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Tag: Labor

Shanghai Scape
Flickr.com / PMorgan

China Takes the Bronze in GDP

After reconfiguring its output figures, China has finally found itself on the medal podium for gross domestic product, ousting Germany from its role as third largest economy in the world. China’s economy has grown tenfold in the past 30 years, and its development, while marveled at, worries many environmental, human rights and labor activists.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


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Square, Category Page

One for the Workers

Hilda Solis does not have star power. What the nominee for labor secretary does have is a record of loyalty to those who work and want to work, and who wish to receive in exchange a decent wage and a measure of dignity.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


book cover
amazon.com

Jay Feldman on ‘Concentration Camps on the Home Front’

A revelatory account of a hidden chapter of the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II deepens our understanding of American prejudice and the abuse of power.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Work Hard, but Pray for Luck

The standard male narrative about flying solo to the top, bootstraps in hand, energized only by your own talents, always seemed a bit cockeyed to me. The female narrative was not so much self-effacing as it was realistic.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Textile Plant
msnbc.com

Factories Echo Recession Pangs

Following in the footsteps of 2008’s dismal economic news, global manufacturing has fallen to low levels unseen for decades. In the U.S., factory activity has dropped to a 28-year low, marking a slump that further adds to the bad economic trends as we enter 2009.

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


Generic Unemployment
connectedmichigan.com

Unemployment Filings at 26-Year High

With American jobs being steadily peeled away, hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to seek unemployment benefits for the first time. The number of first-time claims rose 5.4 percent last week, to their highest level in more than a quarter-century.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Brave New Films

Wal-Mart’s $640 Million Sneeze

Wal-Mart will pay as much as $640 million to settle 63 lawsuits around the country alleging that the retailer had exploited its workers. The payout could add up to less than 0.1 percent of the company’s revenues this year.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


We Told You So

With the release of three new reports, there’s no debate anymore about who was correct and who wasn’t concerning the economic collapse and the Wall Street bailout. The studies prove that progressive critics were right and the Washington ideologues and the pundits were wrong.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE


Workload









Posted on Dec 10, 2008 ENLARGE    


Unions Aren’t the Problem

As Congress and the White House lurch toward possible approval of a loan package for the crippled auto industry, we are undoubtedly in store for more union-bashing.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Unemployment Chart
U.S. Department of Labor

A Dark November for Jobs

The news continues to get worse after the government finally put the “official” stamp on the current recession. The Labor Department has announced that 533,000 jobs were lost in November, the biggest monthly cut in 34 years—with analysts fearing that the 11-month trend of increasing job losses will deepen even further.

Posted on Dec 5, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / SteelCityHobbies

Class Bigotry Mars Auto Debate

The auto industry bailout would have no chance of passing without the muscle of the Big Three’s unionized work force. Yet you can’t turn around without hearing someone trash autoworkers for the terrible crime of trying to earn a decent living.

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Hoover Impression Flirts With Depression

At the earliest, it is likely to be at least February or March before the first dollar of an Obama recovery plan is felt. This is a national disgrace.

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


Unions for Obama
my.barackobama.com

Where’s Labor?

Not only is Barack Obama packing his inner circle with neo-liberal Clinton stalwarts, he’s also avoiding the question of labor by not including any representative of workers in the economic policy team he announced Monday. What gives?

Posted on Nov 26, 2008 READ MORE


Auto Bailout

‘Morning Review’: Prop. 8 and the Big 3

Check out the most recent “Morning Review Friday with Roy Ulrich,” where UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky discusses Proposition 8’s current legal status, and Truthdig’s own Titus Levi engages in a fruitful debate on the virtues and pitfalls of a bailout of the auto industry in Detroit with the Cato Institute’s Dan Ikenson.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 WATCH & LISTEN



Flickr / Brave New Films

A Wal-Mart Christmas for a Wal-Mart Country

The giant discounter is the only store where hard-squeezed consumers can afford to buy anything, and so it has kept posting sales gains amid the retail bloodbath.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



Democrats as Big Brother?

A lobbying powerhouse with an emphatically pro-Republican political action committee is pounding Democratic Senate candidates for supporting legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The ads portray Al Franken in Minnesota and Tom Allen of Maine as backing Big Brother-style surveillance of American workers.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


Unemployment Rate
bls.gov

How Can These Fundamentals Be Called Strong?

A government report released Friday morning leaves little room for any defense of the failed policies of the Bush administration or any belief in the economic wisdom of John McCain, whose erroneous assertion that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” failed to mention a 6.1 percent unemployment rate, up nearly two percentage points since 2007.

Posted on Oct 3, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org

Unions Unleash the Troops for Obama

The nation’s most powerful labor unions are ratcheting up their efforts to elect Barack Obama with massive voter outreach campaigns. Both SEIU and the AFL-CIO have said this year’s efforts will be their largest voter mobilization campaigns ever.

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE


Making Goliath Walk

In the imminent confrontation over the Employee Free Choice Act, an almost embarrassingly modest proposal, corporations are actually billing themselves as the underdog—the poor, overmatched peasant David against the Philistine monster Goliath.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


Poverty Is the Real Scandal

Former Sen. John Edwards was supposed to speak in Denver at the Democratic National Convention, but he had an affair. Will the Democrats now forget about his signature issue?

Posted on Aug 27, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Jared C. Benedict / Wikimedia Commons

Wal-Mart Election Scare Tactics Challenged

Labor groups have filed election complaints against Wal-Mart for reportedly telling store managers that Democrats’ proposed labor law changes would drive down wages and force layoffs.

Posted on Aug 14, 2008 READ MORE


South Africa Strike
guardian.co.uk

2 Million South Africans on Strike

A national strike left South Africa’s streets largely deserted Wednesday as 2 million people refused to work in protest of soaring food and fuel prices. The action, led by a coalition of trade unions, was symbolic and precautionary, suggesting additional strikes if the government and business remained inept at managing the national economy.

Posted on Aug 6, 2008 READ MORE



joystiq.com

Schwarzenegger Slashes Wages

Amid a state budget standoff, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered that some 200,000 state workers receive only the federal minimum wage. That’s a $1.45-per-hour cut from California’s minimum wage. But the man who issues the checks, the state controller, says he will refuse to follow the order and, if necessary, will borrow funds to maintain present pay rates.

Posted on Jul 31, 2008 READ MORE


Six Little Words

History books teem with six-word phrases, from the comforting (“Nothing to fear but fear itself”) to the inspiring (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) to the embarrassing (“Read my lips, no new taxes”). But the six words “on the basis of union membership” could be more momentous than any of those.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


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
cnbc.com

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


Kucinich
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


supercapitalism

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


Chavez
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 WATCH & LISTEN


‘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
howstuffworks.com

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
chanad.weblogs.us

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


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