Labor

Worker Safety Takes A Beating During Trumpís First 100 Days (5/3/2017)

Despite his rhetoric as the candidate who will help American workers, Trumpís business practices and early glimpses into his strategic agenda indicate that he is moving toward policies that would deepen, rather than ease the harms of an unfettered global market place and further weaken labor law protections for American workers. ILRF
The genius of American politics has been to marginalize and isolate people. In fact, one of the main reasons behind the passionate effort to destroy unions is that they are on of the few mechanisms by which ordinary people can get together and compensate for the concentration of capital and power. That's why the United States has a very violent labor history, with repeated efforts to destroy unions anytime they make any progress." Noam Chomsky: Imperial Ambitions pg198
Just about everywhere in the West except the United States, where there is no mandatory paid time off, workers not only get vacations but also short work weeks, government health care, large pensions, high minimum wages, subsidized childcare, and so forth. Why is the United States the exception?" Claude S Fischer, Boston Review
Americans are drastically overworked and underpaid compared to workers in other advanced countries, and our workers are trapped in a rigid pattern of inequality that has ended a historic claim to being the nation of upward mobility. Jefferson Cowie: The Future of Fair Labor
...then Reagan came along and basically informed the business world that you can do anything you like to break unions. You can violate the law, and in fact, illegal firing of organizers tripled in the Reagan years. Clinton came along and he added another way of destroying unions. It's called NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement]. He didn't bother saying it, but the business world knew they could violate labor laws to break strikes by threatening to transfer enterprises to Mexico. And the number of illegal actions like that shot up again. Noam Chomsky 12/13/2012
"The economist John Maynard Keynes once predicted that the four hour workday was close at hand and that technical improvements in manufacturing would alllow ample time for people to focus on the " art of life itself"...Today the average citizen works longer hours for less money than he or she once did, putting in an extra four and a half weeks a year compared to 1979. Married couples with children are on the job an extra 413 hours, or an extra ten weeks a year combined. Adding salt to the wounds, the United States is the only industrialized nation where employers are not required by law to provide workers any paid vacation time." Astra Taylor: the People's Platform, Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age.
"The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live." FDR Second Bill of Rights.
“Article 23 (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

What Workers Lost in Trumps First 100 Days (4/27/2017)

Trumpís First 100 Days are Marred by an Aggressive Anti-Worker Agenda (4/27/2017)

Paul Krugman: Making the Rust Belt RuStier (1/27/2017)

Trump Taps Anti-Worker Fast-Food CEO for Labor Secretary (12/8/2016)

Appeal to the Working Class? Don’t Bother, Says Krugman (11/27/2016)

America's Hidden Crime Wave: Employers Steal $20 Billion From American Workers Every Year (8/17/2016)

Attack on unions shows why we need a new social contract governing work (1/13/2016)

Sanders bills aim for 10 million clean energy jobs (12/8/2015)

Americans earn less than they did 40 years ago, despite two fold rise in productivity (9/29/2015)

Sweden tests the six hours work day, with impressive results (9/18/2015)

IMF Thinks Unions Reduce Income Inequality (7/2015) PDF

Unions Are Essential for a strong middle class (5/11/2015)

Time to Recover Productivity Gains Our Bosses Have Expropriated for Decades (4/16/2015)

Robert Reich: In Our Horrifying Future, Very Few People Will Have Work or Make Money (3/17/2015)

The Republican Ambush on Worker's Basic Rights: Elizabeth Warren (3/8/2015)

GOP's Blind Hate of Labor Union Members (3/2/2015)

Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People

Inequality: Rebuilding the Middle Class Requires Reviving Strong Unions

The pay gap between CEOs and workers is much worse than you realize (9/25/2014)

UNDERWRITING GOOD JOBS: HOW TO PLACE OVER 20 MILLION AMERICANS ON A PATHWAY TO THE MIDDLE CLASS USING FEDERAL PURCHASING POWER (6/18/2014)

