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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  September 18, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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09/18/19 09/18/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! israel strong government of a stable government, zionist government, a government that is committed to israel as a national state for the jewish people. there can't be a goverernment tt is supported by airport parties which are anti-zionist. amy: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu's political future is in question as tuesday's israeli elections
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remain too close to call. rival bennyor his gantz secured a majority of seats in the knesset. we will go to jerusalem for the latest. ththen striking gm workers have entered their third day on the picket lines. >> i want to be clear about something. this strike is about us, is about standing up for fair wages, affordable quality health care, for our share of profits come and for our job security. amy: we will speak to longtime labor reporter steven greenhouse co-author of the new book "beaten down, worked up, the past, present, future of american labor." all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace e report. i'm amy goodman. israel is facing political turmoil as tuesday's election remains too close to call with
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92% of the vote counted. benjamin netanyahu's iran party and'benny gantzs blue party appeared to be about type. the election was called after netanyahu failed to build a coalition government following an april election. it also came as netanyahu is facing p possible indictmentntsr multiple corruption cases. he promised to annex nearly one third of the occupied west bank in violation of international law if elected. earlier this year, gantz threatened to bomb gaza back to the stone e ages. we will have the latest on the israeli election after headlines. in climate news, a new study warns the global average temperature could rise by as much as seven degrees celsius, or 12.5 degrees fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels by the end of the cenentury unless nations moveve rapidly to slasah greenhouse gas emissioions.. the ststark warning comes as wod leadaders are preparing to gathr at united nations headadquarters in new yorork next w week for te climate action summimit. u.n. secretary general antonio
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guterres said tuesday the world is losing the race to avert catastrophe. >> july was the hottest month ever step these five years will be the hottest five years and record. we see the rising level of the ocean taking place, the highest concentrations ever of co2 in the atmosphere. to go back 3 million years to 5 million years t to get the same levels of co2. really dealing with a very dramatic threat not only to the future of the planet, but to the planet today. amy: in washington, d.c., youth climate leaders called out lawmakers tuesday for failing to act urgently to prevent a climate catastrophe. 16-year-old swedish climate activist and school strike leader greta thunberg, who was invid by dememocrats to a meeting of the senate climate crisis task force, told the gathering, "don't invite us here to tell us how inspiring we are without doing anything about it." she added, "i know you are trying but just not hard enough.
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sorry." her challenge came as youth climate leaders visited capitol hill to support the green new deal resolution cosponsored by massachusetts senator ed markey and congress member alexandria ocasio-cortez of new york. the swedish, activist also met with former president obama. 15-year-old kallan benson of maryland called on students and workers to join a massive series of climate strikes planned for friday. >> and you have to be involved. and that means you adults as well. you are the ones currently in power. we don't have time to wait until my generation takes over. it is you that has to act. we need you to listen to the scientists t that are showowings climate change is here and climate change is human-caused. fuels.rning fossil
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please, for my generation. amy: organizers predict friday's strike will be some of the largest climate protests in u.s. history, with actions planned at over 800 sites in all 50 states. more actions are planned worldwide. in texas, tropical depression imelda made landfall south of houston tuesday, bringing flash floods with up to 18 inches of rain forecast for parts of the region. it's the region's worst rainstorm since hurricane harvey dumped an estimated 33 trillion gallons of water on texas two years ago, with up to 52 inches of rain in parts of the gulf coast -- the most rain ever recocorded in a a u.s. storm. mewhwhile, over r the atlantic ococean, hururricane humberto hs strerengthened to a strong category 3 storm, with officials in bermuda issssuing warnings aheaead of its expected arriva wednesesday night. the trump administration is preparing to revevoke californ's air pollution ststandards for cs and light trucks in its latest
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regulatory rollback of laws aimed at slowing the climate crisis. the move, which is expected to be announced this week, seeks to cancel california's agreement with ford, honda, volkswagen, and bmw that would see passenger vehicles average about 50 miles per gallon by 2026. the trump administration has proposed f freezing auto efficiency at 2020 levels, or around 37 miles a gallon. states and washington, d.c., 13 have promised to adopt california's more stringent air quality rules, and california lawmakers have promised to challenge the rollback in court. this comes as president trump is traveling to california today for fundraisers in silicon valley and los angeles. on capapitol hill, president trump's former campaign manager corey lewandowski stonewalled and frustrated congressmembers for six hours tuesday as the house judiciary committee held the first official hearing of its presidential impeachment investigation. during the hearing, lewandowski
