Category Archives: Labor

Another fraudulent jobs report

The March payroll jobs report released April 4 claims 192,000 new private sector jobs. Continue reading

Should the minimum wage be raised?

Some years ago when I was Business Week’s columnist an up-and-coming academic economist published his conclusions that raising the minimum wage did not cause unemployment. An implication was that labor unions did not cause unemployment by forcing up wages. Continue reading

No jobs for Americans

The alleged recovery took a direct hit from Friday’s payroll jobs report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created 74,000 net new jobs in December. Continue reading

Happy birthday, NAFTA

“I believe we have made a decision now that will permit us to create an economic order in the world that will promote more growth, more equality, better preservation of the environment and a greater possibility of world peace. We are on the verge of a global economic expansion that is sparked by the fact that the United States, at this critical moment, decided that we would compete, not retreat. In a few moments, I will sign the North American Free Trade Act into law. NAFTA will tear down trade barriers between our three nations. It will create the world’s largest trade zone and create 200,000 jobs in this country by 1995 alone. The environmental and labor side agreements initiated by our administration will make this agreement a force for social progress as well as economic growth.” Continue reading

More misleading official employment statistics

The payroll jobs report for November from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the US economy created 203,000 jobs in November. As it takes about 130,000 new jobs each month to keep up with population growth, if the payroll report is correct, then most of the new jobs would have been used up keeping the unemployment rate constant for the growth in the population of working age persons, and about 70,000 of the jobs would have slightly reduced the rate of unemployment. Yet, the unemployment rate (U3) fell from 7.3 to 7.0, which is too much for the job gain. It seems that the numbers and the news reports are not conveying correct information. Continue reading

When lack of money prevents work: FSRN ends daily broadcast

Free Speech Radio News, a daily international news program produced for and carried by community radio stations primarily in the United States, aired for the last time on Friday, September 27, 2013. Continue reading

In Los Angeles, labor redefines itself

“It’s time to turn America right side up!” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka exhorted those in attendance at the labor alliance’s quadrennial convention in Los Angeles on Monday. Time, he said in his keynote address, to change the ratio of power, to put the 99 percent in charge rather than let the richest one percent dominate government, politics and society. Continue reading

The new normal on the employment front: Part-time jobs with no benefits

For those US jobs that won’t or can’t be offshored or automated, the new normal is part-time work with no benefits. Continue reading

Mr. President, have pity on the working people

And you thought the government didn’t have a jobs program. It does. The problem is that the pay and benefits are lousy, and in many cases the working conditions ain’t so great either. Continue reading

The fast food industry—blaming the victim

The Fast Food Industry is a strange predator that satisfies its ravenous appetite for profit by stealing from its employees and then blames them for being in dire financial straits. Continue reading

No hope on the jobs front

Do you remember the promise of the New Economy that was going to replace the lost “dirty fingernail” manufacturing jobs with innovative highly paid New Economy jobs? Well, the promise was just another deception from the elites who have stolen Americans’ future. Continue reading

Khadamas for sale: Child exploitation bonanza

Last night in the hotel lobby of an Arab Gulf country, a family walked in aiming for the Westernized café that sells everything but Arabic coffee. The mother seemed distant as she pressed buttons on her smart phone. The father looked tired as he puffed away on his cigarette, and a whole band of children ran around in refreshing chaos that broke the monotony of the fancy but impersonal hotel setting. Continue reading

Another phony jobs report from a government that lies about everything

The payroll jobs report for May released Friday continues the fantasy. Continue reading

The financial press: A disinformation machine

Dave Kranzler of Golden Returns Capital declares the April payroll jobs report that was released on May 3 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be “fictitious.” Continue reading

May Day 2013, workers of the world unite!

