Archive for February, 2011

Putting Unions Back on the Map

Posted on February 28, 2011 by

How about this irony: If not for the huge gains by republicans in the November 2010 election, the full-scale attack on public-sector unions would not have occurred. That means that without the election of conservative governors and legislatures, unions would have stayed on the margins of American political life. And we wouldn’t be having this [...]

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L.A., Wisconsin – A Template for Union Power

Posted on February 25, 2011 by

The hoots, hollers and beating snare drums you’ll hear on this clip of  Los Angeles union activists in the Wisconsin statehouse is not just a group of radicals whooping it up.  Many of these people have spent the best years of the lives in front-line organizing, union contract and political battles. I’ve watched the LA [...]

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A New Era?

Posted on February 20, 2011 by

For decades, union activists across America have worked like crazy to keep the labor movement alive:  Organizers, reps, officers and – in particular – members who do hours of union work on their own time.  These “true believers” have been deeply moved by the events in Wisconsin.  Ordinary Americans are taking it all in and [...]

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Posted on February 18, 2011 by

The dramatic, fast-changing and unpredictable events in Madison, Wisconsin have inspired and encouraged union advocates across the country. Sparked by a brazen move by republicans to weaken state government employee unions, outraged workers are converging on the capital in a rare show of solidarity and power. Labor activists are often frustrated by what’s perceived as [...]

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LA Unions March in March

Posted on February 16, 2011 by

The tea party has taken on the appearance of a mass movement with real political influence.  Whether it’s a genuine home-grown insurgency or the creation of corporate interests (or both), it has certainly shaken up the system. There’s a lot of talk on the American left about why high unemployment, mortgage foreclosures and growing economic [...]

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Posted on February 11, 2011 by

Barack Obama’s recent speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prompted some union activists to insist that the labor movement denounce the president. But AFL-CIO chief Rich Trumka did not use that event to contrast the president’s preference for the corporate agenda over the union agenda. Maybe there was an understanding between Trumka and the [...]

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Prison Labor

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

California prison guards have one of the best career-jobs in the state:  decent pay, steady work and medical benefits. A lot of correctional centers are located in remote regions like the central valley where unemployment is high and many factory and cannery jobs have disappeared. The local prison helps sustain the economy in depressed communities. [...]

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Political Memoir

Posted on February 6, 2011 by

All bloggers want to say something no one else is saying. That’s tricky in the progressive blog world because there are so many high-end political thinkers populating the top-tier leftish sites. I allude to – and often link to – convincing and concise pieces from Truthdig, Nation, Progressive, New Republic, Daily Beast, In These Times, [...]

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Does “Liberal” Reform Still Work?

Posted on February 3, 2011 by

I tend to agree with conservatives judges that Americans shouldn’t be forced to sign up with big health insurance companies. But these rulings could form the basis of a supreme court case which will weaken essential federal health, safety and environmental laws.  So I’m stuck supporting the “individual mandate.” I would have been much happier [...]

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