With public attention focused on the railroads in a way it hasn’t been for decades, the cross-craft solidarity group Railroad Workers United is seizing the opportunity to teach the general public “railroading 101”—and teach rail workers “environmental politics 101.”
Posts Tagged ‘Union’
On a windblown, gray Chicago day 100 years ago, January 17, 1915, Ralph Chaplin left his home on the South Side for a raucous, poor person’s rally at the city’s famous women’s center, Hull House. He asked a visiting friend he’d met organizing coal miners with Mother Jones to listen to the lyrics of a new tune he had been working on. Here’s the story behind one of the most beloved Labor Hymns.
Read the article: ‘Solidarity Forever’ Written 100 Years Ago, Today | Labor Notes.
In These Times has an interview with Stanley Aronowitz on how the labor movement falters and how it might recover.
Post-political means that the union movement may endorse candidates or run its own, but essentially does not rely on electoral politics and public officials—that is, the state—to fulfill its goals. Instead, unions should rely on their own resources, on their own members and on their own imaginations to create conditions to make their members’ lives better, in the way that unions, especially in the early-to-mid-20th century, once established and ran very good, moderate-cost cooperative housing.We’ve been relying for so long on politicians to solve problems that the union membership no longer really relies on its own power. The proper word is really “post-electoral” or “post-state,” and it once had a tremendous resonance among large numbers of workers.
Read the interview: A ‘Post-Political’ Labor Movement – In These Times.
Here are some links to articles that caught my eye this week.
6 Ways Wall Street Is Hosing Chicago Teachers - Matthew Cunningham-Cook unpacks how the country’s biggest investment firms are endangering the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund.
We Need to Fight for Equality – William Spriggs reflects on how the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement must be united.
Catholic Social Teaching and Adjunct Faculty Organizing – John Russo writes about Catholic Universities and the Social Teaching of the Church.
Some Facts That Poverty-Deniers Don’t Want to Hear – Three-quarters of conservative Americans think poor people have it easy. Paul Buchheit shows that they don’t.
Imagine If People Were Paid What Their Work Is Really Worth to Society – Professor Reich imagines.
Films that Debunk Corporate Education Reform – A list of must-see videos from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.
Israel/Palestine FAQ - Who are the Palestinians? Who are the Israelis? Is Folk Singer David Rovics a self-hating Jew? Find out in this FAQ.
Do Palestinians Really Exist? – When he was nine years old, Dean Obeidallah finally learned about his father’s people.
The Postal Service has been reporting revenue increases for five straight quarters. So why is Postmaster General Donahoe minimizing that winning streak? Over the last few years, faced with falling revenue, postal management has closed post offices, slashed rural office hours, sold historic buildings, cut jobs, and consolidated processing plants. It continues to seek closings and service cuts, such as eliminating Saturday delivery; but some of these moves have been delayed or curtailed by pushback from the public, from employees, and from legislators.
Sharon Smith, author of Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States, has written a new introduction for a forthcoming Spanish edition of the book, which expands on the history through the last decade. It appears today on Socialist Worker in English, with the permission of the publisher.
we want to feel the sunshine
we want to smell the flowers
we’re sure that god has willed it
and we mean to have eight hours
we’re summoning our forces from
shipyard, shop and mill
eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
eight hours for what we will
From Trish Kahle:
Remembering only the massacre at Ludlow obscures the vital fact that a group of coal miners–most of them immigrants–managed to organize a strike across racial and ethnic lines, and brought southern Colorado to the brink of revolution. It also obscures the tremendous courage with which miners and their families faced down the power of capitalism and the state–and conceals the role socialists and other radicals played in organizing the strike and rebellion. Finally, it sidelines the incredible–and immediate–solidarity expressed by other workers with the strikers in the Colorado coalfields.
Labor Notes 2014 in Chicago was an incredible weekend of inspiration and activism. This was my first Labor Notes, and I hope to make in an annual ritual. Highlights, for me, were the Friday afternoon Chicago Labor history tour (conducted by the ILHS), the Saturday afternoon STOP Staples protest, and (of course) the Friday and Saturday night Folk Music singalongs, spearheaded by members of the Seattle Labor Chorus and Anne Feeney.
How could I forget to mention the incredible and boisterous impromptu singalong in the Crowne Plaza lobby into the wee hours of Sunday morning with young Wobblies and Occupy kids from Portland, Chicago and the Twin Cities?
Labor Notes has the first videos from the conference posted on their site now. I’m looking forward to more.
Need an inspiration fix? Here are a few video highlights for those who couldn’t make it to the record-breaking 2014 Labor Notes Conference—or those already ready to relive it.
See them here: First Videos from the 2014 Labor Notes Conference | Labor Notes.
It was one of the pleasures of my life to join together with union sisters and brothers on Saturday to protest the plan to outsource mail services to Staples stores.
Several hundred of us came to the Staples in Elmwood Park for the protest.
Follow these links for more information.