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THE WHITE TERRORISTS — Yvette Carnell writes a scathing history of Lynching in America; Ajamu Baraka on Netanyahu the Rejectionist; Patrick Smith on Reinventing the Foreign Correspondent; Peter Lee on the escalating cyberwar between the US and China; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Real Israeli Defense Force: the US Congress. Plus: Mike Whitney: Getting Cured in Vietnam; JoAnn Wypijewski on Gramsci, Chick Webb and the Art of Living Well; Chris Floyd: Learning About the Rapture from Michele Bachmann and Lee Ballinger: Driving Nat King Cole.
Archives by Tag 'labor'
On the Streets of Oakland
LINH DINH
Other people’s lives come fluttering to us in the tiniest fragments, and these we gather, when we bother to, into an incoherent jumble of impressions we pass off as knowledge. Further, our ears, eyes and mind are all seriously defective and worn-down, making intelligenc...
Different Seasons of the Arab Spring
CARL FINAMORE
In northern Africa, winters are usually mild and summers normally dry and hot. The glorious Arab Spring revolts in this part of the world can also be measured in this same way – sometimes hot, in fact, blazing hot; sometimes warm; sometimes mild and sometimes just p...
The Best Union in the World Goes on Strike
DAVID MACARAY
Why is it easier to respect (maybe “respect” isn’t the right word) a self-confessed racist (“I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like black people.”) than an obvious racist who goes around sanctimoniously pretending he has no prejudices?  Dante was awar...
Nail-Biting Time at Kaiser
CAL WINSLOW
We’re now in nail-biting time for workers at California’s huge HMO, Kaiser Permanente. Some 45,000 service and technical employees there received ballots from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) at the beginning of April; the ballots must be returned by May 1, w...
Labor History Association President Cancels ILWU Panel
MICHAEL MUNK
Author’s note: As a PNLHA member and scheduled participant in another panel at our May meeting,  I consider the organization an appropriate venue for a reasoned discussion of issues such as the history of the controversial EGT contract. Our constituency i...
An Interview with Richard Wolff
ED RAMPELL
Richard Wolff got his B.A. from Harvard, a Master’s in economics from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale. Wolff is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and a Visiting Professor in the graduate pr...
Sugar Workers Return After 20-Month Lockout
DAVID MACARAY
Approximately 1,300 members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union (BCTGM) from Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, who’d been locked-out since August 1, 2011, by the Moorhead, Minnesota-based American Crystal Company, voted on April 13 to a...
Krugman vs. Stockman
MIKE WHITNEY
It was no Rumble in the Jungle, that’s for sure. There were no blindside blows to the ribs, no bone...
Without Unions the Bullies Will Win
DAVID MACARAY
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of old-fashioned “resistance.”  Indeed, without resistance (e.g., pushing back, taking an aggressive stand, demonstrating that you’re willing to fight, etc.), things can get out of hand very quickly, whether we’re tal...
The BoJ’s Kuroda Wheels Out the Heavy Artillery
MIKE WHITNEY
“Almost the entire rich world is stuck in a zero interest rate liquidity trap situation, and I think everybody is haunted by the possibility that there’s no way out of it. If Japan shows a way out of that, it will be very encouraging.” – G...
Fast Food Workers Super-Size Their Struggle
PETER RUGH
Tianna Smalls had planned on working Thursday, but her colleagues convinced her otherwise. “You’re either with us, or you’re for Wendy’s,” Smalls remembers her co-workers telling her. Her mother also weighed in Thursday morning as Smalls was heading to work at t...
Can Worker-Owners Make a Big Factory Run?
JANE SLAUGHTER
This is the conclusion of a two-part series on the TRADOC worker’s cooperative in Mexico. Click here to read part one. A tire is not just a piece of rubber with ...
A Big Victory for Labor in Mexico
JANE SLAUGHTER
“If the owners don’t want it, let’s run it ourselves.” When a factory closes, the idea of turning it into a worker-owned co-operative sometimes comes up—and usually dies. The hurdles to buying a plant, even a failing plant, are huge, and once in business,...
Howard Zinn in Chicago
BENJAMIN J. GEORGE
This past January the 27th was the anniversary of Howard Zinn’s death. For all who knew Howard, be it through his books, speeches or from marching along side him on the restive streets of pr...
Hilton Hotels Look Back to the Future
CARL FINAMORE
All of us at one time or another had things pounded into our heads so often that ultimately a light bulb goes off. Finally, one or more of our experiences, good or bad, influences our behavior. This is not new. The esteemed 19th century philosopher Soren Kierkegaar...
