Labor Beat's labor media bulletin board
Order: Most recent items first.
Gathered by Bob Gallie for the Labor Beat site.


The AFL-CIO: The Workers Must Fix It!

DVD or VHS copies are $15 each (cost includes postage and
Mail check made out to "Labor Beat" to:

Labor Beat, 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607

Labor Beat is affiliated with IBEW 1220. Views expressed are Labor Beat's,
not necessarily IBEW's. * 312-226-3330

The Seven Thousand: Chicago's Hotel Contract Fight

The Dramatic 2002 Contract Fight of Seven Thousand Chicago Hotel Workers

For our brochure about this show, in the Adobe .pdf file format, CLICK HERE

In the Fall of 2002 Chicago hotel workers (members of HERE Local 1 and
Local 450) threatened the first hotel strike ever in Chicago history, right
on the eve of the big convention season. Labor Beat follows all the key
episodes in this dramatic showdown that involved not only the united labor
movement and the hotel and convention industry, but Governor Ryan of
Illinois and AFL-CIO President Sweeney. An exciting confrontation over the
negotiating table that had the whole city biting its nails, and which ended
in a victory for the workers. A positive story about what happens when
below-living-wage workers flex their muscles with sound strike preparation
techniques. "Hotel management didn't know what hit 'em." Video is 23

Copies of "The Seven Thousand" are $20 each (cost includes postage and
Mail check made out to "Labor Beat" to:

Labor Beat, 37 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60607

Labor Beat is affiliated with IBEW 1220. Views expressed are Labor Beat's,
not necessarily IBEW's. * 312-226-3330


August 26, 2002
CONTACT:  Mary Stack

America's workers in focus on CAN TV

The lives and concerns of working men and women will be focus of a special
showcase of programming on CAN TV21, Labor Day, Monday, September 2 from
8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The programs have all been produced or submitted by
Chicago based organizations with a focus on labor concerns conveyed through
discussion, debate, poetry, drama, and events coverage. Four timely
half-hour programs from the award-winning series, "Labor Beat" were
provided by the Committee for Labor Access.

CAN TV's Greg Boozell says, "The concerns of working families are largely
misrepresented or ignored by commercial television.  CAN TV provides a
unique outlet to address the concerns of labor unions and the working
class.  We are proud to provide this showcase of labor programs to
celebrate Labor Day."

Included in the showcase are some of the following programs:

9:00 a.m.  Women of Heart and Steel - a play showcasing how 3 working women
fought for justice and human rights

11:00 a.m.  The Labor Strike - Stephen Franklin of The Chicago Tribune
questions how effective labor strikes are as an economic weapon against big

4:00 p.m.     Labor History Alive:  Child Labor - The story of the struggle
to end child labor is told through drama, panel discussion and photographs

4:30 p.m.     The Heat:  Steelworkers Lives and Legends - a selection of
readings chronicling the lives of steelworkers.

6:00 p.m.      Community Forum:  Fiery Struggle - a discussion on the
struggle to organize fire fighters in Illinois.

8:00 p.m.	Labor Beat: Labor's Voices Against the War - Union
activists came to Washington on April 20, 2002 to deliver the message that
not all of organized labor supports the Bush Administration's war frenzy.

For a complete listing of programs go to

CAN TV provides coverage of events relevant to the local community and
gives every Chicagoan a voice on cable television by providing video
training, facilities, equipment and channel time for Chicago residents and
nonprofit groups.  Cable channels CAN TV19, 21, 27, 36 and 42 reach more
than one million viewers in the city of Chicago

Our URL is

Since February 2002 the new Internet URL has been required to get to Labor
Beat. Automatic forwarding from prior addresses has stopped. Please change
all your Favorites, bookmarks, address books, newsletter references, and
web page links now to:



Before our new shows are described in the catalog lists on this site,
announcements are posted to Chicago's Independent Media Center site.
Always with a picture; and sometimes with on-demand clips or full-length
video. There are two different shows every month.

To go to IMC-Chicago and automatically start the search for all "Labor
Beat" articles, use the link below.




Labor Beat's new collection of documentaries especially for libraries, schools,
Labor Studies workshops, and unions' "Labor's struggles today" presentations.

For example, Cornell, Indiana, and New York State are among the universities
creating repositories of the Labor Beat documentaries.

For complete information and a brochure, CLICK HERE.


Chicago and San Francisco are seeing threats to their public access
television resources, which affects some important labor shows.

RCN is 'stiffing' the Chicago Access Corporation of payments of franchise
obligations. The amounts are huge to CAC, but tiny to the cable giant.
The Chicago City Council may straighten it out soon. Current news (...May 2002
...) is always at".