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admitted president trump asked him in june 2017 to pressure then-attorney general jeff sessions to rein in special counsel robert mueller's investigation. that directly contradicts lewandowski's public statements on tv earlier this year. consulting attorney barry berke, hired by democrats to cross-examine trump's ex-campaign manager, played a clip of lewandowski onon msnbc last may. >> did you hear ththat, sir? msnbc youou saying on don't ever remember the president evever asking you to t involved with jeff sessions or the department of justice in any way, shape, or form. that was not true, was it, sir? >> i heard that. >> and that was not true? >> i have no obligation. they are just as dishonest as anyone else. >> so you are admitting you are not being truthful in that clip, correct? >> my interview can be interpreted any way you like. amy: house judiciary committee chair jerrold nadler said he may
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seek to hold lewandowski in contempt of congress over his refusal to answer the committee's questions. ahead of the hearing, lewandowski used the twitter hashtag #senate2020 to hint that he'll seek the republican nomination to challenge new hampshire democrat jeanne shaheen next year. he later tweeted out a formal announcement of his candidacy after asking for a five-minute recess. in new mexico, president trump falsely declared at a campaign rally monday that latinos support his border wall, proclaiming, "we love our hispanics." during the rally in rio rancho, trump pointed to steve cortes, a former paid on-air contributor at cnn and member ofof trump's 2020 campaign committee. pres. trump: he happens to be hispanic. he happens to be hispanic, that i've never quite figured it out because he looks more like a wasp than i do. more. loves the hispanics who do you like more, the
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country or the hispanics? he says the country. i don't know. i'm have to go for the hispanics, to be honest with you. we have got a lot of hispanics. we love our hispanics. amy: in response, the progressive political group latino victory tweeted -- "this is racist. this is xenophobic. this is the type of rhetoric that led to the biggest anti-latino massacre in modern history." that's a reference to last month's mass shooting at a walmart in el paso, texas, where a white supremacist with an assault rifle killed 22 people and wounded 24 others. the killer published a hate-filled manifesto that echoed president trump's language on migrants from latin america. human rights watch is calling on china's government to immediately stop separating uyghur children from their families in the western province of xinjiang. human rights watch says countless children have been jailed in state-run child welfare institutions and boarding schools without parental consent or access as part of a program that's seen an estimated 1 million uyghur
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adults imprisoned in camps that china claims are vocational training centers designed to combat extremism. last weeeek, the senate passed e uygur human rights policy act, calling for the u.s. to consider human rights sanctions against chinese officials. house lawmakers have yet to vote on a companion bill. this comes as a new report finds at least 75 countries around the world are using facial recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence to surveil massive numbers of people. the carnegie endowment for international peace warns new technologies like automated border controls and algorithmic tools are being rapidly developed by companies in china, france, germany, israel, japan, and the united states. the trump administration filed suit tuesday against nsa whistleblower edward snowden over his newly released memoir, "permanent record," seeking to block his publisher from forwarding any revenue from book sales. snowden tweeted in response, "this is the book the government does not want you to read."
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this comeses after snowdenen, 's been in exile in russia since 2013, told cbs news on monday he would return to the u.s. if he was guaranteed a fair trial and a chance to share with the american public why he leakeked nsa documents. >> i'm not asking for a pardon. i'm nonot askingng for a p pass. i'm asking for a fair trial. this is the bottom line that any american should require. we don't want peoeople thrown in prison without the jury beining able to decide whether what they did was right or wrong. amy: secretary of state mike pompeo travels to saudi arabia today for talks with royal saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman after weekend drone attacks on major oil facililities in saudi arabia. the trump administration has directly blamed iran for the attack, which was claimed by houthi rebels in yemen. this comes as energy secretary rick perry confirmed reports that the u.s. is negotiating with saudi arabia over its plan to build nuclear reactors. the trump administration has reportedly been pursuing a deal
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to share u.s. nuclear technology with s saudi arabia, as the saus preparare to build at leastwtwo nuclear power r plants. back in the united states, an african american trans woman who was murdered in kansas city, kansas, last friday has been identified as ja'leyah-jamar. she's at least the 19th transgender person to be murdered in the u.s. this year. 13 died from gun violence and the majority are women of color. ja'leyah-jamar's killing follows the murder of 32-year-old brooklyn lindsey in kansas city, missouri, in june. meanwhile, in portland, oregon, police are investigating last week's assault of a transgender woman named atlas marshall as a possible hate crime. marshall was attacked by a man shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs, leaving her with bruises on her head and knees. general motors has cut off health insurance for the nearly 50,000 people on picket lines across the country demanding better working conditions and fair pay. the news came tuesday to just one day after uaw members kicked
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off the strike by walking out of more than 50 gm facilities. we will have more on the strike later with longtime labor reporter steven greenhouse. in more labor news, whole foods is cutting medical benefits for about of its part-time workers, 1900 according to a report by business insider. whole foods is owned by amazon, whose ceo jeff bezos is the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of over 114 -- $114 billion. a new analysis by the consumer watchdog decision data finds, "bezos makes more money than the cost of an entire year of benefits for these 1900 employees in somewhere between 2 to 6 hours." here in new york, hundreds of uber and lyft drivers joined a slow-vehicle procession across the brooklyn bridge tuesday morning, snarling rush hour traffic to protest changes to the ride-hailing services they say will cheat them out of city pay regulations. the drivers took their protest procession up manhattan's east
