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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'
Victory in Longview, A Year On
CAL WINSLOW
It is a year now since all hell broke loose in Longview, Washington, an industrial town on the Columbia River, 45 miles downstream from Portland, Oregon. On Monday, July 11, 2011, more than 100 dock workers, including the leaders of Local 21, International Longshore and W...
A Possible Strategy for Organized Labor
DAVID MACARAY
Which of the following scenarios would be “most beneficial” to a society?  Scenario A,  where $100 million is spent by randomly mailing 100 million people a check for $1.00, or Scenario B, where that $100 million is spent to build a brand new modern library in a cit...
The Plight of Labor on the Campaign Trail
ROB URIE
With Barack Obama and Mitt Romney trading barbs over the outsourcing of jobs, the facts are that Mr. Obama has repeatedly given full-throated endorsement to the neo-liberal policies behind outsourcing. And Mr. Romney has actually outsourced jobs through his business at Ba...
Pensions Under Attack
MARK VORPAHL
On Friday, July 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would renew transportation programs and extend low interest rates on student loans for one year. While this minimal gesture resulted in, no doubt, sighs of relief from those burdened by student debt, tucked aw...
Work Shorter Hours, Reap Real Benefits
DEAN BAKER
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman and Richard Layard, a distinguished British economist, took the lead last week in drafting a sign on “...
A New Era for Worker Ownership
GAR ALPEROVITZ
The workers of the just-formed New Era Windows cooperative in Chicago—the same workers who sat in and forced Serious Energy to back down on a hasty shutdown of their Goose Island plant a few months ago, and famously occupied the same factory for six days in December 200...
Are You Now or Have You Ever Been an “Anti-Labor Leftist”?
MICHAEL D. YATES
The recent defeat of the Scott Walker recall in Wisconsin, an election in which Walker soundly defeated the same Democratic challenger who ran against him when he became governor in 2010, has generated much discussion. Why was the Wisconsin Uprising of early 2011, where h...
The Health Care Trap
SHAMUS COOKE
The political victory for President Obama in the Supreme Court has created an interesting shift in American politics. More important than the blow against his Republican opponent has been the re-energizing of Obama’s base, a loose coalition of liberals, labor, and ...
Supreme Court Ruling Means Health Care Remains a Commodity
MARK DUDZIC
Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision that substantially upholds the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was widely praised by the national labor movement. “Working people won a resounding victory,” ...
Apple’s American Workforce and the Service Economy
MATT VIDAL
The New York Times recently published an in-depth article on “...
Fighting for the Soul of the Carpenters’ Union
SHAMUS COOKE
All working people should pay attention to the egregious assault on union democracy happening in the Carpenters Union’s Pacific North West Regional Council, which covers all the Carpenter’s Locals in Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, and Montana. The Unit...
Obama Sells Out Labor and the Environment … Again
ROB URIE
This week the Obama administration was caught hiding behind secrecy agreements to mask its role in the latest ‘free-trade’ deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The pact is designed to further shift legal and regulatory authority from governments to mu...
A Trojan Horse Among Vermont Healthcare Reformers?
STEVE EARLY
While the nation waits for an overdue Supreme Court decision that will decide the fate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, another health care drama with wide implications for universal health care is just starting in Vermont. Prodded by a strong grassroots...
America’s Hyper-Patriots
WALTER BRASCH
It’s midway between Flag Day and Independence Day. That means several million copies of full-page flags printed on cheap newsprint, June 14, have been burned, shredded, thrown away, or perhaps recycled. It’s an American tradition. Flag Day was created by...
Kelber Challenges Trumka for Head of AFL-CIO
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Harry Kelber will challenge Richard Trumka for the presidency of the AFL-CIO at the labor union’s convention September 8-12, 2013 in Los Angeles. Remember Harry Kelber? He’s a labor activist and writer who runs ...
We’re Being Played for Suckers
DAVID MACARAY
Two damaging misconceptions about labor unions:  (1) Union members tend to be substandard workers (lazy, unreliable, surly, privileged), and (2) union members can’t be fired because their “masters” will always go to bat to protect them. Where they got that f...
