Punching in

The next time you're cruising the Web, check out the site maintained by those ardent lefties who produce the CounterPunch newsletter (counterpunch.org). Specifically, look for the Oct. 6 piece "Made in (DeUnionized) America" by Tiffany Ten Eyck and Mark Brenner.

Among other things, the writers — both of whom work for the publication Labor Notes — take a close look at Detroit's own Centro Obrero, a project of the AFL-CIO that assists this area's Latino community in dealing with workplace issues.

The article talks about smaller suppliers to the Big Three automakers, and the difficulty in unionizing these plants.

As the CounterPunchers pointed out, "unions often shy away from waging battles in these small shops. The fights are long and the potential membership gains, at least in the short-term, are small. Labor activists outside of the union structure, like those at Centro Obrero, have stepped up to fill the void."

It is a fight that must be waged, says Centro Obrero's Elena Herrada, telling the reporters: "This is the last outpost for U.S. auto parts jobs: Either we organize them or we shut them down."

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at [email protected] or

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