Americas

Video: An appeal from SEP presidential candidate Jerry White

21 August 2012

In this video, Jerry White, the SEP's candidate for president, appeals for support for the last two and half months of the election campaign.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

21 August 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

The US debacle in Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 20 August 2012

The proliferation of attacks on US soldiers by uniformed Afghan soldiers and policemen is an expression of popular hatred for the occupation regime.

Michigan Chrysler workers reject union-backed local contract

By Lawrence Porter, 20 August 2012

Last week, workers at the Dundee Engine Plant, southwest of Detroit, voted by a resounding 73 percent against a new local contract agreement supported by the United Auto Workers.

Quebec CEGEP students end their strike

By Eric Marquis, 20 August 2012

Quebec CEGEP students have voted to end their 6 month-long strike against the provincial Liberal government’s plan to dramatically raise university tuition fees.

Obama administration to respond to lawsuit challenging assassination program

By Tom Carter, 20 August 2012

The Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta lawsuit highlights the extent to which democratic rights and the rule of law have been eroded under the Obama administration.

US Army suicides nearly double from June to July

By Nick Barrickman, 20 August 2012

Reports received this month show that 26 active-duty members of the US Army died last month due to suicide. Though not all confirmed, the figure would be the highest amount in a single month on record since the military started tracking figures in 2009.

Union forces through concessions contract at Caterpillar in Illinois

By Andre Damon, 18 August 2012

Machinists on strike at the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Illinois voted narrowly to accept a union-backed concessions contract, ending a nearly four-month-long strike.

Magna International closing its Syracuse, New York auto parts plant

By Eli Steven, 18 August 2012

Magna International is shuttering its auto parts plant in Syracuse, New York, after workers rejected a poverty wage offer.

SEP vice presidential candidate speaks to temp workers in McKeesport, Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 18 August 2012

SEP candidate Phyllis Scherrer along with a team of supporters campaigned this week in the former steel town of McKeesport, about 10 miles south of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River.

Con Ed workers disgusted as union reports contract ratification

By a reporting team, 18 August 2012

The Con Ed workers’ union reported a wide margin for acceptance of the contract, but a WSWS reporting team found the vote concealed far different views.

Thousands of US immigrants line up for new work permit program

By Kate Randall, 17 August 2012

Tens of thousands of young undocumented immigrants lined up Wednesday to begin their applications for a program that could allow them to temporarily remain in the United States and be granted work permits.

Pennsylvania judge upholds anti-democratic “voter ID” law

By Ed Hightower, 17 August 2012

The ruling is the latest victory in a Republican tactic of restricting ballot access for likely Democratic voters before the November 2012 presidential elections.

West Virginia aluminum plant retirees seek restoration of health benefits

By Phyllis Scherrer and Naomi Spencer, 17 August 2012

Century Aluminum Company in Ravenswood, West Virginia has announced it will decide in September whether to reopen its smelting plant, restoring health insurance benefits to retirees.

California austerity: Student assistant jobs on the chopping block

By Julien Kiemle, 17 August 2012

As part of a deal between the administration of Governor Jerry Brown and California’s biggest public employee union, student workers are being pitted against their full-time counterparts.

Reject the sellout at Joliet! For an independent political struggle of the working class!

Socialist Equality Party, 17 August 2012

Rejection of the deal at Caterpillar must be linked to a new political strategy to mobilize the entire working class against the corporate-driven attack on wages and benefits, which is backed by both big business parties.

Québec Solidaire courts big business PQ

By Eric Marquis, 16 August 2012

Québec Solidaire has taken a number of steps in recent weeks to demonstrate its readiness to ally with the Parti Québécois, a party which when it last held office implemented the greatest social spending cuts in Quebec history.

US media seeks to legitimize Ryan’s extreme-right agenda

By Patrick Martin, 16 August 2012

The US media, liberal and conservative, has largely praised the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as the Republican candidate for vice president.

Bradley Manning defense files motion to dismiss charges over pre-trial abuse

By Eric London, 16 August 2012

Bradley Manning’s defense team filed a motion requesting all charges against the soldier be dismissed on the grounds that he was subjected to “unlawful pretrial punishment.”

IAM reaches sellout deal in Illinois Caterpillar strike

By Jeff Lussane, 16 August 2012

Striking workers will vote Friday on a tentative agreement reached by the Machinists union to end the 15-week strike by 780 workers at the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Illinois.

