Today's Fair Shots - August 14th, 2017
1-John Patrick: Labor Movement Will Fight Racism, Anti-Semitism, Other Forms of Hatred at Every Turn
2-Trumka Condemns 'Worst Kind of Evil in Our World'
3-Cummings: 'We Will Not Stand for It'
4-'White Lives Matter' Rally Set for Texas A&M
5-Times Editorial: Nissan Election Inevitably Connected to Low-Wage Strategy in South
1) The Texas AFL-CIO joins a mourning nation in condemning the senseless deaths of a young activist and two law officers in Charlottesville.
Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal standing up to the intimidation tactics of white supremacists, was killed when a neo-Nazi allegedly drove a vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters. Virginia State Troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates died in a helicopter crash while responding to the riots.
Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick said:
"We condemn the armed white supremacists and neo-Nazis who set the stage for and carried out the acts of terrorism that took place in Charlottesville."
"Nothing anyone can say can take away the horror of what we witnessed yesterday, but in times like this we look to our leaders to comfort us, bring us together and shape our moral response as a nation. Sadly, the President failed miserably in those tasks. He glossed over 'Sieg Heil' salutes, KKK symbols, Confederate flags and other evidence of hatred in suggesting that 'all sides' were somehow to blame."
"Instead of sending in the Justice Department, President Trump left room for David Duke to praise him and gave comfort to extremists who can claim with plenty of justification that they have a valued place in his presidency. At his most crucial moment in this tragedy, with the eyes of the nation on him, this president failed miserably."
"As we grieve for those who lost their lives, with all our hearts the labor movement redoubles our commitment to fighting racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred at every turn. We will never be divided in turning toward the lights of justice for all and solidarity."
2) AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka condemned the Charlottesville attack as "domestic terrorism" and called out the "racism and bigotry" of the white supremacists:
Yesterday in Charlottesville, VA the nation and the world witnessed the hateful views and violent actions of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. This racism and bigotry is the worst kind of evil in our world and does not represent the true values of America.
The true values of our country, values like equality and solidarity, are what have always overcome the most abominable prejudices. Any response must begin with our leaders, starting with President Trump, acknowledging this for what it is: domestic terrorism rooted in bigotry.
My heart goes out to the victims especially the family of those who lost their lives including a young woman named Heather Heyer and state Troopers Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. I pray for everyone's safety. The labor movement condemns this domestic terrorism and remains committed to eradicating the despicable causes of hatred and intolerance.
3) Brother Claude Cummings of the Communications Workers of America said Trump's remarks in the aftermath of the tragedy "is a failure of leadership and basic decency":
"No one should mistake the cowards who descended upon Charlottesville today as a new expression of white supremacy or antisemitism. These individuals don't represent the values held by the vast majority of Americans, but their twisted views and deadly actions are as old as they are ugly.
"What is new and can no longer be ignored is that the racist resentment and divisions pulling our country apart are tolerated and enabled by our President.
"President Trump's refusal to condemn the racist hate and violent acts of white supremacists is a failure in leadership and basic decency. We can't count on our President to represent or demonstrate the core values that truly make America great - diversity, inclusiveness, sense of community.
"I ask that you stand with CWA in expressing our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in today's horrible demonstration of hate. We honor, the strength and character reflected in the heroic actions of students, local police, state police and the brave men and women who stood up to overt racists.
"And to those who turn to violence driven by hate, and to the failed leaders who enable them, know that we will not stand for it. We have the courage to demonstrate the core values that our elected leaders do not."
4) The hatred we saw in Charlottesville appears to be headed to Texas.
A "White Lives Matter" rally featuring some of the same cast of characters that brought the white supremacist message to Charlottesville, is set for Sept. 11 at Texas A&M University, the Texas Tribune reports:
Richard Spencer, an infamous white nationalist who brought major unrest to Texas A&M University once already, will be coming to College Station again, according to the man who brought him to the university the first time. This time, the event will take place on Sept. 11 at a "White Lives Matter Rally" hosted by Preston Wiginton, a Texan with deep ties to white nationalist movements.
Wiginton announced plans for the rally Saturday afternoon, saying he had invited Spencer. On Sunday, Wiginton said Spencer confirmed plans to attend.
At the top of a Saturday press release announcing the event, Wiginton declared "TODAY CHARLOTTESVILLE TOMORROW TEXAS A&M," referencing the violence in Virginia.
Word of the planned rally generated immediate outrage on social media. Within hours, a counter protest had been planned. That event will be called "BTHO Hate," the name of which borrows from an A&M football chant expressing the desire to "beat the hell outta" the opposing team.
Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/08/13/white-nationalist-rally-counter-protest-planned-texas-m-sept-11/
5) A New York Times editorial on the recent (and contested) vote by workers at Nissan not to join the United Auto Workers takes on big-picture issues on wages in the South:
Workers at a Nissan plant in Canton, Miss., picked a bird in the hand when they recently voted against forming a union, and that's understandable. Veteran workers, who generally opposed the union, make $26 an hour. That is less than the nearly $30 an hour for similar autoworkers in unions at the major American carmakers - but almost twice the median hourly wage in Mississippi.
This, in a nutshell, is what has made it so difficult to organize workers in the South. With employers and anti-union politicians telling them that unionization would threaten their jobs, Southern workers choose to stick with what they have rather than risk sharing the fate of their poorly paid neighbors. And while the threat does not square with reality, since major car plants worldwide are typically unionized, a majority of workers are not willing to call this bluff and organize for better wages and conditions.
This dynamic stubbornly depresses wages in the South, and throughout the country. Even within Nissan in Canton, pay is trending down: While workers hired in the plant's early years make about $26 an hour, workers hired more recently top out at $24 (and often make less). In addition, Nissan has hired thousands of contract workers who are paid less than employees.
Nonunion pay scales in the South can hold down wage gains for unionized car plants in the North because managers can hold them up as a benchmark in negotiations.