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side to gracie mansion, the home of new york city's mayor and 2020 presidential hopeful bill de blasio, calling on him to intervene. and veteran broadcast journalist cokie roberts died on tuesday in washington. she was 75 years old. dominated i'mwas in. she began her broadcast career with national public radio in the late 1970's, joining abc news in 1988. in 2001, the media watchdog group criticized cokie roberts reporting, warning her -u litzer prize. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,
4:15 pm, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. israel is facing more polititicl turmoil as tuesday's election remain too close to call. with 92% of the vote counted, prime minister benjamin netanyahu's likud party and ex-military chief benny gantz's blue and white party appear to be nearly tied with about 32 seats in the knesset. netanyahu was seeking a record fifth term as prime minister but his political future is now in question. the election was called after netanyahu failed to build a coalition government following an election in april. it a also came as netanynyahu is facing possible indictments over multiple corruption cases. amy: both netanyahu and gantz had run on platformsms vowing to take harsh m measures targeting palestinians. netanyahu prpromised to annex nearly a third of the occupied
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what if he won, in violation of international law. earlier this year, gantz had threatened to bomb gaza back to the stone ages. he vowed to "pound gaza again."" asas chief of staff of the i isl defense forces, gantntz oversaw israel's s assaults on gaza in 202012 and014. he is currently fafacing a war crimeses lawsuit in a dutch cout filed d by a dutch-p-palestinian woman who lost six relatives in israel's 2014 assault on gaza. on tuesday night, gantz said he had fulfilled his mission by preventing netanyahu''s outright reelection. and very excited to be here tonight. we will await the actual results, but as it seems, we fulfilled our mission. and just as important, we fulfilled it our way. one can say according to the results, they appear to be netanyahu did not succeed in his mission. juan: on tuesday night, israeli prime minister benjamin
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netanyahu did not claim victory or concede defeat in a speech to his supporters. >> israel needs a strong government, stable government, zionist government, a goverernmt that is committed to israel as a national state to the jewish people. it can't be a government supported by airbnb parties which are anti-zionist. amy: the close election could result in the far-right former defense minister avigdor lieberman becoming the kingmaker as both gantz and lieberman attempt to form a coalition government. as both steven greenhouse and formyahu --gantz netanyahu a coalition government. we go now to jerusalem where we are joined by the palestinian attorney diana buttu. she is a former adviser to palestinian president mahmoud abbas and serves as policy adviser of al-shabaka: the palestinian policy network. her latest piece for the nation is headlined, "the israeli elections are a referendum on who can treat palestinians most harshly." diana buttu, welcome to democracy now!
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your take on the elections so far? >> so far it is not clear who will be the ultimate victor. i can tell you who will be the ultimate loser and that is the palestinian people. this is because both netanyahu and gantz have come out very strongly against palestinians. this was not, for example, a referendum on the more than 50 your military occupation, but instead it was a campaign that was filled with racist statements on the part of nenenyahu, urging people t to ve becacause the arabs were out vovoting and arch numbers. -- large numbebe. and with gantz saying he was intending to crush gaza. we do not yet know who the victctor will be but we do know who the loser will be, and that will be those who do not want to see apartheid, those who don't want is a continuation of the occupation, and those who do want to sesee freedom. juan: diana buttu, you
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mentioned, for instance, there was no discussion in this campaign of the jewish nation state law that was passed last year and what has called deeply into question any israeli crimes to being a democratic state? could you talk about that? >> yes, certainly. none of the party platforms with the exception of the one anti-zionist group called the joint list, none of them even mentioned words like occupation or had a platform when it came to palestinian freedom or even mention the word "inequality." instead, all of the lyrical parties, with the exception of the joint list, really came out and said thihis needs to be a jewish state, there needs to be a preservation of the jewish majority and jewish superiority. and none of them really had anything to say about palestinian freedom. in sum total, when we were
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looking at this election as the palestinian who is a citizen of israel, this really was an election, in u.s. terms, between trump versus trump with no real difference between the candidates come instantly no difference between the political parties and platforms. juan: what about the joint list? did it grow in numbers based on the results so far? >> yes. what we did see was the joint list ran a very strong campaign, a campaign that was aimed at stopping the extreme right wing fascist party, a party that is labeled as a terroririst party n the united states. the attempt was to try to get as many people out to vote so that this party would be stopped. indeed, they did succeed in that. not only succeeded, but they have increased their numbers to get another seat. what was very interesting in their campaign was that the campaign is not just a campaign that targets arab voters. it is a campaiaign that targets
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the jejewish-israelli left a ans if you really believe in end to the occupation and equality, ours is the only party that has that platform. we did see they managed to secure votes from jewish-israeli voters as well because of the fact there really is no alternative. all of the other parties were competing over how harsh they could be against palestinians, not in terms of what vision they have for freedom or equality. amy: i want to turn to democratic union knesset candidate stav shaffir. she was first elected to the knesset as a member of the labour party in 2013, becoming the youngest woman lawmaker in israeli history. she told cnn tueuesday that thee majority of israelis support a two-state solulution. thisis is what she said. >> most israeli citizens are not like netanyahu. even after 40 years of mostly right-wing governments, we have 65% of israelis s who support a two-state solution between
