woes.og Mach. 3, 2011 Page 3
Stop attack on poor, working women
Defend Title X family planning funding!
By Sue Davis
Will cutting $283 million from the fed-eral budget help solve the $1.4 trilliondecit?Hardly.However, that’s what the Republicansin the House of Representatives wouldhave the public believe. They have put Ti-tle X, the National Family Planning Pro-gram, which cost $283 million in 2007,on the chopping block in the 2011 federal budget as a key component of their aus-terity plan.Does that make scal sense? Not if youconsider that the U.S. Centers for Dis-ease Control and Prevention calls family planning one of the 10 great public healthachievements of the 20th century. Notonly has it helped advance the social andeconomic status of women while prevent-ing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and decreasing in-fant, child and maternal deaths.But Title X, which President Rich-ard Nixon signed in 1970 as part of pro-gressive legislation inspired by the CivilRights Movement, has also saved taxpay-ers billions of dollars ever since!Title X serves 5 million poor women,70 percent of whose income is below thepoverty line. These women are dispropor-tionately women of color — 20 percentare Black and 28 percent are Latina. Thatmakes this attack both sexist and racist.But there’s more. Cutting Title X willaffect women at every stage of life. It willeliminate funding for prenatal care, nu-trition programs for pregnant women andtheir children, and Head Start and child-care for 368,000 children. It will cut the Women’s Educational Equity Program, which helps schools comply with TitleIX (sports equality), Pellgrants for college studentsand Social Security sup-port for elderly women.Chopping Title X is not about decit re-duction — just as denying collective bar-gaining rights for public sector workers in Wisconsin and other states isn’t. Destroy-ing Title X is about advancing the right wing’s thoroughly racist, anti-woman andanti-children, anti-reproductive rights,anti-poor, anti-working class agenda.It is a narrow-minded, heartless, life-threatening, discriminatory, totally re-actionary assault on poor and working women. It is profoundly anti-life for all working and oppressed people.
Attack on Planned Parenthood
The House took that even further onFeb. 18, when it passed the “Title X Abor-tion Provider Prohibition” amendment by 240 to 185, which eliminates all fundingfor Planned Parenthood, the largest pri- vate provider of health care services for women in the U.S.Though more than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health care servic-es for 3 million women were preventivein 2010 and the organizationhas received no federal fund-ing for abortion since 1976,amendment sponsor Rep.Mike Pence (R-Ind.) called it a “victory forlife” because he doesn’t want taxpayers’money to be used to “subsidize the largestabortion provider in [North] America.”Is defunding Planned Parenthood a victory for women?Not if Planned Parenthood will no lon-ger be able to serve 1.4 million Medicaidpatients who use its health centers as theirprimary preventive health care provider.Not if Planned Parenthood will have tocurtail family planning and many types of reproductive and other health services formillions of women.It’s only a victory for Pence, other re-actionary legislators and right-wing TeaParty demagogues like Rush Limbaugh,Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who, in pur-suit of “small government” and “pro-life”hypocrisy, seek to destroy all legislationthat benets poor and working peopleand their families.In response, many women’s and le-gal groups and the “liberal” ank of theDemocratic Party are rallying to defendTitle X and Planned Parenthood. TheNational Organization for Women, theFeminist Majority, the National Women’sLaw Center, the American Civil LibertiesUnion and Planned Parenthood have allooded supporters with educational e-mails and petitions.Planned Parenthood of New York City has called a Stand Up for Women’s HealthRally on Feb. 26 at Foley Square at 1 p.m.
Statistics came from the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center and Planned Parenthood e-mails sent out the week of Feb. 14.
Defends jobs of Woodlawn Cemeteryworkers
By Dee KnightBronx, N.Y.
