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'
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...
Jobs Crisis Denial
SHAMUS COOKE
Before any problem can be fixed it must first be acknowledged. The jobs crisis stays in the shadows, out of mind, and consequently unaddressed. This is allowed to happen because those in power – Republicans and Democrats – both have political reasons to rema...
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...
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...
Money, Power and Politics
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
There has been much talk recently about the impact of money on politics, especially in the wake of the Citizens United ruling that has ratcheted up the role of corporate money in political campaigns. Organized labor was quick to blame this ruling for its defeat in Wiscons...
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...
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...
How Not to be a Union
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
Unions were originally built on the principle of solidarity. Workers soon realized that as individuals they were powerless when trying to defend their interests in relation to their profit-maximizing employers. But when they were organized and stood together, their combin...
Rust Belt Resistance
CARL FINAMORE
It was only a short time ago on April 24, the two-year anniversary of the 2010 catastrophic explosion on the British Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, that the government made their first arrest of a BP en...
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...
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....
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...
Obama and Wisconsin
SAM SMITH
The irony is that, whether Scott Walker wins or loses in Wisconsin, Obama and ...
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’s Wisconsin Betrayal
ANDREW LEVINE
When all else fails, Obama apologists conjure up what FDR is supposed to have said to some of his liberal supporters: “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.”  In the early days of the Obama presidency, this was a call to action.  It quickly degenerat...
Torie Osborn’s Insurgent Run
STEVE EARLY
In 2008, thousands of Obama campaign volunteers got fired up about electoral politics in a way they hadn’t been before. Four years later, some are now running for office themselves. But few have made a bigger splash in local Democratic circles than 61-year-old Tor...
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...
Bilingualism Scott Walker Style
JEFFREY SOMMERS and CHRISTOPHER FONS
With only three weeks left in Wisconsin’s historic recall election of Governor Scott Walker, a video has emerged with the potential to reverse the fortunes of this newly anointed star of the American radical conservative movement. Serious lies have brought down m...
Nurses vs. High-Speed Traders
SARAH ANDERSON
Of all the street actions leading up to the NATO summit, the one that might seem most perplexing is a nurses’ rally for a tax on securities trades. Financial markets are pretty remote from hospital bedsides, you might think. Why would nurses get mixed up in an is...
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...