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israel and the palestinians.s. that is the most safe solution, the most moral solution that we all support. but netanyahu, regardless of what he actually believes and what our security system supports, the entire israeli security system, a clear border between us than the palestinians, netanyahu at the moment will do anything he can in order to build a government and escape trial to pass legislation that will prerevent the justice system and prevent parliament f from putting him in trial and d from getting into prison because of his corruption cases. amy: diana buttu, your response? and the significance? >> it is interesting she says this given her own party platform did not mention ending the occupatition, did not talk aboutt the two-state solution. she was aligned with a member of her political party, the former
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israeli prime minister who propagated the false claim there was no palestinian peace partner and who himself was the person who was responsible for killing 13 palestinian citizens of israel in october of 2000 when the second intifada started. it is wonderful she has this outlook at this point in time when the election is done, but it would havee been much better for her to have had this outcome -- this vision from the beginning, articulated that vision in the beginning, and pushing for netanyahu and other parties to actually end the occupation rather thann continuing to perpetuate a. amy: i want to ask about netanyahu's pleledge earlier ths month to annex one third of the west bank if reelected. rival bennyitical andz offered no criticism instead claimed netanyahu took the idea from him. his blue and white coalition said the jordan valley is "part of israel forever" and not drafted a plan to cede the
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value -- netanyahu drafted a plan to cede the jordan valley in 2014. we are hapappy that netanyahu hs come around to adopt t the blue and white plan to recognize the jordan valley." this is netanyahu announcing his pledge last week. >> today i'm announcing my attention to apply with the permission of the next gogovernment. israeli sovereignty on the jordan valley and northern dead sea. amy: what would this mean and doesn't matter i if either gantz or netanyahu is prime minister given each is claiming it is his own idea? is it fascinating thing has been condemned by the entire world but applauded inside israel. it shows you exactly where the israeli public lives. bloggingsee not yahoo! -- netanyahu bragging about this planet other parties bragging about it and the so-called noter - -- centrist gantz just bragging but claiming it is his own, you can see exactly where the thinking lies inside
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israel that they believe they are above the law, believe the palestinians are beneath the law, and they can do whatever they want. this is why it is vitally important for us to keep our eyes on the fact that whether it office, or netanyahu in for palestinians, the outcome is going to be the same. and this is also why it is very movovementor the bds to become e even stronger becace that is the only way that israel is going to be stopped. juan: on israel's far-right former defense minister avigdor lieberman called for nationonal unityy government to be formed. this is whwhat he said. option,n, anly one national, liberal, broad government compromise is in israel. t terms ofially and in security, we are i in a state of crisis. therefore the country requires a broad government.
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your responsettu, about the national unity government and what it might mean? --t ts is sometething lieberman was on the brink of extinction in terms of his political position. and even now he is only the fifth and terms of the size of the party. but because of the fact he and the other parties have a very racist outlook, he has become somebody very important. he does not want to see a redo of the election again. but instead is calling for a broad national unity coalition, national unity in their terms means anybody but palestinians. because they want to continue the settlelement expansion. they want to continue annexation and so on. even though avigdor lieberman is not veryry important because the fact nobody really wants to look at the anti-zionist party and their platform, they are instead pushing for -- to have this broad d coalition that will
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continue to build and expand settlements and continue to deny palestinians their freedom. bearcat tweeted yesterday -- join up with the fact about 5 million palestinians will be governed by the israeli knesset could not in today's election should tell you all you n need o know about israel and the international community's normalization of its racist apartheid." kat. was a tweet from ere diana buttu, explain how the system works. >> she is absolutely right. the system works and that only those people who are citizens of the state of israel are over the age of 18 are allowed to vote. even though there are nearly 6 million individuals who are entitled to vote, israel is also occupying land, the west bank, gaza strip, east jerusalemem,
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where under r the rules s of occupation, these arare individuals who are not entitled to vote and yet who are rolled over by israel. israel. over by israel and control of the lives of millions of people and half of those people are not entitled to vote clearly shows the level of apartheid in the system that we have in place and that is one ofsettler colonialism, one apartheid. this is why i think it is important for us to recognize rather than applauding somebody like gantz who may just be israel's prime minister, we should instead be pushing and focusing on ending that apartheid system and making sure palestinians finally get to live in freedom and indignity and in equality rather than under a system of israel's thumb. what was interesting yesterday as israelis were going to the polls come the checkpoints were completely shut down. while israelis had freedom of movement, palestinians were locked in in order to make sure that israel was able to vote.
