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Preview: Why Did Shaun Richman Create This Homepage?

Why Did Shaun Richman Create This Homepage?

Last Build Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:26:43 +0000


When Labor Fought Rock-and-Roll

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 16:26:43 +0000

Facing the world ain’t easy when there isn’t anything going Standing at the corner waiting watching time go by Will I go to work today or shall I bide my time So begins the Kinks’ song, “Get Back in Line,” one of the most hauntingly beautiful paeans to the forced idleness and stress of unemployment […]

Unions Are at Their Lowest Levels in Decades—To Gain Power We Must Stop Following the Rules

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 22:14:54 +0000

If Donald Trump’s first week as president wasn’t depressing enough, Thursday brought a report that showed union membership fell in 2016. Union members are now just 10.7% of the overall workforce and only 6.7% of the private sector. Those are the lowest levels since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began tracking them in the […]

From Company Town to Rebel City: Richmond, California Shows How Progressives Can Win

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 21:50:52 +0000

Rebel cities have long been laboratories for progressive policy experimentation. Specifically, the small Bay Area city of Richmond, California has stood out for its boldness. It’s now the subject of a new book by Steve Early, Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City, set to be released next Tuesday […]

Fighting Trump Isn’t Enough—We Must Also Wage War Within the Democratic Party

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:53:06 +0000

What reasonable American does not feel some amount of bitterness about the stunning election win of the short-fingered vulgarian scion of an outer borough slumlord, who squandered a billion-dollar casino fortune, and reinvented himself as a reality TV star and racist demagogue? There’s plenty of acrimony to go around. The cadre of technocratic campaigners, pollsters […]

Response to Rosenblum, LaLuz and McAlevey

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:34:24 +0000

[New Labor Forum invited Jonathan Rosenblum, José La Luz and Jane McAlevey to respond to my article, “Two Reasons Why Most Unions Don’t Do Large-Scale Organizing”, and then gave me an opportunity to respond back. This is that published response.] The respondents have expanded the discussion far beyond the parameters of my initial article. I […]

The Two-Tier Provision in the Chicago Teachers Union’s Tentative Agreement, Explained

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:30:05 +0000

The tentative agreement that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) struck with district management less than an hour before a midnight October 10 strike deadline has been hailed by many as a victory. Facing another round of concessionary demands, the union managed to extract $88 million from the mayor’s corporate slush fund to restore some badly […]

The Other Chicago Teachers’ Strike

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 14:18:26 +0000

As the countdown to the Chicago Teachers Union’s October 11 strike deadline approaches, another teachers’ union in Chicago has voted to authorize a strike as their own contract negotiations have dragged on over strikingly similar disagreements. The teachers and staff at the fifteen-campus UNO Charter School Network (UCSN) have spent seven months bargaining for a […]

Two Reasons Why Most Unions Don’t Do Large-Scale Organizing

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:11:14 +0000

In 2005, the labor movement split, ostensibly over a disagreement about the institutional priority of organizing for membership growth. A number of unions seceded from the AFL-CIO to form a rival federation, Change to Win, only to (mostly) quietly return to the fold. Other unions merged, only to attempt to divorce shortly thereafter. There have […]

“I’ll miss you when you’re gone away forever.”

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 04:22:48 +0000

I finally listened to Nick Cave’s new record, Skeleton Tree, on Spotify. It’s good. Really good. I hesitated because all the reviews I read had these lump-in-the-throat moments when the writers recounted the horrific death of his teenage son last summer and how the family is coping. That sort of thing didn’t really affect me […]

The Fight to Save UMass Labor Center Is a Fight for Worker Power

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:26:05 +0000

The Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) at Amherst is in turmoil. Its director, Eve Weinbaum, says she was abruptly pushed out of the position. In an alarming e-mail to alumni, students and allies, she protested funding cuts to teaching assistants and part-time instructors and, more troublingly, threats to the “Labor Studies faculty’s […]

Review of Sarah Jaffe’s “Necessary Trouble”

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:22:56 +0000

Something is happening. Socialism is no longer a dirty word (the “S-word”), but something a sizeable portion of Americans tell pollsters is their preferred vision for society. It’s no longer an anachronism to speak of “the Left.” A brave and quickly organized movement for black lives has not only sparked a new civil rights movement […]

When the Hell Did the NLRB Become More Activist Than Labor?

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 01:51:28 +0000

When the hell did the federal government get bolder than most labor unions about asserting the legal rights of workers? On Monday, in a 3-1 ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed a Bush the Younger-era precedent that gave employers a say over whether temporary and subcontracted workers can be included in the same […]

Making Abortion Rights Real

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 02:00:52 +0000

The week began on a surprisingly strong note for reproductive justice advocates, as the US Supreme Court, by a 5–3 margin, overturned Texas’s draconian House Bill 2. The law, which Wendy Davis famously filibustered in her pink tennis shoes, purported to protect women’s health by requiring that health clinics providing abortion services “meet the standards […]

The Right to Strike Must Mean the Right to Return to Work After a Strike

Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:15:04 +0000

With the decisive victory for union members at Verizon, 2016 is already on pace to be the second year in a row where recorded strike activity has increased over the previous half-decade. Now, a new decision from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) could restore legal job protections for striking workers, making workplace job actions […]

What Will It Take To Wake Up the ‘Sleeping Giant’ of the New Working Class?

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:43:21 +0000

The American working class has been dissed and dismissed. Our unions busted, our wages slashed, our homes foreclosed and our rents raised. We’re blamed for the rise of Trump, but otherwise do not exist in the media landscape. But the working class is a sleeping giant that is beginning to stir and will soon instigate […]