Category Archives: Labor

In final speech, Trumka said labor’s fighting for democracy under siege

LAS VEGAS (PAI)—In what turned out to be his final address to a union crowd, the late AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka declared organized labor is fighting not just for itself, but for “democracy, which has been under siege.” Continue reading

The untimely tragic death of labor’s best friend

The first time I met Rich Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO who suddenly died this past Thursday, was in early 2008. I had only been president of the Writers Guild of America, East, an AFL-CIO union, for a short time, and he was then the labor federation’s secretary-treasurer. Continue reading

There is no labor shortage, only labor exploitation

Conservatives and corporate employers are weaving an insidious web of myths, lies and exaggerations to justify maintaining low-wage jobs.

For the past few months, Republicans have been waging a ferocious political battle to end federal unemployment benefits, based upon stated desires of saving the U.S. economy from a serious labor shortage. The logic, in the words of Republican politicians like Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, goes like this: “the government pays folks more to stay home than to go to work,” and therefore, “[p]aying people not to work is not helpful.” The conservative Wall Street Journal has been beating the drum for the same argument, saying recently that it was a “terrible blunder” to pay jobless benefits to unemployed workers. Continue reading

There’s no ‘labor shortage.’ There’s a wage shortage.

To find workers, there’s a free-enterprise solution right at employers’ fingertips: raise pay, improve conditions, and show respect.

At a recent congressional hearing on America’s so-called “labor shortage,” megabanker Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, offered this insight: “People actually have a lot of money, and they don’t particularly feel like going back to work.” Continue reading

Pay a living wage or ‘flip your own damn burgers’: Progressives blast right-wing narrative on jobs

"If one in four recipients are making more off unemployment than they did working, that's not an indictment of $300 a week in UI benefits. It's an indictment of corporations paying starvation wages."

Pushing back on the right-wing narrative about the reason for real or perceived labor shortages in some markets nationwide, progressives on Friday told corporations that if they want to hire more people, they’ll need to start paying better wages. Continue reading

Big biz answer to low April job numbers: End unemployment benefits!

The Chamber of Commerce and the Republicans are seizing on what they say is a poor April jobs report to call for ending unemployment benefits they say are too generous. Their idea is that by heaping more pain and suffering on U.S. workers they will be forced to go back to work even if only to jobs that pay sub-human wages. The logical conclusion that this would be a good time for corporations and businesses to finally increase pay to living wage levels is one they want to avoid coming to at all costs. Continue reading

Migrant women farmworkers: An invisible essential labor force

The Biden administration must address the industry’s long-standing gender discrimination and systemic inequalities, which have become even more severe during the pandemic.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an outpouring of public support for essential workers. But this national discourse has largely excluded migrant women farmworkers, despite their vital role in keeping food on American families’ tables. Continue reading

If Joe Biden is truly a ‘union guy’ he must strike dead the Taft-Hartley monster

The PRO Act alone is simply not going to get the job done for U.S. workers.

President Joe Biden likes to say, “I’m a union guy.” Unfortunately, as Vice President from 2009 to 2017, his boss, Barack Obama wouldn’t let him be a “union guy.” Even with large Democratic majorities in Congress and control of the White House, worker needs went unmet. Continue reading

Amazon union vote shows why we need the PRO Act

In the face of intimidation by one of the largest companies in the world, Alabama workers bravely spoke out about the need for greater labor protections.

Following one of the most high-profile union votes in history, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama—led by Black organizers—ultimately rejected efforts to form a union by 71 percent, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Continue reading

Don’t be fooled: The official unemployment numbers are a lie

A dive into the murky waters of unemployment to see the designed failings of a system that purposefully miscounts, disaggregates and excludes millions of people

The official unemployment rate now stands at 6.7%. But that doesn’t feel right, does it? Unless you live in a gated community, the reality on the ground feels more dire and more destitute. Behind that cheery 6.7% stand millions of uncounted people—uncounted by design. Continue reading

Workers need paid sick leave ASAP

Congress let mandatory paid leave end on Dec. 31. Lawmakers—and employers—need to restore them immediately.

Late last year, Congress allowed federal mandatory emergency paid leave benefits to expire. That left millions of American workers more vulnerable to catching—and spreading—COVID-19. Continue reading

Working class heroes get death as their reward

We are a nation that loves its heroes, even if most fade unknown to their deaths, protecting capital in a laissez faire system. When we flip a light switch, we take it for granted that the room will be illuminated, without understanding that people die for that to take place. Continue reading

A holiday comeback for Toys ‘R’ Us?

Retail workers are organizing to make sure private equity firms can’t make money by putting people out of work.

For many years, Giovanna De La Rosa enjoyed working at Toys ‘R’ Us—especially during the holiday shopping season. “I loved bringing joy to families and to children,” she shared at a recent congressional hearing. “I watched so many of the local kids grow up over the years while shopping in our store.” Continue reading

Waiting on the wealthy

Low-wage jobs catering to the wealthiest Americans are now growing twice as fast as other jobs.

