by Bob Roman
Like many labor and lefty organizations, when the Coalition
for Labor Union Women (CLUW) have a national convention, they
like to do more than just talk and party. So when they planned
their 10th biennial convention in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend,
a demonstration in support of the antisweatshop movement seemed
a good idea, especially when held in conjunction with the convention's
outreach session aimed at young women workers. Niketown on north
Michigan Avenue was selected partly because of its proximity to
the Hyatt Regency where the convention was being held and partly
because it has been the lead target for the international antisweatshop
This was clearly too precious an opportunity to pass by. Chicago
DSA helped facilitate contacts between local solidarity groups
and the CLUW National Office. But we also helped organize local
turnout for the demonstration.
Yet conventions often run on their own internal time. While
the demonstration was scheduled for Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30
pm, CLUW did not arrive until nearly 7 pm, closing time at Niketown.
Effectively, there were two demonstrations. The first was a typical
Chicago Niketown demonstration, about half being DSA members.
The second, after many of the first had left, was huge. As CLUW
said, "We didn't come here to just swap recipes!"
by Bill Dixon
No question about it, motorcycle gangs have a way of standing
out, even orderly ones, especially on those rare occasions when
they happen to arrive in Washington, DC. But this particular group
of bikers hadn't come simply for the sake of spectacle. They rode
into town with other things on their minds: like their jobs, families,
On the morning of June 22, several hundred American steelworkers,
many mounted on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, arrived outside the
US Senate. Engines revved up by way of applause as activists and
leaders from the United Steelworkers of America spoke in support
a bill that would curb American imports of foreign steel, which
have flooded the US market in recent months, thanks the fallout
from the Asian economic crisis. The DC rally culminated the USWA's
Ride for Steel campaign, which spread the union's message to cities
across the country. Before long, Ride for Steel grew into a formidable
success, drawing a dramatic level of public support for both fair
trade and the 225,000 Americans at work in the embattled steel
That very same day the bill failed miserably. The Republican
leadership organized against it and the Clinton Administration
had threatened a veto. What little support there was came solely
from steel producing states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Remarkably, the bill was shunned by both laborfriendly liberals
and America-first conservatives, normally the twin pillars of
Cautiously but with unmistakable relief, leading voices from
across the political spectrum hailed the defeat as an unfortunate
necessity. After all, they said, globalization is upon us, largely
through US leadership. How can we demand that other countries
open up to US exports if we close our own markets when things
go badly? Besides the fact that it goes against our cherished
freetrade principles, we'd quickly face an official challenge
from the World Trade Organization and maybe even unilateral retaliation
from Japan. Protect steel, and we'll endanger billions of dollars
of other US goods and services, particularly agriculture. So,
sorry steelworkers, but no dice; protectionism is a thing of the
The Senates cavalier dismissal of the American steel industry
as a mere special interest coming out of the blue in search of
a handout was as bizarre as it was outrageous. Although once a
relatively backward industry pampered by government subsidies
and shielded from foreign rivals, US steel producers have in recent
years become something of a post-globalization success story.
It took more than twenty years of reorganizing for the world market:
a cruel and wasteful process, botched by foolish management, which
cost more than two hundred thousand American jobs. But finally
American steel once again emerged as a serious international competitor.
Especially important have been the industry's technological advances.
And along the way American steelworkers have at last returned
to their rightful position as a highly skilled, well paid, secure
workforce, their product obviously crucial to the success of other
US industries as well as a powerful export in its own right. But
then came the Asian crisis.
When the Asian economies crashed and the aftershocks thundered
through most of the world, two things happened. First, as capital
fled in blind panic and industry slowed to a crawl, demand for
steel overseas plummeted and with it steel prices. Second, as
the crisis deepened, US and European leaders soon became very
anxious at the prospect of the Asian contagion spreading north
What to do? Conventional wisdom answers: gather hundreds of
billions of dollars in emergency IMF bailout loans to jump-start
fast growth in the afflicted countries, most particularly through
exports, exports and more exports. Thus in the two years of aftermath
to the Asian economic crisis, American steel faced a surge of
cheap imports from several recovering countries, notably Korea,
Brazil, Russia and Japan. All of these countries were simply following
the demands of the US and European run IMF that they export their
way out of recession.