A law unto themselves

By Barry Grey, 15 August 2012

Bankers can lie, steal, cheat and defraud the public without limit, causing human suffering and social ruin on a global scale, with no fear of being held accountable.

US downgrades crop outlook

By Naomi Spencer, 15 August 2012

Grain prices surged to new records after the US Department of Agriculture downgraded its harvest projections.

Record temperatures and forest fires in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 15 August 2012

Record temperatures and fires in Russia have led to the country’s worst harvest since 2010, triggering a food crisis.

AFL-CIO drags Verizon workers into Philadelphia rally for Democrats

By a reporting team, 15 August 2012

The union bureaucracy dragooned Verizon workers, who have been working without a contract for one year and face the threat of imposed concessions, into a rally aimed at boosting the electoral prospects of Obama and the Democrats.

Workers in Philadelphia speak out against the two big business parties and union betrayals

By a reporting team, 15 August 2012

While the AFL-CIO organized the rally to promote the Democrats, a number of workers who came voiced opposition to this policy.

Off-duty Chicago police officer kills unarmed man

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 August 2012

A Chicago officer, whose name has not been released, shot and killed Christopher Middleton in the suburb of Maywood. This is the second shooting of an unarmed person by an off-duty Chicago police officer this year.

SEP campaigns in Pittsburgh against cuts in social programs

By a campaign team, 15 August 2012

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer spoke to workers and young people about the elimination of the General Assistance Program in Pennsylvania.

Two strikers arrested at West Virginia aluminum plant

By Phyllis Scherrer, 15 August 2012

Two strikers were arrested for allegedly throwing jack rocks August 8 at tractor-trailers driving through their picket line at the Constellium Plant in Ravenswood, West Virginia.

Illinois Democrats feign support for Caterpillar strikers

By James Nykvist, 15 August 2012

The IAM and other unions have dragged out various Democratic Party politicians to posture as friends of striking CAT workers.

Joliet Caterpillar strikers speak out

By our reporters, 15 August 2012

WSWS reporters spoke to strikers on the picket line in Joliet, Illinois

Canadian Labour Congress pleads for bosses to recognize unions’ role in suppressing worker unrest

By Carl Bronski, 14 August 2012

Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti has recently penned an op-ed piece extolling the value of unions in increasing corporate profitability, controlling wage demands and policing the workforce.

Google cutting 4,000 jobs at Motorola unit

By Kate Randall, 14 August 2012

Google Inc. announced Monday that it is cutting 4,000 jobs in its Motorola Mobility cell phone business and will close or consolidate a third of the unit’s 90 locations.

Slaughter on Seventh Avenue

By Bill Van Auken, 14 August 2012

The NYPD’s pursuit and execution of a 51-year-old man in New York City’s Times Square was only the latest in a series of killings by police that take place every day and in every part of the country.

Quebec students debate whether to continue their strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 August 2012

The WSWS spoke with students who met last week to decide whether to continue their six-month strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s plans to dramatically raise university tuition fees.

San Bernardino residents speak on bankruptcy filing

By Dan Conway, 14 August 2012

The city of San Bernardino, California, population 210,000, has recently become the second largest city to file for bankruptcy protection in US history.

Hands off anti-Wall Street protesters

Jerry White and Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 14 August 2012

Last month, the FBI launched a series of raids at the homes of anti-Wall Street protesters in Portland, Oregon and Seattle and Olympia, Washington.

The ISO covers its tracks in betrayal of Con Ed workers

By Dan Brennan and Fred Mazelis, 14 August 2012

Increasingly exposed as tools of management, union bureaucrats at Con Ed and elsewhere welcome the assistance provided by groups like the International Socialist Organization.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

14 August 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Houston janitors ratify labor contract

By Charles Abelard, 14 August 2012

The new contract for janitors in Houston, Texas includes a meager $1 an hour wage increase over the four-year period of the agreement.

Ryan pick marks further shift to the right in US presidential campaign

By Patrick Martin, 13 August 2012

Regardless of the outcome of the vote on November 6, the Ryan pick signals that the US ruling elite has decided on a frontal assault on key social programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

US think tank plans military build-up against China

By Peter Symonds, 13 August 2012

While the CSIS is a non-government body, its assessment was commissioned by the US Defense Department.

