Category: Labor

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David Bacon: MAQUILADORA WORKERS ELECT THEIR FIRST INDEPENDENT UNION

  TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA (11/25/97) — Beating off a last-minute attempt to destabilize the election process, employees of the Tijuana factory of Han Young de Mexico on October 6 became the first maquiladora workers on the U.S./Mexico border to vote in favor of an independent union. In the traditional open voting system used by the Read more…

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Jeremy Brecher: American Labor on the Eve of the Millennium

  This is the first in a series of articles on the history of rank-and-file labor struggles over the past 25 years. It is drawn from the new concluding chapter Jeremy Brecher has written for the 25th anniversary edition of Strike!, just published as the first book in the South End Press Classics Series.   Read more…

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David Bacon: The Revolt In The Asbestos

Sergio Ruiz Nuñez is a lonely man. Remembering his wife and daughter left behind in Mexico City a year ago, he cannot speak. To hide the water welling up in the corners of his eyes, he turns away. "You know," he finally says, "when you come to this country you have so many illusions. There Read more…

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David Bacon: West Coast Janitors Get Ready to Fight

  On March 17, after seven years of rebuilding their union, Service Employees Local 399, Los Angeles janitors are leaving it. Together with janitors from Silicon Valley, Oakland, and Sacramento, they are joining to create one of the largest building service unions in the country—Local 1877. Rosa Ayala, who’s been through LA’s labor wars as Read more…

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David Bacon: Korean Workers Shut Down the Chaebols

David Bacon   Since January 14, pitched battles have raged in the streets of Seoul. Outside the Myongdong Cathedral, union leaders have been directing the general strike paralyzing South Korea, and phalanxes of police have tried to disperse thousands of demonstrators. The strike has become, not just a movement of workers, but a pro-democracy movement Read more…

Christopher d. Cook: The Downsizing of Labor Rights

  Workers were a hot item in 1996. Born-again populists of both parties jostled for votes from the anxious and the downsized. Labor was Big again, elevating workers’ issues—at least ones that contrasted Democrats from Republicans—back onto the electoral stage. But the AFL-CIO’s $35 million pro-Democrat gambit did nothing to illuminate a massive legal crisis Read more…

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David Bacon: Still Hungry

Bacon   In 1974, the first World Food Conference declared "the inalienable right to be free from hunger." Meeting at the just-concluded World Food Summit in Rome 22 years later, governments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, and food producers themselves could hardly avoid the obvious. The number of hungry hasn’t declined significantly. Today 809 million people Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Union, yes!

Union, yes! David Newby hopes to lead labor’s comeback Roger Bybee on Friday 01/30/2009 ‘We have to seize this moment. An opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often.’ Credit:Susan Ruggles / AFT Local 212 Related Articles: NewPage paper mill closing has left Kimberly, Wisconsin fighting for its life Article Tools: Read more Cover Story Read more…

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Brian Small: National Railworkers’ 20 Year Battle

Japanese Labor History, JR FuSaiYo Mondai I’ve found these National Railworker struggle group(Tosodan) guys to be approachable and fun on a personal level. Whenever they’re not overwhelmed with their own court cases and union democracy issues they’re always ready to jump in and support peace and environmental issues. I stumbled upon them by chance thanks Read more…

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Roger Bybee: Labor must exert heat

Dems Need to Feel Real Heat From Labor Tuesday July 21 2:15 pm   Before the Wagner Act of 1935 establishing the right to form unions, labor activists like my paternal grandfather could be fired for pro-union or socialist activity—as he was three times in the 1920s and 1930s in my hometown of Racine, Wis. Read more…

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