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The Organized Left and the Death of “Pragmatic” Politics

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Shamus Cooke

Shifting political winds are battering the establishment, as the breeze flows to the back of the populists. The left-populist Bernie Sanders didn’t conjure the hurricane but adjusted his sails to it. As the political storm will grow apace with rising income inequality, new social attitudes are bringing fresh expectations, transforming politics as we know it. […]

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AFL-CIO Endorses $15 Ballot Measure

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Oregonians for 15

Originally published on the Oregonians for 15 website on October 26, 2015 After rigorous debate, Oregon’s largest labor federation voted to support Oregonians for 15, the campaign to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour. Hundreds of union members were in Seaside this past weekend as delegates to the annual Oregon AFL-CIO convention, […]

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How a $15 Minimum Helps All Workers

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Shamus Cooke

Giant corporations and the wealthy are naturally united in their hatred of the $15 minimum wage. Surprising, however, is the strong opposition sometimes encountered by workers who make barely above $15 an hour. The anti-$15 logic of these workers varies. Some simply repeat the misinformation they hear on the media, that a higher minimum wage […]

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Fight “Right to Work” in Oregon With “$15 and a Union”

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Shamus Cooke

In Oregon Democrats dominate all branches of politics. Yet the labor unions are still terrified. There is justifiable dread that anti-union “Right to Work” laws will be purchased into existence by out-of-state billionaires championing the laws around the country. This threat recently reared its head in Oregon, when anti-union groups announced that they are planning […]

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Mayor’s Proposal for $15 is Big Step Forward, But Leaves Out Majority of Low-Wage City Workers

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Shamus Cooke and Justin Norton-Kertson

Republished from 15 Now PDX. In Portland, Oregon, a mostly-volunteer led group is working with labor unions across the state in a campaign for a statewide $15 minimum wage. The group is simultaneously working on a campaign in Portland that demands a $15 minimum wage for city workers. Oregon is one of several states that […]

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Oregon Unions Rally for a $15 Minimum Wage

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Shamus Cooke

Hundreds rallied on January 24th at Oregon’s capitol building to demand a statewide $15 minimum wage. The rally marked the beginning of the statewide campaign, which has already earned support from Oregon’s labor movement and many community groups. The rally itself was organized by a coalition of labor and community groups, including $15 Now Oregon, the Oregon […]

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What the AFL-CIO Did Not Say About Raising Wages

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Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

On January 7, 2015 the AFL-CIO, in what might be a desperate attempt to seem politically relevant to the labor movement, staged a “National Summit on Raising Wages,” featuring Senator Elizabeth Warren as the keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion. Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers International Union and part of the left wing […]

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The Strategic Significance of the Fight for $15

The Strategic Significance of the Fight for $15 By Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer January 1, 2015
Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer

The fight for $15, a movement that started two years ago with a walkout of fast food workers in New York, has been gaining momentum ever since. In early December 2014, workers staged one-day strikes in over 150 cities, creating what The New York Times called “the largest labor protests in the nation in years.” Additionally significant […]

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San Francisco Rides the $15 Wave

San Francisco Rides the $15 Wave By Shamus Cooke
Shamus Cooke

It seems that Seattle has officially passed the $15 baton to San Francisco, and they’re running with it. On May 10th San Francisco had its first public organizing meeting to prepare for a ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15. The Labor movement and broader community organizations were well represented, and with them all the potential […]

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Using Ballot Initiatives to Build Power: Two Different Approaches

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Mark Vorpahl

In numerous states, counties and cities, union and community organizers are considering ballot initiatives for November. Whether they are facing a fight against corporate-backed initiatives that will bleed workers while gorging big business, or considering their own initiatives that will benefit the 99%, activists and labor leaders are weighing how to use the election season […]

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Support for the $15 Minimum Wage − Solidarity with the Fast Food Workers!

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Labor Fightback Network

Fast food workers’ nationwide strikes, walkouts, and protests have accelerated the push for raising the federal minimum wage to a $15 national level. The highly visible protests on December 5th, 2013 were the latest in a series of protests organized by Fast Food Forward, Fight for 15, Low Pay Is Not OK, and others. The […]

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