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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.

Among the Poorest Paid, a New Labor Revival

Ned Resnikoff MSNBC
Should the trend of de-unionization continue, it is not unreasonable to wonder whether there will be any American labor movement to speak of in twenty years or so. But that may change. Over the past several months, a new kind of labor activism has emerged from some of America’s poorest-paying and least-unionized industries. Fast food workers have stood near the forefront of the movement, waging a nationwide strike campaign which began in December with about 200 New York-

Longshore Union Quits the AFL-CIO

Mark Brenner Labor Notes
ILWU members see turf battles with rival unions as an additional, unwelcome hurdle to surmount, in an already difficult employer battle.

Landmark Progress Does Not Mean Permanent Change

John P. David Charleston (WV) Gazette
This is a year for commemorations, and it is ironic it is also when the U.S. Supreme court gutted the Voting Rights Act, a key component of the movement for human rights. The challenge facing any piece of major legislation goes beyond the movement necessary for passage. There must be recognition of the need for vigilance which requires dedicated education and expectation that guaranteed fairness for all is a human right that must permanently prevail.

What Happened to Jobs and Justice?

The August 28, 1963, March on Washington helped build support for President Kennedy's civil rights bill.The protest was largely responsible for the addition of Title VII, which prohibited employers and unions from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, national origin and sex. It also helped lead to the passage of civil rights legislation under President Johnson. As some of these provisions have been weakened what will be needed to move forward?

East Bay Fast-Food Workers to Strike Thursday

Heather Somerville Contra Costa Times
The Bay Area strike is one of a series of nationwide one-day strikes -- timed for Labor Day and the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights-era March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The strikes are the culmination of months of fast-food walkouts that began on the East Coast, organized by New York-based grassroots movement Fast Food Forward, and have rippled across the country.

Strike in Colombia Highlights Free Trade Failure

Dave Johnson Campaign for America's Future
A large strike in Colombia underscores the dangers of free trade agreements and suggests that we should pay close attention to current negotiations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Why Chicago Teachers Support the Fight for a Higher Minimum Wage

Kenzo Shibata Huffington Post
We need to fix schools and alleviate poverty concurrently, but only targeting schools is putting the cart before the horse. That is why Chicago educators will rally alongside low-wage workers on Aug. 29th at Chicago's Federal Plaza (50 W. Adams) at 3:30 p.m.

How Black Unionists Organized the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom

William P. Jones Labor Notes
A fascinating new book from historian William P. Jones puts the 1963 action in its organizing context. Every U.S. school child learns the opening words of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, but how many are taught that the march was the brainchild of the nation's leading black labor activists--and called not only for an end to prejudice, but also for a federal jobs program, equality at work, and a boost to the minimum wage?