The history of May 1 as a workers’ holiday is intimately tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labour movement, and to the long tradition of American anarchism. Continue reading

More phony US employment numbers

Statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) calls the government’s latest jobs and unemployment reports “nonsense numbers.” Continue reading

Another phony employment report

Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 114,000 new jobs in September and a drop in the rate of unemployment from 8.1% to 7.8%. As 114,000 new jobs are not sufficient to stay even with population growth, the drop in the unemployment rate is the result of not counting discouraged workers who are defined away as “not in the labor force.” Continue reading

Don’t count out the labor movement

Almost every conservative political columnist, pundit, commentator, blogger, and bloviator has written about the decline and forthcoming death of the labor movement. Continue reading

Friday’s jobs report: More lies from ‘our’ Big Brother

In his report on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs and unemployment report, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) writes: “The July employment and unemployment numbers published today, August 3rd, were worthless and likely misleading. . . . Suspecting at one time that the jobs numbers were being rigged against him by his own Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), President Richard M. Nixon proposed a new approach to reporting the numbers. Although the proposed changes never were implemented, several decades later the BLS adopted reporting methods that were somewhat parallel to the late president’s thinking.” Continue reading

Con Ed uses its power to lock out union workers

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, our gas and electric power baron, and representatives of the Utility Workers of America will resume contract talks tomorrow. But there seems no end in sight to the lockout of 8,500 workers or the union’s protest at the utility’s Gramercy Park headquarters, and as New Yorkers continue to swelter in the ongoing heat wave. Continue reading

No jobs for Americans

Today (March 9, 2012), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that 227,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs were created by the economy during February. Is the government’s claim true? Continue reading

Labor pains: A fable for our times

Once, many years ago, in a land far away between two oceans, with fruited plains, amber waves of grain, and potholes on its highways, there lived a young man named Sam. Continue reading

Showdown averted: ILWU and EGT reach agreement

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the international conglomerate EGT Development came to a tentative agreement on Monday to resolve their long simmering labor dispute. The agreement was announced in a statement released by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, who convened the discussions that ultimately lead to the settlement. Continue reading

Obama set to use military intervention against longshoremen: Which side is Trumka on?

A decisive struggle promising to shape the fate of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), West Coast dockworkers, and all organized labor is swiftly nearing a climax in Longview, Washington. Continue reading

December payroll jobs report

The following report is based on the work of statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com. Continue reading

Labor not represented in management of ‘the people’s universities’

Although more than one million Pennsylvanians are members of labor unions, and the state has a long history of worker exploitation and union activism, neither of the two largest university systems has a labor representative on its governing board. Continue reading

How Washington could create jobs right now

I like to ask friends about the oddest summer job they ever had. One talks about how he used to don a rubber suit every morning at a Sylvania electronics plant in Syracuse, NY, and climb into a tank, where he dipped television tubes into some sort of mercury solution. He now moonlights as a thermometer. Continue reading

45,000 working people are fighting Verizon for their livelihood

What the story? Last year Verizon made $12 billion in profits, got $1 billion in government subsidies and paid zippo, zero in taxes. But instead of sharing this windfall with the working people who make the company successful, Verizon has the audacity to demand their workers take pay and benefit cuts of $20,000 a year. This at the same time that Verizon’s four top executives have pocketed over $258 million (a quarter of a billion) in the past four years, which is obscene. Continue reading

When the revolution comes

The historic Gastonia textile mill strikes are not forgotten

ROME—When in the early part of this millennium I was writing a rather surrealistic novel, ASHEVILLE, about the town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina where I started out my life, I ran into the story of the Asheville-based self-professed Communist writer, Olive Tilford Dargan, of whom I had never heard before. Visiting then her gravesite in the little known Green Hills Cemetery in West Asheville and researching her and her activities I fell into a gossamer review of early 19th century labor struggles in the good old U.S. South. Continue reading

Ohio GOP sends a stealth death notice to public college teachers’ unions

An obscure clause that was slipped into Ohio’s infamous anti-union Senate Bill 5 may spell the end of collective bargaining for the state’s public college teachers. Continue reading

Labor pains and the GOP

There’s a joke making the rounds and it goes like this: Big Business, a Tea Partier and Organized Labor are sitting around a table. A dozen cookies arrive on a plate. Big Business takes 11 of them and says to the Tea Partier, “Pssst! That union guy is trying to steal your cookie!” Continue reading

President Obama: MIA on labor issues

As expected, Michael Moore, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka were in Madison, Wisc., to support and rally the workers in their fight against the union-busting governor and Republican-dominated state legislature. Continue reading