Top Menu

Subjects Archives: Labor

Neil Martinson, A portrait of Annie Spike at work (1978)

Women and work

It has often been claimed that the radical documentary practice of the 1970s attended to class politics to the exclusion of gender. This was one of the core arguments for a staged practice of photography.

Continue Reading
Frank Little's tombstone

The IWW saga in new light

Frank Little and the IWW is a family story—Jane Botkin’s own family story, as she rightly says. It is hers because she did not know anything about her great uncle growing up. She puts the story together, piece by piece, before our eyes, and that is large part of the pleasure of this text.

Continue Reading
Cold, angry, and surrounded by chicken.

Cold, angry, and surrounded by chicken

For six months, reporter Saša Uhlová worked in the lowest-paid manual jobs in the Czech Republic, having a go at work in a hospital laundry room, a chicken processing plant, as a cashier in a supermarket, in a razorblade factory, and in a waste-sorting plant. All these jobs are indispensable, yet they are severely underpaid. […]

Continue Reading
Latino field workers in Yuma, AZ

Why do we still have employer sanctions?

The AFL-CIO was one of the main supporters of employer sanctions back in 1986. It only took 13 years for the labor federation to learn its lesson: in February 2000 it officially called for the elimination of the policy. Another 17 years have now passed, and the case against the sanctions has only grown more […]

Continue Reading
William Pelz - "A People's History of Modern Europe" | Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Making their own history

More than half a century ago, E. P. Thompson pioneered a new approach to labor history in The Making of the English Working Class. Thompson was dismayed with the bourgeois idea that history is made by great men, and the occasional princess or queen, but also frustrated with socialist histories that replace statesmen and business […]

Continue Reading
Working at Facebook

Who’s working for Facebook?

There are plenty of reasons to be interested in—and, even more, concerned about—Facebook. Many of them are raised in the recent review of Facebook-related books by John Lanchester [ht: db]: the fragmentation of the polity (via the targeting of posts), the dissemination of “fake news” (which played an important role in the 2016 U.S. presidential […]

Continue Reading
Chirlane McCray and Bill de Blasio

A tale of many cities: potholes in the road to municipal reform

As a growing number of groups on the left have begun dabbling in local electoral politics—most notably via the Democratic Socialists of America (or DSA-backed candidacies)—we would do well to heed the warning of Juan Gonzalez about the “consultant class” (currently in the employ of Mayor de Blasio). The allure of corner-cutting political consultants, corporate […]

Continue Reading
Trump on Infrastructure and making America great again.

Trump and the infrastructure of fascism

Let this be a warning to economists, labor leaders, Democratic officials and all progressives fighting  for economic and social justice: “progressive-appearing” economic proposals from Trump  are likely to be thinly veiled attempts to suck in unsuspecting allies in support of a neo-fascist, authoritarian movement that is increasingly showing its true colors. They are designed, quite […]

Continue Reading