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...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Kennecott and Sulfide Mining in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs... or--- Profits, Profits, Profits

Every time there is a very legitimate environmental concern, as there definitely is with this sulfide mining operation, someone starts yelling, "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

There are plenty of jobs.

All across the U.P. thousands of workers are employed in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos receiving poverty wages while working long hours without any rights under State or Federal Labor Laws in the Indian Gaming Industry, which is nothing but a front for organized crime and mobsters.

The problem is corporations are dictating the terms of these jobs.

Cut the work week to 32 hours... pay everyone for 40 hours based on a real living wage.

Make every job a good job, either through a union contract; or, raise the minimum wage to a real living wage based on what the United States Department of Labor calculates a living annual income to be, together with good social programs like socialized health care and free public education right through college.

I never heard of a boss yet who didn't want workers to work more hours for less pay.

Its time that the working class gets organized and fights for real social and economic justice for all workers.

If employers don't want to treat workers right--- with respect--- and pay decent wages and provide good working conditions and benefits along with shorter hours, then let them do the jobs themselves.

At some point we need to look at this situation and become aware that a job doesn't mean anything if the results of what you do--- and how you do it--- are going to destroy our living environment and us right along with it.

Kennecott doesn't do anything for the good of workers or the good of communities. This multi-national corporation has a proven track record of leaving behind environmental disasters and injured workers.

What is really at issue is not--- "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs;" but, "Profits, Profits, Profits."

If government can't be trusted to work for the good of the community and the environment than people are going to have to step forward and take the kind of direct action required... this is what democracy is all about.

As I travel through Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan all I see is our living environment and ecosystems being destroyed and huge pits and messes along with massive clear-cuts along with joblessness, poverty and despair--- continuing to do things in the same way by giving these corporations complete control to come in and truck away the profits while we end up paying to clean up the messes--- when they can be cleaned up--- is no solution.

Any government that will allow thousands of people to go to work in smoke-filled casinos without any rights isn't going to give two hoots about making sure a corporation like Kennecott is a "good corporate citizen."

Abraham Lincoln said it best on November 21, 1864, "Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow." This sulfide mining dispute sure substantiates Lincoln's observation.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

Warroad, Minnesota