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this is the essence of living ununder apartheid d in a settler colonial r regime. amy: diana buttu, thank you for being with us, palestinian attorney and policy adviser of al-shabaka: the palestinian policy network. her latest piece for the nation we will link to. it is headlined "the israeli elections are a referendum on who can treat palestinians most harshly." previously diana buttu was adviser to palestinian president mahmoud abbas. when we come back, it is day three for the gm strike. striking workers have entered that third day on the picket line, and now gm says they are cutting off their health insurance. we will speak with veteran labor reporter steven greenhouse. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "which side are you on?" he died monday at the age of 87.
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he was the founding member of the new law city ramblers. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: as members of the united auto workers head into their third day of a nationwide strike, general motors has cut off health insurance for the nearly 50,000 people on picket lines across the country demanding better working conditions and fair pay. the news came tuesday, just one day after uaw members kicked off the strike by walking out of more than 50 gm facilities. the workers say gm continues to deny employees' demands for better conditions and compensation, despite leading the company to record profits following bankruptcy and a federal bailout. gm responded by transferring the striking workers' health care costs to the union. uaw had sought to have gm cover striking workers' health insurance through the end of the month. this is gm worker steve goralski in bowling green, kentucky.
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>> we have a company that had 35 billion dollars in profits alaska years. we've got temporaries that have been here over seven years and are still temporaries and they're asking fofor more temporaries. they're moving our plants out of the country, taking business to china and now asking for concessions on health care. i don't know about y you, but tt is known the reason i took this job. i used to have my own company. i took it for the benefits. amy: politico reported tuesday that two top trump administration officials were involved in ongoing labor negotiations and likely to side with the uaw. but gm and a white house spokesperson later denied the report. this is president trump speaking about the e striking workers monday. pres. trump: i have a great relationship with the autoworkers. i got tremendous numbers of votes from the autoworkers. i don't want g general motors to be building plans outside of this country. they built m my in chinana and mexico, and i don't like that at
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all. mexico, and i don't like that at all. my relationship has been very powerful with the autowoworkers- not necessarily y the top person or two, but the people work doing automobiles. nobody has ever brought more companies into the united states. amy: it's the first company-wide strike against gm in 12 years. in 2007, gm workers walked out for two days. well, for more, we are joined here in our new york city studio by steven greenhouse, veteran labor reporter formerly with the "new york times." his new book is out called "beaten down, worked up: the past, present, and future of american labor." he is also the author of "the big squeeze: tough times for the american worker." his recent op-ed in "the new york times" is headlined "the autoworkers strike is bigger than gm." welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. so before we get into the history of the labor movement, which is really what your book is about -- well, this is certainly one of the culmination's of it, what we're
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seeing today. talk about what is happening with uaw, what is happening with workers, why they went out on strike against gm, and what this means. >> the uaw may be concessions in 2008-2010 when gm went bankrupt. the union wanted to help lived it out of bankruptcy to save jobs so they agreed to wage freezes and a two-tiered wage structure. jim has since become quite profitable. gm is not offering a very generous contract. it has moved a lot of factories to mexico and china and the workers are saying, what gives? we the workers, we the u.s. taxpayers saved gm, so why is it" -- why is it closing plants in the u.s. while keeping plants running in mexico that make the same thing? i think it is basically a sense of we helped you, we went the extra mile for you, gm, and now we want you to be fair to us.
