Disabled and elderly paratransit riders in Seattle have won a victory over the corporate criminal, Veolia corporation, which for years has delivered negligent service to the disabled riding public. King County Metro Transit, which controls the Access Paratransit, just got rid of its contractor, Veolia, after years of public pressure and organizing. The Stop Veolia Seattle organization worked in solidarity with Access drivers and also had the support of the Boston School Bus Drivers union, United Steelworkers Local 8751.Access, with a large fleet of buses, has been controlled by transnational Veolia since 2008. The Veolia empire is rich and extremely well-connected within the capitalist system, in both public and private enterprises in 48 countries. They specialize in privatization of public services and assets. They have gobbled up government contracts in transportation, water privatization, sewage, trash or “environmental services” and “energy services.”Veolia has a record of bribery, racist environmental destruction and attacks on unions. There is also a legacy of successful working-class organizing against Veolia’s destructive practices.Stop Veolia Seattle has helped organize demonstrations of people with disabilities and the elderly at King County Council where they have spoken out about Veolia’s bad service. To get picked up, riders have had to wait long periods of time out in the rain and cold. At other times the bus will circle the city because of poor routing practices. The King County Auditor’s Office found that the county paid Veolia more the longer that a rider was on the bus; so long trips were incentives.Veolia’s union busting In 2008, when Veolia won the lion’s share of the Access contract, they broke the drivers union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, and drivers were forced to take wage cuts. Veolia secured a contract with the county which Metro said would save the county $1 million. After three years, though, the county paid Veolia $7.7 million more than before — with less service.A few years later the workers won back a union with Teamsters Local 117. This came right on the heels of the Boston School Bus Drivers’ victory over Veolia in the fall of 2016, a struggle which Stop Veolia Seattle had supported and publicized. Organizers in Seattle credit the Boston victory in forcing Veolia to allow the union back in Seattle. The Boston struggle beat off the entire political establishment there in league with Veolia, which was involved in a vain attempt to break the Boston School Bus Drivers union.As the struggle went on groups such as the Transit Riders Union; ADAPT, a civil rights, direct-action organization for disabled people; and Disability Rights Washington joined the struggle and allied with Stop Veolia Seattle.King County released a Request for Proposals for paratransit in 2017 that didn’t even comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the coalition shut it down. The pressure from the alliance of organizations finally forced the county to dump Veolia this summer. Stop Veolia Seattle held a victory party with many disabled and elderly people. The new contractor for Access will be closely monitored. Veolia will no longer make profits from negligent service to the disabled in Seattle.Veolia is also a target of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement due to Veolia’s exploitative contracts with Israel in occupied Palestine. Veolia built a light-rail transit line from illegal Israeli settlements on the outskirts of Jerusalem into the central city, almost completely bypassing closed-in Palestinian neighborhoods.But after many years of organizing and through groups like Stop Veolia Seattle allied with the BDS movement, and unions and communities around the world, Veolia’s “profits before people” policies have been pushed back. In August 2015 Veolia announced it was selling all its enterprises in Palestine and Israel because the BDS movement cost it over $24 billion in lost contracts, marking a major victory for BDS and the struggle to free Palestine from racist, Zionist rule. Veolia has lost many contracts around the world, but will remain a threat “til every battle’s won!” (Lyrics from “Which side are you on?” by Florence Reece)FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare this
