FDL Book Salon Welcomes Ken Jacobs, When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level

By: Sunday March 16, 2014 1:59 pm

The 21st century United States is a nation of great income inequality and entrenched poverty. Progressives have demanded federal action to fight these problems, but Republican control over the House has made this nearly impossible. However, campaigns on the local and state levels have begun to transform the debate over income inequality. Beginning in the 1990s, living wage campaigns in cities across the nation began showing how local communities can make a difference. Some of the nation’s most politically progressive cities began pushing for paid sick leave, domestic partner benefits, and card check for unionization.

In the last two years, Occupy Wall Street brought economic inequality to the attention of national politicians and opened space for political leaders to push for higher minimum wage laws.

 

Livestream: Building Progressive Power

By: Saturday February 15, 2014 10:45 am

Activists from across the state are demanding that Governor Mark Dayton and his Democrat super-majority in the MN legislature make good on their campaign promise to bring forth real Living Wage legislation.

At Least 116 Arrested in Planned Civil Disobedience at Walmart Stores on Black Friday

By: Saturday November 30, 2013 10:40 am

Protests planned by current and former Walmart Associates and a coalition anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UCFW) were held at various Walmart locations across the United States. Over 110 arrested were arrested while engaging in civil disobedience.

Alt-Labor Day, 2013

By: Saturday August 31, 2013 6:40 pm

Fast food workers in dozens of cities staged a national day of strikes on Thursday, August 29. The action sought to galvanize public support for a living wage of $15 per hour, and respect for fast food workers’ right to organize. Employees from restaurants such as McDonald’s and Burger King called on other retail workers around the country to join them in walking off the job. Many employees, who have had to go on food stamps and public assistance to survive on their industry’s wages, felt they had no choice but to protest their treatment by employers.

Long Beach Hotel Workers Win Living Wages, Paid Sick Days

By: Friday November 9, 2012 5:02 pm

Two thousand workers who clean the rooms and serve the food at hotels in Long Beach, California had special cause for celebration election night. They will finally earn a living wage and be able take a sick day without risking a paycheck or a job.

“I have said all along that the second thing I would do when Measure N passes is take my family off of public assistance,” said Maria Patlan, a ten-year housekeeper in Long Beach’s hotel industry. “But the first thing I will do is a dance of joy.”

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Wade Rathke, Global Grassroots: Perspectives on International Organizing

By: Sunday April 15, 2012 1:59 pm

While writing a book about ACORN, I got to know Wade Rathke, spending dozens of hours hanging out with him, interviewing him, e-mailing back and forth, interviewing friends and enemies, and literally following Rathke as he worked. In an age of stylish cynicism, whatever else you might say about Wade, he believes in the basic goodness of people, our capacity for empathy, kindness, and caring. These traits are expressed not only through individual acts with his family and friends; but also with strangers, especially those who inhabit the squalid urban communities across the globe–the people ignored by the public officials and exploited by the rich and powerful.

Raising Minimum Wage Significantly Would Boost Economy

By: Tuesday January 3, 2012 9:15 am

The minimum wage will increase in eight states and several localities across the country. In these states, the minimum wage is indexed to inflation, a campaign priority of Barack Obama back in 2008 that never got past the formative stage. This can actually have a pretty decent impact, if a small one in macroeconomic terms, and a significant increase in the minimum wage would be even better.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Wade Rathke, Citizen Wealth: Winning the Campaign to Save Working Families

By: Sunday August 23, 2009 2:00 pm

Many people first encountered ACORN when it became a piñata in the wingnuts’ last-ditch attempt to salvage something—anything—for their base during the 2008 elections. But since 1970, when the community organizing group was founded, the organization has accomplished a lengthy and impressive list of victories on behalf of low- and middle-income families. Among its achievements, ACORN has:

* Moved more than 2 million homes into ownership by low-income people in less than 20 years.
* Spearheaded the living wage movement that resulted in raising the hourly pay of some of the lowest-paid workers in more than 140 cities between 1996 and 2006 before going on to win statewide minimum wage increases in several states, such as Ohio, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona in the 2006 elections.
* Partnered with H&R Block to reduce predatory fees charged to low-income people who receive rapid anticipation loans, with one such fee reduction resulting in a savings of $200 million for tax filers.

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