Are you there yet? Continue reading

Workers stuck ‘paying the ultimate price’ as GE freezes pensions for 20,000 employees

‘GE hired a new CEO last year with a pay package worth up to $300 million.’

Workers are stuck “paying the ultimate price for executives’ poorly-timed deals,” said Our Revolution on Monday after General Electric announced it was freezing the pensions of roughly 20,000 employees with salaried benefits. Continue reading

Red states cut worker pay by $1.5 billion

If you’re a minimum wage worker in a conservative state, your state lawmakers may have cut your paycheck by over $4,000.

Last month, the House voted to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Continue reading

A tire that should inspire fear in the heart of workers

This sad story is as old as NAFTA.

Mickey Ray Williams keeps a Goodyear tire in his Gadsden, Alabama, conference room. Made in Mexico and imported to Gadsden, that tire induces fear. Continue reading

More fake happy news about jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the US economy created 148,000 new private sector jobs during July. The jobs number does not translate into employed people as increasingly Americans hold two or more jobs. For example, the BLS reports that from June to July the number of multiple job holders rose by 233,000 which is 85,000 more than the 148,000 new private sector jobs. What we are seeing is not more people employed, but more multiple job holders. Since May the number of multiple job holders has increased by 534,000. Continue reading

The gig is up

Uber just filed its first quarterly report as a publicly traded company. Although it lost $1bn, investors may still do well because the losses appear to be declining. Continue reading

Why unions matter to you

As I travel around the country, I tell people: if you have a job, join a union. And if you don’t have a union, start one. Continue reading

Public workers’ trump

Air traffic controllers hold the trump card (pardon the expression) in upcoming negotiations between Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over border security. Continue reading

The latest job report is another fiction

There were not 312,000 new jobs created in December. Continue reading

More jobs fictions

According to Friday’s payroll jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy created 200,000 new jobs in August. These jobs, assuming that they exist, are reported to be in low paid domestic service jobs such as transporting and selling goods, ambulatory health care services, and waiting tables and mixing drinks. There are none in manufacturing or in the “high tech clean fingernail” jobs that neoliberal economists promised the American work force in exchange for letting the industrial and manufacturing jobs go to Asia. Continue reading

The economy is supposed to be great, so why are workers miserable?

Quantity is on one thing, but quality is what really matters when it comes to jobs

It’s practically unanimous: Nine out of 10 establishment economists agree that America’s solid job growth and the low unemployment rate truly make ours “The Land of Opportunity.” Continue reading

Americans live in a world of lies

The US government and the presstitutes that serve it continue to lie to us about everything. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics told us that the unemployment rate was 3.9%. How can this be when the BLS also reports that the labor force participation rate has declined for a decade throughout the length of the alleged economic recovery and there is no upward pressure on wages from full employment. When jobs are plentiful, people enter the labor force to take advantage of the work opportunities. This raises the labor force participation rate. When employment is full—which is what a 3.9% unemployment rate means—wages are bid up as employers compete for scarce labor. Full employment with no wage pressure and no rise in the labor force participation rate is impossible. Continue reading

More fake news From Washington—this time it is about employment

The US government continues to lie about everything, not just Russia, Syria, Iran, and China. The US government is incapable of telling the truth about something as straightforward as employment. According to the government, March produced only 98,000 new payroll jobs, an insufficient amount to reduce unemployment, but the unemployment rate fell from 4.7 to 4.5 percent. Continue reading

Faux populist Trump wages all-out war on American workers

President-elect Donald Trump, a supposedly populist candidate who rose to power on promises made to frustrated American workers, has now seemingly launched what Politico is describing as an outright “war on unions.” Continue reading

Dismal jobs report

The presstitute media delivered the false news, not from Russian propaganda websites such as the Washington Post accuses this one of being, but from Obama’s US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The false news is that the collapsing economy continues to boom with 178,000 new jobs in November and a further fall in the rate of unemployment to 4.6%. Continue reading

Another phony jobs report

As John Williams has made clear, the monthly payroll jobs number consists mainly of an add-on factor of 200,000 jobs. These jobs are a product of the assumption in the Birth-Death Model that new business ventures create more unreported new jobs than the unreported job losses from business failures. If we subtract out this made-up number, July saw a gain of 55,000 jobs, not enough to keep up with population growth. Even the 55,000 figure is overstated, according to John Williams’ report: “The gimmicked, headline payroll gain of 255,000 more realistically should have come in below zero, net of built-in upside biases.” Continue reading

France imposes widely despised anti-labor bill by decree

On top of punishing austerity, new rules imposed benefit business exclusively at the expense of worker rights. Continue reading

May Day 2016: No gods, no masters

Each year, as we join millions across the world to celebrate the victories of workers, our own Freedom Day remains still fresh in our minds. Continue reading

Jobs report blues

On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 215,000 new jobs in March. Continue reading