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it is really a strike over fairness and being treated with the respect they feel they deserve. juan: when you mention the concessions they made back in 2000 9-2010, you e explain last in a form we were at it is actually three tiers. what specifically does that mean, these? >> in 2009 during the bankruptcy, gm told the united auto workers we're definitely going to close these plans and these other ones will agree to open but only if we get a two-tiered wage e system. the top-tier paid $29 an hour. the bottom tier ran from like $17 up to about $25. now there is this third tier. make less. some have been there three to five years. with all of this concern about the increased precariousness of the economy and instability and jobs, one of the focuses of the
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union of the strikers is, we have to get rid of this -- we have to change these temp works to make them permanent. it is unfair they're making just $15 an hour. they work side-by-side with people who make twice as much. same job.g the >> yes, doing the same job. it is part of the uaw's saying we have been good to you, gm, we want you to be fair and good to us. plus, the workers in the second tier want the gap closed with the top tier. they want to be moved up to $29, $31, very, very quicickly. amy: this is ted krumm, head of the uaw's bargaining committee, speaking at a press conference sunday night. >> i want to be clear about something. this strike is about us. it is about standing up for fair wages, for affordable quality health care, for our share of profits, and for our job security. we are standing with our brothers and sisters who are temporary employees and in
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progression employees who do the same work we do for less pay. we are united. we are strong. we are ready. .e don't take this lightly general motors needs to understand we stood up her gm when they needed us. these are profitable times. we work hard to make thihis company profifitable, and we deserve a fair contract because we helped make this company what it is. we are standing up for us. make no mistake, the strike is about the members and texas, missouri, indiana, ohio, michigan, and throughout the great nation. we are fighting for the future of the middle class, and we want a fair and equitable contract. thank you. amy: that is ted krumm speaking at a news conference as they were going out on strike. if you could respond to what he says and also this latest move by gm not to pay the health care of workers.
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, theetreated today president of the flight attendants, tweeting about gm's decision to pull health care for all benefits. she said "i know to anyone wants to use unit members as a wedge to oppose medicare for all, uaw has one of the best plans in the country but management can still use it to hold workers hostage." i wrote this book explaining unions did an amazing job lifting workers, creating the middle class, crating the 40 hour work week, making minds and factories much safer. the past 20 or 30 years, workers and unions have got much, much weaker. i explained that is because corporations have really played super hardball to weaken unions. we have seen republicans -- scott walker most notably -- trying extremely hard to weaken unions come especially
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public-sector unions. we are at a point where worker power in the united states, i argue the weakest it has been in many, many decades. so there is a sense now that something is really broken. something is really broken. corporate profits have been at record levels and we keep hearing wages have been stagnant for year after year. they're going up a tiny bit now but for the past few decades, they have been really stagnant for most workers. people say, we have to fix this. the reason we had the teacher strike last year and the marriott strike and the stop and shop strike and now the gm strike, they are saying we are not getting our fair share. as we just on the video clip, gm had $8.1 billion in profits last year. the past three years, 35 billion dollars in profits just from north america alone. workers are saying, but your closing these plants when we help to keep them open? you are offering just a 4% raise over four years?
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this is wrong. i believe this is part of this healthy burst of strikes where workers are trying to win back their fair share and flex their muscles. juan: steve come in your book you talk about the corporate assault and the inability of unions to organize based on how the labor laws are being implement a by government, but you also talk about the self-inflicted wounds of the labor movement. you talk about corruption that existed for many years. we are seeing that with some of the investigations of the uaw. the sexism and racism of the union movement itself that did not allow women workers and african-americans even to get into unions or than to be able to get into leadership. but i am wondering, you also touch on this whole question of the failure of the labor movement to deal with the changing nature of wowork and technology. one of the most fascinating things in your book, talk about companies like task rabbit and botanical -- mechanicical turk d
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how organizers arare being forcd organize. most people don't even know what these things are. >> that is a lot of ground to cover. i make there in the book that on one hand some unions very much discriminated against women, workers of color, but i also make clear going back over a century, women were incredibly important part of the labor movement. mother jones. i write about this amazing strike in new york in 1909. 20,000 garment workers. many take for granted the 40 hour week. these people fought for two months to win a 52 hour work week in the dead of winter. on the memphisr sanitation strike and other unions back to him strongly as they fought for both labor rights and respect on-the-job and civil rights. tooou say, there has been much discrimination, too much
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corruption. the uaw, unfortunately, has had a corruption scandal. that is hurting its image as it launches this big strike. for i was covering labor "the new york times" for 19 years, people would say, oh, unions are so corrupt. i would say, i don't know if unions are anymore corrupt pal for pound, person for person, then is this is. look at purdue pharma and opiates. look at the trump administration, how corrupt that is. i don't think unions are anymore corrupt. amy: [indiscernible] days of the teamsters and the longshoreman in the 1950's and 1960's, there was a redness corruption. -- horrendous corrrruption. there's much less corruption but they're still one bit of corruption is still too much. this i want to ask about task rabbit. >> in the book, i explained 50
