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Street Without Joy

Street Without Joy

By Bernard Fall
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Tag: Labor


Flickr / Kai Henry (CC-BY)

You Need a Raise

The theories on which we base wages are highly flawed—and so is your paycheck.

Posted on May 31, 2010 READ MORE


Bill Halter
Flickr / AFL-CIO (CC-BY)

Unions Punish Lincoln in Arkansas

Sen. Blanche Lincoln helped sink the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made labor organizing much easier. Now the Democrat is headed to a primary runoff against Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (above), thanks in part to a massive multimillion-dollar campaign effort by the AFL-CIO and the SEIU ... (continued)

Posted on May 18, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr

Greece Hits the Help Button

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, declaring that the “moment has come,” formally requested the activation of a $60 billion financial aid package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010 READ MORE



NPR Strike Edition

Wikipedia is big news in college, Texas textbooks go the way of toilet paper and the NPR strike we never saw coming.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Elise Amendola

Boycott FedEx

Now that unions have been broken, rapacious corporations like FedEx and toadies in Congress and the White House are turning workers into serfs.

Posted on Feb 22, 2010 READ MORE


Workers in Pain sign
Flickr / aficio2008

Don’t Look to D.C. to Help in Job Crisis

Talk of giving a much-needed jolt to the job market has petered out in the offices and chambers where something could actually be done about the country’s pervasive employment crisis. This priority problem in policy circles is unacceptable to economics whiz Paul Krugman, who proposes ideas to fill in the gaps.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 READ MORE


chavez
mamazine.com

A Response From UFW to Marc Cooper

I’m “the heavy-handed UFW press relations chief who had to quietly resign,” the one to whom Marc Cooper refers in his latest attack on Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers (“Marc Cooper on the Fate of Cesar Chavez’s Dream,” Truthdig, Nov. 13). Like most of the rest of his article, this claim is false.

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 READ MORE


Dick Gephardt
AP / Al Behrman

Dick Gephardt, Corporate Lobbyist

If it seems contradictory (read: hypocritical) that former Rep. Dick Gephardt, at one time a self-styled anti-lobbying, pro-labor crusader, would become a lobbyist for Visa and Goldman Sachs, well, that’s because it is. Oh, and you can strike “pro-environment” off of Gephardt’s list of political poses, too.

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 READ MORE



candychang.com

Old Mai Dong Lao Had a Pension

It’s hard to keep up the communist rhetoric when you’ve got Gucci. Harder still with millions of farmers struggling to scratch out a living while China’s select few live the good life. Beijing is hip to the growing class tensions, however, and will start subsidizing a national pension for rural workers.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


car sitin
telegraph.co.uk

21st Century Strikebreakers Raid S. Korea Plant

Strikebreakers have come a long way from their origins as goons with billy clubs. In South Korea, police commandos dropped from helicopters to try to end a car factory sit-in in Pyeongtaek, where laid-off employees have occupied their former workplace and are demanding their jobs back.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE



Collage from Flickr / Korean Resource Center and senate.gov

How the Democrats Sucker-Punched Labor

It was a foregone conclusion that Republicans and big business would fight tooth and nail against the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, the union bill that would make organizing easier, but in the end it was Democrats who killed it. The Socialist Worker, appropriately enough, has the most comprehensive take on the story to date.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / aflcio2008

Democrats Gut Union Bill

Senate Democrats aren’t doing their friends in organized labor any favors. Lawmakers have decided to strip out the basic reform in the proposed Employee Free Choice Act that would make creating unions much easier—the whole point of the bill. But all may not be lost. ...

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



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

Share
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


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