Category: Labor

Thanksgiving Approaches: Trump, the Virus, the Crisis

With the virus rampant, once again schools and businesses are closing, and more workers being laid off. We now have 20 million jobless, with ten million receiving federal unemployment benefits that will end with the New Year, as will protection for 30 million who face eviction. Not a happy Thanksgiving.

Say #ByeBetsy – and organize now to fight against Biden’s education policies

Biden’s victory now requires confronting his advocacy of disastrous education policies during the Obama administration, enacted under Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Fighting for teachers unions that speak back to power, defend students and social justice

School reopenings have become a point of political conflict on a national level, as parent, student, and teachers’ rights to have healthy, safe, equitable schools have been subordinated to the bipartisan consensus to put the economy and profit over human need.

Indonesia: Mass Strikes Show Intersection of Class, Gender, and Ecology

Over a million people have taken to the streets in Indonesia to protest a neoliberal law that would roll back labor protections, especially for working women, while also opening the road toward greater environmental destruction.

Capitalism Made Women of Color More Vulnerable to the COVID Recession

From the start of the pandemic, job losses for women have been so much greater than for men that some feminist policy makers have called this a “shecession,” in contrast with 2008. And “she” is most certainly a woman of color.

Joe Allen’s ‘Package King’ Delivers a Modern History of the Essential Worker

Danny Katch reviews Joe Allen’s “The Package King: A Rank-And-File History of UPS,” on the century-long fight of UPS workers to wrest a livable job out of a company that treats them as machinery and to organize within a union that too often has treated them as a dues-paying cash machine.

Herman Benson (1915-2020): No Socialism Without Democracy

Herman Benson, veteran socialist activist and fighter for rank-and-file democracy in the labour movement, died on 2 July, aged 104. Herman was the second-to-last survivor, at least to my knowledge, of the “first generation” of “third camp” socialists.

Surrogacy, Exploitation, and Commodification

An exchange between Sara Lee and Alexandra Holmstrom-Smith

Sara Lee and Alexandra Holmstrom-Smith debate the position that the left should take on surrogacy, arrangements where a woman agrees to bear a child for others.

Dark Satanic Mills

A review of Josh Freeman’s history of factories.

The Farm Equipment Workers

A History of Radical Labor

A review of Toni Gilpin’s history of labor struggles in the American heartland.

After Bernie, DSA Will Be Essential

Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president has changed politics as we know it.

Punched in the Face: Minneapolis Labor and the Fight for #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd

While much of the labor movement in Minneapolis has embedded itself in the city’s struggle against police brutality, union leadership at the national level has shied away from demands that it clean house.

“Dirty Break” for Independent Political Action or a Way to Stay Stuck in the Mud?

Does the history of Minnesota’s Farm-Labor Party in the 1920s and 1930s hold any lessons for socialists today? Kim Moody responds to an article by Eric Blanc.

Firing Up the House of Labor to Fight for Racial Justice: Confronting Hard Truths

Defending truths about union democracy and the inseparability of racial and economic justice in our society has shown to be extraordinarily demanding work, yet it is an unavoidable goal if the organized power of the working class is to (help) free the human race.

The American Working Class on Unfamiliar and Dangerous Terrain: A Fightback Begins

The pandemic and the shutdown have taken a toll, but they now provide an opportunity to rebuild the American labor movement from the bottom up.

The New Deal Against the Environmentalists

Not only was the “greenest” of the original New Deal programs not established by nascent environmentalists, it was also internally fractured by their influence.

Can We Save the Postal Service?

The U.S. Postal Service is in deep trouble. The postal Board of Governors has asked Congress for $75 billion to keep the agency afloat; without it, the outgoing Postmaster General said, USPS could “run out of cash” by September.

Where Do We Stand? Reasons for Optimism

In 2008-9 a common slogan was “The banks got bailed out. We got sold out!” This populist attitude has persisted since then and re-emerged even more strongly in this Crisis.

Class Struggle and Social Protest in the Coronavirus Pandemic

The pandemic and the shutdown have taken a toll, but they now provide an opportunity to rebuild the American labor movement from the bottom up. While the challenges will be great, working class resistance is growing and socialists with a rank-and-file strategy and class struggle perspective are involved in the fight.

A Mon Valley Memoir: Lessons From The Last Stand Of Steelworkers in Homestead

In his lively new memoir, Stout argues that younger activists still have much to learn from past rank-and-file struggles in blue-collar industries even if they are now entering workplaces in “a neo-liberal world.”

Men in the (Indian) Sun

On 1 May 2020, which was International Worker’s Day, 18 Indian migrant workers boarded and hid in a cement mixer which was carrying them from Mumbai to Uttar Pradesh.

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