Working In These Times

Monday, Dec 10, 2018, 1:29 pm  ·  By Michael Arria

In Protest of a Confederate Monument, UNC Teaching Assistants Refuse To File Grades

Student protestors stand in front of where the Silent Sam statue once stood on the campus of the University of North Carolina campus on August 30, 2018. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)  

Almost 80 teaching assistants are on a grade strike at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), refusing to distribute their students’ final marks until the school abandons a proposed plan to construct a building to house an infamous Confederate monument. The strike is the columination of a year of protests against the racist symbol.


Monday, Dec 10, 2018, 1:00 pm  ·  By Jane McAlevey

How To Elect Democrats Who Actually Answer To Workers

Educator Kelley Fisher leads striking Arizona teachers to the State Capitol during a Phoenix rally on April 26, 2018. Organizing power will be key to the Left's success in 2020. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)  

Over the past decade in particular, right-wing forces have doubled down on their multifaceted effort to rig the rules of governmental elections. Examples include unlimited and unaccountable spending by the employer class, restrictions on who is eligible to be on the voter list itself, and gerrymandering galore.

Many of these tactics will feel familiar to workers, whose power has been undermined for decades by bosses manipulating the system. Employers routinely “gerrymander” workplaces before union elections, removing pro-union workers from the eligible voter pool with gimmicks that include drastically reducing their hours or alleging they have newfound management duties.


Thursday, Dec 6, 2018, 2:11 pm  ·  By Bryce Covert

Philadelphia Just Passed the Strongest Fair Scheduling Law in the Nation

More than 130,000 workers are expected to benefit from the new fair workweek law. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)  

Philadelphia, the poorest big city in the country, just enacted the most sweeping bill yet to give low-wage workers some control over their schedules.

The city’s new law, which passed the city council on Thursday, will require businesses with more than 250 employees and more than 30 locations worldwide to provide employees their schedules at least 10 days in advance. If any changes are made to their schedules after that, employers will owe employees more money. Employers will also be required to offer more hours as they become available to existing employees who want them rather than hiring new people, and they’ll be banned from retaliating against those who either request or decline more hours.


Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018, 5:17 pm  ·  By Harry Blain

The Troubling Link Between Attacks on Immigrants and Repression of Labor Activists

Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, tours the border area with San Diego Section Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott (L) at Borderfield State Park along the United States-Mexico Border fence in San Ysidro, California on November 20, 2018. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker / AFP) (Photo credit should read SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)  

The Republican pre-election strategy of exploiting “the caravan” was irredeemably ugly.


Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018, 2:12 pm  ·  By Rachel Johnson

George H.W. Bush Was an Enemy of the Working Class

George H.W. Bush should be remembered as an architect of neoliberalism and a foot soldier for the ruling class. (ROBERT GIROUX/AFP/Getty Images)  

In 1992, media reports claimed that then-president George H.W. Bush was “amazed” at the sight of a grocery store scanner. While the claim has since been debunked, the encounter says a lot about his presidency.

Bush Sr., who died last week at the age of 94, appeared suspiciously wide-eyed about grocery scanner technology during a photo-op at a grocer convention. The episode was used as evidence during Bush’s re-election bid that he hadn’t been grocery shopping since the 1970s when scanners were first introduced. 


Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018, 3:16 pm  ·  By Rebecca Burns

‘We’re One Union’: Why Chicago Teachers Are Out On the First Charter School Strike in the Country

Charter teachers' demands include equal pay for equal work. (Rebecca Burns)  

After a grueling day of bargaining on Monday, teachers at Chicago’s Acero charter schools announced shortly after midnight that they were going out on the nation’s first-ever charter strike. 


Friday, Nov 30, 2018, 3:01 pm  ·  By Robert Reich

Robert Reich: Break Up Facebook (and, While We’re At It, Google, Apple and Amazon)

Facebook makes clear: We must resurrect antitrust. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)  

The New York Times recently revealed that Facebook executives withheld evidence of Russian activity on the Facebook platform far longer than previously disclosed. They also employed a political opposition research firm to discredit critics.


Thursday, Nov 29, 2018, 4:05 pm  ·  By Daniel Moattar

How Graduate Unions Are Winning—and Scaring the Hell out of Bosses—in the Trump Era

(GWC-UAW Local 2110 Graduate Workers of Columbia/Facebook)  

In a 1,035 to 720 vote, Columbia University’s graduate student union has agreed to a bargaining framework with the university’s administration, a milestone victory in the union’s nearly five-year campaign for recognition. The vote outcome, announced earlier this week, follows Columbia’s November 19 announcement that it would bargain with the union, ending long-standing efforts to halt graduate unionization on campus and in the courts.


Thursday, Nov 29, 2018, 1:55 pm  ·  By Rebecca Stoner

The First-Ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Was Just Unveiled—And It’s a Game Changer

The groundbreaking legislation would provide protections to domestic workers across the country. (NDWA)  

When Rosa Sanluis arrived in the United States, she earned $60 per week for a seemingly endless set of household tasks, working for a family in Texas. She worked from 5 a.m. until late at night, sometimes 3 a.m. on weekends, when her employers would go out and leave her to babysit. Like most domestic workers, Sanluis didn’t receive a written contract, uninterrupted breaks, sick leave, or overtime pay—because she wasn’t entitled to them under law.

Today, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) announced a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to raise wages and labor conditions for workers like Sanluis. The legislation is expected to be introduced when the new Congress convenes next year.


Thursday, Nov 29, 2018, 1:47 pm  ·  By Jake Johnson

After Reports of Sweetheart Deal for Billionaire Pedophile, Calls Grow on Trump Labor Sec. to Resign

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta delivers remarks at the White House on November 15, 2018. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)  

President Donald Trump's Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is rumored to be on the short list of possible attorney general nominees, but he is now facing demands to resign immediately after an "incredibly disturbing" bombshell investigation by the Miami Herald on Wednesday revealed that—in his previous role as Miami's top prosecutor—Acosta "bent over backwards" to give a sweetheart plea deal to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who has been accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.