Subjects Archives: Movements

  • Disgrace of the Week: Senate Republicans Stop Minimum Wage Increase

    It will be hard to find a Capitol Hill vote any more shameful than this one. . . . Click on the graphs to enlarge them. Real Value of the Federal Minimum Wage, 1950-2004 Annual Minimum Wage Earnings in 2003 Dollars and the Poverty Level for Family of Three Source: Economic Policy Institute Senate Republicans […]

  • An Open Letter to the Labor Movement regarding Katrina

    Brothers and Sisters, The crisis for the working class (whether employed or not, waged or not) continues to grow. Even as the nation, and especially the poor and Black working class of the Gulf states and New Orleans in particular, tries to pick up the pieces after Katrina’s (and Rita’s) devastation, the assault by capital […]

  • Southern Hospitality: Life in a “Right-to-Work” State

      [What follows is an essay written in response to Michael D. Yates’ call for essays on work. — Ed.] My name is Jeremy Evanchesky. I’m originally from Central City, Pennsylvania and now live in Lakeland, Florida. I work as a teacher at the Homer K. Addair Career Academy. When I first came to the […]

  • “BC Teachers Backed by All of Us Can Win against This Government!”

      UPDATE, 13 October 2005, 8:45 PM, EST A BC Supreme Court judge ruled that the teachers’ union cannot use its own financial reserves, donations from supporters, or other assets for strike pay or other strike-related purposes, and appointed a monitor to oversee the ruling. On Friday, October 7, 38,000 teachers in public elementary and […]

  • Thinking and Acting Locally: Institutional Flaws of the Electoral System in Afghanistan

    Much of the discussions surrounding the Afghan legislative elections on September 18, 2005 has centered on poll-related violence, logistical obstacles, and potential frauds.  Lost in the discussions is a problem of much greater significance to the future of Afghanistan. The institutional arrangements of Afghanistan’s political frameworks are incapable of solving its most debilitating problem — […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Six

      In the last four parts of this series, I gave many examples of the alienating and degrading nature of work in capitalist societies. Even “good” jobs, such as college teaching and nursing, have lost whatever luster they once had. Part-time teachers teach an increasing fraction of all course while struggling to make ends meet. […]

  • A New Labor Federation Claims Its Space: If Enthusiasm on Display Were Substance, CtW Could Claim a Good Start

    Jerry Tucker The founding convention of the Change-to-Win labor federation held in St. Louis on September 27, 2005 was, if nothing else, filled with enthusiasm and efficiently managed.  The founding unions’ top leaders put forward a lean and specifically organizing-focused agenda, and it was adopted without even a hint of dissent.  The longer-term question is […]

  • We Are Just Getting Warmed Up:Notes on Civil Disobedience (Monday, 26 September 2005)

      We gather provisions. In my pockets are only a key to the house, $50, and an energy bar — somehow in my careful adherence to the recommendations I have neglected to bring my driver’s license — and in my shoe are a pen and a makeshift notebook. I am ready for this. We drink […]

  • A Story of Resistance: How a Conservative Rural Community Repudiated the Administration’s Effort to Criminalize Dissent

    On March 17, 2003, Saint Patrick’s Day, only days before “Shock and Awe,” four Catholic Workers entered the U.S. Military Recruiting Station in Ithaca, NY, and spilled their blood to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq. They knelt, read a statement in opposition to the war, prayed, and waited to be arrested. Ithaca is home […]

  • Democracy, Density, and Transformation: We Need Them All

    Part 1: AFL-CIO Debate Fizzles…and Why This is Hard The debate over the future of the AFL-CIO has taken a wrong turn.  The original argument offered by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to increase labor’s bargaining power by increasing union density (the percentage of organized workers in a particular industry or sector of the […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Five

    [Author’s note: Let me repeat my invitation at the end of Part Four of this series. Readers are invited to submit short essays, about 1,000 words, about their work. What do you do? In what ways is your work satisfying? In what ways is it not? How could it be made better? Send your essays […]

  • John Roberts, Stare Decisis, and the Return of Lochner: An Impetus to Jump-Start the Labor Movement

      There are some things we take for granted, some things that seem so natural we forget that they were the result of long, hard struggle: the forty-hour work week, weekends off, the abolition of child labor, worker safety laws, and the right to collective bargaining — to name a few. But as John Roberts […]

  • US Labor Leaders:

    As one considers developments in and around the main currents of the US labor movement — the recent split in the AFL-CIO, and the reaction of both sides of the split to the ongoing strike by AMFA against Northwest Airlines, most particularly — it is difficult not to get discouraged by lack of leadership. Let […]

  • Waiting to Be Paid

      [What follows is an essay written in response to Michael D. Yates’ call for essays on work. — Ed.] I have a number of jobs. I homeschool a special needs child, I work part-time in a cat shelter, and I work part-time in our family business, a solo CPA practice. My husband works about […]

  • New Orleans:

      The world watched as people of New Orleans were herded into the Superdome, only to find themselves in a wretched and unsanitary place with no food, water, or proper medical care. Those in areas of high flooding fled to their rooftops, begging rescue helicopters to airlift them to safety. Many died trapped in their […]

  • Keep the “Labor” in Labor Day: Remembering the Lowell Mill Girls

    “In vain do I try to soar in fancy and imagination above the dull reality around me but beyond the roof of the factory I cannot rise.” — anonymous Lowell Mill worker, 1826 Lowell, Massachusetts was named after the wealthy Lowell family. They owned numerous textile mills, which attracted the unmarried daughters of New England […]

  • Labor Day Poses Hard Questions

    It’s impossible to celebrate Labor Day 2005 without asking some hard questions: How organized is “organized” labor? How much of a movement is the labor “movement”? The last six weeks have torn away whatever shreds of clothing the emperor might have been wearing.  We can deny the crisis no longer. In late July at the […]

  • Toward an Organized Left in the Labor Movement

    The cold split that just occurred in the AFL-CIO has opened up a new page for US labor. As Bill Fletcher has observed in several excellent articles on the issue, the “debate” leading up to the split took place far over the heads of the members of the unions who pay the salaries of the […]

  • Let’s Put the Nature of Work on Labor’s Agenda: Part Four

      [Author’s note: Let me repeat my invitation at the end of Part Three of this series. Readers are invited to submit short essays, about 1,000 words, about their work. What do you do? In what ways is your work satisfying? In what ways is it not? How could it be made better? Send your […]

  • The Sandinista Revolution and the “Fifth Freedom”

    This month will mark the 25th Anniversary of the overwhelmingly successful Literacy Crusade spurred by the Sandinista Revolution. This article examines the various programs implemented during the revolution, the US reaction to the revolution, and Nicaragua’s present situation. Revolution On July 19, 1979 a broad-based popular revolution, inspired by the legacy of Augusto Cesar Sandino […]