Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
Archives by Tag 'unions'
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...
North Dakota Enters the Political Ice Age
JEFF ARMSTRONG
North Dakota ushered in spring this year with temperatures dipping below zero, but the physical climate was relatively balmy when compared with the political ice age emanating from the state capitol in Bismarck. The state has grabbed national headlines over the leg...
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...
Democrats: Masters of Self-Delusion
MICHAEL BRENNER
Democrats are masters of illusion – especially self-delusion. Their abject performance over the past few decades has shorn them of identity and conviction. They have lost on every front against a Republican opponent that has abandoned the mainstream for cloud cuckoo lan...
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...
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...
What Kind of Unions Will We Have?
CAL WINSLOW
In April, 43,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in California will vote, again, to decide which union will represent them, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) or the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), the latter now allied with the California Nurs...
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...
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...
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...
How To Defend the Public Sector
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
The attacks on the public domain, particularly public education, social services, and the public sector unions that are linked to these services, are coming in rapid-fire succession, sometimes in an overwhelming barrage where the victims have little time to comprehend wha...
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 “...
The Crisis for American Labor
ROB URIE
American labor is in crisis. This is no news to people who have been paying attention—the passage of Michigan’s ‘right to work’ bill last week makes it the ...
Losing Michigan
DAVID MACARAY
When you examine the history of organized labor—the birth, growth, trajectory—you have to be shocked and mortified by what just happened to the great state of Michigan.  They went from being one of the strongest, most celebrated union bastions in the country (the UAW...
Who’s to Blame for Michigan’s Right-to-Work Debacle?
JANE SLAUGHTER
Union protesters in front of the Michigan Capitol today knocked down an enormous tent erected by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-brothers-funded group that helped bring right to work to the state. State troopers arriving on horseback were helpless, br...
Krugman Discovers Marx…and Misses the Point
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
In his recent New York Times op-ed piece, Princeton professor and regular columni...
What the Longshore Union Strike Was All About
DAVID MACARAY
When the story first broke, when those 800 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 63 Office Clerical Unit walked off their jobs and effectively shut down the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, it was treated by the media as your stereoty...
The Man Who Helped Liberate Baseball
FRANK JOYCE
I long ago rejected the “great man” theory of history.  The people we elevate to heroic status get there mostly because they were in the right place at the right time.  When the planets align just so,  history-making moments arrive: an iconic event like th...
Celebrity Worship Is a Mixed Bag
DAVID MACARAY
It’s such a disappointment when a writer or entertainer we like and admire says or does something that not only disappoints or confuses us, but offends us. His or her personal philosophy shouldn’t enter into it, but it does. Intellectually, we know we shouldn’t mix ...
Was Obama’s Win Really a Victory for Unions?
BRIAN TIERNEY
After suffering almost two years of ramped up union-busting, the labor movement came out swinging in the recent elections. It swung its hardest in swing states like Ohio , delivering the 2012 presidential election to President Obama and propelling other labor-endorsed ca...
The State of the Unions
MICHAEL D. YATES
The AFL-CIO and most member unions went all-out for Obama, doing their usual get-out-the-vote phone banking, canvassing, and radio advertising. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) put 100,000 volunteers in the field the last few days of the campaign. Labor’...
The Romney Doctrine
GENE GRABINER
In May of 2012, Mitt Romney made his now famous 47% speech to a secret group of very wealthy donors. In this presentation, we see the “Romney Doctrine” in full relief. In fact, we rarely, (perhaps never), have seen a more open class analysis of our country made by a p...