[Descriptions of most shows are already in the online LABOR BEAT
CATALOGS on our web site.
The Labor Beat catalogs tell which shows can be ordered, @$25, from:
Labor Beat / 37 S. Ashland Ave. / Chicago, IL 60607. Phone (312)

- Labor History Videos. (Attention, Labor Studies programs and
libraries!)  For full information, CLICK HERE.

- "Our World Through Jenkins' Eyes."

When William Jenkins III died unexpectedly at the age of 44 last October,
he was emerging as a nationally-, and even internationally-, recognized
labor documentarist of great talent and relentless energy. In some 5 years
he videotaped an amazing spectrum of actions in the labor and progressive
community, from homelessness issues to the Teamsters election, from Native
Americans to the Screen Actors Guild.

At the Jan. 6 Commemoration of his activist life at a packed U.E. Hall, in
Chicago, a 17-minute video was shown bringing together highlights of his
footage. This is that video, "Our World Through Jenkins' Eyes."

. . .

- Some Labor Beat shows before March:

1) "Salt Peanuts", produced by Labor X in NY, which deals with impact
of airline industry cutbacks since 9/11 on airline employees.

2) "Trade Unions For A Better Tomorrow" 1996  20 minutes.

This film edited by Max Babri and the Struggle Information Services
in Pakistan outlines some of the problems of organizing unions in
Pakistan and also the fight against the IMF policies.

- Labor Beat: Minnesota State Workers on Strike

A new video about the State Workers of Minnesota who went on strike
for benefits, pay and working conditions, despite the threats by Gov.
Ventura to use national guard troops as scabs, and chiding by the
media that this was somehow 'unpatriotic' following the WTC attack.
An important video document on labor defending its rights in the post
9/11 period.

"Minnesota State Workers on Strike" is not sold by Labor Beat.
You may contact at Minnesota at Work for
information on getting a copy.


Tom Leedham challenged Jimmy Hoffa Jr. for President of the IBT, in the
2001 fall election. This video takes you to the Teamsters convention in
Las Vegas, where Leedham launched his campaign, and where Leedham
supporters took to the floor mikes to get the rank-and-file message out.
Includes Leedham interview. Video is 13 minutes.

"I love what Labor Beat is doing." -Tom Leedham

"I totally support this video." -Pete Camarata

To order the tape, send $20 check made out to Labor Beat to:
Labor Beat / 37 S. Ashland / Chicago, IL 60607


- LABOR EXPRESS RADIO.  Selected recent show segmentss are described
and posted for on-demand listening at

 LB was proud to be able to premiere, on June 28, this important
 independent documentary film by Greg Boozell. Learn how the lives of
 coal towns have been affected by mine owners' business decisions.

 An extended description and a major review of this work
 are available at

- PEOPLE VS PROPERTY IN THE 47TH WARD. Chicago zoning battle. Click
for a video clip (123 sec.)

 Two parts, produced March 2001, cable channel CAN TV19, Chicago.


 Recently internationally-known activist Angela Davis spoke in
Chicago on the subject of the growing 'prison/industrial complex,'
and how private corporations are deeply involved.
 First broadcast Jan. 25, cable channel CAN TV19, Chicago.

 For over ten years, the group known as SOA Watch, headed by 
Fr. Roy Bougerois, has enacted a solemn vigil protest at Ft.
Benning, GA, and specifically The School of Americas which is
located inside.
 The School of Americas trains military officers for Central 
and South American countries. These soldiers become the shock
troops for the multi-national corporations and have assassinated
many labor activists and organizers, as well as thousands of
 In the past year, SOA Watch lobbied Congress hard with the
results of a small cut in funding and a name change. As Rev. Tim
McDonald states in the video, "It's the the same game with the
same name and the same shame." This year the Globalization
movement was invited to attend and participate and added art and
drama to the protest. About 10,000 people attended on two cold,
rain filled days of November 18-19, 2000.
 LABOR BEAT conducted interviews with Steelworkers from Pittsburgh,
UE members from Iowa City, and a Carpenter Union sponsored retired
social worker from British Columbia, Canada. Union participation
was small; but, as in all human rights struggles, present.
 First broadcast Dec. 28, cable channel CAN TV19, Chicago.

 Chicago hadn't seen such demonstrations in the streets since the
anti-Viet-Nam-war movement.


Labor Beat is a non-profit and is affiliated with IBEW 1220.
The views we express are not necessarily those of IBEW 1220.



Our friend, Labor Beat producer, and labor activist William Jenkins III
died in late October, 2001. A picture and death notice -- CLICK HERE --
are posted on the Chicago Independent Media Center site.

"Our World Through Jenkins Eyes" is an overview of his video and audio work.
It was presented at a special memorial service in January and is described in
our catalog lists.

Click here for one of the newspaper articles about him.