The effect of the import surge on the American steel industry
would be devastating. More than ten thousand steelworkers were
laid off, and three steel firms declared bankruptcy. Imports from
Japan alone were thirty percent higher than the previous year,
and similar increases were reported from several other steel producing
countries as well. Steel imports increased somewhat in the European
Union, but EU trade barriers kept the rise from posing much of
a threat to European steel makers. With the developing markets
still in slow recovery, that left only the US and Canada to absorb
Incredibly, these developments largely escaped notice in the
Senate. Instead the issue ended up contorted into the rhetoric
of fair competition and market discipline. Yes, we all regret
the failure of American steel to beat out foreign prices, but
then that's capitalism for you!
Yet the market in fact had little to do the with the crisis.
Strictly speaking, the surge in steel imports began only after
the Asian markets had already collapsed and became exacerbated
precisely because real prices were apparently cast aside in order
to speed up recovery as per the terms of the IMF bailout. Recognizing
this, the Steelworkers' bill demanded that quotas return imports
only to their 1997 levels, before the crisis took effect.
This is hardly protectionism. Indeed, the measure bore closer
resemblance to the taxfunded bailouts of US investors stung by
the Asian debacle, with a key difference being that the steelworkers
had not courted disaster with recklessly speculative investments.
Strangely enough, the steelworkers appeal found no support in
Vice President Gore, squeezed between the Administration's
official free-trade position and tens of thousands of angry union
members, a constituency that he knows will be crucial to his presidential
aspirations, took a slightly more tactful position. Gore declared
that the quotas would be... unnecessary. The latest numbers show
that the import surge is abating, said Gore, and as for the ten
thousand steelworkers who have been already laid off, the Administration
proposes tax breaks for the firms hardest hit, along with a little
federal aid for the communities which have suffered most. For
any remaining gross imbalances between domestic and foreign steel,
the Commerce Department will aggressively pursue negotiations
with the offending countries and, if necessary, maybe impose some
modest short-term tariffs. Actual quotas, however, remain out
of the question. Free trade is and will remain the law of the
Obviously, electioneering weighed heavily in Gore's choice
of a softer tack. The cause of US steel has deep resonance with
an American public anxious over globalization and its domestic
consequences. In March, the House of Representatives actually
allowed a version of the quota bill to sail through with a comfortable
majority. Of course, the House bill's supporters included many
Republicans who cynically promoted the measure only in hopes of
driving another wedge between Gore and Labor. And indeed Gore
may have a few amends to make with the Labor movement, which has
not forgotten that it was Gore who served as the Administration's
point man for passing NAFTA in 1993, by far the worst political
defeat for Labor in more than a generation.
So why does a Democratic hopeful risk losing key Labor support
by ignoring the steelworkers? For that matter, how could both
a Republican Senate and a Democratic Administration stay blind
to the obvious national interest at stake in the security of a
vital domestic industry? For how long does the political class
imagine the American public will forgive official neglect of elementary
economic priorities? Sure, everyone knows globalization involves
political risk, but when did it become a bipartisan political
Sooner or later, the ruling free trade orthodoxies must give
way to the more sensible view put forward by the USWA and its
supporters. When the cure for an international economic crisis
cripples an otherwise leading industry in a major power, it cannot
be said that things have returned to normal. Thanks to the Steelworkers'
bold campaigning, thousands more people now realize what Washington
has yet to imagine: that the world economy must be transformed
by greater regulation and planning- and not only on behalf of
by Clifton Poole
According to the AFL-CIO, "We need to build a movement
that empowers working people to address injustice in the workplace,
community, and society at large." As a Young Democratic Socialist
I couldn't agree more. So I continued to read the web page about
Union Summer, the AFL-CIO's month-long summer internship in labor
organizing. The web page further states that "Union Summer
is a vehicle through which activists can exercise their commitment
to social and economic justice through the labor movement."
Of course the core of the AFL-CIO's intent is expressed in
the last phrase, "through the labor movement". The primary
goal of the program, as I came to understand it, is to expose
socially conscious young people to the progressive labor movement
as campus activism tends to revolve around identity politics or
particular issues tangential to the labor movement such as environmentalism
Union Summer is exposing young people to organized labor at
a time when it is experiencing great change, and it is another
goal of the program to make its participants aware of this change,
to shatter their stereotypes of organized labor and to offer them
the opportunity to participate in and shape the process of change
which is ongoing in the labor movement. This is the secondary
purpose of Union Summer: to identify, recruit, and begin training
future members of the labor movement. Most obviously organizers,
but the point was made to me more than once that there are many
jobs in the labor movement, of which organizer is only one.
