Skip to main content

What happened in Chattanooga?

Harley Shaiken, professor emeritus in education and in geography | February 20, 2014

Snow blanketed the Tennessee hills surrounding Chattanooga last week as workers at the sprawling Volkswagen plant began voting on whether the United Automobile Workers union (UAW) should represent them. The stakes were high.  A union victory would pave the way for a German-style Works Council elected by all employees for the first time in the United … Continue reading »

Fear is why workers in red states vote against their economic self-interest

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | January 16, 2014

Last week’s massive spill of the toxic chemical MCHM into West Virginia’s Elk River illustrates another benefit to the business class of high unemployment, economic insecurity, and a safety-net shot through with holes. Not only are employees eager to accept whatever job they can get. They are also also unwilling to demand healthy and safe … Continue reading »

Battle in Seattle: Boeing’s demands bad for U.S. economy

Harley Shaiken, professor emeritus in education and in geography | January 14, 2014

At the heart of the recent hard-ball negotiations between Boeing and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) is a troubling paradox:  A company scores record profits and demands tough concessions from its workers. Something is clearly wrong with this picture.  While earning more and paying less may fatten the bottom line next quarter, it dampens … Continue reading »

Are transit strikes bad for the environment?

Eric Biber, professor of law | January 6, 2014

Even if you’re not from the Bay Area, you’ve probably heard about the labor troubles at the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) – the rail system that is one of the largest public transit providers here in the Bay Area in terms of passengers.  Hundreds of thousands of commuters use the BART system on a daily … Continue reading »

A new dawn for Labor Day

Annette Bernhardt, Director, Technology and Work Program, UC Berkeley Labor Center | August 30, 2013

If you happened to be in Oakland yesterday, chances are that you passed a fast food chain with striking workers picketing outside.  They were part of a national day of action in more than 50 cities across the country, targeting chains like McDonald’s and Burger King and culminating a year of unprecedented labor actions that … Continue reading »

Why the Republican war on workers’ rights undermines the American economy

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 18, 2011

The battle has resumed in Wisconsin. The state supreme court has allowed Governor Scott Walker to strip bargaining rights from state workers. Meanwhile, governors and legislators in New Hampshire and Missouri are attacking private unions, seeking to make the states so-called “open shop” where workers can get all the benefits of being union members without … Continue reading »

The end of the West’s duplicity in a transforming Middle East?

Beverly Crawford, Professor emerita, Political Science and International and Area Studies | May 3, 2011

Post co-authored by Beverly Crawford and Nora Reikosky. Like the collective gasp of horror heard round the world on 9/11, we now hear a global sigh of relief at the news of Osama bin Laden’s demise. President Obama tells us that we can all breathe easier now. But can we?  Will Osama’s death mark an end … Continue reading »

There is power in a union

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | March 1, 2011

And it turns out, the American people value the rights workers gain through unionization, opposing efforts to weaken bargaining rights of public employees by 60% to 33%– almost two-to-one in favor of maintaining the rights of union workers to organize and bargain collectively. (Pause for the red meat critics to begin fuming and spewing incoherent … Continue reading »

The real issues: A Wisconsin update

George Lakoff, professor emeritus of linguistics | February 28, 2011

The Wisconsin protests are about much more than budgets and unions. As I observed in What Conservatives Really Want, the conservative story about budget deficits is a ruse to turn the country conservative in every area.  Karl Rove and Shep Smith have made it clear on Fox: If the Wisconsin plan to kill the public … Continue reading »

The coming shutdowns and showdowns: What’s really at stake

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 23, 2011

Wisconsin is in a showdown. Washington is headed for a government shutdown. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won’t budge. He insists on delivering a knockout blow to public unions in his state (except for those, like the police, who supported his election). In DC, House Republicans won’t budge on the $61 billion cut they pushed through … Continue reading »

What conservatives really want

George Lakoff, professor emeritus of linguistics | February 22, 2011

— Dedicated to the peaceful protesters in Wisconsin, February 19, 2011 The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy. The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women’s rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, … Continue reading »

(Bad) history in the making in Wisconsin? UPDATED

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | February 18, 2011

Dramatic images from Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain inspire a sense of being part of history in the making. For many of us, the same is true of the images from Madison, Wisconsin, where tens of thousands of protesters have massed for days refusing to accept a proposal by the state’s governor Scott Walker, taking advantage … Continue reading »