Labor Beat covered rank-and-file delegates' influence on the just-
concluded Teamsters convention in Las Vegas. Our reports, including
text and exciting video clips were published same-day and worldwide
through the Internet facilities of the Independent Media Centers.

See our postings, and link to them from your sites, via Chicago IMC



Click here for information.


Chicago's StreetWise newspaper had a great article about Labor Beat
in a January 2001 issue.


For more information, click here.


Labor Action Resolution on NAB

Whereas the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) will hold its
convention for radio in San Francisco on September 20-23, 2000; and 
Whereas the NAB was founded to oppose broadcasting industry workers
and is the lobbying arm of the owners and management of the commercial
broadcast industry; and

Whereas the NAB spends millions of dollars to influence Congress and
their influence has:

* led to the the growing concentration of ownership of broadast media
into fewer hands; and

* undermined labor's access to the airwaves by lobbying against the
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) legalization of micro-radio
with the new Low Power FM (LPFM) service; and

* acted to weaken the public discourse on issues of concern to labor and
citizens in general; and

Whereas corporate broadcasters rarely examine the issues of importance
to workers; and

Whereas the US labor movement supports freedom of speech for all-not
just the wealthy and powerful- and has demonstrated this with the
AFL-CIO's support for LPFM ; and

Whereas the right to receive and impart information and ideas through
any media is an internationally recognized human right (Article 19 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights);

Therefore be it resolved that:

* this body calls for its members to join with other labor
organizations, community groups, and concerned citizens to protest the
privatization of the public airwaves and exercise our civil and human
rights by participating in the non-violent protests against the NAB,
and specifically: 

* this body calls for all of its members to inform themselves about
the NAB protests by contacting the Media Alliance in San Francsico
(web:; and

* this body encourages and invites all union members affiliated with
it to attend a forum on "The NAB, Union Busting, Censorship, & Labor"
on Thursday, 9/21/00 at 7 pm at Branch 214 of the National Association
of Letter Carriers (NALC), 214 12th St., San Francisco: and

* this body calls for all labor union members affilated with it to
actively support and participate in the labor contingent of the NAB
protest rally and march starting at UN Plaza, 4pm on Saturday September
23, and ending at Union Square.


The Independent Media Centers have grown worldwide since
covering the protests of WTO and the Republican and Democrat political


Charlie Laskonis in Rockford writes:

'Chicago Protests the WTO' aired this evening without a hitch.
We are back on the air, finally!


Background. Our last notices on this issue, BEFORE July 26:

After Rockford labor (2nd largest city in Illinois) won city
government support that the cable company must put labor shows
on its access channel, the cable company on its own decided to
cancel the first show at the last minute (It had just discovered
that someone being pepper-sprayed used 'swear' words). The
Labor Beat show in question is a video from Vancouver,
B.C.'s 'working tv', titled "Road to Seattle", an
excellent documentary on the WTO protest last December.

Here is text from an open letter to the cable company from
Rockford rank and file (and Labor Beat) member Charles Laskonis --

K.C. McWilliams
General Manger, Insight Communications
227 Wyman Street
Rockford, Illinois

K.C. McWilliams:

I am writing to voice our displeasure with your short sighted
and, according to our legal interpretation of the Federal\
Communications Act, your illegal censoring of our program--Labor
Beat: 'The Road to Seattle,' because in Insight Communications
employee Barb Viola's words, our show contained, "swearing."

We find it puzzling that you found the program too obscene to
air when a short while ago a copy of this program was delivered
to, and we assume viewed by the head of the Rockford City Legal
Department Ron Schultz without any feedback or concern to us as
to any negative or obscene content.

Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) Access programs are
subject to certain federal guidelines established by the
legislative branch of the federal government and by the Supreme
Court of the United States.

Here in Rockford, our community has an implemented PEG program
in place which is subject to these guidelines. Proof of the
access program lies in Insight's own rules for PEG access which
we received from Insight, titled: "Insight Communications of
Rockford/Park Public, Educational and Governmental Access Rules
/ Standard Form PEG Access Rules." Also, in the body of the
rules in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 out of seven total
sections of the agreement there are numerous references to
"Public Access" and "Access." Lastly, on the application
question 5 asks which "Type of access" is the applicant applying
for, then has boxes to check labeled in order, "Public,"
"Educational," and "Governmental". So in fact, we do currently
have a PEG program in place in our community.

The Federal Communications Act, Section 611 (e) states that,
"...a cable operator shall not exercise any editorial control
over any public, educational, or governmental use of channel
capacity provided pursuant to this section..." This statute has
been challenged and upheld in court many times.

In fact, in the recent past a section of the Federal
Communications Act which used allow cable companies to refuse
to cablecast indecency and nudity on Public Access was held to
be unconstitutional and was subsequently struck down by the
U.S. Supreme Court.

