In Toronto, cyclists form a first-of-its-kind union
Believed to be the first of its kind, the Toronto Cyclists Union plans to offer insurance, roadside assistance, advocacy, and even an online dating service.
By Susan Bourette | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor / June 6, 2008 edition
By Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writer
Leaders of Philadelphia's striking taxi drivers ended their 48-hour strike a day early yesterday but promised to continue fighting problematic new high-tech dispatch and credit card systems mandated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
Leaders of the drivers and Parking Authority officials disagreed about how many cabbies stayed off the streets and about the strike's effectiveness. But officials of the authority, which since 2005 has regulated city cabs, said there was no shortage of taxis yesterday at Philadelphia International Airport and only brief rush-hour delays at Amtrak's 30th Street Station.
All 1,200 members of the Taxi Workers Alliance will be back at 6 a.m. today, alliance president Ronald Blount announced yesterday during an afternoon rally in front of Parking Authority headquarters at 3101 Market St.
"We've made our point. We've proved that we can launch a two-day strike," Blount told reporters in front of about 25 supporters. "This system is not working. It's been almost a year now. How long are we supposed to be patient?"
Cabs Are on Strike, but Are on the Street, Too
By JAMES BARRON
A strike called by a New York City taxi drivers' group over city plans for a high-tech video-and-fare system thinned the ranks of yellow cabs on the streets yesterday, producing frustrating waits on corners, long lines at the airports and angry exchanges over an ad-hoc fare system.
Union leaders and city officials differed over the effectiveness of the walkout. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which called the strike, maintained that 90 percent of drivers were idle yesterday. But Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the figure was far lower.
Still, many would-be passengers spent more time with hands in the air, stuck in that eternal pose of big-city hopelessness. And at the airports, a five-minute wait for a cab stretched to half an hour at some terminals, with 25 people waiting in line, looking at their watches, wondering why they were suddenly going nowhere when the plane had been on time.
The city had introduced a zone-based fare structure during the planned two-day strike - the ride into Manhattan from Kennedy International Airport would be set at $45, for example - but according to anecdotes, at least, the plan seemed to sow more confusion than convenience. It permitted group rides, but some drivers were unaware of it and were uncertain how much to charge. That led to more than one instance of audible angry dialogue between passengers and drivers.
DRIVING a taxi in New York City can be a grueling, thankless job. It is also a unionless job. But on Wednesday, many of the city’s 44,000 licensed cabdrivers are planning to go on strike for 48 hours to protest the new global positioning systems being installed in the city’s 13,000 yellow cabs.
While the Taxi and Limousine Commission supports these devices and has mandated that they be up and running in the city’s entire fleet by January, many cabdrivers — myself included — see this new technology as one big expensive headache. Perhaps the commission should listen to cabdrivers before pushing a device that we’d be better off without.
The device has no navigational abilities. The monitor, which is set into the partition separating the driver from the passenger, cannot be seen or accessed from the front of the cab. It does not give directions or plot routes. All it does is keep track of where you are — both on- and off-duty — and this information is then stored in the commission’s databases.
Officials at the commission say the primary purpose of the devices is to track lost property and make sure cabbies aren’t taking passengers from point A to point B by way of point Z. Sadly, there are some bad cabdrivers out there who take visitors for a “ride,” but in reality, we have much more to fear from our passengers than they have to fear from us.
However, for me and many of my fellow drivers, privacy issues aside, it’s all about money. With prices ranging from around $3,250 to $4,000 to lease and install each unit, the initial costs alone are enough to drive some cabbies out of business. For private owner/operators, this could kill their year.
The costs continue to pile up after the devices are installed. The test drivers who already have the touch-screens have reported finding the monitors covered in spray paint, stickers, soda and scratches.
As Strike Looms, Mayor Vows to Install Taxi Devices
By GLENN COLLINS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that the city would not back down in its determination to install credit card and video devices in city taxicabs despite a threatened two-day strike by a major cabdrivers' group.
"All they would be doing is hurting themselves," the mayor said of a planned 48-hour work stoppage by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. tomorrow. "Hopefully, they won't want to sit there and let all the other taxi drivers have extra fares while they earn nothing."
Nevertheless, the mayor said he hoped that "cooler heads will prevail and that nobody will strike."
The alliance claims to represent more than 7,000 hack-license holders among more than 20,000 active cabbies. Bhairavi Desai, the group's executive director, said that 50 volunteers were out leafleting and talking to drivers yesterday at taxi stands, terminals and hotels.
This essay explores the relationship of workers to the Hollywood system. It examines the role of film as a medium for social change and provocation—an important tool for marginalized figures of society. It outlines the crucial ways film influences the way people understand the world. It is most important, in fact, when dealing with issues about which people know very little. This argument substantiates Herbert J. Biberman’s own ideals about the necessity of film and proves the relevance of his efforts at self-expression and the articulation of a marginalized group. By I. Cowles
An account of the inspiration behind and the making of “Salt of the Earth” by the director himself. The story accounts, primarily, what the inspirations were for the making of the film—especially regarding the Hollywood blacklist and the HUAC hearings, which ultimately lead to Biberman’s incarceration in Texas. He tells of his experiences as a member of the Hollywood Ten and recounts the tension this put on his personal life and artistic capacities. The book delineates Biberman’s struggle to make the film—from casting and production issues to distribution challenges. It sheds a light on the parallels between the story Biberman chooses to tell through the film’s account of the Mexican Union Workers and the persecution of he and his colleagues under the HUAC and McCarthy agendas. By I. Cowles
Lorence, James J. . Suppression of Salt of the earth : how Hollywood, big labor, and politicians blacklisted a movie in Cold War America / James J. Lorence. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c1999.
