Tom Conway: U.S. life expectancy dropped three years in a row, America’s suicide rate is at a record high, millions struggle with opioid addictions, and workers with multiple part-time jobs battle hopelessness.
The American labor movement played a central role in elevating the American standard of living. Today some of the things we take for granted like vacations with pay, pensions, health and welfare protection, grievance and arbitration procedures, and holidays didn't exist on a meaningful scale until unions fought and won them for working people. The video and articles below address the issues the labor movement is addressing today in the United States. Please share these articles with your network.
Devin Griggs: We cannot build interracial class solidarity by ignoring the very real ways that workers of color in this country face special kinds of discrimination not visited upon white workers.
Rosemary Jenkins: It is just counterintuitive that our economy can grow if people have no money to spend! Earn more, spend more–on housing, cars, food, clothing, all of which then generates more jobs at the retail level, manufacturing, construction, and so forth.
Robert Reich: The real job creators are members of America’s vast middle class and the poor, whose purchases cause businesses to expand and invest.
Julia Gould: Raise LA is taking its grassroots organizing to a new level by reaching out to community members in every neighborhood at Angelenos’ favorite weekend pastime, farmer’s markets.
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers: We are poised to stop these attempts to rig the international economy in favor of multinational corporations and move to a new model of trade that respects the rights of people and nature, but it will take a coordinated effort.
Julia Gould: Even though they work for one of the city’s biggest employers, most hotel workers struggle to get by—often forced to work two jobs and rely on public assistance just to make ends meet.
Robert Reich: Does anyone seriously believe hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the $2.3 billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a $1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?
Mark Naison: One of the things I am most worried about in the rush to online learning and disposable teacher temps is the elimination of relationship building and mentoring, which in my experience, is key in having education move people out of poverty and promote upward mobility.
Katy Fox-Hodess: Another way we broke with the past is that we were willing to let the contract expire so that we could legally strike. The only real thing we lost was binding arbitration, and we gained the right to strike over grievances.
Robert Reich: The gains from a higher minimum wage extend beyond those who receive it. More money in the pockets of low-wage workers means more sales, especially in the locales they live in – which in turn creates faster growth and more jobs.
Julie Gutman Dickinson: California-based Taylor Farms is giving the retail giant a run for its money when it comes to low-road labor practices, while offering another example of why it’s time for the U.S. to clamp down on the use of temp agencies by huge companies trying to evade responsibility for unconscionable working conditions.
Richard Wolff: Bringing democratic decision-making into the core organization of enterprises provides the best chance for a less unequal initial distribution of income than is now common in most societies.