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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

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- Ben Franklin

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Let's talk...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Letter to United Auto Workers Union (UAW) concerning the rights of casino workers and the Gun Lake Tribe

-----Original Message-----

From: Alan Maki []

Sent: Friday, August 10, 2007 11:01 AM

To:; Nadine Nosal;;;

Cc: Gary Garbarino;;; Michael Johnston;;

Subject: Gun Lake Casino "Compact;" the struggle for workers' rights moves to the Michigan Senate

Brother Dick Long, UAW-CAP;

Could you please tell me if the votes made by members of the Michigan House on
August 8, 2007 concerning the Gun Lake Tribes casino "Compact"---HR 158 and HCR 39 will be included in compiling voting records for rating how Michigan Legislators have voted on labor issues?

As I am sure you have noted, the majority of Michigan House Democrats shamefully voted for HR 158 and HCR 39 in spite of the fact that casino workers will have no rights under state or federal labor laws under the terms negotiated by labor’s Democratic Governor with the Gun Lake Tribe.

I am sure you have taken note Democratic Representative Sak and Floor Leader Steve Tobacman both voted “no” on HR 158 and HCR 39; however, what is of grave concern to me, as I am sure it is to you, these leaders of the Democratic Party Caucus were unable to sway most of their Democratic colleagues to vote with them for some strange reason which apparently was a deal worked out behind closed doors during a hastily called caucus meeting prior to the vote. This was a dirty deal for all working people in the shameful manner democracy and open government played second fiddle with workers’ rights not even being allowed on stage.

I would encourage the United Auto Workers Union’s Community Action Program to consider these “Yes” votes as anti-labor votes; and, inform your membership of these anti-labor votes of the members of the Michigan Democratic Party Legislative Caucus.

Hopefully the United Auto Workers Union will be able to exert greater pressure on Senate Democrats in forcing the Senate Democratic Caucus to send this “Compact” back to Governor Jennifer Granholm for her to renegotiate this “Compact” with the Gun Lake Tribe to include:

1. A workplace environment free of second hand smoke;

2. Casino workers to be protected by the same state and federal laws, together with the National Labor Relation Act protecting the right to organize, which protect all other workers--- including auto workers.

In the mean time, I would request that you contact your locals and members and inform them to stay out of the Odawa Casino in Petoskey, Michigan and the Island Casino near Escanaba, Michigan where we are conducting organizing campaigns.

I am sure you are aware of the considerable problems caused by leaders of your union who insisted they had the right to sit and pull slot machine levers all night long at the Odawa/Victories Casino in Petoskey. Hopefully there will be no further repeats of this sad episode. I informed your members that the next time they are caught in this casino their photographs will be taken and placed on the internet for all to see. A leading member of the UAW Retirees was also involved.

I would point out that the UAW has made no attempt, or effort, to organize the Indian owned/operated casinos in Michigan; nor been a voice in defense of the rights of these casino workers. I did put a group of casino workers in touch with the UAW in New York State who were anxious to organize, but I understand the UAW’s effort there is failing miserably.

I was happy to see that your Michigan Legislative Lobbyist, Nadine Nosal, put in a card in opposition to this “Compact” during the hearing before the Michigan Legislature's Regulatory Reform Committee. I trust casino workers can count on your union and the UAW-CAP for continued opposition to this “Compact” as written without the protection of the rights of casino workers as noted above.

I also trust that you will do everything possible to use the UAW’s influence in the Michigan AFL-CIO to get this labor federation on board with us in opposing this “Compact” as written as it is brought before the Michigan Senate.

While the UAW has been hesitant to act in defense of the rights of casino workers, and has not challenged the right of casino workers to work in smoke free environments in the non-Indian casinos, we hope our initiative now underway in the Michigan Legislature will encourage your union to take a second look at this problem of second-hand smoke in the workplace.

You and the present UAW leadership have a track record of talking tough; and then at the time of decision collapsing at the feet of management and politicians like the I-35-W Bridge which used to span the Mighty Mississippi River in Minneapolis; hopefully, our organizing efforts in Michigan and other states will help you over-come this problem presently hobbling your union in negotiations with the “Big Three” and in your organizing drives.

In the class struggle spirit of Phil Raymond, Nadia Barken, Wyndham Mortimer, Coleman Young, Sr., and Brother Bill McKie…

Warmest regards.

Yours in the struggle,

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541

Cc: John D. Cherry, Lt. Governor
Mark Shauer, Minority (Democrat) Floor Leader
Tupac Hunter
Buzz Thomas
Glenn Anderson
Gilda Jacobs
John Gleason
Ray Basham

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