Tag Archives | labor movement

What I Learned Walking The Picket Line

Picket line in front of Wendy's in the Chicago loop. Photo by Aaron Cynic

Picket line in front of Wendy’s in the Chicago loop. Photo by Aaron Cynic

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Yesterday’s hardest moment came for me when I watched a worker cry. I had been on the streets for about 5 hours with striking workers from the Fight for 15 movement and their supporters, who held a series of actions for two days in conjunction with a national week of strikes and protests to raise the minimum wage. I met the first picket in front of a Subway in the Chicago loop during the morning rush hour where several workers walked off the job. Organizers planned more than twenty pickets spread throughout the financial heart of the city for the day. Hundreds of demonstrators snaked along the sidewalks, stopping in front of retail and fast food outlets to deliver their message – “We can’t survive on $8.25.”

Morning was slowly turning to afternoon and demonstrators lined the sidewalk in front of a Walgreen’s on State and Randolph, a location sandwiched between the Chicago Theater and a Macy’s outlet in the loop.… Read the rest

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Police Arrest Black Friday Protesters On Behalf Of Walmart

On Black Friday, peaceful protest is a jailable offense, while violent mobs are acceptable so long as they are spending money. Rania Khalek writes:

The treatment of peaceful protesters compared to the unruly and sometimes violent crowds of stampeding Black Friday shoppers couldn’t be more different. While the former is ostracized and forcibly removed by police, the latter is encouraged to come out for a competitive brawl over marked off goods. Nowhere is this contrast more clearly defined than in the police treatment of Walmart protesters over the last 24 hours.

On Friday, at least 1,000 Walmart employees throughout the country walked off the job to protest Walmart’s poor labor practices. Local police departments have been happy to disperse and even arrest strikers and their supporters on behalf of the world’s largest retailer.

At a Walmart store in Paramount, just outside of Los Angeles, some 1,500 people rallied against Walmart. Josh Eidelson, live-blogging about the Walmart strikes at The Nation, reports that “Nine people have been arrested for sitting in the street on Lakewood Boulevard, including three striking Walmart retail workers from area stores.

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Foxconn Factory In China Shut Down As Thousands Of Workers Riot

Rueters reports on major unrest at the source of the world’s baubles:

About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.

Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order. On Monday evening, paramilitary police with riot shields, helmets and batons guarded one entrance of the massive factory complex, while an announcement over loudspeakers said there had been a criminal incident the night before and urged people to respect the law.

Employees and people posting messages online accused factory guards of provoking the trouble by beating up workers at the factory, which is owned by the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods.

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Education Is No Cakewalk: The Picket Line Against The 1%

Photo by Ryan Williams (used with permission)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Chicago teachers have been on strike for a week, and two other suburban areas have since followed suit. Predictably, the argument coming from critics of the CTU centers around teachers making too much money, putting children at risk while “whining” about pay, and teachers being some sort of self entitled class uninterested in hard work (re: lazy).

Given that the majority of Americans attended school at some point and more than likely, had at least a few good teachers who helped their education and changed their lives in some positive way, it’s already hard to imagine the cognitive dissonance it takes to make sweeping generalizations about a group of 30,000 people. But, critics of the CTU seem readily able to forget what the classroom looked like in their day with themselves on the other side of the podium, more than likely not always sitting still and paying attention.

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Unpaid Huffington Post Writers May Strike Following $315 Million Sale To AOL

arianna_0-311x233The progressive views of leading liberal website the Huffington Post apparently stop at the office door. When your company is worth $315 million, it’s hard to make excuses for not paying your writers, and so the Newspaper Guild is urging the site’s unpaid bloggers to strike, in a controversy that has gone oddly undermentioned in the left-wing blogosphere. The Wrap reports:

Arianna Huffington scoffed at a group of unpaid Huffington Post contributors that announced on Wednesday they would stop contributing content to the site, weeks after its $315 million sale to AOL was announced.

“The idea of going on strike when no one really notices,” Huffington said. “Go ahead, go on strike.”

The controversy arose after writers for the websites ArtScene and Visual Art Source , which had been contributing content to the Huffington Post for free since 2010, refuse to contribute additional material to the site unless they got paid.

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The Coming Working Class Revolt

From Nick Pell at Red Star TimesGM Auto Workers.

Hard to believe, but it’s been a year since the Obama Administration forced General Motors into bankruptcy. This has resulted in a curious phenomenon: the first generation of auto assembly workers in almost a hundred years who cannot afford to buy the cars they manufacture.

Given the context both nationally (the Massey mine collapse and the uncontrolled hemorrhaging that resulted from the BP / Deepwater Horizon disaster) and internationally (Greece seems always on the verge of explosion and the Chinese working class are waking from their 20-year post-Tienanmen slumber) the situation at GM points towards a very exciting and potentially explosive phenomenon.

Full Article at Red Star Times
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