Detroit to cut 81 percent of water and sewage jobs

By Esther Galen, 13 August 2012

Mayor Dave Bing and the Detroit Water Board have announced support for a plan to cut 1,600 jobs

Washington’s bipartisan class-war policy: No jobs, no benefits

By Andre Damon, 13 August 2012

The expiration last week of one of the two federal emergency unemployment benefits programs marks an escalation in the ruling class’ attack on working people.

Clinton visits Turkey to step up Syrian proxy war

By Niall Green, 13 August 2012

Washington is continuing to intensify its bloody intervention into the Syrian war, aiming to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

FBI raids homes of Occupy protesters in Oregon and Washington

By Tom Carter, 13 August 2012

These raids are only the latest in an emerging pattern of similar “anti-terror” raids conducted by the Obama administration in order to terrorize, suppress and chill political dissent.

Detroit water and sewage workers speak out against cuts

By a reporting team, 13 August 2012

As word spread about the dramatic cuts threatened at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, workers reacted angrily, and several spoke to reporters for the World Socialist Web Site.

Extended jobless benefits end for 500,000 US workers

By Andre Damon, 11 August 2012

As millions languish without work, the US government has intensified its drive to shut off extended unemployment benefits, ending the only source of cash income for millions of families.

US drops investigations of Goldman Sachs

By Barry Grey, 11 August 2012

The US Justice Department announced Thursday it was ending a criminal investigation and would not file charges against Goldman Sachs or any of its employees.

Health advocacy group decries Obama administration’s stonewalling on food industry regulation

By Nikolai Barrickman, 11 August 2012

Recent reports have revealed the Obama administration’s hostility to regulations that cut into the profitability of the food industry. The Food Modernization and Safety Act (FMSA), a bill passed in January of 2011 by the Obama administration in response to a string of food recalls, has remained effectively a dead letter on the White House’s budgeting table.

Outrage over police violence at Anaheim, California city council meeting

By our reporters, 11 August 2012

Attended by hundreds of residents, the first Anaheim, California city council meeting since last month’s police violence and popular unrest took place Wednesday.

“The police defend the wealthy”—brother of murdered man

WSWS speaks to victims of police violence in Anaheim, California

By our reporters, 11 August 2012

WSWS reporters spoke to several audience members at the Anaheim city council meeting August 8, including relatives of those killed by police.

Oppose the anti-democratic attempt to keep SEP candidates off the Wisconsin ballot!

Socialist Equality Party, 11 August 2012

The SEP calls on supporters to send letters to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in protest against the anti-democratic efforts to prevent Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer from appearing on the November ballot.

The Queen of Versailles: American “royalty” seeks to build its own palace

By Fred Mazelis, 11 August 2012

A new documentary tells the tale of a Florida billionaire and lifts the lid on a portion of American social reality.

SEP public meeting

The Quebec student strike, the working class and the struggle for social rights

11 August 2012

The SEP is holding a public meeting in Montreal August 16 to draw the lessons of the Quebec student strike and elaborate a socialist internationalist strategy to carry forward the fight for fundamental social rights.

US, European powers press for intervention as Syrian army retakes Aleppo

By Alex Lantier, 10 August 2012

Politicians and the media in the United States and Europe have stepped up demands for direct military intervention in Syria.

A new policy is needed for Quebec student strike

Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 10 August 2012

The student strike must be armed with a new perspective, if it is not to succumb in the face of state repression and the maneuvers of the unions to isolate it and channel opposition to the Liberals behind the Parti Quebecois.

Spiking grain prices raise specter of global food crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 10 August 2012

Global food prices rose 6.2 percent in July, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reported Thursday.

Wisconsin shooting reveals connections between US military and fascist groups

By Eric London, 10 August 2012

Last Sunday’s attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin by neo-Nazi and former US Army service member Wade Michael Page reveals a history of complicity between the US Armed Forces and fascistic and other ultra-right-wing organizations.

Workers denounce effort by Wisconsin officials to exclude SEP from ballot

By Niles Williamson, 10 August 2012

Workers and youth throughout Wisconsin have spoken out to denounce the politically motivated attempt by election officials in Wisconsin to exclude the SEP from the November ballot.

Quebec establishment united in drive to suppress student strike

By Keith Jones, 9 August 2012

Quebec’s entire political establishment, including the trade union bureaucracy, is united in seeking to suppress the six month-long Quebec student strike.