Of course Union Summer interns are an active part of the process
of change in the labor movement as well, whether they realize
it initially or not. In the process of screening applicants for
the internship, a concerted effort is made to bring in women,
people of color, and people from diverse economic backgrounds.
There were six women at my site and five men. The group ranged
in age from 18 to 24 and was more than half Latino. It included
a college graduate and recent graduates from high schools in South
Interns are hosted by self-selecting union locals that are
working on aggressive new organizing campaigns or mobilizing community-based
campaigns around working-class agenda issues such as the living
wage. Greater emphasis on new organizing, reconnecting organized
labor to community-based issues and organizations, and mobilizing
more grassroots political activity among rank-and-file members
are, I learned, among the hallmarks of the new labor movement
that is being created under John Sweeney. These changes are in
response to the crisis of shrinking union membership and the ongoing
Conservative assault on the right of workers to organize. They
specifically address the right of working-class communities to
decent jobs and a standard of living befitting human dignity.
Another, perhaps unanticipated, effect of Union Summer has
been the role that alumni have played in bringing labor activism
to campuses. The Nation has noted that it was a group of
Union Summer interns who had worked for UNITE then returned to
their campuses that started the anti-sweatshop movement, which
is the most active Left social movement on college campuses today.
My site's campaign for the first three weeks was with SEIU
Local 399, organizing a California-based chain of hospitals called
Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). Strategically, the CHW campaign
is a corporate campaign, in which the Catholic Church and the
Catholic mission of the hospitals were major focus points to pressure
the hospitals. The campaign is two years old, and while the company
has agreed to an National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrated
election, they have not agreed to a proposed set of ground rules
for a fair election put forth by the union. Intimidation and harassment
have been rampant throughout the campaign (there are over 50 separate
charges of Unfair Labor Practices pending in connection to the
campaign) and Local 399 and many CHW workers feel that the environment
in the hospitals, as it is, will not allow a fair election unless
enforceable ground rules to curb illegal abuses by management
are in place.
Catholic Healthcare West is a non-profit, Catholic hospital
system, and part of its stated mission is a commitment to care
for the poor. However, as the chain has come under increasingly
corporate-style management and expanded its holdings from eight
to forty-eight hospitals in less than ten years, the resources
it has dedicated to the provision of charity care (defined as
free or discounted services provided to uninsured or underinsured
patients) has declined. As a non-profit entity, CHW gets millions
of dollars worth of tax breaks, yet it further burdens the public
sector by transferring patients who are unable to pay to already
overcrowded county hospitals rather than providing them with charity
care. Despite its mission statement, CHW's level of spending on
charity care is lower than the average among for-profit hospitals.
The first task of the interns and the staff who worked with
us was to interview patients of the hospitals. We documented this
trend, finding patients willing to give personal testimonies regarding
denial of charity care and related issues by going into county
hospital waiting rooms, neighborhood clinics, and DPSS offices
and interviewing people.
Besides being an issue of great importance to low-income communities
in Los Angeles, a city with a rapidly growing population of uninsured
persons (32% of Los Angeles County is uninsured and 50,000 more
Californians a month become uninsured), charity care is also a
sensitive issue for CHW because it is near the heart of a debate
within the Catholic church about the nature of Catholic hospitals.
The same corporate approach to managing the hospitals by focusing
on the bottom line that is exacerbating the crisis of the uninsured
in Southern California by eroding charity care funding at CHW
facilities also affects the quality of care in the hospitals in
other ways which could be directly addressed by unionization,
such as short staffing, and inadequate or inefficiently distributed
supplies for nurses. The management's focus on the bottom line
and pursuit of an aggressive growth strategy also seems to be
fueling its opposition to the union.
In addition to conducting the patient surveys, interns also
rode along with organizers on house visits to workers from the
hospitals. We visited workers who had previously been identified
as either undecided (after two years) or anti-union. At the time,
the company had recently agreed to a tentative election date but
had not agreed to the fair ground rules for the election proposed
by the union. We were visiting the workers to try to get them
to sign a petition to management demanding that they agree to
the ground rules proposal. The company claimed that the NLRB election
process would be fair and did not require additional "special"
rules. The union had already stated that it would not petition
for an election without such ground rules.
