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.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Municipal Workers

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Joseph Palermo: I cannot believe that in the 21st Century we are having this kind of a debate on the role of labor unions in this country. But I suppose it isn’t surprising since we have a new Gilded Age going on.

Ironically, Anti-Union Republicans Need Unions

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Walter Brasch: The unions had already said they would accept what amounts to an 8 percent cut. But, Walker, acting more like a caricature of a Fat Cat Boss, refused to negotiate. His demands, if put into law, would essentially “gut” public worker unions.

Class Warfare Needed to Get Rid of Bad Blood

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David Love: In all manner of Talibanic extremism, the unhinged, lunatic rightward fringe is using this opportunity to push all of the foolishness they could imagine when they lived in the political wilderness and were jonesing for power.

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The Republican Shakedown

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Robert Reich: As long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top – and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation’s bills – Republicans will convince people it’s all about government and unions.

Wisconsin: Overwhelming Ironies

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Jim Fuller: It’s impossible to think of another situation so utterly bathed in irony as the battle in and about the attack on unions by Wisconsin’s Tea Party millionaire governor, Scott Walker, and other Republicans of his ilk.

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

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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

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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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D-Day For Public Employees

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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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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.

State of the Union Address 2011 – Full Video and Transcript

You can watch President Obama’s State of the Union Address, in its entirety and read the full transcript here. The president began by introducing the Speaker of the House, John Boehner. He then went on to talk about the tragedy in Tucson, pointing out that Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ seat was empty. The hour long video offers insight into what we’re to expect in the coming year.

What Is To Be Done About the State of Our Union?

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Lydia Howell: Nine months after taking office, Obama began slamming the Democratic Party’s liberal/progressive base for daring to notice, much less criticize, his corporate-friendly policies and center-right positions. In the wake of his Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission, Obama will likely make a sober call for national sacrifice.

The State of the Union and the Federal Budget: Investing in America’s Future

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Robert Reich: Over the long term, the only way to improve the living standards of most Americans is to invest in our people – especially their educations, skills, and the communications and transportation systems linking them together and with the rest of the world (infrastructure).

Requiem for the American Worker

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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.

Author Spotlight: Berry Craig

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As that rare bird—a union-card-carrying, left-leaning NASCAR fan—Berry Craig brings four strong threads to his writing for the LA Progressive: Years working as a daily newspaper reporter and opinion columnist, a full career as a college history professor, strong attachment to his Kentucky roots, and deep involvement in union organizing.

Villaraigosa Finally Speaks Up Against Teacher Union Reform Busting

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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.

State of the Union

Brent Budowsky: In his films that rallied America against fascism, Capra did not glorify profiteers. He honored those wearing the uniform. He inspired the nation that stood behind them with the American belief that we are in this together in the cause of a great and exceptional country.

The Struggle for a Workers’ Recovery

Shamus Cooke: The massive One Nation demonstration in Washington, D.C. proved that unions and other progressive groups can unite under a set of demands. But uniting for one demonstration is not enough.

Billionaires Unite! (Against Public Education and Teachers)

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Shamus Cooke: If the teachers’ unions combined with other public sector unions, parent associations, and the community at large to demand fully funded public education by taxing the rich, the billionaires would find themselves without allies. Their money might then be put towards something useful.

NASA Scientists Discuss Upcoming Supreme Court Privacy Case

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is hosting a telephone press briefing this morning to preview a Supreme Court case that will be argued next week. Dial: (866) 961-5938 to listen in at 9:00 am Pacific time. Jet Propulsion Lab Teleconference

GOP Hopes for a Heap of Stay-at-Home Union Folks

“The Party of No doesn’t want the union vote, the working family vote,” AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka said at the AFL-CIO-sponsored Battleground States Conference. “They want us all to stay at home out of frustration.”

Labor Organizers Can Beat Army for Exciting Lives

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Sherwood Ross: Without unions, human beings will subsist in a world of wage-slavery, of “haves” and “have nots,” rather than in a world where the average person has a chance at making a decent living.

Unions Are WRONG to Refuse to Build the Mosque

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Linda Milazzo: Adding cultural and religious bias, logistic sensitivity and unfounded fear to the existing union stereotypes of over-coddled and over-paid, affords union detractors greater ability to incite anti-union sentiment with new pejoratives like hyper-sensitive, hysterical, illogical and emotionally weak.

Are Teachers and Democrats Headed for Divorce?

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Shamus Cooke: The Democrats continue on the road to corporate-inspired charter schools, using the tried and true method of “stronger teacher evaluations” to undermine “underperforming” schools and teachers — thus opening the door wide to private charter schools with their non-union workforce.

Baseball Justice

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Peter Dreier: Major League Baseball’s corporate mentality, its failure to deal with widespread drug use, and its decline in popularity among America’s youth (more of whom now play soccer than Little League baseball), don’t reflect well on what its pooh-bahs still call the “national pastime.”

“Why Is the Media So Anti-Union?”

ill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO, leafletting Louisville packing plant. (Photo: Mandy Dixon)

Berry Craig: Generally, the smaller a paper or TV or radio station is, the greater its bias against unions. Their anti-unionism is sometimes as plain as their front doors, which are often plastered with decals or stickers proudly proclaiming chamber membership. The fact that the chamber is openly pro-business and anti-union apparently doesn’t trouble local media owners about conflicts of interest.

SEIU at the Crossroads

Randy Shaw: Since January 2009, SEIU has spent millions in two campaigns against rival unions. Its campaign against UNITE HERE has alienated virtually the entire labor movement, effectively destroyed the Change to Win Labor Federation, worsened SEIU’s budget problems, and achieved none of the hoped-for membership gains – yet SEIU’s raids against UNITE HERE continue.

Why Would Union Members Vote Republican?

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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.

The New Obama Is the Old Obama

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.

As Labor Faces Turning Point, UNITE HERE National Convention Opens

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UNITE HERE, best known for its Hotel Workers Rising campaign and successful organizing of the nation’s gaming industry, opens its national convention in Chicago today. When the event was scheduled, it seemed a perfect occasion for celebrating five years of increased union membership in its core jurisdictions, despite tough economic times. Instead, UNITE HERE’s celebration [...]

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