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Tag: Labor

Struggling Economy Deters Working Women

The percentage of women in their prime earning years who work has gone down, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers cut across demographics, and have more to do with a sluggish economy and a lack of opportunity than a rekindled interest in child rearing. As one congressional economist told The New York Times, “A woman gets laid off and she stays home for six months with her kids. ... She doesn’t admit that she is staying home because she could not get another acceptable job.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE

The Do-It-Yourself Economy

We are expected to interact with “labor-saving technology” without realizing that it’s labor-transferring technology. The job has not been “saved”; it’s been taken out of the paid sector, where employees have a nasty habit of expecting salaries, and put into the unpaid sector, where suckers ‘r’ us.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Wal-Mart Employees Are Restless

Wal-Mart may be fined by a Minnesota judge for violating the state’s employment laws. The fines are for ‘‘contractual violations,” a fancy way of saying that Wal-Mart denied rest breaks to workers at least 1.5 million times.

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE

Seven Years of Scandal

The latest plot twists are stunners, even as they unfold against the scandalous backdrop of the Bush administration’s sorry regulatory record.

Posted on Apr 8, 2008 READ MORE

Greed Is Not Good

The housing crisis brings to mind Gordon Gekko, that fictitious ambassador of Wall Street whose words, then and now, remind us why uninhibited capitalism just doesn’t work.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE

Shrinking Payrolls Worry Economists

A sharp jump in the number of Americans filing for unemployment has brought the four-week average to its highest level since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Last week, 378,000 new claims were filed. Roughly 2.8 million workers currently receive unemployment benefits.

Posted on Mar 20, 2008 READ MORE

Remembering What Nixon Learned

In 1958, the GOP took a shellacking after the vice president used an anti-worker scheme in trying to win votes for his party. Now, right-wingers are resurrecting that failed strategy in Colorado, a key “swing” state.

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 READ MORE

book cover

Mark Arax on California’s Capitalist Founders

It is said that behind every great fortune there is a crime. Here’s a true-life drama of self-invention, greed and ambition involving four larger-than-life men who singly, and together, helped create California. A book to be read after you’ve watched “There Will Be Blood.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Mark Duncan

Kucinich Under Fire

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is back in Cleveland and fighting for his political survival as his longtime corporate opponents finance a Swift-boat-style media onslaught to take over his congressional seat. Here he fires back and makes his case for why Cleveland, and the country, needs his voice in Congress now more than ever.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE

Ignoring Our Economic Achilles’ Heel

While the president and Congress consider a cure for the Bush economy, they should look to the root of the problem: stagnant incomes.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


Benjamin Barber on ‘Supercapitalism’

Can an overheated market remedy an underachieving democracy?  Can the public interest be served by an economic engine in which corporate rivals use government to quash their competitors?  These and other questions are the subject of a provocative new book by Robert Reich, labor secretary under President Clinton.  Benjamin Barber, author of “Jihad vs. McWorld” and “Consumed,” takes a close look at Reich’s argument.

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE

AP photo / Fernando Llano

Chavez:  ‘There Is No Dictatorship Here’

Hugo Chavez sounded an optimistic note Monday after ending up on the losing end of a vote—by a slim 51 to 49 percent margin—that would have expanded his constitutional powers as Venezuela’s president and instituted changes in federal fund allocation and labor policy, among other proposed developments. 

Posted on Dec 3, 2007 READ MORE

Credibility Gap

Clothing companies and the consumers who buy their products tend to feign ignorance when it’s revealed that those products are a bargain because they were made by 10-year-old slaves. That’s certainly the case with Gap, which says it was unaware of the sweatshop in New Delhi, India, where children were recently found toiling under deplorable conditions to create clothes bearing the Gap Kids logo.

Posted on Oct 29, 2007 READ MORE

Weak Labor’s Strong Clout

The American labor movement is divided on which candidate to support for president. Its membership is at one of its lowest ebbs in our history. And yet the nation’s unions are more politically influential today than they were in the movement’s heyday in the 1950s.

Posted on Sep 3, 2007 READ MORE

Free Market Madness

With Labor Day approaching, it must not go unnoticed that Angelo Mozilo, chief executive of Countrywide Financial—the company that has helped drive world markets into turmoil with its lending—raked in $42.9 million last year. The Nobel laureate Harold Varmus, chief executive of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, was paid $2.5 million.

Posted on Aug 30, 2007 READ MORE

Immigrants Protest Bush Proposal

Immigrant rights groups are voicing their opposition to the president’s new migrant worker plan, which would allow undocumented workers to buy $3,500 permits every three years to remain in the country. Democrats and the Catholic Church have also criticized the proposed policy, which is harsher and costlier than a previous proposal supported by Bush.

Posted on Apr 7, 2007 READ MORE

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert Endorses Child Labor

The pseudo-pundit argues that the best way to leave no children behind is to put them to work.

Posted on Apr 6, 2007 READ MORE

‘Super Union’ Merger in the Works

Britain’s biggest union will meet with the United Steel Workers, a North American organization, to discuss the possibility of a merger. The resulting international mega-union would be one of the largest in the world. The head of the British group has previously expressed a desire to form “a single global trade union movement capable of challenging the might of multinationals.”

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE

Israelis Call Off General Strike

Some 400,000 Israeli workers launched a general strike over unpaid wages that threatened to shut down the nation’s economy. Needless to say, this isn’t good news for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, whose popularity is down to 3 percent. Update: The eight-hour strike, which brought much of the country to a standstill, was called off after the labor union and the Finance Ministry came to a compromise.

