Category Archives: Labor

At the Drive In

DriveInPiece

I’ve put this off long enough.  I’ve enjoyed the fruits and sweetness of a brief entanglement with bliss and despair long enough.  It is time that I get down to business, call a spade a spade and then pick up my spade and put it to its intended use.  I am done with my creature comforts and of protecting what has yet to be taken, as if what has already been taken has not been egregious enough.

Perhaps I should qualify the comforts I enjoy today, at the edge of this springboard, by mentioning where this journey began for me. Continue reading

Advertisements

A new center of the resistance in Greece

Supporters of the ERT workers' occupation rally outside the headquarters in Athens (Panos Petrou)

Supporters of the ERT workers’ occupation rally outside the headquarters in Athens (Panos Petrou)

By Panos Petrou
Socialist Worker

The resistance to austerity and social crisis in Greece has united behind a workers’ occupation of the state TV and radio station ERT after the government — for the first time since Greece was ruled by a military junta–tried to shut down the broadcaster. For more than a week, thousands of people have gathered on the grounds of the ERT headquarters to defend the occupiers from an assault by riot police.

Continue reading

Gary Webb: An American Hero

2012WEBBBy Volaar

Eight years ago, December 10, 2004, respected and award-winning investigative journalist Gary Webb was murdered by a conspiracy of an apathetic citizenry, corporate malfeasance and government corruption.  The Sacramento County coroner, Robert Lyons, publically, if hastily, characterized the gunshot wounds in Gary Webb’s head three times before finally ruling the double-gunshot wound to Webb’s face a “suicide,” noting the use of a .38 caliber revolver, the presence of a suicide note and Webb’s close friend and ex-wife, Sue Bell, claiming that Gary, “had been depressed about being unable to obtain employment from another major newspaper for some time.” The San Jose Mercury News, on orders from “on high,” had terminated Gary Webb’s career progression after they claimed they had discovered errors in trivial matters of fact in his career-capping exposé, “A Dark Alliance” (ADA). Continue reading

Unions, Education and The Chicago Teachers Strike

By Betsy L. Angert

The Chicago Teachers Union strike, and the recent rallies held in conjunction, speak to a problem larger than the conventional meme of pay increases, tenure, or pensions. Chicago Teachers want better working conditions. They realize as no other employees might; the environments in which they work fashion the future of our nation. Our children’s education is at-risk.

Twenty-five years have passed since Chicago Teachers Union members have gone out on strike. These Educators realize as do all workers ¬Unions today are not the powerhouses of yesteryear. According to a study by Sociologist Jake Rosenfeld, unionization among private-sector full-time employees fell by 40% between 1984 and 2002. Indeed, as cited in Unions, Norms, and the Rise in American Wage Inequality, “From 1973 to 2007, private sector union membership in the United States declined from 34 to 8 percent for men and from 16 to 6 percent among women. Inequality in hourly wages increased by over 40 percent in this period.”

The reasons are stark. Continue reading

Oakland cops brutalize family day celebration of workers

May Day March 2012 by Judith Scherr, IPS

By Judith Scherr
IPS News

OAKLAND, California, May 2, 2012 (IPS) – It was May Day and Oakland was bathed in sunshine. Union workers staged militant actions; immigrants and allies marched for justice with brass bands and drummers; spontaneous street parties erupted.

There was also tear gas, flash bang grenades, screams, vandalism and arrests on Oakland Streets.

“Today, as we stand in solidarity with labour, as we stand in solidarity with immigrant workers, as we strike against this exploitative economic system, we also stand up to police violence and state repression,” Laleh Behbehanian of the Occupy Oakland Anti- Repression Committee told a rally in Oscar Grant Plaza, the space renamed by protesters for a young unarmed African American man killed by a transit police officer.

Continue reading

Abandoned Youth – No More Future

By Michael Collins

If you are twenty four or younger, you are likely either under or unemployed. Only about 60% of those 16 to 24 years old are in the labor force (those employed or seeking jobs). Their unemployment rate is 18%.

For years, Money Party lackeys, our (s)elected officials, put out a propaganda line that said, Get an education or there’s no future for you. Well, lots of people got a college or trade school education or on the job training and there are no jobs for them.

Here’s why.


Continue reading

Unpaid Student Loans Top $1 Trillion

By Cryptogon

This whole student loan apocalypse is another confetti currency bubble scam. There are many parallels to the housing bubble, except, of course, that people can’t live inside those useless degrees obtained with borrowed money that can never be repaid.

The availability of the loans is driving ludicrous tuition increases, just like the funny money mortgages inflated the real estate market.

