Bernie Sanders joins striking FairPoint workers on the picket line in South Burlington, Vermont, January 18. For a year now, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been the hope of millions in the United States. He has been the hope of people disgusted with the role of the banks and corporations in politics, angered by growing inequality, appalled by racial injustice and opposed to a foreign policy based on military intervention.
Dan La Botz
Swiss women and a major Swiss union held a national day of action on June 14 for wage equality for women and for a minimum wage of US$4000 a month for all workers. The minimum wage that the union and women are seeking would be the equivalent of $48,000 a year. The minimum wage is now $3000 a month, which was won in the 1980s. Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living in the world.
They are calling it Obama’s PATCO. US President Barack Obama is proposing a two-year wage freeze for 2 million federal workers. When then-president Ronald Reagan fired 13,000 striking Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) members in August 1981, he sent a signal to other employers that it was open season on unions. Now, local and state governments will use the president’s position to justify their own layoffs and wage freezes. Private industry will do the same.