This book explores the making of “Salt of the Earth.” It explores all of the important facets of the film, examining the implications of the representation as a means of criticizing the HUAC agenda and fostering community and self-expression within an oppressively authoritarian system. Lorence outlines the circumstances created by the Cold War, explores the origins of the IPC and the inspiration behind the making of “Salt of the Earth.” He explores the difficulties of film production and distribution, and ultimately discusses the legacy of the film on both foreign and domestic markets. By I. Cowles
This essay explores the 1947 House Committee on Un-American Activities persecution of a number of Hollywood figures—those suspected of Communist affiliations. The essay outlines the process through which the HUAC “hearings” produced a blacklist and ultimately gave rise to the imprisonment of the ‘Hollywood Ten,’ among whom was Herbert J. Biberman. The essay, however, casts a critical light on many of the members of the Hollywood Ten, arguing that many of them were, indeed, ultimately willing to compromise their political beliefs. He gives an un-traditional account of the HUAC hearings and those alleged Communists it pursued. Indeed, Eckstein ultimately writes this of the Hollywood Ten, “Martyrs, they are—but they are not innocent martyrs.” (433)By I. Cowles
This article, which begins by outlining Biberman’s persecution by HUAC and the Hollywood historical context which inspired the making of the film, criticizes “Salt of the Earth” for not referencing the industry more—it avoids popular culture references, which, Klawans believes weakens the argument of the film. By I. Cowles
An account of the Mexican mines’ situation and the response by Biberman and his filmmaking team. This article outlines the making of “Salt of the Earth,” as it outlines the perseverance of those involved in the filmmaking process. It explores the extremes Biberman and Jerrico went to in order to make and distribute their film, whose making, ultimately, could not be suppressed by the ethically dubious political agenda of Hollywood during the McCarthy era. By I. Cowles
Screenplay of “Salt of the Earth” written by Michael Wilson; Comments by Debora Silverton Rosenfelt comparing Hollywood and New Mexico; two final chapters outlining the making and distributing of the film. This is a direct account of the screenplay of the film. Wilson’s work is then followed by several academic and historical treatments of the film and filmmaking process. By I. Cowles
tagged lockouts new_mexico pfdoctype_book pffilmtitle_salt_of_the_earth pfpeople_deborah_silverton_rosenfelt pfpeople_herbert_j._biberman pfpeople_michael_wilson strikes union workers zinc_mining by wellske ...and 1 other person ...on 14-NOV-06
The article’s author, A.H. Weiler interview’s Biberman who comments on the social relevance of the film after the publication of his personal account of the filmmaking process, which appears in his book Salt of the Earth: the Story of a Film, a documentation of the ideological and pragmatic elements of the development of “Salt of the Earth”. By I. Cowles
New York Times article reviewing the film in 1954. Recognizes “Salt of the Earth” as little more than a portrayal of the Mexican miners and their straightforward revolt: it does not delve much more deeply into the theme of Biberman, Jerrico and Wilson’s need for self-expression in the face of the HUAC hearings (though the article does briefly mention the controversy). The film also recognizes the feminist undertones of the film. The article lauds “Salt of the Earth” as a well-made, “special interest film.” By I. Cowles
This article documents the presentation by the College of Santa Fe in March 2003 of the “Salt of the Earth” conference. It explains the significance of the film in a social and historical context with respect to the racial injustices it outlined as a parallel to the displays of racial intolerance of the McCarthy era. The article explores Biberman’s account of the making of “Salt of the Earth” as it appeared in his book titled as such. Ceplair also examines the film “One of the Hollywood Ten” as it relates to Biberman’s personal relationship to the historical context of the making of “Salt of the Earth”. By I. Cowles
A historical look at the Mexican-American struggle for equality in the workforce. The film has feminist undertones as it deals with the influence of women on strengthening the workers’ community. A response to the HUAC hearings and the social inequalities subtly proclaimed by the McCarthy administration in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Herbert J. Biberman was a native to Philadelphia, born in 1900. Although he moved to New York to pursue his career and was educated outside of the city, he did spend significant time at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Biberman was raised a Jew and adopted Communism as his political ideology. These elements of his persona were largely responsible for the suspicions he inspired in the HUAC hearings and were ultimately the reason for his six month imprisonment on the charge of “Contempt of Congress.” Biberman’s upbringing, a key element in defining him as a marginalized figure in 1950s America, occurred primarily in Philadelphia.
Because I am examining only one film, the relevance of which pertains primarily to a national context, my focus on Philadelphia History throughout this project has been scarce. The city, as the birthplace of Herbert J. Biberman pertains to the project for that reason more than any other. In fact, coverage of the Philadelphia native was extremely limited—especially in response to his film “Salt of the Earth.” Thus, my project focuses primarily on Herbert Bieberman’s national influence, consequences of which affected America far beyond Philadelphia alone. By I. Cowles
tagged lockouts new_mexico pfdoctype_film pffilmtitle_salt_of_the_earth pfpeople_herbert_j._biberman pfpeople_juan_chacon pfpeople_michael_wilson pfpeople_paul_jarrico pfpeople_rosaura_revueltas pfpeople_will_geer strikes union workers zinc_mining by wellske ...and 1 other person ...on 14-NOV-06