Fall 2015

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79 FALL 2015 / CINEMONTAGE from over 650,000 small, individual contributors — more than President Barack Obama had raised at the same point in his 2008 campaign. "We don't take money from billionaires; we don't take money from corporations," Sanders said during a speech in Los Angeles. "And we have raised the largest amount of any candidate from single donations." Arguably, Sanders' forceful positions on wealth inequality, trade unions and moving national healthcare policy closer to a single payer model may not endear him to the advertiser- driven mainstream media. A similar dichotomy of media coverage happened after the first Democratic debate in mid-October. "It's important to point out that online polls, and to a lesser extent focus groups, are obviously not scientific," writes Adam Johnson in In These Times. "But it's also important to point out that the echo chamber musings of establishment liberal pundits [after the debate] is far, far less scientific. It wasn't that the online polls and focus groups had Sanders winning, it's that they had him winning by a lot. And it wasn't just that the pundit class has Clinton winning, it's that they had her winning by a lot. This gap speaks to a larger gap we've seen since the beginning of the Sanders campaign." In October, Sanders introduced a bill making organizing unions easier, and would stop state pre-emption of federal labor laws, making "right to work" laws a thing of the past. He also supports legislation raising the minimum wage to $15. At press time, rival Hillary Clinton was endorsed by AFSCME, the public employees union, which gives her nine union endorsements. Her campaign was also endorsed by the two major teachers unions (the AFT and the NEA), and the machinists/aerospace union (IAM). The unions cited her commitment to higher wages, paid family and sick leave, and retirement security. Clinton supporters believe she has the best chance to win a national campaign. FARM WORKERS CELEBRATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY Chants of "sí, se puede" and red flags emblazoned with a square-edged Aztec eagle flew in late September across the United Farm Workers home in Delano, California, where the nation's first farmworkers' union celebrated the 50th anniversary of a campaign that led to better pay and working conditions, writes Bonhia Lee in The Sacramento Bee. About 1,000 people turned up at the UFW's original home office to remember the union's origin, its accomplishments and current struggles. They also honored strikers, marchers and boycotters who protested years of poor pay and working conditions. The daylong event included a morning ceremony with speeches from Arturo Rodriguez, Chavez's son Paul Chavez, UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta and Robert Kennedy, Jr., who returned to the site where his father greeted Chavez during the UFW chief 's fast for nonviolence. In a highly anticipated speech, Kennedy reflected on his father's relationship with Chavez. The US senator from New York was the first national figure to warm to the farmworker cause, his namesake son said. The elder Kennedy traveled to Delano twice to meet with Chavez, adds Lee. In 1966, he was invited to hearings on the Delano Grape Strike and ended up joining a picket line. Two years later, he met with Chavez when Chavez ended a 25-day fast. The two men were similar and would have been friends regardless, according to Kennedy. They were both short in height, pious Catholics, had a lot of children, and neither was a smooth politician. They weren't backstabbers and weren't good at small talk, he said. "They both had intensity and fierce adherence and courage at standing up for principle," Kennedy said. STARBUCKS FALLS SHORT AFTER PLEDG- ING BETTER LABOR PRACTICES In 2014, Starbucks vowed to provide its employees with more consistent schedules and to post their schedules at least 10 days in advance, writes Noam Scheiber in The New York Times. The company said it would stop compelling workers to suffer through the sleep- depriving ritual known as a "clopening," which requires them to close up a store at night only to return early the next morning to help re-open it. But Starbucks stumbled on these LABOR MAT TERS National Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez, third from right, with United Auto Workers leader Walter Reuther, center, and others defying an official ban by marching down Main Street in Delano, California in December 1965.

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