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Tidbits – June 27 – Reader Comments: Trump Worked To Destroy Unions; Remembering Troublemakers-Frank Emspak, Conn Hallinan; AFL-CIO Union Organizer Program; Rethinking the Elections: MAGA Threat and Challenges Facing Progressives and Union Activists;

Reader Comments: Trump Worked to Destroy Unions; Remembering Troublemakers - Frank Emspak ,Conn Hallinan; AFL-CIO Union Organizer Apprenticeship Program; Rethinking the Elections: MAGA Threat and Challenges Facing Progressives and Union Activists;

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - June 27, 2024,Portside






Re: How Donald Trump Worked To Destroy America’s Labor Unions

Thanks to Portside for sending along Lawrence Wittner's very good essay about Trump's anti-labor record. To my mind it raises an urgent question: why are some union members and their families supporting Trump?

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Remember it was the disenfranchised middle class that were big supporters of Hitler. And like Reagan, Trump is able to hoodwink the middle class with xenophobia, racism and taking advantage of a horrible democratic party that has sold out its base for corporate profits!!!

Ben Maurer
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


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Re: Cooling California Could Heat Up Europe

Ugghhh. Just stop it.

Lorraine Suzuki
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Things Cost More...Because  --  Meme



Public Health Crisis - Guns  --  Cartoon by Nick Anderson


Nick Anderson
June 25, 2024
Pen Strokes


Cling Ons  --  Cartoon by Pat Bagley


Pat Bagley
June 21, 2024
The Salt Lake Tribune


Re: Mississippi Goddamn: You Were Definitely Involved in This

Check out the song "Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney" by Tom Paxton.

Marian Gordon

Tom Paxton - Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney

Listen here  

1965 - Tom Paxton - Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney

The night air is heavy, no cool breezes blow
The sounds of the voices are worried and low
Desperately wondering and desperate to know
About Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney

Calm desperation and flickering hope
Reality grapples like a hand on the throat
For you live in the shadow of ten feet of rope
If you're Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney

The Pearl River was dragged and two bodies were found
But it was a blind alley for both men were brown
So they all shrugged their shoulders and the search it went on
For Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney

Pull out the dead bodies from the ooze of the dam
Take the bodies to Jackson all accordin' to plan
With the one broken body do the best that you can
It's the body of young James Chaney

The nation was outraged and shocked through and through
Call J. Edgar Hoover; he'll know what to do
For they've murdered two white men and a coloured boy too
Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney

James Chaney your body exploded in pain
And the beating they gave you is pounding my brain
And they murdered much more with their dark bloody chains
And the body of pity lies bleeding

The pot-bellied copper shook hands all around
And joked with the rednecks who came into town
And they swore that the murderer soon would be found
And they laughed as they spat their tobacco

Autor: Tom Paxton


Re: The Passing of a Troublemaker

(posting on Portside Labor)

Beautiful tribute to Frank Emspak, an important labor activist, journalist, historical figure written by Paul Buhle, himself a prominent labor historian, writer and activist.

Carolyn Toll Oppenheim
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I first met Frank in 1983 or '84, introduced by our mutual friend David Noble, the late great Marxist historian of industrial automation. At the time Frank and I were both GE workers and in the leadership of our respective union locals, he in IUE 201 in Lynn, me in UE 506 in Erie. A decades-long alliance of those two locals developed from our meeting.

Alan Hart
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


The article mentions the 1967 anti Dow Chemical demonstration at U of Wisconsin Madison. Here is a poster (on my wall at my home) showing us all being brutally attacked.

Frank is the guy with glasses to the right of the cops baton.

Joanna Zelda Levine
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Via Irene Falconer comes this 1965 image from the University of Wisconsin archives of a demonstration against the war in Vietnam. In front? Frank Emspak of blessed memory and Jim Hawley (with the clipboard). It was a time during which many dressed up for demonstrations.

Daniel Millstone
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I believe the first national convention of antiwar forces took place in 1966, or was it winter 65? Any rate, Frank emerged as the first president of whatever it was called, "National Committee to End the War in Vietnam"?? Something.

Jack Radey
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


I remember him representing the national committee to end the war at the National Mobilization Committee meetings chaired by Dave Dellinger

Paul Friedman
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Re: Conn Hallinan: He Knew Whose Side He Was On

It all started when my friends Terry and Lenore Durant introduced me to Ringo Hallinan .  I had been painting houses and office buildings for many years and lived in San Francisco with my wife and new born child.  Ringo, and his then wife, JudyAnn wanted their little house of Derby street in Berkeley painted.   Well, it was a commute, but my partner, Fred Stucky,  and I rarely turned down work. 

Fred and I had met at San Francisco State during the historic strike in '67-68.

