Workers’ unity, struggle puts brakes on firing of School Bus Union 5

first_imgBoston, Oct. 23 — In an impressive display of strength and unity in the face of a state attack against a militant union, hundreds of Boston bus drivers, bus monitors and community supporters came out tonight in support of the School Bus Union 5: Andre Francois, Steven Gillis, Stevan Kirschbaum, Richard Lynch and Garry Murchison. Today’s events put the Veolia transnational corporation on the defensive, thwarting its hell-bent plan to break the union by attempting to unlawfully fire these long-time, respected members of Steelworkers Local 8751, the Boston School Bus Drivers Union.The first hit against Veolia’s plans to terminate Gillis, Kirschbaum and the three other defendants was the legal brief presented to the corporation from the Steelworkers International legal defense team on Oct. 21. It reads in part:  “As is explained herein, none of the named employees has engaged in any of the misconduct alleged against them inasmuch as the facts (as now known to the union) make clear that the events of October 8, 2013, amounted to an unlawful lockout by the Company and not a work stoppage by the employees and that, even if there were a work stoppage prior to the time when the Company locked the employees off the property, such work stoppage would have been a lawful unfair labor practice strike in any event.  Moreover, pursuant to the facts expounded herein, the five named employees did not plan or orchestrate any of the concerted activity that occurred on October 8 and thus have no culpability beyond that.”The 65-page document includes testimony, photos and other facts explaining that the company’s unfair labor practices were the real cause of the events on Oct. 8.But the real power that made Veolia nervous today was the workers’ strength. The company knew workers and community members would be gathering outside the meeting at the company’s executive offices.  That was why they announced early on that no one would be terminated today during the first disciplinary hearing against the Five. Another hearing is set for Oct. 28.Strength of workers’ powerAt the 3 p.m. start of the disciplinary meeting, the number of those gathered outside the building was understandably small because most workers were on their buses until 5:30. Union leaders demanded that all Five accused workers be present throughout the hearings.When the company handed over three copies of the charges against Steve Gillis, union representatives demanded copies for every worker in the room, as past practices dictate. The company was forced to call a recess while that was done. The Five took the opportunity to walk out to the assembled crowd and hold the first of four or five rallies that took place over the next several hours.Each time they walked out, Kirschbaum, chair of the union’s Grievance Committee, gave a report to a steadily growing crowd. Veolia management personnel drove in and out of the gates as the meeting progressed in order to report to their bosses the increasing size of the rally.By 7:15 p.m., the gathering, which had grown to more than 350 workers and supporters, was a virtual occupation of Veolia’s corporate headquarters. As Kirschbaum walked out the door, some of the workers picked him up and carried him to a makeshift stage on the back of a truck. The rest of the Five joined him, as well as Boston City Councillor Charles Yancey.Each member of the Five spoke during the last rally of the day.  Kirschbaum reported that the disciplinary meeting would be continued on Oct. 28. Decisions have been delayed, but Veolia’s attempt to fire the five union leaders is still on the table. Kirschbaum pointed out that the rank-and-file members’ willingness to mobilize in support of the Five has put Veolia on the defensive.Steve Gillis, USW local vice president, focused his remarks on the villainous role of the Veolia corporation as a worldwide imperialist pirate, more powerful than many governments. Through its four divisions Veolia does business in the trillions of dollars, has operations in 48 countries and employs more than 300,000 workers. It is trying to corner the world’s water supply; is an energy monster that even uses fracking, which is known to destroy the environment; and runs apartheid bus lines and Israeli-settler-only garbage dumps in the occupied West Bank.But, Gillis pointed out, the real, much stronger power is the power of the workers fighting for their rights in unity as a powerful workers’ assembly.Francois, Lynch and Murchison all thanked the assembled rank and file for demonstrating by their actions the time-honored motto: “An injury to one is an injury to all.” The three thanked the workers for showing by their solidarity that they would not allow a single union leader to be sacrificed to Veolia’s union busting. Then they told the workers they were living the 8751 motto: “Together we will win. Ansamb nou se yon fos. Todos unitos. De juntos somos forte!”Councillor Yancey told the drivers and monitors: “You offered to do the afternoon run and pick up the children [on Oct. 8], but the mayor refused and locked the gates. The mayor sided with Veolia. You love the children of Boston. You deserve respect for the work you do. If you win, all of Boston wins. If you lose, workers all over lose.”This reporter heard workers express a common belief: If the union leaders are terminated, their wages and benefits will go next. They must stop the company’s plans. Hands off the School Bus Union Five!Piette is a retired letter carrier from Philadelphia. WW photos by Stevan Kirschbaum and Liz Green.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Bridge protected but lives risked

