- On Wednesday, the NY Times is reporting, the protests in Egypt gained new momentum as labor unions around the country joined the movement. Strikes and protests are being led by museum employees, pharmaceutical workers, garment industry, and perhaps most promisingly by over 6,000 workers at the Suez Canal Authority. While the port was not closed down by the workers’ action, the threat of this would have a major impact on the Egyptian economy. For more coverage, check out Labor Notes’ article on the role workers are playing in the Egyptian protests and the recent historical context of the labor movement in Egypt.
- Speaking of Labor Notes, our friends there have been following the struggles of the public education sector in California and around the country since the movement for public education erupted in the summer of 2009 and before. Their latest special issue is dedicated to the School Wars. Their coverage has also focused on the struggles for union democracy in education workers’ unions, reminding us that AWDU is in the good company of growing movements for union reform. We’re inspired by the example of CORE, a reform caucus which has won leadership positions in the Chicago Teachers’ Union and is now working hard to put their vision into practice. Union members all over the country are realizing that the cuts to the public sector, the demonization of public sector unions, and efforts to privatize public schools are not going away, and we will need strong unions to face these attacks. Teachers’ in LA have recognized this and are organizing their efforts for union reform around the need for a union that is militant in its fight for social justice.