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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 ::

    Carpenters in S.F. unite against racist attacks by company - By JOEL BRITTON, The Militant
    Hector Rodríguez, a carpenter for 11 years and member of Local 713, and Richard Rankins, a carpenter for more than 30 years and member of Local 22, addressed some three dozen people at the Militant Labor Forum here May 16. Rodríguez and Rankins are plaintiffs in the suit and part of the ongoing fight against racist practices by the construction bosses. They were joined at the forum by other carpenters, who participated in the discussion.

    Rankins detailed what he called “this nightmare” of repeated racist practices. Fighting back, he said, was not for the money, but “it’s the principle, of right versus wrong.” He said he would like to see those responsible put in jail.

    Rodríguez told how several weeks after being hired last summer, a boss started taking $100 a week from his paychecks, claiming it was a union fee. A boss later confronted him, saying, “I hear you’re rebelling. Now it will be $200 a week.” Rodríguez discussed this extortion with a union official, he said, and afterward, bosses threatened him and castigated him for being like “a little girl.”
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