Prepping Child Care Workers Show

by bicyclemark

Currently researching, in between doing some projects for trippist.com, the order by the governor of New York that Child Care Workers be allowed to organize and form labor unions.

As I seek out guests, I’m thinking alot about the whole industry, and how it works. Those people who take care of the children, often its the type of job that gets paid under the table, isn’t it? Perhaps many immigrants as well, who often fear what risks may be involved with organizing, or perhaps they aren’t aware of their rights.

What I’m most curious about are the next steps. Once this decision goes into effect, suddenly all these people have the right to demand some basic standards of work. Will big unions take the lead and recruit them or teach them how to do things? Will smaller locals of child care workers emerge around new york state? Will many somehow get fired for trying?

Sorting through the questions while sorting through the interview possibilities. It is hard to believe that they didn’t have the right to organize to begin with. I wonder how that was possible for so long. And what about this Elliot Spitzer, a few months on the job and he’s already more competent than most governors in my brief lifetime.

Podcast, including all these questions and concerns, in the coming days…

Don’t Mourn, Organize

by bicyclemark

Those were Joe Hill’s final words. And he’s a hero of mine.

I thought of him tonight as I sat at the MacDocMan’s place watching the latest episode of the Dutch investigative report program, Tegenlicht. The episode was about union organizing in the Netherlands, and also how the American Service Employees International Union (remember Janitors for Justice) are sending representatives around the world, to help organize workers, especially cleaning staff, at these multinational corporate offices. In itself, an interesting subject, especially taking into considering the Joe Hill in me.

But more interesting still, was the fact that as I sat there watching it, the director of the piece was sitting to my left, watching very intensely so as to not miss a moment or a sound of that which she had worked so hard on. There were demonstrations, confrontations with angry security officers, cleaning people who had immigrated from all over the developing world, and the occasional funny moment between the corporate reps and the organizers. A compelling piece, all in all, especially when I think about the decline of unions in the US, not including what is happening with Service Workers International in places like LA and Las Vegas. Some of it is actually in english, so you may want to watch it online.

Afterwards we sat and talked about it. I tried to keep quiet observe how the family members discussed it. They explained that first you have to present all the criticisms, so they did. And then you can give compliments, which is where I chimed in.

The final thought of the evening, that I will leave you with, actually comes from the Docman himself, talking about the goals of the American Unions to organize workers in the Netherlands. He said something to the effect of, Why are American Organizers being sent here to teach us as if we don’t have unions. This country actually has some amazingly strong union traditions, which were developed without any teaching from American labor unions.

Not his words, of course. But it was the point that I understood, and I felt it a good question.