first_imgSurgeries and clinic cancellations extended NewsBridge protected but lives riskedBy Bernie English – February 20, 2017 858 Advertisement WhatsApp Facebook No vaccines in Limerick yet Print Twitter Linkedin Previous articleCompetition winnerNext articleChildbirth deaths don’t make court Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. center_img Shannondoc operating but only by appointment First Irish death from Coronavirus RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email Proceedures and appointments cancelled again at UHL TAGSCllr Sean Lynch (FF)featuredShannon. Limericksuicide Walk in Covid testing available in Limerick from Saturday 10th April The former Fitzgibbon Memorial on Sarsfield bridge The former Fitzgibbon Memorial on Sarsfield [email protected] POTENTIALLY life-saving piece of equipment for Sarsfield Bridge cannot be installed because the bridge is a protected structure, stunned members of Limerick’s local authority heard this week.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Cllr Sean Lynch (FF) told a meeting of the metropolitan committee of the council that he had been contacted by traumatised visitors to the city who saw a man go into the river off the bridge just before Christmas, but could do nothing because there was no lifebuoy near enough.He asked for a lifebouy to be placed in the centre of the bridge, but was told by officials that this wouldn’t be allowed as the bridge is a protected structure.last_img read more

UFC 234: 10 things we learned

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearDespite the afternoon letdown, UFC 234 still featured a host of competitive matchups and an opportunity to get more familiar with a group of up-and-coming talents, who were otherwise overshadowed by the standout middleweight contests originally situated at the top of the card.Even with the 11th hour main event change, there was still plenty to discuss from inside the Octagon on Sunday morning in Melbourne.Here at 10 things we learned.1. Still perfectIsrael Adesanya maintained his unbeaten record by sweeping the scorecards in the main event against former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a three-round bout that was tense from start to finish even though there was far less offense than most likely envisioned. THE LAST STYLEBENDER! #UFC234— UFC (@ufc) February 10, 2019 While there were some good exchanges, a couple near misses and plenty of back-and-forth showmanship between the two talented, charismatic performers, there were also stretches where neither Adesanya nor Silva wanted to pull the trigger, both refusing to be the one who rushed in and paid for making a mistake. It was understandable, but it led to the kind of lulls that draw criticism whenever it isn’t two of everyone’s favorite fighters staring each other down in the cage.It’s a good win for Adesanya in that it keeps him moving forward and gives him a victory over one of the greatest to ever grace the Octagon, but beating Silva in 2019 isn’t the same as beating him three, four or five years ago, yet alone when he was at the height of his powers, and although this is the biggest name “The Last Stylebender” has beaten, it’s also the least flashy of his five appearances in the Octagon.Combined with the delay in sorting out the title picture, I can’t help but wonder if his momentum will be slowed a little and if the UFC will roll the dice by putting him in there with a middleweight contender like Yoel Romero or Jacare Souza in hopes of keeping him in line to challenge for the title later this year.2. A modern marvelSilva may not be the same guy who lorded over the middleweight division for 2,457 days, but the fact that he was competitive with a fighter 14 years his junior on Saturday night is astounding and something that shouldn’t be taken for granted.“The Spider” made his professional debut a month before Adesanya’s eighth birthday and secured his 16th consecutive UFC win seven months after his opponent on Saturday night made his MMA debut.This was supposed to be a changing of the guard — the veteran being served up to the leader of the new school — but instead, Silva made it a competitive fight and delivered more than a few moments where you thought, even if ever so briefly, that he might catch Adesanya with something and steal one more win in the Octagon. Now @SpiderAnderson is picking it up at #UFC234— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) February 10, 2019 In a sport where fighters rarely age well and the current generation can often embarrass those who came before them, Silva has managed to stay competitive well into his 40s. Even if he’s not posting victories, the fact that he’s making guys like Adesanya work hard for wins is a testament to just how skilled and talented the Brazilian legend is.3. Social media doctors suckWhen it was announced midday that Whittaker would not be competing on Saturday night due to a hernia, social media lit up with