Working In These Times

Thursday, May 3, 2018, 11:28 am  ·  By Michael Arria

Prisoners Are Organizing a Nationwide Strike Against “Modern-Day Slavery”

A guard walks between buildings at the Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, on April 16, 2018. The prison was on lockdown after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen others. (LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)  

Prisoners across the country say they are gearing up for an end-of-summer nationwide strike against inhumane living conditions and unpaid labor—or, in their words, “modern-day slavery.”


Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 6:05 pm  ·  By David Dayen

Postal Banking Could Become a Reality Even Without Congress. Here’s How.

Advocates see both money orders and remittances as a launching pad for advancing postal banking in the United States. (Getty Images)  

When Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation last week to establish simple banking services in every U.S. post office, she continued a trend of aspiring Democratic presidential candidates using their perch in Congress to propose big, progressive ideas. 


Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 12:28 pm  ·  By Kate Aronoff

In a National May Day Strike, Puerto Rican Marchers Face Down Tear Gas To Protest Privatization

Strikers took the opportunity to bring their fights to their opponents’ doorsteps. (Bryant Martinez)  

This story first appeared at Rethinking Schools

In a May Day event largely overlooked by mainland U.S. media, strikers representing various unions, opposition parties, and social movements all converged on San Juan’s banking district, known as “Milla De Ora” (the Golden Mile) for a national strike.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 3:34 pm  ·  By Kate Aronoff

Yes, a Jobs Guarantee Could Create “Boondoggles.” It Also Might Save the Planet.

A job guarantee—properly formulated—could give workers another option and help redefine what valuable, productive work looks like. (Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)  

In recent weeks, talk of a federal job guarantee has swept into the national political debate. Possible 2020 presidential hopefuls Sens. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have both expressed their support for the idea, and Booker recently introduced legislation to create a job guarantee pilot program. And after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced his team was compiling a job guarantee proposal, opinions abounded from the left, right and center


Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 12:28 pm  ·  By Sarah Jaffe

Why These Immigrants Are Shutting Their City Down This May Day

International Workers' Day is also a day to fight for immigrants' rights. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)  

Welcome to Interviews for Resistance. We’re now into the second year of the Trump administration, and the last year has been filled with ups and downs, important victories, successful holding campaigns, and painful defeats. We’ve learned a lot, but there is always more to learn, more to be done. In this now-weekly series, we talk with organizers, agitators, and educators, not only about how to resist, but how to build a better world.

As May Day comes around again, once again immigrant workers take to the streets in protest of continued criminalization. Having defeated the 287g program, which makes local law enforcement into an arm of immigration enforcement, in Milwaukee, Voces De La Frontera and other organizations have called for a "Day Without Latinxs & Immigrants" strike action to halt the program in Waukesha. Gabriel Quintero is a member of Voces and spoke to me about the day, the departure of Paul Ryan, and their organizing under the Trump administration.


Friday, Apr 27, 2018, 3:43 pm  ·  By Daniel Moattar

University of Iowa Faculty Are Showing How Labor Can Organize Under Right-to-Work

"What’s happening here is what’s happening everywhere in corporate education.” (Faculty Forward Iowa / Facebook)  

On April 18, non-tenure-track teaching staff at the University of Iowa marched with supporters through cold and sleet to deliver demands and a signed letter of support to University President Bruce Harreld’s office. The action was part of Iowa contingent faculty’s campaign for union representation, in response to what workers characterize as policies of overwork and underpayment. 


Friday, Apr 27, 2018, 1:17 pm  ·  By Casey Williams

Why Hundreds of Georgia Bus Drivers Just Staged a Massive Sickout

Fired school bus driver Melanie Douglas spoke at a demonstration. (Credit: Anna Simonton/Scalawag)  

Robbie Brown loved her students. For 18 years, she drove them in her yellow bus to and from schools in DeKalb County, Georgia. And then, last Friday, two police officers showed up at Brown’s house with a letter. She’d been fired.


Thursday, Apr 26, 2018, 5:54 pm  ·  By Rebecca Vallas, Talk Poverty

Trump Is Using “Welfare” Dog Whistles to Come After the Entire Working Class

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wears a coal miner's protective hat while addressing his supporters during a rally at the Charleston Civic Center on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, WV. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)  

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that sums up how little he understands about poverty in America.

The order, titled “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” carries little weight by itself. It directs a broad range of federal agencies to review programs serving low-income people and make recommendations on how they can make the programs harder to access, all under the guise of “welfare reform.”


Thursday, Apr 26, 2018, 3:01 pm  ·  By Sarah Lahm

Arizona Teachers Are Out On the Largest Strike in State History. Here’s Why.

Tens of thousands of Arizona teachers are striking for higher wages and increased school funding. (Save Our Schools Arizona / Facebook)  

Jen Samuels is excited. She is a teacher in the Paradise Valley School District near Phoenix, Ariz. and was up early today, although she will not be in her classroom. Today Samuels and thousands of her fellow teachers are out on strike, and up to 50,000 educators and their supporters are expected to march to the Arizona state capitol in nearly 100-degree heat.


Thursday, Apr 26, 2018, 12:21 pm  ·  By Peter Cole

Don’t Like War? Then Don’t Work! Remembering When Dockworkers Shut Down the Ports on May Day

ILWU Local 19 member Al Webster joined the other 10,000 United States Longshore workers who voluntarily gave up a day's pay to protest the Iraq War on May 1, 2008. (WikiGolightly/Creative Commons)  

​May Day—a legal holiday for workers in most countries—was born in Chicago. On May 1, 1886, workers shut down America’s greatest industry city, and other cities too, to demand the 8-hour workday. In 1894, the U.S. Congress intentionally created a Labor Day at another time of the year, but some Americans continue celebrating the original, real Labor Day.