An important message for you from Amy Goodman

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Thursday, March 7, 1996

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  • Court Decision Increases Ballot Access in New York

    Joe Conason, Managing Editor of the New York Observer, led today’s edition of the paper with a story about Judge Ed Korman’s decision to overturn several stringent rules governing who may appear on the ballot for New York’s Primary. Conason reports that New York almost did not have a Republican Primary, due to unreasonable ballot access control by local party leaders such as Alfonse D’amato and George Pataki. Without this new law, Conason ventures, New York’s presidential nomination would have automatically been handed over to Bob Dole. New York Congressman Major Owens predicts that, thanks to his endorsements by the Christian Coalition and Newt Gingrich, Dole will still win the New York Primary. Owens hopes Pat Buchanon will remain in the race though, if only because his highly vocal, extremist views have forced Democrats to address issues related to the working class and the poor that have thus far been ignored.

  • Labor Policy Under the Clinton Administration

    Hillary Clinton fields questions about the Clinton administration’s stance on labor, particularly with regards to its support of NAFTA. The First Lady, who recently met with members of UNITE (Union of Needle Trades, Industrial and Textile Employees), says that she is confident that American workers can remain competitive in the global market. Jay Mazur, President of UNITE, disagrees with the administration on NAFTA, but sees eye-to-eye with the Clinton Aministration on several other issues such as minimum wage, OSHA, enforcing labor laws, etc. Although presidential candidate Pat Buchanon has run on an anti-NAFTA platform and presented himself as a pro-worker candidate, Mazur considers him an opportunist demagogue exploiting the sensitivities of the working class.
    Co-host Juan Gonzalez takes issue with Hillary Clinton’s statement that NAFTA has "proven its worth", pointing out that, contrary to the administration’s promises, thus far under NAFTA more American jobs have been lost than gained, and Gonzalez feels that labor unions should hold the Clinton administration accountable for this.

  • Garment Workers Campaign Against Sweatshops

    Jeff Hermanson, Organizing Director of UNITE (Union of Needle Trades, Industrial and Textile Employees), is currently involved in a campaign against major national retailers, such as Macy’s, Sears, JC Penney, Wal-Mart and Kmart, which profit from sweatshop labor. Hermanson says that these retailers are well aware that many of the factories supplying their stores are in violation of labor laws that regulate minimum wage, overtime, health and safety. Dan Yun Feng, Director of the Brooklyn-based Campaign for Justice, says there are about 150 sweatshops currently operating in the Sunset Park neighborhood alone. These shops mainly employ Asian women, teens and even children, who are made to work long hours in unsafe conditions for minimum wage or less, without overtime pay. The shops take advantage of immigrants who know little English, are unaware of workers rights, and may fear deportation if they speak out.

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