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Author Archive | Jon Flanders

The Agonizers

Eric Mann.  Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer.  Beacon Press, 2011. “Agonizer” was the term an old girlfriend of mine from my vanguard organization days used to describe the branch organizer for the party.  An apt description for someone tasked to do the thankless job of running meetings, setting schedules, and seeing […]

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US Postal Service Crisis? Two Postal Workers Speak Out

An interview with postal workers Jim Kaufman and Jeff Levitt from Albany, New York, about the alleged financial crisis of the Postal Service Jeff Levitt: It is an artificially created crisis.  It’s created by the Congress. . . .  In 2006, the Postal Service became an institution that is required to pre-fund future retiree health […]

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Jon Flanders

Postcards?  No Thanks!

In the past year or two it seems as if I have been signing or getting signed more postcards, letters, and petitions to Congress than at any time in my personal history. Most likely this was the result of the 2008 election, which put the Democrats completely in power, holding the Presidency, House, and Senate. […]

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Railroad Noir

Reading Railroad Noir

Linda Grant Niemann.  Railroad Noir: The American West at the End of the Twentieth Century.  Photographs by Joel Jensen.  Indiana University Press, 2010.  Pp. 168.  ISBN-13: 978-0-253-35446-4. Linda Niemann worked for twenty years as a railroad brakeman in the western US.  I have worked for twenty years in a railroad diesel shop in the eastern […]

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Jon Flanders

Over a Hundred Momentive Workers, Labor Leaders, and Activists Attend a Discussion of Tactics and Strategy with Author and Labor Activist Steve Early

Momentive Performance Materials stewards and workers represented by IUE/CWA Local 81359 were joined by labor leaders and activists from around the Capital District of Upstate New York in a wide-ranging discussion of labor strategy and tactics on Wednesday, March 31 in Waterford, New York. Momentive workers, formerly employees of General Electric, suffered 25 to 50 […]

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IUE/CWA Local 81359

Fighting for a Union at Latham Holiday Inn Express

As a winter blast roared into Albany, New York, the workers who have been fighting for a union at the Latham Holiday Inn Express turned a support rally into a victory celebration.  They were joined by labor supporters, politicians, and notably a busload of workers from IUE/CWA Local 81359, who are fighting their own battle […]

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Jon Flanders

Is a New Chip Fab Plant Fabulous for Workers?

Good 21st-century jobs will be built on the basis of high-tech computer-based industries — this is a narrative that we have been told many times in the corporate press. The construction of a new computer chip fabrication plant just north of the Capital District of upstate New York by GlobalFoundries is touted by the business […]

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Jon Flanders

The Campaign to Stop Single-Employee Railroad Crews

Labor productivity soared in the United States in 2009.  According to the Transport Times of December 3, 2009, productivity increased by 6.4% in the second quarter and leaped by 8.1% in the third quarter. Labor costs fell at a 2.5% rate in the third quarter of 2009, capping the biggest 12-month drop in seven years. […]

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IUE/CWA Local 81359 Momentive Picket

Momentive Workers Protest Pay Cuts

Braving freezing temperatures not far from the shore of the Hudson River, members of IUE/CWA 81359 picketed outside the Waterford, New York Momentive plant on Tuesday, January 12, protesting the anniversary of drastic unilateral pay cuts imposed by Momentive Performance Materials in late 2008. Business Week describes Momentive as follows: “Momentive Performance Materials Inc., together […]

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Mike Keenan

A Victory for Single Payer at AFL-CIO Convention

It started with a Single Payer caucus at 8 in the morning where Mark Dudzic, Rose Ann DeMoro, and others brought us up to date on how they saw the day unfolding. The two-resolution agreement was holding up.  The resolutions would be discussed after the Obama speech.  The general sentiment of the meeting was that […]

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Ode to Black Friday

God rest ye merry Walmart Shoppers Let nothing you dismay Remember Sales our Saviour Was born on Black Friday To save us all from inflation’s power When we were gone astray O tidings of TVs and Toys, Consumption and Toys O tidings of Consumption and Toys In Nassau, in New York State, Thus tragedy was […]

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