Obama, Union Buster?

obama oval office

Wendy McElroy: Unions are dropping their enthusiasm for Obamacare. Some push for the new subsidies. Others bristle over the excise tax. Many protest the impact of health care cutbacks by employers who cannot afford to fully implement Obamacare.

What Activists (Should Have) Learned in 2012

Randy Shaw: Activists are in far better spirits than one year ago. Progressives see that the public is on their side, and, unlike in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, are staying engaged in the major policy struggles that elections are supposed to be all about.

Chicken’s Tastier Than Feathers

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Berry Craig: Romney and Ryan are two of the most anti-labor politicians around. But they think they can peel off some union votes with the old social issues sucker bait.

Should Progressives Stop Criticizing Obama?

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Randy Shawo: While Obama draws overwhelming support among African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, single women and organized labor, some progressives continue to attack him. But with Romney-Ryan posing a dire threat to progressive interests, this criticism should stop until after Election Day.

Romney Likes Unions — in Poland

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Berry Craig: While Romney saluted Solidarity, he conveniently omitted the role of trade unions in building the American middle class.

How Democrats Exploit Occupy

may day

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.

Mission Impossible: Finding a Mini-Van Made in America by Union Workers

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Walter Brasch: We can wave flags and tell everyone how much more patriotic we are than them, but we still can’t buy a minivan made in America by unionized workers—even when the price is lower than that of the non-unionized competition.

Will May Day Protests Rejuvenate the Occupy Movement?

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Randy Shaw: My chief concern about Occupy’s future is that I do not see enough resources devoted to organizing new people to get involved.

Occupy and Organized Labor: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win

minneapolis strike

Mark Naison: If I dare to dream, I can see where this collaboration between Occupy and Labor might lead—to the unionization of Wal-Mart, to the unionization of McDonalds, to the unionization of financial services workers in the nation’s largest banks.

Top 10 Most Read Led by “Blaming Schools and Teachers”

deported mexicans great depression

Topping this week’s list is, once again, Mark Naison, the Fordham University professor and editor of With a Brooklyn Accent, who writes so passionately on issues of education and race..

Grover Norquist: Portrait of a One Percenter

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Steve Mikulan: Norquist is not really a conservative genuinely interested in smaller government or tax reform, but the hired arsonist of big business.

Obama Continues Alienating Onetime Core Supporters

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Randy Shaw: I expect many Occupy supporters to spend time from Labor Day to Election Day in 2012 on statewide initiatives seeking to raise taxes on the 1% in order to fund schools and other vital needs.

Professionals Moving to Organized Labor

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Sharon Kyle: Labor union membership has declined significantly in the United States over the last 50 years, but this segment of the labor market is booming.

Occupy Movement, Labor on Collision Course with Obama

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Randy Shaw: If President Obama and fellow Democrats agree to a deficit reduction deal that cuts Medicare, Social Security, and other programs serving the 99%, expect an electoral calamity for Democrats in 2012.

Labor Occupies Wall Street, But Democrats Go in Reverse

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As the grassroots campaign against Wall Street grows, Democratic politicians are moving in the opposite direction. President Obama has secured the House Republican support necessary to pass three trade bills strongly opposed by organized labor and most Democrats. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who like Obama was elected with huge labor funding and ground support, [...]

The Wobblies

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Elizabeth Knipe: The movement to organize labor is filled with colorful characters and none more so than those who led the International Workers of the World, more popularly known as the Wobblies.

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.

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.

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.

Jerry Betrays Cesar, UFW, and His Own Legacy

jerry brown and cesar chavez

Randy Shaw: Brown’s alignment with wealthy growers against indigent workers picking crops in the fields surely has Chavez turning over in his grave, and shows that the Governor views the UFW as just another group he is willing to betray.

Labor Needs Organizing, Not Politics

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Randy Shaw: Many feel that unions have invested far too much time and money in electoral work that has not produced promised results, at the expense of ongoing worker organizing to build membership.

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 New Reality for U.S. Labor Unions

richard trumka

Shamus Cooke: The fundamental difference between the powerful unions of yesterday and the passive unions of today is the unwillingness of today’s unions to wage a real fight in the streets and workplaces.

Countering the Republican Anti-Labor Campaign

John Peeler: Nationally, Democrats have been lukewarm at best in their defense of labor unions, but Republicans have been, and are increasingly, solidly opposed to unions.

Walker & Company Engaged in Political Perversion

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Mario Solis-Marich: Organized labor has never found itself as united as it is at this moment in our country’s history. However the right has never found itself with so much access to funding dedicated to breaking unions.

Wisconsin Going Forward

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Tina Dupuy: The several generations of Wisconsinites sauntering around the Capitol in the cold are even more of an apt symbol of what organized labor, pensions, health care and a living wage mean for working people: It’s family. The ability to take care of their families.

Mass Immigration and the Dilemma of American Unions

Vernon M. Briggs, Jr.

Over the long run immigration flows tend to increase the size of the working class, but also affect the labor supply which can modulate wage conditions.

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Why All Workers Should Support Unions

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Shamus Cooke: Thanks to years of right-wing propaganda — and labor union inertia — millions of Americans are “union skeptics,” unsure as to the nature of the union animal.

Wisconsin’s Troubling Message for Progressives

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Randy Shaw: As long as Democrats fail to hold those they elect politically accountable, and refuse to demand that their political leaders “ruffle feathers” in pursuing change, this dynamic will continue.

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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.

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