Working In These Times

Thursday, Jun 6, 2019, 4:54 pm  ·  By Jeff Schuhrke

Did You Get a Text Inviting You to a Picket Line? It Might Be from Bernie Sanders.

The Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign is helping build a strike wave in America. (Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)  

As graduate student workers at the University of Chicago began a three-day work stoppage this week to demand union recognition, Sen. Bernie Sanders—one of the university’s most notable alumni—called on his army of supporters to join their picket lines through an email and text message blast.


Wednesday, Jun 5, 2019, 10:26 am  ·  By Tatiana Cozzarelli

Forget Sex Strikes—We Need a Real Strike for Abortion Rights

Pro-choice activists pictured on the steps of the United States Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)  

Abortion is becoming illegal again. The best way to fight against these restrictive laws is mass mobilizations and strikes—not sex strikes, but strikes that grind the entire capitalist system to a halt.


Thursday, May 30, 2019, 4:19 pm  ·  By Michael Arria

American Airlines Mechanics Are Threatening the “Bloodiest, Ugliest Battle” in Labor History

An American Airlines aricraft sits at a gate at O'Hare International Airport on May 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)  

Mechanics at American Airlines are threatening to strike if a new contract isn’t negotiated, and the union president has declared that employees are prepared for the dispute to erupt into “the bloodiest, ugliest battle that the United States labor movement ever saw.” The statement comes just one day after the airline sued its union workers, claiming that they had engaged in an illegal work slowdown to strengthen their hand at the bargaining table.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 4:29 pm  ·  By Dean Baker

Trump’s Trade War with China Benefits Big Corporations—Not Ordinary Workers

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, January 6, 2018. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)  

Some events give extraordinary insights into the biases of the economics profession. The trade war with China clearly fit the bill.


Friday, May 24, 2019, 3:53 pm  ·  By Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson: Democratic Socialists and Labor Share the Same Goal

Sara Nelson, the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants, speaks during a press conference on aviation safety during the shutdown. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)  

This article was first posted by Jacobin.

Sara Nelson in her own words on building a fighting labor movement, the proud history of democratic socialism in America, how workers ended the shutdown, and how they'll stop Trump, too.


Thursday, May 23, 2019, 4:34 pm  ·  By Jeremy Mohler

Public-Private Partnerships Will Never Solve America’s Infrastructure Crisis

U.S. infrastructure is facing dire conditions. Privatization isn't the answer. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)  

Another “Infrastructure Week” has come and gone without federal action on the nation’s aging roads, water systems, airports and other public works. Some of us will rightly rage about the federal government’s penny-pinching while Flint, Michigan, has yet to replace thousands of lead pipes. But there’s an underreported dimension to America’s infrastructure crisis that adds yet another reason why congressional Democrats must fight tooth and nail for massive direct public investment.


Thursday, May 23, 2019, 10:08 am  ·  By Peter Cole

Dockworkers Show Us How Unions Can Be a Powerful Force Against Racism

The Local 10 Drill Team, 1972. Courtesy of Captain Josh Williams and ILWU Archives.  

This article is adapted from Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area. Used with the permission of the University of Illinois Press. Copyright © 2018 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. It has been modified for this article, with the introductions and conclusions reworked.
From its inception in the 1930s, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), and particularly its San Francisco Bay Area chapter, Local 10, have preached and practiced racial equality. First, the union committed itself to equality by desegregating work gangs and openings its ranks to African Americans, whose numbers drastically increased during the World War II-induced Great Migration. In addition to working towards racial equality inside the ILWU, longshoremen and their leaders, in Local 10 and at the international level, participated in myriad intersectional social movements from the 1940s to the present. Thanks to this organizing, longshore workers and their union greatly contributed to the growth and success of social movements in a pivotal time in Bay Area, U.S. and world history.


Thursday, May 16, 2019, 10:35 am  ·  By Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

Scabby the Rat Is Under Attack—And Needs Our Help

On September 17, 2010, "Scabby" was employed by the Local 639 Teamsters union as they try to negotiate their contract in Upper Marlboro, MD. (Photo by Juana Arias/For the Washington Post)  

The Trump era presents unions with a range of new threats to their survival, including the 2018 Janus Supreme Court decision revoking the right of public sector unions to collect dues from nonmembers. This erosion of union protections is being met with large-scale protests and grassroots organizing, from picketing school teachers to striking ride-share drivers. But as battles over union rights transpire at the local and federal levels, an unexpected figure has come into focus: a giant inflatable rodent.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 2:14 pm  ·  By Joe Burns

The Teacher Strikes Could Set Off a Private Sector Strike Wave—If We Dare

We should celebrate the teacher strike wave, but also apply its lessons to the private sector. (Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)  

In the spring of 2018, teachers across West Virginia improbably shut down schools statewide, creating a political crisis that forced Republican Gov. Jim Justice and the GOP-led legislature to back down. Drawing inspiration from the West Virginia strikers, teachers in the red states of Arizona and Oklahoma soon followed suit by carrying out statewide strikes of their own.


Thursday, May 9, 2019, 3:40 pm  ·  By Chris Brooks

How Volkswagen Has Gotten Away With Union-Busting

The company logo of German car maker Volkswagen is pictured at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, northern Germany on March 12, 2019. (TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)  

Labor law is not workers’ law. That’s the lesson learned by pro-union workers at Volkswagen’s sole U.S. factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.