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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.



For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

Detroit Bankruptcy Takes Aim at Pensions

The bankruptcy will enable an appointed judge to impose further cuts to city expenses and to void union contracts. A prime target for cost-cutting is the pensions owed to 21,000 city retirees and 9,000 active workers.

Who Should Fund Alt-Labor?

Josh Eidelson The Nation
As the AFL-CIO prepares for its upcoming national convention, the issue of non-traditional workers' organizations looms heavy on the agenda. As so-called alternative labor organizations - a.k.a. "alt-labor" - have multiplied, the question of funding organizations and activities without a traditional negotiated dues check-off system is being debated.

Walmart face-off with D.C. Fuels Wage Debate

Sam Hananel - Associated Press Boston Globe
Walmart Stores Inc., the nation's largest private employer, is fuming about a ''living wage'' bill approved by the D.C. Council that has an unusual twist: It would apply only to certain large retailers, forcing them to pay at least $12.50 an hour, nearly 50 percent higher than city's minimum wage of $8.25.

Greeks Take to Streets Again Amid General Strike Over Job Cut Plans

Helena Smith The Guardian
Commentators questioned the wisdom of inflicting further austerity on a nation where more than 1.3 million are out of work, salaries have been cut by an average 25%, and poverty has been imposed on more than a third of the entire population.

Towards Sustainable Industrial Policy

IndustriALL Global Union IndustriALL Global Union
As trade unions, we need to develop our own vision of how our industries and jobs should be transformed to meet sustainability goals. We must also be able to identify the policy levers that may be used to implement that vision.

Labor Braces for Impact of Obamacare

Don McIntosh Talking Union
The Affordable Care Act may create serious problems for workers covered by negotiated health insurance plans.

Teach For America's Civil War

James Cersonsky The American Prospect
The summit, billed as “Organizing Resistance Against Teach for America and its Role in Privatization,” is being organized by a committee of scholars, parents, activists, and current corps members. Its mission is to challenge the organization’s centrality in the corporate-backed, market-driven, testing-oriented movement in urban education.

BART Strike Illustrates Heated Debate Over Public-Sector Work Stoppages

Josh Richman San Jose Mercury News
"Union struggles reflect on all jobs," said Jane Smith, 30, a data scientist from San Francisco. "Unions won the struggle for a 40-hour workweek, and we are all benefiting from that still. Unions also fight for higher wages, which translate to higher wages for all Americans." The BART strike is a symptom of "the income and wealth inequality that is plaguing our nation," she said. "I can't believe that people are missing the point."

Paid by Fee-Laden Debit Cards; Lessons from History

Stephen Brier; Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stephanie Clifford Submitted by author; New York Times
The New York Times reports on the growing trend of workers getting paid via fee-laden debit cards. In a letter to Portside, historian Stephen Brier notes the "eerie parallels" to the 1800s.