California Health Workers Get a Second Chance
CARL FINAMORE
Except for maybe the famously intractable George Bush and Dick Cheney, it’s pretty common to want to take back something we did in life. American slang celebrates this new opportunity – we get “another swing at the bat,” “another crack at it” or we take...
Has Everyone Improved Except Working People?
DAVID MACARAY
Not to wax nostalgically, but when we look back at the social progress made over the last half-century or so, we have much to be proud of. Granted, in many instances it was unfortunate we had to wait so long before these progressive measures took root, but late to the par...
Why Republicans Hate Thomas Perez
DAVID MACARAY
We’ll all need to buckle up in preparation for some dramatic and historical confrontations in the coming weeks.  No, we’re not talking about college basketball’s “March Madness”  (Go UCLA!)  We’re talking about the confirmation hearings of Thomas Perez, Pre...
Walmart Bosses and the Minimum Wage
RALPH NADER
Last weekend on a bright, sunny day a dozen of us demonstrated at shopping malls where Walmart has three of its giant stores, supplied heavily by products from China and other serf-wage countries. But outsourcing the jobs of its American suppliers to China was not the foc...
Is It Time For Just Cause?
RAND WILSON and STEVE EARLY
“It’s time for unions to stop being clever about excuses for why membership is declining and it’s time to figure out how to devise appeals to the workers out there. Workers should be looking to unions because of job insecurity and stagnant wa...
Have It Your Way…at McDonald’s
DAVID MACARAY
Last week (March 6), McDonald’s, the international fast-food juggernaut, was surprised and, one hopes, publicly embarrassed when a group of student “guest workers” in central Pennsylvania called an impromptu strike to protest working conditions. According to these g...
Bad Romance: Labor, Obama and the Democrats
SHAMUS COOKE
The Democratic Party’s participation in the recent national “sequester” cuts is yet another big dent in their love affair with organized labor. But break-ups are often a protracted process. Before a relationship ends there is usually a gradual deterioration based o...
How to Raise the Minimum Wage
RALPH NADER
Day after day exposés pour forth about corporate and governmental wrongdoing and abuses of power from official reports, the media, lawsuits and citizen groups. Far more often than not, little or nothing happens. The organized culprits continue with their harmful and gree...
The Right to Sick Leave
EILEEN APPELBAUM
The tide is turning in the debate over whether all employees should be able to earn paid sick leave. The benefits for those who need to be able to take a day off when they have the flu or want to keep a sick child home from school have not been in doubt. From a people per...
AFL-CIO’s Own Oil Disaster
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
With less than transparency, the AFL-CIO just issued a statement endorsing “expanding the nation’s pipeline system.” Although it did not explicitly endorse the Keystone XL pipeline, the labor federation nevertheless managed to extend its blessing to the project whil...
The Strategic Defeat of Labor
KEVIN CARSON
The decline of organized labor (from more than 30% of non-farm private sector workers in the ’50s to around 6% today) is often presented as something that “just happened” — a spontaneous fact of nature beyond human control, like glaciation or asteroid strikes. Far...
O Labor, Where Art Thou?
DAVID MACARAY
It’s astonishing that we have all these people out there—all these wildly opinionated, patriotic folks—who, without any prompting, will spontaneously burst into rhapsodic discourse about how much they admire the “checks and balances” written into the U.S. consti...
Obama’s $9 Per Hour Minimum Wage
DAVID MACARAY
Legendary comedian Mort Sahl (who’s still alive and kicking, by the way) used to tell this joke during the Nixon administration.  If a man were drowning 15-feet from shore, President Nixon would throw him a 10-foot rope.  Then Henry Kissinger would go on television an...
Walmart Bares Its Fangs
DAVID MACARAY
By now, everyone knows that the AFL-CIO has spent tens of millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to get Walmart’s hourly employees to join the union (some union, any union).  Their organizing drive was smart, well-conceived, and timely.  Seemi...
Why Egypt’s Revolution is So Different
CARL FINAMORE
Cairo. Entering the third year of the revolt in Egypt, no amount of repression seems able to contain the swelling pressure exploding throughout the country the last several weeks. In fact, protests against the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Moh...
China Is No Paper Tiger
DAVID MACARAY
Without much fanfare, and without many people even being aware of it, in 2009, China overtook the U.S. as the world’s leading papermaker.  Moreover, they did it in much the same way that they became the world’s premiere manufacturing beast: with innovative engineerin...
