Fighting ‘Divide and Conquer’ in Wisconsin

shared sacrifices

Lydia Howell: Madison is ground zero for resistance to the dismantling of workers’ rights and cutting anything in government budgets that serves human needs while corporate “persons” get subsidies and tax cuts and are in effect made exempt from law supposedly governing such offenses as pollution and worker safety.

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What Governor Walker Won’t Tell You

madison statehouse

Stanley Kutler: There is a kernel of truth in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s claim of a “budget shortfall” of $137 million. But Walker, a Republican, failed to tell the state that less than two weeks into his term as governor, he, with his swollen Republican majorities in the Wisconsin Legislature, pushed through $117 million in tax breaks for business allies of the GOP. There is your crisis.

Kentucky AFL-CIO Head: GOP Out to Destroy “Whole Union Movement”

londrigan-wide

Berry Craig: If a tea party Republican wins this November’s election, the Scott Walker agenda will be on Kentuckians with a vengeance. We will be another step closer to right to work for less, repeal of prevailing wage and attacks on public sector workers and their unions.

Why the Attacks on Public Sector Workers and Their Unions

Attack Against Public Sector Unions (2)

Seymour Slavin: Ultimately, the way to overcome the fog of misstatements is to bring the truth to the American people. Thus, the attack against public sector unions can be viewed in its true light—protect the super rich and disarm the voice of the people—the trade union movement.

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How to Win in Wisconsin and Beyond

wisconsin-protests-wide

Shamus Cooke: Democrats all over the country are cooperating with Republicans in launching a massive attack on the wages and benefits of public employees, scapegoating them for the deficits caused by Wall Street’s recession and the corporate sector in general, the real “base” of the Democrats.

D-Day For Public Employees

wisconsin teachers

Joseph Palermo: With the aggressive onslaught aimed at public employees and their unions that Republican governors have unleashed in recent weeks, it’s long past time for politicians calling themselves “Democrats” to push aside the anti-labor elements inside their party and stand up for basic worker protections.

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The Republican Strategy

antonin scalia

Robert Reich: The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

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Behind the Kitchen Door

FOC-LA Staff

Diane Lefer: A comment last week on an LA Times blog argued that “working in a restaurant is not supposed to provide a ‘living wage’. It’s a job that teenagers and students use to get started in life.” Not so according to ROC-LA co-coordinator Cathy Dang who reported that nationwide, people tend to stay in the industry for a lifetime.

Mandatory E-Verify Is Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

construction workers

Michele Waslin: While everyone agrees that high unemployment levels must be addressed, simplistic measures like mandating E-Verify are not going to open up jobs for millions of unemployed workers.

Californians Benefit from Funding Higher Education

Tracy Emblem: California taxpayers should carefully consider the cost-benefit analysis, because when we cut public funding for these institutions, we cut our state’s economic advantage and future prosperity.

Why We Should Trade Broccoli and Asparagus for Hot Dogs and Apple Pie

apple pie

Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.

The Reagan Centennial: Celebrating Reaganomics

ronald reagan

Joseph Palmero: If you like the way things are in the United States today — with Gilded Age levels of inequality, weak labor unions, low-wage service jobs for most of the workforce, and a public sector that’s dying on the vine — then you can thank Ronald Reagan.

The Jobs Report, and America’s Two Economies

looking for work

Robert Reich: With corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you’d expect jobs be coming back. But you’d be wrong.

Why Has Every Pro-Repeal GOP Lawmaker Given Their Congressional Staff Taxpayer-Funded, Government Health Care?

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)

Lee Fang: Evan as they rip the bill as some sort of “monstrosity” of “socialism,” nearly every Republican lawmaker eagerly accepts government health benefits afforded to them as members of Congress.

Obama’s Choice of Charlotte a Slap in Face to Organized Labor

Randy Shaw: As most labor union leaders continue to publicly praise President Obama, it’s clear with each passing week that Obama feels he can actively court corporate America while taking labor support for granted.

Department of Defense Should Provide Diversity Training

tracy emblem

Tracy Emblem and Lisa Kove: Historically, the DoD has had an unwritten policy/rule that excludes LGBT diversity training from its diversity educational program.

Will “Stepping on the Gas” of Immigration Enforcement Drive Us into a Brick Wall?

immigration's brick wall

Michele Waslin: Most importantly, worksite enforcement can only be truly effective if done in conjunction with comprehensive immigration reform—something President Obama alluded to in the State of the Union Address last night and Rep. Zoe Lofgren addressed in today’s hearing.

Are Government Workers the New Illegal Aliens?

fireman and medic

Tina Dupuy: Over 16.5% of Americans are employed by the government, about 22 million of the 135 million payroll jobs. And they’re not just pencil-pushing, useless cushy benefit collectors – but scientists.

HSPD12 Employees Wait to See How NASA Responds

Supreme Court Seal

In the wake of an 8-0 setback by the United States Supreme Court last week, the JPL plaintiffs in the HSPD12 case said they would now wait to see what NASA does in response to the decision. In a communication released to the JPL staff today the employees said “The ball is now in NASA’s court.

Requiem for the American Worker

steelworkers

Bill Londrigan: We can look back and see the carnage that the corporate war on workers and their unions has wrought: a decline in wages, benefits, unions and jobs–while corporations and the wealthiest one-percent have amassed the largest concentrations of wealth in history.

The Forgotten Jobless and Our Future

labor strike

Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.

Republican Assault on Health Care Could Backfire

gop healthcare

Robert Reich: If successful—either in Congress or in the courts—a Republican victory could turn into a Phyrric one by opening the way to the alternative model, based on the system Americans seem to prefer: payroll taxes and public insurance.

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with Memphis sanitation workers.

Robert Reich: Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar, even as corporations refuse to hire more workers.

Wealthy Celebrity Athletes Don’t Need the President’s Backing—But I Know Who Does

black unemployment

Jasmyne Cannick: Rather than call Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie, the President could have really made an impact by addressing employers throughout America on the importance of giving all ex-prisoners—regardless of their football playing ability—a second chance and freeing them from a life without the possibility of employment.

The U.S. Economy in 2011

Jobs in the New Year

Robert Reich: The two American economies — the Big Money economy and the Average Working Family economy — will continue to diverge. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.

Villaraigosa Finally Speaks Up Against Teacher Union Reform Busting

villaraigosa

Anthony Samad: Villaraigosa said the unions are “one unwavering roadblock to reform.” He is right on that point. They have been and will be. But he is wrong to have waited so long to speak.

Why America’s Two Economies Continue to Drift Apart

unemployment

Robert Reich: Nothing is trickling down to the Average Worker economy. Job growth is still anemic. Unemployment won’t get down to pre-recession levels for 20 years. And almost half of October’s new jobs were in temporary help.

Why the Bush-Era Tax Cuts Should Not Be Extended to the Nation’s Top 2%

Budget

Tracy Emblem: Let’s give the new legislation which provides tax breaks and job incentives for “small businesses” time to work before blindly accepting McConnell’s argument that allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire would hurt small businesses. We must start closing the deficit gap.

Wage Theft: Thou Shalt Not Steal From Your Workers

expendables

David Love: Scrooge arrived just in time for the holidays, with Social Darwinism, bootstraps, slashing and cutting as a prescription for all our woes.

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