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Occupy Update November 3, 2011

The big story of the day is Occupy Oakland and the shut down of the Port of Oakland.

The Nation has been providing extensive coverage of OWS since it began. Richard Kim has an in-depth analysis of where the movement has been and where it is going in this month's issue.

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, says he is not losing sleep over OWS.

Stand for Children : Mass 2012 Ballot Question A Challenge for Teachers


By Stephen Holmes UWS Correspondent

An Oregon-based organization called “Stand for Children” is attempting to place a referendum on the November 2012 Massachusetts ballot that would drastically reduce seniority and other collectively bargained protections for teachers, with the stated aim of “increasing [teacher] accountability.”

The ballot initiative is called “An Initiative Petition for An Act Promoting Excellence in Public Schools”. While the process for placing a question on the ballot in Massachusetts is complicated, this one has been certified by the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General and is now gathering signatures.

Occupy Wall Street : Organized Labor Jumps In as Movement Grows, Evolves





Article and Photos By Stephen Holmes
UWS Correspondent

Recently, stories in this space asked when and if labor unions would join the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests and movement that began on September 17th in Zuccotti Park (renamed Liberty Square by the protestors) in New York City. Now the floodgates have opened. Many New York City and national unions have made statements of or taken actions in support, there is almost continuous media coverage, and similar protests have broken out across the country. As the coverage and support grow for “Occupy,” the questions such as What do the protestors want? are being replaced by What is the next step?

The USA's September Spring


A Tale of Two Rallies :

By Stephen Holmes UWS Correspondent

On Tuesday September 27th there were two rallies in New York City: Occupy Wall Street and Save America's Postal Service. On the most basic level, both were a cry of protest against the current economic system and the situation the working class right now. Beyond that, however, the rallies were completely different in terms of organization, structure, and purpose. Comparing the two is useful for examining the nature of protest today, especially in the United States, as well as asking the question : which type is more effective?

The Collaborative Approach : Following the Finnish Example

Editor's Note :
The current economic crisis in the United States has provoked strong responses and reactions against organized workers, including the targeting of pensions, benefits, and wages that were previously collectively bargained. As both organized labor and employers search for creative ways to address the crisis, UWS correspondent Stephen Holmes, through his recent interviews with Finnish Labor officials, details that country's approach.

By Stephen Holmes, UWS Correspondent

On a recent trip to Finland, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down on separate occasions with two representatives of Finnish Trade Unions: Mr. Reijo Paananen who is Adviser for European Union Affairs, and Member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) for SAK (The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions), and Ms. Liisa Folkersma, who is the International Secretary for AKAVA (Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland). Both were helpful in explaining how their system is organized differently than ours, and how their different confederations are dealing with the current economic struggles in Finland and Europe.

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