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different ways that corporate america is trying to squeeze workers and we can unions using more tims, contracting out more. the latest is using apps to turn more and more workers into here today, gone tomorrow, here this minute, gone next minute workers, so they don't have to -- they owe little responsibility to these workers. this is the big fight now with uber and lyft. the companies are saying you are independent contractors, not employees. if they are employees, the workers can unionize. if they are employees, the company has to pay part of the social security and medical taxes. if they are employees, they're covered by into disco nation laws, anti-sexual harassment laws. the companies want to put millions of workers into this independent contractor box. they love this idea of using apps so we can get a worker to work for 15 minutes and then
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dump him or her. it is ideal. there is no responsibility to the worker. there here, gone, no overtime laws. one of the bigig challenges for the labor movement and for all worker advocates, as ike's lena my book, figuring out a way to lift these workers so they can improve their wages. lyftf these uber and drivers working 60 hour weeks and are not getting health benefits from their jobs. there is this break through in my -- in california, the state legislature passed a bill that would declare the drivers employees rather than independent contractors so that would give them overtime and minimum wage coverage and have contribute to the social security and medicare, give them protections against race and sex discrimination. the company say this is going to cost too much and hurt our business model, we're going to
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have to hire fewer drivers. this wilill be worse for consumers. you mimight have to wait six minutes rather than four minutes for someone to pick you up. juan: you mentioned 500,000 people working for uber right now? >> in the u.s., more than 500,000. worldwide, over one million. in this is lang out across the world. amy: and wholefoods cutting the benefits of 1900 workers. jeff bezos owns wholefoods because amazon owns wholefoods. jeff bezos makes more money than the cost of the entire year of goods for these nearly 2000 employees and something like two to six hours. >> sometimes you wonder who does public relations for these people. this is a real blackeye for basis. -- bezos. he is really sticking it to these workers who i'm sure having a hard time making ends
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meet. amy: we're going to go to break and then come back. steven greenhouse, longtime journalist, author of the new book "beaten down, worked up: the past, prpresent, and futuref americ tiersan labor." ay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: full musician john coehn who died at the age of 87. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. our guest is steven greenhouse, former new york times journalist. he is no author of the new book "beaten down, worked up: the past, present, and future of american labor." among other things, we have been talking about this uaw strike, first major uaw strike in 12 years at gm. interestingly, the sunrise movement, well known for pushing the green new deal, sitting down at nancy pelosi's office right before she was named house speaker again. the executive director of the sunrise movement through her support behind the strike,
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tweeting "all workers deserve a ."ght talk about the green new deal and what this means for jobs today and how companies like gm are adapting and how environmentalists are working with unions now. >> i think the green new deal is a great idea. we face a global warming crisis. our leadership is going in the very wrong direction. and when the green new deal was first announced, it was leaked out pretty maturely some details were worked out. a lot of union folks got angry and uneasy because they worry that coal mines and coal-fired power plants would be closing very quickly and throw many, many people out of work. i think the plan was released before they had finished working through -- the phrase is ensuring a just transition.
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union leaders are increasingly working with environment lists to figure out what this would be. bernie sanders labor platform from elizabeth warren's -- the green new deal platform and elizabeth warren's book have very good ideas like, ok, we're going to close -- coal mines are going to close. coal powered fire plants are going to close. people will get laid off, so bernie suggests paying the full wages for five years, providing them with training, providing them with full health benefits, making sure their pensions are still paid into. proposals like that go very far to reassure unions. the spring.many in the social democratic party there is really hurting. the green party doing very well. people say the socialist democrats don't have enough ideas. i think a lot of people on the left should really embrace the green new deal because it can
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mean trillions of dollars in spending on infrastructure. many of them could be great middle-class union jobs. builds this big push to wind turbines that governor cuomo and environmentalists here in liberal -- labor people have led the way to create thousands of good paying jobs. juan: steve come in your book you have a chapter on a revolution that most people don't pay much attention to, what has been happening in nevada in recent years. and how nevada has rapidly has rapidly changed from a red state into a blue state and largely as a result of the efforts of the culinary workers union in nevada. could you talk about that, especially in the context of the past of the labor movement that it was always anti-immigrant for many, many decades until only recently? and how that has affected the growth of labor in nevada? >> i have a section in the book about the important decline of unions and worker power and how that is led to increased
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inequality, wage stagnation, horrible political system where the koch brothers and corporate billionaires dominate. that is depressing and needs to be fixed. i have several chapters laying out various models about how to rebuild worker power. the teacher strikes. it did a lot to show workers could fight again. the five for 15 has been in many ways very successful. i devote a chapter to my mind what is thee best most impressive, most forward-looking, aggressive unions in the united states, the culinary union in las vegas. they represent dishwashers and hotel housekeepers. 60% to 70% immigrant workers. while much of the labor movement has been shrinking in size, the culinary union has grown from 18,000 workers in the 1980's, more than tripled to 60,000 workers now. it represents workers in the big hotel casinos. nationwide, hotel housekeepers average $11 an hour.
