Manufacturing Illusions:

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Robert Reich: Suddenly, manufacturing is back – at least on the election trail. But don’t be fooled. The real issue isn’t how to get manufacturing back. It’s how to get good jobs and good wages back. They aren’t at all the same thing.

‘Right to Work Is a Cancerous Ideology’

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Berry Craig: Simply put, right to work laws are designed to weaken large unions, destroy small unions, and keep unorganized workers from unionizing.

Our Hope for Change Still Not Fulfilled

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Walter Brasch: After significant compromise with the recalcitrant Republicans who want to continue to give the wealthy tax advantages while cutting significant social programs, President Obama has finally taken a stand on debt ceiling negotiations. However, in labor, wildlife management, and the environment he is still compromising rather than coming out forcefully for the principles he and the working class and environmentalists believe.

Republicans Keep Flunking on Union Issues, but Trumka Puts Democrats on Notice, Too

richard trumka

Berry Craig: Many union members were deeply disappointed when Congress failed to do more to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Unions wanted more health care reform than Congress delivered, too.

The Cure for Plutocracy: Strike!

union-strike

David Swanson: How do you get politicians living off legalized bribery to criminalize bribery? How do you persuade the corporate media to report on the interests of flesh-and-blood, non-corporate people?

From “Fired Up and Ready to Go” to “Tired Out and Staying Home”

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Joseph Palermo: During the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years the center of American politics was pushed about a hundred degrees to the Right. Obama gets elected and tries to move it about a half degree leftward and all we hear are screams of “socialism!”

Employers Take Beating Laying Off Employees

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Sherwood Ross: As millions of Americans have been fired by employers struggling to remain profitable, we have all borne witness to Corporate America’s calloused disregard of its workers. Now, canny business economists claim the layoffs have hurt employers, too.

JFK’s “How To” Manual

obama and jfk

Joseph Palermo: Obama took so many daring chances during the 2008 presidential campaign but when it comes to governing it seems he has become risk averse. The Democrats’ slogan for 2010 should be: “If Ben Nelson Doesn’t Like It — We Won’t Do It!”

Why Would Union Members Vote Republican?

richard trumka

Berry Craig: The union-haters must still be in hog heaven over an AFL-CIO-sponsored poll that showed most Massachusetts union households supported Republican Scott Brown over union-endorsed Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to succeed the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

A Plea for the Employee Free Choice Act

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lthough the odds for the passage of EFCA seem long today despite a Democratic majority in Congress and a Democratic president, the importance of EFCA should not be forgotten. In mid-2009, many of America’s labor historians signed a statement that strongly endorsed the act. This was a good beginning. Going forward, all of us who are committed to social justice should do what we can to support passage of EFCA in the immediate future.

The Arlen Spectacle

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There was only one possible explanation. The bullet entered the president’s neck, bounced off his necktie, made a right turn in midair, entered Governor Connolly’s back, broke a rib, and exited his arm after breaking his wrist. Following perhaps the most exhaustive trip ever taken by a rifle round, it was found — in pristine [...]

As Nation Moves Left, Media Stuck in Past

media-quartet

Despite Barack Obama’s victory and polls showing strong support for a progressive agenda, the traditional media is “staying the course” in presenting the news. While the blogosphere pokes fun at the FOX News-created “tea parties” on April 15, CNN and other media are giving wide coverage to these fake protests, ignoring legitimate protests and rallies [...]

The Heritage Foundation Spreads Lies on YouTube About the Employee Free Choice Act

factory

The Heritage Foundation posted a paid advertisement yesterday on YouTube’s homepage claiming that in the debate over the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) workers only hear “the union organizer’s side.” The infomercial tells viewers that worker enthusiasm for union membership drops off from the time of the initial card check to the time of electing [...]

The Obama Progressive Agenda: A Progress Report

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Although progressives have already won two major victories – the stimulus package and the budget – and a reversal of a number of Bush anti-environment policies, most activists are focused on the troika of universal health care, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), and comprehensive immigration reform. Having asked activists across the nation over the [...]

Color of Law: New York, City of the Poor

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As the song goes, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you, New York, New York.” The problem is that if you are counting on making it in New York City, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. A recent report by The Center for an Urban Future [...]

Republican Dinosaurs Cling to Power

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When a side that “plays to win” is in the political minority, they assert whatever power they can get. This is the position Republicans, after two elections of solid blue victories, are stuck in at the federal and state level. Shut out of the presidency and the U.S. House of Representatives, the G.O.P. clings to [...]

Rite Aid and the Failure of Labor Law

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After months of a media war supporting and condemning it, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was finally introduced into Congress again last week. The bill has been debated before, but with a larger Democratic majority, its chances of passage are much greater today, and President Obama has said he’ll sign it. Employers, therefore, are [...]

Blue Dog Democrats and Republican Triangulation

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Senator John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, has served up a devastating critique of the direction the Republican Party has taken recently. “If figureheads like Ann Coulter are turning me off,” Ms. McCain writes, “then they are definitely turning off other members of my generation as well.” She understands that when the GOP’s dominant personalities are [...]

Blue Dogs and Citigroup Fight the Employee Free Choice Act

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Even the “Blue Dog” Democrats should be alarmed about bailed out banks taking billions in taxpayer funds only to lobby against this era’s Wagner Act. I don’t think so. Labor gaining ground was essential to putting the economy back together after the Great Depression and it is essential today. The activists working in favor of [...]

Howard Dean’s Return to DFA Can Spark National Activism

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After presiding over the Democratic Party’s most successful national grassroots mobilizing campaign since the New Deal, Howard Dean is returning to Democracy for America, the organization he founded nearly five years ago. Dean’s return to DFA got scant attention in the traditional media, which has underestimated the former Vermont Governor from his 2004 presidential campaign [...]

Republicans: Spare Me Your Newfound “Fiscal Responsibility”

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At his press conference on Monday, President Barack Obama had to remind Mara Liasson of Fox News and NPR that it was the Republicans who doubled the national debt over the past eight years and it’s a little strange to be hearing lectures from them now about how to be fiscally responsible. That interchange was [...]

A Book Review of Kim Bobo’s “Wage Theft in America”

factory-workers

Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is an Israelite or is a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, [...]

Why We Need Stronger Unions, and How to Get Them

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Why is this recession so deep, and what can be done to reverse it? Hint: Go back about 50 years, when America’s middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all the goods and services we produced. It was a virtuous circle. Good pay meant [...]

Walmart Against EFCA

same-direction

Walmart Against Employee Free Choice Act t’s estimated 86,000 workers got fired trying to exercise their legal right to organize a union during the Bush years and signs are Corporate America will fight to keep things that way. “We like driving the car,” Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott says, “and we’re not going to give the [...]

Why We Need to Revitalize the Union Movement

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Sixty years ago, in the wake of Nazi genocide and World War Two’s unspeakable atrocities, Eleanor Roosevelt crafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This historic document, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948, declared that rights adhered to all persons, no matter their place of birth, race, gender, or religion.

Today We Vote: Tomorrow We March

“When we elect Barack, knock on wood, we will have someone who responds to labor, to people’s needs, the plight of immigrants, but he can’t win change alone it will take a larger movement,” said Maria Elena Durazo, leader of the 840,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. One of the most successful and dynamic [...]

Fighting for Fair Wages

Maria Elena Durazo and Judy Chu

Fighting for Fair Wages While the subject of the vanishing middle class has gained traction in recent years, there is an equally unnerving phenomenon that is keeping step even though it doesn’t get quite the same level of attention. That’s the plight of the working poor. Until recently, the term “working poor” did not have [...]

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