Tuesday, September 30, 2008

FMPR Update from Angel Gonzalez

Please come to our Weds. Oct. 1st FMPR Support Comm. NY - Meeting where we will discuss what we can do here at this important juncture to support the democratic teachers' struggle.

As usual our meeting will be at:
Hunter College East - 14th Fl
Center for PR Studies


FMPR Update:

Last Friday the Appellate Court of Puerto Rico ruled in a divided (2-1)
decision in favor of the Labor Board's exclusion of FMPR from participating
in the election for exclusive representation of the 42,000 teachers of PR to
be held from October 1-16, 2008. There was no legal basis for the decision
and all arguments of FMPR were completely ignored--the Court simply ruled as
the Labor Board ruled--to disqualify the union because it had been
decertified by the Board for voting to go on strike.

Thus, the ballot will contain only one union choice: the SPM, the SEIU
Affiliate invented in December, 2007 as the "union" arm of the Associacion
de Maestros--the Managerial organization of Principals, etc.--which has
served for decades as the voice of the Populares (PPD). The Popular
Democratic Party (PPD) is the party currently in power in PR (but most
likely not for long, come November, many believe!)--which controls the
judiciary and the government--and serves as the teachers' employer.

The other choice the ballot will contain will be a NO vote--for no union.
The FMPR is conducting a campaign for teachers to vote NO to SPM and will
attempt to have observers in all of the schools. While the union will
appeal to the Supreme Court, it is believed that such a ruling will not
favor FMPR as the Supremo is controlled by Governor Acevedo Avila (PPD) who
has conspired with Dennis Rivera and the SEIU to destroy the militant union.

It is important to note that this decision completely ignores the more than
12,000 teachers who have already signed cards endorsing FMPR as
representative. SEIU, after spending millions on their campaign to compete
with FMPR in their decertification attempt, apparently realized they could
not win in a fair election. The only possible way for SPM to "win" would be
if it were the only choice--thus the long delay in the Appellate's decision.
This delay also serves to cut short the time FMPR would need to develop
legal arguments for the Supreme Court and to generate a "VOTE NO" campaign.

All of these shenanigans indicate clear collaboration among SEIU, the
Asociacion, the government-boss and the courts. Class allies.

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