Continue reading

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

By Joseph E. Stiglitz
Illustration by Stephen Doyle
Vanity Fair May 2011

Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

Continue reading

When workers occupied: Subterranean Fire

Flint sit-down strikers celebrate their victory inside one of the occupied plantsFlint sit-down strikers celebrate their victory inside one of the occupied plants

By Sharon Smith

Today’s Occupy movement stands in a long tradition of radical struggles in the U.S. that have used similar tactics. In particular, the U.S. labor movement owes some of its greatest victories to the determination of workers that “we shall not be moved.”

In this excerpt from her book Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States, Sharon Smith tells the story of the legendary Flint sit-down strike against General Motors that began 75 years ago, and how labor’s victory at GM unleashed a wave of sit-down strikes across the country. ~SW Ed.

Continue reading

The Fascist State

Speech delivered by Llewellyn H. Rockwell
Doug Casey conference, “When Money Dies,” in Phoenix on October 1, 2011

There isn’t anyone around who is willing to stand up and say, “I’m a fascist; I think fascism is a great social and economic system.”

Everyone knows that the term fascist is a pejorative, often used to describe any political position a speaker doesn’t like. There isn’t anyone around who is willing to stand up and say, ‘I’m a fascist; I think fascism is a great social and economic system.”

But I submit that if they were honest, the vast majority of politicians, intellectuals, and political activists would have to say just that.

Continue reading

Anger and Anarchy on Wall Street: The 1920 bombing

The aftermath of the September 16, 1920 Wall Street bombing. Photo: Library of Congress, New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph

By Gilbert King
Smithsonian Magazine

Descriptions of the event on Wall Street might seem eerily familiar. “It was a crush out of a blue sky—an unexpected, death-dealing bolt,” one witness observed, “which in a twinkling turned into a shambles the busiest corner of America’s financial center and sent scurrying to places of shelter hundreds of wounded, dumb-stricken, white-faced men and women—fleeing from an unknown danger.… Looking down Wall Street later I could see arising from the vicinity of the subtreasury building and the J.P. Morgan and Co. bank, a mushroom-shaped cloud of yellowish, green smoke which mounted to a height of more than 100 feet, the smoke being licked by darting tongues of flame.”

Continue reading

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

By New York City General Assembly

This document was accepted by the NYC General Assembly on September 29, 2011:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street spreads to Chicago, Denver, LA

By RT America

Is it possible populist America will effect radical change through the spreading Occupy Wall Street movement? Will the banksters who trashed our economy and have made millions of homeowners homeless be brought to justice? Is this the season of the US Spring?  RT America interviews people from the streets:

Continue reading

Occupy Wall Street: Macing Protesters, Chris Hedges and Michael Moore

Olbermann interviews Michael Moore who says, “I think there needs to be a multi-pronged approach” urging civil disobedience locally as well as nationally, and refusing to move out under a foreclosure notice since no one owns your mortgage any more.  “The banks lost them,” he says, when they bundled them into their little Ponzie schemes.

Continue reading

Whistleblowers win one; lose two


Drs. Gerard Lambert, Margaret Haydon and Shiv Chopra of Health Canada

In a long-running whistleblowing saga, two of three scientists fired by Health Canada (akin to the US Food & Drug Administration) have lost a bid to get their jobs back, though they protected food safety.

In the U.S., however, after a six-year legal battle, the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to a former top contracting official who charged that she was demoted after she objected to a $7 billion no-bid contract granted to a Halliburton subsidiary to repair oil fields in Iraq.

Continue reading

Without Unions America Would Red, White, & Blow

By Lee Camp
Moment of Clarity

Everybody arguing against unions says that they don’t allow America to be competitive globally. So you’re fighting to bring us down with the sweatshops? I can’t wait until we’re competitive.

Continue reading

30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died

By Michael Moore

From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all begin,America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how “lowly” your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated.

Young people have heard of this mythical time — but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, “When did this all end?”, I say, “It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981.”

Continue reading

Tea Party Horror Show

What sort of person would deliberately ignore the obvious fundamental reality of any budget?

By Numerian

It’s hard to say if the Tea Party has an acknowledged leader, but someone who professes to be just that has chosen a very opportune moment to trash Speaker John Boehner’s attempts to craft legislation that would allow an increase in the debt ceiling. Judson Phillips, the CEO of Tea Party Nation, is the self-acknowledged head of the Tea Party, and in an editorial this morning in The Washington Post, he attacks Boehner’s legislation for providing “almost non-existent budget cuts.”
Continue reading

Class War in Israel: Police assault protestors with horses; arrest them

By The Real News Network

Tens of thousands of Israelis poured onto the streets in Tel Aviv to protest rising commodity and housing prices and stagnation in salaries.

Continue reading

Broke! 10 Facts about the Financial Condition of American Families that Will Blow Your Mind

By Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse

The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families.  For many Americans, “flat broke” has become a permanent condition.  Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck.  Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are. The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys.

Continue reading