The Myth of the Pro-Labor Democrat, by Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer, April 20, 2014

The Myth of the Pro-Labor Democrat

As the standard of living of working people continues its four-decades-long steady decline, the number of people who classify themselves as “middle class” has correspondingly dropped, including by almost 10 percent in the past six years alone. Under the circumstances one might assume that leaders of organized labor are furiously rethinking their single-minded, long-held strategy […]

More Seattles, Please by Shamus Cooke, April 17, 2014

More Seattles, Please

You’d think unions would accept the enthusiastic public support for a $15 minimum wage as a gift-wrapped campaign sent from the heavens. If unions organized campaigns for $15 nationwide, they’d win the support and admiration of hundreds of thousands, who would then be ripe for joining. A labor movement on life support would receive a […]

New Lows for Obama’s Failed Middle East Policy By Shamus Cooke

New Lows for Obama’s Failed Middle East Policy

Obama seemed so traumatized by his Middle East blunders he decided to take a break, giving Ukraine a try instead. The distraction was just what the president needed. And the U.S. media followed obediently, while barely glancing at the flames in the rear-view mirror — until another explosion piqued their interest. The predictable break down of peace talks […]

The Fight for $15 Finally Comes to Portland

Like the Occupy movement before it, the “fight for $15” came to Portland as a transplant. Portland activists watched events in Seattle with a skeptical eye, but Seattle’s “fantasy” of $15 was transformed into an emerging reality, now replete with the support of the Mayor and City Council who are working on a plan to implement […]

Using Ballot Initiatives to Build Power: Two Different Approaches Mark Vorpahl March 20, 2104

Using Ballot Initiatives to Build Power: Two Different Approaches

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 […]

Obama’s Far Right Foreign Policy

“Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” — ancient proverb The conflicts in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria have one thing in common: the U.S. government is in favor of the groups who aspire to topple — or who have toppled — the government in power. Thus, U.S. politicians are […]

The Murky Politics of the $15 Minimum Wage

Seattle now resembles a mini-Venezuela. It’s not a perfect comparison, but like the average Venezuelan the people of Seattle are experiencing an explosion of political consciousness. Recently I took the three-hour drive from Portland, and although Seattle is only a couple of hundred miles away, it’s politically thousands of miles ahead of “progressive” Portland.  The “fight for […]

Book Review: How to Jump-Start Your Union

HOW TO JUMP-START YOUR UNION, just released by Labor Notes, is an invaluable book for any union activist. It details the successful 2010 strike by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), starting with the formation of CORE (Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators) back in 2008 when they had only 22 members; their election to union leadership positions […]

SEIU 503 Rank and File Defeats Mega-Local Merger

This article also appeared on Labor Notes. Union democracy triumphed in Oregon February 1 when rank-and-file members of Service Employees Local 503 organized to reject a top-down merger with SEIU Local 49. The merger would have created a two-state, 65,000-member mega-local in the Pacific Northwest. Union leaders—the upper echelon of elected leaders taking their marching […]

A Wholesale Attack on Our Union

Reposted from Counterpunch. Why the Boeing Contract is a Threat to the Labor Movement as a Whole A Wholesale Attack on Our Union [Note: Following is a statement by Jason Redrup, an elected Business Representative in IAM District 751 at Boeing. He represents 2,500 workers on the 787 line at the Everett facility. Brother Redrup […]

Top Three Media Lies About the Syrian Peace Talks

The media spin machine is again kicking into high gear, perfectly timed to accompany the “Geneva II” Syria peace talks. The lies are necessary to give the Obama administration an upper hand in the peace negotiations, which are not being used to pursue peace, but instead, to accomplish the Obama administration’s longstanding goal of Syrian regime […]

Cambodia: The Working Class Flexes its Muscles

The class struggle is heating up in Cambodia. Currently the country is a constitutional monarchy under the king Norodom Sihamoni. A 1997 coup placed effective power in the hands of the president and strongman Hun Sen and his Cambodian Peoples Party. It is commonly acknowledged that Sen and his cronies rule with excessive amounts of force and violence. […]

A Wholesale Attack on Our Union

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Reposted from Counterpunch. Why the Boeing Contract is a Threat to the Labor Movement as a Whole A Wholesale Attack on Our Union [Note: Following is a statement by Jason Redrup, an elected Business Representative in IAM District 751 at Boeing. He represents 2,500 workers on the 787 line at the Everett facility. Brother Redrup […]

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Top Three Media Lies About the Syrian Peace Talks

By:

The media spin machine is again kicking into high gear, perfectly timed to accompany the “Geneva II” Syria peace talks. The lies are necessary to give the Obama administration an upper hand in the peace negotiations, which are not being used to pursue peace, but instead, to accomplish the Obama administration’s longstanding goal of Syrian regime […]

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Cambodia: The Working Class Flexes its Muscles

By:

The class struggle is heating up in Cambodia. Currently the country is a constitutional monarchy under the king Norodom Sihamoni. A 1997 coup placed effective power in the hands of the president and strongman Hun Sen and his Cambodian Peoples Party. It is commonly acknowledged that Sen and his cronies rule with excessive amounts of force and violence. […]

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

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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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San Francisco Labor Council Resolution for $15 Minimum Wage

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Below is a resolution passed unanimously by the San Francisco Labor Council on January 13, 2014 calling for a $15 minimum wage in San Francisco. Following the text of the resolution are the arguments that were used to support the resolution at the meeting. Resolution: Whereas, inequalities continue to grow with the top 1% now […]

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What’s At Stake in Privatizing Education

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Forms of Privatization in Public Education The idea that government can’t do anything right has been trumpeted by the right wing for decades, particularly by its recently deceased leader Milton Friedman, a former economist at the University of Chicago. He campaigned to reduce government functions to a minimum while letting private enterprise step in and […]

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The Left after the Failure of Obamacare

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It’s satisfying to watch rats flee a sinking ship. This is because onlookers knew the ship was doomed long ago, and swimming rats signify that the drawn-out tragedy is nearing an end. A collective sense of relief is a natural response. The rats who propped up the broken boat of Obamacare are a collection of liberal […]

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Boeing Workers Take a Stand and Take the Heat

Boeing Workers Take a Stand and Take the Heat By:

This article was originally published on Portside.  Local IAM District 751 union leaders in the state of Washington are feeling the fallout of Boeing’s extremely well-orchestrated counteroffensive begun immediately after Nov. 13 when 67% of union members rejected the company’s concessionary contract extension through 2024 of an existing agreement that does not actually expire until […]

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Last Chance for Peace in Syria: Will Obama Sabotage the Geneva II Syria Peace Talks?

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The war in Syria grinds on, an endless wreckage of shattered limbs and lives. The blood flows across borders, fueling the religious sectarian killing across the Middle East that is the life-blood of the Syrian conflict. Hopes rose in Syria after Obama’s last minute decision not to “punish Assad” with a missile attack. Then came the U.S.-Iran […]

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For Our Votes to Make a Difference, It’s Time to Try New Tactics

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This article is co-published with Occupy.com. In the 2012 national elections, despite an increase of over 8 million eligible voters from 2008, voter turnout declined from 131 million to 126 million, with 93 million not voting. These figures alone demonstrate a growing disbelief that people have any voice in the two-party political game. In addition, […]

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