Working In These Times

Friday, Apr 20, 2018, 6:05 pm  ·  By Sarah Lahm

Nearly 5,000 JetBlue Flight Attendants Just Voted To Unionize, in a Major Win for Airline Labor

JetBlue in-flight crew voted 2,661 to 1,387 to join the Transport Workers Union. (Getty Images)  

On April 18, nearly 5,000 JetBlue Airways flight attendants voted to form a union, notching a major victory for organized labor. The employees voted 2,661 to 1,387 to join the Transport Workers Union (TWU), a labor group that represents rail and airline workers, among others, and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.


Friday, Apr 20, 2018, 2:57 pm  ·  By Michelle Chen

Rotten and Rat-Infested: The Appalling Food and Healthcare Conditions Facing Inmates in U.S. Prisons

A new study looking into prison conditions nationwide shines light on the bleak reality of everyday life behind bars. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)  

We rarely see what goes on inside of U.S. prisons, besides the occasional reports of riots, suicides or corruption scandals that trickle out of an otherwise opaque institution. But a new study looking into prison conditions nationwide shines light on the bleak reality of everyday life behind bars.


Thursday, Apr 19, 2018, 5:16 pm  ·  By Katherine Braden

Puerto Rico’s Major Newspapers Laid Off Reporters Just When the Island Needed Them the Most

After Hurrican Maria hit Puerto Rico, lines for gas could have wait times of up to 20 hours and many roads were destroyed and flooded. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)  

On the morning of Sept. 19, 2017, hours before Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, editors at the newspaper Primera Hora sent Sara (not her real name), one of their reporters, to the small island Culebra, miles off Puerto Rico’s coast.

Hurricane Irma, which had hit the northeastern Caribbean a month before, had caused massive destruction. “They wanted to have someone [on Culebra] in case the problems were bigger with Maria,” Sara tells me. “I left my family just to be a good employee and a good journalist and be there in order to report the damages.”


Wednesday, Apr 18, 2018, 6:16 pm  ·  By Rachel Johnson

West Virginia Teachers and the Return of Labor Feminism

A major flashpoint for oppositional feminism is the Right’s continued attack on the public sector. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)  

Since the 2016 election, Americans have been treated to all varieties of media profiles and literary-safari trips to the heart of coal country—like J.D. Vance’s book Hillbilly Elegy—which leave the impression that the “working class” is largely an undifferentiated mass of reactionary white men.


Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018, 12:35 pm  ·  By Josh Bivens and Hunter Blair

The GOP Tax Plan Was Sold On a Baseless Theory. Now It’s Being Exposed As a Giveaway to the Rich.

Economic theory doesn’t support claims made by supporters of the GOP tax plan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  

On Tax Day, Republicans in Congress will surely be trying to tout the benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that they passed in December. It’s still far too early to make big claims about what the data shows about the effect of the TCJA, but it’s worth remembering why we should be very doubtful that any benefits at all will accrue to typical American families from the largest—and only permanent—feature of the TCJA, the cuts in corporate income tax rates.


Friday, Apr 13, 2018, 9:52 pm  ·  By Kate Aronoff

Gov. Cuomo Is “Acting Like Breitbart”: Community Groups Fuming After WFP Split

Gov. Cuomo's threats could have far-reaching consequences for community organizations. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has successfully driven a wedge between the progressive Working Families Party (WFP) and labor unions—and, in the process, tried to strong-arm unions out of funding several community organizing groups that serve low-income New Yorkers, immigrants and low-wage workers.

At a meeting in Albany, N.Y. on Saturday, the State Committee of Working Families Party New York planned to vote on whether to endorse Cuomo or Cynthia Nixon, who is mounting a progressive challenge to the incumbent governor. 


Thursday, Apr 12, 2018, 5:47 pm  ·  By Steven Parfitt

The Wave of Militant Teacher Strikes Has Gone Global. Just Look at the UK.

University and College Union members in the UK walked off the job starting February 22. (UCU/ Facebook)  

The wave of militant teacher actions that began in West Virginia is now spreading throughout the United States, to Oklahoma, Kentucky and, potentially soon, Arizona. Teachers in these and other states are fighting back against austerity measures that have, in recent decades, led to pay cuts, reduced job security and worsening working conditions. Their rebellion is a sign to other workers: if you want to beat back attacks on your wages and conditions, your best choice is to strike. 


Thursday, Apr 12, 2018, 12:12 pm  ·  By Michael Arria

Tesla Workers Say Elon Musk is a Union Buster. The NLRB Just Gave Their Case a Boost.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during an event to launch the new Tesla Model X Crossover SUV on September 29, 2015 in Fremont, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  

Tesla factory workers have been trying for months to win restitution for the company’s alleged union-busting and harassment. Now, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint against the company appears to be making strides.


Wednesday, Apr 11, 2018, 1:48 pm  ·  By Sarah Lahm

Here’s Why Teachers Are Prepared to Defy Arizona’s Anti-Strike Laws

(Save Our Schools Arizona/Facebook)  

Teachers and school support staff in Arizona are gearing up for a possible walkout, saying Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and state legislators are ignoring workers’ demands for better conditions for educators and students alike. The rank-and-file group Arizona Educators United is calling for a 20 percent increase in teacher pay, a competitive salary for non-licensed school positions and a moratorium on tax cuts “until Arizona per-pupil funding reaches [the] national average.”


Tuesday, Apr 10, 2018, 12:12 pm  ·  By Valerie Vande Panne

How Privatization Sparked the Massive Oklahoma Teacher Uprising

Teachers are staging rolling walkouts and mobilizations across Oklahoma. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)  

OKLAHOMA—On April 2, an estimated 30,000 Oklahoma teachers walked out of schools across the state, some traveling hundreds of miles to the capital to protest. This momentum has not stopped: At the time of this writing, teachers are marching—by foot—from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Across the state, they are planning to continue to mobilize, despite legislative opposition that has gone so far as to accuse the teachers of bussing in protestors from Chicago.