A strong rally of union and community activists converged on Woodlawn Ceme-tery’s entrance in the northwest Bronx onPresidents’ Day, Feb. 21, to show solidar-ity with the workers there. They broughta message for management: “You will notget ‘contractors’ through these gates!”The rally moved to nearby WoodlawnHeights, where the recently hired union- busting consultant Mitch Rose lives.Cemetery bosses are preparing a deal with a notorious low-paying contractor, who exploits immigrant workers, to re-place unionized workers. A vice president at Woodlawn, Rosehas accompanied management’s lawyerto the negotiating table with the workers.Marchers let Rose know he should look for a different job. While the crowd stood in front of Rose’shome, singers from the Bail Out the Peo-ple Movement — Heather, Jen, Dinae and Aya — sang a moving and original songabout the Woodlawn workers, the legend-ary Band of Brothers, and Teamsters Lo-cal 808, which represents them.Ramon Jimenez of the South BronxCommunity Congress and the FreedomParty urged people to come to an action-planning meeting at Hostos College onMarch 5. “We need to forge a student-la- bor-community alliance to win at Wood-lawn and stop [New York Gov. Andrew]Cuomo and [New York City Mayor Mi-chael] Bloomberg’s attacks on all city workers,” he said.Rick Coss, a leader of the Band of Brothers and Teamsters Local 808 stew-ard at Woodlawn, told Workers World,“The winds of Cairo have blown to Wis-consin and the winds in Wisconsin are blowing to Ohio, heading to New York.Here things are building so that wind will be a tornado!”Coss added, “Wehonor Black History month, and MalcolmX, who was martyredon this day. Malcolmsaid there’s going to be a class struggle be-tween the oppressedand the oppressors, between the workingclass and the rulingclass. It’s not going to be based on color buton class. Bloomberg,Cuomo and [Presi-dent Barack] Obamaare going to have toface such a tornado.”The rally was led by Local 808 leader Chris Silvera, togeth-er with Jimenez. Teamsters representedincluded Locals 111, 202, 210, 804, 805,807, 814, 831 and 1205, as well as 808. Lo-cal 805 President Sandy Pope told Work-ers World that these locals cover numer-ous sectors, including warehouse workers,United Parcel Service drivers, MetroNorthRailroad employees, among others.Present were members of the carpen-ters union, District Council 37 Local 374,representing workers at New York Bo-tanical Gardens; District 32BJ-SchoolsDivision; and Service Employees unionDistrict 1199-Health Division. Membersof Amalgamated Transport Workers Lo-cal 1181, Transport Workers Union Local100; and David Virella, president of TWULocal 501 were there. They were joined by the United Federation of Teachers, New York State United Teachers and the Pro-fessional Staff Congress/American Fed-eration of Teachers at City University of New York. A special delegation came from UNITEHERE Local 100. These cafeteria workersat Bronx Community College face sum-mary layoffs on March 1, when manage-ment plans to bring in a contractor whouses minimum-wage workers. Their situ-ation is much like that of the Woodlawn workers. Workers World spoke with members of the local, who are planning a March 1 rally to force management to cancel plans toreplace them. Silvera called them to speak to the crowd and said their struggle is one with that of the Woodlawn workers.Community groups present includedthe South Bronx Community Congress, theFreedom Party, Church of the Resurrec-tion, New Day United Methodist Churchand Northwest Bronx Community andClergy Coalition. Also represented werethe Bronx Green Party, Bail Out the PeopleMovement, May 1 Coalition for Workers’and Immigrants’ Rights, Million WorkerMarch Movement, Women’s Fightback Network and Workers World Party. Among immigrant rights groups wasMujeres por la Paz (Women for Peace), who had visited the Woodlawn gravesiteof suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton onFeb. 12. This “Band of Sisters” used theoccasion to demand a union contract andno layoffs for the Woodlawn workers.
Campaign to target Woodlawn Trustees
Rocio Silverio of the Bail Out the Peo-ple Movement told the rally, “The Wood-lawn Board of Trustees is charged withprotecting the integrity and public imageof Woodlawn.”Silverio described plans to pressurethe trustees. “This will give the work-ers a shot in the arm,” she said, notingthat Woodlawn management has triedto divide the workers. Targeted trusteesinclude Ricardo Fernandez, presidentof Lehman College; Mercedes Ellington,granddaughter of legendary Duke El-lington, who is buried at Woodlawn; andRuth Abrams, a founder of the TenementMuseum, who appears to have a commit-ment to people’s rights.“I don’t know what her commitmentis to immigrants and workers today whoare facing the same dilemma as thoseearlier immigrants, but we want to ask about that,” Silverio emphasized.To send letters to Mitch Rose on behalf of the Woodlawn workers, write to himat 345 E. 236th St., 2nd oor, Bronx, NY 10470.
‘Band o Sisters’(baks to amera) sing in solidarity wit emetery workers.