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...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some frank talk about why the struggles for workers' rights are fizzling out---

Right-to-work is definitely a big problem but the unions have refused to address the issue of "at-will hiring; at-will firing" in 28 states that is the main impediment and obstacle to union organizing.

Plus, since we are all talking about "workers' rights;" we have in this country over 350 casinos/hotels/resorts/restaurants comprising the Indian Gaming Industry employing over two-million workers in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any voice or rights under under state or federal labor laws which the AFL-CIO has enabled through its cooperation with the Democratic Party in creating the "Compacts" bringing this industry into existence in this way for the sole purpose of trading off workers' rights for campaign contributions to the Democratic Party.

Quite frankly, we casino workers warned that what exists in the Indian Gaming Industry, when it comes to workers' rights, would become the pattern for all workers in this country.

I don't feel good looking at Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio saying, "I told you so." But, while Obama gave the momentum to these attacks on labor with his dictatorial freeze on the pay of federal government employees which has been picked up by the Republicans in further attacking all public employees and workers which will for sure hit workers in the private sectors of the economy, now might be a good time to consider the plight of two-million casino workers because you have two-million workers for whom the jobs of other workers looks pretty darn good which means employers have a huge pool of cheap labor to hire from should there be widespread strikes--- and keep in mind that many of these casino workers are unemployed teachers, miners, workers from the pulp and paper mills and the auto industry... quite a talented pool of two-million workers who would just love to improve their lot in life from going from a minimum wage job to making $14.00, $20.00 and $30.00 an hour and they don't care if they have any union--- or rights--- because these are the conditions they have been forced to work under for over 25 years as the teacher and teamster pension funds bankrolled the creation of this hideous Indian Gaming Industry as people wearing union jackets and buttons pull the levers of the one-armed bandits completely oblivious to the conditions of work for casino workers and the hundreds of thousands living in the resulting poverty on Indian Reservations as the owners of the one-armed bandits abscond to Florida, Las Vegas and the Caribbean Islands with their tax-free loot.

All the while our Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council has been speaking out for:

1. An end to these dirty wars so we can finance human needs;
2. A National Public Health Care System;
3. A National Public Child Care System;
4. An end to "at-will hiring; at-will firing;"
5. A real living minimum wage based upon the actual cost-of-living factors;
6. The enforcement of Affirmative Action and an end to racism;
7. End the wars and tax-the-rich to pay for everything; after all, all this wealth was created by working people in the first place.

Where have the "leaders" of the AFL-CIO been as we have been raising our voices in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan? Not only shamefully silent; but, standing with the Democrats supporting a Wall Street charlatan like Barack Obama and reaping windfall profits for pension funds directly off the poverty of workers employed in the Indian Gaming Industry and off the poverty of Native American Indians.

We call on working people to get rid of these phony labor "leaders" like Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard and those labor"leaders" who are now trying desperately to undermine the struggles of the very workers whose dues pay their big fat salaries and now want to lead workers into the dead-end alley of supporting a bunch of Democrats every bit as worthless as Barack Obama looking after Wall Street's interests as well as any Republican, and every bit as spineless as Minnesota's liberal Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton.

It is time to consider a general strike as a means to turn this country around but the well-being and welfare of all workers and all working people will have to be considered for a real change.

Don't expect workers who have been handed the dirty end of the stick to support selfish demands that will only benefit the few. And don't expect that as long as these dirty wars are being waged and financed with our tax-dollars that we will consider anything less than a demand to end these dirty wars to fund human needs coupled with taxing the hell out of the rich.

Also, among the reasons this struggle is fizzling out is the role of the Trotskyites who are trying to once again shove themselves into leadership positions by proclamation and the stupid leaflets they are passing out... anyone seen the crap from Socialist Alternatives--- their recent leaflet distributed in Wisconsin disgracefully doesn't even mention the need to end these dirty wars as a means to pay for the social programs--- what kind of socialists are they? These Trotskyites pulled the exact same kind of crap during the Minneapolis Teamsters' Strike of 1934. 

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