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How The Labor Movement Is Thinking Ahead To a Post-Trump World

Rachel M. Cohen The Intercept
Just over 10 percent of workers are unionized, down from 35 percent in the mid-1950s. Potentially, though, a wave of Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020 could give labor groups a chance to turn things around. With an eye toward that moment, labor’s leading strategists are coming together to build a program that avoids the mistakes of the past.

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Where to Begin? Lessons from the Fight for $15 Beyond North America

Jonathan Rosenblum Interviewed By Yuri Lobunov Socialist Project
Jonathan Rosenblum lives in Seattle, Washington, and is a member of UAW 1981/National Writers Union. He is the author of Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement (Beacon Press, 2017). More about him can be found at jonathanrosenblum.org. The interview was counducted by Yuri Lobunov, editor-in-chief of socialistalternative.ru, where this interview was published in Russian.

labor

Unions Aren't Obsolete, They're Being Crushed by Right-Wing Politics

Livia Gershon Vice
A new report lays out how effective the assault on organized labor has been. The decline of unions—which now represent just over one in ten US workers, down from one in five from 1983—has been less about their value for workers than the result of a concerted effort to destroy the labor movement.

labor

Fran Works Six Days a Week in Fast Food, and yet She's Homeless: 'It's Economic Slavery'

Dominic Rushe Financial Times
It’s been almost a decade since the Great Recession, and America has witnessed a record 82 months of month-on-month jobs growth. The national unemployment rate now stands at a 4.3%, a 16-year low. But month after month, it is the low-wage sectors – fast food, retail, healthcare – that have added new jobs. Wage growth has barely kept pace with inflation. The national minimum wage ($7.25) was last raised in 2009.

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Fighting to Raise the Minimum Wage Isn't Cheap, Union Spending Shows

Cora Lewis BuzzFeed
Defenders say the Fight For $15 has built up worker power at a time when traditional unions are losing clout. They credit the effort with increasing local minimum wage laws through executive legislative action (in New York and California, for example) and at the ballot box. A total of 19 states implemented minimum wage raises in 2017.

labor

What Does a Moral Economy Look Like for the 99%?

Jonathan Rosenblum Religion Dispatches
In his first book, Seattle-based union organizer Jonathan Rosenblum recounts the personal stories of clergy, activists and airport workers who mounted the first successful campaign for a $15 minimum wage in the U.S. Here is an interview with Rosenblum.

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Puzder Confirmation as Labor Secretary Pushed Back after Worker Protests Ignite

Janet Sparks Blue MauMau
The confirmation hearing for Trump's Secretary of Labor nominee, Andrew Puzder, was scheduled to start January 17 but has been pushed back and may not happen until next month. It may be that worker protest is having an impact. Critics have revealed that Puzder's company has frequently violated wage and hour, and safety and health laws.

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The Hidden Powers Andy Puzder Would Hold at the Department of Labor

Danny Vinik Politico
The secretary of labor isn’t exactly the sexiest job in the government. But president-elect Donald Trump’s pick of Andy Puzder, a fast-food restaurant CEO, could have profound effects that touch millions of U.S. workers and companies almost immediately.

labor

Japan Builds a Fight for $15 Movement of its Own

Lisa Torio Waging Nonviolence
Japanese activists have launched their own Fight for $15 movement, calling for a national minimum wage of 1500 yen per hour. The activists were inspired by the US movement, but also many of them were moved to get involved in social justice work after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The movement wants to raise wages but also build a broader movement to counter the growing right-wing and anti-immigrant forces in Japan.
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