Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:38 AM
Cc: 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'DLONG@uaw.net'; 'email@example.com'; 'firstname.lastname@example.org'; 'Gary Garbarino'; 'Michael Johnston'
Subject: Re: North American Labor History Conference at Wayne State University: proposal for panel and paper
Professor Janine Lanza, Coordinator, North American Labor History Conference;
I would like to suggest you have a panel on organizing casino workers employed at the some 400 Indian owned casinos strung out across the United States which are managed by mobsters; some twenty of these casinos are located in Michigan.
You couldn’t find a better panel to fit your theme:
Labor, Law, and Justice
My suggestion would be that you invite Governor Granholm and her legal counsel on Indian gaming to participate on the panel since the Governor could explain why she negotiated away the rights of casino workers in the present “Compact” with the Gun Lake Band which will send another 1,800 workers, along with some two-million at present employed in smoke-filled casinos and related “hospitality” industries strung out across the United States--- all working for poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws who work under the most Draconian and atrocious working conditions completely at the mercy of management; all employed with out a voice at work. These casino managements have engaged the services of United States Information Services (USIS) the largest union busting outfit in the world employing former FBI and CIA agents; these managements are now employing the thugs from Blackwater Security Agency to enforce their work-rules and terrorize casino workers having gained on-the-job experience in Iran… whoops, I mean Iraq.
You may also want to notify the unions which have worked on trying to organize Station Casinos which is partnered with the Gun Lake Band in Southwest Michigan with whom Governor Jennifer Granholm negotiated this “Compact” signing away workers’ rights so they can share their experiences.
Nadine Nosal, the UAW’s Legislative Lobbyist in Michigan may also want to be a presenter on this topic.
I will be submitting a proposal for a paper, the theme of my paper will be: The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The Hype and the Reality.
As the most abused casino workers are young Native American single mothers together with women of all races of child-bearing age forced to work in these smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights, this proposed panel should fit in well with your format.
Many of these casino operations employ undocumented workers. Imagine, if you will, you are a worker from another country working in this country--- “illegally”--- side-by-side with other workers who have no rights under state or federal labor laws… talk about your management control of the workplace.
Imagine, again, you are Native American, and you rely on the management of your workplace for everything from health care to housing on the reservation.
“Labor, Law and Justice” is a great theme for the North American Labor History Conference; hopefully your Conference will not ignore the plight of casino workers in your own back-yard. As far as I know, this topic has never been broached by such a conference anyplace in North America. Why academia has been so slow in taking up this issue might be the topic of some learned professor for the panel.
Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council