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Stories about Labor and Economics.

Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor

By: 
Jeremy Brecher

Labor Network for Sustainability

As United States Energy Transfers Partners began building the Dakota Access Pipeline through territory sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the tribe began an escalating campaign against the pipeline. By this summer nearly 200 tribes around the country had passed resolutions opposing the pipeline and many hundreds of their members joined nonviolent direct action to halt it. Amidst wide public sympathy for the Native American cause, environmental, climate protection, human rights, and many other groups joined the campaign. On September 9, the Obama administration intervened to temporarily halt the pipeline and open government-to-government consultations with the tribes.

What Happened to the Pink Tide?

By: 
Kyla Sankey

When the “pink tide” of left-leaning governments first rose to power on the back of anti-neoliberal protests across Latin America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the initial reaction from the Left was euphoric. Striving to move beyond the “there is no alternative” mantra, many pinned their hopes on what seemed to be a new wave of actually existing alternatives to neoliberalism.

Amidst the revolutionary fervor of social forums, solidarity alliances, and peoples’ councils, it appeared an epochal shift was underway, which Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa optimistically dubbed “a genuine change in the times.”

But in retrospect, the 2005 political mobilizations that led to the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) may have been the high point of the pink tide project. Since then, the balance of power has slowly shifted back towards the Right, with the popularity and efficacy of left-wing governments rapidly diminishing.

Why Bolivian Workers Are Marching Against Evo Morales

By: 
Emily Achtenberg

The shutdown of Bolivia’s state-run textile company calls into question the alliance between President Evo Morales and the Bolivian Workers Central at a crucial political and economic juncture.

Congress Must Kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership

By: 
Jim Goodman

(The TPP from the point of view of a Wisconsin organic dairy/beef farmer. Short and to-the-point.)

Trade is good, but “Free Trade” doesn’t work for farmers
or workers or most everyone else.

Free trade does, however,work spectacularly well for corporations...

Is Water Pollution Trading Coming to the Midwest?

By: 
John E. Peck

Pollution is a bad thing, right? Isn’t the ultimate goal of the 1972 Clean Water Act to make all water in the U.S. swimmable, fishable, and drinkable – as it once was? Well, think again… If you are a capitalist entrepreneur who believes, to paraphrase Reagan, in the “magic of the market place” then a lucrative opportunity awaits you in the emerging water pollution trading business!

The Wobblies in their Heyday

By: 
Staughton Lynd and Eric Chester

Review of The Wobblies in their Heyday: The Rise and Destruction of the Industrial Workers of the World during the World War I Era by Eric Chester (Praeger, 2014, hardbound; Levellers Press, 2016, paperback). Staughton Lynd

The Wobblies are back. Many young radicals find the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) the most congenial available platform on which to stand in trying to change the world.

This effort has been handicapped by the lack of a hard-headed history of the IWW in its initial incarnation, from 1905 to just after World War I. The existing literature, for example Franklin Rosemont’s splendid book on Joe Hill, is strong on movement culture and atmosphere. It is weak on why the organization went to pieces in the early 1920s.


 

The Evolution of Union Co-ops and the Historical Development of Workplace Democracy

By: 
James Anderson

Management at Carrier Corporation pulled Donnie Knox, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999, and others employed by the company into a meeting on February 10th. Knox and his fellow workers were informed their jobs would be moved to Mexico.

Despite remaining profitable in Indianapolis – the company boasted more than $7 billion in profits last year and was able to award their CEO a $10 million pay package – Carrier and its parent company United Technologies abruptly decided its 1,400 workforce in the Midwest would be discarded so manufacturing could be relocated to a site where, according to union staff, the company will pay workers just $3 per hour.

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