US drought feeds wildfires, crop failures

By Naomi Spencer, 9 August 2012

Drought conditions affected two-thirds of the continental US this week, intensifying in the western plains where temperatures exceeded 110°F.

California cities facing bankruptcy

By David Brown, Don Knowland and Kevin Martinez, 9 August 2012

Following the announcement earlier this month that San Bernardino, a city of 210,000, will file for bankruptcy, more California cities face the prospect of becoming insolvent.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to cut 280 teachers and staff

By Samuel Davidson, 9 August 2012

The Pittsburgh school board voted last month to approve the layoff of 280 teachers and support staff as part of the plan to close seven schools this fall.

Washington’s proxy in Syria: Al Qaeda

By Bill Van Auken, 9 August 2012

The growing acknowledgment within official circles that Al Qaeda is playing a decisive role in Syria’s civil war exposes both the real nature of the US-backed bid to topple the Assad regime and the fraud of Washington’s “war on terror.”

Wisconsin officials move to exclude SEP candidates from ballot

By our reporter, 9 August 2012

In a politically motivated attack, election officials in Wisconsin have moved to prevent the Socialist Equality Party candidates for US president and vice president from being placed on the November ballot.

Syrian army, US-backed opposition militias clash in Aleppo

By Alex Lantier, 8 August 2012

Fighting escalated yesterday in Aleppo between Western-backed militias and Syrian Army forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Texas executes mentally disabled death row prisoner

By Kate Randall, 8 August 2012

The barbarity of the US death penalty system was on display last night when the state of Texas executed the second mentally disabled death row prisoner in less than three weeks.

Quebec student strike:

CLASSE manifesto promotes Quebec nationalism and protest politics

By Richard Dufour and Keith Jones, 8 August 2012

The student association CLASSE opposes the socialist perspective that Quebec students fuse their struggle with the resistance of the Canadian and international working class to the assault of global capitalism.

US Secretary of State Clinton’s Africa tour raises tensions with China

By Eddie Haywood, 8 August 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sparked tensions with China with remarks given during her seven-nation tour of the African continent.

SEP presidential candidate to tour Britain, Germany and Sri Lanka

8 August 2012

Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, will be speaking over the coming month at a series of meetings in Britain, Germany, and Sri Lanka.

New York Times gives glimpse of sectarian bloodbath being prepared by Syria intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 8 August 2012

An article published last week in the New York Times on the spillover of sectarian tensions from Syria into Turkey belies the “democratic” and “humanitarian” pretexts for the ever more violent drive for regime change by the US and its allies.

West Virginia aluminum plant workers strike

By Naomi Spencer, 8 August 2012

Seven hundred union workers at Constellium Rolled Products in northwest West Virginia went on strike Sunday morning after rejecting the company’s contract offer.

New Zealand “Rich List” reveals deepening social divide

By John Braddock, 7 August 2012

The wealthiest New Zealanders have not suffered from the austerity drive being imposed on the working class.

SEP speaks to workers in Anaheim about election campaign and police violence

By a campaign team, 7 August 2012

A team of campaigners for the Socialist Equality Party spoke to workers in Anaheim, California and handed out copies of a statement by presidential candidate Jerry White.

US stokes disputes in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 7 August 2012

The US statement was calculated not to lower, but to raise regional tensions by giving implicit support to China’s neighbours to press their claims to disputed territory.

US gunman alleged to have killed six at Sikh temple was a neo-Nazi

By Barry Grey, 7 August 2012

The ample information on Wade Michael Page’s fascist sympathies has been downplayed by the mass media and US officials.

GE executive to be paid $89,000 a month for not working

By David Walsh, 7 August 2012

In return for agreeing not to go to work for any of GE’s rivals for three years, company executive John Krenicki will be paid a “retirement allowance” of $89,000 a month for ten years, or some $10.7 million.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

7 August 2012

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

At least seven dead in shooting at Sikh temple in Wisconsin

By Niles Williamson, 6 August 2012

At least seven people were killed on Sunday in a mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, a suburb of the city of Milwaukee.

Massachusetts health care bill aims to cut $200 billion over 15 years

By Kate Randall, 6 August 2012

The overall aim of the Health Care Cost Control Bill is to slash costs for the government and reduce care for ordinary people.