Previous articleComedian Jimmy Tatro drops back into schoolNext articleArmy ROTC to participate in Cowtown Marathon Shane Battis RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Shane Battishttps://www.tcu360.com/author/shane-battis/ Shane Battishttps://www.tcu360.com/author/shane-battis/ Shane Battishttps://www.tcu360.com/author/shane-battis/ Brendan Hartman and Caitlin Payblas, ISA board members, wore cowboy outfits to represent the U.S. in the fashion show. Van Do, president of ISA, said she wanted American and International students to get to know each other. She said the banquet is a way for people to learn more about countries outside of America.The president said the banquet was a success.“When I looked at the room, I see the diversity from each table and that makes me really happy,” Do said. Linkedin + posts Fourteen students showcased traditional clothing from their respective countries like Ghana, Pakistan, USA, China and Mexico.Janvier Rutsobe and Claudine Mukanyamwasa wore ceremonial African clothes to represent Rwanda.Mukanyamwasa said her dress is for formal events in her country, such as festivals and weddings. She said she was very excited to model in the fashion show.“It’s just to show that we are Rwandese and we are here at TCU,” she said.OffstageTCU students and Fort Worth community members mingled before and after the shows, congratulating participants and taking pictures at the flight-themedphoto booth. Facebook Twitter ReddIt Carol Lyan, an ISA board member, applauded for performers. She later modeled for Myanmar in the fashion show. Adam Zou, sophomore, watches the talent show contestants perform. Twitter Shane Battis Shane Battishttps://www.tcu360.com/author/shane-battis/ Iliana Miramontes swishes her Mexican dress for the audience. Ten countries were represented in the fashion show. Office of Religious and Spiritual Life affirms Muslim students in light of online threats ReddIt People took pictures in front of the “Flight Around the World” backdrop. Irené Kwihangana, Phillip Kafuluma, Odile Mukiza, Lawrence Kajura, and Martin Segeja gathered for a photo. Ngoc Tu and Lan Anh wore Vietnamese outfits and did a quick dance move on stage. printBursts of laughter and chatter in several languages filled the room. Forks and knives clinked over steaming Indian curry, Turkish baklava and American chicken wings. Friends and strangers huddled in for pictures in front of a “Flight Around the World” themed backdrop.The International Spring Banquet brought a full house to the University Christian Church on Feb. 19.The banquet, hosted by the International Student Association (ISA), featured a talent show, traditional dress fashion walk and cultural food. Fifteen countries, including India, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam and the U.S., were represented at the banquet.The lights dimmed as guests settled back into their seats. The show was about to begin.The Talent ShowMost of the night centered around ten talent acts.American and International students entertained the audience with mostly vocal and instrumental pieces. Audience members enjoyed cultural meals during the show and voted on their three favorite acts.First place winner Yi Ning won the crowd with an English rendition of the Korean track “Nobody.”As she belted out the final chorus, the audience exploded into applause and rose to their feet in a standing ovation.Out of breath after her performance, Ning told the audience she chose the song because she thought it would be interesting for a Chinese girl to sing an originally Korean song.Another crowd-pleaser was a ukulele-toting songwriter.Sammy Ramirez, a junior history major who came in third place, sang an original song called “Falling” while strumming his ukulele. He taught himself to play the instrument, he told the audience, only two weeks before taking it to the stage.The lyrics alternated between Spanish and English, he said, to “add a little culture” for the occasion.Ramirez talked about his love for TCU’s international community and the friendships he’s formed. He said he participates in many cultural organizations when he can and hopes more people get involved in organizations like ISA.“They want to get out there and they want to share their culture,” Ramirez said.The Fashion ShowChinese brocade robes, a Pakistani kurta and Mexican dresses bounded past tables toward the stage strutting their vibrant outfits to the cheering crowd.On this night, comfort colors were out of style. Lead On committee co-chairs share goals with students ‘The Big Switch:’ Student spends a day in the chancellor’s shoes Ali Haider, Asim Hassan and Isioma Odita pose for pictures. Haider also modeled in the fashion show to represent Pakistan. Facebook Janvier Rutsobe and Claudine Mukanyamwasa modeled traditional Rwandan attire. Mukanyamwasa said her dress is for formal events like weddings and festivals. The Leap: 10 April Fool’s pranks to try this year TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Students debut performances of drag personas as part of unique new course Talent show contestants pose on stage. The top three winners were Yi Ning, Ravi Baldota, and Sammy Ramirez. Frog Aides helps supports local businesses with on-campus ‘state fair’ event
Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has insisted he will not address rumours that he is ready to sell the club until the end of the season. Press Association Lerner released a statement on Sunday afternoon which is likely to further fuel the speculation that he is ready to call time on his ownership of the Villa Park club. In it, he said: “As regards my personal role at the club and the steady rumours of a sale, I will address these after the season. “Randy’s always been great with me as an individual and someone to talk to,” said the manager. “What he’s done here has been phenomenal. We’ve got an incredible training ground due to him and an incredible stadium, it’s been fantastic. “He has spent one hell of a lot of money since he’s been at the club. “Without a doubt (Lerner is still passionate about this club). I don’t think you do what he’s done and not be passionate about it. He loves this club.” However, Lambert also admits the team will continue to struggle in the Premier League unless more funds can be made available for big-name players. He added: “There’s loads of work to be done in this league. The finances are vital for this league – the better the players you buy, the better chance you have of doing something. “We’ve done it for two years and tried to keep this club in the league and to keep it going. But this club’s too big, far too big, that’s me being honest. “All the players I’ve been linked with cost one hell of a lot of money. If you don’t have it then you have to work within the parameters that you’ve got. “The size of this club and the fan base it’s got, and the way things have happened in the past, winning the league and the European Cup, these supporters don’t want to see a club like this for the past few years. “But this league and how hard it is, you’ve got to look at it and say, ‘Okay, we can go and get x, y and z’. But the big ones I’ve been linked with, you couldn’t do it.” “[Manager] Paul Lambert, [chief executive] Paul Faulkner and I speak daily and remain committed to the immediate job of limiting distraction and confusion in order that Villa have the best chance possible of finishing on a strong note.” Lerner’s statement came after Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Southampton which left Villa in 15th place in the table and five points above the drop zone with four games still to play. He remains steadfastly behind manager Paul Lambert after a week during which coaches Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa were suspended. Lerner said: “Following the point yesterday at Villa Park, there have been stories about my selling the club. “On a personal level, I had hoped the emphasis would have been on the amazing effort on the part of our manager and our players to re-group throughout a very difficult week. “Injuries to Libor (Kozak) and Christian (Benteke), compounded with the early loss of Jores (Okore) and the difficult rehab of Charles (N’Zogbia) have no doubt left Paul with far less to work with than is fair. “Still, Paul Lambert has done nothing but work within the parameters I’ve set, put the club first and continue to trust his players.” Lambert was equally praiseworthy of Lerner and his contribution to the club.
10 months ago Rowers sparkle with gold in Asian Championship on a Diwali Day READ: “Come Back Stronger” Resound Fans In Response To Glen Maxwell’s BreakREAD: New Meme Trend Shows Life Before Invention Of Things, Netizens Laud 11 months ago Tejashwi Yadav says BJP-JD(U) infighting turning Bihar into a circus 11 months ago Bihar Floods: 900 cases of Dengue reported, Patna worst hit by floods FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE 10 months ago Bihar CM Nitish Kumar orders high-level meeting to review waterlogging SUBSCRIBE TO US 10 months ago Alexander Ludwig to join Michael Shannon in ‘Swing’ Last Updated: 31st October, 2019 16:57 IST Three-time Olympic Rowing Gold Medalist Reed Paralysed Triple Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed has been left paralyzed from his chest down following a spinal stroke, he announced. Triple Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed has been left paralyzed from his chest down following a spinal stroke, he announced.Reed has won four Olympic goldThe 38-year-old, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, won the coxless four Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 before adding a third when the eight triumphed in Rio de Janeiro three years ago.READ: Ill Djokovic Survives Scare In Paris Opener, Nadal Also ThroughPete Reed tweeted about his paralysisReed had tweeted earlier this month he had suffered a spinal stroke which he added is “very rare” and he took to Instagram to reveal the fall-out from it. “There is a very small chance I will make no recovery and a very small chance I will make a full recovery,” he said in his post “Much more likely it will be somewhere in between. To what extent depends on the extent of the damage (which we can’t see) and how well I rehab.” READ: Glenn Maxwell: Justin Langer Lauds The All-rounder’s ‘great Courage’A spinal stroke is a disruption in the blood supply to the spinal cord and five-time world champion Reed says doctors do not know what caused his. “It was in the middle of my spine so I’m currently paralyzed beneath my chest,” said Reed, who retired from rowing last year. “My arms are still strong and my brain is still as average as it ever was.” WE RECOMMEND Press Trust Of India First Published: 31st October, 2019 16:57 IST COMMENT LIVE TV Written By