He got a job with a news dispatch service called Earth News, and invited me to come work with him.  We would go through numerous periodical and source material every morning and write up short news clips designed for radio reporting.  We were perhaps the first news organization to report on Nixon and Watergate, before he was reelected, while the mainstream media ignored it until after his reelection.

After a day working on Ringo's house, we would get talking.  I told him about my leftist background - how my mother always had a copy of the People's world hanging around the house.  And, by the  end of the job, Ringo offered me a job on the People's World.

I became the Labor Reporter there, and for a couple of years operated on my own, with advice and guidance from Ringo, the copy editor. And then Billy Allen moved to the Bay Area...Billy had been District Organizer for the CP in Detroit, but more than that, he had been a  key organizer of the Bakers Union in Detroit during the historic strike for recognition, and which lead Jimmy Hoffa holding up the unloading of a train loaded with fresh fruit for the city's bakeries, leaving it in the sun to rot. He had earned the respect of Labor Leaders like Reuther of the Auto workers and, especially, Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamsters. As a result, he had carte blanche and respect from the Labor Movement in the Bay Area.  Where previously I had to rely on "comrades" in various unions, we were suddenly given carte blanche in the halls of labor leadership - Chuck Mack, head of Teamster Local 70 and president of the Joint Council of Teamsters, Harry Bridges of the ILWU, Dick Groulx, head of the powerful Alameda County Central Labor Council.  When there was national labor news, like a auto strike, Billy would get on the horn to Detroit and speak with the UAW leaders directly.

So, we would file our stories with Ringo who would go through them, make technical corrections - he was good at that - and smile.

However, there were things about Ringo I didn't like.  After six months on the job --having found a house to live in with my wife and child -- I discovered that the rest of the staff was getting medical insurance.  Now, Ringo was suppose to be our shop steward, but he never told me this.  So they reluctantly gave me family coverage.   Ringo was not perfect.

I stayed with the paper for about three more years, and went on to publish newspapers for several unions, including a paper I created for Teamsters Local 85 in San Francisco, thanks to a comrade, Jack Weintraub, who had been kicked out of the Teamster in the fifties during the "Commi scare", and then readmitted and became VP of the Local. 

I later went on to work as a banquet waiter, getting into the Culinary Local in San Francesco, again thanks to older comrades, and finally was hired by the Alameda County Central Labor Council Secretary Treasurer Owen Marron who had taken Richard Groulx's place after he retired.  i produced their paper, the East Bay Labor Journal which went on to win a number of awards, and acted as Assistant to the Secretary where I stayed until Marron retired. 

And so I report all this because, it all started on that fateful day, talking with Ringo in front of the little house we had just painted bright blue (Judy Anne's choice) and being offere3d a job on the People's world. So thank you Ringo.   

Lincoln Smith


Re: Bridgerton Finally Gave Us Queer Storylines. Fans Aren’t Having It.

(posting on Portside Culture)

How incredibly disappointing: provincial, archaic, social luddites.

Tracy Ann Essoglou
Posted on Portside's Facebook page


Cheap Fake  --  Cartoon by Rob Rogers


Rob Rogers
June 21, 2024


Red States and HandMaids  --  Meme



AFL-CIO Union Organizer Apprenticeship Program  --  Applications are open from 6/24/24-7/8/24


Our colleagues at the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute are relaunching their Union Organizer Apprenticeship Program due to the increased demand for union organizers. (Yay!) Below is a short announcement suitable for sharing that includes a link to the new website. Note that the application deadline is July 8 for the inaugural training in August. Please help spread the word to students and others you know who might be interested. 

Research, Recruitment and Training
National AFL-CIO

Union Organizer Apprenticeship Program - Apply by July 8

The AFL-CIO Organizing Institute (OI) is rising to meet the increased demand in union organizers by connecting passionate, social- and economic-justice-minded activists to careers as union organizers through our Union Organizer Apprenticeship Program. For the first time in many years, we are re-launching this high demand, paid training and placement program. Ideal candidates are looking for full-time, permanent work in a career where they can really make a difference for working people. Applications are open from 6/24/24-7/8/24 for the August 7-9th training in Nashville, TN. For more information or to apply, visit our website:


Rethinking the November Elections: The MAGA Threat and the Challenges Facing Progressives and Union Activists– Join us for a conversation with Bill Fletcher  --  July 2  (Third Act Union)


Click here  

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a longtime socialist, trade unionist, international solidarity activist and writer.  He has worked for several labor unions and served on the senior staff at the AFL-CIO.

Bill is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies.  He is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of “The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941”; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of “Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice“; and the author of “‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty other myths about unions.” Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio, and the Web.