opinions from pretend doctors who questioned the severity of the injury, how he couldn’t have known about it beforehand and the usual assortment of conspiracy theories and diagnoses that usually accompany these types of situations.Midway through the card, his team released a statement detailing the middleweight champion’s condition, informing the masses that Whittaker was suffering from a collapsed and twisted bowel and an internal hernia, both of which required immediate surgery to correct. If the situation wasn’t addressed immediately and Whittaker fought, a blow to the stomach could’ve been fatal, according to the statement.I understand that no one likes when a fight card is altered the day of the event and losing the main event sucks even more, but haven’t we been through these situations enough over the last few years to know that a trained, professional cage fighter who spent multiple weeks and thousands of dollars preparing to engage in hand-to-hand combat isn’t going to withdraw from said fight unless they have absolutely no choice?No one is scared. No one is faking their injuries.Get well soon, Bobby Knuckles.4. Gastelum’s heel turn You have to hand it to Kelvin Gastelum — he took the lemons that he was handed on Saturday afternoon (Sunday morning for him) and did his best to make a tasty batch of lemonade, using Whittaker’s medical emergency as a chance to turn heel and parade around the arena proclaiming himself the champion.Gastelum, who did a backstage interview with Henry Cejudo’s belt on his shoulder, declared himself the rightful middleweight champion and suggesting he would give Whittaker a shot at “his belt” once the Australian standout got healthy. He tried to use the old “if you don’t show up, you forfeit” angle in explaining why he should now be champion and continued to carry the belt throughout the night, preening while holding onto it.A well-executed move and the right thing for Gastelum to do, given that this bout with Whittaker has been a long time in the making and the UFC doesn’t have the best track record of letting guys, who lose title shots through no fault of their own, hold onto said title shots in the future.Hopefully, Gastelum remains at the top of the list of contenders because while his case for a title shot wasn’t exactly overwhelming, he spent the last eight months attached to a fight with Whittaker and he shouldn’t miss out on that opportunity because the true middleweight champion fell ill on fight day.5. A tough sell, but a missed opportunityWhen it was announced that the middleweight title fight had been scrapped, plenty of people quickly soured on Saturday’s fight card, calling it one of the worst pay-per-view main cards in UFC history.It was wholly understandable, as the new co-main event had initially been scheduled for the Fight Pass prelims and the remaining three fights each would have been fine on the main card on their own, but didn’t exactly knock anyone’s socks off as a collection of contests to kick off a pay-per-view.But the flipside to that argument is that this was a chance to get a closer look at a bunch of competitors who otherwise would have been overshadowed and while few people want to pay $65 to see relative newcomers competing on pay-per-view, each of those first three main card bouts were entertaining and raised the profile of the winners in their respective division.This is the constant Catch-22 for the UFC and its fans, as every card that doesn’t feature an overwhelming collection of marquee fights is dismissed as not good enough and the up-and-coming names fighting on those cards wind up getting overlooked, which ends in perpetuating the cycle.Pay-per-view isn’t the place to build up a bunch of new names all at once, but that wasn’t the original plan for this weekend’s fight card.There is no easy way to resolve the issue, but the only way fans are going to become familiar with some of these fighters they currently don’t know or are quick to dismiss is to pay them a little more attention. Unfortunately, doing so Saturday came at a steep price and it’s understandable if many opted against paying it, even if it did end up being their loss.6. Ricky Simon keeps rollingThe bantamweight division is flush with talent and the most intriguing weight class in the UFC right now. Saturday evening, Ricky Simon made a case for a place in the Top 15 and cemented his standing as one to pay closer attention to in the 135-pound weight class going forward.Simon pitched a shutout against Rani Yahya, showcasing outstanding takedown defense, timing, quick hands and a strong chin en route to sweeping the scorecards against the Brazilian veteran. It was the Pacific Northwest native’s third straight triumph inside the Octagon, extending his winning streak to eight, while elevating his record to 15-1 overall. Showing a little bit of [email protected] #UFC234— UFC (@ufc) February 10, 2019 The 26-year-old, who trains out of Gracie Barra Portland under Fabio Scherner, has been considered a top prospect in the division for a number of years and continues to make good on his advanced billing now that he’s in the UFC. His wrestling has always been on point and he continues to develop his hands and show tremendous awareness inside the cage. Plus, Simon has arguably the best mullet in the game right now, which has to count