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Jury duty: trial and tribulation

The Aztec and Mayan civilizations have passed on their legacies of human sacrifice to the American judicial system. Doing one's civil duty can rip out one's heart. It's an exercise in democracy.The …

Representing difficult members

A steward’s work is never done. And it’s often challenging work, especially when representing difficult members. As union stewards, and this is true of staff organizers too, we have a duty …

Don't delay delivery of UPS contract

Genome editing technology can alter DNA. It works for organisms but not for employers.Sometimes they are inclined to run their workplaces fairly, but it must never be left to their choice alone. …

When union staff strike against their own union

Last October 31, one of the largest nonprofit organization staff in the country began a two-week long unfair labor practices strike. Their employer was accused of unilaterally declaring impasse after …

Minimum wage/maximum activism

Years ago, I tagged along as an invited guest to a testimonial dinner in honor of a nursing home magnate. It was probably a premature lifetime award affair. Any excuse for a party. There were fine …

The media: In service of government’s robber barons

By now most of us have heard about the profound changes that recently took place in France with respect to the passage (by completely undemocratic means, but why quibble over a little thing like …

The right to work — for peanuts

The phrase "an aha moment" refers to a "moment of sudden insight or discovery.” Most flashes of enlightenment are highly unreliable. But listening to a radio talk-show, I had such an "aha …

If things continue as they have for the last 20 years or so, and particularly in the last five or 10, it may be time (or even past time, I’d argue) for the Democratic Party to declare independence …

Advice to new labor organizers

We are in the middle of an exciting surge in the labor movement. New workers are organizing to take on the boss. If you have been organizing and building momentum, what comes next? We are often told …

Sneer, you're on surveillance camera!

Got a moment? Look up to the sky and beyond. Imagine the trillions of invisible signals speeding undeterrable from space, knowing exactly which hand-held device on silent mode in someone's pocket …

An essential civil liberty: the right to stay alive

Decriminalize prostitution, maybe. Criminalize psychiatry, definitely. Or at least radically transform it back to its roots. Away from politics and its strangling alliance with Big Pharma, the …

365-day organizing

There has been inspiring growth of support for unions and increased organizing and strikes in the past few years. Despite these signs of progress, little seems to have changed. Workers at Amazon, …

Children of first responders need our help

It’s not easy growing up in today’s America. The pressure on children to excel academically has never been greater; social media is proving to be more isolating than binding; single parent …

Open letter to the MLC

Dear union leaders: When I gave my in-person testimony to the City Council on January 9th of this year I stayed to the very end of the hearing and listened to what everyone had to say. What especially …

Bosses’ avarice kindled Triangle Factory fire

"Give us 18 minutes. We'll give you the end of your lives"If the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had a podcast back in 1911, that might have been their bumper intro. They could have sold …

Bomb train disasters are the symptom of elite rule

The horrific Norfolk Southern train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, last month is just the latest of a long line of recent train disasters. The chemical fireball poisoned the city and sickened …

Bragging rights

Around 20 years ago, when a public school principalship first became an entry-level position under New York City's then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I recall being present at the time clock and …

Dioxin seltzer

"Double double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” East Palestine, Ohio, site of the toxic hell triggered by the train derailment and human malfeasance, is channeling Shakespeare's …

Workers lose, creditors win in Ukraine war

No matter how or when the horrific war in Ukraine ends, one thing is certain: the working class will lose. Before 2022, foreign creditors and Ukrainian elites were already attempting to gut labor …

The long arm of the law or its stump?

What is the fair market value of the Constitution? Nothing, if it can be bent, folded, stretched or otherwise re-invented to accommodate the designs of powerful people and institutions. Unless …

Adams not yet a statesman

It seems that every weekend is another occasion for shootings, stabbings, a person pushed down a flight of steps, another onto subway tracks. Mayor Eric Adams wants us to believe that statistics show …

Teleworking from the Bermuda Triangle

Is the value of workers' productivity greater in their employers' eyes if the labor was achieved while the workers were needlessly inconvenienced? Does it detract from workers' high standard of …

We are all gig workers

I have been a gig worker for almost two decades.You might be wondering how a professor could be a gig worker. After all, isn’t a gig worker someone who is employed through an app?Yes and no.Because …

Firing for just cause, not just because

The National Labor Relations Board recently expanded and strengthened the penalties on employers who illegally demote or terminate employees for their union activity. The trick is, of course, in the …

Avoiding death on the job

Labor unions are the main reason that deaths in workplaces have been reduced. They are the reason that safety precautions exist and are enforced at all, though far from universally. Every workplace …

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