Webinar: Debunking Deterrence Theory and Pursuing Global Nuclear Disarmament  --  July 9  (Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security)

Please join us: Webinar, July 9 on Debunking Deterrence Theory And Pursuing Global Nuclear Disarmament

Register for the webinar, and submit questions for our speakers, here 

For too long, deterrence theory has been used as the legitimizing foundation for US and global nuclear weapons policy. Deterrence is rarely examined, let alone questioned, but it is often waved around like some verbal magic wand to justify extremely dangerous and exorbitant policies that threaten life on Earth.

Our speakers will examine the very frightening flaws of deterrence theory that have too often brought humanity to the brink of extinction, and offer practical strategies and tactics to replace it, and to advance the cause of global nuclear disarmament.

Featuring our speakers:

  • Tadatoshi (Tad) Akiba, former Mayor of Hiroshima, Japan
  • Professor Elaine Scarry, Harvard University, author of Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom
  • Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, United for Peace and Justice, Mayors for Peace
  • Emma Claire Foley, Defuse Nuclear War and Roots Action


  • Joseph Gerson, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security 


  • Kevin Martin, Peace Action Education Fund

Initiated By: Peace Action and Campaign for Peace, Disarmament & Common Security

Co-Sponsors:  Americans for Democratic Action Foundation of Southern California, Basel Peace Office, Bombshelltoe Policy x Arts, Chicago Area Peace Action. Gensuikyo, International Peace Bureau (IPB), Massachusetts Peace Action, New Hampshire Peace Action, Nuclear Abolition Now, NuclearBan.US, Pax Christi New York State, Peace Action Maine, Peace Action of San Mateo County, Peace Action Wisconsin, Physicians for Social Responsibility, United for Peace and Justice, Western States Legal Foundation, World BEYOND War 

Campaign for Peace Disarmament and Common Security  
4 Washburn Street
Watertown, MA 02472


Register for July 12-14th Labor Education Southern Women's School for Workers at Avila Center in Durham, NC


DOWNLOAD 2024 Women’s Summer School Information Page (Go to File menu and select Download.)

To REGISTER use this link.

The UALE Women’s Southern Summer School Committee and IBEW Local 553 is hosting this year’s school at the Avila Center for Community Leadership.

PROGRAM: This year’s program includes a great set of education and skills-building workshops that will support all attendees in their own activist and leadership journey. Whether you are a first-time attendee and new to the movement or a long-time activist who may have attended in the past, there is something for everyone. Workshops will include union skills, organizing, leadership, women’s voices in our democracy, wellness, and so much more.

In addition to the great programming, there will be Fun! Networking! Music and Community Building!

LODGING: There are two options for lodging on campus. Single Room Cabins – Each have a single bed. There is 1 full bath for every 3 rooms. There are 12 total and will be a first come first served. Shared Room Cabins – Each have one single bed and one double bed. There is 1 full bath between 2 rooms. If you choose this option, please indicate who you will be rooming with or if you are open to a roommate assignment on the registration form.

What Are the Women’s Summer Schools?

Every year, UALE sponsors 4 regional “women’s schools”. These residential programs typically last between 4 and 5 days, and include classes and workshops on a variety of labor-related topics. Women from all over the country and beyond learn the skills and knowledge needed to play leadership roles in their organizations. Visitors from labor unions and workers’ organizations in other countries frequently participate. One of the most valuable aspects of the schools is the chance to meet and network with other labor women from around your region and beyond.

History of the Women’s Summer Schools

The Union Women’s Summer Schools began in the Northeast Region in the late 1970s and expanded to the Midwest, Western and Southern Districts of the United States. Their conception was rooted in the  traditions of early worker education as exemplified by the Bryn Mawr summer schools for Women Workers of the 1920’s and the Works Progress Administration worker education programs of the 1930’s. Courses of study were tailored to the needs and interests of working people. Barbara Wertheimer, Director of Cornell’ Institute of Women and Work, introduced the idea to colleagues in the University and College Labor Education Association (precursor to the UALE). Encouraged by the the rising feminist movement and the founding of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the UCLEA launched its first school in 1975 at the University of Connecticut. Designed by a committee of labor educators, the residential schools bring together women workers, officers and staff of unions and workers organizations to strengthen their knowledge of the labor movement and develop skills which will enable them to become more active and influential in their organizations. The schools are a place where women workers can share experiences and give one another support. As Gloria Johnson, past President of CLUW and frequent speaker at the schools’ graduations ceremonies pointed out, “We have to create “old girls” networks to be able to support each other and advance.” The schools contribute to this objective, as evidenced by the record of participants. Since 1975, the schools have educated thousands, many of whom have become leaders of their unions.

Current Women’s Schools

Current labor women summer schools are coordinated by the UALE Women’s Committee and rotate in location as they are hosted by university labor education programs in each region. Scholarships are available.  Classes are supplemented with networking opportunities. Often participants engage in demonstrations relating to  local labor struggles.

United Association for Labor Education