for something.Dominating Yahya should elevate him into the Top 15 and earn him another step up in competition next time out, which effectively puts Simon in the thick of the chase in the bantamweight division.7. De La Rosa, Crute continue to shineMontana De La Rosa picked up her third submission win in as many starts on Saturday, while Jimmy Crute scored his second consecutive stoppage win in the Octagon to kick off the main card, putting both very much on the radar in the respective divisions.A member of the cast on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” De La Rosa is 3-for-3 since coming off the show, delivering her most impressive effort yet this weekend. From the outset, the Texas-based flyweight dominated Nadia Kassem, showing improved striking and her signature brand of long, attacking grappling en route to securing a second-round armbar finish.Just 23, De La Rosa is the type of young fighter with obvious upside who could blossom into a perennial contender and perhaps more over the next couple years as she gains more experience and continues to round out her skill set.The same can be said of Crute, who picked up a first-round finish against Sam Alvey to get things underway on the main card.After a brief feeling out process, the Australian light heavyweight cracked Alvey and sat him down in the center of the cage, prompting him to celebrate prematurely as Alvey wasn’t quite out. The follow-up blows landed hard and although the affable veteran objected to the stoppage, the end result seemed academic as Crute was all over Alvey and clearly looked to be the better man.Now 10-0, the 22-year-old has established himself as one of Dana White’s favorite young prospects and he wisely lobbied for the opportunity to keep taking part on fight cards in the Oceanic region going forward.Crute has the potential to become a regional star while racking up wins and gaining some seasoning and could get a quicker-than-normal push in the light heavyweight division with a couple more impressive showings. 8. City Kickboxing, Factory X Muay Thai not slowing downAuckland’s City Kickboxing and Denver’s Factory X Muay Thai both enjoyed outstanding years in the UFC in 2018 and on Saturday night, they showed they have no intention of slowing down in 2019.Three members of the City Kickboxing team secured victories, as Adesanya, Shane Young and Kai Kara-France all had their hands raised, while Devonte Smith and Jonathan Martinez produced a 2-0 night for the Marc Montoya-led outfit.While there are traditional powerhouse gyms that everyone knows and holds in high regard, these two squads are part of a group of up-and-coming teams that have been turning out top prospects, tough fighters and potential title contenders at an alarming rate over the last couple years and they deserve recognition for their efforts.9. Action fighters are always valuableVery few people likely tuned into the prelims specifically to watch Kyung Ho Kang and Teruto Ishihara throw down in the bantamweight division, but the all-action fighters delivered four minutes of non-stop action in a fight that sent a bolt of electricity through the arena and the audience watching at home.Both got caught with big shots, but it was Kang who recovered quickest and went back on the attack, dropping Ishihara with a knee from the Thai clinch before ultimately finishing with a rear-naked choke.This was one of those fights that illustrates why fighters like this are always valuable and how bouts that get a limited amount of coverage can still deliver. This was a wildly-entertaining four-minute tussle and a great way to kick off the television broadcast.10. The real Jalin Turner stands upJalin Turner made his UFC debut last October, moving up to welterweight to fight Vicente Luque at UFC 229 and collecting a first-round stoppage loss for his troubles. Saturday night, “The Tarantula” moved back down to lightweight and made his second start in the Octagon and this time, the outcome was reversed. The excitement for Saturday’s pay-per-view took a hit midday when the news broke that middleweight champ Robert Whittaker would not be defending his title against Kelvin Gastelum as originally scheduled after being rushed to the hospital where he underwent hernia surgery.It’s the second time in the last 13 months that “The Reaper” has been forced out of title defenses at home in Australia, as a staph infection and case of the chicken pox caused him to withdraw from his scheduled bout with Luke Rockhold last year at UFC 221, and an unfortunate situation for Gastelum, whose opportunity to challenge for UFC gold has to be put on hold. Join DAZN and watch Daley vs. Page at Bellator 216 on Feb. 16Turner avoided an early tie-up from Callan Potter, moved to the center of the cage and put it on the Australian fan favorite, earning the stoppage in 53 seconds after rocking “The Rockstar” with twin hooks, a heavy kick to the body and a couple of coffin nails on the canvas.This was the kind of effort anyone familiar with Turner’s work on the regional circuit was expecting, as the Californian has been a buzzy prospect for a couple years and now has the opportunity to justify that hype. Blessed with tremendous size, length and power for the 155-pound weight class, the 23-year-old Turner is someone to keep an eye on going forward.last_img read more