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Stories about Labor and Economics.

Why we can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

By: 
Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg

While businesses have been principal agents in increasing greenhouse gas emissions, they are also seen by many as crucial to tackling climate change.

From Social Movements to ‘Other’ Societies in Movement – Part 2

By: 
Raúl Zibechi

Fourth, we note the affirmation of lowland Black and Indigenous peoples as front-line actors, but doing it their own way and in a manner that differs from that of the popular sectors. Black protagonism is visible above all in Colombia and Brazil. In both cases, organizations of African descent have been around for decades, but in the last decade they have come to the fore of resistance struggles.

From Social Movements to ‘Other’ Societies in Movement – Part 1

By: 
Raúl Zibechi

To analyze the state of Latin American social movements today, we must review the main popular struggles since 2005, when the previous cycle of struggle concluded with the second gas war in Bolivia and Evo Morales’ electoral triumph.

Uber Takes a Hit in London

By: 
Kenneth Surin

In today’s neoliberal world, colossally lucrative enterprises, making their originators some of the wealthiest people on earth, exist in a realm that can best be described as virtual: Uber and Lyft own no taxis, Airbnb owns no rental properties, eBay/Alibaba possess no inventory, Facebook generates no content of its own, TaskRabbit and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (the latter’s motto: “giving you access to a scalable workforce”) create no genuinely sustainable jobs, but use the internet to “match” individuals with substantial incomes needing someone to undertake menial tasks or run small errands with a hapless “gig” clientele prepared to do this for chickenfeed.

London and New York are the capitals of our neoliberal world, so the recent decision by the Transport for London (TfL) not to renew Uber’s licence when it expires on 30 September, on the grounds that it was not a “fit and proper” operator, comes as something of a surprise.  Uber will be allowed to operate while it appeals TfL’s decision.

Puerto Rico and the Jones Act Conundrum

By: 
Jack Heyman

When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, the whole transportation and communication infrastructure went down- the power grid, bridges, roads, cell towers- devastating the entire island. Most people are still without the basic necessities of life, a month later. Emergency logistics are dysfunctional and telephone service barely exists.

FEMA’s bumbling for one month has looked like a rerun of a Keystone Cops movie. Although the marine terminals were loaded with commercial cargo since before the hurricane, there was no way for workers to reach the port facilities nor power to operate the port safely.  Day after day cargo sat idle as people’s desperation for water, food and life-saving medicine mounts. The early death toll was 48, but NPR has reported an additional 49 deaths since the storm and Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Reporting found 69 hospitals had morgue at  “capacity” as isolated towns and villages are reached the death toll will climb.

John L. Lewis and His Critics: Some Forgotten Labor History That Still Matters Today

By: 
Staughton Lynd

Abstract The purpose of this essay is to propose a new answer to the question of "what happened to the Congress of Industrial Organizations?" Lynd argues the CIO became what its creator, United Mine Workers (UMW) president John L. Lewis, intended it to be. This approach is juxtaposed with the approach taken by A.J. Muste, who helped to lead the cotton textile strike of 1919 to victory, then founded the Brookwood Labor School—probably the most radical and effective school for workers in American history.
 

Canada in Zambia

By: 
Yves Engler

While few Canadians could find Zambia on a map, the Great White North has significant influence over the southern African nation.

A big beneficiary of internationally sponsored neoliberal reforms, a Vancouver firm is the largest foreign investor in the landlocked country of 16 million.

First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has been embroiled in various ecological, labour and tax controversies in the copper rich nation over the past decade. At the end of last year First Quantum was sued for US$1.4 billion by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), a state entity with minority stakes in most of the country’s mining firms. The statement of claim against First Quantum listed improper borrowing and a massive tax liability.

The Life and Death of Yugoslav Socialism

By: 
James Robertson

During the Cold War, the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia represented to many a viable alternative to the Soviet model. Grounded by workplace self-management, the Yugoslav system seemingly gave workers the right to exercise democratic control on the shop floor.

The distinct Yugoslav path to socialism found admirers around the world. In Eastern Europe, the combination of market socialism and self-management offered a model for anti-Stalinist reformers. In the capitalist West, democratic socialists hopefully viewed the experiment as a more “human” socialism. And across much of the Third World, Yugoslavia — a leading member of the Non-Aligned Movement — demonstrated the viability of a “third way” between the capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union.

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