California’s Health Care Wars
CAL WINSLOW
California’s healthcare workers’ wars continue, in the streets, in collective bargaining and in the courts, at a level of conflict not often matched in the US today. More, in these California conflicts, healthcare workers and their unions are as often as not on the of...
The Wisconsin Wake-Up Call
STEVE EARLY
Tuesday, June 5, was a disastrous day for public workers from the west coast to the mid-west. Voters in San Diego and San Jose approved retirement benefit cuts for their city employees, which led major newspapers to proclaim (accurately) that more “pension reform” of ...
Learning From Wisconsin
MARK VORPAHL
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker not only defeated the recall, he did so easily taking 54 percent of the vote. This is a big defeat for the union leadership who threw as many resources as they could afford behind this effort. How is it possible that this could have happene...
Labor as the Democrats’ ATM
ARI PAUL
In 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama made a big promise to labor advocates, saying, “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I...
How Walker Really Won Wisconsin
JEFFREY SOMMERS
Much ink has been spilt and punditry hot air vented in explaining the failure to recall Scott Walker in this week’s election.  Yet nearly all of it fails to address the appeal of Scott Walker and his policies for much of Wisconsin’s working and middle class.  Walker...
Elmer in Dairyland
CHARLES M. YOUNG
Between college and graduate school, I worked for a year in a factory in Verona, Wisconsin, which is a few miles and a paradigm shift outside of Madison. It wasn’t the worst place to work. We had a union. We had benefits. We chopped, folded and riveted large sheets of m...
Time for a Raise
RALPH NADER
Thirty million American workers arise, you have nothing to lose but some of your debt! Wednesday morning, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) introduced the “Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012” (H.R. 5901) – legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per ...
Why People Vote Against Themselves
SAM SMITH
It is always sad to see large numbers of people engaged in a politics that opposes their true self interest. It is one of the things that defined the American south for a century after the Civil War. It was what allowed the Nazis to take power in Germany....
Wisconsin and the Left
STEVE HORN
There was an expression among activists that went “One year longer, one year stronger” a year af...
Big Trouble at the NLRB
DAVID MACARAY
Many will recall the nasty dust-up at the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) last November, when Republican Board member Brian Hayes, angry and resentful at what he considered too many “pro union” decisions being handed down by the Board, threatened to resign in pr...
Unionizing Prison Guards in an Age of Mass Incarceration
BRIAN TIERNEY
Dozens of people gathered outside of a supermax prison in Illinois in April demanding that the facility be shut down. They held signs that read “I am a mom,” a spin on the iconic “I am a man” signs held by striking sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968. But...
Obama, Labor and Marriage Equality
MARK VORPAHL
Since President Obama made his very calculated public statement announcing that he was “personally” in favor of same sex marriage, among the many commentators who have rushed to his support have been a significant number of Labor leaders. Richard Trumka...
Mother Jones Deserves Her Own Stamp
DAVID MACARAY
A fiction writer would be hard pressed to invent a character whose life was more tragic and sorrowful, yet more inspiring and socially relevant than that of Mary Harris Jones, better known as “Mother Jones.” Born in 1837, in Cork, Ireland, the teenage Mary Harr...
Trying to Find a Union-Made Minivan
WALTER BRASCH
Last year, not one of the 491,687 new minivans sold in the United States was made in America by unionized workers. Some were manufactured overseas by companies owned by non-American manufacturers. The Kia Sedona, with 24,047 sales, was built in South Korea, Russia,...
Will the Israeli Left Finally Awaken?
JONATHAN COOK
Israelis barely had time to absorb the news that they were heading into a summer election when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday pulled the rug from underneath the charade. Rancourous early electioneering had provided cover for a secret agreement between Netanya...
They Never Intended to Share It
DAVID MACARAY
One of the criticisms you hear about organized labor is that unions are too adversarial in their dealings with management.  They’re too belligerent.  People tell you that instead of seeing themselves as management’s “enemy,” unions would be better served by seei...
Gouging the Caterpillar Workers
DAVID MACARAY
Most states in the union have laws against “gouging.”  Broadly speaking, gouging is defined as the practice of arbitrarily raising prices on necessary goods, such as milk, bottled water, baby food, baby formula, bread, etc., in response to civil emergencies (riots, m...
