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Tag: Labor


aboutus.org

Actors Reach ‘Devastatingly Unsatisfactory’ Agreement with Studios

After a year of haggling (and not much to show for it), the Screen Actors Guild has agreed to a two-year contract with the major studios. SAG President Alan Rosenberg dismissed the deal as “devastatingly unsatisfactory.” So dramatic.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE


Gordon Brown
World Economic Forum

Brown in the Dumps

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has lost three members of his Cabinet in three days, adding to a heap of political casualties that originally grew out of an expense claims scandal. The latest dropout, James Purnell, has called on his former boss to “stand aside to give our party a fighting chance. ... ”

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Dima Gavrysh

Breadline USA

Sasha Abramsky discusses his new solution-oriented book about the millions of Americans who work 40 hours a week and still go hungry, “these forgotten communities and these forgotten families who are doing everything they’ve been told they need to do to survive and ... they’re still being pushed backward by economic forces that they really don’t control.”

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Dima Gavrysh

Breadline USA

Sasha Abramsky discusses his new solution-oriented book about the millions of Americans who work 40 hours a week and still go hungry, “these forgotten families who are doing everything they’ve been told they need to do to survive and ... they’re still being pushed backward by economic forces that they really don’t control.”

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


May Day rally
AP photo / Reed Saxon

Buying Time on Immigration

On many questions, President Obama’s approach is full speed ahead. On immigration reform, he prefers to take one step at a time. There really is no alternative.

Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE


Painting on May Day
flickr.com

Dare We Use the S-Word?

The current global economic crisis is not just another roller-coaster ride. Many sane and sober observers fear that the international locomotive of corporatism is going off the rails. Is this a necessary crisis of the capitalist system, determined by the self-destruction and self-renovation of a perpetual motion machine?

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Dr. Keats

Chrysler Heads for the Chop Shop

The Treasury Department has cut a deal with the United Auto Workers to send Chrysler into bankruptcy while protecting retiree benefits, The New York Times reports. Fiat would be in a more favorable position to take a cut of the company once it’s in bankruptcy. Chrysler’s equity stakeholders are shaping up as the big losers in all of this.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Wrong Road to Recovery

Once again we may be fooling ourselves into thinking that the buying and selling of paper assets is the same as the buying and selling of tangible goods made by real workers.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Caterpillar standoff
AP photo / Laurent Cipriani

French Employees Hold Bosses Hostage

Four higher-ups at the Caterpillar construction equipment office in Grenoble, France, were taken hostage on Tuesday by hundreds of employees demanding negotiations after the company announced it would cut 700 jobs. Even more startling is that this latest episode was but one of three similar boss-blockading incidents in France this month.

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / John Regas

Pro-Union Bill in Trouble

Sen. Arlen Specter gave the proposed Employee Free Choice Act the shaft Tuesday, severely wounding legislation that would make forming unions significantly easier. Labor leaders were depending on support from moderates such as Specter, but, facing a primary challenge, the Pennsylvania Republican chickened out.

Posted on Mar 25, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / U.S. Department of State

Labor Joins Israel’s Far-Right Government

Israel’s next government just got a little less ultraconservative, as Labor has agreed to join the coalition-in-progress of conservatives, nationalists and religious fundamentalists in exchange for a commitment to continue negotiations with the Palestinians. It remains to be seen, however, whether Labor’s MPs can stomach the agreement.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / billjacobus1

It Pays to Be White

Black and Latino communities have long suffered significantly higher unemployment rates than those of whites, but the economic collapse is taking labor inequity to new and alarming places. Jobs data shows that blacks and Latinos aren’t just more unemployed overall, but they’re losing jobs faster than their white colleagues.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


A Government of Men, Not Laws

In the 21st century Gilded Age, the blue-collar shower-after-work crowd is given the tough, while the white-collar shower-before-work gang gets the love, and never before this week was that doctrine made so clear.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


Sarah Palin
Flickr / geerlingguy

Sarah Palin Doesn’t Want Your Money

Sarah Palin is turning down about half of her state’s stimulus money, complaining that Washington is trying to engineer a bigger Alaskan government with funding for health care, energy programs and schools. Schools? How dare you, Washington?

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


The Geezer Gang Is Staying on the Job

Amid the talk of generational conflict in these depressed times, there’s a chance for the boomer generation to make a virtue—or a revolution—out of the necessity of working longer.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


Our Justified Populist Rage

We are at the beginning of a great popular rebellion against those who showed no self-restraint when it came to lining their own pockets.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 READ MORE


A Big Moment for Volunteerism

The House this week is expected to vote to expand civilian service, and the Senate will soon take up a similar bill. This issue holds the promise of producing that much prized but elusive Washington commodity: a large bipartisan majority. 

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


The ‘Comfy Retirement’ Dream Has Exploded

No Wall Street rally can obscure the scary historical prospect that most Americans now working can expect to have less income security in retirement than their parents had.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE


Government’s Long Night May Be Ending

Obama’s message was plain: The era of bashing government is over. So, too, is the folklore of a marketplace capable of producing abundance without regulation, oversight or public intervention.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / _Patola_

Workaholics Risk Dementia, Study Finds

Those who have lost their jobs can take solace in the fact that although working may put food on the table, it can also break your brain. A study has found that busy bees who labor more than 55 hours a week develop problems with reasoning, memory and vocabulary, and the problems get worse the more they work.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


construction signs
Flickr / jphilipg

Infrastructure Spending Shafts the States That Need It

ProPublica did some digging into the infrastructure spending bundled into the stimulus package—the $100 billion that promises have the biggest impact in terms of job creation—and found that Wyoming is getting more than $20,100 per unemployed worker while Michigan, a state on the verge of a labor apocalypse, is expected to have to make do with just $2,434.37.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Hope mural
flickr/jetheriot

And Now for the Disillusionment Phase

His presidency is not yet a month old, but there already are some who are wondering aloud whether Barack Obama is going to make good on his pre-election pledges. What’s this—he’s a politician?

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Israel’s Lose-Lose Election

Of the possible political combinations that have emerged from the Israeli parliamentary election, none will bring the region closer to peace. Israel will continue to persecute the Palestinians, whose hatred will only grow.

Posted on Feb 12, 2009 READ MORE



A Dubious Equality for Women

What wasn’t predicted was that women might finally reach the goal of equality less because they scaled the heights than because men slipped downward. But here we are.

Posted on Feb 11, 2009 READ MORE


Job Loss
nytimes.com

U.S. Unemployment Hits 7.6 Percent

With little surprise but incredible effect, the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in January, hitting its highest level since 1992. President Obama used the report to prod Congress to pass his economic stimulus package.

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 READ MORE


Another Nominee With Tax Problems

What exactly was the point of that endless questionnaire Team Obama famously had prospective worker bees fill out? A fifth Obama nominee has run into some controversy, the fourth due to a failure to pay taxes, although in the case of Labor Secretary-designate Hilda Solis, her husband is to blame.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE


A Long Train Ride

Barack Obama rode to Washington, D.C., for his presidential inauguration on a whistle-stop tour, which was compared to the train ride taken by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. The train holds a deeper symbolism, though, that undergirds Obama’s historic ascension to the White House.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


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


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

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Posted on Dec 10, 2008 READ MORE    


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 READ MORE



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


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