GUESTS:

PETER RACHLEFF  - Labor Historian and Professor of History, Macalester College

GLADYS MCKENZIE – Business Representative, AFSCME Council 5 and affiliates

BARB KUCERA – Editor Workday Minnesota; Director, Labor Information Office, UofM

MARY CATHRYN RICKER – President, St. Paul Federation of Teachers


57:31 minutes (26.33 MB)