Mother Jones, Workers and Resisitance

Mother Jones, Workers and Resisitance feature image
March 25, 2013
March 8 is International Women's Day, launched a century ago by the international workers' movement. To mark the occasion, the UE NEWS asked labor historian Rosemary Feurer to write about the legendary labor organizer Mother Jones. When Mother Jones was mocked as the "grandmother of all agitators," in the U.S. Senate, Mother Jones replied that she would someday like to be called "the great-grandmother of all agitators."
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Congress and the US Post Office

 Congress and the US Post Office feature image
March 25, 2013
Congress has backed a continuing resolution that pushes back against the current push to end Saturday delivery. But this “fix” is only temporary. And there are more threats on the horizon.The founding document is clear. Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 gives Congress the power and the responsibility: “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.”
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Today in China: New Leaders, New Changes

 New Leaders, New Changes feature image
March 25, 2013
China held its most important political meetings in ten years with the Communist Party Congress in Nov. and the National People's Congress in March 2013. A new leadership group assumed power: Xi Jinping is the new CPC general secretary and national president, Li Kejiang the premier of the state council. New officials assumed all but two positions in the political bureau's standing committee. A major decision is that China will change its economic development...
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California Health Workers Get a Second Chance

California Health Workers Get a Second Chance feature image
March 25, 2013
The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) will have a second chance at a representation election at Kaiser Permanente. And it's because the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will be holding a revote of a 2010 representation election between NUHW and SEIU-UHW where the latter prevailed by violating the law and colluding with Kaiser to rig the vote. There is no nice way to say it. These are the facts.
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Immigrants Held in Solitary Cells, Often for

 Immigrants Held in Solitary Cells, Often for feature image
March 25, 2013
The United States has come under sharp criticism at home and abroad for relying on solitary confinement in its prisons more than any other democratic nation in the world. While Immigration and Customs Enforcement places only about 1 percent of its jailed immigrants in solitary, this practice is nonetheless startling because those detainees are being held on civil, not criminal, charges.
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Extinction Paved Way For Dinosaurs

Extinction Paved Way For Dinosaurs feature image
March 24, 2013
A mass extinction caused by volcanic activity wiped out some of the dinosaurs' competitors, allowing them to assume ascendancy. Of course, another mass extinction, caused by a meteor impact caused their demise. Earth is not as hospitable to life as we might like to think.
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Wikileaks Was Just a Preview

Wikileaks Was Just a Preview feature image
March 24, 2013
In all of these cases, the government pursued maximum punishments and generally took zero-tolerance approaches to plea negotiations. These prosecutions reflected an obvious institutional terror of letting the public see the sausage-factory locked behind the closed doors not only of the state, but of banks and universities and other such institutional pillars of society. This is a Wizard of Oz moment, where we are being warned not to look behind the curtain.
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Scuttling Obama's Progressive Cabinet Nominee

Scuttling Obama's Progressive Cabinet Nominee feature image
March 24, 2013
If Republicans block Obama's Labor Secretary Nominee Thomas Perez over his actions in the St. Paul case, it won't be because of corruption or ethics. It will be because he rescued a civil rights law they oppose from almost certain death at the hands of the Roberts court.
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Shot, Then Shut Out

Shot, Then Shut Out feature image
March 24, 2013
The cascade of trauma center closures around the country epitomizes the challenges to combating healthcare inequities in a for-profit system. In the absence of federal or state regulations mandating the availability of trauma care, hospitals in high poverty areas have found that simply closing their trauma units improves their bottom line.
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Medical Device Tax-How Not to Close Loopholes

Medical Device Tax-How Not to Close Loopholes feature image
March 24, 2013
As the medical device tax saga shows, cutting loopholes is really hard to do in practice. They were likely put there to benefit specific industries, which can often be quite powerful and influence even stalwart liberal Senators who claim to want new revenue sources. Many progressives thus fear that the loopholes most likely to be closed are the ones that benefit people without lobbyists—middle-class wage earners and homeowners, students, and the very poor.
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Pages

Portside Culture

The Superfood Gold Rush

JAMIE LAUREN KEILES
New York Times Magazine
The latest entrant to the superfood contest is Brazilian açaí, a purplish, antioxidant-rich stone fruit — though most call it a berry — foraged from trees in the Amazon River basin.Surprising parties become heroes and scoundrels as the coveted berry changes hands in different ways. Global consumption has further increased demand, but because of the high value of good vibes, some superfood exporters have an incentive to hew to best practices.

