Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


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.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Mr. Peter Bakvis (U.S Representative, International Trade Union Confederation),

Previously, we spoke on the phone at length.

Here you go again begging hat in hand to the global capitalist monopolies and their governments.

Your press release (attached below in full) states:

“The achievement of decent work is crucial if we are to convince people that globalisation can work to their benefit.”

Since when is it the responsibility of the labor movement to convince workers that globalization can work? You don’t even dare use the term “capitalist” globalization… no mention of state-monopoly capitalism, no mention of imperialism; no mention of the need for socialism in order to assure trade is conducted fairly where the needs of working people and their communities come before anything else.

This from a labor organization which doesn’t have the courage to take a stand in defense of the rights of casino workers here in the United States who are employed in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws… not a peep of protest from the ITUC.

No one takes your “campaign” seriously; least of all working people.

Your statement does not even declare for peace as thousands of working people die daily in these imperialist wars for oil and profits.

You are simply “reaffirming” what is already enshrined in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights--- going on 60 years. When are you going to call for real action which will force the governments of the world to comply? Without a means of forcing and coercing compliance this campaign is meaningless. You don’t even insinuate compliance should be coerced. You rely on the “goodwill” of capitalist governments which are riddled through and through with corruption… the worst form of corruption is exploitation of human beings at the hands of corporations.

Perhaps we should initiate a real “Campaign for Decent Work, Decent Pay, Decent Working Environment, and a Decent Life for ALL Working People.”

Right now in the State of Michigan your darling Democratic Governor has negotiated another “Compact” with one of the biggest mobsters in American history, which with legislative approval, will create another casino placing some 2,000 workers (in addition to close to two million in some 400 casinos strung out across the country) at risk and guaranteed nothing except for a life of health problems, misery, and everything else associated with poverty; and, the ITUC remains silent… do you really expect that working people are going to take this "Decent Work, Decent Life" campaign of the ITUC seriously?

Instead of uniting working people globally to confront capitalist globalization and imperialism while challenging state-monopoly capitalist rule by moving working people forward in class struggle, the ITUC is pushing the working class movement backwards, relegating us all to the position of beggar.

The time has come to mobilize working people in a campaign to force compliance with the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the world’s governments.

Your claim is that you represent 168 million workers in 153 countries; where is the united action from these 168 million workers?

Workers of the world unite! Dare to struggle; dare to win. Dare to be bold, and go on the offensive against capitalist globalization.

Please pass on my comments to Guy Ryder.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,

Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council


ITUC Online

Call to Action to collect citizens’ demands for Decent Work, Decent Life


Lisbon, 31 October, 2007 (ITUC Online): Half of the world’s workforce earns less than 2 $ a day. 12.3 million women and men work in slavery. 200 million children under the age of 15 work instead of going to school. 2.2 million people die due to work-related accidents and diseases every year. Add to this massive global unemployment, the lack of social protection for the majority of workers employed in the “informal economy”, and the violation of trade union rights and the consequences of the lack of decent work are clear.

The urgency of ameliorating this situation will today be underlined by the launch of the Call to Action for Decent Work, which Decent Work, Decent Life* campaigners will use to call on governments and global leaders to implement the promises made in the July 2006 UN Ministerial declaration ‘to create an environment at the national and international levels that is conducive to the attainment of full and productive employment and decent work for all’.[1] <#_ftn1>

In launching the Call in front of an audience of leaders from governments, trade unions and civil society from throughout the world, ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder will call on global institutions to re-orient their policies towards the achievement of decent work.

“Today, the global financial architecture is more fragile than ever – the lack of regulation in financial markets has led to global economic panic, a risk of downturn in the real economy, and thousands poised to lose their homes. Meanwhile private equity firms make billions from shady deals due to lax tax laws, but workers are left out in the cold. And the WTO talks have stalled, partly because people no longer believe that globalisation works to their benefit. Governments agreed to making decent work a goal, now those same governments must act to ensure that decent work is mainstreamed in global institutions,” he commented.

“The achievement of decent work is crucial if we are to convince people that globalisation can work to their benefit. With the debate in Europe over the mini-treaty, with citizens in Europe feeling more and more that they are losing out, that their lives are less stable and with the retreat to nationalism that we see creeping up on us, now is the time to reassure them by establishing good quality jobs for workers in and out of Europe and a just trading system that shares the benefits of trade equally,” said Josep Borrell, the head of the GPF and chair of the European Parliament’s Development Committee.

Rabiatou Diallo, Member of Governing Body, ILO and General Secretary, Confédération Nationale de Travailleurs de Guinée (CNTG), who will also join the call emphasised the importance of providing protection for workers in the “informal economy”, mostly women, who currently have no access to pensions, maternity cover or health care.
“We know that for a very small investment governments could extend social protection to all workers and that the benefits of this in terms of education, health and well being of the population are exponential. The next Financing for Development meeting of governments in Doha in 2008 must look to how these basic human rights can be extended to all,” she said.

The call will be launched at 12.15 pm in the Auditorium VIII, AIP Centro de Congressos de Lisboa.

The Call to Action calls on governments to do the following:

1. Decent work: Reaffirm the contribution stable and quality jobs make to a healthy economy and just and equal communities by implementing inclusive strategies for full and productive employment, including for those currently working in the so-called informal economy who need rights and justice to defend their interests. All people have the right to work, to good working conditions and to sufficient income for their basic economic, social and family needs, a right that should be enforced by providing adequate living wages.

1. Rights: Workers’ rights to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively with their employer are fundamental to realising decent work, and all international organisations, governments and businesses must live up to their responsibilities to respect workers’ human rights.

1. Social protection: Strengthen and broaden social protection coverage by ensuring access to social security, pensions, unemployment benefits, maternity protection and quality health care to all. These benefits should be available to everyone, including workers in the so-called informal economy.

1. Trade: Change unfair trade rules and ensure that trade agreements are used as an instrument for decent work, sustainable development and empowerment of the world’s workers, women, the unemployed and the poor. Binding mechanisms for the promotion and enforcement of decent work, including core labour standards, must be included in trade agreements. Governments must stop making trade deals which hurt the poor, create unemployment and lead to exploitation. The demands of workers’ organisations and the rest of civil society must be listened to.

1. Debt: Ensure that the priorities of the international financial institutions incorporate social and environmental concerns. Particularly, loan and debt conditions which force countries to deregulate labour markets, reduce public spending and privatise public services at the cost of access and quality must be stopped. All projects funded by these institutions must adhere to core labour standards in their implementation.

1. Aid: Ensure that governments keep their commitment to increase the level of official development aid of rich countries to at least 0.7% of GDP. Adequate financing for development is imperative if the UN’s Millennium Development Goals are to be reached.

1. Migration: Ensure that migrant workers are not exploited and enjoy the same rights as other workers by ratifying the relevant ILO Conventions and the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

The Call to Action will be publicised throughout the world and the signatures collected will be presented to decision-makers at key events. All people are urged to add their voice to the call for decent work by going to www.decentwork.org .

[1] <#_ftnref1> http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G06/625/46/PDF/G0662546.pdf?OpenElement

For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact Kristin Blom on 0032 487 38 44 91 or Kristin.blom@ituc-csi.org.

*The Decent Work, Decent Life campaign is led by the International Trade Union Confederation, Solidar, the Global Progressive Forum, Social Alert International and the European Trade Union Confederation.


The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 153 countries and territories and has 305 national affiliates. Website: http://www.ituc-csi.org

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018.