Since the disaffiliations from the National AFL-CIO in July, the corporate-owned news services have given out nothing but gloom and doom for working people. But North Texans must not have read their accounts of the pending death of the American labor movement.
A good example is the upcoming rally against high gasoline prices and the privatization of Social Security, which is generating responses among all activists. It will be held at the South Arlington office of Congressman Joe Barton, 6001 W IH20, at 4 PM on Wednesday, August 31.
Another good example took place August 20 at the rally against Wal-Mart's labor practices in downtown Dallas. Over 100 people from at least 10 different unions joined in a loud condemnation of the giant transnational company for its lousy pay, discriminatory practices, and for financing right-wing causes designed to hurt American workers. Jobs with Justice, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), and United Voices for Immigrants were also well represented at the rally. The event had been publicized by word of mouth, KNON radio, and by messages from the Dallas AFL-CIO. The two big Dallas locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which is now disaffiliated at the national level, initiated the action as part of nationwide rallies based on a call to stop buying school supplies at Wal-Mart on the national web page "Wake-Up Wal-Mart."
Almost all of the participants signed pledges to honor the campaign. Literature accused the giant company of breaking child labor laws, discriminating against women, abusing taxpayers and public health care, and paying poverty-level wages.
The disaffiliations from the National AFL-CIO have sparked renewed interest in unity at the grass-roots level. The Texas AFL-CIO convention, held in Houston August 11-13, and the Dallas Central Labor Council have strongly indicated their desire to keep working together on issues. Becky Moeller, Secretary-Treasurer of the State Federation, said in a KNON radio interview, "We have to keep remembering who the real enemy is!"