If we want a stronger public sector labor movement that engages in militant and broad-based social action on behalf of both its members and the people they serve, then a focus on engaging the community is a must. Joe Burns’ book provides some guidance on how we can do that in a way that remains rooted in the values of justice and equality in the workplace that the labor movement has stood for since those textile workers in Lowell, MA walked off the job in the early 19th century. These are values that my father, who came up as a nuclear marine machinist at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, instilled in me as a young boy, and that my grandmother, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, instilled in him all the same.
|By: Douglas Williams Sunday July 20, 2014 1:59 pm|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday April 28, 2014 6:30 pm|
The Supreme Court heard arguments today over whether public employees who testify under subpoena at public corruption trials should be protected by the First Amendment. The position of President Barack Obama’s administration appears to be that they should not be protected.
|By: David Dayen Monday October 22, 2012 2:00 pm|
If you compare organized federal employees, many of whom have college degrees, to unorganized service-sector and retail workers, then yes, you will find higher wages in the public sector. But if you do an apples-to-apples comparison between public employees and their private-sector counterparts in related fields, you will find that the public sector is significantly undervalued.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday October 2, 2012 1:37 pm|
The Greek government submitted a draft budget for next year that would only further increase the pain and suffering directed at the population, despite depression conditions. But the European leaders determining whether the fresh austerity plan is good enough to meet their conditions want even more pain, in the form of deeper wage cuts.
|By: David Dayen Monday August 6, 2012 7:00 pm|
We’ve been talking about how this Great Recession, and its aftermath, represents a private-sector recovery and a public-sector depression. We haven’t seen government payrolls get slashed this deeply in some time in America. In fact, we now have statistics to put to that, courtesy of Jordan Weissman at the Atlantic. He looks at the ratio of government employment – at the local, state and federal levels – to the US population, and finds that the ratio is at its smallest point since 1968.
|By: David Dayen Friday July 6, 2012 3:00 pm|
The most important chart when thinking about the economies under George W. Bush and Barack Obama can be seen above. It compares the first-term job numbers of the two Presidents. Both of them endured recessions at the start of their terms, though Obama’s was bigger. But the biggest difference comes in the public jobs numbers. The parabolic arc on private-sector jobs is broadly similar, although Obama’s are better. But the difference on public-sector jobs is intense.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday June 12, 2012 1:05 pm|
The brouhaha about whether the private sector is doing fine misses the distinction between the corporate side and the worker side, where workers lost most of their gains over the last two decades. The Romney attack on public workers, particularly firefighters and teachers, is just the flip side of of how this happened.
|By: SouthernDragon Friday June 1, 2012 4:45 am|
A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches on current issues that may be of interest.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday April 11, 2012 7:17 pm|
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s first ad of the gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin begins by asking the question, “isn’t it time to end the civil war in Wisconsin?” He was referring to Scott Walker and the war on public employees, but he could be referring to the battle among Democrats over the next month, since unions have endorsed Kathleen Falk instead.
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 22, 2012 6:01 am|
Everyone is looking forward to the three days of arguments next week in the Supreme Court on the individual mandate and the health care law. But regardless of that outcome, the court is well on its way to expanding the rights of corporations over the individual, and curtailing Americans’ access to the courts for redress.