Cut Throat Capitalism: Welcome to the Gig Economy (5/27/2014)

11 GOP Excuses for Not Extending Unemployment Benefits (4/8/2014)

"We don't just have a jobs deficit we have a 'good jobs' deficit. Annette Bernardt

Just How Much Do Republicans Hate UNions ? (2/13/2014)

GOP Denies Workers’ Right to Unionize (2/11/2014)

The Unemployed Get Screwed Again (1/11/2014)

The Lousy Jobs Report and the Scourge of Inequality (1/11/2014)Sanders suports the Minimum Wage

The Case of the (still) Missing Jobs

One Sh*t Sandwich - Hold The Bread.  Coming Right Up!

Bill Maher on the Minimum Wage (10/25/2013)

Digital Technology will kill jobs, Inflame social unrest says gartner (10/8/2013)

How To Become a Part-Time Worker Without Really Trying (8/20/2013)

Yes, Robots Are Coming for Our Jobs—Now What? (4/8/2013)

Gop Rep inadvertantly makes the case for doubling the minimum wage (2/14/2013)

Is John Boehner  Labor Economist ? (2/14/2013)

GOP Senate Leader Endorses National Union Busting Law (2/6/2013)

The Jobs Report, and Why the recovery has stalled (2/1/2013)

New Report Reveals Why GOP Hates Unions: They Raise Wages, Boost Economy (5/25/2011)

CTWorks Career Centers

Unemployed, underemployed or anxiously employed? Work for change at www.unitedprofessionals.org.

Unions are the only counterweight to Oligarchy: Krugman (2/21/2011)

Republican Dirty Tricks

Michigan's Corporate Servitude Law (12/13/2012)

Raise the Minimum Wage

The 25 Hour Work Week (12/13/2012)

Jobs Not Austerity

Truth About Jobs (10/7/2012)

Disdain For Workers (9/30/2012)

GOP War on organized labor

NLRB Fight Shows How Far We've Fallen (12/20/2011)

The Liquidation of Society versus the Global Labor Revival (2/24/2011)

The Wrong Target: Public Workers, Unions, Didn't Cause The Budget Crisis (10/2011)

March in Protest Labor Day: Robert Reich (8/25/2011)

The Day The Middle Class Died (8/11/2011)

GOP's War on American Labor (6/25/2011)

Union-Busting is About Permanent Republican Majority, Not Balanced Budgets (3/14/2011)

Gar Alperovitz on Democracy and the New Economy (Video 58 minutes)


Raise a Glass for the Working Class

"Government Doesn't Create Jobs" (11/9/11)

Scary New Wage Data: David Kay Johnston (10/25/2010)

Can We Cut CEO Pay Down to Size ?

The Middle Class Game Is Up: We're Heading to a Slave Labor Planet

A desert for jobs and no end in sight: While millions of workers are struggling to get by on inadequate
unemployment benefits, millions more are cut off completely as joblessness rises.

Jobs But Low Pay (8/26/2010)

Hourly Wages Are Dropping (7/13/2010)

Rustbelt Rage (5/4/2010)

The South Carolina You Won't See on CNN (Greg Palast)

The Need to Keep Labor Radio Alive (12/31/2009)

Can They Do That? How You Get Screwed at Work (1/11/2010)


One of the reasons that the US has nonsensical social programs is that Republicans with their corporate allies have made union busting a high priority.

Unions annoy management when they bargain for higher wages, their dues may go to Democrats, their higher wages make them 'unfriendly to business', and they may insist on shorter hours, overtime, safe working conditions, vacation time, sick time, pension plans, family leave, and other 'unreasonable'  benefits. Employer based health coverage was very bad policy.