The union's fair election conditions were as follows: that
CHW fire the anti-union consultants it had hired (these are special
legal consultants who are paid about $200 per hour to produce
anti-union literature, and train management on how to dissuade
employees from voting for the union); that they allow union organizers
access to employees in common areas of the hospital during break
times; that they agree to cease illegal intimidation tactics including
following employees and requiring one on one meetings with management
to discuss the union, and agree to a process by which such abuses
could be remedied in a timely manner before the election if they
continued; that they agree to negotiate a contract within 90 days
after the election if the union won.
The issue of timely process for unfair labor practices is of
particular concern to the union because appeals to the NLRB take
18 months to 2 years to be heard and decided. Thus management
has free reign to harass employees during elections and faces
no consequences or restrictions until the election is long over
and the damage is done. However, while unions often lose, or win
by very narrow margins (which leaves them in a weaker bargaining
position in contract negotiations), under standard NLRB process,
when elections take place with mechanisms for enforcing fair conditions,
unions win overwhelmingly. (See November
- December, 1995, New Ground, Page 1: "The Quick Vote")
Such was the case at CHW facilities in San Francisco, where management
agreed to a similar SEIU proposal for fair election ground rules.
Another tactic unions have adopted for avoiding the problems
associated with NLRB elections is to get the company to agree
to a community supervised election, which is administered by clergy
or other respected third parties from the community, and which
can also have more effective enforcement of fair election standards.
SEIU Local 1877, which is trying to organize security and special
services workers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) right
now, has adopted this tactic.
Doing the house visits we spent a lot of time driving around
to places where the workers either were not home, refused to come
to the door or slammed the door in our faces. We did talk to a
few people though, and even got a couple of signatures. I also
had the chance to talk to the organizers and discovered that many
of them are socialists too (although we never talked to the workers
about socialism during the house visits).
Our work for the union also included phonebanking to mobilize
members for a rally at one of the CHW hospitals, and attending
the Jubilee Justice Conference, a Catholic conference on social
justice, to talk to people there about the issue of workers organizing
in Catholic hospitals. SEIU, and many lay people and priests in
the Catholic Church believe that Catholic social teachings on
the subject of worker organizing are clear: workers have the right
to organize, and the church and its institutions should respect
and encourage the exercising of that right.
The last week I walked terminals and talked to workers at LAX
with a very dynamic international SEIU organizer who was working
with Local 1877 on their campaign to organize security and other
airport workers employed by Argenbright Security. Although I only
spent a short time working on that campaign, I felt that I learned
a lot about how to talk to workers about their issues in the workplace
and about unions.
The Union Summer program also involved educational components.
We had speakers on topics such as the stages of an organizing
campaign, and the role of unions in politics, attended a stewards
training session and a stewards meeting, participated in a collective
bargaining simulation, and spent a day at the LA County Federation
of Labor, where the President, the Organizing Director, and the
Mobilization Director all spoke to us about current trends and
strategies in their respective areas of responsibility.
The mobilization director was particularly interesting. Before
getting hired at the LA County Federation, she worked on the Justice
for Janitors campaign in Washington, DC, and was instrumental
in the strategy of shutting down the bridges into the city, which
eventually won the union's demands. She gave us a training on
non-violent civil disobedience and direct action tactics. The
new labor movement being created under the leadership of John
Sweeney is, as a whole, reexamining and utilizing such tactics
more often than has been common in the recent history of organized
Finally, we learned a lot about the history of the United Farm
Workers because much of the leadership of the SEIU and the County
Fed in L.A. is made up of people who came in to the labor movement
as farm workers when they were organized by Caesar Chavez. Eliseo
Medina, the Western Regional Vice President of the SEIU, and Miguel
Contreras, the President of the County Fed both told us inspirational
accounts of their early experiences with the UFW.
We also had the opportunity to hear Dolores Huerta speak at
the rally at St. Francis and to have lunch with her afterwards
where we heard the story of how she and Caesar were first organized
The last weekend of the internship, we drove up to La Paz,
the headquarters of the UFW where Caesar Chavez is buried. There
we saw the various memorials, to Caesar and to the martyrs of
the union that died on the picket line. We heard the leadership
of the UFW talk about what their strategies and battles are today.
Overall, Union Summer was a great experience. It was both challenging
and very rewarding to work with such a diverse group of interns
under such intense circumstances (eleven people in three two-bedroom
apartments, working six days a week, often ten hours a day). I
learned a lot about how unions work and the challenges they face:
from the law, to employer resistance, to the general ignorance
of the public about unions, and the recent history of complacency
and corruption within the unions themselves.
