Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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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.

"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...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day... well, Mother's Day may not be such a happy occasion for 300,000 working class mothers in the United States---

This Mother’s Day finds many working class mothers--- well over 300,000--- working in loud, noisy, smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages and without any rights under state or federal labor laws in over four-hundred casinos spread out across the United States--- part of the Indian Gaming Industry, which is a front for mobsters and organized crime.

I would remind you that right now before the Michigan Legislature--- having been shamefully approved by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm and the Michigan House--- with a Democratic majority; and presently awaiting action by the Michigan Senate, is the “Gun Lake Casino Compact.”

For the first time, a “Compact” is now under such close scrutiny politicians are embarrassed to give their final consent to a “Compact.”

I would urge you to write to President Ron Gettelfinger of the United Auto Workers union asking that the UAW flex its considerable political muscle in the State of Michigan and insist the Michigan Senate turn down this “Gun Lake Casino Compact” until the full rights of working people under all state and federal labor laws are written into this “Compact.”

President Ron Gettelfinger can be contacted by e-mail at: rgettel@uaw.net

The UAW’s lead lobbyist in Michigan is Nadine Nosal. Nadine can be contacted at: nnosal@uaw.net

The Gun Lake Casino will be managed by the notorious Station Casinos and the Fertitta family so well known as the “sleaze of sleaze.”

Would you want your Mother working in a smoke-filled casino without any rights for a scum-bag like Frank Fertitta and his “family?”

I would note that of all the legislators in Michigan, one lone Republican woman, has had the moral and political courage to challenge this disgraceful and shameful “Gun Lake Casino Compact” which will send another 1,800 workers into one more smoke-filled casino without any rights… no rights at all, none, zilch. This in spite of everything we know about the very harmful effects of second-hand smoke…

Here in Minnesota, State Legislators passed “Freedom to Breath” legislation banning smoking in all places of employment… except the state’s casinos which employ over thirty-thousand Minnesotans. Minnesota legislators claim they had no jurisdiction to enforce this ban at the Indian Casinos. Well, here is an opportunity for anyone who believes in working people having the right to be employed in a healthy working environment fully protected by the rights extended to all other workers to take a stand. I would expect the Democrats in Minnesota who used for their excuse, after they previously approved almost twenty such Draconian “Compacts,” that they will now call upon their colleagues in Michigan to finally set an example which will lead to the re-negotiation of all “Compacts” in the United States setting forth smoke-free working environments and casino workers having the same rights as all other workers under state and federal labor laws.

Perhaps Minnesota State Representative Alice Hausman would like to lead the effort… she knows first hand what suffering cancer causes; and she is a big booster of the American Cancer Society and the Heart and Lung Foundation putting up all these bill-boards warning of the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Again, I ask: Would you want your Mother working under these shameful conditions under the management of Frank Fertitta and Station Casinos? If not, please contact UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Nadine Nosal and tell the UAW to use its influence, and flex its political muscle, for a change.

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
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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Thoughts From Podunk