The Argument for Amnesty
MARK VORPAHL
Millions experience the repressive nature of the U.S. immigration system on a daily basis, lifting its need for reform to a level of urgency. And fixing this broken program is integral to building the unity among U.S. workers that is required to challenge corporate Americ...
The Perils of Work
MICHAEL YATES
Workers in a hospital are sick of management violating their collective bargaining agreement. Their work is ever more stressful: hours keep getting longer; patient loads rise; safety rules are ignored. They tell their union steward that it is time to bombard the bosses wi...
When Labor Supports the Enemy
ARI PAUL
Who is to blame for organized labor’s descent in political irrelevancy? Ronald Reagan? The Koch brothers? Good answers, but maybe we need to look at labor leaders themselves. Consider the case of this year’s mayor’s race in New York City, one of the last bast...
Domestic Fair Trade
RONNIE CUMMINS and DAVE MURPHY
“The union is like having herpes. It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient, and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover.” John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market (WFM) ...
Obama Silent on Labor
BRETT WARNKE
Women.  Gays.  African-Americans.  All are groups whose historical and contemporary injustices have mobilized America’s liberal base.  President Obama offered acknowledgement in his second inaugural and even a few historical allusions, mentioning “Seneca Falls, Se...
Trade Unions and the Strike in Britain
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. Two events from 2010 abundantly illustrate the unfair double-standard to which Trade Unions are subjected. In May, cabin crew at British Airways prepared to go on a series of 5 day strikes to protest management’s victimisation of workers w...
The Real Reason for the Decline of American Labor Unions
KRIS WARNER
Earlier this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual summary of unionization in the U.S. It reports that in 2012, the union-membership rate of wage and salary workers was 11.3 percent, compared with 11.8 percent in 2011. The trend has been downward for so...
Yoga and the Picket Line
CARL FINAMORE
Each year some 2000 yoga enthusiasts assemble at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco, California for “a great convergence of yogis of all ages and backgrounds” states convention sponsor Yoga Journal. The extremely liberal and tolerant “city by the bay...
Can Occupy and Labor Coalesce?
PETER RUGH
On a cold December morning, before sunrise in New York’s Chinatown, about ...
Retail Rebellion
BRIAN TIERNEY
In 1962, Arkansas businessman Sam Walton opened the first Walmart discount store, setting in motion the rapid ascendance of a corporate giant that would redefine markets around the world. With its focus on competitive prices and vast distribution networks that revolutio...
The Right-to-Exploit
ROBERT HANHAM
No sooner had Michigan’s ‘right-to-work’ (RTW) law passed, than supporters were out in force crowing about their success and the prospect of other states falling victim. Non-RTW states Alaska, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hamps...
Who Will Be the Next Secretary of Labor?
DAVID MACARAY
With Hilda Solis resigning as Labor Secretary (presumably, to run for LA County Board of Supervisors, the first step in the former congresswoman’s renewal of her political career), President Obama has the opportunity to appoint someone who can make a real difference. No...
The Long-Term Jobs and Wage Picture
ALAN NASSER
“We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of e...
An Alliance in Healthcare
CAL WINSLOW
In a giant step forward for California healthcare workers, two of the nation’s most militant unions have joined forces in the battle against Kaiser Permanente, the giant California based healthcare corporation. It is a battle of enormous proportion, one with implication...
Longshoremen Strike Averted
DAVID MACARAY
On December 28, a potential strike by the ILA (International Longshoremen’s Association), representing East Coast dockworkers, was averted when union negotiators agreed to extend the contract for another month, and continue bargaining.  Both sides took this to be a hop...
Economic Plunder in Recent History
ROB URIE
In the mid 1990s Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman ...
Approaching the Twilight of the Labor Movement
DAVID MACARAY
Private sector union membership in the U.S. stands at about 7-percent, meaning that 93-percent of all private sector jobs in this country are non-union, which makes those accusations of unions of being “too powerful” even more ridiculous and hysterical than they alrea...
The Crass Cynicism of Right-to-Work Laws
ANDREW LEVINE
Teddy Roosevelt called their counterparts a century ago “malefactors of great wealth.”  They tried to buy the 2012 election for Mitt Romney, and the Senate for the GOP.  That was unwise, inasmuch as they have been getting all they could hope for from Barack Obama an...
What Would a Country Without Labor Unions Look Like?
DAVID MACARAY
What would a country without unions look like?  Before answering, we should clarify labor’s role, both historically and presently.  The purpose of a labor union is and always has been  to raise the standard of living for working people.  Simple as that.  And by “...