Working In These Times

Thursday, Feb 14, 2019, 3:41 pm  ·  By Rachel M. Cohen

Teachers’ Strikes Are Rattling Washington. This Hearing in the U.S. House Is Proof.

Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va., conducts a House Education and Labor Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled 'Underpaid Teachers and Crumbling Schools: How Underfunding Public Education Shortchanges America's Students,' on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)  

As Denver public school teachers head back to school, ending their first labor stoppage in 25 years, it’s hard to dismiss the impact the nation-wide teacher strikes have had on American politics. As Democratic presidential candidates rush to voice support for the Colorado educators, Denver’s strike marks the ninth major teacher uprising in the last twelve months, with the anniversary of the very first—West Virginia’s—coming up next week.


Thursday, Feb 14, 2019, 1:57 pm  ·  By David Dayen

Amazon’s Decision To Pull Out of NYC Is a Massive Blow To Corporate Welfare

Facing mass public opposition, Amazon canceled its New York City headquarters project. (Photo by Holger Hollemann/picture alliance via Getty Images)  

Amazon announced Thursday the company has canceled its bid to acquire nearly $3 billion in public dollars to locate a facility in New York City—the most substantial setback for corporate welfare in recent memory. 


Wednesday, Feb 13, 2019, 12:25 pm  ·  By Michelle Chen

Labor Unrest Is Erupting on Honduran Plantations—And Rattling the Global Supply Chain

A bunch of Fyffes bananas pictured outside the company's head office in Dublin. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)  

Long before Hondurans were demonized by Trump for “bringing chaos” to the southern border, U.S. consumers welcomed truckloads of Honduran-grown fruit, which have for years streamed through regional trade networks dominated by multinational agribusiness. At the same time, agribusiness has helped drive the poverty and social turmoil in farmworker communities, worsening the misery that so many are fleeing en masse.


Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019, 4:27 pm  ·  By Kelsey Ray

Denver Teachers Went on Strike To Be Able To Live Where They Teach

Denver teachers are the latest educators to walk off the job. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)  

Update: On Feb. 14, Denver teachers reached a tentative deal with the local school district that includes significant pay increases, and suspended their strike.

On Monday, more than 5,000 teachers, parents and students from public schools across Denver took part in a festive rally on the steps of the Colorado state capitol. The demonstration marked the first day of a teacher strike to demand higher base salaries and a pay scale system that’s clear, predictable and that will allow teachers to afford to live in the neighborhoods where they work.


Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019, 12:55 pm  ·  By Hayley Breden in conversation with Michael Arria

Denver Teacher: I’m On Strike to Build a Nationwide Movement for Public Schools

Bear Valley International School language arts teacher Kaitlin Christenson, left, and math teacher Meghan Clapp, right, lead a chant at an educator and community rally at the Colorado State Capitol on February 11, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. Denver teachers are striking for the first time in 25 years after the school district and the union representing the educators failed to reach an agreement after 14 months of contract negations over teacher pay. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)  

On February 11, public school teachers in Denver, Colorado went on strike after 15 months of attempted negotiations with the school district. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association, which represents the city’s 5000-plus teachers, is looking for higher salaries and changes to the districts bonus system, in which extra “merit pay” for teachers is calculated in a vague and inconsistent way.


Friday, Feb 8, 2019, 4:12 pm  ·  By Alex Press

Anchor Workers Are Organizing to Become One of the First Unionized Craft Breweries in the U.S.

Beer is better when it's union made. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  

After taking their union drive public on Thursday, workers from Anchor Brewing Company, a San Francisco institution that was founded in 1896 and stands as one of the country’s oldest craft breweries, rallied in the Mission District. The workers estimate 75 people showed up to support their union, organized with the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Should the workers’ union drive succeed, theirs would be among the first unionized craft breweries in the United States.


Friday, Feb 8, 2019, 4:03 pm  ·  By David Dayen

Amazon Threatens to Cancel New York City Headquarters if It Doesn’t Receive $3 Billion in Subsidies

Protestors rally against Amazon and the company's plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)  

Fearful of losing nearly $3 billion in subsidies for its expansion in New York City, Amazon has moved to a new strategy, one involving threats. The Washington Post (owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) reported on Friday that the company is “reconsidering” its plan to place an office facility for up to 25,000 employees in Long Island City, Queens. In doing so, Amazon is signaling that it will squeeze opponents of the deal politically unless they support the massive subsidy package.


Friday, Feb 8, 2019, 11:31 am  ·  By David Dayen

Meet the Militant Flight Attendant Leader Who Threatened a Strike—And Helped Stop Trump’s Shutdown

Sara Nelson could be the future of the U.S. labor movement. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)  

The government shutdown introduced America to an audacious new voice in the labor movement: Sara Nelson. While receiving the MLK Drum Major for Justice Lifetime Achievement Award from the AFL-CIO on January 20, Nelson, the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, called for a general strike to support the 800,000 federal employees who were locked out or forced to work without pay. “Dr. King said, ‘their destiny is tied up with our destiny,’” Nelson told a cheering crowd of labor leaders. “We cannot walk alone.”


Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019, 5:38 pm  ·  By Cal Winslow

Everything You Need to Know About the General Strike that Shut Down Seattle 100 Years Ago

The Seattle General Strike of 1919. (Creative Commons)  

On February 6, 1919, the city of Seattle ground to a halt as 60,000 workers walked off the job in a general strike that would last 6 days. Workers from all 110 unions of the Seattle Central Labor Council participated in the strike, which faced fierce opposition from both business and governmental leadership. While the strike was historic, it stands as a frequently misunderstood event in U.S. labor history. In this excerpt from Seattle General Strike: The Forgotten History of Labor’s Most Spectacular Revolt, author Cal Winslow shines a light on the truth about a strike that captured the attention of the nation 100 years ago.



Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019, 12:09 pm  ·  By Saurav Sarkar

Why 50,000 Garment Workers in Bangladesh Went on Strike

(Photo: Solidarity Center, CC By 2.0)  

With the sixth anniversary approaching of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed over 1,000 workers, conditions in the world’s second-largest garment export industry are tumultuous.