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Giving Farm Workers a Voice

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  • By "looking at the plight of farm workers," the union is helping to build productivity on the farm and to build a strong agricultural sector-one that will be needed more than ever as Zimbabwe struggles to rebuild and restore democracy.
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  • Cross posted from Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet.
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Bernard Pollack, Working Life

Gertrude Hambira doesn't look like someone who gets arrested regularly. Nor do the other women and men in suits who work with her at the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), formed in the mid-1980s to protect farm laborers. But arrest, harassment and even torture have been regular occupational hazards for Gertrude-the General Secretary of GAPWUZ-and her staff for many years.

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Unfortunately, things have not gotten much better since the 2008 elections when President Mugabe refused to cede power to the democratically elected Morgan Tsvangirai, a former union leader himself. The resulting power-sharing agreement has left the two sides battling for control as the nation plummets deeper into unemployment and poverty. At least 90 percent of the populati0n is not part of formal workforce.

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N.Y. socialists’ ballot drive goes over top

‘Workers need our own political party’

Angel Lariscy and Brian Williams, The Militant

Socialist Workers candidates in New York talk with participants at Pathfinder booth during Harlem Book Fair July 17. Behind table from right, Willie Cotton, SWP candidate for U.S. Senate, and Róger Calero, candidate for U.S. Congress in 15th District. Militant/Brian Williams

Socialist campaigners here celebrated completion of a 10-day effort July 18 to collect 7,000 signatures to place Róger Calero on the November ballot for U.S. Congress in the 15th District. The Socialist Workers Party is also running Dan Fein for governor and Willie Cotton and Sarah Ruth Robinett for two open U.S. Senate seats.

Some 50 people came to a campaign forum the evening of July 17 where Calero and Robinett spoke. This included two people who had met campaigners on the streets that day or in the week before, as well as a coworker of Fein and two others attending their first socialist event. A successful meeting to launch the ballot effort was also held the first weekend.

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Workers need a labor party, says D.C. socialist, Susan Lamont, The Militant
“Thanks for coming to our picket line! Thanks for supporting us. Good luck!” These were some of the comments from nurses walking an early morning informational picket line outside the Washington Hospital Center July 19, as they greeted Omari Musa, Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor of Washington.

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