Call Me By My Name

Jamaica Baldwin
Rattle
The poet Jamaica Baldwin writes, “This piece was written in response to the daily lies espoused by the new president and his administration, the emergence of the phrase ‘alternative fact’ in the political lexicon, and the simple fact of Trump’s presidency.”

Why Are Economists Giving Piketty the Cold Shoulder?

Marshall Steinbaum
Boston Review
Piketty's radical and largely on-target critique of contemporary capitalism, the reviewer says, was mostly greeted with hostility by the economics establishment, when not simply ignored, stonewalling Capital in the Twenty-First Century, so it would not have the impact on economics research agendas that it merits, particularly in explaining inequality — in effect a dead zone in mainstream economic analysis.

Freestyle Marxism

Max Holleran
The New Republic
This new collection of essays offers an interesting glimpse into the work of this consistently interesting Marxist thinker and cultural critic.

Portside Labor

Mothers Are Paid Less Than Fathers in Every State and at Every Education Level

Dayna Evans
New York Magazine
Mothers who work full-time and have a high-school degree make 67 cents for every dollar made by a dad with a high-school degree. More staggering is that mothers have to earn a bachelor’s degree or more in order for their earnings to outpace fathers with only high-school degrees. At every education level and in every state, mothers are paid less than fathers. On average, a mother makes about 71 cents to a father’s dollar.

AT&T Workers Start 3-Day Strike in Contract Impasse

Noam Scheiber
N.Y.Times
Workers are also frustrated that they are being asked to pay more of their health-insurance costs, he added, and that changes in retail workers’ commissions have limited or reduced their take-home pay. As part of its next contract, the union wants to bar AT&T from changing its commission structure unilaterally.

Reactionary Working Class?

Asbjørn Wahl
Spectrezine
That millions of workers worldwide become "losers" in the process of globalization, should not surprise anyone. Nor that many react with mistrust and blind rebellion. That part of the working class – lacking left political parties with strategies to address this crisis -- are attracted by the extreme right’s verbal anti-establishment rhetoric, is against this background understandable. To understand, however, is not the same as to accept, let alone support.

White Working-Class Voters and the Future of Progressive Politics

Michael Zweig
New Labor Forum Blog
The working class constitutes roughly 63 percent of the U.S. labor force. Crucially, it consists of both men and women and is multiracial and multiethnic.2 White people are, of course, a big part of the working class, but if we settle on “the white working class” as a class in itself, and with the force of white supremacy, even a class for itself, we lose track of the role blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other non-whites play in the working class.

NLRB files complaint against VW over practices at Tennessee plant

Nick Carey
Reuters
The complaint is part of a lengthy battle over the NLRB's recognition of the vote by roughly 160 skilled workers at VW's Chattanooga plant in Tennessee to be represented by the United Auto Workers union. The German automaker has argued against allowing a small group within the plant to have union representation, maintaining that all 1,500 hourly workers should be treated as one unit.

Friday Nite Videos

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

The Trump-Russia probe gets a special prosecutor, and Fox News downplays a purported memo from James Comey suggesting Donald Trump may have committed obstruction of justice.

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

Political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullshit

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

 

 

Jill Wine-Banks, Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor, and former U.S. prosecutor Paul Butler discuss the revelations that have come to light from the Comey memo

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

THE ACTIVISTS: War, Peace, and Politics in the Streets is a documentary film that brings to life the stories of ordinary people who tried to stop and end the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by Portside on May 19, 2017

Are we going to pretend they’re less than men and walk away?

Posted by Portside on May 12, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren says nobody believes Trump fired the FBI director because he was 'mean to Hillary Clinton.'

Posted by Portside on May 12, 2017

This song written and performed by bluesmaster John Lee Hooker was first released in 1965, performed here for the Seattle Folklore Society.