A handful of fast food workers walked off their jobs in Austin, Texas yesterday, the closest thing our city had to a true May Day celebration in the streets. It happened as part of a global one-day strike led by the Fight For 15 movement. Dozens gathered outside a Popeye’s Kitchen on the east side of town, along a strip of fast food restaurants that cluster near the intersection of Martin Luther King, JR Boulevard and Airport Boulevard. This strip of strip mall purgatory could be any arterial street in America, reeking of fry grease and automotive exhaust.
|By: Anti-Capitalist Meetup Sunday December 15, 2013 4:00 pm|
This is exactly the way it should be done, drumming, chanting, singing, marching, and statements of Solidarity. This diary is a celebration of the joy of the struggle with photos of unity and songs to fight by.
|By: Ohio Barbarian Saturday December 7, 2013 8:14 am|
Supporters of fast food workers’ demands for a $15 per hour minimum wage showed up at several McDonald’s locations in the Cleveland metropolitan area. The protests were peaceful but loud, and nary a cop was in sight in spite of the fact that all of the protest locations had been announced days in advance.
|By: Amy B. Dean Wednesday December 26, 2012 5:46 pm|
This was a tumultuous year for working people and their families. From the grassroots uprisings last winter to the low-wage workers’ strikes at year’s end, 2012 saw many people coming together for the first time and finding their voices. Below are the items that I would highlight as the best and worst developments of 2012 in the world of labor and progressive social movements.
|By: Michelle Chen Sunday December 2, 2012 7:07 pm|
Once upon a time in the labor movement, a rebellious vanguard emerged at the margins of American industry, braiding together workers on society’s fringes—immigrants, African Americans, women, unskilled laborers—under a broad banner of class struggle.
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or Wobblies, raised hell in the early 20th century with unapologetically militant protests and strikes.
Their vision of a locally rooted, globally oriented anti-capitalist movement was eclipsed by mainstream unions, which had more political muscle. But grassroots direct action is today undergoing a resurgence in the corners of the workforce that have remained isolated from union structures.
Such alternative campaigns have a special resonance in today’s food industries.
|By: Donald Goldmacher Wednesday November 21, 2012 5:41 pm|
Thankfully, stories of striking workers at Wal-Mart and Hostess are making the front pages of newspapers and leading the “A” blocks of cable news shows. These two companies epitomize the war against workers that began over 40 years ago. Wal-Mart is the poster-child for corporate malfeasance and draconian worker policies. Wal-Mart workers on average are paid so little that the American taxpayer is literally subsidizing these workers as tens of thousands of them have no health benefits which forces them to use state Medicaid for healthcare. Wal-Mart made $15 billion dollars last year. Four out of the America’s top ten Billionaires are Wal-Mart heirs.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday October 1, 2012 4:11 pm|
Community, faith and labor organizations mobilized this afternoon for a rally and civil disobedience action in support of thirty-eight workers on strike at a Walmart warehouse in Elwood, Illinois. They marched down to this distribution center, and, at least thirteen clergy and community leaders sat down and blocked an entrance to the center to prevent goods from arriving or leaving the warehouse. After the leaders sat down in the road, a private security force there to protect Wal-Mart, who were dressed in riot gear, marched out and surrounded the leaders.
The private security force arrested all of the people committing civil disobedience. They had an officer with a camera taking video of the action. They also drove a Humvee with an Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) out into the street and parked fifty to one hundred feet away from where people were being arrested. The warehouse was, according to Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ), completely shut down.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday September 19, 2012 1:00 pm|
Dylan Matthews intends to wrap up the Chicago teachers strike with an assessment of what both sides got out of the contract “in one post.” Here’s a list, in one post, of some of the things he left out, culled mostly from what the CTU informed its members was in the contract.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 18, 2012 5:00 pm|
The Chicago Teachers Union has agreed to suspend its seven-day strike and return to work. Classes will resume for more than 350,000 students on Wednesday. This does not mean they have agreed to the contract submitted by the Chicago Public Schools, only that they will complete the strike action while reserving the right to walk out again if the final resolution doesn’t meet with their satisfaction.
|By: Allison Hantschel Monday September 17, 2012 8:00 pm|
I realize not everything has to be about complete selflessness, so let’s make the argument from self-interest here. If my neighbors are poor and desperate and uneducated, I’m not safe, because poor and desperate and uneducated people do stupid shit and eventually that stupid shit lands on my doorstep.