Category: Labor Activism

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Dick Meister: Labor’s Unhappy Anniversary

It was 30 years ago this month that Ronald Reagan struck the blow that sent the American labor movement tumbling into a decline it's still struggling to reverse.   Reagan, one of the most anti-labor presidents in history, set the decline in motion by firing 11,500 of the overworked and underpaid air traffic controllers whose Read more…

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Howie Hawkins: Strike Beats Back Pension Cuts at NY Nuclear Plants

Older workers defended the pension benefits of younger workers in a successful 18-day strike at two nuclear reactors in Oswego, New York. “Solidarity. That's what it was all about,” said Gary Buske, a 24-year-old who has worked two years at the Nine Mile Point plants, on the shore of Lake Ontario 30 miles outside Syracuse. Read more…

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Shamus Cooke: The Jobs Crisis Demands Attention

When the big banks screamed "crisis," they were instantly rewarded with trillions of taxpayer money. Likewise, when rich bondholders — some of them bailout beneficiaries — yelled "crisis" at the U.S. debt, they were immediately rewarded with trillions of dollars taken from social programs for the poor. The jobs crisis, however, staggers on with no relief in Read more…

Jason Farbman: Struggles Erupt Across Chile

WORKER AND student and struggles have broken out across Chile in recent months in a series of challenges to the new right-wing government and its polices. The recent eruption of Chile's Puyehue volcano, dormant for decades, has been seen by many commentators as a metaphor for the sudden emergence of resistance in a multitude of Read more…

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Robert Fisk: The City and its Workers that First Took on Mubarak

The Egyptian cotton city of Mahallah hides its political lessons well. A place of 24-hour-a-day Stalinist factories, ruined 19th-century townhouses buried between concrete blocks and a shambling railway system of filthy rolling stock, only the appearance of a startlingly huge cockroach scuttling across the floor of the municipality office prompts the council workers to sit Read more…

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Steve Early: Verizon Showdown Calls for New Strike Tactics

The culture of “no contract, no work” is almost extinct in the United States, where strike activity has reached an all-time low. Among telephone workers in the northeast, at Verizon and AT&T, this union tradition remains strong, based on successful walkouts by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Read more…

Joe Atkins: Hope in Mississippi

A hardened, intransigent right-wing has taken over the Republican Party and proved its willingness to take the nation to the economic brink to protect its well-heeled financial backers. Legislators have targeted government workers and immigrants as the source of their states' economic ills. Meanwhile, all three branches of the federal government pay homage to the Read more…

Herman Rosenfeld: Workers’ Assemblies: A Way to Regroup the Left?

Herman Rosenfeld is a member of the Canadian Socialist Project and the General Toronto Workers’ Assembly, a new initiative aiming to reinvigorate working class and radical politics in the city. He spoke to Tom Denning about the methods and activities of GTWA and the challenges it faces. This interview is co-published with The Commune.   Who initiated the GTWA, Read more…

Carl Rowlands: The Last Stand: Trades Unions in Hungary

Hungary, 2010. A new conservative government comes to office with a radical, largely undeclared programme. It embarks on plans to ‘reform’ the public sector, involving massive numbers of redundancies in government, and one-sided changes to what it describes as an over-generous pension scheme. So far, so familiar to people in Britain. But there’s more. Despite Read more…

Joel Beinin: What Have Workers Gained from Egypt’s Revolution

Since June 12, half of the 18,000 workers who operate and service the Suez Canal have been on strike. They are employed in maritime services by seven subsidiary companies of the Suez Canal Authority in Suez, Isma‘iliyya, and Port Said. In contrast, those employed directly by the canal authority have always received higher wages and better Read more…

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