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

minivan assembly

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.

The Great Populist Wave

register to vote

Brent Budowsky: It is time for the true champions of the 99 percent to launch the largest voter-registration, -mobilization and -turnout campaign in the history of freedom.

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.

The Right to Shirk

factory

John T. Cumbler: Indiana ’s proposed “Right to Work” Act is not just anti-union, it is anti-democratic. Under the law if a majority of workers in a plant vote for a union, those who opposed the union would not have to contribute dues to the union.

Friday Feedback: Attacks on Teachers

occupy lausd

This week, an article by Mark Naison, “How Attacks on Teachers and Government Workers Will Impact All Our Lives,” drew the following exchange between Ryder and Steve Wider.

How Attacks on Teachers and Government Workers Will Impact All Our Lives

occupy lausd

Mark Naison: The attack on Teachers Unions has been driven by foundations and funding sources traditionally associated with the Democratic Party and has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Obama Administration.

Santorum Loves Unions — in Iran

rick santorum

“I believe in the American worker,” says Rick Santorum, the new anti-Romney in the food fight for the GOP presidential nomination. A hero of social conservatives, Santorum claims he’s a blue collar sort of guy, too. The ex-senator and congressman from Pennsylvania promises he can make factories boom again. Santorum says he has a plan [...]

A Warm Holiday Meal Brought by Your Gas Workers

gas workers

Art Frias: As a public-private partnership Sempra has an obligation to treat its customers and workers fairly. Instead they make billions, pay themselves millions while cutting services to customers.

‘Right to Work Is a Cancerous Ideology’

stillwell

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

Nasty Bosses on College Campuses

pomona faculty protests

Vijay Prashad: Values are taught not just in the classroom but in the very bones of an institution. How it treats its workers sends a message to the student body about what is acceptable in our society.

From Teachers to Truck Drivers, We’re All the Working Class

gingrich surges

Berry Craig: Historically, labor-haters like Gingrich have tried to divide workers by skill, race, gender, religion, ethnicity and nationality. Today, the wedge issues include abortion, school prayer, guns and gay marriage.

Wal-Mart Heiress Opens Lavish Art Museum As Company Cuts Worker Health Care

rosie the riverter

Randy Shaw: Alice Walton and her family have earned riches by denying workers adequate benefits and living wages. What the museum really needs is a large painting of a Wal-Mart worker suffering from unmet health problems,

Lamar Smith’s E-Verify Arguments Defy Logic

lamar-smith-wide

Michele Waslin: Studies have shown that E-Verify is deeply flawed. Not only does it fail to detect unauthorized workers over half of the time, but it would erroneously flag millions of U.S. citizens and legal workers as not being work authorized.

Ralphs’ Workers Aren’t the Only Ones Getting Played

ralphs grocery strick

Jasmyne Cannick: When I think about it, the only thing that has changed since those stores were taken over by Ralph’s in the early 1990’s, are the increase in prices and the sign on the outside of the building.

The Wobblies

wobblies

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.

Corporate America Sends a Labor Day Message

rr donnelley

Walter Brasch: In the RR Donnelley Corporate Social Responsibility Report are four guiding principles. One is “Treating others the way that we want to be treated.” It’s nice rhetoric. If it were true.

Immigrant Laborers Strengthen American Workforce, Economy

workers statue

Michele Waslin: While immigration restrictionists have long tried to demonize immigrant workers and blame them for high unemployment rates and other economic woes, the facts make it clear that immigrants actually create jobs and businesses and boost the wages of native-born workers.

Protests, Not Parades, This Labor Day

trash driver

Robert Reich: Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade.

Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers are Consumers.

Iranian medical delegation at the Agent Orange conference in Hanoi.

Robert Reich: Every CEO of every company that continues to squeeze payrolls (Verizon, are you listening? Ford?) needs to understand they’re shooting themselves in the feet. Where do they expect demand for their products and services to come from?

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.

Should Your Job Kill You?

Angela Alvarez, a lead organizer with the Workers Health Program of IDEPSCA (Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California)

Diane Lefer: Given our economic woes and high unemployment, the importance of advocacy groups and community organizations becomes very clear. Without support and backup, workers are less likely to demand their rights and risk retaliation at the very time when employers want to cut corners

Mandatory E-Verify Will Not Magically Solve Immigration Woes

magic rabbit

Michele Waslin: Immigration restrictionists argue that imposing a mandatory employment verification system will ensure that unauthorized workers are not able to get jobs in the U.S. and will choose to leave, leaving millions of jobs wide open for unemployed U.S. citizens. Of course, this ignores the facts.

Republican War on Worker Rights Undermines Economy

laane faces

Robert Reich: The only way back toward sustained growth and prosperity in the United States is to remake the basic bargain linking pay to productivity. This would give the American middle class the purchasing power they need to keep the economy going.

Home: A Former Sex Worker’s Dream

house-wide

Nikki Junker: I think we are making leaps and bounds in getting many of these girls out of the situations that they are in. Out of the hands of their pimps and a life of being trafficked, but now the question where do we go from here?

California GOP Targets Workers

worker-wide

Caitlin Vega: In these times of unprecedented income inequality, all the Republicans want is to cut worker pay and protections and reward corporations, even if they break the law. It’s taking from those who have the least and giving to those with the most.

War and Workers

amercian-soldiers-wide

Lydia Howell: Whether it’s debt-ridden college graduates working as baristas or small town youth with only fast-food and Wal-Mart as post-high school career options, high unemployment keeps a volunteer military ranks full.

President Obama: MIA

sarandon-wide

Walter Brasch: Good presidents do what is best for the country. Great presidents, however, do not only what is best for the people, but are also willing to speak to the courage of their beliefs, of their principles, even if it may be unpopular among many of their constituencies.

Municipal Bankruptcy Threatens Workers, Communities…

caitlin vega

Caitlin Vega: The same people who want to make personal bankruptcy impossible now want state and local governments to use it strategically to screw workers.

Economic Powerhouse Germany

germany

Steven Hill: Germany has evolved a social capitalism which has proven to be more stable and efficient than America’s Wall Street capitalism, not to mention more ecologically sustainable.

Go to Wisconsin, President Obama

president barack obama

Paul Loeb: You need to go there and speak out, or at least speak out again and more strongly, because Americans need to understand what’s at stake, and those who are standing up there and elsewhere need to see you standing beside them.

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