About Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

Ann Robertson is a Lecturer at San Francisco State University and a member of the California Faculty Association. Bill Leumer is a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 853 (ret.). Both are writers for Workers Action and may be reached at sanfrancisco@workerscompass.org.

The Pro-Labor Democrat Myth

Pro-Labor Democrat

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Are there really any politicians who could qualify as “labor Democrats” or should this category be consigned to the status of fiction?

How To Jump-Start Your Union

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How To Jump-Start Your Union: Acquiring political power, then, requires that organized labor execute a clean break with the Democratic Party.

What’s at Stake in Privatizing Education?

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Privatizing Education — Evidence unambiguously supports the idea that the corporate culture in all its forms is antithetic to education.

The New York Times Gets an ‘F’ on Education Policy

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: A recent New York Times editorial took a moment out to lecture mayor-elect of New York City Bill de Blasio on how he should treat teachers and their unions. We hope he doesn’t listen.

UAW Organizing: One Step Forward — And One Backward

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: When the world’s population, that is overwhelmingly against corporate policies that impoverish workers and trash the environment, is organized, the balance of forces will shift and real change will be possible.

Detroit’s Retired City Workers in the Crosshairs

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: As inequalities in wealth continue to create an ever-widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us, the concept of “shared sacrifice” is becoming increasingly ludicrous.

A Curious New York Times Article on Teacher Evaluations

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: What is really curious is why The New York Times author was so quick to uncritically adopt the corporate perspective and jump on the bandwagon of attacking the teachers. Perhaps she was one of the few students who failed her critical thinking course.

AFL-CIO’s Own Oil Disaster

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Organized labor will have to abandon its current, doomed trajectory where it responds to its continually declining membership by redoubling its efforts to mimic the backroom cynical deals of corporations. It will have to trade in manipulation for inspiration and money for morality, including reducing the inflated salaries of many of the top officials.

Defending the Public Sector

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The attacks are part of a well orchestrated, decades-long campaign initiated by the corporate sector, which is intent on ensuring that government policy be crafted in their own narrow self interests, which they disingenuously equate with the public good.

Corporate Tax Breaks and Jobs

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The only way workers will succeed in defending jobs with decent pay lies in workers standing together and embracing the principle that the labor movement was built on — solidarity.

Paul Krugman Discovers Marx (and Misses the Point)

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Amazingly, Krugman never mentions the decline of organized labor as a huge factor explaining the decline of the standard of living of working people, adding that there has been so little discussion of these developments.

The Chicago Teachers and Their Students’ Test Scores

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: No standardized test can possibly penetrate or measure this domain, and the attempt to apply such a ruler only reveals the ignorance of those who pretend to know better.

How Unions Could Do Much Better

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Defending the interests of working people in general cannot amount to a pretense, an occasional event, or a sideshow, playing a distant second to electing Democrats to office. Defending the 99% must be the main event.

Inequalities, Taxes, and More Inequalities

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: This willingness to give up hard won gains in turn has resulted in the continuing decline of union membership, which now stands at 8 percent.

Taxing the Rich and the Jobs Crisis

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Taxing the rich and using the money to finance a massive jobs program, as was done in the 1930s, can certainly substantially lower unemployment.

Money, Power, and Politics

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer. As a result of the unions’ current orientation toward the Democratic Party, one must look long and hard for compelling examples, aside from the 1930s, when unions put up a valiant struggle.

How Not to Be a Union

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: It is not too late for organized labor to execute a turn away from electing Democrats and reaffirm its roots with massive demonstrations in the streets.

AFL-CIO Declares Victory in Wisconsin in the Face of Defeat

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Rather than mobilizing members to defend their standard of living by putting up a fight, organized labor has relied exclusively on electing Democrats to office.

How Democrats Exploit Occupy

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The 99% Spring is the latest effort by those close to the Democrats to take advantage of Occupy, but the results were less than spectacular.

The Millionaires Tax and Jerry Brown’s Terrorizing Tactic

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Jerry Brown to resort to his terror tactic, intended to strike fear in the hearts of the public. He has told the people of California that if they do not support this new compromise tax proposal, then automatic trigger cuts will go into effect that will brutally slash the budget of public education on all levels.

Foreclosure Crisis: Bankers and Forgiveness

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Why is the government so intent on pursuing a double standard when it comes to enforcing the law on the 1 percent and on the rest of us?

The Unions, the Millionaires Tax, and the Road to Success

Community members gathered at the Elihu M. Harris State of California Office Building in support of the Millionaires Tax. (Daily Californian)

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: Students, teachers, and social service workers in the Occupy Education movement are not wavering in their commitment to the Millionaires Tax, despite union capitulation to pressure from Governor Brown.

The Working Class Begins to Fight Back

Occupy LA (Photo: Michael Daussalt)

Bill Leumer and Ann Robertson: The Occupy Wall Street movement drew the obvious conclusion: meaningful change will happen, not by endless waiting for the politicians to act, but by working people relying on themselves and acting collectively.

10 Lessons for Today’s Unions from Labor’s Militant History

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: As a first step, organized labor should organize massive demonstrations in major cities across the country on Labor Day to raise these demands. Working people strongly oppose these cuts and desperately want job-creation programs.

The National Education Association Flunks a Crucial Test

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: As long as the N.E.A. as well as organized labor in general remain tied to the corporate-dominated Democratic Party, public education will deteriorate, critical thinking will be undermined, wages will remain low, and the working class will continue to suffer a decline.

Why Inequality Matters

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: The only alternative available to working people that offers real prospects for success are mass mobilizations in the streets and strikes – the kind of militant struggles that scored so many gains in the 1930s.

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