To satisfy the oligarchy, health care, sick leave, vacation time, family time, long-term care, and other programs are at the bottom of budget priorities, and, unlike other developed countries, do little to mitigate insecurity for Americans. Fast track trade agreements have moved good paying manufacturing jobs offshore leaving behind crumbling factories and depressed US wages. Workers, having maxed out their credit cards, consumption is not likely to recover any time soon. The Grim Truth (4/8/2010)

Corporations can produce most of what we need, but they only employ a small fraction of the people. There is always an unlimited amount of work that needs to be done, but corporations can do a lot with just a few people. Automation has enabled productivity increases, and shrunk the job market. Self-driving vehicles could change conditions for truck drivers, taxi drivers, and others. That's just the beginning.

Advancing technology should produce shorter work weeks, and a better living standard for everyone, but productivity gains have trickled to the top resulting in immoral income inequalitiy.

There is seemingly inexorable consolidation within every industry, so that market choices become limited, work force is reduced. Fewer workers accompanied by declining wages result in a weak domestic market. Increasingly,third-world sweat shops, prison labor, or advanced technology replace workers. Outsourcing to poor countries is rampant. Overpopulation has resulted in a global surplus of labor.

Despite what Republican ideologues think, the economy, right now, is reaching extremes of unfairness. Our government, for the corporations, will continue that, especially if the GOP gets its way.

Employers stepping up efforts to Prevent Unions in the Workplace.

Capital can move freely, but labor cannot.

See this Elizabeth Warren video (about an hour, though well spent): http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/642.html

Uneasy Terrain: The Impact of Capital Mobility on Workers, Wages, and Union Organizing

Non-vacation Nation

Finding work twice as hard as when recession began a year ago By Heidi Shierholz 02-10-09


Fox News Morons Call American Unions and Workers ‘Fascist Parasites’ (7/6/2014) (VIdeo)

Fox hosts make it clear they are simply against unions. When they insist that union bosses - not employers - are intimidating workers, or when they declare that unions that drive up wages and benefits are harmful for Big Business, it's clear whose side they're on - and it's not the American worker's.

O'Reilly latest to advance UAW pay falsehood (2/25/2009)

See other notes on Fox News


"Labor, as a commodity, is subject to virtually no regulation. In international commerce, labor is at the whim of capitalism in its most rudimentary form. The labor component of every product can be as cheap as the market wants it to be, and it can be provided under inhumane conditions and with complete disregard for all domestic standards from occupational hygiene to equal rights for women to prohibitions on child labor - and yet no one at the customs office is evenly remotely interested." The War For Wealth, the True Story of Globalization, or why the flat World is Broken: Gabor Steingart

US policy of Union Busting

The US is a signer of the UN declaration of Human Rights that asserts that everyone has the right to join a union. It just doesn't practice what it preaches. (See International Law.)

In 1981 Ronald Reagan made an assault in the Republican war on labor. "Reagan gave dedicated union foes direct control of the federal agencies that were designed originally to protect and further the rights and interests of workers and their unions."

Continuing in the path set by his role-model Reagan, Bush was virulently anti-labor. He made vigorous attempts to 'reform' Social Security (remember when a Republican says reform...he means shrink), looks the other way while Corporations bust unions and outsource, and otherwise promote regressive policies.

Automobile companies have bought out their union workers, even while sending small car production to Asia.

Walmart, when faced with a successful union drive in Canada, simply closed the store. It has no shame in sending its employees onto public services when they need health care or other assistance. (About Walmart

Immigration enforcement is a technique for union busting. See this also.

Raise the Floor

(Copied shamelessly from David McCluskey's page dated December 31, 2007)

A new study recently released by John Logan, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, points out that the intensity of employer opposition and government hostility to collective bargaining in the United States is unique among developed nations.

This “repressive character of U.S. labor law, which allows free rein to anti-union employers,” not only hurts workers in the United States and in other nations, Logan said today.

There is growing evidence that consultants, employer groups and multinational corporations are exporting U.S.-originated anti-union strategies to other developed countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland and to transforming countries such as China. They dodge taxes that way too.