Detroit’s Wayne State University targets faculty tenure

By Debra Watson and Khara Sikhan, 6 August 2012

Wayne State University administration is using the expiration of the faculty’s three-year contract to undermine job protection for tenured professors.

The low-wage, no-raise economy

By Patrick Martin, 6 August 2012

Almost ignored in media coverage of Friday’s US job figures is the quality of those jobs in terms of pay and security.

Saginaw, Michigan residents speak on police killing

By an SEP campaign team, 6 August 2012

Saginaw residents spoke to Socialist Equality Party supporters at the site of a July 1 police killing. Six officers shot homeless man Milton Hall 46 times.

Vote “No” on the Con Ed-UWUA contract! For an independent political struggle of the working class!

Socialist Equality Party, 6 August 2012

The Socialist Equality Party calls on Con Ed utility workers to reject the contract agreement proposed by the Utility Workers Union of America, which includes all the major concessions demanded by the company.

Sixty years since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

By Joseph Kishore, 6 August 2012

On the sixty-seventh anniversary of the dropping of an atomic weapon on Hiroshima, Japan by the United States, we repost here an essay originally published in 2005.

US unemployment rate rises on weak jobs report

By Andre Damon, 4 August 2012

The US economy added only 163,000 jobs in July according to government figures, and the unemployment rate grew to 8.3 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Parti Quebecois and unions press students to end strike

By Keith Jones, 4 August 2012

On the second day of the Quebec election campaign, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois urged students to end their militant strike against the Liberal government’s plans to hike university tuition fees.

Historic US drought deepens

By Naomi Spencer, 4 August 2012

More than a fifth of the contiguous United States is under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought, threatening widening crop failures.

Kentucky legislature raids need-based college grant funds

By Ryan Rahilly, 4 August 2012

The Kentucky legislature commonly takes money from the lottery system, which by state law is supposed to feed need-based financial aid.

SEP Candidates submit signatures to gain spot on Wisconsin ballot

By Niles Williamson, 4 August 2012

On Friday Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates for president and vice president, personally submitted over 3,200 signatures to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board in Madison.

Questions of political principle in the defense of culture

Why we oppose the Detroit Institute of Arts millage

By Barry Grey, 3 August 2012

The millage vote takes place in the context of an unrelenting assault on art and culture in Detroit and nationally.

US Postal Service defaults on $5.5 billion payment to retiree fund

By Kate Randall, 3 August 2012

The USPS is seeking drastic cost-cutting measures, including shuttering facilities, ending Saturday delivery, and attacking the jobs and benefits of hundreds of thousands of postal workers.

Child poverty in US capital increases sharply

By Nikolai Barrickman, 3 August 2012

D.C. Kids Count reports that as of 2010, nearly 31,000, or 1 in 3 children in the District of Columbia lives in poverty.

SEC investigation into Miami’s fiscal corruption provokes crisis

By Matthew MacEgan, 3 August 2012

The City of Miami is on the brink of declaring a financial emergency to make cuts to social services and city employee benefits.

Interview with Jerry White: “We are running to give voice to the working class”

3 August 2012

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White spoke with Matt Stannard of the Political Context podcast about the program of the SEP and the experiences of the campaign so far.

Nearly three-quarters of Detroit children living in poverty

By Nancy Hanover, 2 August 2012

When realistic numbers are taken into account, an overwhelming percentage—71 percent—of Detroit children are poor, that is, living at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line.

“We should have the opportunity to live a decent, respectable lifestyle”

WSWS interviews two Detroit mothers about their conditions

By Nancy Hanover, 2 August 2012

The WSWS recently spoke to two mothers, Patrice and Donna, about conditions of life in Detroit, where jobs are scarce and pay is so low.

Quebec Liberals launch re-election bid with tirade against striking students

By Keith Jones, 2 August 2012

The Quebec student’s strike has figured large in the timing of the Liberals’ election call.

Pakistani, US intelligence chiefs discuss US drone attacks

By Eric London, 2 August 2012

Tensions between the Obama administration and the Pakistani government remain high amid continuing US drone strikes in Pakistan.

Fed takes no steps to address US economic slowdown

By Barry Grey, 2 August 2012

The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday issued a gloomy report on the US economy but announced no new measures to address slowing growth and high unemployment.