Subjects Archives: Movements

  • 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 […]

  • Alice Thorner (1918–2005)

    Alice Thorner’s life was lived in three continents, and her interests lay in studying processes of change in India’s colonial economy and the experience of planned development following decolonisation. She interacted for over six decades with academics and academic-bureaucrats, who were not inconsequential actors in what Gunnar Myrdal had termed the ‘Asian Drama’, and she too played a part in that unfolding drama. It was while visiting England on the eve of the WW11 in 1939 with husband Daniel who was researching his thesis at the India Office library in London, that she first met the group of enthusiastic Indian nationalists which included V. K. Krishna Menon, P.N. Haksar, K.T.Chandy and Feroze Gandhi. Many were to become lifelong friends

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Superman and a New Progressive Strategy!

    When I was a child, I used to watch cartoons at home after school (I understand there is a debate about the wisdom of letting children watch TV.  However, I am doing fine today). My favorite cartoon was Superman.  Let me clarify. It was a little confusing watching Superman growing up in Puerto Rico.  Although […]

  • Heading North, Looking South: Reflections on a Year in Venezuela

      I can’t help but reflect on what I am leaving behind as I walk down the ramp onto the airplane that will carry me back to the US after nearly a year living in Venezuela. There exists the tendency — perhaps, common among people like me, raised and educated in the best private schools […]

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

      In Part Two, we examined the rapidly changing nature of post-secondary teaching, one of the two reasonably skilled  jobs among the top ten jobs estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to show the highest job growth between 2002 and 2012. The other job is nursing. Job experts claim that there is a […]

  • A “Labor Intensive” Strategy for Building Workers’ Power

    At noon on a beautiful June day in suburban Minneapolis, eighty-five women and men streamed out of the U.S. West corporate “campus” building, each one carrying a pink, lime green, or lemon yellow square. Each square bore a single letter in black paint. Laughing, they lined up in a particular order, spelling out “D-O-W-N-S-I-Z-I-N-G A-T  […]

  • The Labor Movement: It’s More than We Bargain for

    The battle over labor’s future is heading toward a showdown at the AFL-CIO Convention, beginning Monday July 25th in Chicago. But the confrontation pitting a team of insurgent unions led by the Service Employees International Union against the AFL-CIO establishment is shaping up to be organizationally bloody, but spiritually bloodless. We’re fighting for the heart […]

  • Ring-Tone Revolution in the Philippines

    “Hello, Garci. . . . Will I win by one million votes?” is ringing on cellphones throughout the Philippines.  It is the taped voice of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo talking with commissioner of elections Virgilio Garcillano, nicknamed “Garci” in May 2004 before the election results were announced.  Arroyo did, in fact, win by a million […]

  • Basic Questions for Inner-Party Discussions

    The basic questions on which the top leadership of our great and glorious Party, the CPN (Maoist), have had a debate and relative agreement but recurring dispute in one form or other for a long time, can be categorised as (i). ideological/philosophical questions (ii). politico-military questions (iii). organisational questions, and (iv) cultural questions. It is imperative to have a wide inner-Party debate on these questions and arrive at correct revolutionary conclusions

  • U.S. Labor in Crisis: The Current Internal Debate and the Role of Democracy in Its Revitalization

    [The following is a speech delivered by Jerry Tucker on March 12, 2005 at the conference on “Work and Social Movements in the United States” at University of Paris – Sorbonne (March 10-12, 2005). Tucker will report daily on the AFL-CIO 2005 convention in Chicago on July 25-28. — Ed.] There is today a rare […]