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they often work just 24 -- 25 hours a week, make less than $20,000 a year. in las vegas, the housekeepers $1950 -- $19.50 an hour. they make $40,000 a year. i profile a hotel housekeeper references garcia, an immigrant from honduras. she alone is able on her salary to raise three kids was to choose a very nice apartment. big-screen tv. her kids are going to college. it shows with a strong and enlightened union to engage in strikes, make sure the employers pay their fair share, these jobs that are often low wage elsewhere can be really good middle-class jobs with lots of respect. on politics. -- in6, michigan was
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wisconsin and pennsylvania flipped from blue to red. largely to this amazing union, which really knows how to mobilize its members, nevada has slipped from red to blue and in the 2018 election, nevada is the only state where an incumbent republicican senator his s seat. this is a unit, pardon my french, is really kicking ass. it is doing an impressive job. i devote a chapter to it because they're doing 70 things that other worker advocates should be doing. they are mobilizing the members. they are willing to confront the employer. they are organizing. ththey do amazing organizing. amy: and clinton be trump in nevada. is nevada isthing a right to work state. often unions are very reluctant to organize a right to work state because that means workers can't be required to pay union
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dues. the culinary did such an amazing job helping its workers that over 95% of the people pay union dues, which is much higher than in most unions in right to work stakes. amy: you reference the teacher strikes. we cannot say enough about the significanance of these in the last year. and also the upcoming chicago teachers strike. if you can refer to what is happening here, this chicago appepears to be heading forr a strike is the teachers union, the country's third-largest district, continues to negotiate after rejecting the district's latest offer. teachers have been pushing for better pay, smaller class sizes, among other demands in addition to teachers say thousands of special ed classroom assistance my bus aids, security officers, custodians could strike as early as october 17. if the newly elected chicago mayor lori lightfoot continues and rahm emanuel''s pro austeriy path.
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cooks chicago teachers union has also been one of the leading lights in labor and this strike in 2012 against rahm emanuel and his austerity policies was really a signal event and modern labor history. a kind of encouraged ears later the strikes in west virginia,,, arizona that i write about in the book. i have an op-ed in today's "new york times" and the teacher strikes and their ways embolden the gm workers. saw the teachers strikes had huge public support because the public is concerned about wage stagnation, income inequality. i think the gm workers are tapping into that sentiment. in chicago, still this very militant union come the chicago teachers union, they are unhappy with continued austerity policies -- i would love to be mayor -- i would not love to be mayor of chicago right now because the city with the big-budget squeeze and as
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they're saying to the union, sorry, we can't spend as much as you like and the union saying they're all of these gazillionaires in chicago, you could certainly tax them more to help schools. it is another unhappy tug-of-war. let's hope they reach a settlement without a strike. juan: i'm wondering if you could comment about pensions sometimes arise between the labors directing for its members and the general societal issues. i'm talking about, for instance, seiu for many years cozying up to republicans and conservatives who were governors or political leaders as long as they supported card check for their members. you have this tension that sometimes arises between the need to service to ourur members versus t the general social goas of the labor movement. >> we are in new york. the seiu agreed not to oppose republican governor george pataki so long as he agreed to spend an extra $1 billion to $2
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billion for medicaid and health care in new york. that was good for the union members, but also very good for a lot of new yorkers who need health care. some people say that was a selfish deal. the seiu says it was good for us and good for new yorkers at large. one ininteresting development nw in labor is i think a lot of unions realize, hey, we are this perceived offering self interest bargaining just for ourselves. by the chicago teachers union, oklahoma, arizona, teachers in los angeles, teachers that -- yeah, we have had a wage freeze for two or four years and we want a raise, but we're not just fighting for that was the in west virginia and arizona and oklahoma, they saw the republican government is cutting taxes on fracking, cutting taxes on corporations while the education budgets are being starved and pay freezes for teachers and not enough money
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for textbooks and class sizes are getting larger. they said, we're going to strike not just for us, but to help the community. the strike this fall but the hotel workers at marriott, they adopted a slogan that they knew the a thought would resonate with the public, and it really did. they said "when job should be enough." it is crazy when all of these workers are juggling two or three jobs, getting small races while rent in san francisco and boston were soaring. they're not as strong as they once were. i explained this in detail. we have to reach out to community partners and environmental partners and immigrant groups and altogether we can achieve a lot more than we can alone. amy: steven greenhouse, we will do part two and ask you about your assessment of the presidential candidates records on labor. steven greenhouse, longtime journalist who covered labor for "the new york times" for decades. he has a new book out, "beaten down, worked up: the past, present, and future of american
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