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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...