Strengthening the right to organize and bargain collectively through the Employee Free Choice Act would benefit not only American workers, but also workers in other nations.

Logan’s report, Unions Facing Hard Times: The Global Crisis in Union Collective Bargaining, shows that Sweden has the highest rate of union membership with 80 percent, while the United States trails at the bottom with 12 percent. Click here to download a copy of the report (PDF).

Department of Labor

There is no free market for labor.

Unions Facing Hard Times: The Global Crisis in Union Collective Bargaining

Wal-Mart's Violation of US Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association

Osha Takes a vacation

The NYT reports on OSHA's look the other way approach to workplace safety.

Sick Leave

Walmart Denies Workers Basic Rights

Union Busting Confidential

Feb. 21: The Attack on the Employee Free Choice Act

If U.S. workers could earn higher wages, benefits, and better working conditions, who would be against them?

A powerful network of anti-union employers, conservative business associations, industry lobbying groups, and right-wing policy centers and policymakers seeks to shut down choice in the American workplace.  Get up-to-speed about the opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act by checking out our new backgrounder

Read more updates Ľ

The American Worker Is Doomed

"Not since the Great Depression has the American worker faced such a bleak future. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, incomes for the lowest income quintile have declined during the past decade and the gap between the rich and the poor grows bigger each year. In essence, the rich are getting richer - and the poor are getting poorer. It's high time for a change," says Jay Richards.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/031907LB.shtml

Capitol Hill Holds Hearing on Black Male Unemployment


The black male unemployment rate is unacceptably high and it is time for the federal government to do something about it. That was the conclusion of a March 5 hearing held by the Joint Economic Committee, a bicameral, bipartisan committee of US representatives and senators who are charged with studying the nation's economy and making recommendations to the government for changes, if necessary.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/031907LA.shtml

Benefits


"The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights." Einstein on Politics, Rowe and Schulmann. Monthly Review, May 1949

Links

The asymmetry in liberalization of capital and labor flows leads to a further inequity. With capital markets liberalized, countries have to fight to keep capital by lowering taxes on corporations. Because labor - especially unskilled labor is not as mobile, they don't have to fight as hard to keep it. Hence asymmetric liberalization leads to shifting the burden of taxes on to workers - leading to reduced progressivity in the tax system. The same thing happens in wage bargaining: workers are told that if they do not accept lower wages and reduced protection, the capital (with its jobs) will move overseas. Joseph Stiglitz. Making Globalization Work.

Video

GOP Candidates Spar, but Agree on One Thing: Don't Raise the Minimum Wage

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! | Video Report

Shift Change

Bibliography

Sleeping Giant, How the New Working Class will Transform America: Tamara Draut

The Fight For Fifteen: David Rolf

People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy: Robert W McChesney & John Nichols

Restoring the American Dream: Thomas A. Kochan

Rise of the Robots, Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future: Martin Ford

Labor's Love Lost: Andrew Cherlin

Race against the Machine: Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee

Work's New Age: The End of Full Employment and What It Means to You: James B. Huntington

The Servant Economy: Jeff Faux

The Great Risk Shift, Jacob S. Hacker

(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents, The Decline of the Professional Middle Class: Nan Mooney

Which Side Are You On? Thomas Geoghegan - Union elections are rigged too, and this excellent book describes why the Labor Department is part of the problem.

Nickel and Dimed: Surviving in Low-Wage America, Barbara Ehrenreich Throughout her three decades of journalism and activism, Ehrenreich has been one of the most consistent chroniclers of class in America. Listen/Watch/Read

The Big Squeeze: Steven Greenhouse

The Disposable American: Louis Uchitelle

Working Scared (or Not at All): Carl Van Horn

Pinched: Don Peck

The Future of Work: Richard Donkin

The Overworked American: Juliet Schor

The Overspent American: Juliet Schor

The Trap, selling out to stay afloat in winner-take-all America:   

The Trap: Selling out to stay afloat in Winner-Take-All America: Daniel Brook

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