HVALF endorses millages to keep our local education and transportation infrastructure strong

The Huron Valley Area Labor Federation has endorsed two millages. One is for Washtenaw Community College (WCC) to preserve and restore funding for education in our community. Voters residing in Washtenaw County will vote on a 0.85 operating millage proposal for Washtenaw Community College. You can learn more about the Washtenaw Community College millage by visiting: http://sites.wccnet.edu/millage/. Revenue from this millage will provide vital support to WCC.

The second HVALF endorsed millage is for the City of Ann Arbor to preserve funding for infrastructure projects. According to the City’s website, “Since 2011, the street and sidewalk millage has paid to resurface or reconstruct 40 miles of road, replace 17 miles of sidewalk, repair 22,000 sidewalk slabs, and add or improve bike lanes and shared use paths.” For information on the Ann Arbor Street, Bridge and Sidewalk Millage, including specific ballot language, please visit: http://www.a2gov.org/departments/engineering/pages/street-and-sidewalk-millage.aspx.

Both millages will appear on the ballot August 2, 2016. The ballot language is included in the images that accompany this blog post.

Michigan AFL-CIO Releases Legislative Scorecard

MI AFL-CIO Scorecard Image

The Michigan AFL-CIO has released its 2016 Legislative Scorecard. You can download the full scorecard here: 2016 Legislative Scorecard. The MI AFL-CIO’s Legislative Scorecard highlights key votes important to working families taken by members of the State House of Representatives and State Senate during the 2015-2016 session. The Legislative Scorecard demonstrates how important it is to elect candidates who represent working families and stand up for fairness and equity. It also helps us understand who supports working families and who pushes policies that hurt working Americans.

Below is the list of legislation from the State House Scorecard and an example image showing the votes:

Find your State Representative here and your State Senator here and check the Scorecard to see if they supported working families in 2015-2016.

HVALF Phone Bank / Canvassing Schedule

HVALF Phone Banks / Canvassing Schedule for Primary Elections

Please join the Huron Valley Area Labor Federation for phone banking in the run-up to local and state primary elections in the next couple weeks:

Place: IBEW 252 Hall, 7920 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor
Schedule:
WED (July 13) 6-9pm
THUR (July 14) 6-9pm

WED (July 20) 6-9pm
THUR (July 21) 6-9pm

SUN (July 31) 2-5pm, 6-9pm
MON (Aug 1) 6-9pm

Note: In the second week, we may convert the one or both sessions into a canvass in the Chelsea and/or Dexter areas. Or, if we have enough people signing up for each type of activity, we can do both.

Please let our new Field Coordinator, Jake Altman, know which days / evenings you will be able to help, and whether you would prefer to do phone banking or canvassing, by emailing him at: hvalfwork@gmail.com.

Solidarity with Teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico

At our Tuesday (July 5th) Delegate Council meeting, the Huron Valley Area Labor Federation (HVALF), AFL-CIO, voted to support the following resolution, and to donate $100 to the Michigan Solidarity Network with Mexico, to help fund their fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Oaxacan teachers (see this Facebook event page for more information on the event planned for this Saturday, 2-5pm):

Whereas:

  • Mexico’s independent teachers’ union, the Coordinadora Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), have been on strike since May 2016 in protest against neoliberal education “reforms”;
  • These reforms, part of the neoliberal Structural Adjustment Program guided by institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), would lead to massive layoffs of public education workers and outsourcing part of the public education sector through the issuing of educational bonds by the Mexican Stock Exchange;
  • The Mexican government has imprisoned leaders of the independent Local 22 Oaxaca section of the CNTE, Rubén Núñez and Francisco Villalobos, far from their homes;
  • Mexican police killed at least 9 protesting teachers and their supporters and wounded dozens more on the night of June 19, 2016 in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca;
  • Mexican media report that 6,000 federal police have been sent to the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, and Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong has issued an ultimatum for the teachers to end their protest actions;
  • International human rights organizations have documented a general pattern of abuse against the civilian population by Mexican military and militarized police forces, including violent repression against peaceful protesters;
  • Mexican federal military and police forces receive significant funding from the United States government under the Mérida Initiative;
  • The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions concluded on June 20, 2016 that “Extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force by security officers persist” in Mexico;
  • Human Rights Watch’s 2016 Mexico report notes that “Since 2006, Mexico’s security forces have participated in widespread enforced disappearances,” with the number of disappeared people exceeding 25,000 according to the government’s own National Registry of Disappeared or Missing Persons;
  • Amnesty International’s 2015/16 report for Mexico noted that the government “prosecuted members of teacher unions in cases that appeared to be politically motivated”;
  • The U.S. Department of State’s 2015 human rights report for Mexico says “The government’s common failure to enforce labor and other laws left workers with little recourse regarding violations of freedom of association, poor working conditions, and other labor problems”;
  • The AFL-CIO has pointed out that “Since coming into office, the Peña Nieto government has made the subordination of Mexico’s powerful teachers’ unions, under the banner of ‘education reform,’ one of its priorities, with support from the business backed lobby group Mexico Primero. Last year the Congress passed reform legislation that subjected all teachers to dismissal if they failed to meet new testing requirements”;
  • The National Education Association (NEA), in a June 29, 2016 letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, has urged an end to state violence against demonstrators, the release of unjustly imprisoned teachers’ union leaders, and a “meaningful dialogue with the educators of Oaxaca regarding education reform”;

Now therefore:

The Huron Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO:

  1. Expresses firm solidarity with the independent teachers’ movement of Mexico;
  2. Endorses the Michigan Solidarity Network with Mexico’s July 9, 2016 fundraiser event in Ann Arbor in solidarity with the Mexican teachers’ movement;
  3. Endorses the NEA’s call for the Mexican government of President Enrique Peña Nieto to halt the use of excessive force against teachers, release the imprisoned teachers’ union leaders, and engage in meaningful dialogue with the teachers’ movement about the proposed education reforms.