All Labor Beat programming, which are all documentaries including
the show that was denied airing, is far from indecent or obscene.
Surely far, far less so compared to other for profit programming
which airs on most other channels that Insight Communications
peddles to our community. Because Labor Beat programs are
documentaries, in the heat of a given situation, on occasion,
expletives may be uttered during the recording process, which are
an integral part of the story line. This is a long way from being
considered legally as obscenity in our society.

Therefore Insight's refusal to allow us to cablecast our program,
'The Road to Seattle,' on our community's Public Access channel is
both illegal and a constitutional violation of our rights.

Ironically, the real obscenity, we feel, is that time and time
again our legal rights continue to be violated.

Furthermore, we are also upset by the fact that no alternate show
was cablecast in our normal mutually agreed upon time slot. Beside
the fact one particular show was unfairly not allowed to be
cablecast by you, we were not allowed a fair opportunity to
provide a replacement program because we were informed by Insight
of your decision not to run our program at the last minute. When
we contacted Insight, according to Barb Viola, there would be no
time to review another program. While we have no concrete evidence
we feel this to be a tactic, as well as a number of other tactics
utilized by Insight Communications in the past, to delay and
agitate us as well as to discourage us from utilizing our
community's public access system.

While we await your compliance to the laws of our land concerning
program content, be it on your part voluntary or otherwise, we
intend to submit programming which satisfy your illegally set
guidelines. In no way does this imply that we agree to these

We intend to provide you with a number of programs with air dates
selected by us well ahead of schedule. We insist that in the future,
if you review (for the tape's technical compliance only, not for
content) each tape that you do so in such a manner that provides
us reasonable time to replace any tapes you deem defective.


Charles Laskonis,
Member of Rockford United Labor
1815 Vernon Street
Rockford, Illinois 61103

Cc: Ron Shultz, City of Rockford Legal Department
Amedeo Giorgi, Rockford United Labor
Ed Zurowski, Rockford United Labor
Bunnie Riedel, Alliance for Community Media
Larry Duncan, Labor Beat
Ed Conlisk, Labor Beat


Oppose Robert Giles' being chosen to head a journalism ethics
foundation. Email the foundation.


Media and Trade: A Love Story is an article by William Greider
about news organizations' deliberate ignorance.


Carpenters for a Democratic Union called for return of the union
to membership control at the huge national convention of The
United Brotherhood of Carpenters in Chicago in August, 2000.
Labor Beat / Labor Express shows are being edited.

LABOR EXPRESS SHOW EXAMPLE (Cf. LB site catalogs and Streaming)

New LE show. LABOR EXPRESS (radio),
WLUW-FM, 88.7, 6:30pm, Sundays. July 9 show was --

Strike at 5-Star Hotel Laundry

Labor Express gets picket-line interviews from the workers at
Chicago's 5-Star Hotel Laundry on Division Street. The laundry
is trying to prevent its workers from joining UNITE, and has
tried to force the employees to sign a statement saying that
they now work for a temp agency, in an effort to keep
the legitimate union out. Interviewed also is UNITE organizer
Jason Coulter.



From the letter notifying us --

The page titled "Labor Beat", at,
was selected as a Links2Go Key Resource" in the Labor topic,

How your page was selected

Each quarter, Links2Go samples millions of web pages to determine
which pages are most heavily cited by web pages authors, such
as yourself. The most popular pages are downloaded and automatically
categorized by topic. At most 50 of the pages related to a topic
are selected as "Key Resources." Out of 50 pages selected as Key
Resources for the Labor topic, your page ranked 7th.

The Links2Go Key Resource award differs from other awards in two
important ways. First, it is objective. Most awards rely on hand
selection by one or more "experts," many of whom have only looked
at tens or hundreds of thousands of pages in bestowing their awards.
Selection for these awards means no more than that one person,
somewhere, noticed your page and liked it enough to select it.
The Key Resource award, on the other hand, is based on an analysis
of millions of web pages. Any group or organization who conducts
a similar analysis will arrive at similar conclusions. When Links2Go
says your page is a Key Resource, we mean that your page is one
of the most relevant pages related to a particular topic on the
web today, using an objective statistical measure applied to an
extremely large data set.

Second, the Key Resource award is exclusive. We get literally
hundreds of people requesting that their page be added to one
or more topics per week. All of these requests are denied. The
only way to get listed as a Key Resource is to achieve enough
popularity for our analysis to select your pages automatically.
We do not accept fees, offers of link exchanges, free advertising,
or bartered livestock as inducements to add new sites to our lists.
Fewer than one page in one thousand will ever be selected as a
Key Resource.

Once again, congratulations on your award! Links2Go Awards.