Most importantly though, I learned what organizing really is
and why it is so vitally important to unions and to any popularly
based organization or social movement. Organizing is the face
to face, person by person process of convincing people to believe
that they can change something and make their life and their community
better through collective action. Then working with them to execute
that action in such a way that it both accomplishes some concrete
improvement and builds the skills, faith and confidence of the
people you involve to do it again, and organize more people. Organizing
is more listening than talking. You have to start from where the
individual is and build to what you are saying from what they
are saying in a way that will make sense to them and be relevant
It's difficult, and it's not for everyone, but I believe that
continually organizing is the only way that unions, or any other
group that tries to build social movements, can survive.
Special thanks to the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
and others for their generous support which made my participation
in Union Summer possible.
By Angela West Blank
A basic tenet of democracy is every person's right to earn
a decent wage, a living wage. Another is the right to share in
the creation and control of a sustainable economy. But democracy
doesn't work in isolation. And just as a U.S.-driven and dominated
laissez-faire policy has failed to produce a just economy, no
invisible hand has appeared on the horizon to wave equality forward.
True democracy requires a viable strategy, a people-centered process
of building community from the bottom up.
This brand of democracy based upon the idea that ordinary people
can organize to accomplish extraordinary things is the philosophy
embraced by the New Party. With the New Party's recent Living
Wage Campaign in Chicago, these beliefs were put into action.
On July 29, 1998, an ordinance requiring firms receiving city
contracts or subsidies to pay their employees $7.60 per hour,
enough to bring a family of four above the poverty level, was
approved by Chicago's City Council. In September of that same
year, the Cook County Board passed a similar ordinance binding
at the county level. (See September
- October, 1998, New Ground #60, Page 7, "A Living
Wage: It's the Law!")
As with most progressive campaigns addressing the needs of
working-class employees and their families, victory did not come
easily. It took two years of protest, political shrewdness and
the coordinated persistence of the Chicago New Party, ACORN, the
SEIU State Council, SEIU Local 880, Teamsters Local 705, UFCW
Local 881, IBEW Local 134, AFSCME, UNITE and many others, including
Not only did this collaboration successfully defeat a grossly
inadequate minimum wage salary of $4.25 per hour, the lowest real
adjusted level in 40 years, but it also prevented "privatization"
or labor contracted out by city and county government from being
used as a smokescreen to lower the standard of living for working-class
public employees, many of whom work in a growing U.S.-based service
The Living Wage Ordinance, first introduced in May of 1996,
was originally rejected by City Council, but received a jumpstart
from a proposed aldermanic pay hike from $75,000 to $88,6000 and
expense allowance increase scheduled to go into effect in 1999.
The aldermanic pay vote, which included a pay raise for the mayor,
city clerk and city treasurer, was to take place on the one-year
anniversary of the Council's refusal to approve the initial legislation.
Of the pay raise, Ted Thomas, former New Party Chair, ACORN
President and recently elected 15th Ward Alderman, told reporters
in the July 29, 1998, issue of the Chicago Defender, "Raising
your pay without passing a living wage is a slap in the face to
low-income Chicagoans. We're not here to say that aldermen shouldn't
get a raise, but we don't raise our own pay without raising the
minimum wage for thousands of families in our cities. Chicago
needs a living wage."
Thomas also vowed that the Chicago Jobs and Living Wage Campaign
coalition of local unions, religious, community and political
organizations would target council members who approved the pay
increase but opposed the Living Wage Ordinance. Alternative, New
Party-backed candidates would also be fielded against anti-living
Driving the opposition to the ordinance was Mayor Daley, whose
own salary was slated to increase from $115,000 to $170,000 under
the aldermanic pay raise legislation. According to Daley and high-profile
ally Chicago Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper, a living
wage bill in Chicago was bad for business and could drive companies
across the border to states without a similar ordinance.
In response, the New Party and its organized contingent of
Living Wage Ordinance advocates outmaneuvered the opposition.
On Tuesday, July 28, the eve of the City Council vote on the pay
increase, members of the Chicago Jobs and Living Wage Campaign
staged a City Hall news conference to propose tying the pay raise
to a guarantee that employees of businesses with city contracts
earn an $7.60 per hour living wage.
