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Labor educator Harry Kelber has a great post running on Alternet right now, entitled: "The Unemployed Now Have Their Own Union, and It's Catching on Quickly." It's all about a new union for the unemployed that's been established over the past few weeks by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). They're calling it the "UR Union of the Unemployed," and it's nicknamed: "UCubed."

IAM's "...leaders feel that the millions of unemployed workers need a union of their own to join in the struggle for massive jobs programs."

The Unemployed Now Have Their Own Union, and It's Catching on Quickly
By Harry Kelber
February 24, 2010

...The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.

Joining a Cube is as simple as it is important. (Please check the union web site: Six people who live in the same zip code address can form a Ucube. Nine such UCubes make a neighborhood. Three neighborhood UCubes form a power block that cntains 162 activists. Politicians cannot easily ignore a multitude of power blocks, nor can merchants avoid them.

The union is built from the ground up. Cube activists will select their own leadership in each cube, neighborhood, block and higher group as well.

Kelber tells us that the UCubed organization is spreading like wildfire in just its first month in existence, with members having joined the group from 43 states and over 300 zip codes. 75 "Cubes" are already up and running!

(Anyone running--or considering running--for elected office this cycle who's reading this might want to consider contacting this group, since they'd be a GREAT source for volunteers, as even Kelber points out.)

So, in the process of researching this, I did a search here on DKos, and I found this comment, below, from Kossack catchlightning, from this past Tuesday, the day before Kelber's article appeared on Alternet. ESP, or what?!

I filed initial jobless claim today for the first (16+ / 0-)

time in my life. I am 59 years old, have a wife and two kids still in school, and have worked all my life.  My first job was as a busboy.  I've been a taxi driver, a house painter, a freelance reporter, a marketing writer, a financial writer, a retailer.  23 years ago, after the collapse of the first derivatives bubble (that no one today hardly remembers) I moved back East from Chicago.  I took a temporary job for $6.50 an hour and within two years became the manager of that business -- a position I held for another 17 years... until last Friday.

As some of you know I have written passionately on the need for a movement to address the massive unemployment problem, going back to last Spring here at Daily Kos:
For a Union of the Unemployed
A Call to Organize: CREATEJobsNow!
The Coming Battle for Jobs and Recovery

And since last Fall I've been featured guest blogger at Working America's 'Main Street' blog with the encouragement of DK front-pager Laura Clawson, while cross-posting frequently here at Daily Kos:

Working America's "Main Street" Blog

If there's one thing -- other than my family -- that I can point to these last couple of years that has sustained and empowered me, it's the online community here and elsewhere that's encouraged my writing and enabled my work.  Whatever the future holds, I hope it is full of more of that than the other thing.

Not Ideas about the Thing but the Thing Itself - Wallace Stevens

by catchlightning on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 11:00:39 PM EST

So, for all of the folks out there in catchlightning's position--and I'm talkin' to you, too, catchlightning--consider this a ray of hope for a Friday night.


Originally posted to on Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 08:17 PM PST.

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