Pranav Jani

Free Press Board member Mark Stansbery kicked off the May 13 May Day Cyber-Salon from Japan with the theme of worker’s rights. Mark and Yoshie are getting ready for the G7 actions taking place there this month.

Watch the salon video here.

He introduced OSU professor Pranav Jani talking about Ohio bills HB 151 and Senate Bill 83 nicknamed the Higher Education Destruction acts. He is representing the American Association of University Professors. He recently gave an interview about the issue.

The bills are an attack on the addition of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into higher education, teaching of climate change/ethnic studies (and many more), and even faculty unions. A record number of people showed up to oppose these at a hearing in April. More info on the bills here.

Testimony is needed against these acts. The SB83 hearing is May 17 at 9:30am, North Hearing Room. Testimony against HB 151 is the same day at 10:30am, Room 17.

Next, Damon Shnur spoke to us about local and national Starbucks organizing, four being in the central Ohio area. He noted that Starbucks thinks of itself of a progressive organization, but note their actions against union organizers and the LGPTQ population. They have tactics that change schedules and negatively impact workers’ healthcare in hopes of tamping down union organizing.

There is a pledge consumers can sign in support of the unionization of Starbucks and especially if they strike. More info about Starbucks’ outgoing CEO here.

Then Michael Smalz told us about the Central Ohio Worker Center and their activities to help local workers. They are not a union but partner with local unions. Their activities are providing services to workers who are victims of wage theft, and they specialize in helping immigrant workers. They refer cases to local attorneys and immigrant rights organizations.

Pat Marida then announced the Ohio Nuclear Free Network’s June 10 Forum in Piketon. The flier has links to work that the speakers have done in exposing radioactive contamination and the resultant health effects from the Portsmouth Nuclear Site in Piketon, Ohio.

If you would like to carpool to the event, contact her at Livestream or watch later on the ONFN YouTube Channel: @OhioNuclearFreeNetwork.

Cathy Cowan Becker talked about fracking in Ohio parks and a bit about HJR1 that is trying to take away the ability of people to put forth citizen initiatives. Steve Caruso shared the FrackTracker map.

Mary Jane Borden answered a question about Delta 8 and 9 cannabis variants.