California Farmworkers Often Forced to Live in Squalor

By: Sunday March 16, 2014 9:30 am

For California’s farmworkers, toiling all day in the brutal, sun-scorched fields is hard enough; the homes they return to each night are often in even worse conditions. Though the reforms won by previous generations have extended basic labor and safety protections to seasonal and immigrant farmworkers, many remain shut out of the right to decent accommodations.

Disposable Assets in the Fracking Industry

By: Saturday March 8, 2014 4:00 pm

The oil and gas industry, the nation’s chambers of commerce, and politicians who are dependent upon campaign contributions from the industry and the chambers, claim fracking is safe.

First, close your mind to the myriad scientific studies that show the health effects from fracking.

Close your mind to the well-documented evidence of the environmental impact.

Focus just upon the effects upon the workers.

Workers Can ‘Don and Doff’ Off the Clock, Says Court

By: Thursday February 13, 2014 6:00 pm

For workers in dangerous industries, safety should be non-negotiable. But the Supreme Court may have just given employers a little more leeway to put critical protections for workers on the table when bargaining over labor contracts.

In a unanimous decision issued n Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, the Supreme Court ruled against a group of steelworkers who argued that they should be compensated for the time they spend suiting up before and after their workdays, or “donning and doffing” protective gear including hard hats and safety glasses.

Health, Not Age, Is What Matters for the ACA Risk Pools

By: Thursday December 5, 2013 3:19 pm

If almost everyone who signs up is in their 40′s but the group is much healthier than most people their age, the cost will stay low. On the other hand, if 2 million young people sign up but they are all very unhealthy, premiums will spike.

A New Day, A New Danger: Temporary Workers Face Safety Hazards at Work

By: Wednesday December 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Rosa Ramirez, a 49-year-old Mexican immigrant and mother in Illinois, knew something was odd about the plastics factory where her temporary-labor agency had sent her. “From the minute one walks into that factory, one is hit by this incredible odor of [chemical] thinner … It just goes right through you,” she recalled.

Wisconsin Budget Compounds the Economic Challenges for Low-Wage Workers

By: Saturday August 31, 2013 12:30 pm

Workers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. must still cope with a relatively weak labor market.  That is especially challenging for low-wage workers who are struggling with the declining value of the minimum wage, reductions in employer benefits like health care, and growing inequality. Those challenges are exacerbated in Wisconsin by budget decisions made by state lawmakers.

The Politics of Abortion in Latin America

By: Friday July 19, 2013 7:00 pm

In light of the recent case of Beatriz, a 22-year-old Salvadoran woman and mother of a toddler, who, while suffering from lupus and kidney failure and carrying an anencephalic fetus, was denied the right to an abortion, it is relevant to discuss the restrictive abortion laws in Latin America and some of the reasons behind them.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills: Recessions, Budget Battles, and the Politics of Life and Death

By: Saturday June 29, 2013 1:59 pm

David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu’s new book The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills is a thorough examination of the toll that recessions take on people’s health. They show, convincingly, that there are many, many channels through which health outcomes can deteriorate when the economy goes into a deep recession. They also show that the manner in which the government reacts to an economic downturn is a critical factor in determining health outcomes. Deterioration in health in a recession, though common, is far from inevitable.

Why Safer Food Workers Mean Safer Food

By: Sunday June 16, 2013 5:20 pm

Americans these days are nervous about what they eat, and they should be, what with outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, meat pumped with veterinary drugs and genetically modified organisms creeping into our groceries. And in May, when the iconic brand of Smithfield Foods was bought by a Chinese multinational, there seemed to be still more cause for alarm. China seems even more rife with food hazards: rivers brimming with pig carcasses, poisonous baby formula, lakes of toxic waste.

House 20-Week Abortion Ban Hearing a ‘Farce,’ Says Leading Democrat

By: Saturday May 25, 2013 12:00 pm

A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Thursday on a bill that would impose an unconstitutional nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization. Four witnesses sat at the table during that hearing, but there was really only one person who mattered for the Republican lawmakers—whose aim, ultimately, is to outlaw all abortions. That person was Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania physician now serving a life sentence for murder and manslaughter.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 26, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power
Chat with Nomi Prins about her new book. Hosted by Bill Black.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game
Chat with Edward Achorn about his new book. Hosted by Richard Taylor (dakine01).

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