The news conference came on the heels of, and benefited from,
the momentum of a summer ballot initiative campaign. The campaign
was led by the Chicago New Party and included volunteers from
Cynthia Soto's and Willie Delgado's organizations. The ballot
initiative garnered in excess of 12,000 signatures in five targeted
city wards. Over 200 people were organized to participate in the
In the end, the strong grassroots effort of committed activists
and organizations won the day. On July 29th, the City Council
approved the proposed amended legislation, passing both the Chicago
Living Wage Ordinance and the aldermanic pay increase. When the
subsequent county ordinance was passed in September, Cook County
became the largest jurisdiction to pass a living wage ordinance.
Meanwhile, in cities such as Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul and
Boston, the New Party continues to win victories for working-class
families through its Living Wage Campaign.
Currently, in Chicago, the New Party is looking toward implementing
a strategic plan to elect progressive grassroots candidates to
office, candidates that will support and maintain the living wage
legislation. This battle, like the struggle for a living wage
in Chicago, won't be easy but is definitely worth fighting.
The New Party's Ted Thomas sums it up well, saying, "Anytime
a grassroots candidate goes up against the machine it's a hard
road. But that's what needs to be done if we're going to have
a city government that actually cares about issues like affordable
housing, public transportation and education."
It's what is needed to achieve a government that's truly by
the people and for the people, a government that's worthy of our
Compiled by Bob Roman
Chicago DSA is back on the web with our own domain name, no
less. John DeWaal is the webmaster, and we owe him no little appreciation
for his creative efforts and his initiative in getting this project
off the ground. The web task force consists of John DeWaal, Ben
Doherty, Will Kelley, Bob Roman and Donn Schneider.
Come and visit! The site still has some rough edges, and we'd
appreciate your comments, ideas and observations. We also need
your help. We're looking for links. Send us your favorite Chicago
and Illinois political sites from your personal bookmarks, along
with a brief description of what they are. If you have your own,
personal web site, make a link to the Chicago DSA site and send
us your address so that we may link back to yours. Together, we
build a site that will provide visitors with a complete political
The Preamble Center, a Washington, DC, research and organizing
center, is planning a national conference to coordinate strategies
against the World Trade Organization. The conference will be held
in Chicago at the Midland Hotel in downtown Chicago from Friday
November 12 through Sunday, November 14.
The conference hopes to create an atmosphere of cooperation
and mutual support for strategy discussions. The intent is to
not only fulfill a need for effective coordinations of strategies,
but to develop a process of evolution from individual campaigns
to a strong social and political movement. The conference will
also premier a new video produced by the Preamble Center, "Global
Village or Global Pillage?". Participants will be given a
copy of the video.
There is a conference fee of $75. For more information, call
the Preamble Center at (202)265-3263, email email@example.com or
go to www.preamble.org.
The World Trade Organization will be meeting in Seattle this
fall, from November 30 through December 1. Demonstrations and
educational events are being planned for all three days. Some
people are going there for the whole time, but others are going
just for the demonstration on November 30. This could be huge.
The Illinois Fair Trade Campaign has been asked by the Wisconsin
Fair Trade Campaign to join them in chartering a plane to Seattle.
Their plan is to fly from Milwaukee to Seattle on the 30th to
participate in the demonstration and return the same evening.
If they can get 100 or more people to participate, they can get
the fare down to about $400. If you'd like to go, email Tom Gradel
at GradelPeterson@compuserve.com or call Tom at (773)561-1040.
For more information about the WTO and the Seattle protests,
call People for Fair Trade at (877)STOPWTO, or go to www.tradewatch.org,
www.peopleforfairtrad.org or www.seattlewto.org. While no specific
plans have been made yet, watch for events here in Chicago, too.
Like a slowly building fever, the demand for a national health
care system is slowly coming back on the national agenda. The
Gray Panthers and UHCAN! are each holding their national conferences
in Washington, DC, on the weekend of October 22-24. Together with
the National Council of Churches and a host of other allies, they're
planning a demonstration for a universal health care system on
October 22. They're pledging that the 2000 elections will demand
of candidates just such a system: "U2K"! For more information,
go to www.graypathers.org
Subsequently there will be demonstrations held in cities across
the country. In Chicago, the plan is to have a downtown march
and rally at the Federal plaza, Dearborn and Adams, at Noon on
Tuesday, November 9.
For the more policy oriented, the Health and Medicine Policy
Research Group is holding a conference on "Medicare and State
Health Reform" on Friday, October 1 at the Chicago Illini
Union on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. There is
a fee for this conference and preregistration is encouraged. For
more information, go to www.HMPRG.org
or call (312)922-8057.