The GOP’s Assault on the NLRB Backfires
JOHN LOGAN
For the past year, the GOP has conducted an all-out assault against the National Labor Relations Board, but it may soon regret ever bringing  public attention to the agency. Last week, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the NLRB requested that the Offic...
A Potent Symbol of Worker Discontent
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
Many people might be surprised to learn that the May Day celebrations that occurred around the world yesterday were born more than a century ago out of a struggle by American workers for the eight-hour day. The late nineteenth century was a particularly hard and br...
Grasp the Future
VIJAY PRASHAD
In August 1964, Malcolm X spent several weeks in Egypt. While in Cairo, he wrote an essay in the Egypt Gazette entitled “Racism: the Cancer that is Destroying America.” Here, Malcolm X noted, “The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect and HUMA...
Ypsilanti Vampire May Day
PETER LINEBAUGH
Dedicated to the students, young and old, of Southeastern Michigan and Northwestern Ohio Dracula On May Day sometime in the 1890s, an ordinary Englishman boarded a train in Mun...
The US Labor Movement and China
ALBERTO C. RUIZ
The statistics are chilling.   In a country where workers have no real right to organize a union, they face an ever falling standard of living.   The workers’ attempts to organize independent unions are faced with repression – 25% of the companies illegally fire w...
The Real Scandal at the NLRB
JOHN LOGAN
On Tuesday, the Senate voted down a Republican resolution that would have blocked the National Labor Relations Board’s new election rule, the latest in a series of recent GOP efforts to undermine the board. Now, attention has returned to the real scandal at the board &#...
Historic Union Victory in Los Angeles
BRIAN TIERNEY
In an era of defeat and decline for the labor movement, path breaking organizing victories are rare. Union activity in these times is more likely to revolve around defensive battles than conquering new territory or reclaiming ground that was lost decades ago. Earli...
Human Trafficking and Telling Stories
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
I recently read Wendi Adelson’s book on human trafficking This is Our Story, and ...
The Labor Scandal at Bologna’s Film Library
ALESSANDRA V. MASSAGRANDE
Bologna, Italy. Some of the biggest contradictions of Italy are the lack of transparency in the labor market and particularly in hiring in public sector or with public participation where the idea of transparency should be a priority. An example of ...
The Prison Labor Complex
STEVE FRASER and JOSHUA B. FREEMAN
Sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance. It can be found across broad stretches of the American economy and around the world.  Penitentiaries have become a niche market for such work.  The ...
They Are Still Killing Trade Union Leaders
DAVID MACARAY
Make no mistake.  We had some ugly anti-labor mischief of our own during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where union organizers, political radicals, suspected anarchists and Bolsheviks were blackballed, beaten, imprisoned, deported, murdered...
Privatization Hounds Bay at the Moon
DAVID MACARAY
One of the biggest con games going on at the moment is the sustained attack on the U.S. public school system.  It’s being perpetrated by predatory entrepreneurs (disguised as “concerned citizens” and “education reformers”) hoping to persuade the parents of scho...
Kick Some Ass with the Working Class
RON JACOBS
Damn. That’s the word I kept repeating as I read Gregg Shotwell’s recently published book Autow...
Who Runs Egypt?
CARL FINAMORE
The two best organized forces in Egypt today remain the military and Islamist organizations. They have been quite successful in leveraging their advanced organization to assert control of the government from the day dictator Hosni Mubarak was pushed aside on February 11, ...
Why Campaigning for Democrats Cripples Unions
SHAMUS COOKE
As labor leaders across the U.S. shift resources away from defending workers and into Obama’s re-election campaign, millions of organized and non-organized workers remain unemployed and hopeless. Contrary to the “optimistic” government jobs numbers, the job...
Union-Busting Bread?
BEN SCHREINER
If you live here in the Pacific Northwest, chances are that you’ve tried Dave’s Killer Bread, a popula...
Union Pride
DAVID MACARAY
This isn’t intended to be condescending or self-congratulatory, but the one thing that’s always made me proud of my old labor union (AWPPW, Local 672) is something that, oddly enough, was linked to the social dynamics of high school.  To understand it, we need to tak...