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U.S. Policies Allow Sweatshop Fires

Tom Hayden
The Peace & Justice Resource Center
The latest sweatshop disaster in Bangladesh, which claimed the lives of over 200 young women, calls into question the foundations of US globalization policies since the Clinton era. It is not enough to blame the corruption of Bangladesh factory owners, nor sufficient to suggest better training and factory codes from Walmart or the Gap. It is time to ban the US sale of garments made in Bangladesh until enforceable labor codes are imposed on that country.

Unions Battle to Represent 45,000 Kaiser Permanente Workers

Clint Swett
The Sacramento Bee
A high-stakes fight between one of the nation's largest unions and an upstart, homegrown rival over which one should get to represent thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers in California entered Round 2 this month. NUHW-CNA face off against SEIU. Mail-in voting concludes Monday, and a final tally is expected by Friday.

Can Manufacturing Be Reborn in the U.S.A.?

David Moberg
In These Times
Extending the current model of free trade agreements is at odds with a factory renaissance. The trickle of reshoring has raised public hopes, as well as valid doubts about the infallible wisdom the stampede offshore with little appreciation of the needs or potential of. A real renaissance in American manufacturing will require energetic, high-road government intervention with an eye to innovation, not simply fatter paychecks in Guangzhou province.

This Day in Labor History: April 28, 1971

Erik Loomis
Lawyers, Guns and Money
The creation of OSHA proved to be one the greatest victory in American history for workplace health but OSHA’s ability to protect workers has severe limitations due to underfunding. The explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in Texas on April 17 that killed at least 14 people demonstrated the agency’s very real limitations. There are so few OSHA inspectors that it would take 129 years to inspect every workplace in the country at current staffing levels.

D.C.’s Race Disparity in Marijuana Charges Is Getting Worse

Rend Smith
CityPaper
According to arrest numbers obtained from the Metropolitan Police Department and crunched by a statistician, between 2005 and 2011, D.C. cops filed 30,126 marijuana offense charges. A staggering number of those—27,560, or 91 percent—were filed against African-Americans. Only 2,097 were filed against whites. Folklore contends that pot-arrest asymmetries are about Blacks smoking outside and getting their getting their pot on street corners. Recent studies contradict that.

Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone
Conspiracy theorists of the world, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. A series of related corruption stories spilling out of the financial sector, suggests the world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. Moreover, it's increasingly clear that both the criminal justice system and the civil courts may be impotent to stop them, even when they do get caught working together to game the system.

Take Action to Fix a Broken Senate

Isaiah Poole
Campaign for America's Future
The Campaign for America’s Future is joining 100 other organizations in delivering a message to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell: Enough is enough. End the obstruction. Stop the constant abuse of the filibuster.

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