Posted on Mar 21, 2007 READ MORE

airport checkpoint

Bill Would Let Airport Screeners Unionize

An anti-terrorism bill making its way through the Senate would allow airport screeners to unionize. Republicans in Congress, ever the friends of working men and women, have fought against the provision, arguing that a screener union would threaten security and safety.

Posted on Mar 6, 2007 READ MORE

Greed by Any Other Name

Opponents of a new law that would make it easier to form unions, including the president and some Republicans in Congress, have found a clever if shameless method of concealing their loyalty to corporate greed.

Posted on Mar 1, 2007 READ MORE

migrant workers

This Doesn’t Look Like Dubai

After paying roughly $2,000 each for work in the Persian Gulf, a group of Sri Lankan migrant workers was taken to Iraq, where they survived a month of imprisonment until they managed to contact the U.N. The International Organization of Migration says worsening conditions in Iraq have encouraged such abuses by labor recruiters.

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE

Businesses Fight Over Minimum-Wage Law

The business community is divided over minimum-wage legislation making its way through the Senate. While small businesses are celebrating the tax incentives included in the bill, major corporations are frustrated by the Democrats’ requirement that every new tax break be matched by either a tax increase or a closed loophole.

Posted on Jan 30, 2007 READ MORE

Marie Cocco: Senators Hijack Minimum-Wage Increase

Senate Democrats and Republicans have shamelessly joined in a bipartisan effort to pad the well-off at the expense of the working poor.

Posted on Jan 18, 2007 READ MORE


Trouble With Authority

According to a new study by researchers at Florida State University, many Americans disapprove of their boss’ behavior. Twenty-three percent said their superiors blamed others to protect themselves while 31 percent reported getting the silent treatment.

Posted on Jan 2, 2007 READ MORE

Chinese beggar

American Companies Fight For Right to Bleed China

In the face of vast poverty and exploitation, the Chinese government is about to enact a labor law that would strengthen the role of unions and protections for workers.  But American corporations, eager to maintain their fiefdoms in the middle kingdom, have lobbied fiercely against the proposed legislation.

Posted on Oct 13, 2006 READ MORE

Ehud Olmert

Israelis Worried Over Political Prospects

As the old guard fades with time and a new generation of leaders emerges, some Israelis—their confidence shaken in the aftermath of the Lebanon war—are beginning to wonder about the future of their government.

Posted on Sep 30, 2006 READ MORE

California's Governor

GOP Governors Campaign on Progressive Issues

Not surprisingly, Republican governors have been veering to the left in a bid to capture votes.  From California to Maryland, issues like the minimum wage, the environment and healthcare have gotten a boost in recent months.

Posted on Sep 20, 2006 READ MORE

UK’s Blair to Resign in 2007, Says Paper

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told aides that he will step down as the leader of his party on May 31, 2007, and resign as prime minister on July 26, according to the British tabloid The Sun. He had already announced he would not seek a fourth term in office, but this is the first news of a specific resignation date.

Posted on Sep 6, 2006 READ MORE


Overworked Laborers’ Day?

OK, we had to do it. Some snippets from a focus on the daily grind by the Washington Post:

  • The Pew Research Center: “Americans believe that workers ... are worse off now than a generation ago—toiling longer and harder for less in wages and benefits, for employers who aren’t as loyal ... in jobs that aren’t as secure.”
  • The Economic Policy Institute’s “State of Working America 2006/2007”: Productivity may have boomed in recent years, but family incomes have stalled.
  • Peter D. Hart Research for the AFL-CIO repeats this pessimistic drumbeat: Fifty-five percent of Americans said their incomes were not keeping up with inflation; 38% predicted that the economy would worsen in the coming year.

  • Also, the origins of Labor Day, My Bad Boss Contesta four-day workweek, labor statistics, quality of life, undocumented workers’ rights.  More labor links? Put ‘em here….

    Posted on Sep 4, 2006 READ MORE

    Europe Is Called Lax in Fight Against Child Trafficking

    A report by UNICEF and Terre des Hommes says Europe is not doing enough to address child trafficking, with thousands of children smuggled into Western Europe annually to become sex workers and slaves.

    Posted on Aug 30, 2006 READ MORE

    Apple has audited working conditions at an iPod factory in China
    Illustration by Peter Scheer

    Think Damage Control

    An Apple Computer audit of labor conditions at an iPod factory in China uncovered employees working longer hours than permitted by its code of conduct.  Auditors also said that workers earned ?at least the local minimum wage?—whatever that may be in Longhua, China.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2006 READ MORE

    Goldwater Nephew Calls for Forced Immigrant Labor Camps

    Dan Goldwater, a gubernatorial candidate in Arizona and nephew of the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, told a Spanish news agency that he wanted to hold undocumented immigrants in camps to use them “as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they’re polluting.”

  • He claims, however, that his words were taken out of context—that he only wanted to put convicted immigrant felons to work….

    Posted on Jun 24, 2006 READ MORE

    Powell - Mexican Border Fence

    Posted on Apr 1, 2006 READ MORE

    James Prior

    The ‘Slave Side’ of NFL Sundays

    In his new book, “The Slave Side of Sunday,” former NFL player Anthony Prior writes about the legacy of racism in professional sports. “We are not looked at as leaders, rather, just a labor force where the money is generated. Plantation capitalism is still alive today,” he tells Truthdig contributor James Harris. (Audio and text interview with the author.)

    Posted on Mar 9, 2006 READ MORE

    “The Slave Side of Sunday” - James Harris Interviews Anthony Prior

    In his new book, “The Slave Side of Sunday,” former NFL player Anthony Prior writes about the legacy of racism in professional sports. “We are not looked at as leaders, rather, just a labor force where the money is generated. Plantation capitalism is still alive today,” he tells Truthdig contributor James Harris.

    Posted on Mar 9, 2006 READ MORE

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